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Parts 4 Classic MG Cars

MGA MGB MGC Midget Sprite

991,Wolverhampton Road, Oldbury,West Midlands B69 4RJ


GWC1102z GWC1103z 17H7990B 1G4349K BHH1773K 37H8778A AHC109K AHH5081 AHH6523 AHH9158 BHH1779 BTB387 BTA383 BTA469 17H7620 AHA5654 AHA6207 AHA7029z GWC1129z 515218A 1B9100 GHK1142 GHK1213 BHA4966 BAU2294

Rear Wheel Cylinder Rear Wheel Cylinder Clip Pad Retainer Top Trunnion Kit Fulcrum Pin Kit Rear Shock Link Spring Fitting Kit Check Strap Bonnet Wing Buffer Rear Bumpstop Rear Leaf Spring Brake Disc Brake Disc Brake Disc AP Adjuster Kit Bonnet Front Buffer Boot Buffer Wishbone Pan Rear Wheel Cylinder Lamp Retaining Rim Side Lamp Assembly Frt Wheel Bearing Kit Rr Wheel Bearing Kit Indicator Sidelight AP Brake Adjuster

Wishbone Pan Kit Only 10 at this Deal




Spridget 63-74 MGB,GT 65-67 MGB 62-80 MGB 62-80 MGB 62-80 MGB 74-80 MGB 66-80 Spridget >74 MGB MGB,Midget >80 MGB 75-80 Roadster MGB 62-80 Spridget S-Wheel Spridget W-Wheel Midget Midget 63-70 Midget 62-74 Midget Midget 74> MGB,GT6,TR GT6Mk1, Spitfire Mk1-2 Spridget MGB,MGC Tube Axle MGB 62-74,Spitfire,GT6 MGB, Mini metro

£5.90each £5.90each £0.40each £4.12each £5.95each £12.20each £3.85each £2.95each £1.20each £2.15each £58.75each £17.15each £13.45each £13.85each £5.95each £1.40each £1.75each £58.75each £6.45each £5.88each £14.80each £17.95each £11.75each £13.95each £21.75each

Brake Kit (Std) Uprated Available

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Genuine AP





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Hutson.qxd:Layout 2



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THE HUTSON MOTOR CO. LTD. Parts & Panels for TA to TF


We manufacture a complete range of top quality ash frames and components, complete panelled bodies, individual steel parts. Full restorations undertaken on all classic cars. Comprehensive paint shop and trim facilities. Ash frame skeleton bodies. Individual ash frame components and steel panels. • Dashboards • Quarter Panels • Door Frames • Hood Finishers

T-Series ash frame sections & body panels are hand built in our Bradford factory.

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JULY 2010

Tel: 01403 711551 Fax: 01403 711319 Email: Website:

25/06/2010 12:34


Volume 54 Number 07 JULY 2010

FEATURED ARTICLE To celebrate 80 years of The MG Car Club we will be re-printing a few of the popular articles which have appeared in Safety Fast! over the years. This month’s article is a reprint from a 1960 Safety Fast! on MGs first Racing Year by William Boddy.


REGULARS 7 Editor’s welcome A summary from Andy Knott 9 From the Chair Club Matters from John Day 10 News MG designing the future, ‘Round the world’ Roy’s new adventure and more 12 Kimber House News The latest news from The MGCC headquarters 13 Products MG TA carburettor set, Hamilton Classic offers and more 14 Postbag Members have their say 15 Kidzone MG Benji and the Junior MG Car Club 18 Win our Star Car The Star Car gets the Aldon Automotive treatment 34 MGs first racing year A reprint from the February/March 1960 Safety Fast! 42 Problem Solved Brown and Gammons answer your technical questions 58 Race Torque Ron Gammons brings us up to speed with all the competition news 60 MGs on Track Croft is our most northerly venue and more 62 Out & About Photos from MGLive! 2010 64 Events Calendar Loads to do throughout July 68 Overseas News The MG Car Club of Sweden 2010 and news from the MGCC Antwerp

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22 70 Overseas Review Mike Hawke keeps tabs on the overseas action 72 Centre Updates News from the MGCC Regional Centre 82 Register Updates News from the MGCC Registers 91 80 Years of the MG Car Club Regular articles explaining the structure and history of all parts of the Club 93 Looking Back A selection of snippets from the MGCC archives

FEATURES 20 End of an Era The classic 1950s MG TF 22 MGLive! 2010 Report The world’s largest MG event hits 60 in style 28 Event Reports Caledonian three-day tour, Midland Welsh Rallye and more 52 MGLive! Race Report Martin Price reports on the Track Action from this year’s event 56 Sprint Report Martin Price reports on the MGLive! Silverstone Sprint


62 66 Peter Best celebrates 25th birthday in style Chris Bass reports on the stylish PBIS event

NEWSLETTERS 38 MGA Newsletter MGA DeLuxe – end of the line, MGA Tour of Northumbria and more. 44 Magnette Newsletter A Magnette at the Palace, Magnette production goes to China and more. 48 MGF Newsletter Hang your hard top, Top MGF events and more

CLASSIFIEDS 94 Classifieds Cars, spares and everything in between offered for sale

JULY 2010


25/06/2010 12:42



MODERN MGs MG ZR Competition Alloy Top Mounts Remanufactured in alloy to offer precise damper location. Also allows camber adjustment £141.00 MG ZR/ZS/ZT Front Badge £12.25 MG ZR Flasher lamps, clear or black


MG ZR Competition Rear Camber Plates £51.70 price per side


ZT Chrome Mirror Covers




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MG ZS 180 ITG Maxogen £402.45 Air Filter MG ZR K&N air Filter 57i £105.75 MG ZS K&N Air Filter, 57i £211.79 EBC STOCKISTS We stock EBC brake pads and discs for all modern MGs and for MGB , V8 and Midgets.


’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’


Rear Inner Banjo Hub Manufactured in the UK in EN24T which results in the hub being far stronger and better suited to its job £74.99 MGB 1962-67 MGA £88.15

MG T Series XPAG/XPEG Camshaft Manufactured in the UK in EN40B with improved profile and larger base circle to minumise wear and £346.65 give improved performance MG T Series XPAG/XPEG Crossdrilled Camshaft Manufactured to the same specification as our standard camshaft but also featuring positive oil feed to every lobe in £405.45 order to repel lobe wear

MG RV8 Tool Roll, no tools £53.50 MG RV8 Rear window £159.95 MG RV8 Rear bumper £467.65 MGA MGA MGA MGA MGA MGA

MkI Front Grille MkII Front Grille Front bumper Rear Bumper Bootrack, S/Steel Carb Heatshield

£246.87 £234.99 £105.20 £78.75 £182.12 £32.65

T Series Adjustable Sprocket Set Re-engineered to offer precise cam timing for all XPAG and £110.00 XPEG engines

MG T Series Fast Road Flywheel Lightened flywheels for MG TB/TC/TD/TF. Weighs just 4.15kg - 3.6KG lighter than the £346.65 standard flywheel MG TD/TF s/steel exhaust £118.85 MG TC/TD/TF Bootrack, s/steel MG T Series Crankshaft Rear Oil Seal Kit



MG TD/TF Seat Cover Set


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MGB 5 Bearing Engine Dural Backplate



MG ZR/ZS Chrome Mirror £44.75 covers MG ZS Front Fog Lamp £198.30 Kit MG ZR 160 ITG Maxogen Air £298.95 Filter Battery Clamp ZS, ZT, R45 & R75 Remanufactured in stainless steel, complete with s/s bolt

MG CATALOGUES Parts catalogues available for MGB/GT/V8, MGA, MGC, MIDGET, MGF, MG TA/B/C, MG TD/TF UK - £2.50 Europe - £3.50 ROW - £5.00


MGB Chrome Bootrack £182.15 Midget Roller Rocker Assemby Rengineered in alloy with a ratio of either 1.3 or 1.5

MGR V8 1995 UNDER 22,000 MILES



ZR Rubber mats (front) £19.68 ZR Fabric Mats, MG logo£49.35 ZS Rubber Mats (front) £29.99 ZS Fabric Mats, MG Logo£45.85 ZT/ZTT Fabric Floor Mats£54.95 ZR/ZS Heated Seat Kit £191.55


Motolita Steering wheels, inc boss


MGF/TF Stainless Steel engine cooling pipes Re-engineered in stainless steel for superior quality


MGB Rubber Floor Mats, 4 sync

MGB Gearknob with overdrive switch Manufactured in the UK in alloy for style and durability. Available for 3 or 4 synchro £34.95 Either Alloy or Black MGB Internal Dust Car Cover, Red




MGF/TF Modified Clutch Arm Modified with spiral to enable greasing to prevent seizing and heavy £38.25 clutch


ZR X-Power Lowering Kit, Diesel

MGF/TF Stainless Steel Underfloor Cooling Pipes Re-Engineered by us in the UK for superior quality

Mirror fixing caps (set of 4) £6.95 MGF Bypass cat pipe £39.99 Cat bypass fitting kit £18.95 MGF/TF Drive Flange Made from EN 24T, with £79.95 studs

MGB Rubber Floor Mats, 3 sync


MGF/TF Water Level Sensor Kit Designed by us to give early signs of water loss and thus help £89.95 prevent dreaded HGF MG TF Front or rear badge £15.30 MGF Clear Side Repeater Kit £9.99 Rear Window Polish £6.00 MGF / TF Window Stop Kit £6.95 Improved quality & design MG TF Front or rear badge £15.30 MGF/TF Rear Window £159.95 Rear window including fitting (please £295.00 phone to book)



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ch facility l Totally All prices correct at time of going to press but may be subject to change. All orders subject to availability.


25/06/2010 12:34


WELCOME A word from Andy knott, Editor








65 5


The official publication of The MG Car Club Incorporating ‘The M.G. Magazine’, ‘The Sports Car’ and ‘Brooklands Track and Air’, Safety Fast! Copyright MG Car Club 2010

editor: Andy Knott 01235 849730 01235 555552 Deputy editor: Chris Seaward 01235 849731 editorial committee: John Day, Martin Price, Dennis Wharf, Colin Grant regular contributors: Alwyn Morgan, Peter Entwistle Advertising: Hine Marketing 01242 220070 Published by: Hine Marketing, Regency House, 19 Suffolk Road, Cheltenham, Glos, GL50 2AF. Tel: 01242 220070 / 01242 222055 Printed by: Cambrian Printers, Llanbadarn Road, Aberystwyth, SY23 3TN. Tel: 01970 613000 President: Bill Wallis Vice Presidents: Jean Cook, Ron Gammons, Mike Hawke, Don Hayter, Peter Best. chairman: John Day Vice chairman: Howard Gosling treasurer: Frank Shore Directors: Dave Saunders, Martin Price, Paul Smith, George Wilder, Paul Plummer, Bill Silcock. company Secretary: Frank Shore Staff members: Julian White (General Manager 01235 849732), Steve Carr (Competitions Secretary 01235 849733), Andy Knott (01235 849730), Chris Seaward (01235 849731), Liz Allsworth (Membership Secretary 01235 849734), John Innes s (Exhibit ions 01235 849737), Colin Grant (01235 849735) and Kim Oshea (Finance Officer 01235 849736) honorary members: Bill Wallis, Mike Hawke, Michael Allison, Ron Gammons, Peter Best, Don Hayter, Royden Axe, John Quenby, Terence Hardy Waite, Jean Cook, Sir Stirling Moss, Paddy Hopkirk, Tom Purves, Guy Pigounakis, Norman Ewing, Rob Oldaker, Steve Hanegan, Gerry McGovern company limited by guarantee The Club, as a corporate body established as the MG Car Club Limited, is a company limited by guarantee. Every member of the Club undertakes to contribute to the assets of the Club in the event of its being wound up while he is a member, or within one year after he ceases to be a member, for payment of the debts and liabilities of the Club contracted before he ceases to be a member, and the costs, charges and expenses of winding up, and for the adjustment of the rights of the contributors among themselves, such amount as may be required, not exceeding one pound. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information at the time of going to press, neither The Publisher (herein referred to as Hine Marketing), the Editor, nor the MG Car Club can accept any responsibility or loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any material in the publication. The opinions of authors are their own and Hine Marketing, the Editor and the MG Car Club are not bound to agree with opinions expressed herein. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Safety Fast! and The MG Car Club badge are protected through trademark registration in the UK and in the foreign countries where Safety Fast! circulates. Readers are warned that if they attempt any mechanical or other modifications or methods referred to herein, they do so at their own risk and no liability will attach to the MG Car Club, the Editor nor Hine Marketing. Neither shall the MG Car Club, the Editor nor Hine Marketing have any responsibility for the accuracy of the content of the editorial, neither the content of any advertisement published in Safety Fast!


hat an event MGLive! was this year! It was great to see MG Motors there in force previewing the MG6, which really drew the crowds. I’m looking forward to November when we should see the first UK models rolling out of MG Birmingham. I’ve heard a few rumours that there may be a saloon and an estate version following the hatch, watch this space. I won’t steal other people’s thunder by going into detail here about MGLive! but I would just like to say a highlight of the three days for me was being awarded the Wilson McComb trophy for contributions to Safety Fast! This came as a total shock to me, as those at the Saturday night supper will confirm. Safety Fast! is your magazine and I couldn’t do it without the help of all the volunteers that submit copy so thank you all. A week after MGLive! we held the official opening of the ‘John Thornley Suite’ at Kimber House. We were lucky to have John Thornley’s son, Peter, and his lovely wife, Beverly, who now reside in America, here for MGLive! and to unveil the plaque dedicated to his father in the new suite. It was a momentous occasion with plenty of MG personalities present, Brian Moylan, Stuart Turner, Peter Browning, Bill Price, Jim Simpson and Paddy Hopkirk just to name a few! You are more than welcome to come and see the new suite during the working week, it’s helpful if you could ring ahead though so we can get the kettle on and make sure we can take the time to show you around Kimber House. This month we are joined in Abingdon on the 18th by Dave Godwin and others who have driven all the way from Nanhui in China, and are looking to finish their journey on July 19 at MG Birmingham in Longbridge. What an epic adventure! You can read all about their trials and tribulations on the MGCC Gold Coast’s website Until next month, drive safely.

It should be noted that Hine Marketing, the Editor, nor the MG Car Club make no recommendation in respect of any goods and/or services supplied by any advertiser in this issue. It is the responsibility of readers to satisfy themselves that goods or services offered are bona fide and in no instance can Hine Marketing, the Editor nor the MG Car Club be held responsible.

the mg car club, Kimber House, PO Box 251, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 1FF Tel: 01235 555552 Fax: 01235 533755 E-mail:

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JULY 2010


25/06/2010 12:35

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JULY 2010

25/06/2010 12:35

FROM THE CHAIR Club Matters from John Day

mgLive! was blessed with fine weather until late on Sunday when it rained for about half an hour. Well done to the Organising Committee! An army of volunteers is needed to help set up and run mgLive! for the enjoyment of other members. This year they arrived as usual and worked as hard as ever in the warm sunshine. These people are the unsung heroes of mgLive! without whom there would be no event. Regardless of what role you supported, be it site set up, gate control, parking, camping, trader support, marquee set up, race control, marshalling, concours, California Cup, manning a CRB desk and so on, I would like to offer you all my sincere thanks for a job well done. The site layout this year had to meet various constraints placed on the Club by Silverstone Circuits. Reduced space in the centre meant we had to arrange for non-MGs to be parked in a car park just outside the main gate. Even though transport to the centre was available by a regular classic bus service, many members were caught out by this change. Please be assured we have noted your many comments and this will be addressed in 2011. The positive side of this change was that most of the cars on the inside of the event were MGs, in their thousands. Our Deputy Editor took a helicopter flight to capture some aerial photographs of the event and I trust he will be publishing these elsewhere. We were joined for the second year running by the Austin Healey Club, our invited guest Club. They shared a marquee facing the plaza area with traders selling second-hand MGs and a Life Style market organised by our President’s wife, June Wallis. This was a new venture for 2010 and I believe it was well received. The Arena, in its new position next to the Traders, proved to be

very popular with demonstrations of dare-devil motorcycling by the Xtreme Trials Display team and precision driving by Terry Grant. I would like to congratulate Bill Silcock and the mgLive! Organising Committee for arranging such a breathtaking display. MG Motor was on site all weekend in the plaza, showing the all new MG6 to the British public for the first time. A second MG6 was used as a course car and many visitors were able to see the new saloon in action on the track before or after each race. The Club was honoured and delighted that MG Motor chose mgLive! as the venue to launch this exciting new model. Four major Club awards were made at the dinner on Saturday evening. The member of the Year trophy was awarded to Maurice Standish for the design and execution of the John Thornley Suite, the wilson mccomb trophy for significant contribution to Safety Fast! was given to our Editor, Andy Knott, the european Nuffield cup was awarded to MG Car Club Luxembourg and the Nuffield gold cup was awarded to the ZRZSZT Register. The citation for this award referred to the Register’s outstanding membership growth in the last two years under the leadership of Chairman Neil Mattock. The California Cup was won in style by the Ulster Centre. I enjoyed the weekend and the opportunity to meet as many members from home and overseas as possible. Thank you for your support and see you all next year.

“I can’t explain it, but something kept telling me this was the perfect place for a club gathering!”

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JULY 2010


25/06/2010 12:35

NEWS Now For SomethiNg DiFFereNt…

Ever wanted to visit Petra in Jordan, the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, or walk the lower slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro and then cross the Kruger National Park? Then stop dreaming and do it in 2011. Bridget the Midget has asked me to organise a group of Midgets to venture forth from Abingdon and drive to Cape Town, a distance of some 11,000 miles (admittedly a little more then the usual Sunday afternoon drive). We will leave in September with a view to arriving before Christmas, depending what you want to see on route! You do not need any experience of this sort of undertaking (after all I didn’t have any when I went around the world). We have more than a year in which to prepare the cars, so unreliability in the past is no reason not to go. I am hoping that we will have at least one entry from the South African clubs, and possibly an Ozzie and a Kiwi, so it will be truly International. I would also very much welcome at least one female owner to carry the banner for the ladies and show that they are every bit as adventurous and capable as their counterparts. Initially I would like you to register your interest in this event by sending me an e-mail to or contact me through the Club at Abingdon. This is our chance to demonstrate to the other Registers that Midgets may be small, but they can punch well above their weight!

NANhui to loNgbriDge

Nanhui to Longbridge 2010 – comes to Abingdon on Sunday July 18. On Sunday July 18, the group of MG Car Club members who have journeyed from Nanhui in China will arrive in Abingdon. The Abingdon Works Centre have secured the market square for the day and also Rye farm – just a stone’s throw away from the town centre, which will allow MGs to park together. Kimber House will also be open on the day and we’re urging members to come along and meet the group who have made the journey from China. For more details, please call Kimber House on 01235 555552.

le mANS clASSic DiScouNteD ticketS

The Le Mans 24 Hours is the biggest blue-riband motorsport events of the year and MG Car Club members can receive discounted tickets for the weekend. To book tickets visit or call 0844 3728 260. Race day tickets cost £21 in advance or £25 on the day, but you can get your MG Car Club discount by quoting ‘MGCC’ when booking online or by phone.


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JULY 2010

Zr/ZS/Zt regiSter Agm

The ZR/ZS/ZT Register AGM will be held on Saturday July 31 2010 at Kimber House in the John Thornley Suite at 11am. Agenda: 1. Apologies For Absence 2. Agreement of Minutes of Previous AGM 3. Chairman’s Report 4. Secretary’s Report 5. Treasurer’s Report & Adoption of Accounts 6. Regalia Report 7. Events Review 8. Election of Officers 9. Election of Other Committee Members 10. Members’ Resolutions 11. AOB Any resolution to be discussed or nominations for officers or Committee members should be forwarded to the Secretary (Chris Higginbotham) no later than July 24.

SVw regiSter Agm

To be held at the Landgut Ramshof, Ramshof 1, 47877 Willich, Neersen, Germany, on Saturday August 21 at 18:00hrs. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Apologies for Absence Minutes of 2009 AGM Matters Arising Chairman’s Report Treasurer’s Report and Adoption of Accounts 6. Secretaries’ Report 7. Election of Officers and Committee 8. Any Other Business Nominations for the Committee and any other communications to: John Bates, Secretary SVW Register, 41 Radway Close, Church Hill, Redditch, Worcestershire B98 8RZ. E-mail:

PoSitioN VAcANt

The MGF Register is looking for a new Treasurer to take over from the current incumbent who is now becoming increasingly busy with his own accountancy work. You don’t actually have to be an accountant to take on this role, but you do need to have a head for figures, be able to use spreadsheets and be connected to the Internet. If you’re interested in volunteering to help out on the Committee in another capacity we are currently holding some vacancies and are looking for some more active members to help out in the organisation of the Register. If you are able to help in either capacity then please contact Graham Parker at

25/06/2010 12:35


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part e 15) is ite, n u (J y a yesterd gham s re opened cre MG Birmin ding f the futu . h o ic s h r a w c a , tre 62 0 lea MG ham sign Cen hnology at the early 30 Birming e n in D e l r e a e tr b h n w Ce MG Glo new tec Centre nge of The new on investment in UK Technical ring a ra e e li IC in il g A S n m e ilt the huge ning and of a mu is year. houses dy desig K from later th o a ls e g new a lr a h ic e r wh eU ce a , includin . th n k m r e in a ll o h e d w c g e x s in h e r enginee two centres of start to be launc ent at MG Birm 5 million. ill pm ost £ w h These ic h of develo amounts to alm e Industry ls w e e d s a o h m p , is otiv ned new MG vestment of th ing plan Shanghai Autom world. e b in w l o ers and e sn the Tota 0 design f the d facilitie ned by SAIC, th companies in 2 e r b t fo s io te otive t stud eart o is ow engine ose-buil st autom tor UK at the h MG Mo ne of the large provide a purp entre (SMTC) e will nical C ation, o t Corpor w Design Centr European Tech the mos to ns with tors o o ility ti b The ne ta M a s k e r IC e SA d wo ave th e th h c tual s n r to a e t v n x d esig ge to ‘vir e. are a D it sits ne ta s . e s e t tr r m a n p a e e h w c ing nC soft con MG Birm e Global Desig design (CAD) from the initial d th e – e s id r id a s r tep rio In a huge s the compute teriors and exte y models. is d te is a h c T ti “ la in id: e of dc sophis ns – both e 3D images an illiams-Kenny, sa am make us on ut we ig s e d create ted te ny W gest, b full-siz d dedica ector, To ough to e the big cars’ thr MG Design Dir d technology an we may not b – ce British gives us e world e advan io and it d r us. Th ign studios in th tu fo s d r is a Zero th es forw G6 from such as the MG ssional d M fe o w r e p n t mos st. of the rojects e the be ll details ard on p ts car aim to b ill be finalising a go further forw TF spor d e in g n e “We w nd facilities to fastback nic midls a s the ico ve-door sports o d to il u b b r e y .” sup ond G6 fi rrentl and bey sleek M plant cu sign concept mingham MG oduction of the lobal De ow G e h ir T r r. “ B p a h The es, said: f this ye g up for ow just w gearin ed at the end o irector, Guy Jon stments and sh o n is d D an nch inve arketing ill be lau the re huge which w otor Sales and M hnical Centre a MG brand. n back to the ig s e d c g ic M e r d T rin to MG gham an enginee AIC UK f the his nd the S to the future o d highly-skilled industry, Birmin a io d tu S are r British turing an ted we manufac fantastic day fo g commit in g in r b ds. It’s a “This is e Midlan th f o d n heartla MG.” JULY 2010 ame of proud n SF_JULY_3-30.indd 11

esigned will be d

in the w


25/06/2010 12:36


Dear all, Now MGLive! 2010 is complete, I wanted to express a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who contributed to the event. I hope that those of you who were able to attend enjoyed the weekend; I thought it was a terrific three days. The whole event was an excellent example of team work and I really do appreciate the huge amount of work all our volunteers put into making MGLive! happen. Please pass my sincere thanks onto your respective committees. As always, feedback is very welcome so please filter any comments you have about the event through to Kimber House. Thanks again. Julian White

New mgV8 buYer’S guiDe lAuNcheD bY the mg cAr club

So You Want To Buy an MGBGTV8 or MG RV8 is now available to purchase online. This new 60-page guide from the MG Car Club covers the big Rover V8-powered MGs – the MGBGTV8 and the MG RV8 models – and is packed with useful information and advice a buyer needs. Priced at £9.95 – visit the MG Car Club website to order.

mgLIVE! eVeNt PlAQueS

Apologies to those members who had hoped to purchase MGLive! 2010 event plaques at this year’s Silverstone event. The MGCC are ordering 100 plaques and those who would like one simply need to send a S.A.E to Kimber House and one will be dispatched to you

broom NAtter

We inadvertently missed the Broom Natter off last month’s listing in Safety Fast! Full details are: The Cock, Broom, Bedfordshire, 3rd Monday, Ron Green: 01767 315306, Richard Cass: 01767 31816.

eeotY 2011 literAture

Event literature for the 2011 MG Car Club European Event at Spa (Belgium) which takes place on 3-7 June is now available. It can be downloaded from the MG Car Club website, or by calling Chris Seaward at Kimber House on 01235 849731

lAurAN gAllAcher

Kimber House welcomed a new staff member in June as Lauran Gallacher who joined the Abingdon office. Twenty-year-old Lauran is studying for a degree in Leisure & Marketing at Bournemouth University and as part of that course is required to spend a year placement with a company. Lauran has selected the MG Car Club and will spend the next 12-month period working daily at Kimber House. She can be contacted by e-mailing or calling the editorial office. Welcome Lauran, we hope you have an enjoyable year with the MGCC!

mg cAr club liNcolNShire ceNtre

The Lincolnshire Centre is celebrating its 30th birthday with a tour and concours on August 22. Visit their excellent website www. for more details.

cAliForNiA cuP reSultS AND AwArDS

Full results for the MGLive! California Cup autotest are now available to download by visiting the MG Car Club website. Click on the news link to find the relevant article. Meanwhile, anyone was eligible for an award in the 2010 California Cup will receive their trophy in the post in due course.

ZeD regiSter – coNgrAtulAtioNS!

Congratulations to the ‘Zed Register’ who were awarded the prestigious Nuffield Gold Cup at MGLive! The Committee has worked tirelessly in the past 24 months to transform the Register and it is now one of the MG Car Club’s most active. Well done to everyone involved, it’s a real success story.

briAN moYlAN e-mAil Former MG factory employee Brian Moylan has a new e-mail address. He can be contacted on:

mgLIVE! rAciNg troPhieS

What a picture this! It shows the MGLive! 2010 motorsport trophies – 215 in total. Out of all these, just one remained unclaimed over the weekend!

oVerSeAS touriNg hANDbook

Requests for the 2010 European Touring Handbook have been very regular indeed. Remember, MG Car Club members can ask for and download the document free of charge by visiting or by calling 01235 849731. 12

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Hamilton Classics, a company renowned for offering motoring enthusiasts quality products at affordable prices, are now offering members of the MG Car Club a further 10% off the RRP of their products. To order any of the products featured, please visit or phone the MG Car Club on 01235 555552, remembering to quote your membership number.


