Monday Motoring Classic: MGF

Convertibles can be a bit divisive at the best of times, but the MGF falls firmly into either love or hate territory.

Launched by MG in 1995 with much fanfare and the hopes of Rover resting upon it (again), the MGF ticked the right boxes - rear-wheel-drive and a two-seat layout - but also didn't hold back when it came to innovation.

The mid-engined layout was a bold step for the company and it also revived the interconnected Hydragas suspension system that had been employed to good effect with the Rover Metro.

In the middle was the lightweight and revvy K-Series engine in two flavours - 118bhp and 143bhp in the VVC version. A 1.6-litre version and a more powerful VVC followed later on.

It met the brief well, being good to drive, reasonably pretty to look at and not ruinously expensive, as long as it worked properly.

2002 saw substantial revisions and it was relaunched as the MG TF, with a beefed-up structure, more power and conventional suspension.

When it comes to buying one, history is everything. The earliest examples are now approaching thirty years old, and build quality was rarely anything more than adequate.

They can rust, the heating and ventilation system is weedy and then there's the K-Series' reputation for eating head gaskets, but there are established fixes for that.

There's also a good number of specialists to help you source parts and solve any issues, but thanks to its age it's also not beyond the realms of a keen home spannerist.

Best of all, there's almost always plenty for sale. You can find examples that will need some attention for under £1000, but if you want something you can use straight away you won't need to spend much more.

We found a lovely 1998 VVC model with only 58,000 miles, a full service history and some sensible upgrades for £2495, which seems entirely reasonable to us.

Whether you're a die-hard fan of MGs or just someone looking for an interesting roadster to enjoy, the MGF represents good value. Find an MGF for sale

Ask HJ

Is a 1998 MGF Abingdon a rare car?

Is a 1998 MGF Abingdon a rare car? Apparently, only 500 were produced. How can I find out the value?
The MGF Register reckons there were about 1500 Abingdon special editions made, although cars fitted with a VVC engine are generally thought to be slightly rarer with an estimated 350 made. Genuine Abingdon's should be finished in Brooklands Racing Green with a HMM paint code and a tan hood. MGF prices tend to be lower than their peers, but a really good one on a dealer's forecourt is about £4k with a similar car selling privately for about £3500. Abingdon's don't seem to carry much of a premium, in fact the last one that sold on eBay went for £1250 (although that did have 90k on the clock). At the other end of the spectrum was an example for sale at Trophy Cars for £6k. Proving the old adage 'a car is worth whatever you want to pay for it.'. Reader and MG enthusiast James Thornborough adds the figure 1500 only applies if you include the Australia export market.
Answered by Keith Moody
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