1925 - Cecil Kimber took gold at the Land’s End Trial in a dedicated trials car built using a special 1.5 liter OHV Hotchkiss engine. Kimber himself saw this car as the first really definitive MG sports car and it has survived to this day as ‘Old Number One’.
English cricket team won their first test against Australia in 12 years.
1927 - A privately-entered 14/40 MG won a 100 km race at San Martin, Argentina.
First broadcasts by the British Broadcasting Corporation.
1930 - M-type MG’s took the team prize in the Brooklands Double Twelve Race.
Uruguay won the first World Cup football tournament.
1931 - EX120 was the world’s first 750 cc car to set records of over 100 mph, at Montlhéry. ‘C’-type Montlhéry Midget, a production racer, swept the board in the Brooklands Double Twelve race. A C-type claimed victory in the Ulster TT race.
James Whale’s ‘Frankenstein’ was unleashed at the cinema.
1933 - Supercharged 1100cc six cylinder K3 MG Magnette won its class at Mille Miglia, making MG the first non-Italian marque ever to win the team prize. A K3 driven by Tazio Nuvolari, won the Ulster TT. A C-type Midget was class winner and 6th overall at Le Mans.
British tennis player Fred Perry won the US Open title.
1935 - A K3 won the 1100cc class at Le Mans.
US gangsters, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, were shot dead by police.
1948 - MG T-series took 3rd in the second Watkins Glen GP.
David Lean’s film ‘Oliver Twist’ was released.
1955 - ZA Magnettes of Jacobs, Foster and Waller achieved a 1-2-3 finish in The Daily Express Production Touring Car Race at Silverstone. The MGA made its debut as a team of three EX182 production prototypes at Le Mans.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill resigned and Anthony Eden became his successor.
1956/57 - Production MGAs took the team prize at Sebring. MGA and Magnette cars driven by Nancy Mitchell, won the European Ladies Rally Championships. The EX181 achieved 245.64 mph as a 1500cc class car with Stirling Moss at the wheel - 38 years before a 1433cc MGF (MG EX253) broke records with 217.4mph.
‘That’ll Be The Day’ sang Buddy Holly and the Crickets as the first tentative steps towards a formal economic union within Europe were made.
1958 - MGA Twin Cam secured 9th at Liège Rome Liège. Foster won the 1600cc Class in the BRSCC Saloon Car Championship in a ZB Magnette.
Brazil’s great footballer, Pelé dominated the 1958 World Cup which was held for the first time in Sweden.
1960 - A special Twin Cam Coupe won the 2-litre class at Le Mans.
The novel ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ was the subject of an obscenity trial in Britain.
1963 - A works MGB achieved worthy results at Le Mans over the next three years.
‘Swinging’ London was the fashion capital of the world - skirts were shorter while hair was longer.
1964 - An MG 1100 driven by Foster and Hedges, secured a 1300cc class win in the six-hour Touring Car Race at Brands Hatch.
‘Beatlemania’ shook the world and paved the way for the Rolling Stones.
1965 - Hopkirk and Hedges finished 11th at Le Mans - the best an MGB achieved and second in its class. It was the last MG to tackle Le Mans.
1965 - MGBs took an outright win, class 1-2-3 in the Brands Hatch 1000-mile race.
Russian, Colonel Alexei Leonev was the first man to walk in space.
1966 - MGB won the Marathon de la Route 84 hour race, Nürburgring.
England won the football World Cup.
1968 - MGC GTS won its class at Sebring.
Fashion shifted to ‘flower power’ – men’s hair got longer and women’s got shorter.
1983 - A 200 bhp MG Metro Turbo driven by Tony Pond took three class pole positions, one class win, four fastest laps in the Trimoco Saloon Car Championship.
‘Let’s Dance’ sang David Bowie as seat belts were made compulsory in Britain.
1984 –The Turbo show continued with Patrick Watts in the purpose-built 6R4.
Madonna had her first big hit with ‘Like A Virgin’.
1985 - 3rd place for the 6R4 team in the RAC Rally was clinched by Tony Pond.
‘Live Aid’ fed millions as Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, entered the world stage.
1986 – Tony Pond took 6th place in the RAC Rally, three other 6R4s secured the team prize.
Video games became the latest craze.