* Made from hard-wearing polyester. * Self-gripping anti-slip material on the reverse. * Will cling to the vehicle panel without the use of magnets. * Machine washable. Made from hard-wearing polyester with self-gripping anti-slip material on the reverse to cling to the vehicle panel without the use of magnets. The wing covers are perfect for protecting the paintwork from scratching whilst you lean over to maintain the engine. The anti-slip material will not attract metal particles that might damage the paint. The wing protectors are available in green with the MG logo. RRP £19.95 plus £4.50 post and packaging MGCC members’ price £17.96 plus £4.50 post and packaging

TYRE PRESSURE GAUGE * Easy-read calibrated 0–60psi dial. * Pressure relief valve. * Rubber protective case. * Flexi lead. * Brass swivel head.

Professional tyre pressure gauge. Calibrated to 0.01psi for accurate pressure measurement on cars. Pressure relief button for accurate pressures. Swivel brass head attached to the 11” flexi hose for easy connection to the tyre valve. The dial is protected in a rubber case for added protection in harsh race and rally environments. The gauge can be returned for re-calibration if it is damaged. RRP £21.95 plus £2.50 post and packaging MGCC members’ price £19.76 plus £2.50 post and packaging

ANDY KING Specialising in pre-1955 MG’s Spares and Restorations

Tel/Fax: 01949 860519


1932 MG F1 MAGNA Early mg 6 cylinder. A beautiful example of this rare model which has recently undergone a complete mechanical overhaul. Regularly used over many years, probably the best known always reliable, and has won many prizes at shows throughout England and Scotland. Features on the front cover and within the book "The MG Collection" by richard monk. Price: £44,000

MG TD LHD with matching numbers. Restoration has been recently completed and engine still running in. With 5 speed gearbox conversion, electronic ignition, and full weather equipment this car is ready to go for all year round use. Price: £17,950


MG M TYPE DOUBLE 12 REPLICA The car has undertaken full restoration and has a V5 registration document. On the road with MOT and tax ready for the summer's use. Price: £17,950

1948 MG TC Currently in restoration with much work done. Engine, chassis, gearbox and carbs rebuilt. Some rechromed components. Minor body and wing repairs to be undertaken before repainting. £13,500. Preferably sold as a restored TC ask for details.




Pleased to provide all your parts and servicing requirements

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28/06/2010 11:27

POSTBAG regency run

May we via Safety Fast! thank the doctor and nurse entrants, the marshals, and especially the first aiders at Brookland’s for their swift assistance in dealing with Jill’s allergic reaction at the commencement of the run. We were passengers in Jim & Rhoda Andrews’ VA Tickford. Jill was released from hospital in the afternoon but unfortunately it was too late for us to come down to Brighton to join the other MGs. Thank you again, Jill & Graham Eke

old cars and road safety

Bryan Mellem comments upon the speeds of older cars, specifically those fitted with the BMC ‘A’ series engine; the Austin A30/35 and Morris Minors. He drives past them at 65mph in a Ford Anglia which has a modern, short stroke ‘oversquare’ engine, capable of sustained high rpm. The ‘Kent’ engine from the Anglia went on to be developed in a racing car engine under Formula Ford. By Comparison, the engine in the A30/35 and Minor is an older design, fist seen as an 803cc unit with a crankshaft not much thicker than a bit of bent wire. Early Minors had the 918cc side-valve engine and were incapable of 65mph. A ‘safe’ cruising speed for an 803-948cc A30 or Minor is perhaps 45–50mph. The engine was never designed for long, highspeed running and there is a serious risk of wrecking the engine if it is thrashed. The later 1098cc engine of the A35 and Minor might cope with 55–60mph cruising but surely the group would be dictated to by the slowest car present. The Minor first saw the road in 1949, the A30 in 1951; the Ford Anglia came some 11 years later. The equivalent Ford to the A30/35 and Minor is the sit-up-and-beg E93A 1172 sv, transverse sprung cars. None could do 60mph and were normally driven around between 30–45mph. The 100E Ford was not much faster. The BMC ‘A’ Series was updated until it was 1275cc in the Marina and MG Midget, but by then there was virtually nothing in that engine interchangeable with the original 803cc unit other than the camshaft. The cars were ‘trundling along at a typical 1950’s speed’. Perhaps that was because they were 1950’s cars? Thrashing an early ‘A’ series at 65mph will wreck it. Yours sincerely, Neil Cairns


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letter oF the moNth our letter oF the moNth Author will receiVe A meguiAr’S cAr cAre PAck

the mg trophy welcome to the family

They always say that the members are helpful and welcoming, but you really have to experience the MG Trophy (family) for yourself. This was our first experience in motor racing, although having done many years’ karting we were not newcomers to racing. On our arrival for the first round we met Papa Brian (Luti) who welcomed us with a wide choice of beverages – now that’s a well-stocked van! He remained on hand the whole weekend with advice and help whenever needed. The first meeting did not go well for no fault of the trophy, but undaunted we headed for Oulton Park where we garaged up alongside Mr Horizontal (Ben). Never have we met a more laid-back racer – how he does it, I wish I knew. Anyway some success was achieved with two podiums in our second time out. Again thanks to big brother (Malc) we found one of the cars had a limp! With the compression issue fixed we headed for Silverstone. What started as promising soon turned to deepest gloom when said car destroyed its bottom end. “Don’t panic,” said Malc, “it’s only 5pm Friday, let’s get on and rebuild it.” Sure enough, in the early hours of Saturday morning the car was again ready for battle with hours left to spare, after Malc had left his fellow diners and his long-suffering wife behind to come back to the track after 11pm and there he stayed till after 2am! Apparently that’s just Malc! Timed qualifying saw the same car 2nd fastest in class then the quiet man (Chris) helped with setting set up and gave advice to our drivers. Our endless questions never seemed to bother him. With everyone’s help we left Silverstone with memories of a great track and great people and three splendid trophies for our mantelpiece. We can’t thank you all enough – you really have made us feel part of the family from our first meeting with Mr and Mrs Top Cat (Pete & Heather) to every person in the Trophy we have come into contact with. If you are considering looking at entering motorsport in an affordable, friendly and competitive class then look no further than the MG Trophy. Best wishes, Maggie Power Send your letters to: Postbag, The MG Car Club, Kimber House, PO Box 251, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 1FF or email:

mgLive! 2010

I am writing to say thank you to those who supported the new venture of a marquee for interesting things to look at and buy, but first Bill & I would like to congratulate Andy Knott for receipt of the Safety Fast! Award and it was a delight to see the expression on his face when he found that he was the recipient and not about to make the presentation. This was the first time that we had set out to provide an alternative to cars and all their relevant derivatives. Looking through the MGLive! programme, it was staggeringly varied and breathtaking and my congratulations to the organisers for all the hard work that this entailed, and my gratitude to all those who helped me with this experiment. This new marquee was specifically provided to add interest for the weekend to include stalls for ladies and children. These included fashions, jewellery, toys, games, books, many tempting sweets, preserves, cakes, olives, bread, fruit and vegetables, and a splendid physiotherapist. It was very varied and looked very tempting. Next year we shall be including a broader range of interesting and exciting items. So those who came this year please come again and those who did not, remember that it will be very much worth your while. I thank all the stallholders who came to support our first experimental venture and all the MG Car Club staff who, together with the masses of volunteers, provided the organisation for such an enjoyable weekend for us all. Yours sincerely, June Wallis

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25/06/2010 12:37

Star car update

Star car’s day out on the rollers at Aldon Automotive, brierley hill Being a long-time Midget owner and living in the Midlands I volunteered to take the MGCC Star Car to the rolling road. I collected the car from Dominic Mooney, at Midland Classic Restorations at Ombersley, early one cold Thursday morning in April. On first pulling away it felt that the car had a straight cut close ratio gearbox, as there was a sound reminiscent of transmissions on racing Midgets. Out on the dual carriageway the noise increased to a sound which was a mixture between a Stukka dive bomber, while under load, and a London underground train, on slowing down. I have driven cars with loud exhausts, (using open pipe exhausts in Spridget racing before the 1980s), but never one with a louder transmission! Stuart working his magic

I filled up with fuel and the gauge did not work, even though it had been replaced, but the heater worked brilliantly after only half a mile, which was nice on a bitterly cold day. It should not take too much to sort out the various mechanical problems, which are always easier than chassis/bodywork ones. Both the journey to Aldon and back had unfortunately time constraints, so I was not able to try the Midget properly on suitable B or smaller roads. However, from my limited experience of driving the car on busy A roads, the handling seemed very good with the slightly lowered and uprated suspension, with the parts supplied by Peter May Engineering and fitted by Dominic Mooney, at Midland Classic Restorations. Unusual for a Midget, the brakes were also very positive. It would be interesting to try the car on a track day or at a speed event venue and see the difference in performance with the improved handling compared to a completely standard Midget. It seemed about right without being too harsh or too low a cill height for everyday motoring. I once ran my ex-production racing Midget as a road car, but it was too low and stiff, and not really suitable for road use such as the Star Car. The trim has been improved and by coincidence was done by the same person, Debbie Eves of Midland Classic Trim, who made such a superb job of recovering and

rebuilding the 54-year-old seats in my TF some three years ago. The performance on the way to Aldon was disappointing and seemed rather lacklustre to say the least. It felt far slower than many other standard 1275 Midgets I have driven in the past, and about the same as the performance of my 1953 MG TF 1250cc (0–60 in about 18 seconds). I arrived at Aldon Automotive in Brierley Hill after about 45 minutes and the work started on the car. Alan Goodwin, who raced Sprites/ Midgets in the mid-1960s, even before I started in the late 1960s, had generously agreed to supply and fit an Aldon Ignitor transistorised ignition system and for the car to have a full set-up on the rolling road. The dizzy cap and leads were found to be poor; even open circuit readings on all leads apart from the coil lead. Therefore, the dizzy was removed by rolling road operative, Roger, and given to Aldon’s specialist dizzy man, Stuart. Stuart checked the dizzy on the distributor test machine and it was found to be giving 15 degrees of advance, i.e., 30 degrees engine speed of advance, and also the advance was happening far too quickly. The whole dizzy was completely stripped, cleaned, bearings checked and a new thrust washer fitted. The amount of max dizzy advance should be 11 degrees, (22 degrees engine), and so the mechanical stop plate had to have some weld put on it to achieve

Star car supporters 2010


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british motor heritage limited Range Road, Cotswold Business Park, Witney OX29 0YB United Kingdom 01993 707200

mike Authers classics Mike Authers Bramble Grange, Hanney Road, Steventon, Abingdon OX13 6AP 01235 834 664 07703 465 224

moss uk Telephone: London: 020 8867 2020. Bradford: 01274 539 999. Bristol: 0117 923 2523. Manchester: 0161 480 6402 E-mail: Website:

midland classic restorations Unit 2, Woodfield Business Units, Kidderminster Road, Ombersley, Worcestershire WR9 0JH 01905 622166 07977 535489

JULY 2010

25/06/2010 12:38

Rebuilt dizzy with Aldon Ignitor ignition fitted

the desired figure and prevent it advancing too much. This was checked with suitable gauges once the base plate was re-fitted. The primary and secondary springs were changed to slightly stiffer primary 42, and secondary 200, springs. Stuart reckoned that the ones that came out were only 15–20 primary, and 100 secondary, springs, hence the too rapid advance of the ignition. The Ignitor system was then fitted to the dizzy. This is a small module bolted in the place of the points and a circular plastic ring, with four magnetic strips, is located on the dizzy cam below the rotor arm (see photo). With the K and N filters, supplied by Moss, fitted by Roger, the carbs were balanced and adjusted. The mixture was week at tickover, 1% CO and was adjusted to 3%. The ignition was set to max 24 degrees at 5,000rpm and the power reading was 59bhp. Changed to 30 degrees max advance, the power was 63bhp. It was rich at 2,500rpm on full throttle and lean on part throttle. At high rpm the mixture was OK. The dashpot oil was changed from engine oil to thinner oil; again this will help on acceleration. Either 3 in 1 or ATP oil is OK. Roger studied the SU needle chart and he decided that an ED needle would be more suitable than the standard needle. A run on the rollers showed 65bhp. Roger felt that the car was being held back by something and thought that an LCB would

be beneficial instead of the standard cast iron item. The compression was checked and, even with a sluggish battery, the readings were all about 170. Checks were made on different throttle settings and on light throttle it was lean at only .5% CO. The jets were lowered a few flats and the readings were still lean on the next run. Measurements were taken for the position of the needle used on part throttle. This was done by putting a calibrated rod placed in the piston damper and the car run under load on part throttle, and a note made on how much the rod was rising. This measurement was transferred to the needle which was then filed a touch, to make it smaller and the mixture richer. On the next run the mixture on part throttle was between 2.0 and 4.5 CO, which was fine. The run back to Ombersley was quite different. Even though only a very small increase in power over standard, from 64bhp to 65bhp, had been achieved, the responsiveness and acceleration were both transformed. The car now seemed to go like a standard 1275 Midget should. From a driver’s perspective it appeared that at least 3 to 4 seconds had been reduced from the 0–60 time, the car was asking to be revved and responding accordingly. I arrived back at MCR just in time for Dominic to find a slot for the car in his workshop before closing up for the day. I have been involved in two rolling road shootouts with the Midget group, in autumn 2008 and 2009. The owners of all the cars have learnt something significant about some aspect of their car’s set up when tested on the rolling road. (I think the only exception was Mark Turner’s circuit racing Mk1 Sprite, which had been on the Aldon rollers at the beginning of the season.) A few

Peter may engineering Unit 4, Woodfield Business Units, Kidderminster Road, Ombersley, Droitwich, Worcestershire WR9 0JH 01905 676 111 Aldon Automotive Alan Goodwin Aldon Automotive Ltd, Breener Industrial Estate, Station Drive, Brierley Hill, West Midlands DY5 3JZ

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The Star Car being driven on the rollers with Roger

drivers have gone back to Aldon at a later date to have a detailed set up as a result. Aldon are well placed to set up cars as invariably the dizzy may need some work; having an experienced dizzy expert on the premises ensures that any inherent fault in this area does not compromise the set up on the rollers when the fuel mixture is optimised. A big thank you to Alan, Roger and Stuart and all the friendly staff at Aldon for their help and co-operation with the setting up of the Star Car. James Thacker Roger alters timing while Alan Goodwin looks on

move my motor Joe Coleman 07765 712 532

midland classic trim Debbie Eves Unit C, Buntsford Hill Business Park, Buntsford Park Road, Bromsgrove B60 3DX 07771 870 042 (After 5pm 01527 528 238)

JULY 2010


25/06/2010 12:38

end of an era F

ifty-five years ago, in 1955, the last square rigger MG ceased production. This was the end of a long line which had began in 1932 with the J series MG. John Thornley, the Managing Director of MG, stated in 1955 that MG could go on increasing power in its cars, but this would only result in improved acceleration. The square front, at 80mph, was pushing a brick wall of air, he said, and top speed could only be marginally improved. The factory proved this by putting a perfectly standard MG TF engine into the streamlined EX record breaker, and it did 130mph! The TF was an updated MG TD. The bright new exterior was matched with new interior features including a pair of leather upholstered bucket seats, which did away with the bench seat of the earlier T series sports cars. Mechanically, it was the same XPAG engine introduced in the MG TB in 1939. Furthermore, the TF was little changed and the pedal positions, ‘fly-off’ handbrake, adjustable steering wheel and foot-operated dip switch were all carried over from the later series TD. The only modification for this new model was the standardisation of the higher stage of engine tune from the TD Mark 2, plus the higher-rear axle ratio fitted to that model. At the MG TF launch at the London Motor show of 1953, the colour range available was black paint with red, green or tan trim, red with red or tan trim, ivory with red or green trim, and green with green or tan trim. Australia received the new model in 1954. After some 6,000 were built at Abingdon, the TF 1250 engine was reviewed. The enlarging of the XPAG engine for competition purposes was common. However, beyond 1380 cc, split cylinder walls were often the result. In addition, the standard head gasket overlaps slightly into the bores, and is therefore not very satisfactory. The factory produced a new block casting that eliminated the water jacket between 1 and 2, and 3 and 4 cylinders, plus reduced water jacket size between the two pairs of cylinders and at the front and rear of the block. The new bore size was up from 66.5 to 72mm and


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this increased the engine capacity from 1250 cc to 1466 cc. Apart from a small reduction in the thickness of the cylinder head, it was virtually unchanged. The compression ratio was up to 8.3 to 1. And so the TF 1500 was born. The advertising slogan became: “There’s a new bee in its bonnet!” A new body colour of Birch grey and red trim was also added to the existing range. Prices were actually reduced and, in the USA, the MG TF became the cheapest sports car in their market, at $1,995. Road and Track declared a top test speed of 88mph (142kph), and 2.6 seconds came off the standard TF 0–60mph (97kph) time. The extra power of the TF 1500 was welcome and the model survived long enough for John Thornley at MG to get approval from the top brass for release of the MGA, which had long been on the drawing board. The TF is a pleasant car. Weather equipment is excellent, the improved wipers also helped in the wet, and it is a real driver’s car. The TF 1500 is a fitting finale to that square rigger style born in the 1930s. The car featured below is TF 9547, engine number XPEG 3331 owned by Peter Kerr in Australia who is well known for his exploits in a racing TC called ‘The

MG TF original publicity photo

Rebel’. It is a late model which arrived on the SS Clan MacLay on May 17 1955, and was sold by the Sydney dealer P & R Williams to Mrs K. Terry on May 20 1955. It had a sheltered life in Sydney with a number of public appearances including the Johnny O’Keefe film, Grace Bros advertising material, and the cover of a Renee Geyer LP. This TF 1500 is now retired on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and augers well for its next 50 years. The photograph shows the car giving a lift to David Coulthard at the Australian GP.

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mgLive! the world’s largest mg event hits 60 in Style.... Words: Chris Seaward. Photographs: Ed Nix


s celebrations go, they simply don’t come much bigger than mgLive!, the mg car club’s annual Silverstone extravaganza. Enthusiasts of all ages and from far flung corners of the globe once again made the pilgrimage to the iconic Northamptonshire circuit to commemorate Abingdon’s most famous export. MGLive! 2010 represented the 60th successive staging of the MG Car Club’s Silverstone event and will be remembered for all the right reasons. A glorious weekend of weather drew a bumper attendance and those who made the journey were presented with a vast sea of all things MG. The MGLive! concept, now in its second year, continues to capture the imagination and with Register car parks bursting at the seams on Saturday, the event once again reached out to the wider classic car community. Indeed, both camping areas were busy from the outset with a broad range of MG flags flying high and dozens of barbeques in operation throughout. Embarking on a third successive year, the Tour De Silverstone road run brought visitors to MGLive! from four different starting points and kicked off the weekend in style. A near 100 participants completed the tour and, once at Silverstone, enjoyed a trip on the


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iconic circuit. Once again, many European visitors completed the tour and we’re delighted to have been involved. Now beginning to amass stacks of positive momentum, MG Motor UK had a popular three-day presence at MGLive! Located in the expansive ‘Abingdon plaza’ area, the company proudly showcased two vehicles which were generally well received by visitors. Joining the familiar-looking TF135

on display was the well-documented MG6 saloon car – exclusively pre-launch previewed over the weekend. Whilst not the UK version, the MG6 on display provided fans of the marque with an unrivalled opportunity to get up close to a car that can now finally escape the shackles of dame rumour. As expected, opinions on the appearance of the MG6 were varied. However, true enthusiasts will concur that

The event was well attended, Saturday being particularly busy

25/06/2010 12:38


The atmosphere was brilliant from the outset

Back for a second year, the air displays once again proved popular

the emergence of an all-new model opens another chapter in MG’s incredible story – and that can only be seen as positive. The MG Motor UK stand was manned throughout by key figures from the company, including chief engineer Ian Pogson and marketing manager Peter Brooking. Whilst their and their colleagues’ voice boxes were no doubt exhausted by the conclusion of the weekend, the personnel representing MG Motor UK will have been left feeling pleased by the interest their presence generated. Indeed, the MG6 was swamped with enthusiasts throughout and its attendance certainly set tongues wagging. On-track, an MG6 was used

The all new MG6 attracted lots of attention

throughout the duration as a course car for the bumper 16-race schedule. Those who were fortunate enough to drive the vehicle heaped praise on the handling – echoing the sentiments expressed by the motoring press earlier in the year. To commemorate 60 years of MG racing at Silverstone, the MG Car Club’s main pavilion showcased cars with racing pedigree. Indeed, most Registers had sourced an MG that had close links to motorsport competitions. From K3s to MG ZRs, the marques’ illustrious motorsport ancestry was well-illustrated and vividly demonstrated the depth of motorsport history the MG marque has enjoyed over the years. The usual range of

Stuntman Terry Grant gets a bit too close for comfort!

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Club merchandise was on offer throughout the three-day event and membership to the MG Car Club was made available. Furthermore, younger visitors to the were kept entertained by an MG Benji colouring competition and lots of the marques’ youthful fans went away with Benji goodies. Stunning Saturday morning weather meant competitors in a well-subscribed California Cup enjoyed terrific conditions. An entry of 50-plus meant action was guaranteed from the outset, and with the well-organised Ulster Centre contingent in attendance it certainly created a fantastic atmosphere. The event had, as always, attracted a diverse range of vehicles with Club member John Venables fronting the attack of an expensive-looking outfit from the MG Car Club’s Vintage Register. Whilst the Vintage contingent were out-paced by some of the marques’ quicker models, the owners of these iconic cars certainly had much to cheer as the Vintage Register celebrated its 50th year. Back at Silverstone, the arena, which has developed into such an integral part of the MGLive! weekend, once again dripped with adrenaline throughout. Starting on Friday afternoon, two headline acts performed routines on all three days and attracted strong crowds. Those in attendance watched from the comfort of two covered grandstand areas, which provided a welcome shelter from the intense sun. Terry Grant, a former MG Rover works driver, rocked n’ rolled his way through his spectacular show and in doing so conjured JULY 2010


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up plenty of tyre smoke. Jaws clanged as the thrill-a-minute Grant, who still holds great affection for the MG marque, unleashed a barrage of stunt-driving madness! Meanwhile, Grant’s former MG Rover colleague, Matt Stephens, was offering rally rides in the South West corner of the circuit on all days of the event. His unmissable Pirelli-sponsored MG ZR opened proceedings in the arena each morning and enticed visitors across to the Rally stage. Alongside Grant in the arena were the X-Treme motorcycle trials display team, who displayed great agility and instantly likeable demeanours as they encouraged audience participation. As in previous years, those wanting a more serene MGLive! experience were afforded the opportunity to enjoy a Saturday afternoon away from Silverstone. A new venue was instated in 2010 as the 24

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tranquil Sulgrave Manor, just a short journey from the circuit, welcomed those wanting to escape the noise. Classic buses journeyed between the event’s attractions throughout the weekend. The charming vehicles not only shuttled visitors from general parking to the MGLive! central hub, but made designated trips to Silverstone’s wider outposts and therefore allowed easy access to the Rally Rides and Sunday’s Sprint. Overhead, two flying displays diverted eyes skyward on Saturday. Firstly the Nanchang – Europe’s only flying Chinese Warbird – assumed centre stage and delivered an elegant performance. Later on, the sleek single seater ‘One Design’ aeroplane didn’t disappoint and conjured up a display to remember. Keeping with the aviation theme, throughout the weekend helicopter rides provided visitors to MGLive! with an opportunity to see the

event from above. Those looking down from the sky will have seen a characteristically diverse trade city, which provided visitors with plenty to choose from, whilst the re-introduction of an autojumble received favourable feedback. The MG Car Club was again delighted to welcome the Austin Healey Club to the event. Following on from a successful link-up in 2009, the AHC had a larger presence in 2010 and was able to display a greater range of cars. For the first time, MGLive! included a craft fair and farmers’ market. Located in a sizeable marquee, this addition added a new element to the weekend. In the paddock area, the XPAG specials displays proved to be popular and this important part of the MG story were celebrated. The Saturday night supper saw the traditional MG Car Club presentations assume centre stage. As always, the highlight of the ceremony was the awarding of the

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MGLIVE! 1. As always, the racing element of MGLive! was well supported


2. Visitors enjoyed the on-track action from the perfectly located BRDC Grandstand 3. High-octane action with Matt Stephens on Silverstone’s Rally stage 4. Final preparations in the paddock 5. ‘Zed’ Register Chairman Neil Mattock is presented with the prestigious Nuffield Gold Gup by MG Car Club Chairman, John Day 6. The X-Treme trials display threw caution to the wind!

prestigious Nuffield Gold Cup – the trophy given in recognition of a Centre or Register achievement. The Zed Register deservedly scooped the award in recognition of their fabulous accomplishments in the past 24 months. The new Register Committee has virtually rebuilt this section of the MG Car Club back up from the foundations over the last two years, and has generously offered regular support to the main Club. For an organisation like the MG Car Club that must recruit a younger generation of enthusiasts in order to prosper, it was hugely satisfying that one of the Club’s more youthful groups have worked so tirelessly and achieved such impressive results. Later on, the MG Car Club of Luxembourg was awarded the European Nuffield Cup by Overseas Director,

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Paul Plummer, in recognition of their sterling work. Post presentations, the action moved outside with the Racing Bug providing the perfect party piece! Located adjacent to the Abingdon Plaza, hundreds of visitors competed in a series of competitive races which provided bundles of fun. Over in the paddock area, the MG Trophy’s infamous MGLive! curry night was well received and the Marshals’ barbeque was a great way to conclude a successful day of on-track action. With some visitors nursing sore heads, the action got underway early on Sunday with the Sprint on the Stowe circuit beginning at an early hour. A full report is available elsewhere in Safety Fast! but suffice to say that the Stowe

circuit provided competitors with a welcome new challenge and the facilities on offer certainly impressed. Also on Sunday morning were the popular circuit tours which provided 100 MG owners with the opportunity to take their pride and joy out on track. The excitement was tangible as cars spanning all eras made their way onto the track for a two-lap cruise. Sunday’s Concours and Pride of Ownership was extremely well subscribed with an array of scintillating vehicles entered and the large list of entrants meant the public had plenty to peruse. Those who scooped awards were fortunate enough to be presented with them by Peter Thornley, the son of John Thornley O.B.E. MGLive! 2010 was a hugely fitting way for the MG Car Club to celebrate 60 years at Silverstone, of that there can be no doubt. The event is underpinned by the colossal input of Club volunteers whose mammoth dedication to this weekend should always be remembered. As long as the MG Car Club possess individuals who willingly sacrifice such large amounts of their time to the MGLive! cause, then the event is surely in safe hands. JULY 2010


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Awc old Speckled hen tour 2010

MGs fill the Sezincote grounds. Photo: Colin Grant

Cars assemble at the picturesque Radley College for the start of the 2010 OSH. Photo: Andy Knott


eventy-seven years of MG machinery gathered at Radley College for the 18th Old Speckled Hen Tour in the annual celebration of Abingdon’s two world-famous brands. Spanning the years 1932 to 2009, it was again a full house of 100 cars arriving, in sunshine, from as far afield as Derbyshire, Essex, Glamorgan and Somerset as well as all corners of the Centre. We also welcomed Rob Cevat who’d driven his 1967 MGBGT from Holland, two members from Spain who travelled with Julian White in ‘Little Gem’ and old friend George Morgan from Australia, who’d only arrived in the country the previous day! After registration and refreshments, the cars were flagged away by President Bill Wallis, who we were delighted was again able to join us for the day. This year’s Tour was to the West of the Centre taking in the Cotswolds with their mellow

Jeff Gibson’s WA looking resplendent in the warm sunshine. Photo: Colin Grant

Andy Knott talking to Simon Pedrazzini and George Morgan before leaving Radley College. Photo: Dennis Wharf

stone cottages and, with a clear day, the wonderful views over the countryside could be fully enjoyed. The lunchtime halt was Sezincote, just over our borders in Gloucestershire, a few miles outside Moreton-in-Marsh. A private family home which has very limited public opening times, it had been opened just for us and, whilst the house itself was not open, the extensive, impressive grounds and gardens were available to us to explore and enjoy our picnics. The Indian-style house is

thought to be the only Moghul building surviving in Western Europe and the inspiration for the Brighton Pavilion. The shorter afternoon run went through parts of North Oxfordshire before cutting across to the West and returning to Radley for a cream tea and the presentations. Organisers, Mike & Caroline Parker have become synonymous with the Old Speckled Hen Tour, but this was their last as they feel it is time to hand it on. Undoubtedly, a hard act to follow, we’re very grateful for their considerable efforts over the past nine years and we look forward to welcoming them as entrants in 2011! We’re also grateful to Greene King for their continued support which is very much appreciated. Richard Martin

Chris Seaward and Lauren Chandler took this year’s Star Car Midget on the OSH. Photo: Dennis Wharf

The view through a V8 windscreen whilst leaving Radley College. Photo: Mark Rathbone 28

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The lunchtime halt at Sezincote. Photo: Mark Rathbone

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caledonian three-Day tour cruising in the cairngorms by Dave Stewart


his year’s start was Scone Palace – and a fine array of MGs were assembled in the drive as we all adjourned to the castle tearoom for coffee and bacon rolls. The weather, as we were being flagged off, was not looking good, and most cars had their tops up – not so much for rain, although it was drizzling, but it was very cold. So cold in fact that even Colin & Isobel McLachlan had the PA’s hood up, an event rarely seen! The run took us over to Scone village and up the Tay Valley, with lovely views of the countryside as we passed. It wasn’t long before the first casualty was encountered. At Meigle, Tony Smith’s ZB Magnette was at the roadside with the bonnet up. The clutch slave cylinder had thrown in the towel, and that was that. It didn’t spoil the fun, because Tony drove the car all the way back to East Kilbride without a clutch, quite an achievement! He returned that evening in his B. We then joined the A93 and headed up to Glenshee. The hill is really long and steep, and a pain in our TD, with its high lift camshaft and wide-spaced gear ratios – you are either on the cam screaming in second, or way off the cam, grinding in third. It’s a dilemma, do I fit a softer cam, or a fivespeed box?

