This book tells the story of the constituent parts of British Leyland, later Rover Group, from the merger in 1968 to the end of production of the last MG Rover in 2005. The story has been told before, but this account is different. It is told by three people who were part of it, in senior roles, with the opportunity to observe and understand what happened and why. It is not another neat analysis by journalists or academics, using facts in the public domain and fitting them to a theory. The story is a complex one and the authors’ views are not necessarily those held by academics and previous commentators. There is still much that is relevant in a re-telling of the path leading up to this, for economy and society today.
Mike Carver, the author became Group Executive Director in charge of strategic planning. He was responsible for setting up the relationship with Honda and was awarded the OBE for services to the motor industry in 1986. Nick Seale joined Ford as an engineer, moving into finance. Later he returned to engineering, heading up the Rover Power Train under BMW. At Land Rover he ran concept engineering of future products. Anne Youngson started in sales and marketing at Longbridge, moving to Pirelli Tyres, but returned to work on Honda. She moved to project management for Land Rover and Rover and was the only woman at this level. Her final position was head of Land Rover Special Vehicles Operation.
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: The History Press (June 1, 2015)
An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’69 B-GT of John Briggs from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Here is his story:
When I graduated from medical school in 1969, I wanted a sports car. My first choice was an XKE, but alas I could not afford it so I bought an MGB instead. I picked the GT because I needed the cargo space. The car was black with wire wheels. I drove that car as a daily driver for next five years until it was damaged beyond repair in a wreck. After losing the MG, I had a series of Z cars, vintage Mustangs and Corvettes over the years. In February 2014 while looking at classic cars online, I found a MGB-GT exactly like the one I bought in 1969 with only 34,500 miles on the odometer. The photos of the car were fantastic.
The car was located only 150 miles away so I hopped in my Corvette for a trip. When I first saw the car, I thought it looked as if it had just rolled off the assembly line in Abingdon. I had not driven an MGB since I lost my first one but it did not take me long to get back in the groove. A few hours later, I had my new old MGB.
In addition to the excellent condition of the car, one of the things that attracted me to the car was the extensive historical record that came with it. The car was manufactured in Abingdon between April 17th and April 22nd in 1969 and exported to San Francisco, California on May 7, 1969. The first owner bought the car on June11, 1969 in San Francisco for $3731.00. He kept the car for the next 36 years, He kept all sales documents, titles, registrations for 36 years. He even kept the business card of the salesman. The second owner acquired the car in 2006 in California. The third owner bought the car in 2011 and transported it to Virginia where I purchased it in March of 2015.
The car is in amazing condition. Every owner has taken extraordinary good care of it. It has been protected from both rain and sun its entire life. Over its life span of 47 years, the past three owners have put only on an average of 750 miles per year on the car. The car numbers and equipment all match the BMIHT factory records. I am exceedingly happy to have an MG back in the garage. It is great fun to cruise around town in my new old MGB-GT. I plan to attend many MG events. My first was be the American MGB Association Meet 2015 in Myrtle Beach which is 90 miles from home, but I was unable to make it.
MG GS SUV
by Art Isaacs
I am in China and was reading a new posting in “Just British”, the on-line enthusiast magazine, about the MG GS SUV undergoing cold-weather testing in Detroit when one passes me in traffic on the streets of Huizhou, China. It’s a poor shot, but you can see in the attached picture the big Octagon on the center back and there’s a matching one on the front. This MG was even the same color as the car in the article.
Unique in its grille and tail lamp treatments, with large MG Octagons center at each end, from the outside it’s an otherwise generic SUV roughly the size and shape of a Chevy Equinox/Cadillac SRX, though the scalable AWD platform it’s on is supposed to be a new development. It’s nice enough looking, in a Nissan Murano sort of way, but it is reportedly under-powered, with only a 1.5L power plant available. The article notes the UK market is looking to get a 2.0L motor, presumably the one they’re testing and what might come to the US, if that’s in the cards.
The article also goes on to say the test car was spotted on the street in Detroit undisguised and wearing manufacturer’s tags. Considering the strong partnership of MG’s parent company, Shanghai Automotive Industries Company (SAIC), with GM (they build all the GM products sold in China, as well as own MG/Rover) and that the Europe-bound GS will use a GM sourced driveline, it is not unreasonable to expect them to help test the cars here, but why? China has more than it’s share of cold weather climates and if traffic is the concern, you need only see what goes on rush hour in any major Chinese city to know that they have that covered as well. So it is from that the speculation is born that they are considering a launch of the marque in the US again with this as a first foray. It would be the first to wear the Octagon since MGB departed in 1980. And with SAIC building and distributing Buick, Chevy and Cadillac in China, GM returning the favor here has some plausibility.
