1979 MG BGT 1.8


Totally usable, excellent car


Rust is the main problem. Surface rust is treatable, but it gets annoying when the holes appear. And chances are, they will, if the car hasn't been well cared for. Mine had few holes, all small, and were treated with filler.

Radiator gauze a bit buckled. Still works no problem, but will inevitably be replaced sooner rather than later.

Overdrive doesn't work. No idea why.

Rear window heating panel doesn't work.

Choke stick has to be held out - it won't stay out on its own. Possibly a worn out spring or something. Hardly a major thing, but makes things a bit awkward.

Some bubbling under the boot lid.

General Comments:

A fast, quite beefy car. Definitely handles modern-day traffic without a care.

Eye-catching, and a real experience to drive. Couldn't recommend it more, whether as an everyday classic, second car or starter classic.

Cheap insurance + car doesn't cost an awful lot to run. Saved up for ages, and car cost £650, and was usable straight away, after undersealing and service by myself.

No problem using it as an everyday car as long as it is fully hammerited then waxoyled in all the vulnerable areas (wheelarches, floorpan, undercarriage etc). Definitely worth doing regularly, maybe a couple of times a year.

As long as the car is regularly serviced, and checked over weekly, there shouldn't be any nasty surprises. Haynes manual is definitely a must-have, then you can't go wrong.

Owners Club is excellent.

Nice to drive something a bit different from the majority of yawn-inspiring modern day motors. I'm only 21, but have always liked classics, mainly cos they seem to have more character and you don't see too many out there, whatever make or model they are.

At the end of the day, older cars were built to be used, not to sit rotting away waiting for work to be done that never is going to be. As long as they are respected and cared for, and not hammered (within reason) there shouldn't be any problems using them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 11th January, 2003

26th Feb 2008, 07:49

This guy is right on the button, have the same machine and I love it, all the same quirks except my opverdirve workes fine.

Get one if you can!

3rd Sep 2009, 02:17

Hey to the first guy there. The overdrive problem is usually handy enough to fix, it's an electrical issue going down to the solenoid on the gearbox, whip out your multimeter and get testing!!!

You shouldn't have too much bother fixing it :-)

1980 MG BGT 1.8


Buy it as a design classic, the car that BL couldn't kill, but don't expect great performance


Rust on top of petrol tank and front valence.

I replaced radiator before it corroded.

Fitted new carburettor heat shield as old one glowed red hot.

Overdrive was sluggish because car had only run 300 miles/year since 1992. Once used seriously it functioned properly.

Seat bases were hard and perished, once new ones were fitted it was possible to see over the top of the dash!

General Comments:

I think the exhaust note is sublime. Forget the radio or CD player, it will be difficult to hear properly anyway. Wind the window down, find a twisty road put your foot to the floor in 2nd and 3rd then travel back in time to 1962.

The design is one of the best ever. The TR7 that replaced it was a visual as well as an engineering disaster.

The handling is better than I expected after hearing about the problems with rubber bumper cars. After years of front wheel drive extra caution is necessary in the rain.

Taking all the purchase cost in one hit, it has cost 53 pence/mile. 14 of this for petrol plus additive. Good value for me anyway.

Be careful to get a good one so you enjoy the legend from behind the wheel rather than under the bonnet.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th December, 2002