Most stopped for coffee at the Ski centre at the top. By the time we set off again, the circulation in my hands had nearly returned. It was off down to Deeside, past Balmoral – the queen’s highland retreat, a beautifully scenic run. We stopped in Ballater for lunch proper. After lunch we headed for Tomintoul via the Lecht ski area, then back down to Speyside, and on to our hotel in Nethy Bridge. The evening meal was excellent and was followed by dancing in the function suite, or a quiet drink and chat in the lounge. Day two dawned brighter, but just as cold, as we started the morning run, which took us up to near the Moray coast then along the Nairn Valley, crossing the A9. We headed back towards Carrbridge through Glen Kyllachy, which was spectacularly scenic, although we were a bit concerned about using it, as a fairly long part of it is single track with no passing places. On the

Chairman Helen Kirkness and Committee member Robert MacGillivray present a cheque for £725 to Linda Hamilton of Cancer Research UK, being the proceeds of the raffle held on the Caledonian Centre May Three-Day Tour held at Nethy Bridge

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day, it worked well – phew! We had a superb lunch at the Carrbridge Hotel. For the afternoon, we had a choice of a run along Speyside or a visit to the Ptarmigan – the highest restaurant in Britain, or a trip on the Strathspey railway. Myself and fellow anoraks did the steam railway and, I believe, about one third did the ski train to the Ptarmigan restaurant, and another third doing the run. In the evening, we had another really good meal, followed by the prizegiving. The best car was won by Douglas & Tilly Arthur in their black TF. The distance award was won by Bob & Maureen Riddell from Ontario, Canada, and the breakdown trophy was won by Tony Smith, for navigating a clutchless Magnette from Meigle to East Kilbride. We then adjourned to the function suite for coffee and the quiz, this year set by Helen. I was lucky enough to sit at a table of real brainy people, so we won the prize. The raffle prizes were then handed out and some strong drink was taken – in my case in copious quantities as I helped Douglas Arthur to empty his prize whisky! The Monday dawned colder than ever, but we braved the elements and had the top down again. The run took us down the B970 passing Coylumbridge, Feshiebridge and on to Kingussie, after which we joined the main A9 to take us over Drumochter. We then headed west to Trinafour, a really good little road we haven’t used before, with spectacular scenery, then to Tummel Bridge and over the hill to Aberfeldy for our lunch stop. After lunch we headed up the famous Birks of Aberfeldy, through Glen Cochill, and across the Tay to Dunkeld. Then down to Scone palace for coffee and scones and a good chat about the weekend. The Scone scones were excellent! Another Caledonian tour done and dusted, see you all next year. JULY 2010


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re-enactment of the 100 ascents of beggar’s roost trial hill, North Devon On May 29 & 30, ten M Types celebrated Kenneth Marsh’s amazing feat of 100 consecutive climbs of the famous Beggar’s Roost trials hill in North Devon. Heavy rain on the first day conspired against the cars and, led by Michael Boulton in the original car RX 6795 (although this failed on its first attempt quite low down the hill due to clutch slip), only 29 climbs were made instead of 50, many of which were assisted through the difficult middle section. It has been suggested that some of the M Type owners went to Beggar’s Roost like lambs to the slaughter. Ken Martin comments that he had an inkling of the state the hill was in, having walked up it in 2007. Speaking to some owners, they weren’t prepared for such

a rough ride. However, they sportingly provided quite a spectacle. Some of the cars sounded as if they had a lot more horses under the bonnet than the original Midget! Things improved on the second day with 37 climbs, still some 34 short overall of Marsh’s amazing feat. A good time was had by all, especially as we were watched by Kenneth Marsh’s son and manufacturer of Marcos cars, Jem Marsh. Particularly spirited climbs were made by David Rushton, Andy King and John Haine, despite wife Angela bailing out on the first run and vowing “Never to get in that ****** car again!” Contributed by Alan Grassam and Ken Martin.

Participants RX 6795 (the original car) PG 1045 (Saturday only) PO 1357 OU 4824 (Sunday only) MG 533 SV 5438 RH 5831 OY 1548 PJ 7970 APB 298 Total

Saturday 0 3 5

Sunday 2 5

Mike Dalby also did the Exeter Centenary in the M and then went up the Beggar’s, and did Tarr Stepps on the way home! About 485 miles in all!



Paul Lovett Alan Grassam Philip Coombs John Haine David Rushton Andy King

1 4 5 5 3 3 29

3 6 5 6 4 37

Michael Boulton Frank Ashley Nigel Stroud Michael Dalby

RX 6795 (the original car) sets off with Mike Dalby enjoying the open lanes Michael Boulton at the wheel

Philip Coombs with a gleeful passenger Nigel Stroud on one of his 10 ascents

Frank Ashley puts his suspension to John Haine, another of the ‘10 Club’ Paul Lovett the test members

David Rushton makes a spirited run

Philip Coombs who achieved 11 ascents

Alan Grassam on a home run


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Andy King bursts through the gloom

John Haine in the open

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Midland Centre Welsh Rallye 2010

The Lion Hotel in Criccieth circa 1950


he Midland Centre’s annual Welsh Rallye took place over the weekend of May 8 & 9. Some 50 MGs of all kinds, ranging from a 1934 PA to a 2008 TF, made the trip. As this year’s event was the 60th anniversary of the first Rally in 1950 (in those days, minus the final ‘e’) special celebrations were in order, and the Centre Committee made great efforts to ensure media coverage of the event. We were pleased to see reports in the West Midland’s ‘Express & Star’ newspaper and its associates prior to the event, and a reporter and photographer turned up on the Saturday morning at the Park Hotel in West Bromwich to interview Club members and photograph notable cars, in particular one TC model dating from 1949 and owned by Ray Smith, that had taken part in the original 1950 Rally. Another noteworthy entrant was Geoff St. John Mitchell, whose father had been involved with the organisation of the original 1950 event. MG Car Club President Bill Wallis (another 1950’s organiser) had also planned to attend, but was sadly taken ill prior to the event and was unable to participate. This year’s route followed as closely as possible that adopted in 1950, allowing for changes to roads and locations over the intervening years. For instance, Colmore Depot’s Dealership in Roebuck Lane, West Bromwich, the original 1950 start point, has long since disappeared, so the Committee elected to start the 2010 event

The Lion Hotel as it is today, with cars belonging to Midland Centre Committee members 32

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from the Park Hotel, just round the corner from Colmore Depot’s original location. The cars were flagged away by Stephen Boulton, grandson of one of the original 1950 entrants, and the route then took entrants out of the West Midlands, via the National Trust Visitor Centre in the beautiful Carding Mill Valley at Church Stretton for the morning coffee stop, then over the Long Mynd, and on through mid-Wales to the lunch stop at the Dolbrodmaeth Riverside Hotel near Mallwyd. After an enjoyable lunch, the cars turned off the main road and through Dinas Mawddwy, and then along the narrow mountain road leading to Bwlch y Groes where, on an uphill hairpin corner at an area known as Pennant, the 2010 cars indulged in a ‘special test’, simulating the hillclimb stage undertaken by the cars in 1950. They then continued up the mountain road to Blwch y Groes. Bwlch y Groes (Pass of the Cross). The cross, just below the summit at the junction of the roads from Vyrnwy and from Dinas Mawddwy, commemorates the place of the pass on a pilgrim route from north Wales. Bwlch y Groes is also known as the Hellfire Pass, and was used between and after the wars by the Austin Motor Company and the Standard-Triumph Motor Company to test prototype cars and their performance during hillclimbing. The southern ascent of the Bwlch y Groes used on this year’s Rallye is approximately 1.7 miles long with severe gradients throughout (steepest 1 in 4). The route then followed the Pass down to Bala, on through Ffestiniog, and into the picturesque tourist village of Beddgelert where afternoon tea was taken at the Royal Goat Hotel. The final stage took the cars out to the north coast of the Lleyn peninsula and then in a loop round to the finish at The Lion Hotel in Criccieth, this being the very same hotel used in the 1950s events, so it was an historic arrival. The annual dinner dance was held on the Saturday evening, the fancy dress theme this year being one of ‘national dress’. This left it open to interpretation by the guests, and fertile imaginations produced such visions as a variety of ladies in traditional Welsh dress, complete with pointy hats, itinerant Australians with boomerangs, kangaroos and cork hats, and ancient British tribesmen covered in woad. Other themes included various ideas on the style of middle-eastern dress, 1940’s war-time uniforms, a larger-than-life Irish leprechaun

outfit hiding one Boyce Wheal, and several versions of Japanese Samurai warrior costumes. One couple, Paul & Maggie Hipkiss, arrived as The Queen and Prince Charles, complete with holographic masks that eerily followed you around the room, and an inflatable corgi! The excellent dinner was followed by the annual awards ceremony, where the P J Evans Trophy, for services to the Midland Centre by a Committee member, went to Secretary Andy Robson. The Wilf Hale Trophy, for services to the Centre by a non-Committee member, went to Dave Bowlas, our enthusiastic scrutineer, for his efforts in sorting out the new Sprint classes with not much help from the MSA. Natter of the Year award went to Boyce & Trish Wheal, who are involved in running the Natter at The Swan in Chaddesley Corbett, near Kidderminster. The two Car of the Day awards went to Ray Smith in the pre-55 class for his 1949 TC, and to Lech Zakrzewski in the post-55 class for his much-travelled Midget. After a late night (or an early morning, depending on stamina), a lovely sunny Sunday morning saw a large group of guests drive the few miles to Porthmadoc for a trip up to Ffestiniog on the narrow-gauge railway. A three-course lunch was then taken at The Lion Hotel, and the event was officially brought to a close at 3.00pm, whereupon most guests made their own way home, although a few elected to stay over for a second night. All-in-all, everyone had an excellent weekend, blessed with lovely, if chilly, weather on the Sunday. Special thanks must go to the management and staff at The Lion Hotel in Criccieth for their courtesy and assistance as well as their excellent food and service. Now the planning starts for the 2011 event which we hope will be as successful. Andy Robson

A 1949 TC, one of the original 1950 competitors, tackles the hill start at Pennant

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Reprinted from February/March 1960

On the Brooklands banking: two of the privately-entered ‘M’ Type Midgets which won the team prize in MG’s first race at that famous track – the 1930 Double Twelve

MGs first racing year William Boddy looks back 30 years to the first mGs to come to a starting grid


e know that ‘Old No. 1’ MG was first registered in March 1925 and that it won a Gold Medal that Easter in the MCC London— Land’s End Trial, driven by Cecil Kimber. But when did MG embark on its successful racing career? As far as I can ascertain, the answer is at the end of October 1927. It seems that a race meeting was organised at the now-forgotten semi-banked San Martin track some 12 miles from Buenos Aires, in honour of two French airmen who had flown the South Pacific, and that the winner was a 14/40 MG driven by Cires, who averaged just under 62mph for the first race, which lasted less than half an hour. However, that was a lone victory and it was not until the arrival of the popular MG Midget that the Abingdon marque really went racing. Already, in 1929, in its first year of production, the game little Midget was taking part in reliability trials and in the High-Speed Trials of the JCC and MCC at Brooklands. If these were not strictly races, The Autocar said of the MGs in the JCC event that they finished the first lap well in the lead, ‘making a race of


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the affair from the very beginning’. Five Midgets started in this curious but highly enjoyable contest, in which the cars not only used the outer circuit but took to the Brooklands entrance roads, regaining the track by driving down the steep Test Hill. They were driven by the Earl of March, Leslie Callingham, C. G. H. Dunham, H. D. Parker and M. H. Scott, and all gained gold medals. They were opposed by a similar number of Austin Sevens (one of which was driven by Alec Issigonis), but these achieved only four ‘golds’. Five Midgets started and five ‘golds’ were secured in the MCC One-Hour

High-Speed Trial, which was a flat-out rush round Brooklands’ wide open spaces. But, although the smallest capacity class of great races such as the T.T. was contested by Austin and Triumph, the MG was not quite ready for such stem endeavours. All this was to change in 1930, however. Sales success of the new MG Midget had caused Cecil Kimber to move from his original £20,000 factory to new premises at Abingdon late in 1929. More and more Midgets passed into the hands of private owners, who were delighted with the speed and brisk acceleration which an overhead camshaft engine in a light chassis with fabric bodywork offered, and naturally some of them decided to enter their MGs for races.

A rare picture of Cires’ 14/40 MG (nearest camera), which in 1927 won this race near Buenos Aires.This is the earliest recorded MG racing victory

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Cecil Cousins (now Works Manager at Abingdon), Reg Jackson (now Chief Inspector) and the late Frankie Taylor pose in the ‘M’ Types entered for a 1929 Brooklands High-Speed Trial

It was a great enthusiast called Cecil Randall who decided that the little 847 c.c. MG Midget was good enough to be raced with but very minor modifications. Randall set his heart on winning the Team Prize in the distinctly arduous J.C.C. Double Twelve Race, a sports car event which was run at Brooklands, for two periods of 12 hours each because the inhabitants of St. George’s Hill, Weybridge, unlike the French at Le Mans, disliked the sound of racing-car exhausts during the dark hours. This race attracted an enormous entry of all the better-known sports cars of the day, but it was run on a handicap basis, and when Randall put his ambitious proposition to Cecil Kimber it was enthusiastically received. Thus encouraged, Randall went ahead and entered a team of three 847 c.c. MG Midgets, appointing as drivers himself and F. M. Montgomery (who had taken an MG on the Monte Carlo Rally) in one car, Lt. Comdr. W. Townend and R. R. Jackson in the second, and G. Roberts and A. A. Pollard in the third Midget. Besides Randall’s team, two more MG Midgets had been entered by Miss Victoria Worsley and H. H. Stisted, and the recently evolved 2 ½-litre MG ‘Tigress’, or Mark III, was to be driven by H. D. Parker and L. G. Callingham. The Double Twelve entry list closed with a field of 59, with seven teams after the prize on which Randall had set his heart. He realised that pit work would be of vital importance in this long race and set about preparing elaborate charts, while Kimber allowed the team to practise on the prototype experimental Midget, so frequently polished by admiring mechanics that they called it ‘Shinio’. This car, incidentally, was faster than any Randall could muster! This is understandable when it is realised that his cars did not depart materially from the specification of the normal MG Midget, which you could buy in those days for a mere £185. A new camshaft, later adopted as standard, was used, but otherwise the engines were

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pretty normal. However, to comply with race regulations the bodywork had to be modified and with their headlamps set together in front of the radiator, wing valances removed, the exhaust pipe upswept over a back wing and an undershield and folding gauze racing windscreen fitted, together with extra instruments, these Double Twelve MG Midgets were imposing little cars. I am always pleased to encounter today an ‘M’ Type Midget with its pointed tail in fabric or metal intact, and it is astonishing how many have survived. But do any Double Twelve cars – they were listed as a catalogue model after the race – still exist? In the Double Twelve itself, the little MG Midgets admirably fulfilled their task. At the close of the event only the supercharged Austin team remained to challenge the MGs, and these the Abingdon marque vanquished, finishing 14th, 15th, 18th, 19th and 20th in general classification at speeds ranging from 60.23 to 57.7mph inclusive of all stops for refuelling and change of drivers, etc. Randall led his team home and even Miss Worsley’s car, the last of the Midgets to finish, covered 1,385 miles without trouble. What a convincing demonstration of reliability, coupled with speed, this team of amateurs had put on! What the ordinary spectator at Brooklands on the first day of the race did not know was that the MGs had started

with relatively stiff engines, because there had been insufficient time for running-in, and it was only as his tiny power unit loosened up that Randall found he could lap at nearly 70mph. Moreover, through the corners, the Midgets lost less speed than the big Bentleys and other machines of the ‘battleship’ class. The MG ‘Tigress’ was not as fortunate as its small brothers, for it swallowed a carburettor butterfly grub-screw, which did the engine internals no possible good, and eventually the car was obliged to retire with various internal items in a nonstandard state. But at Brooklands in 1930 the MG Midget had more than proved itself. The next venture should clearly be a Continental race, and as Le Mans loomed up it was seen that two Midgets had been entered, little green cars at a circuit dominated by the giant Bentleys. One car was to be driven by F. H. B. (now Sir Francis) Samuelson and Freddie Kindell, the other by R. C. MurtonNeale and J. Hicks. Again, this was an amateur venture, although Kindell was a works mechanic and Kimber sent ‘Jacko’ Jackson to assist Murton-Neale. Samuelson’s car was virtually standard but for body mods to comply with the Le Mans regulations, extra lamp switches and an enlarged sump. He took an aged Talbot as tender car and both the Midgets were stabled at the hospitable MorrisLeon-Bollée works. Overheating was cured by hacking louvres in the bonnet top, and, in spite of his three-speed gearbox, Samuelson was able to lap the Le Mans course at 55–56mph. The race started in torrid heat, with Cecil Kimber an interested spectator. All Samuelson and Murton-Neale had hoped to do was to finish this gruelling 24-hour race. Both Midgets were running well as darkness descended. However,

The Murton-Neale/Hicks Double Twelve ‘M’ Type at Le Mans in 1930 – MG’s first effort at racing on the Continent, but by no means the last! JULY 2010


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during the night Kindell came into his pit to report loss of oil pressure. The gauge was suspected and Samuelson took the car on. But soon, as his headlamps pierced the darkness at 80mph, an ominous noise intruded. A big-end had run and the MG’s race had ended. The fault was later traced to fracture of a large-diameter suction pipe that had been installed in conjunction with the larger oil pump which formed part of the engine modifications. There remained the other Midget, which was going well as daylight returned. Unfortunately, Murton-Neale overdid the Pontlieue turn, where the tar had melted under the increasing heat of the sun. He

reversed back onto the road, dragging some of the palisading with him, and, wrenching this away from the car, returned to the pits. ‘Jacko’ yelled instructions, the two drivers strove to straighten out the steering, and Hicks took the MG on. Soon he was in again, complaining that the Midget felt anything but safe, but, undeterred, Murton-Neale took over and lapped at unabated speed. His bravery was to go unrewarded, however, because early on the Sunday morning the Midget’s engine cried ‘enough’.

The Little ‘M’ Midget’s stamina was demonstrated by stunts such as this, in which a 1930 car made 100 consecutive ascents of Beggar’s Roost without stopping the engine 36

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The success of private owners like Victoria Worsley (right) in the 1930 Double Twelve encouraged other MG owners (below) to try their hand at the Brooklands racing that same year

This 1930 Le Mans race would have been bad for MG had it not spurred on Samuelson to a great effort. He decided to enter for the 24-hour Belgian GP two weeks later, telegraphing his entry. He then put the damaged MG engine into the Talbot and left Le Mans for Abingdon late on the Tuesday. Holding the engine in place with one hand, steering with the other, he contrived to reach the MG factory at noon on the Thursday. Immediately a rapid rebuild was undertaken, the engine erected on a specially-made cradle in the Talbot, and Samuelson was away back to the Continent. At Le Mans the engine was put back in the MG chassis and, after a test round the deserted Le Mans circuit, the weary crew left for Spa, where they arrived after dark on the Wednesday before the race. As there was no handicap, the MG was out for class honours, running against four front-drive Tractas, two BNCs, an SCAP and a Rally in the 1,100 c.c. category. With only a sketchy pit staff to help them they set off. The Midget ran exceptionally well, lapping at times at 55mph, doing one lap at 57mph, and averaging over 50mph. Alas, the clutch began to slip and speed

dropped, the MG finally finishing fifth in its class, 15th overall out of 21 starters, at an average speed of rather over 47mph. This was still a highly creditable performance. As the Bentleys had withdrawn before the start, the Midget was the only English car running and consequently came in for considerable attention. In the first year of racing MG had proved that its little 847 c.c. cars could put up a worthwhile show, not only on their home grounds at Brooklands but also when ‘playing away’. At Brooklands, nine MG Midgets gained gold medals in the 1930 JCC HighSpeed Trial and 10 repeated this in the faster MCC High-Speed Trial, the drivers including G. W. Olive, C. H. D. Berthon, the Earl of March and Leslie Calliugham. In full-scale BARC Brooklands Meetings Miss Schwedler drove an MG Midget in the Ladies’ March Handicap, lapping at 64.93mph, C. G. H. Dunham raced his Midget, getting round the Mountain circuit at 53.32mph, and at a Club meeting M. H. Scott’s Midget lapped at 69.46mph. Incidentally, although in those days the Press did nothing as ambitious as the long-duration road tests which several motoring writers are at present conducting with the brilliant new BMC small cars, H. S. Linfield, who wrote the autocar roadtest reports, took MG Midget Reg. No. RX6795 through the MCC London— Edinburgh Trial, immediately after it had finished a stunt involving 100 consecutive ascents of Beggars’ Roost, then drove it to gain a ‘gold’ in the JCC High-Speed Trial, in which a speedometer 70mph was easily accomplished, and finally took it up the 1-in-3 gradient of Alms Hill, near Henley, before returning it to Abingdon. And thus, 30 years ago, the MG was well and truly launched on a competitive career from which it has never looked back, success following success.

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Skiptune Performance Engineering


Midget: Standard Unleaded 1015 1293/1340 Stage 2 1795 1380cc Stage 2 1950

MGB: Standard Unleaded 1015 1860cc Balanced 1295 1860cc Stage 2 1950

CYLINDER HEADS Midget: Standard Unleaded 245 Stage 2 495

MGB: Standard Unleaded 245 Stage 2 495

The above prices are based on a servicable exchange unit being available for exchange. If an exchange unit should not be available please add £295 to the cost of engines and £100 to the cost of cylinder heads.

We build Midget and MGB Engines for all forms of competition. Please ring us with your own requirements. Midget Parts: Powertune 73.50mm pistons 9cc dish Omega forged pistons 5.8cc dish (All sizes) Std 1275 piston 9.75-1 (All sizes) Std main bearings (All sizes)

145.00 455.00 125.00 15.95

Std rod bearings (All sizes) Heavy duty main bearings (All sizes) Heavy duty rod bearings (All sizes) ARP rod bolt set ARP head stud kit Recon. rocker assembly (Exchange) Centre main strap kit Duplex timing chain 3 piece clutch kit Head gasket Large bore manifold gasket Crank Rear oil seal kit

15.95 44.95 42.95 77.95 109.50 69.95 9.50 7.95 69.95 11.95 3.95 82.50

MGB Parts: 83.50mm (1950cc) piston Omega forged pistons (All sizes) Std press fit pistons (All sizes) Std circlip pistons (All sizes) Std main bearings (All sizes) Std rod bearings (All sizes) Heavy duty main bearings (All sizes) Heavy duty rod bearings (All sizes) ARP rod bolt set ARP head stud kit Recon. rocker assembly (Exchange)

285.00 495.00 95.00 104.95 19.95 15.95 44.95 42.95 77.95 109.50 69.95

Duplex timing chain 3 piece clutch kit Head gasket Large bore manifold gasket

7.95 69.95 11.95 6.95

Competition Spares: Filter King Regulator 45.95 Aldon distributors 145.00 Facet red top fuel pump 39.95 Aldon distributors with Optronic 230.00 Facet silver top fuel pump 69.95 Lucas Sports coil 14.50 MGB electric water pump kit with plate 185.00 Midget electric water pump kit with plate 179.50 Mocal Coolers/Kits: 13 row oil cooler 16 row oil cooler Midget fitting kit (STD) Midget fitting kit (BR) MGB fitting kit (STD) MGB fitting kit (BR)

64.95 74.95 39.95 59.95 34.95 49.95

MGB 1950/2000 large bore copper head gasket (85mm bore) 28.95 Email:

Bagshot, Surrey 01276 479647

Oselli ltd Car sales, service, restoration, exchange engines, performance tuning.

1968 MGC GT in BRG

1972 MGB Roadster in Tartan Red

1968 MGC Roadster in Mineral Blue

1997 MGF in Blue

1973 MGB Roadster in Red

1970 MGB GT in Tartan Red

Oselli ltd, Bridge Garage, Bridge Street, Witney OX28 1BY 01993 849610 or 07831 597424

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GEoRGE DUTToN Tel: 01925 756305 E-mail:

Welcome to the MGA Newsletter


ur two feature articles this month are a look back at the very successful Northumbria tour plus an insight into the evolution of the De Luxe variant of the MGA to mark the 50th anniversary of these unique models. News MGLive! 2010 was a great success. We saw an impressive turnout of more than 100 MGAs over the three days. Thanks to those who came to the Register stand with your Technical questions and details of those facts and figures we need for the

register database. To see the line-up of cars on Saturday look on watch?v=9cthhK8hz-s Events It may be mid-summer already but there are plenty of opportunities to get and about in your MGA. National MGA Day is on Sunday August 8 at Upton House and Gardens near Banbury, Warwickshire OX15 6HT. See the advertisement elsewhere in this issue. The Seven Wonders of the South West: The date is August 15 starting from Terry

Drinkwater’s garage in Lower Weare North Somerset (BS26 2JG) and ending at the International Centre for Birds of Prey Newent, Glos. Organiser, Alan Atkins: Tel: 01275 393671, e-mail: alan.atkins@ Southern Tour: The last weekend in September, 25 & 26 with two days of runs through Dartmoor and East Cornwall. Due to the popularity of our tours, the Moorland Links Hotel is just about full (one room left) but we have alternative accommodation at the Millstones Country House Hotel at Roborough about 2–3 miles away from the Moorland Links. The special room rate is £65 double room per night and £55 single room per night for B&B (their phone number is 01752 773734 and their e-mail is Just tell them you are with the MGA Register and they will take a credit card number but no deposit is required. When you have booked your room, please contact Peter Morgan to confirm your entry on the Tour and to join the Saturday evening dinner at the Moorland Links Hotel.

