MG is one of Britain’s most iconic car marques. Founded by Cecil Kimber in 1930, the M.G. Car Company has produced some of the most impressive sport cars in British automotive history.
MG’s story started in the early 1920s when Cecil Kimber took over the general manager position at the Morris Garages car sales and auto-service center in Oxford. Morris Garages belonged to William Morris, the founder of Morris Motors Limited. Mr. Kimber began trying to boost the sales of Morris cars by doing three things: installing special bodywork on them, retuning their engines for enhanced performance, and placing special “MG Super Sports” badges on their front plates. These special edition Morris cars soon grew popular, and in 1924, it resulted in the registration of MG (which stood for Morris Garages) as a separate car marque from the Morris cars.
Before long, MG had to move to larger premises to meet the rising demand for MG cars; that search for a larger place of operation brought MG to a factory in Abingdon, Oxfordshire in 1929. This factory became MG’s home for the next half century. The M.G. Car Company was incorporated as a limited liability company in July 1930, and Cecil Kimber continued on with the company until 1941.
MG has exchanged hands many times over the last century. Initially, it was personally owned by William Morris, but in 1935, he sold it to Morris Motors Limited. Later on in 1952, Morris Motors Limited merged with the Austin Motor Company Limited to form the British Motor Corporation Limited (BMC), and so the M.G. Car Company Limited was also absorbed into this new company. BMC then joined forces with Jaguar Cars in 1966 to form the British Motor Holdings (BMH). Two years later, BMH merged with the Leyland Motor Corporation to form the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC). BLMC then changed its name to British Leyland in 1975 and then to the Rover Group in 1986, after which it sold the MG marque to British Aerospace. Since then, the MG marque has been taken over by BMW, and then by the MG Rover Group. When the MG Rover Group entered receivership in 2005, the Nanjing Automobile Group of China bought it. Two years later, the Nanjing Automobile Group merged into the Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation (SAIC) of China.
The first MG car, the 14/28, was built in 1924. It was based on a Morris Oxford car. Since then, MG has produced many phenomenal cars like the MG EX120 ‘The Magic Midget’ of 1931 that set a land speed record of 103.13mph, the MG K3 Magnette that made MG the first non-Italian marque to win the Italian ‘Mille Miglia’ 1000-km race in 1933, and the MG EX 181 of 1957 that set a new land speed record of 245.64mph.
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