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August 22, 2019
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Don Hayter’s MGB Story - The birth of the MGB in MG’s Abingdon Design & Development Office

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Don Hayter’s MGB Story - The birth of the MGB in MG’s Abingdon Design & Development Office

By Don Hayter
About the Author

Paperback • 19x20.5cm • 96 pages • 76 colour and b&w pictures

ISBN: 978-1-845844-60-8

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• Written by Don Hayter, Chief Engineer MG Abingdon
• Features models and prototypes from 1956 to 1980
• Traces the development of the MGB from conception to production
• Details the challenges and restraints on the MGB design teams
• Covers the effects of USA safety legislation on the MGB
• Behind the scenes anecdotes from MG Design & Development
• A personal account of Rally team back-up in the Liege rallies
• Background to the MG record breakers
• Includes a personal account of the MG Design Department closure
• Features photographs previously unseen outside Design & Development


The story of the MGB's concept, design and development, as told by MG’s Chief Design & Develpment Engineer, Don Hayter.
This book covers models and prototypes from 1956 up to the close of the factory in 1980. Featuring behind-the-scenes anecdotes and personal accounts of MG in its heyday.


This is the inside story of the workings of the MG Design and Development Office in Abingdon, from 1956 until MG's closure in 1980, as told by Chief Design & Development Engineer, Don Hayter.
This book explains how the various models were conceived, drawn, planned and developed by a small team of engineers. It also shows how the constant evolution of BMC, including the Triumph-Austin merger, frequently changed input to, and control of, the department.
Safety legislation, mainly imposed by the United States, could have killed MG, but detailed here are the design changes that allowed the MGB, and other models, to survive.
Trying to remain as individual as possible, MG developed record-breakers and a unique Competition Department during the period covered by this book. Special cars were built and tested, and prototypes for the MGB replacement, using engines from any part of the group, were drawn up.
The continuing support of the American market was essential and much valued, but holding company, British Leyland, prioritised the TR7 – a decision that, ultimately, led to the closure of a successful, happy MG company.

Independent Reviews

'Imagine sitting down with MG's chief design and development engineer Don Hayter while he tells you first-hand how the MGB came to be. That's just how this book reads, starting ith how it evolved from its predecesor, the MGA, and the streamlined speed record cars that would influence its shape.'
Classic Cars

'You don't have to be an MGB guru to appreciate this book, this book will be a blast from the past for many who worked in the motor trade during 'the good old years' before the axe started to fall and motor . companies outsourced overseas.'
Burton Mail

'Don Hayter joined MG's Design Office in Abingdon, Oxon, in 1956. This book covers his career and the development of the projects he worked on. Chief among these were the MGA and MGB. There's lots of info here, notably on record-breakers and how cars were adapted to meet safety regulations. There are mentions of the Healey Sprite, Midget and MGBV8, but the best is saved for last: Aston Martin's failed takeover.'
Auto Express

'This relatively humble 96-page volume is light and compact enough to go caravanning, but packs in a wealth of insight, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, competition background and production information right up to Abingdon's sad closure. The colious photography only adds to the atmosphere.'
The Caravan Club Magazine

'It will be a treat for the many MGB fans but in fact there's a lot more to it… it's good to have this kind of 'inside story' on Britain's best-selling sports car.'
Classic Driver

'Who better to tell the MGB Story than the car's chief engineer Don Hayer?'
Classic & Sports Car

'Many photographs compliment the fascinating narrative some of which have never been seen before.'
MGB Driver Magazine

Additional Information

Period covered: 1956–1980

Models covered: MGA, MGB, MGBV8, MG Midget, Austin Healeys


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