Alan Tyson on the Silverstone circuit. Photo: Piers Hubbard.

MGA Tour of Northumbria May 14–17 pictures. This is what they wrote: Stuart and Irene brushed aside the challenge of a new venue and once again provided two days of glorious scenery from sea level upwards through sun, rain and wind to the desolation of the high moors. Places of interest were many and varied, Cragside House (it’s dark in here dear go away and design a hydro-electric plant), Hadrian’s Wall (it didn’t work they came South and joined the tour) and enough pubs and tea shops to keep everyone happy. After some gentle arm twisting, our tour organisers Stuart and Irene Mumby were persuaded to move the 2010 Northern event from their native Yorkshire into the Land of the Prince Bishops and the border county of Northumberland. We asked all of those who took part this year to write about the weekend and to share their 38

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Just to say a few words on behalf of the ‘Sassenachs’ MGA owners from north of the Border! What a fabulous weekend we all had! We were made to feel very welcome by all, especially Alison & I who had not joined in any MGA Register activities before now. Congratulations

The cars received the usual praise from the locals and visitors, there were a few minor problems, thanks to those who pushed us off, twice this year, and one major problem (head gasket we think), and we hope Brian and Vivienne arrived home okay and will soon be back motoring. Mel & Pete Welbourn

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must go in a big way to Stuart Mumby for all his hard work, which I am sure was appreciated by all. The scenery, the hotel, the eating places, even the weather were all fantastic, even if we did go soft and keep our hood up some of the time. Thank you once again and look forward to sharing more MGA experiences in the future. Barclay & Alison Henderson What a fantastic weekend, fabulous driving on just amazing roads, beautiful scenery, virtually no traffic, a great hotel at brilliant prices, the most friendly bunch of people you could ever meet, and on top of all that, against all the odds, we got great weather too. We met with Pat and Geoff from Exeter who have the Twin Cam that has caused him so much grief. We stayed up until 1.30 discussing the ‘death rattle’ from the engine. Fortunately, by Sunday morning, Twin Cam owner Dave Stuart had adjusted the timing chain for him. Dave proved again what a superb mechanic he is by fixing the engine on the diesel narrow gauge engine at Alston when an injector fuel adjuster fell out at the furthest point away from the station. Dave

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found it in the footplate and screwed it back in! He certainly saved us from a long, cold walk back. Vin Rafter and his wife seemed to really enjoy the weekend; they couldn’t believe just how friendly everyone was. Northumberland has our vote for next spring. Colyn & Chris Firth Three cars made up the Scottish contingent, driven by George Rome, Barclay Henderson and myself. For me, it was a weekend of firsts – first time at an MGA Register event, first outing in an MGA of any kind, and the first run for my newly acquired Twin Cam. I was excited but apprehensive as we left home early on the Friday morning. Apprehensive because I had previously owned ‘the Twin Cam from hell’, a car I choose to forget – suffice to say it never completed any journey without incident, and couldn’t be trusted any more than a few miles from home! The weather for the run down from Fife was dry so the hood was down and, with my confidence growing by the mile, the run through the borders to our hotel in Chollerford was an enjoyable experience. The hotel was excellent and well-located

on the banks of the Tyne. We met a few fellow MGA drivers, and I renewed my acquaintance with Geoff & Pat Jebb, whose misbehaving Twin Cam during the 50th Anniversary Tour had brought the car to my workshop, and forged a firm friendship. As we assembled for a superb evening meal, we met more couples, and I must say, we felt ‘accepted’ right from the word go. No subgroups or ‘cliques’, just one happy team! On the Saturday, we had a choice of places to visit en route, Cragside being the main one, but as we had done that recently, we visited ‘Barter books’ in Alnwick, and then headed for the delightful coastal village of Craster, and a walk to Dunstanburgh Castle. The quiet roads, the long sweeping bends, and an open-topped MGA made the day very memorable indeed. On the run back we met up with Colyn & Chris Firth and had a superb blast back to the hotel. As we parked up, I am loving this car, and the memories of ‘the Twin Cam from hell’ are now behind me. The gala dinner was splendid, and several pints of the foaming ale were taken! On the Sunday, our run took us via Hadrian’s Wall to the lovely market town

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Very many thanks to Stuart Mumby, and the team, for providing us with such a memorable weekend, which we will do again next year – for sure! Dave & Mary Stewart

of Alston, where we met up again with the Firths and had a trip on the little railway, then lunch in the main town centre. In the afternoon we drove via some really nice little roads, with stunning scenery to Blanchland, a medieval village, full of character. We met up with the rest of the Scottish contingent, and a group photo was

taken. On the way back to the hotel, we couldn’t believe the weekend was over already! We had a nice relaxing evening, good food; good chat, and then off to bed. On the Monday, we said our goodbyes and headed for home, the Twin Cam singing – hard to believe this is the same type of car as that other unmentionable!

There were so many highlights, but the things that stuck in my mind were: how quiet the roads were, and probably just as well on some occasions! Lynda said she felt like she was on a rollercoaster on some of the roads; also the Turks Head in Alston, where the landlord said he couldn’t do food but if we would like to get something from the food shop next door, he would supply plates and cutlery! Lindsay and Lynda Sampford Pictures in this article were taken by: Peter Welbourn, Dave Stewart, Lindsay Sampford, Gwilym Owen, John Patrick, Pete Macwaters, Beth Corbett, Irene Mumby, Stuart Mumby and George Dutton.

MGA De Luxe – end of the line By John Barrett, De Luxe Coordinator for the MGA Register This article first appeared in the Twin Cam Group’s 50th Anniversary book. Reproduced here with permission. It is often said that just when the factory had sorted out the problems with the Twin Cam, they stopped its production in 1960! According to John Thornley, MG was committed to an order to Dunlop to use their centre lock disc wheels, tyres and disc brakes on the Twin Cam. When this model was withdrawn they had to find a way of using up the rest of the components from Dunlop and so the De Luxe was introduced. A De Luxe chassis is identical to a Twin Cam chassis. These chassis components were made by John Thompson Motor Pressings Ltd in Wolverhampton and welded together in the Press shop at the MG factory in Abingdon on an ‘as required’ basis. The last ten months of Twin Cam production has been slow and any stockpile of chassis would have been unlikely. 40

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Indeed, Twin Cam production peaked already in February 1959 with 313 cars, by July it was down to double figures but production dragged on. By January 1960, only 16 cars were produced, February 13 cars, March 15 cars and April 8 cars. That was the end apart from Mike EllermanBrown’s car, which was despatched on June 14. The death of the Twin Cam was slow; there would not have been a pile of leftover chassis in the corner of the factory. Twin Cam chassis were modified soon after production started to allow for the removal of the sump without having to take out the engine unless this was the intention. This modified later type of chassis had five extra pairs of holes through the crossmember under the engine to give access to the five forward sump bolts.

There were possibly some of these later chassis type parts leftover and these seem to have been, by and large, used up on the early 1600 De Luxes. Almost all 1600 Mk II De Luxes did not have these extra holes, suggesting that when they had used up the leftover later type chassis, they made up

Danish Mark I De Luxe in Norway

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Mark I De Luxe in Argentina

Mark I De Luxe in England

Mk I De Luxe in America

the earlier type again instead. So although it has often been said that the De Luxes used up the extra Twin Cam chassis, this is really only true for the first few cars. The rest of the De Luxes had chassis made for them as it was required that it had to be a Twin Cam type of chassis in order to carry the Twin Cam steering rack. De Luxe MGAs, or Competition MGAs as they were also known in America at the time, were more often than usual fitted with close ratio gearboxes, competition seats, oil coolers etc. For example, 18% of all 1600s and 49% of all Mk IIs had close ratio gearboxes! However, 83% of 1600s but only 17% Mk IIs had competition deluxe seats. The hard tops fitted to the 1600 cars are believed to be the Vanden Plas aluminium type, whereas the Mk II cars had the Universal Laminations fibre-glass top. Cigar lighters, radiator blinds and two wing mirrors were only ever fitted to one 1600 and two Mk IIs. MGA body panels were made at Pressed Steel and then welded together and painted at Morris Bodies Branch in Coventry. Pressed Steel also made the special body panels required for the Twin Cams, such as the shorter duct panels, the heater shelf and the inner wings. Some of these Twin Cam parts were surplus when production stopped. Three weeks after the last scheduled Twin Cam was made in midApril 1960, work began on a prototype to use up the Twin Cam parts on a car with a standard push rod engine. This car, chassis No.GHN91240 moved slowly through the factory, production cars typically took only three days, and was not completed as a factory demonstrator until early June, having spent a week in Rectification and a month in Finishing. The car had not been seen or heard of for a very long time until one evening a gentleman from Wales rang me in Norway to say he had just bought the car! Such telephone calls give so much inspiration to the researcher. (This car has recently been sold again. See Safety Fast! February and April 2010.) Nine 1600 De Luxes are presently known to have the Twin Cam inner louvered fender panels. Those that have

the loose inner panels do not have the captive nuts in the inner wing panel that the Twin Cam used for mounting the coil. That is to say that these panels were specially made for the 1600 De Luxe. The shorter Twin Cam duct panel has been discovered on only three cars, all Mk IIs. There is no evidence that complete Twin Cam bodies were ever used on De Luxes. The De Luxe bodies were specially made from mainly pushrod body parts together with a special heater shelf and exceptionally, some leftover Twin Cam body parts. The heater shelf of a De Luxe is unique; it is a sort of hybrid between a Twin Cam shelf and a pushrod heater shelf. The openings for the pedals are the Twin Cam size, but the cut out for the heater is in the position found on pushrods. No De Luxe was ever fitted with a Twin Cam heater. No information is available from the factory records about body numbers. In the last 25 years a lot of work has been done and we have a better understanding of them now than then. The earlier 1600s have body numbers that one would have expected to find on a Twin Cam if production had continued, for example, B1956 on a Roadster and B1593 on a Coupé. That is to say the De Luxe bodies used up the Twin Cam body numbers before they were allocated their own numbers. The body numbers then jump to around B30000, there is no clear changeover point and, of course, there are

exceptions! A pattern has shown itself with the Mk II body numbers. These belong to three large groups reserved exclusively for De Luxes. These are around B33000, B35000 and B37000. Until the last three months of production there is a reasonable correlation between chassis numbers and body numbers. By that time, production of the MGB was just around the corner. The first production MGB was built on Tuesday May 22 1962. In April, May and June 1962, MG tried to use up as many of the remaining Dunlop parts as possible, 164 MK II De Luxes were built. That is, 52% of all the Mk II De Luxes built during the last three months of the 13-month production run! Fifty-four Mk II Deluxe MGAs were built after the production of the MGB had commenced. De Luxes are very sought after and regarded by many as the ultimate MGA. This means that they realise higher prices than Twin Cams that have lost their Twin Cam engine and are often offered for sale as De Luxes. A Twin Cam without a Twin Cam engine is not a De Luxe. Perhaps we can consider the De Luxe to be the Twin Cam’s ‘daughter’? Much more is known about De Luxes today than only a few years ago, but we are not finished yet. I still cannot answer the first question that owners always ask me: “How many De Luxes still exist?” If you know of a Twin Cam with a pushrod engine, please get in touch:

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Mk I De Luxe in France JULY 2010


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Technical queries answered by one of the leading MG specialists

SO LVED QI: I restored the 1972 ‘B’ about 15 years ago. It had the habit of occasionally failing to engage the starter motor, only a clicking sound and a discharge of 15–30 amps, but would respond after a further couple of attempts. I was told that it was most likely a dead spot on the motor. As it was not too much of a problem, I lived with it until now. The symptoms became more pronounced, in fact it will not respond at all now so I renewed the starter and solenoid, also the battery, and cleaned the cable ends but I still have the same problem. Could it be the starter relay? I have not done this yet as I considered that would either work or not work. Fortunately, it starts easily with a push but my wife says she is getting too old for that now. Answer: This sounds like the usual problem of a poor connection somewhere although since the car does not have an ammeter I am curious as to how the owner knows the rate of discharge? The culprit in connection often is the conical lead battery terminal ends, which are secured by a screw. The cone inside the connection becomes corroded and distorted and is not capable of transmitting any heavy current. The easy check is to connect a jump start battery with cables to the terminals. If the engine then is turned over easily it’s either the batteries or the connections. The terminals should be changed for the bolt clamp type. However, there is another connection worth checking and that is where the battery is earthed to the body of the car. With twin six volts that’s on the left-hand inner rear arch, well out of sight. Remove, clean and Vaseline. Another check worth making is the existence of an earth strap from the engine to the chassis. That should be on the left-hand engine mount, check also that it goes from one side of the engine to the other side of the mount so as to transmit current to the body and hence back to the battery. Lack of this strap or the incorrect fitting of it has the current coming from the starter seeking other ways back to earth. I can tell you that the accelerator cable and the speedo cable do not take kindly to this process! It could be the relay or the solenoid but with the owner reporting ‘clicking’ it sounds as though the relay is trying to work or perhaps the starter solenoid is not throwing far enough. Generally they are reliable so the first port of call has to be the connections and perhaps a full battery test. Q2: I own a 1997 MGF VVC. My problem is that when travelling in a line of traffic at slow speed, 2nd gear, 15mph, the car starts jerking (it has been referred to as ‘kangarooing’) and I then have to resort to using the clutch to be able to continue. I have had my car checked by a local specialist using a computer equipped with the MG Rover T4 diagnostic system. No new fault 42

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Please send your questions to: The MG Car Club, PO Box 251, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 1FF E-mail: Fax: 01235 533755

codes where shown as I had them clear the codes on a previous visit. They are unsure what to suggest and therefore I am writing to you for advice. Answer: This is very difficult to solve without the car present since there are a number of possibilities. The first thing that I would ask is how long the fault has been there and what work had been carried out before the fault appeared since the factors are often joined. It would have been very helpful if we had been advised what fault codes had been cleared in the earlier visit; however, we would suggest that first of all the car should be put back on to the diagnostic T4 and that the operative should go into ‘Live Data’. In particular the VVC timing should be considered, live against that specified. It’s possible that the cam belt has been replaced incorrectly, which would have the effect of altering the valve timing. If that is correct the KPA should be checked, normally it would show of the order of 39 with the engine running and 100 engine off. The KPA measures the manifold pressure, or more correctly the depression since the manifold has a partial vacuum in it as the cylinders suck in the mixture. The oxygen sensor could be at fault, the reading should be fluctuating in the order of 0.2–0.8 volts. If this is at fault it will enrich the mixture which will be similar to an earlier car running on choke which does give a very jerky drive at low speed. More extremely it could be a drive line fault, with perhaps a ‘tight’ CV joint, but it’s more likely a management fault. The owner needs to find a garage with a T4 and an operative that understands it use.

Questions kindly answered by the technical experts at Brown and Gammons. Please direct any technical queries through MGCC

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Clive Webb

Welcome to the Magnette Newsletter I’m still buzzing from a hugely enjoyable day at Silverstone on Sunday, although my ZB didn’t make it as the battery seems to be on its last legs and the car wouldn’t even start on the handle on Sunday morning. Luckily my MGA managed the journey – its latest in a long line of mystery misfires having apparently been cured the previous day! A full report on the weekend from a Magnettic perspective follows shortly, along with an account of Paul Batho’s recent venture into modelling (his car, not himself!) and a recent restoration story. Malcolm Eades has recently encountered Darren Brock’s Mercedes-engined Magnette at a race meeting at Crystal Palace; his account makes excellent reading. We have been invited to a number of events this summer – please make sure you are on John & Cynthia Harris’s e-mail list ( for full details. The only official events on the Z-Magnette calendar before the Norwich weekend (September 4 & 5) are the 14th Z-Magnette Day in Luxembourg on June 26–28, and the annual event at Athelhampton House on August 8. Details in previous issues of Safety Fast! or on our website (see above). I ought to mention the North American MG event (NAMGAR GT-35) on July 26–29: the title of this event is Magnette-tude (!) and guests of honour are Lou (Register President) and John Shorten. I’m sure this will be a super event and look forward to hearing about it. Finally, can I remind everyone planning to attend the Norwich weekend in September to make sure Mark Bunce ( has received a booking form from you; he has only received a few so far. Thanks!

MGLive! – from the Magnette stand!

Andrew De Bernes’ V8-engined Magnette; the lack of rear quarterlight dividing strip gives this car a ‘mini-Pathfinder’ look

As has been the case in recent years, each Club Register was asked to supply an example of their model for display in the main marquee at the MGLive! event. This year the emphasis was on race/rally spec cars and we were extremely lucky to be able to display the car of Bruce Chapman/ Justin Bell. The car belongs to Bruce who is the grandson of Nancy Mitchell, who as many will recall successfully rallied a ZA Magnette registered JRX 251 in the 1950s. Although the actual car is no longer in existence, Bruce’s car was proudly displaying the registration number in memory of his grandmother and her achievements. The car is in extremely good condition and looked resplendent in its non-original pastel blue paintwork. As several people commented, pastel colours such as this certainly did suit cars of that era. The car caused a great deal of interest over the weekend and was heavily photographed, so a big thank you to 44

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Bruce Chapman and Justin Bell’s recreation of Nancy Mitchells’ JRX 251

Bruce for making it available to the Register – especially as he was unable to attend the event himself. The scrutineering stickers on one of the rear windows showed that the car has had an active competition life at the Goodwood Revival event. Seeing the car JRX 251 evoked reminiscences from several members of the Abingdon Comps. Dept. of that era – 1955–56 when the original car was being campaigned. Actual cars attending on the Saturday, excluding the above and the two for sale by one of the traders in Traders’ City, totalled 14. Of particular interest was Andrew De Bernes’ V8-engined car with numerous other upgrades to complement the engine upgrade which Andrew had brought over from France where he has lived for many years. All work had been carried out to a very high standard resulting in a superblooking car. Even Friday saw six Magnettes attending with Roger & Christine Burrows

taking part in the Tour de Silverstone. The turnout of cars on the Sunday was lower than Saturday, but we nevertheless saw a number of owners visit our stand for a chat. One of the attractions on Saturday afternoon was the trip to Sulgrave Manor, home of the ancestors of George Washington. In the hot weather, a modern air-conditioned coach was a welcome change. The guided tour of the house was extremely interesting and who could forget the fate of mice caught in the mousetraps. On Sunday, as MGLive! was drawing to a close, the Register was invited to attend an MGB trip to Coventry Museum on October 3 and the Midland Centre confirmed details of their Chairman’s Picnic at Middleton Hall, near Tamworth, on Sunday August 22. Yes, the spirit of the ‘Marque of Friendship’ is very much alive and kicking. All in all, a very good social occasion as ever. Peter Martin and John Harris

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A Magnette at the Palace

Petrolheads who parted with £10.00 at the entrance to the Sevenoaks and District Motor Club’s ‘Motorsport at the Palace’ event were handsomely rewarded with two days of excellent sprinting on a tight little track nestling in the natural amphitheatre at Crystal Palace. In case you missed it, I’ll just repeat that entry fee: just ten pounds, including parking the car! As the day proved, this excellent two-day Club event would have been good value at twice the price. The sprint track includes a section of the old motor racing circuit so anyone ‘of a certain age’ will be full of nostalgia hearing again the roar of engines in this attractive wooded and grassy-sloped venue with so much history behind it. With a field that ranged from Norton-engined single-seaters through a predictable assembly of MGs, Minis, Escorts and Lotuses to Ferraris and full racers, there was something to suit every taste. And apart from the on-track activity there was a display of Club and spectators’ cars that offered a tasty selection of desirable classics. The Alfa Romeo Montreal was probably the pin-up that I would have taken home, even faced with a choice of prancing horses. For the Magnette enthusiast, there was a special treat in the competitors’ list: Darren Brock’s very modified 1954 ZA (KAE13/9320 reg’d 225 FMK). This is almost a single-family-from-new car. Darren’s father acquired it from the family doctor in 1957. After service as the family car it ended up going into storage until Darren took it on early in his driving career. His mates eventually convinced him that it wasn’t doing his street cred any good so it went back into storage for another spell. Then Darren was taken with the idea of competing in motorsport and he decided that the Magnette deserved another life

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Report by Malcolm Eades as his track car. Faced with the need to turn a lightly modified 1950’s Saloon into something that could hold its own in Club events, Darren went back to the drawing board and took a radical approach. There is no disguising this car’s competitive intent. It has some very obvious external visual clues. Along with the huge wheels, the extra air vents in the bodywork are the most noticeable. At the front there is a huge intake pod grafted onto the nearside of the bonnet, with the adjacent wing cut away to match. This supplies air to the engine induction system. The bonnet is louvred along most of its top surface to rid the engine bay of heat. The front end also carries ducts to take cooling air to the disc brakes and the oil cooler. On the offside front wing there is a small duct outlet that vents fumes from the catch-tank and behind the off-side rear door is a vent to keep air moving through the cockpit. Lift the bonnet and the reason for all this extra air becomes obvious. Notwithstanding the MG badge araldited to it, the engine is a 1997cc Mercedes unit built to DTM (German Touring Car Championship) spec with gearbox to match. The bonnet catch platform, the inner wings and the cross-brace have all been removed to accommodate the plumbing and accessories that this drive-train modification brings with it. The big radiator is custom-made in aluminium, with a remote header tank that sits on the nearside of the bulkhead. An electric fan is fixed in front of the radiator and, in the absence of its standard catch, the bonnet is held in place by external spring clips and safety straps either side of the grille. To replace the structural stability lost with the inner wings and the cross-brace,

the car has diagonal bracing struts mounted between the top corners of the bulkhead and the front of the chassis legs, above the suspension tie-rods. Behind that air intake runs a huge carbon fibre duct channelling air to the fuel injection throttle body. In almost surreal contrast, behind all this muscle the standard master cylinder sits on its usual bracket but Darren says it is perfectly sized to deliver the right amount of pressure to the callipers. To transfer all this extra power to the road via the wide TR6 wheels, the rear suspension has been completely re-worked with twin trailing arms, telescopic dampers and a Panhard rod. There are also disc brakes to the rear. Finding wheels strong enough to take the extra BHP is a problem. Darren spent the evening before the event welding the centre back into his rear off-side wheel, having ripped it out on a previous competitive outing. Darren readily admits that this is not a car for the originality purist, but, as modifications go, this one is well conceived and well executed, giving the car a very purposeful look that says ‘I mean business!’ A little ruefully, Darren also predicts that he is unlikely to be competitive on a short track that crams a hairpin, a chicane and several tight corners into a mere 0.7km. “I won’t get out of first and second” is his summary of his chances. By the time a bit of forward momentum is achieved, it is time to brake and line the car up for the next bend. Even so, as he gets the power down on the upslope after the hairpin, the Magnette’s ample curvaceous rear gives a seductive wiggle and the exhaust note fulfils all the promise of our visual inspection in the paddock. Darren’s pessimism is unwarranted: he is third in his seven-car ‘Sports Libre’ class with his fastest run of 40.83secs. The class winner, Amanda George in a Chevron B19, only beats him by 0.85secs and FTD is 35.18secs by Duncan Cowper in his Dax Rush.

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Magnette production goes to China It started with the MG TF and the Rover 75 and we’re excited by the new Chinese MG6. Now Chinese-produced Magnettes are reaching our shores by the thousand. You can even buy one from Kimber House! The story begins about a couple of years ago when I got a call from a chap called Martin Hickmore. He is the Design and Development Manager for Oxford Diecast Ltd, a company set up in the ’90s to produce models of historic cars, planes and other machines. Martin told me he was looking for a ZA Magnette to use as a template for a new model they were planning to produce – could I put him in touch with the owner of a suitable car? As I live near Oxford and my car is fairly standard (at least as far as the parts that show are concerned) I suggested that he should drop round. We arranged a date and as I disappeared off to work that morning I mentioned to Sarah that a chap would be coming to have a quick look at the car…. When I got back I was told that the ‘quick look’ had taken all day, the coffee had run out and Martin and his colleague had spent hours measuring, photographing and noting from every conceivable angle….this was clearly going to be some model! And this was confirmed by some of the follow-up questions Martin asked. “Were the rear overriders supposed to be angled 5° inwards?” (No, but I have never managed to get them to stay straight!) ‟Was the exhaust manifold standard?” (No, but does that really matter?!) … and so on. I was beginning to be rather impressed. When the model was launched last year I was not disappointed. True, the first ones were produced in a rather alarming fire engine red, but when a more sober Birch Grey ZA came out, bearing my car’s registration, I just had to have one! It was not the first 1/43rd Magnette model, however. About 15 years ago, Lansdowne Models produced a Birch Grey ZA which I bought at the time. To my eyes, though, the Oxford Diecast example is much better – from some angles the proportions of the Lansdowne car (especially the front wings) aren’t quite right while the Oxford chrome work is more delicately cast and there is more of it – apart from the grill, lights, bumpers and hub caps, the Lansdowne car was all-over grey and, on my model, I spent hours with model-maker’s adhesive ‘chrome’ and a 46

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fine scalpel finishing off the hockey sticks, window surrounds, door trim etc. Oxford has also done a better job on the interior. Strange, then, that the Oxford Diecast model can be bought for around £20 while I paid around £50 for my Lansdowne model. By this stage I was getting fascinated by the process of model making, so I asked Martin Hickmore to explain what it was all about. He told me that, in the case of the Oxford Diecast models, the measurements and photos of any new model are sent electronically to China where they are interpreted into a master model by a highly skilled toolmaker using both a computer and more traditional sculpting skills. The master is sent back to the UK where it is closely scrutinised – dimensions and radii of curves are checked and the blend of curves (especially important on a car such as the Magnette) is carefully judged. This is where a model maker’s ‘feel’ for his product comes to the fore, as does the quality of the original research. Any final changes are then incorporated and steel dies are made from the master; typically each model will require four or five for the main body, the ancillaries, the plastic components and so on. The ‘first shots’ are then produced and subjected to further scrutiny. Then production begins, during which fine detail – things like badges, licence numbers and so on – are inked onto the painted body via silicon rubber pads or delicate masking and spraying. Chrome components are finished using a vacuum metalising technique.

