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Still an amateur-- what is an MG?

Hey everybody. I'm a translator and I suck at car models and makes and stuff... I own a blue VW Bug; that's the only car I ever fell in love with. I was wondering if anyone could tell me what "MG" means. This lady's talking about her first car, saying it was a "convertible roadster MG thing". I tried Googling it and I can tell it's so common I will look like an idiot but well I thought I'd ask here.

Will really appreciate any help on this. Thanks a lot.
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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    It stands for Morris Garage.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,594
    British car, sold in NA til 1980, rusts at the sight of moisture, has wiring but none of it works, has metal with a propensity for oxidization, Brits drink warm beer because Lucas makes refrigerators, the cars tend to become perforated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    Don't listen to that Teutono-phile. :P MGs are GREAT cars with tons of personality and good looks...but you need to know the best years....anything from the 1930s to 1974....after that you can just forget them.

    Most famous MGs you might have heard of are the TC (the old-fashioned one with the huge wire wheels that introduced the "sports car" to America)1947-49, the MGA, the sleek, low sports car from the late 50s to mid 60s, and the best of them all, the MGB from 1965 up to 1974--still a bargain in a classic sports car and a pleasure to drive.

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  • Wow. Thanks a million everybody. U're all so well-versed in this... Can I ask something else? What is a "road car"?
  • And what's a roadster?
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,539
    My best (well, only) MG story...family friend restores an MGB in the garage, sandblasts it down to bare metal, primes, paints it, puts down garage door, drops a pound of sand off of garage door onto new wet paint :cry:
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,912
    didn't they give you an MG with the purchase of a bigger car like a Caddy, Imperial, Buick, etc? I think you were supposed to use them as a wheel chock, for parking on steep inclines.

    Oh wait, maybe that was the TR-7? :P
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,912
    And what's a roadster?

    I'm sure the terminology has evolved over the years, but I think in the strictest sense of the term, a roadster is a 2-seat open car with a manually operated top, and side curtains in lieu of roll-up windows.

    As for a "road car", I would take that term to mean a big, comfy car that would make a good long-distance vacation/road-trip type of car. But I'm sure it actually means something else.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,594
    Yes, the wedge shape also makes a TR7 handy as a doorstop. And as it has almost no value as a car, might as well use it for something :P
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,594
    Oh, I like TCs...well, I like to look at them. I suspect I wouldn't like driving them, probably not built for people of any height or size. And they don't rust, as they are made of wood, right? :P

    I wanted a Midget when I was a little kid...but because it was so small, I thought I could drive it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    TCs are fun to drive but you're right, not meant for anyone over 5' 8" or so. I can drive one but it's a really tight fit in the legs. Also you have to get used to shifting with your left hand. But they're a hoot to drive....it feels like you are going 200 mph when you're doing 55. They handle very well for their age and they are "peppy" if healthy and well-tuned. It's more like driving a motorcycle than a car.

    MGs were always a higher quality car than a Triumph, and Triumphs were always a touch faster.

    In their infinite wisdom, BL decided one day to kill MG and put all their money into the TR7. Don't take drugs and run a major automotive manufacturing plant.

    MODERATOR

  • au1994au1994 Posts: 771
    thats funny as I had the same thought about the Nash Metropolitan. In my 5 or 6 year old mind, the fact that the car was so small meant that it would be ok for me to drive it.

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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,539
    Would there be any interest in the TR-8? Especially the convertible?
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    MG: Morris Garages Ltd; founded Oxford 1924; renamed MG Car Co. Ltd, relocated to Abingdon, Berskshire England 1929. Founded by Cecil Kimber, and William Morris. The first car was a 1.8 Litre Oxford model developed begining in 1922. A short list of models is as follows:

