The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu is celebrating a centenary of the MG car marque as it exhibits rarely seen archive photographs from the Museum’s collections. The Magic of the Marque – 100 Years of MG in the museum’s In-Focus Gallery will feature a special selection of images celebrating 100 years of the famous automotive brand and Britain’s leading sports car manufacturer founded by Cecil Kimber.
The In-Focus Gallery opened this year as a dedicated space for temporary exhibitions of photographs, artwork, motoring objects and memorabilia – drawing from the Museum’s collection of over 1.9 million items.
Photographs and film clips depict the early years of MG. Oxford based Morris Garages, owned by motor manufacturer William Morris, began selling re-bodied versions of the popular bullnose models in 1923. Led by General Manager Cecil Kimber, the firm soon abbreviated its name to MG and developed its own distinct identity. Within a decade MG was building a whole range of cars at a factory in Abingdon. Other photographs in the exhibition include private motoring, class speed records, motor sport and personalities associated with the MG marque. Although famous for sports cars, the octagonal badge has adorned everything from racing cars to hatchbacks, record breakers to family saloons.
Andrea Bishop Director of Collections & Engagement says, “This exhibition offers a rare chance to see a selection from our extensive photographic archive. Visitors to the Museum will be familiar with the MG cars in our collection, but these images capture the magic associated with this iconic marque.”
The Magic of the Marque – 100 Years of MG will be in the National Motor Museum In-Focus Gallery from the 16 September until the 6 January.
Transport Torques and MG racing driver book
A ‘Transport Torque’ lecture in the Museum’s lecture theatre on Saturday 16 September, given by leading motoring historian and motoring journalist Jon Pressnell, will mark a century of M.G. The talk will highlight the world’s best-loved sports car brand and focus on Cecil Kimber, the character best known for his role as founder of the MG Car Company. Tickets are available for the talk on the Beaulieu website.
Another Transport Torque on the 4 November at the Museum, The Legend of Goldie Gardner with John Mayhead will focus on the renowned MG cars race driver, who is also the subject of the first book from National Motor Museum Publishing; Goldie by John Mayhead due out in September, and to be launched at the Goodwood Revival.
MG100 at Beaulieu
The Big Birthday Bash on 30 September at Beaulieu will celebrate 100 years since the first MG model was produced and is open to all MGs of any age. This rally is being organised by clubs from the Home Counties South region of the MG Owners’ Club. The day will feature a timeline of MGs covering the ten decades of MG production and a ‘Car of the Day’ award voted for on the day by MG owners and visitors to Beaulieu. There will also be local MGOC club display areas and MG specialist trade stands. Further details are available on the Beaulieu website.