Mystery of two MGBGTV8s continued
When Zhong Zhang from Kent registered his MGBGTV8 with the V8 Register as Damask G75D002372 in early 2008, the V8 Registrar naturally contacted him seeking the Car Number (or Vehicle Identification Number or VIN) as the number he had quoted is a Commission Number. The reply from Zhong began a fascinating thread of enquiry into the mysterious background of not only his V8 but also of another mysterious V8! Here Peter Beadle helps to unravel the mystery with his recollections of his contacts with Nigel Wagstaff, the former owner of a V8 known as Flame 0100.. (11.6.09)

Peter Beadle throws some light on the mystery MGBGTV8 - Blaze 0100
Peter Beadle was parts manager at the MG distributor University Motors in Epsom back in the seventies and in October 1978 and was a founding member of the V8 Register. He then went on to be a member of the team which created the legendary MG parts supplier, the Sprite and Midget Centre in Richmond, that later became Moss Europe. So he has had a long association with MG and MGBGTV8s. From an earlier report on the V8 website, fellow members will have seen that Zhong Zhang from Kent had registered an MGBGTV8 he had acquired from a fellow V8 enthusiast, Nigel Wagstaff. He believed his car was GD2D2 100 G or Flame Red 0100, the mystery car for which the late Geoff Allen could not find any entry in his copy of the Factory production records. Geoff had painstakingly copied the records by hand in the final weeks before the Abingdon Factory closed. Here we have an extract from a note Peter has prepared relating what he knows of the V8s owned by Nigel Wagstaff.

Firstly where do I come in?
I first met Nigel when he rented a House in Banstead in Surrey and at the time he supplemented his income by buying and selling MG Midgets. He was ahead of the pack as he managed to acquire a copy
of Exchange & Mart on a Wednesday, twelve hours earlier than the Thursday publishing date. As I worked in the Parts Department at University Motors in Epsom he was a regular customer of mine. As time passed we became good friends and I would often join him for a drink and takeaway curry - and just as an aside I organised the first of the annual V8 Curry Nights at a curryhouse in Epsom in 1979. I would often help Nigel with preparing the cars - he was good at cleaning and polishing, but his mechanical knowledge was suspect.

One day he asked my advice about a LHD MGBGTV8 he had seen advertised in Streatham in south London. I told him it must be a Costello V8 as all the Abingdon Factory V8 prototypes were accounted for, but he insisted he wanted to see the car so we both went to view it. Indeed it was chassis number GD2D2 100 G a Flame Red German specification car with the "Abingdon Pillow" dashboard. He bought the car and spent sometime cosmetically improving the condition of the car before taking it to some of the MG Car Club shows. He made sure he met up with Geoff Allen to confirm its originality before putting it up for sale. He was very good at "marketing" and the car went to a good home in Switzerland where it had to be totally stripped and "restored" again.

By selling cars in this way he was able to move to his first own home in Sutton in Surrey just south of London and I became "the Lodger" to help pay the mortgage and answer the phone to potential customers and buyers. By this time he had acquired the registration plates NTW1 and 9 NTW but his cars seemed to "change hands" so quickly that it wasn't worth his registering them with those numbers. So, NTW 1 was put on my White Cooper S MK3 I had at that time and 9 NTW was put on his mother's "new" Morris 1300GT. I say "new" but in fact the 1300GT was already "old" as it had been sitting onboard a container ship bound for Hong Kong but had been "blocked" in the Suez Canal for 18months.
Mystery of two MGBGTV8s
An article based on queries raised when a V8 enthusiast registered an MGBGTV8 previously owned by Nigel Wgastaff. (27.1.08) More

Exactly how many MGBGTV8s were built at Abingdon?
An article by the late Geoff Allen, our former V8 Historian and Archivist who worked in Rectifications Department for 27 years, which set out his belief there were 2,600 V8s, possibly 2,601. V8NOTE300

Time passed
Nigel married Linda, I moved out but stayed good friends with Nigel. While I was living with Dave Jeffery the original owner of Southern Carburettors and SC Healey, I bought my first MGBGTV8 - Damask Red
0503 with Navy interior. Dave's business partner, Lawrence Mahon, bought another MGBGTV8, again Damask Red, and David Belt (the owner of SC Parts, another classic car parts specialist) owned a third MGBGTV8 in Teal Blue. The four of us convinced Nigel that he ought to buy another V8, so after he had moved to Edenbridge in Kent he bought VLC123M yet another V8 in Damask Red with Black interior. I supplied him with all the spares, new wings etc and he spent a long time restoring the car. It was at this time that his car was photographed with two others outside University Motors in Epsom for an advert in one of the publications nproduced by the V8 Register. By the way if you still have that photograph, can you copy it for me? At this time NTW 1 was reunited with NTW - Nigel Talbolt Wagstaff - and transferred from my Cooper S onto his MGBGTV8.

I hope this will go some way to answering some of your questions.

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