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The MG Sports Car

A review of the MG Sports Car, focusing on the development, important features, and technical data of each model in the MG range, from the MGA to the MG RV8.

In this Article, I offer a nostalgic look at the MG Sports Car, one of an elite group of classic cars, which was manufactured during the period 1955 to 1995.

In 1955, the MG T-series was finally phased out in favour of the MGA, which symbolised a styling breakthrough in respect of its predecessors. The MGA 1500 sports car mounted a separate body to a rigid frame, and used a 1.5 litre, 4-cylinder engine with two carburettors. It was a two door, two seater model, available as a convertible or fixed head coupe. There were drum brakes on all four wheels.

In 1958, the MGA Twin-Cam sports car was introduced. It used a 1.6 litre, high compression, double overhead cam, aluminium cylinder head engine. An unreliable engine, which suffered from detonation problems and burning oil. A low compression version developing 100bhp was later added.

In 1959, the MGA 1500 had its engine uprated from 1498cc to 1598cc. It was renamed the MGA 1600. Apart from minor changes to the trim, the two cars were similar, externally. best japan cams

Finally, in 1961, the MGA 1600 Mark 2 was introduced. It used a larger 1622cc engine, a higher back axle ratio for smoother high speed driving, and a grille that was inset.

The introduction, in 1962 of the MGB sports car represented a radical change in design. It used a monocoque structure, instead of the body being attached to a chassis as was the MGA and MG T-types. The result was a more resilient assembly. It was a two door, two seater convertible. Later, in 1965, a 2+2 version was added. It incorporated a 1.8 litre engine, with two SU carburettors, and a four speed gearbox. The suspension was softer for a smoother ride, and there was an optional overdrive unit.

In 1965, the MGB GT was introduced. It had a fixed roof, and was marketed on the basis of its distinctive hatchback style. It was, essentially, a 2+2 design combining a rear bench seat and substantially more room for luggage, compared with the roadster. The only difference was in the suspension springs and the addition of anti roll bars. The specification and performance was as per the roadster.

In 1967, production of the Austin Healey 3000 was scheduled to end. Accordingly, a suitable replacement could involve adding its 2.9 litre, straight 6-cylinder engine into the MGB. This heralded the birth of the MGC sports car, available in both GT and convertible versions. From the outside, the only difference was a noticeable bulge in the bonnet to allow for the relocated radiator. The heavy engine and revised suspension had an adverse effect on handling.