As one might imagine, the preproduction work is very expensive but once it is complete Oxford’s Chinese factory is geared up to volume production. Martin was cagey about the exact numbers but they will produce thousands of each model. Volume production, coupled with the relatively low cost of Chinese labour, explains why prices can be kept low. It’s a story that can be repeated in just about any area of industry now. By contrast, Lansdowne’s white metal models are produced along ‘cottage industry’ lines. The process starts, of course, with measurement and photography, but this is used to produce a brass master from which vulcanised rubber moulds are formed in which the model’s components are cast in white metal. Once the rough casts emerge from the mould there is a great deal of hand finishing and assembly involved – it’s worth looking at Brooklin Model’s website (at www. – Lansdowne is part of Brooklin) to get a fascinating picture of the skilled craftsmanship that goes into each and every model produced. And this is being done by chaps in Bath who, though no doubt dedicated to their work, will be paid a lot more than their Chinese counterparts. So how can such contrasting processes and costs coexist? The answer lies to some extent in the models produced. A glance at Oxford’s catalogue shows they model a lot of the more popular cars and

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Lansdowne model is on the left and the Oxford Diecast model is on the right commercial vehicles from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s while Brooklin specialises in more exotic American cars of the ’30s and ’40s. Oxford’s extra costs of gearing up to mass production are therefore justified by the fact that more people are likely to buy the sorts of cars they produce. Then there’s the question of exclusivity – models in the Brooklin/Lansdowne range are deliberately

produced in short production runs of perhaps a few hundred to appeal to serious collectors, rather than those who just want a model of something they either own, admire or nostalgically recall. So, modern model Magnette production is actually rather like our current 1:1 scale car industry. You can choose something oriental and efficient which will

do a perfect job or go for an alternative built in the UK which you suspect won’t be as good by any logical measure and will probably cost you an arm and a leg, but which has the charm of something produced by real people wielding oldfashioned tools in the old-fashioned way. Where would you like your next new car to come from – Shanghai or Malvern? Paul Batho

A little smartening up that took 12 years! Keith Wilson from Maldon in Essex is well known to those who attend the annual Magnette weekend event in Norwich each September – mainly because he is the only person to arrive in a really delightful 1935 Austin 7 Ruby Saloon! Keith is also, however, a Magnette owner – having purchased a two-tone blue Varitone way back in 1998. The car was purchased with three months’ tax and MoT on it, so Keith ran it for those three months with the intention of just smartening it up a little. I actually photographed the car at the 1998 Norwich event, but it hasn’t been seen since! Each year since, Keith has been asked by many people as to how he was getting on smartening up the car. Needless to say, it had turned into a full-blown restoration which was taking a little longer than originally planned. I was absolutely delighted therefore, to see Keith at Magnettes & Steam in the pristine, fully restored ZBV, which has received much attention to detail and consequently looks absolutely right. The only jobs that Keith did not tackle himself were the final painting of the shell and the fitting of the windscreen. The car was only MoT’d the week before the event and then driven approximately 180 miles to Shackerstone by way of a ‘shake-down run’ with no problems at all. I asked Keith what he considered to be the best and worst jobs of the whole restoration. He considered putting the rechromed grille back together was the most satisfying – in fact, when he had finished, he left it on the settee in the lounge for a while just so that he could admire it, or at least until his wife told him to move it! The worst job apparently was refitting the door lock and window winding mechanisms – a fiddly job at the best of times, but especially if you are trying not to damage your brand-new paint job. I would guess, then, that the Austin 7 will be having a rest on the weekend of September 4 & 5 this year whilst the newly restored Magnette will hopefully be making its way to Norwich for the first time in 12 years! Peter Martin

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TIM MoRRIs 01932 882467 email:

Now the hard top’s away, the Fs can play!


t last the summer has arrived and you can finally put the hard top away in the garage. But where do you put it? Andy Phillips has written a short guide on how to solve that problem by creating a DIY hanging device. Now that the roof is off you can get out and about with the MGF Register and plenty of you have already been doing just that by joining in events from Basingstoke to Bridge of Allen. It’s the latter that we’ll be taking a closer look at in this four-pager with a report on the successful Highlander event of 2010 back in May. We’ll continue our tour of the MGF Register regions this

month with introductions to the West of England from Nigel May and a return to Scotland with Alan Dunlop and our Freedom of Scotland group. You can find details of all our regions on our website so you can get together with them and make a beeline for the main MGF/ TF of the year. Our annual national event this year is a celebration of 15 years of the MGF and is being held at the Heritage Motor Centre on Sunday August 1. We’ll take another delve into our archives to look back at MGF10 and look forward to this year’s big event – MGFifteen.

Hang up your hard top The Register’s quarterly periodical FasTForward regularly features responses to members’ technical questions from our resident experts Rob Bell and Andy Phillips. This article was destined for the next edition in August but we thought we’d get it in Safety Fast! a month early just in case you still had your hard top propped up against your hallway wall. The question was posed by Andrew Robson of the Midlands Centre who said, “I’d be grateful for a piece of advice from anyone in the Register who has a TF with a Heritage hard top, as supplied as standard with the LE500. Basically, where the heck do you put it when you don’t want it on the car?” Our experts considered this and suggested: 1. Wall mounted brackets – assuming the hard top indiscreet clamps are the same as the F/TF then there are brackets available specifically for the job. The dealership should be able to supply them. 2. Hard top stand – there are several companies that sell different versions including the MGOC that sells the Heritage hard top and this comes with a floor-mounted stand. This may fit your hard top, but talk it through with them first just to be sure. 3. Make your own – some hooks, chain, some pipe lagging and stainless-steel tubing to produce two hanging frames to suspend yours from the ceiling of the garage.

How to do it

You will need: Minimum 6 x 100mm of chain, the chain we used had a chromed finish, but any chain will do. If you want your frame to hang lower from the ceiling then you will need to increase this 6,100mm dimension accordingly. 2 x 2,000mm lengths of steel tube, again we used chromed tubing. Important, 48

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step 2 – Ceiling hooks You now need to fix the screw-in eyes to the ceiling in a rectangular shape, 1,500mm wide x 750mm long. Ideally you should fix into the ceiling joists, but this dimension is unlikely to line up with them. We had to use additional timber battens spanning between the joists to ensure the rectangle was set out correctly and screwed our eyes into the battens. With the eyes in place, hang an ‘S’ hook on each. the tube diameter must allow the chain to pass through. 4 x screw-in eyes 4 x ‘S’ hooks All of the above can be found at your local DIY store. We also used a short length of pipe lagging on the rear frame, although this is not strictly necessary and in our case we also needed to use some short lengths of timber batten to span between ceiling joists. step 1 – Preparation Begin by cutting the tube into the following lengths: 4 lengths at 250mm 2 lengths at 1,500mm Now cut the chain into the following lengths: 1 length at minimum 2,500mm 1 length at minimum 2,100mm 2 lengths at 750mm Thread the 2,500mm length of chain through a short length of tube, a long length of tube and a second short length of tube. Repeat with the 2,100mm length of chain and the remaining tubes.

step 3 – Constructing the frame You now need to hang the two chain and tubes assemblies from the ‘S’ hooks, you will note that the long lengths of tube force the assemblies to form a pair of rectangles.

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MGF Next, using the pliers again, fashion a hook out of the links in the other ends of these chains by collapsing part of the link. You should now be able to hook these side chains to the rear frame above the short lengths of tube.

You can now adjust the height of the frames by hooking the ‘S’ hooks through different links. You need to end up with one frame lower than the other; these are the minimum drop dimensions: Rear frame = 500mm Front frame = 300mm Of course, you can adjust the drop heights to suit, in our case we had to suspend them below a garage door mechanism. step 4 – securing the frames together The frames themselves are fairly mobile and the danger with the set up as it is at the moment is that the frames will swing apart and allow the hard top to drop. We get around this by utilising the last two lengths of chain. Using a pair of pliers, slightly open the end link and then hook it onto the lower corner link of the front frame (you’ll probably need to lift the short length of tube a little to do this). Now using the pliers again, close the link to prevent it coming loose. Repeat for the other side.

step 5 – suspending the hard top You will need two people to store the hard top on the frame, begin by unhooking both side chains and then manoeuvre the hard top between you so that the rear of the top is sitting at an angle on the rear frame. We found that installing some pipe lagging

on the rear frame makes this job easier. One of you needs to hold the rear frame in place and support the hard top whilst the other one swings the front frame forwards, you can then lift the front of the hard top and swing the front frame back into position. Lastly, hook the two side chains back into position to secure. If the frame is positioned correctly on the ceiling, we have found that you can use it to gauge the distance into the garage when parking the car beneath it. The frame could also be adapted with ropes and pulleys to allow it to be raised and lowered, making fitment to the car a oneperson job. By Andy Phillips

Driving hard in the Highlands There is an excess of many things in Scotland. An excess of beautiful snowcapped mountains, crystal-clear lochs and acres of heather-speckled moors. Then of course there is an excess of fantastic roads twisting and turning their way though glens, passes and forests with only a rare traveller

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approaching in the opposite direction. The excessively fantastic amount of bonhomie shown by our Freedom of Scotland group is yet another reason why every MGF owner should seek out our longest-running regular event, the Highlander. It was a quick return across the border

for us as the 2009 event was only in September and still fresh in our minds. Now the event has returned to its more traditional slot of early May and some fine springtime weather clearing away the winter’s own excess. Based this year at the Royal Hotel in Bridge of Allen, under the JULY 2010


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Lovely wee road at Glen Quiach

An F-filled layby

stern gaze of William Wallace, the car park was soon full of F/TFs where the Lowland newcomers met the Highland regulars before the first of three night’s fine dining under the Hotel’s chandeliers. Early on Saturday morning, the cars set off under the guidance of Alan Dunlop and Glenn Nielson who led the sinuous convoy of some 30 cars out into the Trossachs and ‘Perfect Perthshire’ for the morning’s run. Lunch was taken at a Log Cabin high up on the hillside reminiscent of the Swiss Alps and very much attuned to the skiing fraternity. It was not hard to imagine these hills covered in snow in the winter. After 180 miles of driving we reached our final destination, the Royal Hotel, just where we started, and settled in for another night’s hospitality.

Sunday saw the sun still shining and the tops still in the lowered position. The promise of more scenery, ‘Lochs Galore’ and single-track roads was more than kept as we clung to narrow roads bordering enigmatic lochs, a strange sight for the fishermen dipping their rods into the cold water as 30 cars of the same model passed them. The lunch stop at Dunoon overlooked the ferry across the Clyde to Glasgow but today the Fs had become splintered with a ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ group as well as some cars taking slightly more ‘independent’ routes, including us as somehow we managed to do the second part of the route in reverse! I shall always remember Otter Ferry though, sitting outside the small pub in the most delightful location you can imagine. An ancient jetty jutting out into the lock, a long beach curving to a tree-lined promontory, sweeping hills all around, the pub dog looking for scraps and not a sound to be heard apart from the gentle sweep as small waves hit the pebbles and, of course, an MGF adding to the view. Idyllic, but we had to get on as another

The Log Cabin, Kirkmichael

Simon Davies’s 85th on the jetty at Otter Ferry

Some of the Highlanders at the Drovers Inn

meal would be waiting back at Bridge of Allen. Driving back past more clear stretches of gently ruffled water, the 220 miles of that day’s run seemed in no way excessive, and we pulled into the Royal Hotel with serene images of tree-lined lochs still burned on our retinas. Time for a final meal and then after dinner in the bar recounting the adventures of the weekend and maybe a little tasting of some of Scotland’s best-known product, the whisky, but not to excess of course. The 2011 Highlander is already planned with our base being Scotland’s Hotel in Pitlochry from May 6–8. You can actually book the Hotel now on 01796 484900 (booking ref MG Car Club) to ensure a place and register with the Club later.

Top mGF events A year after the MGF was launched, MG cars organised an event to take place at the Heritage Motor Centre, an event to which all those purchasers of the company’s allnew Roadster, were invited. Around 2,000 owners responded and descended on Gaydon. The following year a similar event was held to celebrate the second anniversary of the MGF, once again organised by the company itself. Subsequently three more events were organised on a much smaller scale, the first at Brooklands where the event was shared with a ‘Festival of Speed’ weekend and organised by MGF fans via the MG Enthusiast’s Internet forum. The following year saw a return to Brooklands but this time the MGF Register had a hand in the organisation along with the same Enthusiast’s forum the previous year. The final flourish was organised by the MGF Register and took 50

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MGF10 logo with designer Gerry McGovern’s signature

place in September 2000 at the Midlands Motor Museum on a cold and wet day. So the early birthday parties came to an end after five years of celebrations and would not be resurrected until the tenth anniversary of the MGF loomed in 2005. It was logical to return to the Heritage Motor Centre again, the scene of the first two company-organised events, and to aim for as close to the original dates as we could, so the event took place in the autumn.

The crowds at MGF10

The 1995 Birthday cars at MGF10

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MGF MGF10 was an attempt to recreate those early celebrations but in a different way. By 2005, and after ten years of MGF production, it would have been impossible to invite all the owners individually, as happened at those first two events, so the general call was put out for owners to attend via the MGCC and MGOC. Little did we know, as planning began, that 2005 was going to be a momentous year for MG with the company closing down just months before our celebratory event. Looking back at the three postmanufacturer events we put a target of 200 cars on the event but were bowled over when more than 500 F/TFs attended along with many other representatives of the MG marque. Highlights of the event included regional and international runs into Gaydon, Concours, Gymkhana, special displays of MGFs, including the original ‘Metro Mule’, and a series of lectures in the Heritage Centre itself. This culminated in a ‘Design Team Panel’ where you could ask questions of some of the original designers and engineers, including Brian Griffin, Rob Oldaker and Adrian Guyll. The guest of honour on that occasion was Gerry McGovern who chose the ‘Car of the Show’, an Abingdon LE belonging to Joe Brown, and who happily signed autographs for a long queue of MGF enthusiasts. Following a year’s break, the MGFest series was created initially at Billing Aquadrome in 2007 and then moving back to the Heritage Motor Centre again for the next two years. In 2010, we return to Gaydon for the next milestone MGF/TF event, MGFifteen on Sunday August 1. Joe Brown, in fact, was the first entry in the prestigious Pride of Ownership competition to be held at MGFifteen and is trying to retain his significant anniversary crown! With the MG name now in new ownership and back in the headlines, following the preview at MGLive! of the

new MG6 fastback saloon, the future for the marque is certainly looking a lot better than it did at MGF10. At this year’s event there will be new cars on display from MG dealer JayBee Motors and we hope that MG Motor may provide an extra surprise for us. We’ll also be celebrating the 15th Anniversary with special paddocks for the 75th, 80th and 85th Anniversary models as well as pre-production and production cars from 1995. There will be talks in the gallery from SAIC’s Ian Pogson and the MGOC’s Roger Parker. Outside, Rob Bell will be presenting a special discussion on Project Shed, with the actual car on show, where he will be able to answer some of your technical questions on the project. There’s plenty of opportunity for you to take part and one of the main features of the show will be the four point Runs starting from north, south, east and west of Gaydon, which will cross as they head into Gaydon for a full day at the show. Entrants for the Runs will receive special rally plates and souvenir plaques to mark the occasion. We’ve previously aimed for the MGFest series and now for MGFifteen to be interactive events and we want you to take part. You can dress up your car(s) in the Fancy Dress Paddock, test your skills in the Fun Driving Tests, get the ear plugs out for the Loudest Exhaust and the sunglasses on for the Glo Car Competition on Saturday night. Don’t forget to send your photos in for the digital photo competition with the winning 12 in the MGF/TF class featuring in our 2011 calendar. You’ll find an application form and rules for all of the events at MGFifteen online at www.mgfest. You can enter more than one thing using the same form and e-mail or post it back. Entry to all extra events is free for MGCC members – all you need pay for is the entry to the show itself and/or the road runs and camping. Tickets are on sale now at, just

Meet your Reps

involved in the MG scene when a few of us got together to form Central Scotland MGF. I never imagined what an influence on my life just owning a particular car was to be! The Freedom group was formed in late May 2008 and became part of the Register shortly after. It has been going from strength to strength with an active forum and wellattended monthly pub meets on the second Tuesday of each month at The Red Deer, Cumbernauld. Our Sunday runs are often organised by Glenn Neilson or myself but we like to invite our members from around the country to organise runs in their areas for us all to benefit from their local knowledge. We

Continuing our monthly introduction to the Register’s Regional Reps we take a trip to Scotland where Alan Dunlop, fresh from the Highlander, introduces us to the Freedom of Scotland group. Alan Dunlop – Freedom of Scotland “Hi, I am Alan Dunlop and I am the Regional Representative for the Scotland Region of the MGF Register. I have been besotted with the MGF/TF since I first laid eyes upon one and my current car, a TF160, is my eighth. I became

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MGFifteen logo

All types of MG are welcome at MGFifteen

The Glo Car competition will take place on the campsite on Saturday evening

click on events and look for MGFifteen or ring them on 01926 287728 quoting MGCC2010 for a members’ discount on the road runs and overnight camping. There’s no event or evening party on Saturday this year; however, there will be an informal gathering on the campsite with MGFifteen beer and when it gets dark we’ll be lighting up the Glo Cars (so if you want to take part in that you have to be there on Saturday night!). All details and updates can be found at along with archives of the previous ‘Fest’ events and MGF10, so if you are a new ‘effer’ you can see what all the fuss is about. took over the running of the ever-popular ‘Highlander’ event this year following the success of our Peebles Weekender in 2009. This year we also intend to be at MG Fifteen on our way to Dover for the start of our ‘Ecosse 3000’ tour from Glasgow to Paris to Bordeaux and back over two weeks and we will take part in the Caledonian Centre’s Glamis event in July. We are always happy to welcome new faces so if you are in the area, please look us up and feel free to come along. (Check out the Freedom Forum at www.mgfreedom. or e-mail for updates on all our events.)” JULY 2010


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MGLIVE! SILVERSTONE REPORT The sun shone brightly for most of MGLive! By Martin Price


he annual pilgrimage to Silverstone was again a superb three-day affair, with all manner of attractions for young and old alike. Indeed the weather was very kind for all but the last couple of races on Sunday and for the very first time we were racing on the historic Grand Prix circuit. This meant that for the opening and final quarters of each lap it was business as usual, as they left the startline and headed through Copse, Maggotts and Becketts. However, instead of taking the tight right down to Abbey, the drivers headed to Chapel Curve, down the incredibly fast Hanger Straight, right through Stowe, then onto Vale, Club and back up the Farm Straight to Abbey. After this point, they would find the familiar Bridge, Priory, Brooklands and Luffield complex, before crossing the finish line to begin another tour. Friday saw untimed testing and this gave drivers the opportunity to not only make sure their cars were well, but also to familiarise themselves with the longer course and by the time that qualifying began on Saturday morning, most were quite excited by the challenge. As has become the norm, there were a couple of races before lunch and the first of these was a combined affair which included both the Drayton Manor Park MG Metro Cup competitors and also Classes A + B of the Lancaster Insurance MG Owners’ Club Championship. No fewer than 42 cars took to the grid and the two championships proved to be very evenly matched and produced some outstanding racing. Pole position was snatched by reigning champion, Andrew Ashton, driving his Class C Metro GTi, with Mike Williams only 0.3sec slower. Row two found Simon White alongside the fastest MGOC driver, Will Sharpe. As the lights went out, it was Mike Williams who made the best get away, leading the


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pack through Copse and up to Becketts. Andrew Ashton and Simon White were in close contention, less than a second splitting the leading trio as they began lap 2. Jim Baynam was going well in fourth spot, keeping Sharpe and Dunkley behind him. On lap 2, Williams was forced to retire with ignition problems and White took the lead; this started a brilliant battle between himself and Ashton. Next time round, Ashton made a slick passing manoeuvre to regain the lead, which he would hold until lap 6, when White squeezed past again, but the battle was not over. These two scrapped all the way to the flag, often side by side and never more than tenths of a second apart. A very relieved White slipped over the line just half a second ahead to secure victory. Sharpe grabbed a well-deserved third place overall and won the Lancaster Insurance battle. One of the best fought scraps was between the MGB of Jim Baynam and the Metro of Tony Howe; these two crossed the line with just 0.011sec between them, a truly great dice. There was also a super fight for the Class B Metro honours, as Lee McNamara

and Tom Sanderson exchanged blows for the Class title; finally 0.4sec split them at the flag, in McNamara’s favour. There was amazingly close racing throughout the field and this was a great way to kick off the meeting. Race 2 brought some fantastic machinery to the grid for the MG Car Club Historic British Sportscar event. Divided into five Classes, we saw outstanding examples of Aston Martin, Austin Healey and MG, as well as a group of very interesting GT and sports cars. Qualifying had seen the superb Marcos GT of Chris Conoley and Allen Tice quickest by nearly a second, sharing the front row with the beautiful Austin Healey 3000 of David Grace; Bruce Montgomery, driving another big Healey was on the second row, alongside the MGB of James Cottingham. From the start, the race was dominated by the Conoley/Tice Marcos; Montgomery and Grace tried valiantly, but could do nothing about the leading car’s pace, as it was gaining over a second a lap from its nearest rival. This was a pit stop race and some drivers began pitting early. However, the leading group stayed out and

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COMPS the order remained unchanged. On lap 5, Cottingham managed to get past Smithies for fourth place, with the MGB of Tom Smith not far behind. From lap 8 to 13, most crews pitted and it was virtually impossible to work out the running order. However, by the time the Conoley/Tice Marcos came in, they were so far ahead that they rejoined, still in the lead. Although not the quickest on the track, the sight and sound of the Astons was incredible, and they certainly were driving on their limit and providing great entertainment for the crowds. Unfortunately, on lap 8, we lost the big Healey of David Grace, elevating Smithies to third overall. One super dice which developed in the second half of the race, was between the ex-Works Midget of MGCC Competitions Director, Dave Saunders, being driven by John Palmer, and the Dick Jacobs Midget Coupé of James Willis. Both cars only had 1293cc A series engines, but they were flying and finished in the top half of the field of much more powerful vehicles. As the 50-minute race drew to a close, the Conoley/Tice Marcos took the flag 48 seconds ahead of Montgomery, with Smithies third. The best MG was Tom Smith in his MGB; Mike Thorne took the Austin Healey 100 honours and Andrew Sharp was the quickest of the mildly modified Astons, whilst Jim Campbell won the Feltham Standard division. Next out was the first of the weekend’s encounters of the Moss Europe BCV8 Championship, they were out with the MGCC Cockshoot Cup contenders and this meant a highly diverse collection of machinery, from standard cars on road tyres to the mighty slick-shod V8s. Paul Sibley easily claimed pole position from Joe Parrington, with the V8 of Bernard Foley on the second row, alongside the quickest of the Cockshoot brigade, the LE 500 of Mark Humphrey. As the lights went out, Sibley made it look like a one-horse race, as he rocketed into an immediate 4.5sec lead at the end of their opening tour. Despite the V8 muscle of Foley and Tilly, Sibley was in a class of his own. Parrington had enjoyed a very disappointing first lap, crossing the line back in tenth place. Further down the field and heading the BCV8 Class B battle were the Wheelers, James getting the better of Jonnie in the opening few laps, but these two were having serious competition from Simon Cripps and Ian Prior. Samuels and Hall were going well in Class C but both dropped out

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after five laps, leaving the Class honours to Phil Walker. Sibley continued to press on and as the race was red flagged he was 22 seconds clear of Tilly, with Parrington, having made a brilliant recovery, finishing in third place. Meanwhile, the Cockshoot race was a very tight affair at the front; Mark Humphrey having to battle hard to keep Dave Coulthard’s Trophy ZR 190 behind him; just 0.5sec split them at the end. Sean Peters took Class B from Peter Bramble by over 20 seconds and Jeremy Toes beat Ian Wright in the Class A Midget scrap. Race 4 was a real cracker, I admit that I am biased, but the T Type and MMM races have always been my favourite events since my first visit to an MG Car Club Silverstone weekend, back in 1971! However, predictably, it was the quick MGAs which claimed the front row, with Steve Smith and Colin Jones. Behind them were Alan Kyson, in his MGA Twin Cam, and George Edney’s TB, driven by his son, Peter. Forty-two cars took to the grid for the Hamilton Classic race and a wonderful sight they made. Right from the start, Steve Smith stamped his name on the silverware; as he pulled dramatically away from his fellow MGA opponents. However, a great battle developed between the MGAs of Cody, Kyson and Bob Lines, as lap after lap just tenths split them. Sadly, a number of the usual T Type frontrunners were forced to retire, leaving Edney to have a fairly comfortable drive to the flag. However, the MMM battle was far from a walk in the park as Annie Templeton, great to see you out again in the KN Special Annie, slugged it out with the pretty PA single-seater of John Bishop; Annie taking the flag by just 0.8sec. There were other fantastic duels throughout the field, but one of the best was between the super Dick Jacobs Special of Stuart Dean and Shaun Bromley’s MGA, they crossed the finish line only 0.011sec apart. Next out was the first of two encounters of the Luffield MG Trophy Championship and this always provides some excellent and very close racing. They were out with the Lancaster Insurance MGOC Classes F and Z. Reigning Trophy

champion, Chris Bray, just managed to pip Colin Robertson for pole, with the rapid LE 500 of Paul Luti alongside Andy Raine on the row behind. As the lights went out, Bray managed to hold off Luti into Copse, but only just, with Robertson only a fraction adrift; Raine was holding onto fourth and Ben Jacques was doing his best to keep with the leaders, in fifth, at the end of the opening tour. Raine scrambled into third place on lap 2 and Luti was all over the back of Bray, looking certain to pass. Next time round he did just that, but it was not to last, as Bray pressured the LE 500 and regained the lead and, in so doing, Luti dropped to third behind Raine. On lap 6, Luti squeezed back into second place and was just a second off Bray. These two had a fantastic dice for the remainder of the race, Bray taking the flag by just half a second. Colin Robertson was third but only by a whisker, as he had Graham Ross; now back on form after his Brands Hatch drama, right behind him. Newcomer, Paul Streather, easily took the Class C honours from Daniel Molloy. In the Lancaster Insurance battle, Martin Wills made the best of the opening laps in his MGF, but, on lap 6, Andy Campbell surged ahead in the ZR and began to amass an unassailable lead, eventually crossing the line over eight seconds ahead. It was the turn of the Equipe GTS racers next and we have become used to great battles in this series and we were not to be disappointed on this occasion. It was an all-MGB first three rows, with Mike Harris and James Cottingham at the front, Brian Lambert and Jeremy Stock on the second row, and David Beresford and Adrian Johnson behind them. Cottingham made a great getaway and headed the pack into Copse and up to Becketts, with Lambert, Harris, Stock and Beresford close behind. Next time round, Beresford forged ahead of Harris and Stock to hold third place. The leading two were almost swapping paint, they were that close and, on lap 3, Lambert managed to take the lead at Copse. However, this was very short JULY 2010


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lived, as next time round the order was restored, with Cottingham back in front, following a fantastic pass on the outside at Bridge. Lambert was having none of it and fought back to retake the lead at the halfway point. This time he was not going to give the place away and despite a very serious challenge for a few more tours, he took the flag with a healthy three seconds to spare. Beresford hung on to claim third place, well clear of Harris and the Class 5 winning TR4 of John Andon. Peter Barnard beat John Yea to claim the Class 4 spoils and a brilliant 13th overall by Brian Arculus, in the Lotus Elite, was good enough for the Class 2 win. Race 7 saw the second of the two Drayton Manor Park MG Metro Cup races, with the Lancaster Insurance MGOC Classes A and B. From the start, Mike Williams looked in fine form and there seemed to be nothing wrong with the car’s ignition this time, as he took the lead on the opening tour. However, Andrew Ashton made a successful bid for the lead on lap 2 and began to put daylight between himself and the rest. On lap 4, Paul Ashton, who had risen to fourth place, was forced to retire. Next time round, Simon White put Williams under extreme pressure and stole second spot, where he would remain for the rest of the race. Up to a superb fourth place was the leading MGOC driver, Will Sharpe, who had his Midget flying. Lee McNamara took the Class B honours in the Metro race and the Maestro of Henry Sharpe claimed the MGOC Class B spoils. The last track action for Saturday was the second of the two Moss Europe BCV8 Championship races, run again with the Cockshoot Cup. It was a very similar tale to round one, with Paul Sibley rocketing off the line as the lights went out and then beginning to build an impenetrable lead. Chris Tilly and Joe Parrington did what they could, but, on the day, they were no match for an onform Sibley. On lap 3, Tilly dropped back, gifting second place to Parrington, who was eager to accept. At the halfway mark, Foley and Walker moved up to third and fourth 54

