Essential MG by Graham Robson

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The Independent Culture

"Essential" is the key word here, that is, rather than comprehensive. If you want a complete picture of the MG and its ups and downs, you would be better off with MG by F Wilson McComb, an excellent short history. Mr Robson takes a different approach, focusing only on some of the company's key products and examining them in considerable, detail. There is plenty here to stimulate the average MG enthusiast's second favourite hobby, after driving their cars; debating them. Can an MG be a saloon? Can it be a "badge engineered" one? What was the greatest MG of all time, or pre- or post-war, say? And so on.

I suspect that some will cavil rather badly at some of Mr Robson's judgements. The MG RV8, for example, an exhumed MGB sold mainly to sentimentalists in the 1990s, is described by Mr Robson as an "intriguing anachronism"; most would be ruder than that. He is also very brave in spending much time on the MG Magnette of the 1960s, based on the Morris Oxford of the time and probably the worst of the breed made in 50 years. He doesn't award it high marks, but mentioning it in the same breath as the MGB or the TA Midget, say, will be close to enough to sacrilege for many. Nice pictures, but not for the easily offended.

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