The history of MG - the man behind the brand
MG is an iconic vintage classic car brand with a fascinating history. The evolution of the brand into the sporty convertibles we know today began with Cecil Kimber. Kimber was born in 1888 and developed an interest in commerce from a young age. Despite lacking any experience in mechanics, he also quickly discovered his love for anything with a combustion engine. His passion for two wheels, however, was suddenly interrupted when he had a terrible crash in 1910.
The years passed by and in 1919 he met EG Wrigley, who manufactured mechanical and differential gearboxes. It was through Wrigley that Kimber was introduced to William Richard Morris. Morris had already started manufacturing mass-produced cars in Oxford, England. By 1921, Kimber, who was working as Morris’ principal trader in Oxford, started brainstorming ways to create sporty models for the cars Morris was producing. Soon, the unique MG brand was born, and its sleek sportscars and octagonal symbol became famous around the world. This lead to the fact that international collectors became passionate about the MG brand and its beautiful classic vintage cars as well as later models.
MG taking on the international market
During WW2, the MG factory was converted to manufacture aircraft parts and tanks to help with the war effort. In 1944, Kimber left the company, which coincided with a new MG era. The models of this time, known today as TA, TB, and TC, helped the brand’s acclaim to grow worldwide. MG’s participation in automotive competitions and success in the USA and Commonwealth countries popularised the brand with sportsmen.
With the arrival of the TD model came even more international recognition and the TF model was a hit in the USA. By the mid-50s, MG was working on the exciting MG A model, which is arguably one of the most iconic MG models to date. The company took on major British competitors Austin Healey and Triumph to create a truly unique and sporty car. The MG A paved the way for the design and production of the MG B, which is probably one of the most internationally known English convertibles of all time.
Classic MG models
Of all the MG classic car models, it’s the MG A and MG B that hold the most bragging rights as real English roadsters. Initially, the MG A was manufactured with a 1,500 cc engine and competed on the racetracks of the Mille Miglia, the Monte Carlo Rally, and the Le Mans 24 Hours. Later, MG produced the MKII version, which boasted a 1,600 cc engine. MG also created a limited edition MG A series featuring a twin-cam engine. The MG A was produced in both a convertible version and a closed version, with its elegantly curved fixed roof.
In contrast, the MG B was characterised by bold, straight lines, which reflected modern design in the 60s. The production of the B roadster began in 1962 and in 1965 it was joined by the coupé version, with its roof designed by Pininfarina. At this time, the MG B was produced in high numbers because of its popularity and it usually featured a 1,800 cc engine. The MG C had a very similar shape to the MG B, but was equipped with an Austin Healey 3-litre six-cylinder engine in the 60s and a V8 engine in the 70s.
By 1980, major changes in the company signified the end of MG’s glory days. However, the MG RV8 paid homage to the brand’s successful past, as an elegant convertible made with a model B chassis. There were only 2,000 made, 1,579 of which were exclusively for the Japanese market. The 3.9-litre engine had an impressive 190 horsepower. The MG RV8 is perhaps the most desired of the newer MG models.
Unique MGs on Catawiki
Every week, Catawiki’s experts curate unique classic cars, including vintage MGs, for auction. Our online platform is the perfect place for car enthusiasts to browse through a wide range of stylish, vintage models. So if you’re looking for any MG models - from the pre-war TA, TB, or TC models to the MG B model - you’re in the right place! MG B models feature often in our lots, so you’re sure to find the perfect MG B for you, whether you picture yourself in a convertible or a coupé is more your style. Even if you’re on the hunt for the rare MG A twin-cam, you can set up an auction alert and we’ll let you know as soon as one is available. If you have an MG that needs a new home, we also make selling your classic cars easy and hassle-free. Good luck with selling or buying the vintage classic car of your dreams online with Catawiki!