The launch of the MGF in 1995 cannot be underestimated. It was the first purpose built open top MG for 35 years but this was no blast from the past. It offered a technically fascinating mechanical specification combined with a series of light and powerful engines, which gave it a deserved accolade as the UK best selling sports car. In short, the MGF was fun, practical, economical and is by some margin the best-value mid-engined sports car on the market today. This example is a rather well preserved car with just 21,834 miles recorded on the clock, with two registered owners. It has just come out of storage and has been rewarded with a new MOT. A genuine contender as an appreciating modern classic, now is the time to buy.
The owner has had plenty of positive experiences with these cars, having owned four in the past. He came across this very original example via a friend who got in touch after receiving a tip-off about the car. Having checked it over, due to its solid state and originality and low miles, the owner decided to take the car on and put through an MOT. Because of its low usage, the car has not needed anything in terms of structural renewal since it was recommissioned. The core of the work revolved around minor mechanical work, cleaning and removing the effects of storage. Some of these are still evident but the owner saw the potential in the car and felt duty bound to give the car a fighting chance as a potential rolling resto. For their work, the owner spends a lot of time on the road and the original plan was to use the car to travel between locations. However, an awareness of needlessly racking up the mileage, he has decided to sell the car.
The car was bought from MG Rover Palmsville dealer in Muswell Hill and retained by the first owner for 17 years until 2013. It was then sold to its second owner who added around 2000 miles to the car and then decided to place it in storage in 2015 for six years. It comes with a handful of invoices recording the replacement of hydras suspension components, a head gasket replacement as well as several of its old MOTs, which correlates with the the current recorded mileage.
The cloth seats are in good condition, with no significant damage, with just a little damage to the driver's side seat piping. The bolster and base of the seat have retained their cushioning and have generally worn the years well. The carpets are good, with minimal wear and simply need a good clean. The boot carpet is in good order, with no significant damage. The dashboard and centre console is in good condition, with no cracks but sections do display light scuffing in places. The interior will need a deep clean, as the owner has done a good job with removing the storage mould but there were copious amounts of dog hairs observed which suggests that a canine enjoyed the MGF experience too.
The door cards are good, although the upholstery trim will need tidying up. Both sun visors are missing and will need replacing. The steering and gear stick are in good condition and show just the slightest hint of wear. The gear and handbrake gaiters have deteriorated but replacements have been ordered and will come with the car. The dials are in good condition and all are said to be functional. The electric windows are all working and the rest of the driver controls are said to be operational including the cassette player which has a Billy Joel tape which might be a sweetener for the sale...
The tyres are legal but are over 10 years old. They come with plenty of tread on them, but there are cracks on a couple of the sidewalls so it would be advisable to trailer the car home for peace of mind. The alloys have some damage to them, with the near-side rear alloy seems showing the most significant damage but all are treatable. The body is straight with the panels fitting flush to the body. The metal gaps are good, all even and equal. The car is good in terms of body surface corrosion, with no immediate observations of panel rust seen on the external panels. The wheel arches, sills and inner wings are good too. The doors open and close well, with no obstructions and hang well, with the hinges all up to scratch.
The underside, engine bay, front section and boot of the car is solid with the subframe appearing to be in good shape. There are a handful of minor dents scattered around the car, they mostly appear to be storage dings rather than signs of external use. The most noticeable areas pertain to the rear near-side wing close to the fuel cap, a series of small dents on the side of the off-side front wing and a handful on the rear light panel. The doors and bonnet/boot are good, without significant damage and all suggest that while the car was in use it was spared the usual shopping trolley assaults. Both bumpers may need a little adjustment to fit flush to the body, which is probably a moot point as they will need to be reconditioned.
The front bumper displays a significant amount of wear, mostly related to age rather than road damage. The rear bumpers have more in terms of scuffs. Both items are crack-free and a respray to both items would make a huge difference to the overall presentation of the car. The rest of the body finish is good, with an even coverage of original paint throughout with few very significant chips but would benefit attention to bring back to new. The hood is in good condition, with no damage observed to the seams and folds and the inside of the lining is in good condition with no damage. The rear glass is good with no cracks or discolouring observed. The operation to raise and lower the hood is seamless and the car comes with a tonneau cover along with the desirable factory-built hardtop. The glass is in good condition, with no damage to the laminate. There are minor signs of age on the door rubbers but no significance scratches or chips on the glass itself. The trim is complete, with no damage to the headlamps or tail lamps.
Mechanically the car is said to be good, with no issues with starting on the button. Once the car is running, it came up to temperature and settled down nicely. There is no excessive smoke from the exhaust after the condensation and ticked over nicely. The exhaust itself is in good condition but has seen an unsightly weld repair in 2013 but is fully functional and is not blowing. A belt squeal periodically makes itself known when the car is being moved. The head gasket has been replaced early in 2013, but given its reputation of the K Series engine, it might be prudent to ensure that it is still up to scratch.
The engine itself is in physically clean condition and aligns to the low mileage. The suspension and brakes are said to be in good working order, the condition of the disc brakes would also benefit investigation as they are currently noted as advisories on the MOT. The car has seen attention to the hydrogen suspension in 2014, with a front hydrogen displacer unit being replaced. No significant knocks or grinding were evidence during the brief drive.
One of the biggest attractions to the MGF is the volume of advice and help available for the car. It has attracted a loyal following and if something does go wrong, you can be sure that there is both physical and online guidance that will help save you an awful lot of time and money. The MGF's popularity is fuelled by its keen sense of driving balance and that irresistible open-top appeal means that good ones are worth seeking. And that's the thing with the MGF, there are dozens for sale at the moment and as the values start to firm up, finding an original solid MGF with 21K recorded miles on the clock and with no evidence of poor repairs puts this one at an huge advantage.
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