BOOK: Don Hayter and the Birth of the MGB
This new book details the inside story of the workings of the MG Design and Development Office from 1956 until MG’s closure in 1980.
It explains how the various models were conceived, drawn, planned and developed by a small team of engineers. It also shows how the constant evolution of BMC, including the Triumph-Austin merger, frequently changed input to, and control of, the department.
Safety legislation, mainly imposed by the United States, could have killed MG, but detailed here are the design changes that allowed the MGB, and other models, to survive.
Trying to remain as individual as possible, MG developed record-breakers and a unique Competition Department during the period covered by this book. Special cars were built and tested, and prototypes for the MGB replacement, using engines from any part of the group, were drawn up.
The continuing support of the American market was essential and much valued, but holding company, British Leyland, prioritised the TR7 – a decision that, ultimately, led to the closure of the MG company.
The book features:
- Models and prototypes from 1956 to 1980
- The development of the MGB from conception to production
- Details the challenges and restraints on the MGB design teams
- A discussion of the effects of USA safety legislation on the MGB
- Behind the scenes anecdotes from MG Design & Development
- A personal account of Rally team back-up in the Liege rallies
- Background to the MG record breakers
- A personal account of the MG Design Department closure
- Photographs previously unseen outside Design & Development
The book’s author, Don Hayter, was educated at Abingdon School, winning a Bennett Scholarship to Pembroke College.
With the outbreak of WWII, he decided to take an apprenticeship in aircraft design at the Pressed Steel Company, Cowley. Attending Oxford Technical College where he attained a Higher National Certificate in Metallurgy and Engineering.
Don then worked at various aircraft manufacturers, before moving into the car industry after the war.
Having already worked on many cars, including the MG Magnette, he moved to Aston Martin in 1954, working on the design for the DB2/4 and the Lagonda, before moving back to MG’s Design & Development department.
Promoted to Chief Design & Development Engineer in 1973, Don was responsible for the design of the MGB body, and stayed with MG until the closure of its factory in 1980. Don remains passionately enthusiastic about this iconic car, and still runs one himself today.
The book is published by Veloce and is available to purchase from their website.
Source: Veloce Publishing