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BGT prototype set for MGLive

Published 23 May 2016

A unique MGB GT prototype will be on display at this year’s MGLive! event in June. SSV1 was prepared by a team at Abingdon in 1972 to prove that small cars could be safe. The move followed a report called Unsafe At Any Speed, which highlighted the poor safety record of cars sold in the US.

The modified GT boasted a wealth of safety features, including airbags, anti-lock brakes, impact-absorbing side panels and the slightly odd-looking rearview mirror that gave the driver a 120-degree field of vision.

Thick rubber bumpers were mounted low down for two reasons. Firstly, the point of impact would be in the sill arear (as opposed to the doors). Secondly, to scoop the pedestrian onto the bonnet of the car (rather than throwing them forward into the path of a car).

Now MG enthusiasts will be able to see the vehicle, which is on loan from the British Motor Museum at Gaydon, on the Headway Oxfordshire stand at the show, which takes place on the weekend of 4-5 June.


Headway Oxfordshire is a charity that supports people with brain injuries in Oxordshire. Chief executive officer Jamie Miller said, ‘We are delighted to have MGB SSV1 in our marquee, and we believe that all MG fans will be interested in seeing it, as well as learning more about what we do, and the safety of MG throughout the years.

‘Safety Systems Vehicle number 1’ was built very quickly by  MG’s engineering department at Abingdon, in conjunction with Body Experimental at Longbridge, to represent British Leyland at the road transport safety conference to be held in Washington DC in 1972.’

Adam Sloman, MG Car Club general manager, said, ‘It’s great to see that Headway Oxfordshire is really getting on board with MGLive! this year, and having MGB SSV1 adds not only a brilliant link between the marque and the charity but also shows off a very interesting car to fans who may not have seen it before.’

Tickets for MGLive! start at £18 for a member’s day ticket, while a weekend ticket can be had for £28. The event boasts two days of racing, a packed programme of entertainment, trade stalls and more. Visit to book tickets.


Lord Brasic    on 1 June 2016

I've seen this one up close, we are so lucky that roof mounted mirror never caught on, but a lot of the other safety features did. I can't make MG live event but anyone with an interest in any MG should go it’s a great event and worth the money.

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