Can the mystique of a British sports car be recreated by a Chinese company in America’s heartland? That’s the bet by Nanjing Automobile Group, which plans to resurrect the fabled MG marque in a tricontinental demonstration of how truly global the automotive industry has become.
Okay, some things are just wrong. I’d rather see the brand revived by an idiosyncratic lunatic hand-building rickety old MGAs in his garage, to be honest. MGs are wonderful sports cars, as there’s no other car that allows you to experience a white-knuckled envelope-pushing drive while remaining within the speed limits.
After taking a curve at 60 MPH in my old 1977 MGB, the White Buffalo told me that felt much safer hitting the same stretch of road at 120 in the Porsche. You want excitement? There’s nothing like diving into a sharp turn and wondering just what will happen if a wheel decides to fall off.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. I was once pulled over in Edina for driving after midnight with my headlights off. They don’t work, I explained to the policeman. Well, why did you decide to drive it at night, then, he asked very reasonably. They worked when I left, I explained.
I was both surprised and relieved when the cop laughed and said “Lucas Electric, prince of darkness” then sent me on my way with an encouragement to pay close attention since other cars might not be able to see me.
One presumes that Nanjing will not build its marketing plan around “MG quality”.