When Stirling Moss hit 246mph in a record-breaking MG

The EX135 proved very versatile, being revised many times after the war to eventually break the records in the 350cc, 500cc and 750cc categories as well.

Despite a lack of competition, MG still wasn’t satisfied, so in 1954 it cooked up the EX179, matching a pill-shaped body with an enhanced version of the 948cc A-series four-pot from the Morris Minor – and Eyston, now retired from driving, was put in charge of the project.

This ‘EX’ rather underwhelmed, though, so in 1957 MG decided to extend the 1500cc record that it had held since Gardner’s amazing 1939 run with a new car: the EX181.

MG’s investigations revealed a flattened torpedo shape would be ideal, angled slightly downward, and with the rear wheels much closer together than the fronts. Fins were fitted at the rear and the driver was to be put in a tiny bubble.

mg stirling moss

Thankfully for the MG team, Britain’s top Formula 1 driver, Stirling Moss, was only 5ft 7in – although he still had minimal room inside, with his feet almost touching the car’s nose, the steering rack against his legs and the engine directly behind his reclined seat. The design seemed to work in the wind tunnel: despite the frontal area being just 10% less than on the EX179, drag was 30% less.

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