We received the following press release today (yes, April 1) from the MG Car Club:
Abingdon’s MG Car Club astonished to unearth original Rubber Bumper MGB
IT WAS THOUGHT that the first Rubber Bumper MGB was produced and went on sale in September 1974, with the clear understanding that it was required to overcome the recently introduced legislation in the USA following the concerns over safety in cars expressed by Ralph Nader.
However, after considerable research it has been discovered that this is in fact not the case.
During a recent MG Car Club event a most unusual MGB, sporting a bespoke Rubber Bumper, was seen for the very first time. Don Hayter, the much revered designer of the original MGB, had no choice but to confirm that there had been top secret development work taking place in the late sixties at the Abingdon factory.
It seemed that MGB sales had slowed down and the plan was to spice up the car to give it a “trendy style” makeover that would appeal to the younger generation who were being motivated by the emergence of Carnaby Street, psychedelia and the mini skirt. However, only one car was ever produced before the plan was scrapped.
MGB Roadster – Early Pre-Production Prototype ‘Rubber Bumper’ Model.
Records indicate that in late 1967 a prototype rubber bumper MGB model was developed at Abingdon under a top secret design team. This is believed to be the only model in existence sporting the multi-colour co-ordinated ’67 design.
Top management wanted to be flexible in their approach and stretched budgets to develop colour schemes that would help sales bounce back at the same time as accommodating safety issues for export markets.
By utilising modular parts each bumper could be carefully constructed in the factory to create a unique look for each car.
In addition to the obvious attractiveness of the final look of the car the idea was to offer colour schemes that would be interchangeable in order that customers could create their own designs to suit their mood or reflect seasonal colour themes. Additionally, authorised dealers would offer a “repair kit”.
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Note to journalists: The MG Car Club will soon be taking a kit to market to allow enthusiasts to customise their rubber bumper cars with a selection of different coloured elastic bands.