MG EX 181

In 1957 the MG Car Company arrived at the Bonneville Salt Flats with an unusually shaped vehicle and legendary racing driver Stirling Moss. The car was called the MG EX 181 and it was entered into the Class F land-speed series for cars with engines between 1.1 and 1.5 litres.

The EX 181’s unique body was hiding a 1.5 litre twin-cam, supercharged MGA engine that had been tuned to run on 86% methanol laced with nitrobenzene, acetone and sulphuric ether. The engine produced a whopping 290hp at 7,000rpm and on the 23rd of August 1957 Stirling Moss took it up to a top speed of 245.64mph (395.31 kmh), taking the land-speed record easily over the previous record holder who held it at 203mph.

MG wasn’t quite finished with the EX 181 and took the car back to Bonneville in 1959 with racing driver Phil Hill, the engine had been tuned slightly higher and now produced 300hp. Phil Hill took the car to a top speed of 254.91 mph (410.23 kmh), easily breaking MG’s own record from 2 years previously.

MG EX 181 Cutaway

Information via MGA Guru

Ben Branch Profile Picture Silodrome - MG EX 181
Founder & Senior Editor Silodrome

Ben Branch has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, the official Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.

Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with millions of readers around the world and hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.

Published by Ben Branch -