A new exhibition is celebrating the centenary of the MG sports car.

Staff at Abingdon County Hall Museum have created new displays to celebrate the birth of the MG marque in an exhibition entitled MG100: evolution of an icon.

It recalls how, in 1914, William Morris switched his business from assembling bicycles to manufacturing cars.

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Combining his business sense and drive with the influence of an ambitious young sales manager, Cecil Kimber, the MG ‘sports’ brand was born.

By 1930, the Abingdon factory was delivering MGs from its production line and was to become an inextricable part of the identity of the town for decades to come until the MG factory closed in 1980.

Oxford Mail: Museum manager Dan Sancisi said: "This exhibition looks at the development of MG cars through time, and tracks some landmark moments in its history from triumphs at Le Mans to record breakers in the salt flats of Utah.

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"Our focus is the Abingdon years but the story of the marque lives on, notably with the recent launch of the all-electric Cyberster sports car from MG Shanghai."

More than one million MGs were made in Abingdon, with about three-quarters of of the cars being exported.

Today a McDonald’s is on the site of the entrance where the MG factory off Marcham Road once stood.

The MG Car Club is now based in Cemetery Road.

The museum's exhibition opened on Saturday and runs until June 30.

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm, and also on bank holidays.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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