|MGs and Kit Cars|
|Thursday, 19 January 2012 15:29|
The kit car market has a number of offerings for the MG owner, whether it’s building a kit car from an MGB or Midget, or recreating a T-Type MG.
Report by Rob Hawkins
The MG marque has long been available to the kit car industry and, thanks to rotting MGBs and Midgets or powerplants from the MG Metro turbo and MGF, the kit car industry has made the most of such opportunities. If you’re keen to see what’s available in the kit car market that has an association with MG, then the following pages may provide some interesting cars to consider. We should say right from the start that there are other options too, cars such as the Naylor/Hutson TF1700s (see the club website at www.naylorcarclub.org.uk for more on these great cars) and the TD2000 (see www.td-2000.com, or our review in the July 2008 issue), which fall just outside the scope of this feature – the Naylors were fully type approved and the TD2000 is sold as a new car.
There are a number of approaches to owning a kit car. The longest route is to build one, which can take anything from a few weeks to a few years, depending on what is involved. Kit cars which require a few MG components and have their own chassis will require a test called the IVA (Individual Vehicle Assessment) in the UK. This costs around £500 and there are several websites and books on the subject to help decipher what is required to pass. Kit cars which transform the looks of a factory MG don’t require such a test.
A popular way of building a kit car is to buy someone else’s abandoned project. In most cases, the car will not have passed the IVA (if required) and quite often, most of the completed work will have to be repeated to ensure it reaches your own standards, but providing the price tag is cheap enough, it can be worthwhile. But the quickest approach of all is to buy one that is already complete and appropriately registered. Whilst the initial outlay is often more than buying a kit or abandoned project, the final costs are sometimes much cheaper, providing you don’t start planning modifications and alterations.
We have tracked down over 30 different kit cars that use parts from MGs or recreate some of the classic MG designs. The following pages outline what they are, how much they cost and how to build or own them.
The RMB Gentry is one of the kit car industry’s best-known MG related models. Based around the looks of the 1950s TF, the Gentry first appeared in 1971 when Triumph Spitfire production line worker Roger Blockley wanted an MG TF, but realised the original was showing its age with its XPAG 1250cc OHV or later 1500 engine. Roger could clearly see the opportunity to produce something similar using more modern Triumph components and 20 months later he had produced his own version of the TF based on a Triumph Vitesse chassis with a 1600cc straight six engine and a pair of original MG TF wings.
By 1974, the RMB Gentry was becoming a popular kit car. Over the years, the car was developed to accept Ford Sierra components, but the Triumph donor appears to be the most popular. Today, the Gentry is still available as a kit car using Triumph Herald or Spitfire components and many older examples have even made the transition to being regarded as classics in their own right in many circles. Budget for upwards of £2000 for an unfinished or tatty example and at least £5000 for one in good condition. A new kit starts at around £6000, with final build costs from £10,000.
Gentry Motor Car Company – 02476 382973