Monday, 12 September 2011

Aston Martin MGB

British Leyland in the late 1970s was on iffy ground, to say the least. One of a number of attempts to visualise a potential future came in the form of the car we see here: Aston Martin's MGB.
In September '79, BL announced the closure of the Abingdon plant - the home of MG - after 50 years of production. A consortium of notable industry figures (including the chairman of Aston Martin) clubbed together with a plan to buy Abingdon and continue production, on the proviso that BL would release the rights to MG and the MGB brand and design. Unfortunately the plan was doomed to fail on two grounds; firstly, that British Leyland were keen to develop their own replacement for the MGB and wanted to retain the name (although they did agree in 1980 to allow the consortium to use the name, if not own it, should they end up buying Abingdon) and secondly, that the £30m of funds the group claimed to have available suddenly became unobtainable, due in part to Aston Martin's own financial issues. So nothing came of the plan besides this AM MGB, built as proof that the consortium meant business.
It's not an especially different or Aston Martin-esque model, but it is an MGB that was built by Aston Martin, and it's now for sale here. £29,995 is a lot for a 'B, but for a unique piece of MG history? Well, it's priceless.

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