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The MG LE50

Earlier this week, we visited Tim Fenna and Ed Braclik at Frontline Developments in Abingdon to have a closer look at their wonderful MG LE50. This is a limited production of 50 cars to mark the 50th anniversary of the MGB.

Each LE50 is based on an original MG, rebuilt (and this is where it gets interesting) to modern day standards - with a new monocoque chasis, new 215 bhp aluminium twin can Mazda engine, new 6 speed gearbox, new suspension, brakes, cooling system etc.

We were privileged to be shown around the workshop and to see the first few cars in varying stages of build and, even more so, to be allowed to drive the first completed car (see photos).

On the road, the LE50 is a potent mix of old world charm and modern day performance. The build quality is exceptional, even by today's standards, and the handling and performance of the car are delightful. Simply put, this is a car that inspires confidence.

Visually, the presentation of the car is stunning. The quality of the bodywork and paint is flawless and the interior trim is a masterpiece of period elegance. The alcantara seats are extremely comfortable and the driving position works well (even for a slightly overweight 6'2" driver).

One of the challenges we all face in the classic car world is reconciling our desire to use our cherished cars as every day drivers, or long range tourers, with our understanding of their inherent "foibles". If this is a familiar concern and you're looking for a classic car built to modern standards, it might be worth a trip to Abingdon.