This is the inside story of the MG Design office, from 1956 until its closure in 1980. Explaining how the various models were drawn, planned, and developed by the small team of engineers, it also shows how the input and control changed from Morris, Wolseley, Riley Group, Austin-Morris, and Austin Rover. The effects of the Triumph-Austin merger are detailed in model changes, alongside the effects of safety legislation, mainly imposed by the United States. Trying to remain as individual as possible during this period, MG developed record breakers and a unique Competition Department. Special cars were built and tested, and prototypes for the MGB replacement were drawn up - all in parallel with the development of MG production cars using engines from any part of the company. The continuing support of the American market was essential and much valued, but the Company's market support prioritised the TR7 - a decision that, ultimately, let to the closure of a successful, happy company.
Don Hayter was educated at Abingdon School, Oxford, winning the 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, and attaining a Higher National Certificate in Metallurgy and Engineering, he worked at various aircraft manufacturers, before moving into the car industry after the war. Working on many cars, including the MG Magnette, in 1954 he moved to Aston Martin, 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, he 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.