    14/28 MG Oxford 1922-1927
    14/40 MG Oxford 1927-1930
    18/80 MG Oxford 1930-1932(?)
    Mark II 18/80 1931-1939(?)
    MG Minor 1928, also known as Morris Minor
    M Type Midget, 1929
    18/100 MG Tigresse, built for Brooklands Double 12
    MG C Type 1931-, won Irish Grand Prix, 1931 Double 12, Ulster Tourist Trophy
    MG J Type; MG J2, J3, J4, 1932-(?)
    MG P Type, successor to J; 1934-35
    MG PB Type; 939 cc engine
    MG Q Type, Supercharged, 750 cc engine
    MG R Type; 847cc engine
    MG F Type; based on 1930 Wolsey Hornet, 1,271cc engine
    MG Magna; 1,271 cc engine, sports body
    MG K3 Magnette, Supercharged Magna, won 1933 Mllle Miglia
    MG Magnette NE, 1,287cc NE type variation of K3
    MG Magnette, K-N Series. 1934-36
    MG TA, 1,290cc engine, first of the "classic MG's" from which the post-war (1945) cars are based.
    MG TB; 1.5 Litre
    MG VA, SA, WA Series 2 Litre cars 1936-1940, rusts on sight.
    MG TC, 1937-1949, the car that started exports to America in real numbers, often bought by American servicemen returnng home
    MG TD, 1949-1953 1.5 Litre
    MG TF, 1953-1957-58, these cars still had ash frames
    MGA, 1957-1968, competition for Standard Triumph, with a fully enveloped bodyshell.
    MGA 1600; 1.6 Litre
    MG Magnette IV, 1.6 litre saloon
    MG Midget, we all know this one, the first mini MG with modern styling.
    MGB, 1962-1980; the classic modern MG sports roadster.
    (survival of this basic model continued in one form or another by independent refrubishers, or limited manufacture until purchased by BMW Group in the 1990's.)
    MGB GT, coupe varient of the B, also built with V8 motor in limited numbers.
    MGC, 1968; Six cylinder Healey engined MG. Prince Charles (Windsor, future King of England) was allowed to own one when he was 16.

    MG Ltd had been absorbed by BMC which became British Leyland; the firm was shut down two weeks after its corporate anniversary party in Abingdon; the last car rolling off the line October 22, 1980, just three years after having sold more than 25,000 cars in America in 1977. British Executive Stupidity killed MG, while Triumph survived, briefly with the TR7/8. Revived numerous times by various bankers, investors, and would-be auto tycoons. Tooling for MGB now owned by British Heritage Trust. The Chinese bought the firm from Rover Group (Ex BMW) and moved the Longbridge Plant at Abingdon, lock stock and wing-nut to China. Production of new MG cars started this last March, with plans for production in the U.S.

    The first car I ever drove when I was 9 years old was a dark blue right hand drive MG TF, I steered and changed gears, sitting on my friend's lap, while he engaged the gas, brakes, and clutch.... We did not break down that day, but every time thereafter, no trip was complete without the smell of burning wiring. They are thrilling and sporting open air cars to drive, where 60 mph feels like 100. No driving education is complete until you have driven an MG, rendering the full British Driving Experience. You don't leave home without a full set of tools, duct-tape, and time to stop for a warm glass of beer. I've driven all the major post-war MG's, from TC's to B's; my last trip from Washington D.C. to Boston non-stop without breaking down (?!?!)...but I did get rained on as I could not stop to "raise" the top. At the end of the day, if you can't catch a date while driving one, you are indeed, as Churchill used to say: ugly.

    DouglasR.

    Source: Encyclopedia of Automobiles, G. N. Gerogano, Ep Dutton, 1975

    P.S. Standard Triumph TR2-3-4A were better cars than MG's in many instances, but not all.
    P.S.S. Prince Charles was not driving an MG when he me Camilla Parker Bowles.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,594
    I also thought the little VW Caddy/pickups were something I could drive.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    Yes there is definitely some collector interest in the TR8, presuming the price is realistic enough to reflect the limited demand. It's certainly more appealing than a TR-7 or a Stag.

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  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    What is an MG-TC worth now days?

    MG-TC
    image

    MG-B

    image

    Sorry - The unlamented TR - 7

    image

    The REAL Triumph The TR 6
    image
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    more than a TR-7?

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  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    Now, now......
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    Well.... now that I've thought about it.... you're right!

    1981 Triumph TR7 Snapshot
    Retail Value: N/A
    Bodystyle: 2-Dr Convertible
    Engine: 2.0L L4
    Transmission: 5 Speed Manual
    Drivetrains: Rear Wheel Drive

    At Best

    I am selling a 76 TR7 coupe and an 80 TR7 Convertible.

    The TR7 coupe runs well, and actually will move under its own power, but does need restoration. Both cars need to go.

    $450 takes all.
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 894
    How about the Triumph Spitfire. My brother used to have one. Do they have any value? I always liked his, he finally let me drive it-it handled well, but the acceleration was dissapointing.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    I like Spitfires, especially the earlier ones with the chrome bumpers....like all British cars, the closer you get to 1975, the less you want one.

    They have some value but not much...certainly a lot of fun for not much money, and simple enough to work on. It's a flimsy crate, not solid like an MGB....but I'd buy one if the price was right and it wasn't the incredible rat that 95% of them are. :P

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  • saabgirlsaabgirl Posts: 184
    ... though it had some quirks.

    The windows were plexiglas sheets mounted in frames -- i.e., each window had two sheets of plastic that slid horizontally to open. Or you could just take the whole frame out and keep in the trunk. Worst problem was the plexiglas scratched, obstructing visibility and it was hard to recut new sheets.

