MG MGB re-born: Frontline Developments Abingdon EditionThe MG MGB was the world's favourite sportscar. Now, decades after its peak in popularity, Frontline Developments have given it the resto-mod treatment and created the Abingdon Edition.
[SOUND] [MUSIC] Don't be fooled by the 50 year old facade, this quintessentially classic British sports car has been heavily re-engineered by the MG gurus at a company called Frontline developments here in Oxfordshire and this is now evolved into something, well rather special. It's called the Abingdon Edition, and it costs about 80 grand. Now that seems like an awful lot of money for what looks like an MGB, but there's more to it than that. See, this is the latest in a long line of restomodic classics. That means cars with all the visual appeal of the classic cars that you all grow to love but with modern underpinnings, meaning modern performance and reliability. It's a special piece of kit. The ex car viewers will probably have already seen the Ford Bronco from my car and and will maybe even know about the Eagle E types Speedster. But since 2012, front line developments here in Oxfordshire have been [UNKNOWN] these things to create something very special, and been getting a 21st century, high-end makeover. In a few minutes that 80K price tag's gonna make a lot of sense. [MUSIC] MG's in my mind are, they're just a great little car. They were the working man's sports car of their day. You either have always been in one Or you've always known as someone who's had one, or your dad's had one, or your grandparents, or your next-door neighbor, or the milkman. But it's just a car that everyone can relate to and enjoy. All of our customers who appreciate a detail, they're not just walking into a show and saying, I'll have that one. Do you do it in black or gray? Every single car is, typically, a good two to three days with each customer to spec. People will sit down. And spent four to five hours having their seat built to the shape of them. It's not very often that you can commission a car from flat steel to a rolling, driving vehicle. So we try and make sure that every part of it is absolutely perfect for that person I just love knowing the fact that our cars are out there being enjoyed, as opposed to being a piece of art, sat in a gallery somewhere. [MUSIC] So here's a bit of a history lesson for any MG moguls that might be watching. MG made about half a million of these between 1962 and 98. And of those about 90% went abroad. The overwhelming Zooming. But George, you know, has actually went to the US where this car was really, really popular. It had a very stiff monocoque chassis, it could do 100 miles per hour, was cheap to build and cheap to buy. In the early 60s they took these Over to the States, showcase them at events like the 12 Hours of Sebring. They took them to 24 Hours of Le Mans. They raced them at the Tour [UNKNOWN]. They were so [UNKNOWN], they did very well at even grueling rallies like the Monte Carlo. They were driven by rally drivers, racers, but also rock stars and royalty. And his dad. And my dad, yes. Well I have two. The thing is, though, by 1974, really the car was ready for an update, and to comply with American crash regulations and emissions and other things, they had to make some designs for the body. So the first thing that changed was the ride height to make it crash compliant. So it lost That lively feel. But, at the same time, it gained some pretty ugly rubber bumpers. By 1980, despite selling fairly well, the MGB was really outdated. Remember, this is a farce in the design nearly two decades before. We're getting into hard hatches and GTIs and people were less inclined to buy pretty roadsters, by then. were normally Outdated in terms of their styling, but their performance was pretty old hat too. He was really out of his depth. [MUSIC] [SOUND] It was the slowest new car that you could actually buy in the U.S. In the 1980s, but they still sold 13,000 of them. So there was still a market for a pretty little British sports car. It wasn't as if the market had dried up. [MUSIC] I mean, I own a 71. MGB. It's [UNKNOWN] pretty good, Bic. I know you'd give it a bit of a hard time. But it's a pretty sound mechanical beast. But to compare the original 1971 car with this 2015 Abinger Edition is just, well it's nice. Fine day, isn't it? It's got three times the power and everything is just so taut and well put together and it's just a much nicer placed stick. The details are absolutely fabulous. You've got the best of both worlds. You've got the character, you've got the pedigree. You've got the mechanical underpinnings of a modern car. We've got what looks like an original radio, but actually the front Flips off, so you go to a USB. A little bit of basic things you take for granted now in a modern car. This is being built from the ground up. So, it's now important to recognize that this isn't just a pretty body over some crusty mechanicals. This was designed from the ground up to be a real, modern day Moments. Sports car, that means engine two and a half leagues before the master six. transmission six speed manual gear box. Decent disc brakes around, decent suspension. And as you can probably hear from the noise. Don't [UNKNOWN] think! [MUSIC] 305 BHP and about 250 pounds of torq reckons that's about 340 [UNKNOWN] Petrol. It'll hit 60 in about 3.8. [MUSIC] So ditch the cart springs in the back. This no longer has [UNKNOWN] springs, it has fully adjustable coil over suspension on the back, [UNKNOWN] rods. Still has the live axle, of course, because it has to have that so the This can be [UNKNOWN]. Just engineering speak you're doing now. I read it somewhere. [LAUGH] [MUSIC] It's kind of ironic that British motoring innovation today comes from companies that's just Frontline, putting their expertise into making old cars come back to life again. But what's really ironic of course is that we've got an LX5 gear box that Frontline's used the [UNKNOWN] 5 engines, and it was the And gee the actual five [INAUDIBLE] [NOISE] So there you have it the MG [INAUDIBLE] edition from Frontline developments is absolutely startling car. It's so balanced. It's got bags of umph. It's sharp in its specs. What I like about it is it's not overly cosmetically absolutely perfect unlike so many of the. And we stored MG and MGB's. What I like about is the mechanics from the ground up are absolutely fresh, solid, and they give fantastic performance. Really just go like deep. I love that. What else do you get for the money? Well I mean, I suppose the nearest proper rival would be the E Type Speedster which is about 650,000 pounds. When you think about this, that's an absolute bargain. See, I told you those numbers would make sense in the end. [MUSIC]