1987 – 6R4 driven by David Gillanders, won the UK National Rally Championship and Will Gollup won the Lydden Winter Rallycross Championship (1986/87) and took the European Rallycross title.
The All Blacks won Rugby Football’s first World Cup final
2001 – Two MG Lola EX257’s entered the 24 Hours of LeMans after an absence of 36 years driven by Mark Blundell, Julian Bailey, Kevin McGarrity (car 33), Anthony Reid, Warren Hughes and Jonny Kane (car 34). Car 33 competed for just over 12 hours putting in an impressive performance. Car 34 retired with low oil pressure after 4½ hours.
MG Sport & Racing Limited embarks on another new chapter - Touring Cars. Anthony Reid gave MG Sport and Racing their first podium finish with a tactical drive to win the sprint race at Brands Hatch on October 7. The same weekend witnessed Warren Hughes secure MG’s first pole position.
JRR Tolkein’s ‘Lord Of The Rings’ and J K Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ fight it out for top movie box office charts
2002 - To be continued…
If you didn’t experience MG’s past, don’t miss its future….
The MG name goes back a long way at Le Mans. Different models have appeared at the classic French endurance race over the years, with the MG Lola EX257s keeping up the MG tradition, taking on the greats of the sport.
The 1930 race saw the first appearance for MG, when two Midgets contested the event. In a classic era of Le Mans, dominated by huge Bentleys, the 847cc cars sadly failed to last the full distance, but that didn’t stop another C-Type Midget being entered the next year. Crewed by Francis Samuelson and Freddy Kendell, the car was still running at the end, but was not classified by the organizing the final results.
Another C-Type was entered in 1932, but the first great landmark in MG’s Le Mans history came a year later when a supercharged C-Type was brought home a superb sixth overall by Maurice Baumer and Ludovic Ford. Not only did the car finish well in the outright positions, it won the under 750cc class – a great achievement.
In 1934 things got even better for MG, with a supercharged K3 Magnette finishing an amazing fourth place overall – the best finish for the British manufacturer. Roy Eccles and Charles Martin shared the supercharged machine, and claimed the 751 – 1000cc class crown.
Seven MG’s were entered in 1935, with most of the attention on the three entered by Captain George Eyston, the famous Land Speed Record holder. The three lady crews were Doreen Evans and Barbara Skinner, Joan Richmond and Mrs Gordon Simpson, and Margaret Allen and Coleen Eaton – the first all-female team entry in the history of the race. Impressively, all three cars took the chequered flag, claiming 24th, 25th and 26th places.
Post-war, Le Mans success proved elusive for many years. On the first running of the race once hostilities had ended, the MG of Curly Dryden and George Phillips was disqualified for receiving outside assistance – the guilty mechanic even being driven back to the pits in the car before it re-joined the race, with reports suggesting he was even waving to the crowd! In 1951 Phillips teamed up with Alan Ripon to drive a modified TD, but were eliminated by an engine problem.
Two MG’s finished in the ill-starred 1955 race, while in 1959 an MG Car Club entry retired with six hours to go after an eventful race, which included hitting a dog on the straight!
1960 saw another class win for MG, with Roy Lund and Colin Escot this time bringing the car to the end of the race, avoiding any strays, to finish 12th overall.
1965 saw a modified MGB driven by Andrew Hedges and rally ace Paddy Hopkirk. Competing against the might of Ferrari and a host of seven-liter Fords, the 1800cc car – featuring modified nose aerodynamics to enhance the time spent at speed on the long straights at the circuit – put in a strong performance, and the duo brought the car home a very creditable 11th overall.
After an absence of 36 years, 2001 saw an impressive return of MG at this famous race in the form of the MG Lola EX257. Sports cars were entered into the LMP675 class – the lightest qualification group – and driven by six all-British drivers; Mark Blundell, Julian Bailey, Kevin McGarrity (car 33), Anthony Reid, Warren Hughes and Jonny Kane (car 34). Together with a limited testing program and torrential rainfall during the race, car number 34 was forced to retire after 4½ hours due to low oil pressure. The damp conditions took a hold remaining car, which finally retired just after the 12-hour stage due to electrical problems.
In June 2002 the all-British team return to the 24 Hours of LeMans.