The marque: Definitive British sports car and glowing ember of hope.

The history: Cecil Kimber, manager of factory-owned Morris Garages in Oxford, started to tune staid Morrises and give them sportier bodies from 1922. By 1924 his cars were known as MGs and bore the famous octagonal badge. The Morris connection continued as MG sports cars evolved, with the 1920s Morris Minor transformed into the first MG Midget, complete with unique MG radiator grille.

In 1929, the MG Car Company, as it had become, moved to Abingdon and MGs large and small, sports cars and racing cars, issued forth. But by the late 1970s it was all going wrong. British Leyland had let the outdated MG sports cars wither and closed the factory in 1980. The MG name flickered back into life on sporty Metros, Maestros and Montegos. The MG name is now found in today's MG Rover company.

Defining model: MGB, the universal classic car for which every single part is still available new.

They say: Safety Fast (or rather they did, but it's deemed non-PC now. Crazy).

We say: Will MG survive? Fingers crossed.

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