Those of us hoping the first MG back on these shores would be a new sports car may be disappointed, but a second article in the same magazine, even more speculatively, sees a new MG and Opel sports car being jointly developed with Opel based on an Opel GT concept model. Opel is quoted they have no plans for production, needing scale to support European sales. China and US distribution of modern MG (dare we say B) roadster and coupe models based on the same platform could certainly afford that scale. And GM does have that Kappa platform gathering dust that had underpinned the recent Saturn Sky, Pontiac Solstice and Opel GT (as well as an RHD Vauxhall version in the UK), the rumor mill does have fuel….
We can all dream, can’t we.
FOR ALL MGs
September 30 thru October 1, 2016
in conjunction with THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY
BRITISH CAR FESTIVAL
Fairway Lane Staunton VA, 1-855-809-3505
OTHER ACCOMMODATIONS’ CLOSE TO THE SHOW:
DAYS INN STAUNTON NORTH
Bells Lane Staunton VA, 1-855-799-6859
MOTEL 6 STAUNTON:
Baker Lane Staunton VA, 1-866-599-6674
the American MGB Association at 773-769-7084
or AMGBA, 5433 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60640; fax: 773-769-3240
, website: www.mgclub.org
or in Virginia:
if you are planning to attend contact the above to be placed on a mailing list for any last minute details.
Celebrating its 35th year, the Shenandoah Valley British Car Club has the distinction of running one of the oldest annual British car festivals on the East Coast. This year’s show is presented by Crown MINI of Richmond with generous support from Mike Gassman Automotive – British Car Specialists.
Open to British marques in any condition (and occasionally some motorcycles) gather from more than 12 states beneath the massive trees of Ridgeview Park in Waynesboro, Virginia.
From show winners to daily drivers to even the “I-barely-got-it-running”, all British cars are welcome at this fun family event celebrating British automotive design and the people who drive these Little British Cars.
Awards, based on voting of the participants, will be presented at the Saturday night banquet. Door prizes will be awarded on the field to pre-registered participants. Pre-registration fee is $25, registration at gate is $30. So register now!
We are very happy to be again featuring The Holiday Inn Staunton Conference Center as our host hotel – site of the Friday night reception and the Saturday night awards dinner. The hotel is conveniently located near the intersection of I-81 and I-64, in historic Staunton, Virginia.
Our Friday night reception has proved to be very popular, so please add it to your schedules. We will have a special room available where you can purchase drinks, bar food/snacks, or a full meal. With videos in the background, this is an opportunity to get together with old friends or meet new ones. If you have not participated in this event before, you may want to make it a priority this year!
The Car Show on Saturday offers music, door prizes, and fabulous food on site. Waynesboro is the home of Fishburne Military Academy, and the Moss Museum and is only minutes from the famous and scenic Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. These are a joy to drive, and offer a beautiful view of the fall foliage.
Come join us for a wonderful time and a chance to see many exciting British cars and meet the people who love them! Please note preregistration cutoff is 9/25/16 and this is a rain or shine event so registration fees are non-refundable, and banquet fees are only refundable on request up to the cutoff date of 9/25/16.
Friday, 9/30 at 6pm: Pre-show get together at Holiday Inn, Staunton, Virginia
Saturday, 10/1 from 9am to 2pm: Car show at Ridgefield Park, Waynesboro, Virginia
Saturday, 10/1 from 7pm till late: Awards Banquet at Holiday Inn, Staunton, Virginia
The American MGB Association (AMGBA) was established in 1975 and has provided continuous services to owners of MGBs, MGB-GTs and Midgets throughout North America since then. National conventions have been held annually since 1978 from New York to California and Texas to Canada.
Membership in the AMGBA is not required to attend the MEET but it is encouraged. For membership info call 773-769-7084 or write to:
AMGBA, P. O. Box 11401, Chicago, IL 60611 U.S.A.
Membership is $35 per year or $45 per year outside the U.S.A.
Contact: The American MGB Association at 773-769-7084, firstname.lastname@example.org
The American MGB Association’s 39th Annual Meet – AMGBA MEET 2016 – for the MGB, MGB-GT & Midget – Waynesboro, Virginia – September 30 thru October 1, 2016
MG sports car production as we know it was discontinued in 1980 with the closing of the famed Abingdon-On-Thames works in the United Kingdom. But these modern day classics are being preserved forever here in North America by members of the American MGB Association which serves enthusiastic MGB, MGB-GT, and MG Midget owners throughout the USA, Canada and throughout the world. Each year, the AMGBA holds its National Meet.
