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MG 1100/1300

MG 1100/1300 Published: 14th May 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

MG 1100/1300
MG 1100/1300
MG 1100/1300
MG 1100/1300
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These rather charming MG saloons are rarely spoken about – mainly because they are badge-engineered Austin/ Morrises that never even saw the Abingdon factory! Yet, the MG 1100 and 1300 are good little sports saloons that, in many ways, were the BMW 3 Series of their day being sporty, compact, pretty prestigious yet cheap enough to own and still fairly attainable. Don’t ignore others in the family like 1100s and 1300s from Riley, Wolseley and Vanden Plas either.


If you look at the 1100/1300 for what it essentially is – a big Mini – then the MG (and the similar twin carb others) is a grown up Cooper! The 1300s are a lot swifter, small wonder as the engine is almost to Cooper S tune (0-60 in 14 seconds and 97mph respectively). What the figures can’t convey is the lusty nature of these A-Series engines which can chug along and pull sharply at low revs.

Handling is extremely Mini-like although the fluid suspension and longer wheelbase means it’s not quite so ‘chuckable’ and ‘kart-like’.

Handling and roadholding is still impressive when shod on good modern radials and the ride is much softer – albeit a fair bit bouncier – than the stubbier Mini.

Thanks to posher leather trim, all are civilised while nobody can fail to be impressed with the car’s space efficiency – ideal for those who have outgrown a Mini but still demand similar Mini-like fun.



The MG badge counts for little over the non sporting 1100/1300 ranges and around £4500 should see you right with those in lesser nick from £2500 upwards. The real surprise is the Austin/Morris 1300GT which can command upwards of £8000! The twin carb Vanden Plas Princess is the next dearest with values slightly more than the MG equivalents.



1962 Launched the same time as the regular Austin-Morris 1100, the MG sported twin carbs, a plusher trim and two tone paint option; Vanden Plas model for ’63

1965 Identical Riley and Wolseley derivatives follow plus there’s now the option of AP’s clever auto with manual overdrive (a modern semi-auto)

1967/8 Revised range see two-door options and 1275cc engine (some single or twin carb); 1100 model dropped

1968 Upgrade for 1275cc models result in Cooper S-like 70bhp tune together with a closer ratio gearbox and improved cabin but MG is now only made in two-door form

1969 Riley name discontinued (Wolseley survives until 1973, VDP a year later). Austin-Morris 1300 GT is mechanically MG 1300 but is a four-door only complete with vinyl roof and boy-raver wheel trims and interior but there’s no automatic option. MG dropped in 1971


Top five faults



The complete lower half of this car needs to be checked, because rot can take a hold literally anywhere. Biggest rust traps are sills, floors, inner wings and subframes; all cars will have needed work here, subframes currently unavailable


1275cc engines are especially prone to valve guides and stem seals wearing out, leading to clouds of blue smoke once the power is applied after the over-run. A-Series engine are known leakers and display tappet and timing chain rattles


The first thing to go will be synchro cones. If there are clicking noises on full lock the CV (constant velocity) joints will need to be fixed, for which you can expect to pay about £100 per side to have them done. Autos need watching due to parts supply and costs or specialist repairs


Hydrolastic suspension usually ok but can leak (rusty pipes) and displacers are becoming scarce (1100club can help)



Rear brake drums officially have to be removed with the use of a puller. Handbrakes prone to seizing but, overall, a durable set up


Best models



Not many around and some 1100s had 1300 engine in from the factory but single carb! Two-door MG 1300 most sporty, four-doors are family friendly



The Austin or Morris 1300GT is a cheapened four-door boy-racer alternative but are now the most wanted even though lacks the class of the MG



Don’t dismiss a Riley Kestrel or the Rolls-like VDP Princess, the latter single carb until 1968. Wolseley similar but boasted two-tone paint option

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