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respectively, amidst a great deal of lapping slower cars. This leading order was to remain unaltered to the flag; which meant that Walker won Class C, as well as ending up a superb fourth overall. Mark Humphrey drove a brilliant race to win the Cockshoot honours, finishing in an excellent sixth place overall, ahead of David Coulthard in the ZR 190. Russell McCarthy claimed the BCV8 Class B honours, with a splendid seventh place, whilst Class AB was won by Christopher Forrest and Robert Croft was best of Class A. Peter Bramble took his faithful MGB home to win the Cockshoot Class B battle and Steve McKie beat Jeremy Toes to the Cockshoot Class A victory. There was some doubt about the weather for Sunday’s racing and the morning dawned cloudy, overcast and cooler. However, after morning qualifying, the racing began in the dry with the first of two events for the Surveying Devon and Cornwall MG Midget Challenge. We haven’t seen anything of William Smallridge and his pristine maroon Class A car this year, but he was there today to remind the rest just how quick he is, as he placed his car on pole, with Paul Sibley alongside him. David Weston and Richard Perry shared row two, with Gil Duffy and Edward Reeve occupying the third. As the lights went out, the Class A boys predictably shot off into the lead, but an opening lap mistake by Smallridge at Brooklands, dropped him down to sixth at the start of their second tour. Sibley was in front, forging a lead over Perry and Weston, with Duffy and Reeve another couple of seconds further back. However, Smallridge had regained his composure and was coming back through the field and, at the start of lap 3, he was back up to second place and reducing the margin between himself and Sibley. In Class B, Dominic Mooney was getting the better of Nigel Pratt, as one of their close rivals, Mark Turner, had started at the back of the grid following qualifying problems. In Class C, Ian Langford was having it all his own way over Dave Pymm. By lap 8, Smallridge was right up behind Sibley and challenging for the lead. They scraped throughout the

final few laps and crossed the line to begin their final tour side by side. Smallridge then sailed past at Copse and just hung onto the lead until the flag fell. Weston was a fairly distant third, with Duffy fourth, following the demise of Reeve on the final tour. Mooney had built a great advantage over Pratt to claim Class B and Langford was untroubled to win Class C. Next was a 30-minute round of the Aero Racing Morgan Challenge and this brought 31 cars to the track. Matthew Wurr claimed pole from Andrew Thompson, with Philip Goddard and Andy green on the second row. For the opening couple of laps, it was Thompson who made the running from Lees, Wurr, Acklam and Green. However, by the end of lap, Phil Hollins had progressed from the third row of the grid to third place and next time round a mistake by Thompson promoted him to second spot just behind the new leader, Matthew Wurr, with Lees in third place. There was little change until lap 9, when Hollins snatched the lead, but Wurr was not giving up. He hounded the leader so much that there was often only a tenth between them. On the final lap, Hollins mounted his final attack at the complex and squeezed by at Luffield, to take the flag by just 0.09sec. This had been a fine race and great entertainment for the crowd. Steve McDonald and Philip St.Clair Tisdall had a super scrap for the Class C honours; whilst Simon Orebi Gann won Class R. It was the turn of the Peter Best Insurance Challenge next, which always brings a great selection of MGs to the grid. Simon Cripps, MGB GT V8, and Alan Brooke’s Metro had the best of qualifying and were on the front row, with the BGT of David Brooke and the Midget of Simon Hutchinson on row two. David Brooke headed the rest on the opening tour, with Hutchinson almost touching his tailgate, Barry Holmes was a couple of seconds adrift, but he was keeping ahead of Ollie Neaves. However, further down the field there was opening lap drama at Becketts, as the spinning Austin Healey of John Moon was collected by Richard Wilson. To make matters worse, David Brown, who did all he could to avoid Wilson’s MGB, collided with Moon and the Healey caught fire. Brown and Moon were taken to the on-site medical centre, but Wilson was unharmed. Hutchinson and Holmes swapped places on lap 2 and two tours later, Hutchinson took the lead. On lap 5, Cripps stole second spot and began to attack Hutchinson, so much so,

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COMPS that on the penultimate tour, he swept into the lead and just managed to hold onto it to the end, but only by 0.143sec as the flag fell. Ollie Neaves claimed third place from Barry Holmes and David Brooke. The Class A battle was superb, with Lew Bergonzi, James Walpole and James Darby trading places throughout, Bergonzi finally taking the Class honours; James Brice brought his TF 160 home to win Class F. Race 12 was the second encounter of the Equipe GTS series and James Cottingham made the early running, holding off the challenge from David Beresford. Brian Lambert was only a whisker adrift and he had John Andon and Peter Barnard breathing down his neck. On lap 3, Lambert moved into second place and began an attack for the lead. Sure enough, on lap 10, he managed to pass Cottingham to scrape a very narrow victory. Beresford was third, with Andon and Foster fourth and fifth. Brian Arculus took the Elite to the Class 2 victory ahead of Tony Wilson Spratt in the pretty WMS Sprite. Next we saw the second Luffield MG Trophy race, again out with the Lancaster Insurance MGOC Classes F and Z, but to make things a little more interesting, this was a reverse grid race. As the lights went out it was Doug Cole who made the best of it, but Paul Luti was on a mission and rocketed down the straight and into Copse, rising from tenth place to second. He then passed Cole and stayed in the lead despite his tyres going off towards the end. Chris Bray had a torrid opening lap, following a poor start and then being baulked by spinning cars. However, he soon got into his stride and ploughed up the field to second spot with a lap to go. The leading three fought hard and there was less than a second splitting them, but the order remained unchanged to the flag. Robertson, Raine and Ross were equally close for fourth, fifth and sixth. In his first season in the championship, Paul Streather sowed up another Class win to dominate the series overall. In the MGOC race, Martin Wills had a titanic battle with Andy Campbell, taking the flag just 0.8sec apart. The rest of the field was relatively strung out, apart from an interesting duel between the ZR 160s of Olsson, Philps and Sullivan. Race 14 was the Motoring Classics Thoroughbred Sports Cars event, in which Roy McCarthy had dominated qualifying in his familiar yellow BGT V8. He had the rapid Morgan Plus 8 of Chris Acklam for company, with Eike Wellhausen’s Lister Jaguar Knobbley and Andy Green’s

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Morgan Plus 8 just behind. At the start it was McCarthy who headed them round for their opening tour, with Simon Garrad and Chris Acklam in close contention. Josh Files’ TR6 was going well, as was the similar machine of Jon Ellison. The order of the leading four remained until lap 5, when McCarthy made a slight error and slipped down the field. This elevated Wellhausen to the front, with Garrad in second. McCarthy began to pedal harder and moved back up to third place. Further back, Colin Jones, MGA Twin Cam, was embroiled in a super dice with Peter Barnard’s pretty little Elva Courier for Class B. Garrad briefly took the lead on lap 7, but it was not to last, as Wellhausen put the pressure on and slid back into the lead, where he would stay until the flag. On the final tour, Roy McCarthy pulled off a great move to pass Garrad for well-earned second place. Those who had been enthralled with the racing could be forgiven for missing the fact that the sky over the far side of the circuit was looking decidedly dark and ominous. Could we have the last two races in the dry? Sadly, the answer was to be – NO! The penultimate event of the weekend was the second MG Midget Challenge encounter and as they made their way out onto the grid, there were a few spots of rain falling. Paul Sibley made a good start and led the rest into Copse and up to Becketts for the first time. He had Smallridge just behind him, followed by Dave Weston and Edward Reeve. As the race progressed, the rain became heavier and drama ensued. Classes A and B run on slick tyres and by the time they had done their opening lap, they were struggling to keep their cars on the track let alone trying to race. On lap 3, reigning champion, Dominic Mooney, blew his engine to pieces and we lost Moore, who spun at Copse and was subsequently collected by Henderson; Pratt and Stagg also dropped out on this tour. The rest continued to tiptoe round, survival being their objective. Smallridge passed Sibley to take the lead and Weston moved up into second spot. Sibley then went into the pits for wet tyres, but they were not ready

for him and he rejoined the race only to try again a lap later, but his wets were still not ready, so he soldiered on to the end on his big slicks. Considering the state of the track, Smallridge and Weston pushed on at a great pace, leaving the others way behind. After seven laps, they took the flag and gratefully returned to the paddock. Reeve ended up in third place, with Martin Morris in fourth. Ian Langford brought his Class C car home in a fine fifth place, easily winning his Class, having passed the Class B car of Andrew Actman on the final tour; treaded tyres played a great part in his success! With eight Class B drivers failing to finish, Andrew Actman took the Class victory from Stanton and Bilsland. The final action of the weekend was a 40-minute pit stop race for one, or two, drivers. The rain was still falling and the track was extremely slippery as they made their way out onto the track. Indeed, one car spun into the pit wall on the green flag lap, such were the conditions. Charles Hazel, in his ZR 190, made the early running, pulling out a clear lead over the ZR 160 of Penfold and Surridge, who just headed the ZR 220 of Walker and Wahlgren. Predictably, the K Series-powered Midget of Ian Staines and Rob Griffiths was going well and by the end of the second tour, it was up to third. By lap 4, some drivers were opting to take their pit stop and little can be made of the overall order, as people come in and go out. However, Hazel stayed out until lap 8, building a great lead in the process. He rejoined in second place, behind the Penfold and Surridge car, which had also pitted, but he could do little about their advantage and had to settle for second spot. Staines and Griffiths hung on to a great third place, a long way ahead of the MGB of Prior and Jones. Cottingham and Gardner were next to cross the line, beating the BV8 of Joe Parrington and Adrian Beer. So ended a great weekend’s racing, on a superb circuit, spoilt only by a couple of accidents and the rain at the end – not bad really for two days of competition and 16 events. We are all off to Cadwell Park next in early September, I’ll see you there. JULY 2010


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Silverstone Sprint Report By Martin Price

Martin Price pushing hard in his TA. Photo: Andy Knott Terry Pigott leaving the line to take FTD after one lap. Photo: Andy Knott


t was great news when the competitors in the MG Car Club Luffield Speed Championship learnt that the annual Silverstone Sprint was to be held on the new Stowe circuit. Formally a rather tame triangle, the new Stowe is a very tight and demanding course, run anti-clockwise and having a splendid combination of hairpin bends, flowing corners, the odd chicane and a couple of reasonably good straights, all adding up to about 1.2 miles in total, interestingly longer than the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, which the Club uses for one of its main race weekends. For the Luffield Championship Sprint, each run comprised of one and three-quarter laps of the track, making a superb challenge for the drivers. The event was organised by the North West Centre and, following a drivers’ briefing, practice began more or less on time. As competitors were going round the circuit almost twice per run, only one practice was offered and we began the timed runs by mid-morning. The freshly laid track was in great condition, dry with bags of grip and it was not long before times began to tumble. A few of the saloon car Classes were thinly supported; most of the others had a good entry, making a total of over 90 drivers. Mandy Smith and Alan Davies were the only representatives in their Classes and in Class 3B, the Nicholson family battle went to Sam, by over a second. Michael Ashcroft, driving a ZR beat his Porsche and Jaguar rivals and Paul Masters was the only Racing car up to 1100cc. We lost the Radical SR4 of Speedscene Magazine journalist, Clive Wooster, in practice; Colin Watson was the quickest of the Formula Fords. In the Vintage and MMM Class, John Bishop stormed round in his very rapid PA


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Andrew Till taking a Class win in his MG ZR 105. Photo: Martin Cumming

to clock a best time of 139.40sec to claim the Class honours. In the Road Going T Type class, the beautiful TA special of Antony Smith kept yours truly in check, only to find at the end that the car which had won the T Type race the day before had been put in this Class and promptly beat the lot of us, with Suzanne Parker at the helm. In the Modified T Type Class, Keith Benningfield beat his son in the exracing TC, with George Cooper, driving the delightful Cooper MG, in third place. In the Class for standard MGs up to 1500cc, Andrew Till, having dropped back to a ZR105 from last season’s ZR160, dominated throughout the day. In the 1501 – 2400cc division, Tim Kirkham and Bill Sharpe had a great battle, both in TF 160s, Tim taking the Class eventually by just 0.2sec. David Jones, driving a similar motor car was third. In the over 2401cc group, Richard Froggatt was the sole competitor in his ZT V8. In the Road Going A Class 1501 – 2400cc Edward Johnson was a clear winner from James Johnson, both driving an MGF VVC. Les Cole was the only one in the over 2401cc group. In Road Going B up to 1500cc, David Savage kept ahead of Roy Clark all day to claim the Class win. In the 1501 – 2400cc division, Rob Orford

and Mike Cole had a super tussle, with Rob coming out on top by just 0.25sec; Konrad Kensch was only a whisker behind in third place. Ashley Woodward was on his own in the over 2401cc group and, sadly, there was only one in the Group 4 Road Going MG Specials Class, namely David Morrison, but what a performance; his best time was 112.29sec; which seemed destined to trounce the rest of the field. In the 1501 – 3000 group, Bryan Mutch pushed his Midget just hard enough to beat Terry Drinkwater and in the 3001cc and over category, Andy Walker beat Nick Walker in the BV8. Sadly, Terry Pigott had a reoccurrence of mechanical problems, where he found great difficulty in keeping the oil in his engine. However, his first and only timed run was all it took to earn the award for fastest MG with a time of 111.36sec. In the class for Racing MG Specials, Richard Watkinson beat John Hawley, both driving Midgets. In the double driven ZR, Howard Potter outperformed Ian McDougal-Bell. We had invited the Austin Healey Club to this event and they gave great support. In the Class for Sprites, Paul Baker just pipped Ralph Haywood, with Murray Wakenham in third place. Finally, in the big Healey Class, Pat Cooper and Mike Cockayne had a real battle, Pat ending in front, but only just; Richard Mason was third. Fastest Time of the Day went to Paul Masters, his Jedi Mk6 clocked a splendid 97.2sec. Everyone had the opportunity to have three timed runs and we were very lucky with the weather, the rain began to fall a few moments after the award presentations were made. So, who is up for it next year?

Chris Pamplin in the Dargue MG. Photo: Martin Cumming

25/06/2010 16:53

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25/06/2010 16:53


with Ron Gammons

SILVERSTONE TORQUE Well the Club’s major UK event this year is now history, but what an event and kaleidoscope of memories visitors will have gone away with! The racing was a major part and while there was some concern expressed prior by various people about the risk of engine blow ups on the long, fast Hangar Straight these just didn’t happen. Indeed by the end of the meeting most drivers seem to have been pretty happy with our first foray onto the Historic GP Circuit and spoke of the real pleasure of some fast open bends rather than the chicane type of corner which most circuits have these days. The Historic GP Circuit allows us to cut out the chicane at Club which, along with the modifications to the track, makes it one of the most demanding corners this year at Silverstone, although the Maggots, Beckets, Chapel complex comes in a very close second! Both demand precision entry in order to carry as much speed as possible up the straights that follow. A true driver’s circuit which gave great enjoyment. Let’s hope we can go back next year. As can be imagined such a major meeting has a significant administrative workload attached and Steve Carr the Club’s very hard-working Race Competition Secretary was almost under siege prior to the meeting with constant phone calls. Many of the questions could have been solved without the call and while most competitors had got their


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entries in earlier this year, there were still a number who either failed or then wanted to change something. Despite all that Steve managed to get the paperwork in order and signing on commenced promptly on the Friday morning. This year we managed to reduce the queues at the race sign on, but transferred them to the testing element, sorry about that and clearly some rethinking is called for there. It was not helped by significant numbers of drivers arriving very early for much later testing sessions. Another problem, which didn’t help, was the track configuration run by Silverstone for the first three sessions was using the chicane at Club! Because of the great importance of the corner it was felt that those drivers should be given the opportunity to run again, so that clogged up the system again while we reallocated them. These things are sent to try us! Apart from that the testing on the Friday passed without major incident! It’s always an eye opener when people realise just how much effort actually goes into the organisation of running a meeting. For instance, over the weekend we had over 200 marshals out at track side quite apart from all the other staff in Race Administration, Race Control, Timekeeping, Medical, Breakdowns and circuit staff ready to make sure all the facilities remained operational throughout the three days of the event. Literally hundreds of people, the vast majority volunteers, who receive no pay whatsoever, all have to be briefed to ensure that they know what is expected of them and all of the equipment. Without these teams of people motor racing would not happen Paddock parking again caused some complaints this year. Walking around the paddock it was clear that a significant

number of racers had ignored requests for private cars to be put into one of the other car parks. Trailers were another major issue. We did not run a trailer park as we had considered due to concerns about access to the area at the Beckets end of the National Straight that had been in mind. Next year almost certainly this will have to be done. This will be in line with other major meetings, for instance, at the Silverstone Classic at the end of July even motor homes are banished to the outside. The other problem it has to be said is that a few racers rope off quite large areas of paddock for their own use without any consideration for others. Sadly if we do not manage to get a workable solution to the parking problems we will have to have paddock marshals and car passes etc, all of which will have to be paid for. That’s right! Extra on the entry fees! The solution is in our hands! However, let’s not take away any of the terrific success of the event, very few Clubs could have achieved what we did. Quite apart from all the other activities we ran a three-day motor sport event, consisting of one-day testing, and two-days of practice and racing in which we successfully ran 16 races. No doubt Martin’s report will give details but there were some real highlights and some close racing throughout. It’s also good to report that John Moon who was involved, but it has to be said not responsible, in a major race stopping accident on the Sunday was released from hospital a few days after the event. It seems the year has flown by but Cadwell is next in the beginning of September, and then the season closer at Snetterton in the beginning of October (see the Club’s website for reduced ticket offers). Some great racing still in store! Photos: Martin Cumming and Andy Knott.

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MGS ON TRACK MGs on Track is sponsored by

Dave Livingstone 07740 582830

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Croft is our most northerly venue We often get enquiries from more northerly MG enthusiasts about what events we are planning in their neighbourhood. Often our answer is not always as encouraging as they’d like. Many of our popular tracks, like Brands and Goodwood, are in the south of the country. Popular tracks are easy for us. By definition, we can expect to fill the places at a popular track without too much difficulty. So what makes a track popular? Clearly, the circuit layout has a lot to do with it – Paddock Hill bend at Brands and Craner Curves at the old Donington Park spring to mind. Then there are circuits with strong motorsport history like Silverstone and Goodwood that give them a special attraction. However, a significant component is quite simply geography. The number of cars within striking distance of a circuit determines a circuit’s viability. It is a sad fact of life that the majority of MGoT members live in the south of the country. Whenever we stray away from the densely populated south-east, we struggle with numbers. Croft is the most northerly circuit we have ever visited. It is just as exciting as Brands Hatch or Goodwood, but it is not a ‘popular’ circuit because it is a long way away from the majority of our members. In the past we’ve only managed to get to Croft with the help of other clubs, including the local Midget and Sprite Club, Lotus on Track and the MX5 Owners’ Club. This year’s event is being organised by Lotus on Track and we have taken one session of 25 cars. Even so, 25 cars is a lot of MGs to find that far north. If you are one of those more northerly MGoT members, then this is your chance – don’t miss it! 60

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Safety Fast! column contributors – where are they? Some of you may recall that a while back we enjoyed the services of a young trainee journalist, Rob Jones. He wrote a number of Safety Fast! features for us whilst completing his post-graduate studies. Well, he is now fully qualified and having added his MGoT experience to his CV he has landed himself a full-time staff writer position with a new magazine called How it Works. If you’re interested take a look at More recently, we’ve enjoyed a couple of contributions from MGB owner, Alan Hersey. However, just as Alan was getting into the swing of reporting on our events, he suffered a major motorbike accident, putting him out of action for some months. Fortunately, he is now well on the road to recovery and even made it to our recent Rockingham day, as the following lines from his recent email shows: ‘Just a line or two to thank MGs on Track for a great day at Rockingham. Having badgered you guys about trying new circuits I was disappointed to hear that Rockingham hadn’t sold out! So although not fully healed from my injuries after my accident, I decided to nip in on a late entry via the all marques invite. As hand and back are still weak I decided to run my Scimitar road car as it’s an easier drive than my stiffly sprung Miss B. Also, Bluebird has power steering to aid my damaged hand.

Well, what a track! The infield was as good as any track I’ve tried. Add the banking and wow this track has everything a demanding race track should have. Asking around, my thoughts were confirmed by all I spoke to. As for a comparison between driving my B and the Scimitar on track – well the extra horses were certainly a real plus. The B is a far more nimble car but needs more under the go peddle. How I envy those V8 boys! A big thanks to all your hard-working Committee for a very well-run day. I’m now looking forward to my next track day at Croft – another track I’ve never driven. I should be fully fit by then so look out for me and Miss B making new friends up north, by gum! Yours on track, Alan & Miss B’ The photos show Alan and his Scimitar, Bluebird. If you would like to join Alan giving Croft a try, then go to our website www. and book your place. Croft won’t disappoint – I can guarantee it. Castle Combe reserve list Our day at Castle Combe in September is now fully booked. If you missed out, then please email Steve Hill at and he will put you on the reserve list. Calendar Reminder July 23 – Croft (open for bookings) September 6 – Castle Combe (fully booked) October 25 – Goodwood November 27 – Mallory Park December 6 – Brands Hatch

25/06/2010 16:53

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Thank you to everyone for another fantastic event.


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CALENDAR 2010 Thursday July 8 Abingdon Works Centre Beachampton Natter POO and BBQ, 7.00pm. David Storer: 01296 712518 July 10 & 11 Caledonian (Scotland) Centre Glamis Extravaganza 2010 The Glamis Castle Extravaganza is the premier and most prestigious car show within Scotland. It attracts over 15,000 enthusiastic spectators and regularly exhibits 1,500 cars, together with other vehicles, attractions and a huge autojumble. The extravaganza takes place within the grounds of one of Scotland’s oldest, most significant and attractive castles. More information: July 10 & 11 MG Car Club France INTERNATIONAL EVENT Le Mans 24-Hr Classic. Le Mans, France. July 10 –19 MGA Register MGs ‘Nanjing-Longbridge’ MGA Register will be supporting the later stages of the journey meeting up with the cars in France at Le Mans Classic on July 10, then on to Paris before arriving at Portsmouth on July 16. Saturday 17 will feature a drive in convoy starting at 10am from the Seacrest Hotel, Portsmouth, to the Dog House Inn, Abingdon. Sunday’s main event will be a congregation of MGs in the Abingdon Town Square. On Monday 19th the final leg is to Longbridge for the official photo shoot. Stuart Mumby: or 01430 871078 Sunday July 11 2010 MGC Register Haynes Motor Museum MGC Day 2010 This year we have decided to take a little bit of a gamble and go south. Our chosen location will be Haynes Motor Museum at Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 7LH, located just off the A303 and 30 minutes from junction 25 of the M5. Ginny Cartmell: 01208 821552, Monday July 12 Lincolnshire Centre Social Drive Abbey Lodge, Kirkstead, Woodhall Spa John/Sheila: 01205 750525 Wednesday July 14 Lincolnshire Centre Landlord’s Choice Wishing Well, Dyke, Bourne Steve: 01778 440619 Saturday July 17 Luffield MG MG Car Club Speed Championship Shelsey Walsh Hill Climb

Saturday July 17 T-Register ‘T Party 2010’ At Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, nr Great Witley, Worcestershire. The MAC have given us a dedicated area alongside the track to park our ‘T Types’ and to have an enjoyable picnic lunch. The cost per person is £13, a saving of £2 over the normal admission price. This meeting will be a round of the Luffield Cars MG Car Club Speed Championship. We will once again meet up at The Hundred House Hotel, nr Great Witley, prior to travelling on to Shelsley Walsh, which is only four miles from the Hotel. Please book your places in advance via the T Register. Brian Rainbow: 01926 612415 July 17 & 18 Zed Register Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, Cholmondeley Castle. Sunday July 18 South West Centre Shelsley Walsh Run Sunday July 18 Triple-M Register Summer Gathering Farnham Royal, Bucks. Informal Gathering with BBQ lunch, POO and gymkhana. Peter Green: or 01753 643468 Sunday July 18 Anglia Centre Queen Victoria Concours Billericay Andrew Woods: 01277 210009 Tuesday July 20 North West Centre Plough and Flail Royles Summer Concours. Plough and Flail, Mobberley, WA16 7DB. The Royles Summer Concours is the North West Centre’s major evening meeting of the year. We expect more than 50 MGs to attend and we have extended invitations to TRs, Vintage and other sports car clubs. The Concours is informal with judging by all the members present. There are prizes for everybody. Please join us for this superb social gathering. George Dutton: 01925 756305, Friday July 23 MGs on Track at Croft Sunday July 25 Abingdon Works Centre Summer Day Out The AWC’s traditional day in the sun, this year (provisionally) finishing at Hinton Ampner, nr Alresford, Hampshire. Mike Lamb: 0118 941 2102

Sunday July 25 Caledonian (Scotland) Centre July Jolly Starts from The Shores at Loch Lomond and travelling about 70 miles in Argyll, including runs up the old Rest and Be Thankful. Sunday July 25 Midland Centre Club Run to the Black Country Museum Sunday July 30 Tyne-Tees Centre A Supper Run to a suitable local pub organised by Trevor Leighton. Trevor: 01642 648223, Saturday July 31 Drayton Manor Metro Cup Castle Combe Race Meeting Saturday July 31 – Sunday August 1 MGFifteen at Gaydon – AKA MGFest It is the 15th Anniversary of the F this year, so we have given it a new name to highlight this significant birthday. Sunday August 1 Midland Centre (in association with the Luffield MG MG Car Club Speed Championship) SUMMER SPRINT at Curborough, nr Lichfield. A round of the Luffield Cars Speed Championship and the HSA Richard Egger Championship. Dave: 01384 253627, Marshalling, John Fry: 01584 881374 Sunday August 1 Lincolnshire Centre MG Display & Promotion Day. Revesby Country Fair. Sunday August 1 South West Centre Chew Valley Gymkhana Wednesday August 4 Lincolnshire Centre Landlord’s Choice Swallow Inn, Swallow Keith: 01472 602949 6-10 August Caledonian (Scotland) Centre Five-Day Highlands Tour The objective of the Tour is simple, drive your MG in the company of like-minded enthusiasts, on quiet roads in the awesome scenery of the West Highlands. Enjoy a holiday atmosphere by choosing to complete the entire event or, if it is more suitable, join us at one of the daily start points and do as many days as you wish. The Tour will start on Friday August 6 from the Loch Lomond National. Again we hope to have the opportunity to drive the old ‘Rest and be Thankful’. The Entry Fee will be £10 per car for the first day and £5 for each subsequent day. For more details visit www.


