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MG Car Club to celebrate 85th birthday at NEC show

Published 19 October 2015

The MG Car Club will celebrate its 85th birthday at the UK’s biggest classic car show in November. To tie in with the ‘She’s a beauty’ theme of this year’s NEC classic motor show, the will feature a host of MGs owned and raced by women.

The line-up includes a 1968 MGB that competed on the London to Sydney Marathon, driven by Jean Denton.

Despite its competition history, the car had to rescued by the club’s MGB Register. The club will now restore the car back to its rally-spec glory.

As well as the Denton car, the club will be hosting racing and road cars from the 1940s and 1970s owned by ladies.

Denton MGB

This ex-London to Sydney rally car was resuced from a scrapyard.

Three MGs will also celebrate their birthdays at the show: the MGA, the BGT, and the MGF. To mark the three special occasions, the club will cut a birthday cake on each of the show’s three days.

Formed at the Roebuck Hotel, near Stevenage in 1930, the MG Car Club quickly found its home in Abingdon, the traditional home of MG, as part of the MG Car Company.

MG quickly established itself in the world of motorsport, beating Bentleys at Brooklands and Alfas in Italy, before breaking land speed records at Bonneville.

But it was the T-Type that cemented MG’s place on the world stage – American and Canadian combat personnel based in Europe during the Second World War fell in love with MG and when they headed back across the Atlantic, they took their new MGs with them.

MGA 60th

MGA production at Abingon.

The export drive of the late 1940s and the 1950s saw the US market become a key sales target for MG.

Although the 1960s and 1970s were arguably MG’s most successful period. The MGB and BGT became a best-seller for MG, while the diminutive Midget harked back to MG’s early days of simple sports car fun.

In 1969, the MGCC became independent from the then British Leyland-controlled MG and the club spent almost 20 years away from Abingdon.

The Abingdon factory closed its doors in 1980, but the name lived on, with MG production moving to Longbridge with the MG Metro, and Cowley, Oxford, with the MG Maestro and Montego.

Kimber House

The MG Car Club's headquarters at Kimber House in Abingdon.

In 1990 the club returned to Abingdon, to 12 Cemetery Road, next to the Factory Administration block, to a building the club christened Kimber House.

The name was chosen in honour of Cecil Kimber, an engineer who was a major driving force behind MG and held the position of managing director at the company in the 1930s.

In 1992, the MG RV8 was launched. Based on the MGB, it was handbuilt in limited numbers before a new, mass-market MG roadster arrived in 1995 with the MGF.

With a new MG sports car on the market, interest in MG was renewed and the club’s membership enjoyed a resurgence, with the MGF Register created specifically to care for MG’s newest roadster. That trend continued with the launch of the ZR, ZS and ZT in 2001 and the MG TF in 2002.

MGF 20th

Production of the new MGF sparked a resuragance in the club's membership.

As the club marks its 85th birthday in 2015, the club continues to grow on a global scale – the MGCC enjoys a World Heritage Partnership with Shanghai Automotive (SAIC), the custodians of the MG marque and annually hosts the biggest MG gathering in the world, MGLive! at Silverstone.

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