There were some damn fine engineers at MG Rover, many of whom are still working in the UK’s car industry.
Most were rabid car enthusiasts who would fix noise, vibration and handling issues during the week and try for best time of the day at Shelsley Walsh at the weekend.
Some had big beards, drank proper beer and loved large V8s.
My romanticised theory is that when the writing was on the P45s for MG Rover, these petrolheads decided to have one final blowout – the result of which was a hangover and a bunch of big-engined saloons.
A conceived-in-the-pub Anglo-American dalliance between Longbridge and Dearborn: a Mustang V8 fitted into a front-wheel-drive saloon. It was madness; it was fun.
In truth, the plan was rather more structured and thought out; a strategy created by the Phoenix Venture Holdings executive team to use the MG brand ‘to create a stairway to heaven’.
They already had a range of Rover cars; the MG name was to create excitement and, more to the point, attract a buyer or investor to the company.