Paul Hills’ fine-looking MGF is proof that even the roughest-looking car may be hiding a real gem, and that you don’t have to spend a fortune to make it gleam.
Just last year after many months of looking for an easy (ie. cheap!) project, I read one of your MG Enthusiast magazines and decided an MGF was what I needed. After many near misses on eBay, I was lucky(?!) enough to stop for fuel at a local Rutland garage and saw a sorry looking MGF in a neglected state parked under a tree. I had briefly looked at this car about nine months earlier, but decided that at £1495 it was much too dear. But now it had no tax, no MoT, two flat tyres and a slime covered body with a nice lime green growth around the window. I noticed a slight dent in the bonnet (probably branch damage), and when I opened the doors I found wet, slime-covered seats. The soft top looked intact, but the rear window was open with a big hole in the panel.
Robert and Hazel Taylor were intrigued to see our recent stories on what may have been the last TF built by MG-Rover. That’s because they are the current owners!
I read with interest Steven Ward’s account in the November issue of buying his MG TF after the closure of Longbridge, a car he believed was the final TF to be produced on the MG-Rover lines. I am the ‘collector’ who purchased it from him at Silverstone in 2006, though the car is actually registered to my wife, Hazel. We saw it advertised at what was called MG Silverstone International in those days.
We hadn’t really been looking for a TF as we already had a 1960 MGA which I’d bought as a wreck in 1976 and spent 25 years on and off rebuilding. But we were vaguely thinking of getting another MG that we could use on a more regular basis than the MGA, saw the TF and stopped for a closer look. We got talking to Steven, who told us a bit of the car’s history and the story of how he bought it.
Michael Bernhard in Switzerland shows how an enthusiast can satisfy his lust for owning more and more MGs while still keeping a lid on the costs – by supplementing his roadgoing cars with scale models of the real things
Here are some photos of the 1:24 scale collection I have built up over the years – the last one, the MGA Coupé, has only just been finished and the BGT was recently given a new lease on life after being accidentally dropped. I collected and kept MG kits in boxes in a cupboard for decades because of a hectic professional and family life, but now with retirement well under way and before my eyes conk out, I have endeavoured to finish them all with the results shown on the attached photos.
Now I’ve found the time and patience to get the entire collection made up of MGs from 1946 until the end of the MGB derivatives. However, in the 1970s I did find time to make up the models of those MGs I owned. These are: my first, the black MGA MkII bought new in 1962 and stupidly sold in 1966, the green 1954 TF 1250 which I owned from 1971 to 1986, and my current 1972 MGB GT which I have owned since August 1999. Unfortunately I have not yet found a 1:24 (or 1:18) scale model of the lovely RV8 I owned from 2008 to 2012. Neo Models come closest with their 1:43 model, but I haven’t included a picture of this.
Steven Ward recalls the very special TF that he managed to buy through a mixture of persistence, determination and sheer cheek after the closure of Longbridge
Eight years ago in 2005, the last wholly assembled and British-built car left Longbridge. That vehicle was my somewhat special build MG TF, a car that you could say was BMC’s final swan song.
Finished after lunch on June 7th 2005, my TF was remarkable for no obvious reason aside from being the last one built. You see, back when the factory went into receivership, the assembly lines had been kept running with money provided by HBOS, which was in turn underwritten by the dealer network. My TF, however, was I have been led to believe built using cash from now-disgraced former director John Towers’ own pocket. This is what caught my attention at the time, and what followed was a week of cat-and-mouse to ensure I became the owner of the car. Let me explain...
It’s not an MG, but it has plenty of MG running gear and was a close relative of the MkIII Magnette! John Lakey of the Cambridge-Oxford Owners Club explains how they organised a return to its Salisbury home for the rarest of all the BMC Farinas
Wessex Motors of Salisbury announced the Riley Riviera in December 1960, and it is believed that they produced 15-20 examples. Based on the Riley 4/68, it featured a more powerful Downton Engineering modified 1588cc MGA engine, disc brakes, wire wheels and many extras such as integrated spot lights. Wessex also re-profiled the large rear fins into a smoother and more streamlined look that foreshadowed BMC’s own facelift of the range in 1962. Wessex then created the Riley Silhouette in 1962 using a Riley 4/72 base car and the MGB’s 1800 engine, although only three were constructed.