    Didn't like starting in cold, wet weather, so, when I got up, I had to go out to the garage, remove the spark plug harness and put it in the oven while I got dressed.

    It was too low for snow duty, but I tried. When it got stuck, I'd pull the choke a bit, get out, push, then trot after it and jump in. Once it buried its nose in a snow drift, so I tried this trick in reverse. I ended up with one leg in the car, my butt on the sill and my left leg under the door which was pushing my knee backwards. By the time I got the clutch in my knee was no longer in shape for skiing, according to the X-rays.

    It was fun to drive on the twisties with my head over the side watching the wheels flex the spokes.

    Since it had no radio, my MGA formed my general dislike for radios, other than weather bands, in cars. Besides, it didn't need a steenkin radio because, after the muffler rusted off, I put a straight pipe on it. Once I was coming home and downshifting from about 60 just to listen to the sound. The police were hiding there and pulled me over. My story was that I'd ordered a muffler and was waiting for it to be delivered. "Oh, yeah," sez the cop, "which garage?" I named the garage that usually got my business. Fortunately, they were listing to the police scanner and were prepared when the call came to verify

    The problem with peak moments is that you often don't know when you're having one.

    Sigh.
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    MG began the flood-tide of imports to this country after 1945, with Britain capturing the majority of them by the mid 1950's until VW reached its peak, and then surpassed by the Asian manufacturers.

    ...let us not forget those other great British Sports cars of the same ilk: Triump Spitfires, and little loved and ill fated Stag; the tempermental Triumph TR-7 and TR8; The red blooded Austin-Healey 100, Mark II, Mark III, and 3000; and the very rare but very exciting to drive HRG 1500 which never saw the light of day in left-hand drive. And who can not forget the A.C. Ace, that Carol Shelby turned into a Cobra.... Followed by Sunbeam turning the Alpine into the Tiger.

    ...The U.S. Government regs basically killed all the fun out of those cars by the mid 1970s, even though the "Rubber Bumper" MBG still remains popular. Chances are, if it is a British sports car and it still has chrome bumpers, its worth buying. You can get a perfect TR3-4A for $12,000, drive for nickels on the dollar, and have a blast, and the same holds for a good MGA or B.

    Those same regs also killed the still-born Rolls-Royce powered Austin Healey Mark VI "4000" that was built in 1968 and never saw production. Ohh what a car that would have been to have...with its wide bodyshell and 4.5 litre engine that pulled the car with tons of torque up to 130Mph!

    ...so go to your nearest British Car Day to touch, feel, smell, and enjoy the sights and sounds of a motoring experience that has all but been sanitized and washed away with a few exceptions, (Honda Roadster, Miata, and the rare Toyota 2000, and the old Datsun GT's) by hordes of boring little mediocraties on wheels....

    I spent my youth driving those cars: pushing and riding in them, driving and caring for them, but what fun and adventure!!! Few new cars bring that back today; that's why the car companies are in so much trouble. They need to bring back those "peak moments", as is so well stated, to survive. So if you have not done so, go find someone with an MG, Triumph, Austin Healey or Sunbeam and find out what the meaning of a "peak moment" really is....

    DouglasR
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    MG enthusiasts in America are among the most faithful to the marque, and real "drivers"---no spoke polishers in that club.

    An MG TC for instance, will always find a savior, even if it is at the bottom of a lake, is not worth restoring, is a completely stupid hopeless project, is in 5,000 pieces or melted inside a volcano. It will be rescued and put back on the road by an MG lover, no doubt about it.

    There are few cars the elicit this level of affection or dedication.

    As it should be. The MG TC is really the father of all sports cars as we know them today. It's the car that "started it all" in America.

    MODERATOR

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,329
    When I was a little kid my uncle had a 51 MG TD. I loved riding in that thing.

    Later on a friend had in a band I was in had a 68 MGB. It's funny to think of now as I'm the first to have everyone with their seat belt on and such that back then I was know to ride on the back shelf in that MG when there were three of us in the car!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    The TD doesn't look as nice as a TC but it has a better suspension and steeering.

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,329
    Yeah, the TC was a beautiful little thing. The TD was nothing to sneeze at. I was in nursery school at the time.....

    Way later, but still long ago, my cousin from the other side of the family did a restoration on an old TD. His son has it now. Bob did a great job and Rob appreciates what he has!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    The TD is more popular (although not more valuable) because you can get left hand steering and also they ride so much better. A TC can really beat you up after an hour or two and they only made them in right hand drive.

    Actually my favorite is the TF (of that style). My favorite MG is the MGB, late 60s, roadster with overdrive thank you please, in british racing green with wooden steering wheel and snap-on hardtop.

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,329
    The late 60s MG. Great, fun car. Not along ago you could pick them up in the regular newspaper classifieds.
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