The 1978 initial gathering was held in Chicago. In 1979 and 1980 the AMGBA National Conventions were held in New York state, in Ithaca and Glens Falls. The organization’s success led to renting the world famous Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway in 1981 for the AMGBA National Convention. In 1982, the AMGBA held its National Convention outside the USA in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. In the years 1983 and 1984, the AMGBA went west for the first time in Lake Tahoe, California and Boulder, Colorado. In 1985, the AMGBA held two conventions in Santa Barbara, California and Abingdon, Illinois. In 1986, we visited Texas during its 150 year anniversary in San Antonio, Texas and in 1987 we visited the Saratoga Springs area of beautiful upstate New York. In 1988, the convention site was Kansas City, Missouri. In 1989, we visited the Great Northwest part of our country in Springfield, Oregon.
In 1990 the convention was held in Atlanta, Georgia which was a first for that area of the country. In 1991 we returned to the site of our first convention in Chicago and in 1992, we returned to the West Coast to the beautiful San Francisco Bay area in Palo Alto, California. In 1993, we traveled to New England at Keene, New Hampshire near the site of the Westminster MG Museum. In 1994, we went for the first time to the San Diego, California area at the Del Mar race track. In 1995 we went to Memphis, Tennessee, home of the blues and Elvis Presley. In 1996 we joined with all of the major MG clubs in North America for MG Indy ’96 in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indy 500 track. In 1997 we were on the West Coast in the San Francisco area at Palo Alto, California. In 1998, we were in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Lake Campus of Davidson College. In 1999, we went to Los Angeles, California.
In 2000, we went to Armagh, Pennsylvania and joined with the TRF Summer Party and in 2001 we were in Houston, Texas for the Houston MG Club’s All British Motor Vehicle Exposition. In 2002 we again went to the San Francisco, California area for the Palo Alto British Car Meet. For 2003 we visited Florida and the Space Coast in Titusville, Florida. In 2004, we visited picturesque Cape Cod in Massachusetts for the Cape Cod British Car Club’s British Legends Weekend. In 2005, we were in San Diego, California at Fairbrook Farms in Bonsall for San Diego British Car Day. We were in Maryland in 2006 at the MGs on the Rocks Show and in 2007 we went to Charlotte, North Carolina at the MGs on the Green Show. In 2008 we were in Armagh, Pennsylvania with The Roadster Factory Summer Party and for 2009 we planned for a show in the Central Valley of California.
In 2010 we went to Sussex, Wisconsin for the British Car Field Day. For 2011 we were in Ohio for the first time at Dayton in conjunction with the Annual British Car Day at Eastwood Metropark. We went to the Jersey Shore in 2012 with the Annual Brits on the Beach Show in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. In 2013 we visited Mississippi for the first time to the oldest city on the Mississippi River in conjunction with the English Motoring Club of Mississippi’s Brits on the Bluff Show in Natchez, Mississippi. In 2014, we were at New England’s largest British car show at the British Invasion in Stowe, Vermont. Meet 2016 was in South Carolina at the Grand Strand British Car Club’s Britfest.
For 2016, we will be in Virginia for the first time in Waynesboro at the Shenandoah Valley British Car
It promises to be a great time and a memorable experience for all that attend. For more information contact the above, write to the American MGB Association,
by Frank Ochal
On the way back from Meet 2015 in Myrtle Beach which was postponed due to the weather. Bruce Magers and I stopped at the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. The collection consist of numerous micro/mini cars produced in France, Czechoslovakia and other countries. The smallest vehicle on display was a 1965 Peel Trident made on the Isle of Man (Britain). I would urge any of you “Car Guys” to put this on your “Bucket List” as you will see the most complete collection of micro/mini cars ever assemble under one roof. There are over 45 different marques representing Asia, Europe, North and South American. Many of the cars are a one-of-a-kind.
While visiting the museum, we noticed that they had posters in the art gallery area entitled “The Magnificent MG – The Early Years” and “The Magnificent MG – The Middle Years”. We happened to have in our vehicle “The Magnificent MG – The Later Years” which we were going to auction off at AMGBA Meet 2015. We weren’t able to auction it because of the cancellation. We decided to donate our poster to make the collection complete and Jeff Lane, the Museum Director and owner personally thanked us for the addition to his gallery.
If you get a chance, please stop by the museum and check out the Art Gallery Room to see the complete set. Take a picture of the 3 posters and send it to us so we could see how it is displayed.
