MG pro­to­type for sale

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News -

A fully-func­tional pro­to­type of the car in­tended to re­place both the MGB and Mid­get will be sold at Bon­hams’ Good­wood Festival of Speed auc­tion on 24 June.

The unique 1965 car, co­de­name EX234, is road reg­is­tered, has com­pleted 374 miles and comes with an MoT. It is ex­pected to sell for £35,000-45,000.

Though the rolling chas­sis was built from BMC parts – it’s pow­ered by a 1275cc A-se­ries en­gine, has an Austin Champ rear axle and Hy­dro­las­tic sus­pen­sion – the rear sus­pen­sion is very dif­fer­ent to the MGB’s. In­stead of a live rear axle, EX234 has in­de­pen­dent rear sus­pen­sion, which was in­tended for the orig­i­nal MGB but was aban­doned be­cause of cost.

The pro­to­type was ap­par­ently tested by ex­perts in­clud­ing John Sur­tees, who said that the road­hold­ing was ‘as good as any car they had driven’ ac­cord­ing to MG de­signer Roy Brock­le­hurst.

Pin­in­fa­rina styled the body, and you can see hints of Fiat 124 Sport Spi­der and Alfa Romeo Duetto in the lines; it’s an un­de­ni­ably pretty car. Its prob­lem was the Mid­get and the MGB. Be­cause they were still sell­ing well, MG man­age­ment de­cided to de­lay re­plac­ing them and shelved the EX234. Then BMC merged with Ley­land, and Tri­umph sports cars be­came the fo­cus, with the TR7 mov­ing into pro­duc­tion.

In 1977 the pro­to­type was ac­quired by MG dealer Syd Beer who kept it in his col­lec­tion un­til now. Be­sides a V5 and all the his­tor­i­cal doc­u­men­ta­tion, the car also comes with a fac­tory hard­top and has a fold­ing con­vert­ible hood made of a flocked ma­te­rial rather than the vinyl used for MGBs and Midgets. www.bon­hams.com

Co­de­named EX234, the car is road reg­is­tered and has only com­pleted 374 miles from new.

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