SOTW: MG-F 1.8 VVC


The sun is shining (here at least), and the snow-covered scenery looks dazzling in the crisp morning air. What better way to enjoy it than speeding (philosophically if not literally) through the picture-postcard scenery in your convertible MG-F.

Oh all right, we can think of several better ways too, but for Shed money those ice-in-the-eyebrows moments seem limited to Britain's once most popular sportscar, riding a bicycle, and not much else. (We're not counting old Triumph Spitfires. Don't know why, we're just not...)

Not that today's SOTW needs much of an apology. In fact I've had a soft spot for the MG-F since it was launched back in 1995 - and I'm sufficiently confident of my masculinity to admit it. If you must know, I used one of the very first examples to impress a young lady on a touring holiday in Italy, so I can honestly report the MG-F has got what it takes in many of life's most important respects. Or at least it had what it took back then, and that one was painted in a rather girly purple. Happy days!


Nowadays the MG-F's reputation seems somehow to have floundered, yet back in 1995 I remember there was a palpable excitement about a new British roadster that looked pretty and drove well to boot. Dig out an old Autocar magazine from the period, and you'll see what I mean. The MG-F engaged its driver with good steering, a pliant but well-controlled Hydragas ride, and it was blessed with a revvy K-Series engine offering more than enough performance to have fun with - even though the TVR crowd might have sneered derisorily.

The car was available with 1.6 litre or 1.8 litre engines with Variable Valve Control (quite a big deal in those days), the latter offering approximately 140hp and a 0-60sec sprint around the 7sec mark.


It's a 1.8 VVC that the vendor of this week's SOTW is tempting us with and while it's a pre-1999 facelift car, being chipped from the Longbridge block in 1997, we're not going to let that deter us - especially as the car has been treated to a recent head-gasket and cambelt. (The old K-Series head gasket being one of that engine's less admirable features.)

The car is advertised with lowly mileage and an asking price of £995. And it's worth a look, surely?

Advert reads:
Superb 1.8 MGF with the high performance VVC engine. Recent head gasket ,Cambelt and pulley. Very good bodywork and interior in half leather. Superb engine and gearbox which spins cleanly to over 7200 revs. 16 Inch alloys. Fantastic fun and a good heater and hood. A real autumn giveaway.Be quick.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (241) Join the discussion on the forum

  • joncab20 07 Dec 2012

    its an old thread i know but i had to have my say.
    ive had a f vvc for a while now and yes it was losing a little water.
    cost me 500quid for an early n reg example with just under 40,000 miles on it. as most people do nowadays i did a lot of research first so nothing was going to be a suprise.
    had loads of euroboxes over the years and as i drive a taxi for a living i fancied something with a little more character.
    there are probably more reliable, better built motors out there but as i like making cars "my own" with a few subtle mods i thought for that sort of money id give it a go.
    not been disappointed.
    bang for buck it turns out to be an excellent car.
    a £10 bottle of k seal sorted the leak for now (2 years now)and ill get round to the source of the leak in due course.
    would happily have paid a grand for it. just as entertaining as the wifes mk1 mx5 to drive. th f isnt without its faults of course but when the sun is shining and theres a nice b road to blast down its pretty hard to beat.
    good shed in my opinion.

  • Festive Ferg 18 Dec 2010

    LotusAlfaV6bloke said:
    "the constant need for K-series head work"
    This is absolutely irrefutably incorrect. Fix it properly, fix it once.
    The 'K', due MAINLY, but not exclusively, to a lack of investment in the processes involved in it's construction, will blow head gaskets. However, it is a lack of skill by those 'mechanics' entrusted with fixing it that leads to repeat failure.

  • lionrampant 18 Dec 2010

    Why so serious?

    Fit uprated head gasket. Problem solved.

    Just a pity MGR didn't do that when they released the TF. :/

  • LotusAlfaV6bloke 18 Dec 2010

    It was actually 13,987 that the AA had to deal with. It is fair to say the last few posts have convinced me of how wrong I am, that looks a much better bet then buying a MX5. Especially this time of year - can't be more then 20 mins work in the snow and all the parts come free from the Rover Fairy.

    So I take it all back and conclude "TADTS and the constant need for K-series head work - now all proved to be an interwebz myth".

    Buy in confidence. In fact, buy twice.

  • MGJohn 18 Dec 2010

    Steve ... don't waste time with Nigel Worcs... his hatred of all things Rover and MG related is all too clear as his incessant anti-MG and Rover postings here on PH will confirm.
    ..

    I am merely interested in cars with no formal mechanical training whatsoever. All self taught. I trained back in the late 1970s as a Computer Systems Analyst ... a subject I now find extremely boring and tiresome. I do have a keen analytical mind though ....

    Getting these old cars back into rude health really appeals to my creative side...not just MGs and Rovers which are now my current preoccupation, but, over the years numerous other marques I have enjoyed breathing new life into where others have given up, often after spending not inconsiderable sums with pro-outfits who have not rectified their car's problems.

    It's been my second hobby interest, second only to my other main interest outside my family of course, Natural History. I have never had a problem car beat me yet ~ but, there's always a first time.

    Natural History ~ these frozen days are making it hard for wildlife to get by. I watched a group of superb Long Tailed Tits systematically explore the trees and shrubs in my garden today. The food I put out for other Garden Birds were soon pounced on by Black Headed Gulls which dived down at speed with spectacular flyin skills in the limited space available to these fast flyin birds... bretah taking stuff I had not witnessed befor. When they made off with some of the scraps they inturn were pounced on and chased by the larger and more powerful Herring and Lesser Black-Backed Gulls which could not easily visit the confines of the garden ~ they are simply too big and fast flying ~ although one or two did make a clumsy attempt.

    There were other tits in the garden today ~ Blue and Coal Tits and a superb pair of Great Tits ... and here I do not only have in mind the shapely lass who came over asking about the problems she has with her car ... although she does qualify in that department .... smile.

    Well, helps to pass the tine..

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