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Marque: MG - Company History & Models - Cars By Brand



If there was any justice in the world, then the MG name would still be rivalling the likes of BMW and Mercedes as the brand to drive. Come to think of it, MG was more Audi in its history and outlook – and surely would have similarly prospered if the rubbish British Leyland management hadn’t starved this famous and much loved outfit of proper encouragement and cash.

The origins of MG…

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MG Midget

Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    Mark I 948cc 1961-62
    Mark I 1098cc 1962-64
    Mark II 1098cc 1964-66
    Mark III 1966-74 -1500: 1974-79
  • Bodywork:
    Two-door open sports
  • Engine:
    All are overhead valve in-line four-cylinder units
    BMC A-Series 948cc (Mark I) 47bhp 1098cc
    Mark I 56bhp
    Mark II 59bhp 1275cc (Mark III) 65bhp
    Triumph-derived 1493cc (Midget 1500) 65bhp
  • 0-60 mph:
    12-20+ sec
  • Top Speed:
    85-100+ mph
  • MPG:
    28-45 mpg

Past: An uprade of the of the Austin-Healey ‘Frogeye’ Sprite, in turn derived from the Austin A35; Midgets provide sports car motoring on a budget, and liked by buyers because of their affordability and willing nature. Engine capacities grew from 948cc to 1098cc then 1275cc and finally to 1493cc (Triumph unit). Mk3s 1275s are generally regarded as the best; raised height rubber bumpers least liked.

Present: More fun to punt around than the MGB, these compact classics are still available at sensible prices and provide more smiles per mile than their size and pace suggests. Not fast but crisp handling compensates although cabin is too tight, spartan for some.

Future: The future is rosy for Midgets, since virtually all components, including full bodyshells, are available.

The worry is spending too much on one.

MG 1100/1300

MG 1100/1300

PRICE: 1100/1300: £250 - £2500+

View full review

Fast Facts

  • Produced:
  • Bodywork:
    Two or four-door saloon
  • Engine:
    Overhead valve, in-line four-cylinder A-Series
    1100 1098cc 55bhp
    1300 1275cc to April 1968 58bhp
    April 1968 on 65bhp
  • 0-60 mph:
    14 to 18+ sec
  • Top Speed:
    85-100 mph
  • MPG:
    35-45 mpg

Past: Building on the foundations of the best-selling Austin / Morris 1100 and 1300s, the sportier, MGs offered a bit more spark and popular with those who needed family transport but with Ministyle thrills. Launched in ‘62 with MKII in ‘67 and best MG1300 of them all a year later. Displaced by boy racer Austin / Morris 1300GT in 1969.

Today: Badge-engineered versions of the Austin/ Morris they may be, but they are now quite rare and desirable. They are practical family classics, with a bit more pep, especially the spy 1300.

Future: The few surviving cars will become more regarded as classy compact sporting saloons of their time.

Early twin tone 1100s or last of the line 1275s will hold the most sway valuewise but all are hard to justify full on restorations to their lowly values. Mechanical parts okay – body less so.

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