The Lane Motor Museum Story
In 2002, Jeff Lane established Lane Motor Museum. Jeff has been an automotive enthusiast since an early age. He began restoring his first car — a 1955 MG TF — when he was a teen. His personal collection was the donation that began the foundation. Lane Motor Museum unveiled its collection to the public in October of 2003. As director, Jeff Lane continues to search out cars for the collection that are technically significant or uniquely different. The goal of Lane Motor Museum is to share in the mission of collection and preserving automotive history for future generations. The Museum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The Lane Motor Museum is one of the few museums in the U.S. to specialize in European cars. It is a working museum with the goal of maintaining all vehicles in running order. Some cars are in showroom condition, while others represent typical aging. Efforts are made to restore each vehicle to near-original specifications.
The Museum has been developed in a well-known Nashville landmark, the former Sunbeam Bakery at 702 Murfreesboro Pike. Home to the bread company beginning in 1951, the 132,000 square-foot facility was the largest and most modern bakery in the area at the time of its opening. The bakery building, outfitted for the museum’s needs but left with many of its original characteristics, has a high ceiling, natural light, and hand-crafted brick and maple wood flooring. The architectural style complements the age of the cars represented. The main floor has approximately 40,000 square feet of open space, ideal for displaying the collection.
Lane Motor Museum, 702 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN, 37210, PHONE: 615-742-7445
Lane Motor Museum closes each year on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Open Thursday thru Monday, 9am to 5pm, Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
The American MGB Association Meet 2015 and the 3rd Annual BRITFEST was by all accounts, a great success! The weather was perfect, we had a great variety of vehicles and the entire event went off without a hitch. Thank you to everyone who registered and a huge thank you to all the volunteers for your tireless and cheerful efforts! Be sure to check out the list of winners below.
After a torrential washout on the originally scheduled date of Oct. 3, 2015 the rescheduled date of October 24, 2015 provided weather that was fantastic … not too hot, not too steamy, just right! And GSBCC (Grand Strand British Car Club) was well represented with almost two thirds of the membership bringing out their shining Brit beauties. We had a DJ handling the music and sound system. Registrations, photos, balloting, raffles, and awards presentations went off remarkably well without any major hitch. So well in fact that other area clubs have asked for our procedures. “Practice makes perfect” as we continue to learn and improve each year. $300 was raised and will be presented to Canine Angels Service Dogs.
Thanks to the following for all of your valuable help and input with making Britfest 2015 a premier GSBCC event:
Committee Members: Jim Hendricks (GSBCC Immediate Past Pres., Advertising and Sponsorships), Greg Hoch (GSBCC Vice President), Rod Smith (GSBCC President, Britfest Show Chair, Location and Logistics), Jim Smith (GSBCC Treas., Awards & Trophies, Dash Plaques, T-Shirts), Bob Puttbach (GSBCC Club Events Chair, Photography), Bill Unger (GSBCC Secretary, Artwork, Promotions, Registrar, Balloting), Stancy Bender (Raffles and Door Prizes), Felicia Sachs (Social Media Editor), Skip Robertson (Signage).
Editor, Grand Strand British Car Club Newsletter
MG AND MIDGET WINNERS
MG B (chrome bumper)
1st 1972 MGB Smith, Jim & Neal
2nd 1973 MGB Monteforte, Al & Joanne
3rd 1963 MGB Favro, Bill & Brenda
MG B (rubber bumper)
1st 1977 MGB Castelli, Joe & Arlene
2nd 1979 MGB Hoch, Greg & Patsy
3rd 1977 MGB Morris, Bill & Kathy
1979 MG Midget, Ralph Cozart
1972 MGB Smith, Jim & Nea
Longest Distance Driver
1979 MGB Gillenwater, Gen
Editor’s Note: As you probably know the original date of October 3 and AMGBA Officers Margie Springer, Bruce Magers and Frank Ochal were only a few hours away from the show location when it was cancelled due to historic rains and flooding. The officers could not return on the rescheduled date due to work, family and time conflicts. We therefore are reprinting accounts of the show that appeared in the Grand Strand British Car Club Newsletter. We appreciate their efforts.
An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’74 B of Edmund Schultz. Here is his story:
Here are photos of my recently acquired 1974 MGB. This is my third B. My wife’s brother clued me into this car a few weeks ago and it looks and runs well considering it has been garaged for two years prior to my acquiring it. As an aside my brother-in -law told me that his other brother painted this car. He passed away 5 years ago so my wife was glad to see that we have something in the family that he worked on. I am getting ready to store it for the winter. Fortunately I have a garage large enough to accommodate this car and the two other family cars. Winter can be tough up here in Maine. I already have a list of projects for the spring so I can spend the winter looking through the Moss and Victoria British catalogs and copies of the “Octagon”.