Papers of the MG Car Company Ltd.

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Signed minutes of directors' and general meetings, 1930-1940; annual balance sheets and accounts, 1936-1968; annual returns, 1937-1948; registers of Directors or Manager, 1930-7, 1942-8; Files of Messrs. Herbert and Gowers and Company, solicitors to the company, 1930-1952; superannuation fund papers, 1958.

Administrative / Biographical History

The MG Car Company Ltd. was established in 1930 as a privately owned company by W. R. Morris, to take over the business of making and selling MG cars from The Morris Garages Ltd. of Oxford. The managing director from 1930 to 1941 was Cecil Kimber. The new company was installed in a factory at Abingdon-on-Thames acquired for this purpose (previously, MG cars had been made at different locations in Oxford). In 1935, MG was sold by Morris to Morris Motors Limited, and at this time MG's competition activities ceased, while over the next 18 months, the product range was completely altered to re-align it with Morris and Wolseley. Although the MG Car Company Ltd. as such became dormant, the MG factory at Abingdon survived as an operational unit into the British Leyland era. In the late 1970s it became part of British Leyland's Jaguar Rover Triumph subsidiary. From time to time the Abingdon factory also produced other makes of car for BMC/BL, such as Riley (1949-1957), Austin-Healey (1957-1971), some Morris Minors (1960-1964) and Vanden Plas 1500s (1979-1980). On the other hand, MG saloon cars from 1959 onwards were manufactured at Cowley (and later Longbridge) rather than Abingdon. With the discontinuation of the MG Midget and MGB models in 1979-81, the factory was closed, and the Abingdon property disposed of.

Reference: Anders Ditlev Clausager, BMIHT Archivist.


This collection forms part of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Archive (MSS.226).

The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see It is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description (2000).

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access to these papers.

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited in the Centre by the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust in 1988.

Other Finding Aids

A paper catalogue to file level is available in the Centre's searchroom, at the National Register of Archives in London and in Chadwyck-Healey's National Inventory of Documentary Sources. A catalogue to file level is available in electronic format on the Access to Archives (A2A) website at:

Authority records exist for the MG Car Company Ltd. (GB 152 AAR2307) and for Morris Motors Limited (GB 152 AAR2309).

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for publication of deposited material or the result of research based on it should be made to the Trust. The Trust reserves all rights to commercial exploitation and commercial publication. Please contact the Centre's staff for further details.

Appraisal Information

This collection has been weeded for duplicates.

Custodial History

The records described were in one of ten deed boxes discovered in early 1988 in the Poplars building at the Cowley Body Plant when that building was being demolished.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

The Modern Records Centre also holds the papers of other companies which form part of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Archive. These include papers of Morris Motors Limited MSS.226/MO.

Technical materials are retained by the BMIHT. Technical enquiries should be made direct to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, Archives and Information Service, Gaydon, Warwickshire.