British Motor Museum saves long-lost MG prototypes

hace 5 meses, 1 semana - 17 diciembre 2023, autocar
British Motor Museum saves long-lost MG prototypes
Eight cars rescued after being abandoned at Longbridge, including concepts, prototypes and first MG F

The British Motor Museum (BMM) has saved eight historic MG cars by securing them on long-term loan from MG Motor UK.

They had been abandoned and left standing outside at MG’s former facility in Longbridge with their futures uncertain since MG Rover went into administration in 2005.

A mid-sized hatchback concept from 2003 based on the Rover 75 platform, called the RDX60, and the first MG F produced in 1995 are already at the BMM and will be exhibited in early 2024.

Six more cars will follow, including three development concepts for the F, the unique TF GT, the Rover TCV (scooped in our 26 February 2003 magazine) and the Mini ‘Hot Rod’ built for the 1997 Frankfurt motor show.

All eight cars will eventually be put on display in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

Head of collections Stephen Laing said: “The British Motor Museum is known for its unrivalled collection of concepts, prototypes, one-off and milestone cars, so this selection of cars from Longbridge is right at home amongst them. 

“They give an insight into how the engineering format and design of the MG F was arrived at, how MG Rover planned its future range of cars at the turn of the 21st century and how Rover Group was able to make a statement with a stripped-back, exciting version of an automotive classic.”

Guy Pigounakis, commercial director at MG Motor UK, added: “The MG Rover brand holds a place near to my heart, being the head of commercial operations for the manufacturer in the early 2000s, and so it's fantastic to see these rare prototypes on display at the British Motor Museum. 

The legacy of the prototypes are greatly valued by MG Motor UK, and the specially curated collection will allow MG Rover enthusiasts and car fans alike to get exclusive access to these historic vehicles that helped shape the UK automotive industry.”

The backstory
In 2023, Rover enthusiast and YouTuber Tom Cowling made the press when he uploaded a video showing the state of the cars.

He told Autocar: "These cars have always been on the minds of enthusiasts since the collapse of MG Rover in 2005. In 2019 the cars were moved from storage with an uncertain future and after much community outcry MG stored them again but after that it all fell silent

"Our questions remained unanswered until 2023 when a contractor posted a photo online which I was sent. I then went on with the help of the community to identify where the cars were. I then travelled down with a friend and saw the cars in the car park at Longbridge, I made a bit of a fuss and with the help of the enthusiast community ended up on BBC News. 

"After this I’m told MG we’re given the push they needed and with their long standing relationship with the incredible team at the British Motor Museum, MG decided to loan the cars to them, securing their future."

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