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MG A - Motor Sport


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#1 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 00:32

For a long while I have thought that I remembered a picture at the bottom of the page in Motor Sport where the MG A was announced in 1955. My memory tells me that in one of the two(?) pictures, there was also a car that looked like the later MG B. Has my mind failed me, or was there another car with the new MG A?

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#2 BritishV8

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 03:09


I don't know anything about the MotorSport spread... but I can recommend "Don Hayter's MGB Story: the birth of the MGB in MG's Abingdon Design and Development Office" which was published in 2012 by Veloce. In that book, Hayter explains how he was directed by Chief Engineer Syd Enever to use the EX181 "Roaring Raindrop" as inspiration and to carry over body lines from that project as much as feasible. EX181 only dates back to 1957. In August of that year, Stirling Moss took EX181 to 245.64mph at Bonneville. MG returned in 1959. With Phil Hill driving, EX181 managed 254.91mph.

#3 Allan Lupton

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 08:07

On p676 of the November '55 issue of Motor Sport is a photo of an earlier prototype of what became the MGA.
It has a more TF-like radiator grille but the sides have more of a through line for the front wings than the true MGA, so much more like the MGB was to be.
A proper MG historian can doubtless tell us the works project number and other details.
Oh and the MGA is pictured on p665 in the Show Report.

#4 CoulthardD

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 17:53

Could it have been EX172 from 1951?

DC

#5 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 18:10

I was hoping that someone has a DVD of Motor Sport from that era and could find the page with the announcement of the MG A on it.

#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 18:38

Although it's not from 1955, might you be thinking of the MGA Sport Coupe Prototype?

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http://mgaguru.com/m...ants/vt101h.htm

Or maybe the Frua design study?

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As for a car which might have been pictured next to a new MGA - EX179 would surely be favourite? Not very "MGB" though!

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#7 275 GTB-4

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 23:19

I love this story of people squirrelling away items from management....

http://www.britishra...on-MG-Ex186.htm

I once heard a story about an ex-Le Mans MG discovered on a property in Australia....the folk were offered a new MGA in exchange...gotta love "barnfinds"

#8 Sharman

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 09:38

On p676 of the November '55 issue of Motor Sport is a photo of an earlier prototype of what became the MGA.
It has a more TF-like radiator grille but the sides have more of a through line for the front wings than the true MGA, so much more like the MGB was to be.
A proper MG historian can doubtless tell us the works project number and other details.
Oh and the MGA is pictured on p665 in the Show Report.

Allan
I am fairly sure the body design was based on Dick Jacobs' Le Mans car
John

#9 Allan Lupton

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 10:06

Allan
I am fairly sure the body design was based on Dick Jacobs' Le Mans car
John

Yes I agree, but there were other prototypes that didn't get proceeded with and the one I found in Motor Sport is one of those.
The whole point is that Robin remembered another MG in MS when the A was launched and I thought I'd found it. Because I can't be bothered with third perty hosting and even "dropbox" failed me, I can't/won't post the photo but surely someone who can be bothered can follow my reference (p676 of the November '55 issue) and do so.

#10 Roger Clark

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 12:06

This is the picture referred to by Allan Lupton.


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#11 Sharman

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 12:29

This is the picture referred to by Allan Lupton.


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And that looks exactly like a roof off version of Jacobs' MG Special based on a Y chassis

Edited by Sharman, 18 August 2013 - 12:30.


#12 Roger Clark

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 13:06

Allan
I am fairly sure the body design was based on Dick Jacobs' Le Mans car
John

Which year was this?

#13 Allan Lupton

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 13:34

And that looks exactly like a roof off version of Jacobs' MG Special based on a Y chassis

If you mean this one, I see what you mean but there are a lot of differences.
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ETA Thanks for posting the Motor Sport photo, Roger.

Edited by Allan Lupton, 18 August 2013 - 13:36.


#14 Mistron

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 13:53

a couple of years ago I went to visit a chap round the corner from my old house to have a look at a big heally, and he took me into the hanger to look at it (he had been a helicopter pilot) and there sitting next to the Heally was a dark blue MG I didn't recognise. I can't recall the details exactly, but I'm sure he said it was part of the development programme for the MGA, and had been raced in period, I think.

From memory, I think it was quite like the MGA at the front but with a very much more smooth / plain rear end styling. I'm pretty sure it was an open 2 seater, with flyscreens, so there were several elements of the Jaguar 'C type' about it.

