British classic cars are popular in America, and one of the most beloved is the MG. This iconic motor dates back to 1924, with the original factory being based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Classic models included the MG Midget, MG TA, MGB and others. The mixture of old-fashioned elegance and style made the motors stand out, contributing towards their popularity in the US.
The UK liaison for the MG Car Club in the US, Alan Magnuson has estimated there are around 30,000 American families that own an MG. “The company produced more than 511,00 MGs from 1962 to 1980. Roughly 60% cam e to North America. After the Second World War, North America accounted for more than 50% of the MG cars produced.”
“MGs stir memories of youth in the Baby Boomer Generation. Baby Boomers and those older recall seeing or driving MGs, Triumphs, Sunbeams or Fiats, Alfa Romeos, Datsuns and more when they were young. Affordable sports cars were plentiful and desirable. Sports cars represent a carefree lifestyle.”
There are a wide range of MG clubs in the US. An example is the British Cars of New Hampshire, which dates back to 1991. Specialist dealers like Brit Bits sell classic MGs, with the models being among the most popular purchases.
Norman Michaels, part-owner of Brit Bits said “95% of our customers are of an age when the children have been through college. They have always wanted a British car and now they can afford it.” Michaels owns two MGBs, one from 1966 and the other from 1973. “What makes them fun? When the car starts and you step on the gas you feel as if you have made it happen. The cars are cheap to insure to. I pay $600 (£452) a year for my four cars. Companies know they aren’t going to be driven more than a couple of thousand miles a year and there aren’t many teenage boys driving them.”