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25/06/2010 13:10

+(5,7$*(02725&(175( *D\GRQ:DUZLFNVKLUH













MGC DAY SUNDAY 11 JULY 2010 HAYNES MOTOR MUSEUM 10am – 4pm • • • • • • • •

Concours, Pride of Ownership etc Bring and Buy anything MG C Register Regalia for sale throughout the day 400 + Amazing Cars and Bikes in the museum Lunch Time BBQ weather permitting Model Motor Show including Scalextric, Diecast & Radio Controlled Cars Trophy Presentation & Raffle Meet Old Friends & Make New Ones

Get your weekend off to a great start by joining us Saturday Evening at the Halfway House Inn for Skittles and a Carvery Space is limited so hurry, to book your place or any further information on how to get involved please contact Ginny Cartmell e-mail or Tel 01208 821552



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Peter Best celebrates 25th birthday in style by Chris Bass

Some of Peter & Marian Best’s MGs, and their Morris.


ast Club Chairman, Peter Best, celebrated the 25th anniversary of his insurance business recently – with a gala dinner and a display of classic cars. Impressively, many of the guests were customers of PBIS who have used the company ever since it was set up – initially specifically to help MGCC members. The party was held at the Pontlands Park Hotel near Chelmsford in Essex and the cars on display included many pre- and post-war MGs, as well as a graceful Alvis and several Mercedes. The hotel forecourt was filled

to overflowing with these gleaming cars and guests enjoyed sparkling wine, Pimm’s and a three-course dinner hosted by a liveried toastmaster. After the dinner, Peter Best himself explained how it all started when he and fellow MGCC members could not find the insurance cover they needed – they used their cars a lot and in those days most classic policies had severe mileage restrictions. Through his work with Volvo, Peter had experience of the insurance industry and was able to put it to good use

An MGA that was amongst the cars present which have been insured with PBIS for 25 years. 66

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in developing a scheme tailored to club members’ needs. In the early days, Peter’s wife Marian ran the business from their home, but it rapidly expanded and soon moved to its own premises, with Peter’s full-time involvement from 1991 onwards. Other speakers included Club President Bill Wallis who expressed the debt of gratitude the MGCC owes Peter for stepping in as Chairman at particularly difficult times.

Peter Best addressing the gala dinner.

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PBIS CELEBRATES 25 YEARS Peter & Marian’s interest in MGs goes back a long way. Peter’s first car was a 1937 Morris, but Marian’s was a 1932 MG J2 – which she still has together with an early MGF. Peter has another Morris – a 1932 Minor – as well as three T Types. Peter’s understanding of how car clubs work soon led him to develop insurance schemes for others, including Morgan and British cars generally, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Saab and BMW, plus specialist vehicles such as 4 x 4s. PBIS has also expanded over the years into most other classes of general insurance. In particular it has developed a household policy offering £5,000-worth of cover for car parts and accessories kept in the property free of charge. It also offers specialist cover for restorers and club officials. Speaking at the dinner, Peter said: “70 of our first 300 customers are still insured with us and with the support of underwriters such as Ecclesiastical we have been able to offer the flexibility to tailor policies to our customers’ needs and a stress-free claims response when it has been needed.” As well as providing tailored insurance schemes for the clubs it is involved with, PBIS has provided support in other ways. For the MGCC it has sponsored racing championships and supported centres and registers. In addition to long-standing customers, guests at the dinner included staff members – some of whom have been with the company for as long as 15 years – and representatives from the insurance companies PBIS works with. Now, with 35 personnel split between offices in Maldon and Kelvedon, PBIS strives to maintain the level of customer service and competitive premiums that enabled it to have a splendid 25th birthday party with many of its original customers. Call 01621 840400 or 01376 573033, or log on to to find out more about Peter Best Insurance.

Another MG that has been insured with PBIS for 25 years.

Amongst the other marques present was this Mercedes-Benz 300 S cabriolet.

A stunning display of appreciative customers’ cars.

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Overseas news

NEWS FROM MG CAR CLUB ANTWERP In this article I would like to put two members from MG Car Club Antwerp in the spotlight.

Chairman, Guido Van der Borgh After 12 years leading the MG Car Club Antwerp through different storms, Guido Van der Borgh will hand over the Chairman’s baton in 2010 to a new Chairman, namely Ron De Laere. Ron De Laere has also been a member of the MG Car Club Antwerp for a very long time and will surely guide the Club through the next years. Before taking on the Chairman’s Guido Van der Borgh role, Ron was editor of the MGCC Antwerp’s magazine MG NEWS. Of course, Guido Van der Borgh will stay on as a member of the MG Car Club Antwerp and we will meet him and his lovely wife, Nicole, during the forthcoming events. The whole of the Club would like to express our gratitude to Guido Van der Borgh, for overseeing and leading the MG Car Club Antwerp during the past 12 years.

Piet Bernaerts Piet is responsible for the presentation of the MG Car Club Antwerp during the fair in Antwerp Expo in Antwerp, Belgium. During the weekend of March 5–7 2010, the MG Car Club Antwerp were present during the ‘European Classic Stars’ fair. It was the 33rd Antwerp Classic Salon and Piet Bernaerts was the artistic leader, who made the arrangements for our Piet Bernaerts presence during that fair. In the lead up he was studying how to present the MG Car Club Antwerp and it is always a big surprise when the stand finally comes together. During the three days in the building of Antwerp Expo a lot of visitors from all over Europe came to admire Piet’s work.

Men like Guido Van der Borgh and Piet Bernaerts are the cream in the coffee or the cherry on the cake, for keeping the spirit alive in a club like the MG Car Club Antwerp. On behalf of the members of the MG Car Club Antwerp, I would like to say many thanks for all their work and devotion. Nico van Zwol Editor, MG NEWS, MG Car Club Antwerp

The MG Car Club Sweden 2010 We have just had the AGM in Malmoe which is in the southern part of Sweden. We have always had the AGM in Stockholm, but two years ago it was decided that it should turn around in the three biggest centres in Sweden, which is Stockholm (Middle East Centre), Gothenburg (West Coast Centre) and in Malmoe (South Centre). The Board thinks this will be a better way to meet the members so they can see who they are electing, and it seems to be working well as there were lots of new members on the meeting in Malmoe. The Board now consists of: Chairman: Bengt Sedell, Vice Chairman: Håkan Sigemark, Treasurer: Anders Bäcklund, Secretary: Berndt Aulin, Board Members: Sture Parkler, Christer Farneman and Björn Kihlman. The member volume for 2010 is as follows: Single membership 1,793, family members 313, others 59; total 2,165 members. Over the last few years we have about the same volume meaning what we lose is the same as what we gain into the Club every year. We also have updated information on what cars we have amongst the members: T Types 234, MGA 246, MGB 764, RV8 17, MGF/TF 178, others 142; grand total 1,669 cars. For this year’s program we have about 130 meetings planned including, exhibitions, rallys, etc, scheduled and it is a little bit more 68

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than last year. We have tried to spread out information about what every Centre is doing and what has been good and not so good, so that the other Centres can learn and get more tips and ideas. We think this has been a good way of developing the Club’s activity. The main event every year is the SMGM (Skandinaviskt MG meeting) and for 2010 this is going to take place on the east coast on Öland and in the Sunny Coast and Lake Centre. This event is circulating around Centres all over Sweden and is very much appreciated amongst the members. We attract around 100 cars from all over Sweden every year to this event, which starts with a barbecue on Friday evening upon arrival. Saturday morning is the drivers’ meeting and then rally the whole day. Saturday evening is the rally dinner with dinner & dance and a prize-giving ceremony from the rally. On Sunday morning the Concourse de Charm and Concourse de Elegance starts. The prize-giving ceremony finishes around lunchtime and the whole event is closed and big farewells to all MG friends and everybody drives home. Håkan Sigemark European Contact Scandinavian Contact for MGF/TF/Z Register

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Overseas review Mike Hawke’s monthly look through the latest overseas publications to bring us news of what’s happening in MG Car Clubs around the world.

We welcome a newcomer this month (new to me anyway). King of the Road is a glossy A3-size publication from the MGCC Port Elizabeth Centre. One of the articles therein is about Les Miller whose MG racing days in South Africa go back to P and L Types. Those of you who wondered about the delays in production of The Triple-M Register Bulletin need only look to the Pre-War MG Register of Australia Newsletter. The travels of Phil & Rosemary Bayne-Powell are reported, including no less than three photos of Phil under one of which he is captioned as a ‘living treasure’. That’s the fame you get for letting Aussies drive your cars on European rallies. The issue also contains a photo report on the progress of the 18/100 Tigress in New Zealand and some super photos of J3766 with its Aspinall body, which have been tracked down by Tim Jackson. MG Talk from the south-eastern MG T-Register prints an article from The Chatter of the Emerald Necklace MG T-Register on the problems of alcohol in fuel – not in the driver. Anyone who has run his car on methanol will know of its propensity to absorb water and to eat carburettors for breakfast. Yet, back in the 1950s we in Britain had a pump fuel which boasted that it ‘contained alcohol’ and my J2 ran well on it. Indeed, it was my preferred diet for the car. So what has changed? Regular and frequent use so that the chance to absorb water whilst the fuel is sitting in the tank for one thing. The article mentions a product called Sta-bil Marine Formula. Does anyone know if it is marketed outside the USA? Midget from the MGCC Belgium reports on a journey which two MGAs and an MGB are making from Peking to Longbridge along the Silk Road. The journey is planned to take place from


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April to July. We wish the crews well and hope that they are nearly there when you read this. From The Tattler of the Minnesota MG T-Register: “My sister has a life-saving tool in her car which is designed to cut through the seatbelt if she gets trapped. She keeps it in the car boot.” MG Nieuws has an article by Willem van der Veer about MGs on postage stamps – we call it ‘thematic collecting’ here. The most popular model illustrated in the TC with five examples. The K3 is close behind with four appearances on stamps from Cambodia (a repro), Nevis (K3 752 I think), Grenada (West Indies, not Spain) which describes the car as an MG K3 Rover and Kazakhstan (K3003). How many of these countries have ever seen a K3? In passing, I think an M Type was exported to Nevis. The Spark from the MGCC Washington DC has a photo captioned: “Elvis pilots an MG TD in Speedway!” It is not a good photo of him. Opposite Lock from the MGCC New South Wales reports on the Nanjing MG TF regretting that no Australian dealer has seen fit to import any examples. Too late now, I understand the production line has been closed. Onward to the MG 6. The MGCC Auckland magazine has a new editor, Amy Bowyer, who

is pictured with her MGB GT and a new name MG Auckland. It is good to see the younger generation taking over and ensuring the long-term future of the Club. Remember we were formed by young people, many of whom had received M Types as 21st birthday presents. Finally, more humour from Thumbs Up! of the MGCC Johannesburg. “When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.”

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Simon Pedrazzini

After last month berating people for not turning up when rain beckons I have spent the last few weeks switching between summer and winter clothes with day time temperatures literally halving from one day to the next. Never mind, the pundits are still spouting on about BBQ summers! I learn that in May at the Wallingford Rally AWC picked up two awards, for Best Club Stand and Beth Corbett in her MGA Coupé won the event’s Ladies’ Award (photo in June edition). A strong local classic event fielding many motor clubs, but MG shone through again. At the end of May we enjoyed another Old Speckled Hen Tour (see separate report) with the only cloud on the horizon being Mike & Caroline Parker’s confirmation that they are retiring from the Hen scene, well, as organisers at least. Volunteers please, you, you and, yes, you! During May a few of us had a fantastic evening at the home of Ecurie Ecosse collector Dick Skipworth, where Dick and classic racing legend Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams presented the cars and the superbly restored Commer transporter, while regaling us with stories of the exploits of the famous vehicles as well as their legendary drivers. The evening was rounded off with a film show about the history of Ecurie Ecosse and of ‘Whizzo’ in action using these valuable classics in anger. Thank you Dick, as well as organisers Mike & Vera Sarjeant. While AWC involvement in MGLive! was without the usual Gymkhana (possibly not lively enough) greater numbers of our members took part in the Autotests including two teams, while others helped them by marshalling, answering the call for support from the organisers, our neighbouring SW Centre. Towards the end of the month on July 25 it is the annual Summer Day Out at the historic NT property at Hinton Ampner, near Alresford, Hampshire. This is a beautiful house and is surrounded by gardens in which we can wander while gazing across the South Downs. The road run will start at Arborfield, but for full details contact Mike Lamb on 0118 941 2102. Collections for the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance continue apace with the ‘bucket’ appearing at every event. The


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Natter News The Crooked Billet, ’tween Aylesbury and Bicester has their Pride of Ownership on July 5. Contact John Plant on 07966 471002. The Bell, Beachampton has the annual BBQ and Pride of Ownership on July 8. Contact Dave Storer on 01296 712518. Dolphin Inn, Hursley is one year old on July 25. The Phoenix, Hartley Wintney has the annual Informal Gathering of very old MGs on Friday August 13. Contact George & Jo Ward on 01252 876783. New Members The Committee welcomes all new members.

The Abingdon Works Centre Ecurie Ecosse visit

Rob Muir 01206 862619

MGLive! at Silverstone just gets better year by year. This year I was not racing so was able to spend much time at the other attractions. The California Cup Autotest on the Saturday morning included several members from both Anglia and Lincs Centres. 72

current score is almost £1,500 including £1,000 following our involvement with the Abingdon Air and Country Show in April and £300 collected during the Ecurie Ecosse visit in May. Thanks to everyone for their generosity.

David Stonehouse put in a memorable performance in his MG TF. One nonstarter was our own Bruce Cox with his Mighty Midget. Poor Bruce was taken ill in the morning and spent most of the day in the Silverstone medical centre. I am assured he is now okay and hopes to be competing in the Anglia Autotest Championship round on July 4 at Massingham, Norfolk. Contact Peter Thompson on 01362 668101 if you would like to enter. The MGCC Peter Best Insurance Challenge race on the Sunday proved to be a real humdinger, with David Brooke almost taking outright victory in his self-prepared GT V8 but for a small mistake at the back of the circuit with just three laps to go. The Anglia Centre Concours again proved very popular, I will have photos next month. Some of the cars competing will be making an appearance at the Queen Victoria Concours Charity Summer Fayre at Billericay on July 18. See website or contact Dave Tynan on 01277 634703.

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CENTRE UPDATES Natter News David Saunders tells me that there will be no lunchtime meet at The Bull, Burrough Green Natter in July, but will be back to normal on the third Saturday of August. Finally I add some very interesting news from Max Collier, leader of the Royle Fusilier (The Fuz) Natter in Great Bentley. I let Max take up the story. ‘The Royal Fusilier Natter’ or ‘The Fuz’ as us locals refer to it, may be out in the wilds of Great Bentley, but we do generate a lot of action so here’s our news from ‘The Fuz’. “The Fuz now has a pair of racing Granddads – my oldest friend John Morgan (we met at nursery school!) and me. Upon turning 60 John decided it was a good age to take up motor racing – well it beats golf! Having also turned 60 I agreed and volunteered to dust down the old ‘B’. (You may remember that you allowed me to view your car last year regarding fuel nonreturn valves and transponders Rob.) We got the car prepared in time to get out for the final three rounds of last season. This


Dave Stewart 01383 860470

Three-day Tour The tour, this year in Cairngorm National Park, was just superb. Everyone I spoke to enjoyed themselves, and that, after all, is what it is all about. I’ve written a full report for inclusion separately. MGA Weekend We are just back from the MGA Register Northumberland Weekend, which I attended along with fellow Caledonian members George Rome and Barclay Henderson. We had a really memorable time along with another 40 MGA owners. Good hotel, friendly crowd, great runs through beautiful countryside, quiet roads – bliss! We will do it again next year. I’ve written a separate report for inclusion in the MGA Register column. P.S. The new Twin Cam didn’t break down – now that is a first! September Weekend We have managed to secure a deal with the manager of Stonefield Castle hotel for the forthcoming September weekend. This hotel is near Tarbert on the Kintyre peninsula. Perched on a cliff top, it has spectacular views over Loch Fyne, and is an historic building full of character. So join us on the weekend of 25 & 26 for a tour of western Argyll, with the overnight stop at the spectacular Stonefield Castle, you won’t be disappointed! Wee May Run You need to be really motoring to overtake Bill Niven in his muchmodified B Roadster, but I did just that coming up the A702 from Newton Stewart. I was however on my 1150cc BMW motorbike at the time!


year we shook the car down at a test day at Spa (what a circuit) and have subsequently completed this season’s first two rounds at Snetterton and Brands Hatch. We are competing in the CSCC ‘Swinging Sixties’ and enjoying its mix of cars and the two-driver 40-minute pit stop format. The other Natter ‘Bentley Boys’ (Dave Stubbings, his son, Jake, and Alan Fairbrother) are great, acting as pit crew and official photographer – thanks guys. Talking of the ‘Bentley Boys’, the great news is that Dave Stubbings has been invited to compete in the Fordwater Trophy at this year’s Goodwood Revival in his Lenham GT. This will be the second occasion Dave has competed at Goodwood. The last time he started alongside Stirling Moss and Barry Sidery-Smith, finishing 15th hounding the Le Mans Sprite. Finally, Alan Fairbrother has had his own male menopause moment. Not content to be preparing his own (green) Lenham for a return to racing he has gone and bought a modified C3 Corvette for weekend fun. So, to anyone coming to the Fuz – don’t (necessarily) expect to see only MGs in the car park.”

I missed the Run due to being on a biker weekend in the same area, but I understand it went well. The weather was certainly exceptional, being the warmest weekend for a very long time! There were 20 cars setting off from Caulders Garden Centre in Newton Mearns for a run through Ayrshire, and down to Dumfries & Galloway. The Run finished at Drumlanrig Castle.You can’t beat a Sunday run on a good day in an open-topped MG – well maybe a powerful motorbike comes a close second! An Afternoon with Miss Bridget On May 9, we went to hear Roy Locock’s talk on his round the world tour in an MG Midget. He bought the car and restored it in 2006, and then decided to tour around the world in it! He travelled 39,000 miles, used 1,290 gallons of petrol, visited 27 countries, and the whole trip took 448 days. He saw dreadful roads, even worse driving, floods, landslips and earthquakes, rocket fire and kidnapping – just like a Caledonian Sunday run then! Now back home in the UK, he is touring the country giving entertaining and amusing talks on his exploits and raising money for UNICEF. So far he has raised £2,000. July Jolly Fancy a run up the Old Rest and be Thankful hillclimb course? Yes, that’s right, the actual course driven by many famous drivers of yesteryear. You can if you book for the July run, which is now confirmed as leaving from the Shores, Loch Lomond, and will be around 70 miles, including of course, the run up ‘the Rest’. It is on July 25, see the website for details.

Janet Cameron

Not too bad a month weather wise, at last we are seeing some leaves and flowers after the winter gloom. The visitors for Janner week arrived on May 28 & 29 and settled in at the Woodovis Caravan Park in Gulworthy. On the Sunday morning 24 walkers enjoyed a walking Treasure Hunt around Tavistock, the weather

stayed fine and everyone enjoyed a cream tea at Tony Bolts home, kindly provided by Rita. The Treasure Hunt was won by Sarah Slatter and Wendy Keeling scoring 44 points out of a possible 46. Sunday evening saw everyone gathering at the Blacksmiths Arms for skittles and an evening meal. The two teams Devon and Continued on page 74

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CENTRE UPDATES Cornwall versus Rest of the World, ‘battled’ on the alley for an exhausting two games with a meal halfway, the Rest of the World won with 383 points to 371. The highest score of 25 was a tie between Ian of the Devon and Cornwall and Peter Thomson of Rest of the World. Further reports of activities in Janner Week will appear next month as your correspondent is now going to France camping, taking Midget with Trailer, for the first time. The Torbay Old Wheels Club are holding their Riviera Rally on


John Hebb 01522 683541

July Natters: Horse & Jockey Friday 2nd (& Social Drive); Swallow Wednesday 7th; Abbey Lodge Monday 12th (& Social Drive); Wishing Well Wednesday 14th (& Landlord’s Choice); Woolpack Thursday 15th; Three Horse Shoes Wednesday 28th. July Events: Saturday 17th A trip through Corus steelworks Scunthorpe on the Appleby Frodingham railway (Carl/Kirsty: 07881 965582) Sunday 25th Visit to Newark Air Museum (Keith: 01472 602949). Early August Natters: Swallow Wednesday 4th; Horse & Jockey Friday 6th. Early August Events: Sunday 1st Display/Promotion at Revesby Country Fair (Sheila: 01205 750525). The May Bank Holiday Sunday saw an assorted collection of MGs at the Baytree Nurseries for a display/promotional event, and the following day a similar assortment at the Alford Classic Car Show. We were allocated a prime spot on the lawns of the historic manor house and entertained a steady stream of visitors. Friday the 7th was the date of the first round of the Landlord’s Choice competition at the Horse and Jockey, followed two days later by the Spring Autotest. For the first time we ran two tests together which was very successful and gained all-round approval. The following evening Abbey Lodge hosted the second round of the Landlord’s Choice competition and on the Wednesday evening 13 members were given a tour of the Humber Bridge Control Centre, organised by Keith Robinson and Gordon Smith. On Sunday the 16th some 15 cars explored some of the lesser Lincolnshire byways on a run arranged by Viv & Trevor Steadman,


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culminating with lunch at Woodcocks. The following Sunday was the day of the Holland Brothers Naviscat organised by last year’s winners, John & Sheila Laurence. Ian Mackenzie and Kevin Pateman crowned their success at the Autumn Jubilee Rally with another win. These two are obviously the pair to beat, but as they now have to arrange the next two rallies the trophies will be up for grabs. On Friday the 28th, seven MGs and two ‘others’ arrived in Telford for a three-day break, visiting the Coalbrookdale museums, including the Blist Hill Victorian town. A truly fascinating weekend, arranged by Bob Welch. Please note that the event advertised in the Winter Newsletter for August 15 has been replaced by the 30th Anniversary Tour and Concours on August 22. This includes a guided walking tour of King’s Lynn, a scenic drive to the Lazy Otter for lunch, the Concours and a scenic drive to Denver Mill (Steve/Alison: 01553 840245). This month we welcome new member Simon Rowe, and this month’s photo shows the Telford gathering.

Paul Hollingworth

Past events Sunday May 2 saw the Arden MG group’s Heritage Run from Evesham Country Park to the Abingdon Air Show. Two hundred cars completed an interesting route, as usual for this Run, on a cold, but dry, day. At the destination we were treated to a fly past by planes ranging from American radial-engined WW2 fighters to Vampire jets and Hawk trainers. Bill Wallace did his usual sterling job of comparing the classic car parade held in a makeshift arena. Most of us gave in to the elements and raised our roofs for the journey home. Some of you may have seen mention of the 60th Anniversary Welsh Rallye in June’s Safety Fast! Thanks go to Brian Osborn, Paul Hipkiss and Andy Robson for the organisation of the event. A full report is published elsewhere and is also available on the Midland Centre’s website, the incriminating photos appear on the Facebook page. Also see the website for details of forthcoming events: 74

July 25, contact Alan Turner for details of MGCC stand. Powderham Castle Rally is being held on July 10 & 11. And the Devon Day is August 15, more details next month. Battle of Britain Memorial Run on August 29. Entry forms now available, from Ted Lawrence (tel: 01752 793105 or e-mail Or go to under Events Calendar South Hams for further details and application forms. 18635360863?ref=ts As I write these notes, it’s the day after MGLive! at Silverstone and I for one am still recovering. The Centre organised the camping at the circuit and our marshals’ BBQ, which went with a swing as usual. Manning general and quiet camping as well as the Centre stand in the Main Marquee was a bit of a stretch this year, but a big thanks and a well done to all the volunteers. The show itself proved to be entertaining with motorcycle and car stunt teams as well as the full racing program. We had the unveiling of the MG6 and the static displays in the Plaza area seemed to be expanding. The weather was blisteringly hot for Friday and Saturday, but cooler thankfully on Sunday; however, the gods conspired to give us a soaking during the drive home. Well it wouldn’t be Silverstone without it. Continued on page 76

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CENTRE UPDATES Forthcoming events The Midsummer Gathering will have been and gone by the time you read this, then our next major social event will be the joint Natter on Wednesday July 14 when the Midlands meet up with the Wye valley and SW Natters. This year’s venue is the same as last year at the Marlbank Inn at Welland, nr. Malvern. The food, beer and service were good last year. Please contact Peter & Janet Chapman for details on 01684 833337. Entry forms and Regs are available on the website for the summer sprint on August 1 at Curborough. More competitors are welcome (ring Dave Ormerod: 01384253627). Spectating is free, but why not volunteer as a marshal? No previous experience is required so please ring Andy Robson on 0121 453 1595. This year’s Midland Centre Chairman’s Picnic will be held in conjunction with the MG Octagon Car Club event at Middleton Hall, near Tamworth on Sunday August 22. There will be an entrance fee of £15 per car, and attractions will include a brass band, a guided tour of the Nature Reserve and the hall and buildings. For further details, please contact John Fry on 01584 881374.


Paul Goodman 01625 876300

The major Centre event this month is the Royles Plough and Flail Concours and evening gathering. We will be assembling at the pub from 7pm onwards on Tuesday July 20. Last year we had more than 50 cars in attendance despite some distinctly ‘iffy’ weather. This year we would like to break that record. There will be prizes for everybody and the opportunity for a good chat with fellow MG owners. All the details of the location of the Plough can be found on the Centre web pages with some photographs of the 2009 event. Later that same week on Thursday 22nd, the summer gathering at the Horseshoe pub will be taking place; fingers crossed for some good summer weather. Our two competitions are now well underway. The Cockshoot Cup racers started their season at Oulton Park in May at the superb MGCC race meeting. David Coulthard driving his ZR beat Ollie Neaves to the race win and Class C victory. Sean Peters took Class B and Ian Wright began his defence of the Trophy by winning Class A. Round four of the Championship is at the Mallory Park Circuit on Sunday July 18. The Championship hasn’t been to Mallory for a few years. It is a really good venue for spectators, slightly out of the North West, but worth a visit. This month is a quiet one for the Luffield Speed Championship, but there is an event on August 1, this being the Midland Centre Sprint at Curborough. The Luffield events in May were very competitive with dry conditions at Anglesey and Scammonden Dam. David Morrison was the fastest North West Centre Member at both events driving his beautifully prepared Midget. Thanks are due to all our members who turned out at these events to help them run with brilliant efficiency.


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Looking further ahead, the ‘Rodders Gymkhana’ will take place on Sunday August 15. Many of you have already experienced this day of fun competition in the past, but if you have not then put the date in your diary. There will be fiendish driving tests at low speed on a smooth grass surface followed by an outdoor meal. At the end of August, we have been invited by the Oulton Park Circuit to display our cars at the Gold Cup Historic Race Meeting on Sunday 29th and Monday 30th. There will be free entry tickets for MG drivers to bring their cars. If you want to attend, please e-mail me, stating which day (or both) that you wish to attend, your car’s details, Club membership number and postal address.

Peter Bramble flat out in the Cockshoot Cup Race, Oulton Park, May 8 2010. Photo: Colin Bookman.

James Mumford 01444 417624

Summer is officially here. The MGCC Silverstone event is now behind us and the South East Centre’s Summer Gathering/80th Anniversary event is the next on the list. The attractions this summer are too numerous to mention but are set out on the entry form elsewhere in this issue of Safety Fast! Find it, fill it in, send it off and make it a great event. 76

Ray Smith’s 1949 TC which took part in the original 1950 Welsh Rally on the ‘special test’ at Pennant. Photo: Paul Hipkiss.

