Morris Garages brings legacy of iconic designS into ph
For the classic car aficionado and vintage car enthusiast, the letters MG evoke a lot of nostalgia with a rich automotive heritage dating back over 90 years.
MG is one of the classic car kingdom’s most famous initials, standing for Morris Garages, which is a nod to William Morris, owner of Morris Garages.
The iconic red octagonal logo bearing its initials were actually the brainchild of Cecil Kimber, the founder of MG who was then the general manager for Morris.
The logo is a British automotive trademark registered by Kimber on May 1, 1924.
On Sept. 1 of the same year, its first car, the MG 14/28 Super Sports model went on sale.
The brand became known for making some of the most popular performance cars of that generation, and marked the beginning of the British brand’s foray into making affordable performance and sports cars.
The company adopted 251, its telephone number in Abingdon, as the starting point for most of the MG chassis VINs (vehicle identification numbers).
On its first decade, the MG business unit remained as Morris’ private ownership until the MG division was absorbed in the Morris Motors Limited holding company in July 1, 1935 as William Morris restructured and consolidated all the company assets and divisions before going public the following year.
By 1933, MG already made a name and its success was marked by a K3 class win at the Mille Miglia road race to become the first non-Italian team to win in the famous open road race.
Soon after, even the British royalty took notice of the car brand, with the Duke of Edinburgh purchasing his first MG TC model in 1947.
Subsequently, MG underwent several ownership transitions starting with the merger with British automaker Austin of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) in 1952. MG became a division in BMC in 1967.
In 1952, its Longbridge facility, a production facility still owned by the company up to now, began to design and manufacture its A and B series engines.
This would be the powerplant used on the Midget and Z-series Magnette, MGA and MGB models on later years.
The A and B models eventually became popular among classic car enthusiasts due to its robust engine and accessible parts.
On May 16, 1956, the 100,000th MG was produced. It was a left-hand drive MGA 1500. Its cTF and Magnette ZA models adopted number 101 as the VIN start code, in line with the MG tradition of using the number from its Birmingham headquarters telephone number.
By 1962, MG built its first car, the MG1100/1300, in Longbridge. And in 1969, another royalty, HRH Prince Charles took delivery of his first MG, an MG GT with number SGY 776F which was eventually handed down to Prince William.
By October 1975, MG built its one millionth unit, a unique left-hand drive MGB roadster specially painted in Brooklands Green, complete with Jubilee GT livery.
The MG Rover Group was formed on May 9, 2000 following its separation from the BMW Group. Its new TF model continued to use the company’s Longbridge telephone number as a start of VIN series.
By April 2002, MG celebrated its 1.5 millionth production MG with a Golden Jubilee special edition, the TF 160 model.
MG’s history took another significant turn when the MG Rover Group was purchased by Nanjing Automotive Group (NAC), China’s oldest carmaker on April 8, 2005.
By Dec. 26, 2007, NAC merged with the SAIC Group, China’s largest carmaker. The following year, on Sept. 4, the first of the new Limited Edition MGTF LE 500 left its Birmingham factory.
On May 2011, MG unveiled its MG6 GT in UK, considered the first all-new MG after 16 years. The following month saw the launch of the MG6 Magnette (the saloon version of the MG6).
MG once again became an active participant in motorsports following its success the following year at the British Touring Car Championships with racecar driver Jason Plato. MG later produced an MG6 GT BTCC Special Edition.
Armed with fresh funding for R&D, MG developed and introduced its new 1.9 DTi-Tech diesel engine for the MG6 range in 2013. It also introduced its new MG3 model that same year at the Shanghai Auto Show together with the new MG CS Concept car.
MG marked its 90th year on June 2014 at Silverstone, and unveiled the MG6 90th Limited Edition model. On the same year, MG won the BTCC Manufacturer Championship, marking its foothold on the race series.
In April of the following year, MG launched the new MG6 model with three trim levels, and opened its Piccadilly flagship showroom in the heart of London in July. By the end of 2015, the MG3 model got a facelift featuring a new stop-start EU6 engine.
Last October, The Covenant Car Company Inc., the distributors for Chevrolet in the country, was officially appointed as distributor for MG and began marketing the RX5 and ZS models.
This “new Brit on the block” marks its presence by offering competitively priced Chinese-made vehicles with a long and strong line of British motoring heritage.