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

  • king arthur 03 Dec 2010

    This ought to be good.

  • Zumbruk 03 Dec 2010

    Naah, it'll just be an endless series of slaggings.

  • The Crack Fox 03 Dec 2010

    OK, I'll be the first to say it - an MX-5 can be had for much less and will, in my own experience, be a much better proposition all around. The VVC might give it some go, but the rest of it is pretty unappealing...

    • runs for cover *

  • Stone Cold 03 Dec 2010

    My 22 year old daughter has just passed her test and this would be sweet for her (she is quite sensible) but the insurance is 5 times the value of the car!

    Daewoo Kalos it is then!

  • Ozii 03 Dec 2010

    Are these FWD or RWD?

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