The poster of the 48th edition of the exhibition Rétromobile provided a taste of things to come: the centenary of the MG make will be the centre of attention at Rétromobile 2024. The event will thus provide an opportunity to collector car enthusiasts visiting the show to rediscover this monument of the British automotive industry. On the programme for this celebration are exceptional vehicles, first-time archive images, and many more surprises.
For the 100th anniversary of the MG brand, Rétromobile has teamed up with the British Motor Museum and MG Club de France to organise an exceptional exhibition tracing back the history of the brand with the octagonal logo. And to mark the occasion, no fewer than a dozen of the make’s iconic vehicles (among them a 1925 Old MG Number One and a 1938 MG EX135), will be crossing the Channel for five days to grace the aisles of the world’s most exciting pop-up museum dedicated to collector vehicles. The legendary 1957 MG EX181, a world record breaker driven by Stirling Moss and Phil Hill, will also be on show for the anniversary. Finally, the manufacturer MG, now owned by the SAIC group, will be present at the show to celebrate the centenary with a retrospective on its stand dedicated to the make’s roadsters.
« The history of MG began in 1924 in the suburbs of Oxford, and from the outset, the cars designed by the gifted Cecil Kimber were the product of unrelenting hard work that quickly captured the hearts of enthusiasts. What better showcase for this passion than Rétromobile, where we can celebrate a hundred years of automotive history dedicated to the pleasure of driving? The work undertaken by the teams at Rétromobile will enable visitors to discover, or rediscover, the exceptional vehicles that have left their mark on our history, breaking records and winning legendary races »
– Clément Lefèvre, MG Motor France’s Public Relations Manager.
The history of MG is inextricably linked to that of its founder, William Morris. Born at the end of the 19th century, William Morris opened a cycle repair and assembly business at an early age. It was only a few years later, at the instigation of a local businessman, that he tried his hand at cars. Although the experiment ended in failure, William Morris acquired a solid reputation in the industry. He went on to become a car hirer, repairer and dealer for brands such as Singer and Arrol-Johnston. However, none of these models gave him complete satisfaction, and for many years William Morris dreamed of creating his own vehicle.
It was not until 1921, when he met a certain Cecil Kimber, that this dream became a reality. Hired as sales manager, Cecil Kimber was quickly promoted to director of the brand. He quickly identified motor racing as an excellent way of promoting the merits of his products. It was under his leadership that MGs gained in sportiness and performance, and that the brand adopted its famous “Safety Fast” slogan. For years, MG vehicles would shine in competitions, breaking speed records one after the other. In 1959, the MGEX181 driven by Phil Hill hit a top speed of 410.5 km/h on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, making the MG brand a legend once and for all.
In addition to its reputation as a record breaker, the MG brand also succeeded in becoming synonymous with chic, affordable roadsters. Even today, these vehicles are among the most sought-after by collectors of exceptional vehicles.
« For this 48th edition of the show, celebrating the centenary of the MG brand, a veritable flagship of British industry in its day, was an obvious choice. We are also very proud of his new partnership with the British Motor Museum, which symbolises the exhibition’s desire to offer its visitors ever more exceptional vehicles »
– Romain Grabowski, Rétromobile exhibition director
31st JANUARY – 4th FEBRUARY 2024
PARIS EXPO PORTE DE VERSAILLES
PAVILLONS 1, 2.2 & 3