This former US-market car has had its impressive matching numbers heritage confirmed by MG experts here in the UK
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
There’s a bit of spluttering from the carburettors – put it down to several weeks of inactivity before the test drive, but check it doesn’t recur when you drive it. Otherwise the XPAG engine feels in fine fettle, with plenty of power and no worrying tappety noises or knocks. The suspension is firm, but soaks up the bumps without untoward shudders or noises. The gearbox engages eagerly and doesn’t whine excessively, and the clutch is light and engages without issues. There’s also no vagueness to the steering, which responds confidently to inputs.
There’s very little to fault this car’s British Racing Green paintwork, which has a smooth finish and no signs of blemishes or bubbling. The bodywork’s in good condition, with no corrosion taking hold on the mudguards, rear wheelarches or around the door edges. The chromework is also fine, with no pitting on the radiator grille, mirrors or windscreen surround, and the 19-inch wire wheels are free of scuffs or marks. The hood has no nicks or rips, although the rear screen does have a few minor scratches.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
A little paintwork has worn away from the ignition key surround and the dashboard trim immediately beneath it, but otherwise the dashboard is in fine fettle, with no scuffs, scratches of discolouration to the wood trim. The seats are in good order, with no rips or marks on the black leather, and the carpets are complete, don’t have any unsightly scuffs and aren’t harbouring any moisture in the footwells.
UNDER THE BONNET
The vendor has carried out some cosmetic work, including changing the colour of the bodywork behind the engine from black to body colour. The 1250cc four-pot is in very good condition, with no grubbiness on the block or surrounding areas. There are also no signs of any fluid leaks, and the piping is in good condition and hasn’t hardened or cracked with age. Peel through the paperwork and you’ll discover it’s was doted upon by its previous owner in the US, with receipts for more than $5000 (£3400) of work carried out by Massachusetts-based Classic Coachworks. There’s also correspondence from the MG Octagon Car Club since the car was repatriated last July, vouching for the car’s heritage and identity.
Unlike a lot of British classics repatriated from the US there’s a healthy stash of paperwork and some club-backed provenance in this MG’s favour. Great fun.