Underrated MGFs

When car collectors agree there must be a reason. The week I buy an MGF, nephew Michael Dymock in Newton Mearns buys one too. No collusion. But coincidence? I don’t think so. An MGF reappraisal is overdue. Prices are in a trough; people look disbelievingly, mutter darkly about head gaskets, K-series, badly made and leaks. I remember the press launch and re-reading Ian Adcock’s book on the MGF, when its designer had long hair and a rebellious streak. Nephew Michael, whose collection has included Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, BMW and classic rally cars called me. “I drove it home with a smile on my face.”

It’s true. I saw my MGF (above) at an MG Car Club Concours. It may have won only a grudging third from expert judges but at 45,000 miles with a full service history it was too tempting. I drove it back on Saturday with a smile on my face too. I now have a car that won’t depreciate, has been looked after by multiple concours award-winners Dean and Wendy Smith and feels fresh as paint. It’s a 1.8 VVC, its cylinder head properly named Variable Valve Control but according to Adcock its engineers called it Very Very Complicated.

VVC provided an additional 25bhp (18.6kW) and would rev to 7000 although I haven’t tried that yet. It would be an exaggeration to say (as I wrote at the time), that the extra power made a huge difference. Top speed went up from 120 or so to 130 (193kph to 209kph) and 0-60 was actually slower (the VVC was heavier and the gearing was different) but VVC cars had anti-lock brakes included in the price of £18,875.

The first MG I drove was a TA, the first I owned was an MGA, my last an MGB. It’s nice to be back. See more in featured ebook The Classic MG File.