Forum Navigation
You need to log in to create posts and topics.

RIP-Abingdon

12

Today exactly 30 years ago the last MGB rolled from the production line at 14.08 hrs UK time, a porcelain white roadstar.
This info I received from Ken Smith, who is celebrating his birthday today.

I believe that that this last car is actually an export car for Japan, but that info I found in "Original MGB".

Our beloved last 1,001 MGB LE (uk spec) are not the last car produced at the factory, also not by VIN number.
Maybe the last officially offered by the factory like that but we all know that a lot of LE's - and "normal" MGB's were sold new much later as January 1981.

ROB-USLE

Happy Birthday Ken/RIP M.G.-I'll offer a toast to both of you this evening:D

Having gone through the records the last batch of L.E's were built on Friday the 17th of October and the factory's chassis log book follows sequentially up until chassis 522850 (L.E. no 999). After that point the log was lined through up until 523000 as these spaces were reserved for the very last federal, Japanese & home market cars. With this info I have little doubt that from car no. 880 (522719) on the 15th that all the cars built (or as maybe just completed) were, except for a few all home market L.E's. Infact during the first three weeks of October nearly 400 L.E's were built/completed.

I don't know if this is common knowledge but I have read in numerous sources that the L.E. was kept quiet during production and not advertised until after the factory had closed and that none were available for sale until the 1st of January 1981- I certainly have not come accross a single L.E. registered before then.

As always I'd be interested to hear what others think

If it ain't broken don't try to fix it as if you do it will definitely break

I must admit it did strike as a little strange that Nell wasn't registered until Feb 91, I just assumed that they were taking a while to sell?

Cheers

Col

The LEs were announced on the 28th January 1981 so all would have been registered after this date. I seem to recall that in the production records, there was a despatch date in November so I assume the cars initially sat in the compound at Abingdon, were moved to the dealers in November and then sold from the end of January.

Mine went to Oliver Rix in Luton but was sold by a small dealer in a small town in Bedfordshire.

Another poplular myth - they sat around dealers for ages as no one wanted them.

Sure, there are a large number of X registered cars, but I have also come across a huge number registered in February (mine included) or March. Considering the LE GT was priced at £6,575.50 when announced, that was serious money for a 1950s designed car versus Golf GTis of XR3s.

This picture was taken in 1980, the person in the picture seems to prefer a roadstar over a GT apparently, or is the roadstar just in the front ?
Well we can ask Ken Smith when and where the picture was taken exactly.

Uploaded files:
  • abingdon_1980.jpg

The LEs were announced on the 28th January 1981

That was on my 14th Birthday-if I'd have known I'd have asked Mum & Dad for one:D:D

Your right about the despatch dates. It was too time consuming to get them all but they started to move out of the compound late on in Novemeber-a lot on the 27th to be exact. Also out of the 220 I have recorded i would say 99% were sold/on the road during 1981.

If it ain't broken don't try to fix it as if you do it will definitely break

I'll second that. My car was also registered in Feb 1981 on a 'W' plate in Maidstone, Kent but was built in September 1980 and despatched in the November of the same year. So my car must have been sat somewhere for 3 months before finally being sold:o.

Love those trousers :p

Great pic though.

I presume that's a protective covering on the windscreen surround as I've never seen an LE with a black frame.
Can we have a group buy for those trousers....got to have me a pair of those:D:D
I bet those jackets are rare now too, if you find one no doubt they'll be expensive:o

I think the trousers are probably still available in your local golf shop. If we order some up they could become the club outfit for any meetings we have!

I must confess (for my sins) that in my youth, around 1980 ish I too owned and indeed wore a pair on Rupert the Bear pants.

Can someone please grant me forgiveness? 😮

Cheers

Col

12