The car is currently near Edinburgh - any suggestions? I'm sure he displays it at MGOC evets. He mentioned that it had recently been to for MG live

#15 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 20:32

And that looks exactly like a roof off version of Jacobs' MG Special based on a Y chassis

Many thanks for showing that picture. I guess that was what I have remembered over the last, nearly 60 years!

#16 Sharman

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 21:11

Which year was this?

Roger
We've sort of been down this route before, but I can't remember where. We knew that 1&2 MTW were re-bodied in alloy by Jacobs and I think I suggested that the MGA body was a derivative of something that Jacobs built earlier. The disadvantages of being in my dotage
John

#17 D-Type

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 21:36

Some say the MGA was copied from the Frazer Nash Sebring but I think it was the 1951 Le Mans EX172 works prototype.
I don't know about the MGB - either the BMC Styling Department or the Marketing Department perhaps.

#18 RCH

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 22:41

Allan
I am fairly sure the body design was based on Dick Jacobs' Le Mans car
John


Surely the MGA was based on George Phillips car? Or was it the other way and Phillips raced an MGA prototype?

#19 Roger Clark

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 23:35

Roger
We've sort of been down this route before, but I can't remember where. We knew that 1&2 MTW were re-bodied in alloy by Jacobs and I think I suggested that the MGA body was a derivative of something that Jacobs built earlier. The disadvantages of being in my dotage
John

I searched but I didn't find, nor any evidence of a Dick Jacobs Le Mans car. The 1951 Le Mans cars (the model pictured by D-Type) certainly resemble the MGA in many ways but I don't think the Jacobs car pictured by Allan Lupton ran at Le Mans. 1&2 MTW were, of course, later.

What was the George Phillips car referred to by RCH?

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#20 RCH

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:49

I searched but I didn't find, nor any evidence of a Dick Jacobs Le Mans car. The 1951 Le Mans cars (the model pictured by D-Type) certainly resemble the MGA in many ways but I don't think the Jacobs car pictured by Allan Lupton ran at Le Mans. 1&2 MTW were, of course, later.

What was the George Phillips car referred to by RCH?


The MGA design dates back to 1951, when MG designer Syd Enever created a streamlined body for George Philips' TD Le Mans car. The problem with this car was the high seating position of the driver because of the limitations of using the TD chassis.
Quote from Wiki. Typically I can't find a picture at the moment but surely it's a well known car?

Edited to add, only just looked at Duncan's link but that is a "Bizarre" interpretation based on a later MGA. Very similar though.

Edited by RCH, 19 August 2013 - 09:52.


#21 Roger Clark

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:19

You're quite right. This is the 1951 Le Mans car as pictured in Autosport 1/6/51. I hadn't realised that it was George Phillips' car. Was he the same George Phillips who was chief photographer of Autosport?

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The MGA iinfluence is clear. I would say this is the car portrayed in the Bizarre model.

#22 RCH

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:46

You're quite right. This is the 1951 Le Mans car as pictured in Autosport 1/6/51. I hadn't realised that it was George Phillips' car. Was he the same George Phillips who was chief photographer of Autosport?

The MGA iinfluence is clear. I would say this is the car portrayed in the Bizarre model.


Yes it was George Phillips the photographer. It was the cutaway of the doors that made me think that the Bizarre model was a compromise based on a later MGA, although I'm probably being too critical. That's the trouble with selling models for a "living", you soon get these little details pointed out if you haven't noted them yourself!


#23 Sharman

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 12:36

[quote name='Roger Clark' date='Aug 19 2013, 12:19' post='6392579']
You're quite right. This is the 1951 Le Mans car as pictured in Autosport 1/6/51. I hadn't realised that it was George Phillips' car. Was he the same George Phillips who was chief photographer of Autosport?

Roger
I told you I was in my dotage. Right car wrong name. Dick Jacobs, George Phillips and Ted Lund all drove TC's for the factory, can't remember where or when
John




#24 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 16:13

UMG 400 had a George Phillips designed body on a TD chassis, so the driver had to sit up high. The works built a car, HMO 6, in 1952 (?), also known as EX 175, which had a wider frame and the driver sat down lower, but it was considered to be too expensive to make, and was put to one side. Apparently according to John Thornley's book "Maintaining the Breed" they had two chassis for HMO 6, and the second chassis was then used for the last record car EX 179. In June 1954 the green light was given for a new car to replace the MG TF, based upon HMO 6. This was the project numbered EX 182. Three of these prototypes ran in the 1955 Le Mans race. The MG A was the production version of EX 182.