by Gerald Ferreira of 3D Car Shows
The very last MGB Roadster made, which rolled off the MG Car Company’s Abingdon production line on October 23, 1980, made a dramatic return to its home town today on December 1, 2011.
The property of the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, it has been placed on indefinite loan to the 17th Century Abingdon County Hall Museum. And, due to the practical limitations imposed by the picturesque Grade One listed building, the car had to be ‘posted’ on its side through the arched windows of the first floor, with just inches to spare.
The task of first stripping the MG to its bare shell, fitting that to a specially designed cradle, masterminding the pair’s delivery into the building via a gigantic 30 ton scissor lift, and finally rebuilding the car for public display, fell to Witney-based British Motor Heritage (BMH), which also sponsored the ambitious project from start to finish.
Said BMH’s Managing Director John Yea: “As the only manufacturer of original-quality replacement panels and complete bodyshells for the ubiquitous MGB, we felt we were the appropriate company to help bring this challenging task to fruition for all concerned. 2012 is the 50th anniversary of this perennially popular sports car, and it is very fitting that a representative example will be proudly displayed in the town where over 500,000 were built; a high percentage of which were exported to America.”