The MG Car Company, the brainchild of Cecil Kimber, grew out of the Morris Garage in Oxford during the early 1920s. They made their name customising production Morris cars, becoming known for making affordable, two-seater sports cars with, at best, fold down soft tops. MG cars were part of the Nuffield group who owned Morris and run by the strong-willed Lord Nuffield, with whom the equally trenchant Kimber fell-out in 1941.
MG cars consistent success led to the company roving the Oxford area in search of ever-larger suitable premises. Eventually they settled in an old leather factory in Abingdon, which became their home from 1929 to 1980. From these works, MG produced a succession of winning rally and race cars, as well as the mass produced. Used MG cars from the 1960s and 1970s including the MGA, MGB and Midget can still be found in the second hand MG market. Production ceased in 1980 and for a short time, the marque died after 56 continuous years
The turmoil in the British car market had seen MG cars move from Nuffield to the British Motor Corporation, on to British Leyland before the advent of the Austin Rover. In 1982, this slimmed down concern revived the MG badge for sporty versions of Metro, Maestro and Montegos. Although this practice ceased in 1991, an updated MGB Roadster, the MGB RV8, made its debut in 1992, which kept the MG marque alive. The MGF Roadster appeared in 1995 and was an immediate hit, producing MG sales in numbers not seen since the 1970s.
In 2000, BMW, the new owner, reorganised the Rover Group into MG Rover. Again badging sporty versions of Rover's designs and an improved MGF, the MGTF, the marque went on to survive the ownership. This has likely been one of their greatest achievements. Production now takes place in China but kits of the MGTF and the MG6 salon are finished in the oils Austin works at Longbridge, Birmingham.