MG prototype for sale
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.