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April 12, 1888 – Cecil Kimber, founder of MG, in born
This Day

April 12, 1888 – Cecil Kimber, founder of MG, in born

On this day in 1888 Cecil Kimber was born in London to Henry and Fanny Kimber. In 1928 he would be responsible for the founding of MG, though his interest in automobiles was preceded by a love of motorcycles. Following a riding accident, he took to four wheel vehicles, first purchasing a 10 hp Singer in 1913. A year later he took a job with Sheffield-Simplex, a British car and motorcycle maker, as assistant to the chief designer. Above: The author's VW powered 1952 MG TD kit car. Top: This 1925 MG, with Cecil at the wheel, is dubbed Old Number One, but it wasn’t the first MG produced, but the first manufactured specifically for racing competition. It made its debut at the 1925 Lands End Trial. After bouncing around with a few different automakers he landed a long term position ...
February 4, 1913 – Richard Seaman, British racing great, is born
This Day

February 4, 1913 – Richard Seaman, British racing great, is born

One of the greatest pre-war British Grand Prix racers, Richard Seaman, was born on this day in 1913. Coming from a wealthy family made Seaman's entrance into racing somewhat seamless. At the age of 21 he took his MG to the European mainland to gain experience in the sport. He found himself to be a natural behind the wheel, winning numerous races early in his career, but it would not be long before he out-drove his own skill level. After demonstrating massive success on the race course, Dick, as he went by, was invited to Nürburgring to run a trial for the Mercedes Silver Arrow team. Against his mother's wishes, who did not want her son to race for a "Nazi" team, Dick signed on as a driver. To him, it was a matter of quality. With the German government financing the racing programs ...
October 19, 1965 – MGB GT goes on sale
This Day

October 19, 1965 – MGB GT goes on sale

MG released the unitary construction MGB in 1962, replacing the seven year old MGA. While it didn't feature the traditional body and frame assembly of its predecessor, the two cars did share many components. The brakes and suspension are traced to the MGA, while the four cylinder B-Series engine dates to the late 1940s. The MGB essentially wrapped company highlights of the of the past 15 years into a slim new package. MG achieved real design innovation on this day in 1965 with the release of the MGB GT for the next model year. The MG MGB GT offered a new cabin design by Pininfarina that combined the utility of a station wagon with the sportiness of a hatchback. The 2+2 seating increased capacity by two compared to its roadster sibling. While the GT was slightly slower off the line ...
September 20, 1962 – The MGB goes to press
This Day

September 20, 1962 – The MGB goes to press

SONY DSC Just three years after introducing the MGA, the folks at MG began work on its replacement. That fact alone makes it seem a bit miraculous that the MGB, which was first publicized on this day in 1962, would remain in production for 18 years following its release.  Above: MGC GT - By M 93. Top: 1965 MGB to FiA Appendix K Specification with period race modifications By Drussellwilks-CC BY-SA 3.0 Aside from the limited V8 versions of the car, all MGBs received the BMC B-Series engine. With its 95 hp, the sports car could achieve a 0-60 mph time of just over 11 seconds and a top speed of 107 mph. With a lightweight unitary structure the little car had plenty of get up and go.  1994 MG RV8 - By Vauxford - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 Numerous versions of the MGB were rel...
July 4, 1903 – The first female racer
This Day

July 4, 1903 – The first female racer

On this day in 1903 Dorothy Levitt became the first British woman reported in the press to compete in an automobile motor race. Driving a 12 horsepower Gladiator, Levitt took first place in her class at the Southport Speed Trials, but there is more to her initiation to auto racing than meets the eye. Her entry into the race was billed as a publicity stunt arranged by her boss at Napier Car Company. He had taught his Levitt, who was his secretary, to drive an automobile just before entering her in the race, knowing her appearance would draw interest in his cars. Turns out his stunt led to her discovering a natural ability behind as a driver, as well as a speed boat racer and airplane pilot. Levitt set a number of early records, including the "longest drive achieved by a lady dri...
April 12, 2020 – F1 great Stirling Moss has died
Automotive

April 12, 2020 – F1 great Stirling Moss has died

Moss racing an Aston Martin DBR1 at the 1958 12 Hours of Sebring. By C5813 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 Stirling Moss, British Formula One driver and International Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee, died today, April 12, 2020. His racing career spanned from 1948 to 1962, during which time he won 212 of the 529 races he entered, including 16 Formula One Grands Prix. Though he drove 84 different makes of car over the course of his racing career, he preferred to race British vehicles, stating, "Better to lose honourably in a British car than win in a foreign one." https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=Tl8qU0RprNU&feature=emb_logo Moss, who seemed to always come up just short, has been described as "the greatest driver never to win the World Championship." In a seven-...
December 7, 1979 – The Last MG Midget
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December 7, 1979 – The Last MG Midget

On this day in 1979 the final MG Midget rolled off the assembly line. The car was first introduced in 1961 as a more spendy badge-engineered Austin-Healey Sprite. It had identical mechanicals as the Sprite, but in 1962 the 948cc engine was upgraded to 1098cc. The car would go through various changes until production seized. There were 73,899 of the final generation Midget produced, with the last 500 for the home market being painted black.
November 24, 1951 – A mighty British merger
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November 24, 1951 – A mighty British merger

An agreed merger between Austin and Morris on this day in 1951 formed British Motor Corporation (BMC), the largest automaker in Britain and the fourth largest in the world, falling behind General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. The new company would continue to operate both brands as unique, claiming they would not produce the same models. However, the introduction of the Mini at the end of the decade saw both marques offering a version. Photo: A 1959 Morris Mini-Minor. This car, with registration number 621 AOK, was the first Mini off the production line to be badged Morris. It was never sold, and is now kept at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon, UK. Photographed at the Gaydon Mini Festival 2007. By DeFacto - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5
October 23,1911 – A spot of English T
This Day

October 23,1911 – A spot of English T

The Ford Motor Company began intercontinental production on this day in 1911 when the first Model Ts left a factory in Trafford Park, Manchester, England, the first Ford assembly plant outside of North America. Three years after production started here, Britain’s first moving assembly line was installed at the plant, allowing the factory to pump out more than 20 vehicles per hour. Exterior of Trafford Park plant An expansion of the plant after World War I significantly increased production. By the beginning of the 1920s 41 percent of all registered cars in Britain were Fords. To further improve production numbers a plant with better access to a deep water port was ordered by Henry Ford. This new manufacturing building was completed on the River Thames in Dagenham in 1923. Ford stil...
September 28, 1949 – A small car with a big name comes to market
Automotive, This Day

September 28, 1949 – A small car with a big name comes to market

British company Jowett Cars debuted their first and only sports car, the Jupiter, on this day in 1949 at the London Motor Show. The Jupiter was designed in just four months by Austrian engineer Dr. Robert Eberan von Eberhorst and Jowett’s own body stylist Reg Korner. Only about 900 Jupiters had been produced when production ended in 1954, which was enough to achieve great success in auto racing. The flat four, 1486 cc powered Jupiters would take a class wins at the 1950 Le Mans 24 Hour race and the 1951 Monte Carlo International Rally, an overall win in the 1951 Lisbon International Rally, and a class one-two win in the public road race at Dundrod in Northern Ireland in September 1951, just to name a few victories. Cover image: A Jowett Jupiter, circa 1952. Photographed in Congleto...

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