Maintaining the Breed

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by John Thornley, 187pp. 8 3/4″ x 5 3/4″. Motor Racing Publications Ltd., Unit 6, The Pilton Estate, Pitlake, Croydon, CRO 3RY £16.95

It is fitting that this book should go into its fourth edition at a time when the MGCC is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee and opened new headquarters in Abingdon, close to where MG cars were made, last July. The Club has, as the author reminds us, a paid-up UK membership of 10,000 and perhaps a further 30,000 overseas members. They will enjoy his book,which has been out of print for a long time.

It covers the start of the MG, the development of the M-type Midgets and all subsequent models up to the end of what Thornley calls the ‘perpendicular’ period and beyond. I recall how I became glued to every word of this book, which disclosed so much inside data and fascinating material about the racing and record-breaking MGs, when it first appeared in 1950, (£2.80 in 1971) and was the true ‘Saga of MG Racing Cars’, as it is correctly sub-titled. In those days the author was Lt Col John W Thornley, OBE, one of the keenest enthusiasts in the motor industry, who became General Manager and Director of the MG Car Company from 1956 to 1969. He now lives quietly with his wife in Somerset.

Thornley saw it all, having started in the Service Department and managed the competition MG teams, etc. His book, unaltered in this new, welcome edition, is packed with inside information, reminiscences and technical data. An essential, nay an indispensible, part of MG history. WB