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April 23, 2014

Die-cast: Autoart MGB roadster

by Mark Savage

Tiny MGB roadster a throwback to early sports carsmg1

England’s MG was one of the early two-seat sports cars that assumed almost epic popularity among enthusiasts in the United States after World War II.

Returning GIs who had seen the small, sporty, fun to drive MGs while stationed in England during the war desired the roadsters once they reestablished themselves after the war.

Old WWII airports around the country were converted into race tracks and road racing’s popularity grew. So the nimble MGs became regular weekend warriors along with Austin Healeys, Jaguars, Sunbeams and Triumphs.

Autoart delivers a tidy 1:43 model of the 1969 MGB Mk. II roadster, the MGB being made from 1962 until 1980. MG began in Abingdon, England, near Oxford, in the early 1920s as Morris Garages, a Morris dealer, began making its own versions of the Morris cars. Design work came from Cecil Kimber. MG made cars for more than 50 years before falling on hard times and being sold to various auto-making entities. The name now is owned by a Chinese automaker.

The model:
The Pageant Blue review model (Autoart also has offered a pale yellow) is of the 1969 model that featured a 1.8-liter I4 engine and rode on a short 91-inch wheelbase. Ultimately, nearly 400,000 Mk. II models were built, starting in 1967.

mg2Befitting its $36 price, the Autoart model is well executed, but with no opening features, such as hood or doors. This is a car, like many 1:43 models, for collectors filling holes in their collection, or snagging something they just like and haven’t been able to find in any scale. This size also displays easily and you can fit a load more into any display area compared with 1:24 and 1:18 scale.

I like the price point and I like the fine exterior detail on the MGB.

For instance you not only get a beautifully shaped body, but a thin chrome trim line down each side, chrome bumpers, grille and door handles. Likewise the window frame and small vent windows feature chrome-look edging. Headlights and taillights look realistic and there are dual chrome wipers on the windshield.

An MG logo is just above the chrome key hole on the trunk lid and the car features wire wheels to cement its sports car look.

The interior features black bucket seats, but no seat belts, and a small shifter and emergency brake lever. The steering wheel is wood-colored and the dash well detailed for this scale with the usual dash gauges, radio and buttons along with a well-defined glove box.mg3

This one is created with the roof down and a black boot on the back, giving it a sporty top-down profile. Other pluses, the front wheels can be turned and posed if you want to take it out of its plastic display case, and the bottom is finished with a tailpipe and muffler too.

Autoart’s MGB is a good value and a sporty model that displays well.

FAST Stats: 1969 MGB Roadster Mk. II (pageant blue)
Maker: Autoart
Scale: 1:43
Stock No.: 56611
MSRP: $36

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