May would have been a busy MG month for me except that I was called off to India where I spent much of the month in pre-monsoon Mumbai reviewing their sewerage system, nice. However, the world went on with the ever-popular Regency Run on May 9 and the unfortunately less popular autotests at NESCOT, scheduled for May 30, were cancelled having received

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CENTRE UPDATES only three entries. Possibly a bank holiday weekend immediately before Silverstone was too demanding? Instead, the Centre was represented at the Crystal Palace Sprint on May 30 & 31 where it received the Car Club of the Show award. Right is a photo of the stand on a chilly looking day. MGLive! at Silverstone on June 4–6 offered the usual mix of track racing, trade stands, car and aircraft demonstrations and car parks full of cars to admire. The Centre was represented with a stand in the Main Marquee. I visited on the Saturday to witness the traditional success of the South East Centre’s M Types (OK, one was a C


Neil Lock

As promised – Regalia! Well, you either love it or you hate it, apparently… When I brought up the subject as ‘any other business’ at a recent Committee meeting, it was met with enthusiasm and revulsion in equal measure. Some of the negativity was based on past difficulties with managing orders, stock and returns but it was decided that – subject to addressing those issues, we ought to dabble in the world of Regalia once more... The Committee has agreed to fund the production of artwork (i.e., the MGCC SW Centre logo). Work and holiday commitments mean that there is nothing to show you as I write, but by the time you get to read this there will be something to look at on the website. There’s been no attempt to create something fancy; we’ve gone for a straightforward design featuring the MGCC logo with ‘South West Centre’ above and below. Rather than stocking a limited range of clothing – usually in the wrong colour, or size, or both – I’ve identified a local supplier who will make your item to order in the style, size and colour of your choice. The downside of this approach is that there can be no returns (unless faulty of course) but the advantages are manifold. Firstly, the range of items is huge. Secondly, it is possible to personalise your Regalia at extra cost with, for instance, your initials, registration number, Natter or even the name of an event. Thirdly, there’s no waiting for the next Natter or event so that you can place your order with the ‘Regalia Aecretary’ (indeed, there’s no need for a ‘Regalia Secretary’ at all, so that’s another plus point) – you can buy what you want, whenever you want. And finally, the arrangement keeps the taxman (and Centre Treasurer) happy as the sale is between you and the supplier so no money passes through the Centre accounts. Following on from the last point, sales of Regalia provide no financial benefit to the Centre so the price is keen; in fact, our supplier has offered to provide single


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items at the price usually quoted for bulk buys. To choose your item, visit (there’s no need to memorise the URL as there is a link from the Centre website) and follow the link to the on-line catalogue. Choose your item(s) then call Peaks to get a price and place your order. Delivery is extra, but as the cost is ‘per delivery’ rather than ‘per item’ you can get together with friends or your local Natter to make up a bulk delivery. I apologise to those of you without Internet access at home, but your Committee considered that Regalia had potential to become a full-time job and hence the need for an arms-length approach. To get round the difficulty, each Natter leader will be provided with a hard-copy brochure. The range of stuff available from Peaks is absolutely huge as I said, and includes items from well-known brands such as Fruit of the Loom, Helly Hansen and Regatta. You can choose from clothing, outerwear (including zip-together fleeces and rain jackets), hiviz, overalls caps and hats, bags and accessories. There’s even a selection of underpants! Men’s sizes range from small (chest 34”) to 2XL (chest 50”) with some items available in sizes up to 5XL. There are clothing ranges for women (sizes 8 to 22) and children of all ages. Most items are available in a variety of colours, with up to 20 choices in some ranges! There are tens of thousands of combinations, so you ought to be able to find something to suit... The number of options can seem a bit daunting, so I’ve identified a ‘core’ range to get you started. Please note that this is simply the stuff that I like the look of; it’s most definitely not the cheapest, so you shouldn’t be put off by the prices – there’s something in the catalogue for everyone with plenty of items at less than a tenner. To see what I’ve chosen, please go to the website or give me a call.

Sue Sewell

We have lots to report on with pictures this month so brief notes on each item. First of all, we should congratulate the team at Kimber House for organising a splendid weekend at MGLive! at Silverstone, but more of that later. Our Natters at Stannington continue to gain momentum and last month we had an excellent turnout of members in their MGs. Let’s hope

Type) in the autotest Register Trophy, to meet friends and to enjoy the glorious sunshine. Looking forward, the calendar of events for the Centre include: July 15 / 19 / 25: the Alternative Pride of Ownership. An informal event hosted by three different Natters. See the calendar / website for locations and details. Sunday August 8: 80th Anniversary Celebration of the Centre. The summer event is at Penshurst Place, nr. Tonbridge, Kent, and will include the usual attractions of Scenic Drives, Concourse, Pride of Ownership, Treasure Hunt, Driving Tests and Gymkhana. Please look elsewhere in this month’s magazine for full details and the application form. For more details on these and other events, see the calendar or the Centre’s website on events.html

for similar numbers for the next meeting and the Pride of Ownership. On May 21 we had a Supper Run organised by members Steve Parker and Richard Harker, with a little twist. Alternate cars went in different directions with the clear instruction to not follow the car in front. A lovely evening ended with over 20 of us enjoying a good supper and the usual good banter. Well done Steve and Richard. Continued on page 78 JULY 2010 77

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CENTRE UPDATES Silverstone was an unqualified success with quite a number of Tyne-Tees members spotted at various locations. Of particular interest was the return to racing after an absence of two years through illness by Brian Ireland. Brian finished 25 out of 34 finishers, with eight non-finishers and 4th in his MGA Class. Brian modestly described his achievement as “only 25th, but I had a brilliant time” and after his problems we all think he did magnificently just to get round the full GP circuit let alone get a good place. The picture shows Brian in Number 10 mixing it with other racers. We also entered a team in the Californian Cup Autotest with Ian Lambley in a Midget, son, Chris, and Duncan Johnson, both in ZRs. Unfortunately Ian’s Midget suffered a terminal illness so he couldn’t complete the tests. Nevertheless, Chris and Duncan put in very creditable performances with Chris winning his class. Well done to all three drivers. The picture shows the happy trio later that evening. On the racing scene Peter Sewell took first in Class and first in the Championship at Kames and Dennis Hope came 2nd in the Championship. Dennis explained that his car doesn’t like hot conditions, on top of which there was volcanic dust everywhere, proving it’s not only Jumbo jets that suffer! Dates for your diary July 7: Manor House Natter; July 20: Ridley Arms Natter July 30: Supper Run, contact Trevor Leighton: 01642 648223 or Finally, we say ‘hello’ to new members Donna White and Peter & Elaine Hurst. Welcome to the Club.


Carol Willis

A group of us have just returned from another very successful weekend at MGLive! There were 16 of us altogether, 10 drivers and a few support crew. The weather was fantastic and we had a thoroughly enjoyable time. A couple of our party enjoyed the run from Gosford Museum to Silverstone, meeting up there with the others on the Friday afternoon. On Friday evening we were delighted that John & Janet Day joined us at our hotel for dinner. Then, on Saturday, we had three teams and an individual driver entered in the California Cup. Ashley Lamont, Gordon Buckley and Bryan Mutch, all driving Midgets, won the California Cup. As he brought his car into the arena, Ashley did continuous 360 turns, or ‘donuts’ around Chairman, John Day, who managed to remain very calm despite the fact that there was a Midget almost running over his toes. Our other Midget team of Trevor McIlroy, Gareth Dillon and Will Corry junior won the BMC Trophy, and Stephen Dawson won the B Register Trophy in his MGB, the only car actually driven all the way from Belfast – everyone electing to trailer their cars. In fact, Ashley and Gareth brought their two cars together – one inside a van and the other towed behind it. On Sunday Gordon and Bryan entered the sprint on the new Stowe circuit. They both really enjoyed the event and Bryan was delighted to win his class. The organisers very kindly let them complete their runs early in order to let everyone leave in good time for the overnight ferry home from Birkenhead. Thank you to everyone involved in the organising of these events. We will certainly be back for more another year.


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The successful Silverstone Driving Team.

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MGB Roadster 1970. Iris Blue, blue trim with light blue pipe, 15” wire wheels, totally rebuilt car, new everything, new trim, unleaded engine, detailed engine bay, s/s exhaust, new hood, etc etc. This car has undergone a full restoration which would run into thousands of pounds far more than the asking price of £14,995

MGB Roadster 1976. Carmine Red, grey cloth seats, chrome wires, boot rack, gas struts, cabriolet hood mohair, roll-over bar. Superb car, cherished by last lady owner for many years. Great car, ready to go. Price £5,250

MGB Roadster 1971. Brg, black leather trim, reshelled car in superb restored condition. Moto Lita wheel, w/w, o/drive, walnut dash, s/s boot rack. Would cost over £25,000 to restore. Price £13,995

MG RV8 Woodcote Green. One owner F.S.H, excellent condition. 33,000 mls (55 km). Really nice example, perfect screen frame. *Available with our electric power steering @ £2250 extra. Price £13,995

Triumph Stag Ermine White. Auto. Really nice example, drives superbly. Excellent four seater sports tourer. Original Triumph engine, 84,000 miles. Body very good (dent in rear bumper). Price £6,995

Lotus Elan+2 1971 Lotus Elan+2 Championship Special Red, black trim, big valve head, new chassis, recently re-sprayed, UJ rear drive conversion. Very well sorted car, superb to drive (comes with heaps of spares) Price £10,995

JULY 2010


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Geoff Norcliffe 01709 545092

North Yorkshire – Val Payne A busy May began with four couples making the long journey to Nethy Bridge for the Caledonia three-day scenic tour; a good time was had by all. Oulton Park proved to be a good day out with plenty of members lucky enough to take part in the parade. On Natter Night there was a good turnout for the Pride of Ownership; a closely fought contest with just one point in it; Nick Mann’s MG Midget won first place, congratulations Nick. Thanks to David & Carol for organising the Inter Natter Pride of Ownership, a good turnout and great weather too. South Yorkshire – Geoff Norcliffe The Natter’s chill out camping weekend will take place in York this year over the weekend of July 9–11 and you may just be in time to book, contact Pete at Cliff & Janice are updating the website regularly with the latest events; check there to catch those which are organised too late to get in Safety Fast! Welcome to our newest, youngest member, Lily, who weighed in at 7lbs 15ozs on May 30 to proud parents Tom & Louise Norcliffe. East Yorkshire – Brian Rylance The Natter’s annual Social Weekend and Wolds Way Run are fully reported on the website by organisers Steve & Kate Trossel. Both events were a great success; the Wolds raised £500 for Yorkshire Cancer Research. Mary & I were sorry to miss the Wolds; we were touring with Natter friends, Dave & Pauline, visiting the Mille Miglia and the Schlumpf collection. Barry & Jan Tomlinson provided the May social run, finding new roads, stunning views and glorious weather. Future events include the Wolds Vintage Group Rally – July 24 & 25 at Bishop Wilton, nr. York. The Sports and Classic Car weekend on September 3–5 set in the beautiful grounds of Sledmere House in the heart of the Yorkshire Wolds. For more information contact: Chris Moore 01482 213787, mob 07776 450776, or via the website.


West Yorkshire – David Copeman Congratulations from all at the Yorkshire Centre to Robert Croft on returning to racing after several months enforced retirement due to a badly damaged race car. Robert was back with a vengeance, at Brands Hatch 1st in Class A and again at Oulton Park 1st in Class A, breaking the lap record that had stood for 13 years. In excess of 30 cars were on display for the May Pride of Ownership, the winning car was the 1937 VA, owned by Geoffrey Wilson. (In August, Geoffrey along with his navigator Alan Dakeyne will travel to two events in Germany; with a combined age of 162 years and in a 73-year-old car can anyone beat that!) Second placed was Eric Bachelors’ Healey 3000 and third place David Hilliams’ TD. As Ian was busy serving pie and peas, his understudy Judith (barmaid) made The Landlord’s Choice, choosing the MGTF owned by Martin & Gillian Sprowell. Tiger Lunchtime Natter - Stuart Mumby The sun shone for our May trip to Bridlington; 14 assorted MGs plus a Morris Oxford turned out and we all enjoyed our lunch at the seaside. The food and service at the Expanse Hotel’s Marine Bar was very good. Because of other commitments we have not yet arranged the Lunch in the Country Run for July. Contact Stuart or Irene to find out where we’re headed. If you are not on the e-mail list to receive regular details of Natters and runs just send an e-mail to the address below. The Tiger Natter meets from noon on the first Wednesday of the month at The Tiger Inn, Lairgate, Beverley, HU17 8JG. Contact Stuart or Irene on 01430 871078 or – time to get your entry in for the Dales Run on August 29.

Join the Abingdon Works Centre at their Annual Summer Day Out Sunday 25th July 2010 Our traditional Centre Summer Day Out this year will visit the historic National Trust property at Hinton Ampner with its magnificent gardens and views across the South Downs. The house itself contains a wonderful collection of Georgian and Regency period furniture and paintings while the gardens laid out with both formal and informal areas offer the opportunity to wander or picnic. There is a tea shop and plants and produce from the gardens are available to purchase. Entry to the house is not included so if you are a National Trust member please remember to bring your card with you. The Road Run will start from Arborfield nr Reading and finish at the house. All entrants will receive a rally plaque and a road book. Cost per car including 2 people is £15 for MG Car Club members and £17 for non members by prior booking. Name: ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Address: ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Postcode: ....................................................................................E-mail: ..................................................................................................................................... Car model: .................................................................................Reg.No: ................................................................................................................................... MG Car Club membership Number ............................................................................................................................................................................................ Road runs starting from Arborfield Send this form with cheque to: Mike Lamb 63 Hawkesbury Drive, Calcot, Reading, RG31 7ZR. Tel 0118 9412102 Please make cheques payable to MGCC /Abingdon Works Centre


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MG TF 135 SPARK+H/TOP (only 17000miles) 1.8 23 March 2005, finished in xpower grey/ black half leather, immaculate TF135 Spark fitted with removable colour coded hardtop, grey softop, Usual high spec Spark, previously supplied by us. Rare facelift (05my) car with upgraded interior and softer riding suspension. Supplied with 12 months warranty……£8,495

MG TF 135 Glass rear screen(only 8300miles) A Very very low mileage TF 135 facelift model, these were fitted with softer suspension, heated glass rear screen, upgraded interior and this immaculate example has covered only 8300 miles, JUST IN..........................................£7,995

MG TF 135 Huge spec(only 24000miles) 1.8

MG TF 135 SPARK (only 17000 miles) “06” Registration, 17,000 Miles, finished In: Sonic Blue Black half leather, High spec Spark model, Previously supplied by us,very low mileage 17000m with F.S.H. IMMACULATE including unmarked alloys ................... £7,895

1 Jan 2005, huge spec TF135, finished in Metallic Black with Champagne Oxford Leather sport seats / trims with silver console and door trims plus Chrome packs, unmarked 16” 11 spoked alloys. Demo plus one lady owner with F.S.H. Supplied with 12 months warranty…… £6,895

MG TF 135 SPARK (only 12000 miles) 1.8 20 March 2005, a Very very Low mileage Spark, finished in Firefrost metallic red/black half leather – these are high spec models. This car has F.S.H. and is totally immaculate. Supplied with 12 months warranty…..£8,495

MG TF STEPSPEED (only 35000miles) 1.8 (Automatic) 1 sep 2004, 05 model year with engine water level censor. Finished in silver/black half leather, full MG Service History, head gasket/cambelt service at 24896 miles by MG main dealer. Very low mileage immaculate cond Serviced/MoT’d (16/6/2010) and with 12 months warranty…… £6,495

MG TF 135 SPARK (only 16200 miles) 1.8 2005 (54), 16,200 Miles, Xpower Grey/black half leather. Previously supplied by us, Ltd Edition model in best colours, Xpower grey with grey hood, black half leather sport seats with grey alcantara inserts, sports pack 2, chrome packs etc,16200 miles only with F.S.H.(3 SERVICES).Please note this MG is fitted with a GLASS HEATED REAR SCREEN - immaculate condition including unmarked alloys. ON SALE NOW................£7,695

MG TF 135 SPECIAL ORDER(only 36000 miles) 1.8 1 Sep 2003, “53” registration, special Order MG TF finished in Royal blue with tan full leather sport seats + tan cockpit. This MG is in outstanding condition. Supplied with 12 months warranty. Serviced and moted 16/6/2010 by us….. £5,695

L SO MG TF 135 (1 owner only 36000 miles) 2004, (54), 36,000 Miles, Manual, Petrol, One private owner TF135 with F.S.H Old mots plus bills, Later model with engine water level warning light, outstanding ............................. £5,995

MG MGB GT (only 55000miles) 1.8 Outstanding condition having covered only 55,000 miles (500 since 2005) in Pagent blue. Supplied NEW by Henlys South London on the 1st May 1979. Supplied with a Service history file plus orginal service ‘passport’ book with stamps up to 30000m in 1989, it also has most MoTs and tax disc’s etc….£4,995


MG MGF VVC (FULL LEATHER) 2000, W Reg, 68,000 Miles, Manual, Petrol, MGF VVC Facelift model Fitted with Oxford Black Leather Sport Seats. 16” MG sports alloys, It has a Fully detailed service history(huge file). With the benifit of us having completed a Headgasket/cambelt service @ 68000 miles. Superb ...............................£3,895

1999, V Reg, 78,000 Miles, Manual, Petrol, Rare Abingdon ltd edition model, Brooklands green with beige leather, beige hood. 16" abingdon alloys, wood pack plus fitted with Air con. Spent first few years in Hong Kong. Superb condition, Recent headgasket/cambelt service.................... £3,695

MG TF 135 Convertible (only 36000miles) 1.8 1 Oct 2002, “52” registration, finished in Silver witth black trim. PREVIOUSLY SUPPLIED BY US, F.S.H. 7 services, very low mileage, superb. Supplied with 12 months warranty……£4,295

MG TF 135 SUNSTORM. 1 OWNER(only 12000 miles) 1.8 2005 (05), 12,000 miles, silver/black half leather grey inserts. A rare one owner MG TF135 Sunstorm. Full Service History, having had 4 services, 3035m / 5679m / 8261m / 10801 miles all with the supplying main dealer. These are high spec models and the only model made by MG/Rover to be fitted with a removable colour coded hardtop as standard. This car’s soft top is finished in black......................£7,895


MG TF 160 VVC 80TH No 1/1600. (48miles only) 1.8 2008 (08),48 Miles, Black, red roof – alcantara, 11 spoked 16” alloys, chrome grilles/pack, half leather sports seats, bright silver console, one owner, tonneau cover, number 1/1600 made. Top of the range with 160 vvc engine, stored from new (and never used)… the last TF160 to ever be REGISTERED, A REAL COLLECTOR’S ITEM. Please Phone for more Details..........£13,995



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JOHN VENABLES 01865 862573

Our 50th Anniversary celebrations at MGLive! at Silverstone were a great success, we had 14 cars on Saturday and Sunday, and our stand in the Main Marquee ably manned by the ladies attracted a lot of attention, with Morgan Marshall’s old car KX splendidly restored by Fred Body for new owner Charles Cross from America also in attendance, and on display. Saturday morning saw two teams of 18/80 cars competing in the California Cup Autotests, six cars in all, namely Chris Cook, Dave Mothersdill and Peter Jones in one team, with Doug Harris, Paul Mace and myself in the other team. A nice bottle of wine was the prize for the best effort from the six drivers and this was convincingly won by Dave Mothersdill, who showed us all the way round, in fact he is so good we shall put him in the Midget class next year.


DICK MORBEY +44 (0)1494 883112

2010 Events to look out for: Caledonian Centre Glamis Extravaganza, Glamis Castle, Angus. Saturday/Sunday July 10 & 11. See or contact Jim Henderson: +44 (0)1786 834495 / 833181 Register Summer Gathering, Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire. Sunday July 18. Contact: Peter Green: or +44 (0)1753 643468 Vintage Minor Register 2010 Summer Rally. July 23–25 based at Prescott, Gloucestershire and around the Cotswolds. All pre-War MGs and T Types are welcome to participate. See http://www.vintage Rally_2010.html for details or contact Ian Grace: 82

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On the Saturday and Sunday we held a competition for passersby to vote for the car they would like to take home, and the very worthy winner of another bottle was John & Marie Burton with their lovely 14/40, with its polished aluminium and red bodywork. We were also invited to parade our cars in the arena and were interviewed

on the way in, my passenger was ‘Round the World Roy’, who commented it was a bit different to a Midget. Things continue apace in the Vintage Register as we have our 50th Anniversary lunch at Abingdon on Sunday July 25, and Peter Mace would dearly love your forms of acceptance back now. We have a good turnout already but have room for a few more so don’t miss this as it won’t happen again, and not many of us will celebrate the 100th lunch, our cars will. Following hard on the heels of this is Prescott where we have our traditional picnic on Sunday 8th, where we have a good turnout of cars in the orchard. A couple of pictures this month from Silverstone; cars in the Autotest and also in the arena.

Abingdon Works Centre Summer Day Out. Sunday July 25 2010. The AWC’s traditional day in the sun, this year finishing at Hinton Ampner, Alresford, Hampshire. Road runs starting at Abingdon and Reading. Contact Mike Lamb: +44 (0)118 941 2102. Devon & Cornwall Centre Torbay Old Wheels Club Riviera Classic Car Rally. Sunday July 25 2010. £5.00 entry Fee bookable in advance. Alan Turner: +44 (0)1803 557543. Event Report and other news MGLive! The happenings of MGLive! are reported elsewhere in this edition of Safety Fast! so the following are some random jottings from your Scribe. In the Triple-M

car park, appearances were made by George Eagle’s freshly restored L2 Magna with just a handful of miles on the clock. Oliver Richardson arrived in NA0633, the ex-Kenneth Evans’ N Type, which he has restored most sympathetically, retaining many of its unique features. You can read more about this remarkable car and its competition history in the Triple-M Yearbook 2009, which is now available from our librarian. On track, our cars shared a grid in the Hamilton Classic race with T Types and MGAs and in a somewhat polarised race and against the somewhat challenging competition, Annie Templeton in her singleseater KN Special achieved a most creditable 10th position, beating John Bishop’s XPAGengined PA single-seater into 11th place by a mere 0.625 of a second! There were other

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The Hamilton Classic racers line up behind the Triple-M car park

close contests within the Triple-M contingent – Andrew Taylor in Peter Green’s K3 dicing with Andy King’s single-seat, before KN overcoming him with a gap of half a minute. Dave Cooksey was obliged to retire his C Type when it emitted a worrisome noise after two laps, but all other Triple-M cars finished the race. Yearbook 2009 The 76-page Yearbook arrived in time for Silverstone and was being lapped up at the astoundingly reasonable price of just £12. Congratulations to Cathelijne Spoelstra, making her debut as Editor, for this excellent publication! The Yearbook also contains contributions from Colin Butchers about Robin Jackson, the mechanical wizard who made such a major contribution to


Andrew Taylor (K3) tries to find the inside line at the Brooklands complex to pass Andy King’s KN special. Photos: Dick Morbey

the development, preparation and tuning of MGs and other marques in the 1930s. There’s a report from Australia by Malcolm Robertson, a detailed account by Rob Dunsterville of the past and present of PA1801 and an item by Mike Dalby on the MG Midget’s competition debut. Technical interest is met by an article by Barry Foster about the practicalities of supercharging and there is a comprehensive section – 28 pages – detailing the 2009 competition year in all its elements. Re-enactment of the 100 ascents of Beggar’s Roost Trial Hill, North Devon. This event took place on May 29 & 30, and thanks to the esteemed Editor, a full report appears elsewhere in this issue!

Register’s 50th Anniversary celebrations 2011 Preparations continue for this landmark event, centred in Stratford upon Avon over three days, being the Tuesday to Thursday period immediately prior to MGLive! Silverstone in 2011. We appreciate that the precise date cannot be given, as this is governed by the F1 GP date, which will not be confirmed until the end of this year. However, at this early stage it would be very helpful to the organisers if you would indicate your interest in participating in the event. This carries no commitment on your part, but it will greatly assist in the planning. Please contact Elizabeth Taylor at Oakend, Hazelhurst Road, Burnham, Bucks, SL1 8EE. Tel. +44 (0)1628 665055, e-mail:

ANNE BUSH 01323 738012

I am compiling these notes at the beginning of June and it doesn’t seem possible that by the time they are printed it will be July and not too far away from the SVW weekend in August. Updates concerning the weekend and travel arrangements for those attending from the UK are appearing on the SVW pages of the MG Car Club website. Tour de Silverstone by Jeff Gibson This year there were several starting points for the Tour de Silverstone including a new short route from Gaydon Heritage Motor Centre. The main routes, however, were from STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway at Swindon, RAF Museum at Cosford, Shropshire and finally the Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden, Bedfordshire. We decided on the latter as this was our nearest start point.

With the location of Old Warden being convenient to Harwich we were joined by a large number of European MG Car Club members, particularly our Dutch friends. We arrived at l0am which allowed us two hours to view the Collection before we had to start off for Silverstone. Richard Ormonde Shuttleworth, who founded the Collection in 1928, was born in 1909 into an affluent family that owned the large Old Warden Estate. The family firm was Clayton & Shuttleworth who were a successful manufacturer of agricultural machinery, such as traction engines and threshing machines, based in Lincoln. We started our visit to the Museum by visiting the restoration workshop as one of our party was an engineer in the RAF. A Supermarine Spitfire was under full restoration with the fuselage on one side

and the main wings mounted vertically to enable easy access. When you see an aircraft of this type stripped down and the complex work required restoring this aircraft to a flying condition, it makes a car restoration look very simple. There are some eight hangers of cars and aircraft, some of the oldest aircraft in the collection still fly on flying days. Those MG Car Club members with early aircraft can rent hanger space and have them restored and maintained. We managed to drag ourselves away from the Museum exhibits to start our run to Silverstone which was just over 90 miles. The route took us into Cambridgeshire skirting St Neots and we had our lunch break by the side of Graffham Water, enjoying the hot sunshine. We then turned towards Silverstone on an excellent Continued on page 85

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REGISTER UPDATES selection of by-roads offering views of the English countryside. We did cheat on the last section when we saw the signs for Towcester. An MG WA Saloon is not quick through the twist and turns of country lanes. So we cut out the last loop of the route and followed the A43 down to Silverstone. On arrival we parked adjacent to the old National Straight which will become part of the new Silverstone Arena circuit used for the Moto GP and Fl British Grand Prix. We then had our two laps of the old Formula 1 circuit; a very enjoyable day’s motoring. Next year participants in the Tour de Silverstone perhaps will be able to sample the new Silverstone Arena Grand Prix circuit?


NEIL CAIRNS 01525 217394 Answerphone.

The 2010 Y Register Spring Run was an absolute roaring success. The weather was superb, the meal excellent, the organisation perfect and the majority of cars behaved themselves. Ledbury turned out to be a really pretty little market town and our host at The Royal Oak a real diamond. During the speeches at the meal David Hague proposed an extra toast to our president, Dennis Doubtfire. Dennis and his wife, Barbara, were celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary. The run on Sunday was not too eventful other than one car developing a faulty dynamo and breaking a fan blade; another began to misfire so badly it was taken home (but replaced with another classic car as its owner only lived a few miles away); one had an oil leak from

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its oil gauge pipe; another had gremlins in its flashing indicators and shed its rocker cover oil filler cap; some brake lights gave up the ghost and refused to work; one hovered on the edge of boiling its radiator; and another burnt out its cut-out box. In other words, a pretty normal sort of day out for a collection of 28 ancient bits of machinery. At Berrington Hall it really was a hot, sunny afternoon and a few participants took to hiding in the cooler shadows of the shrubbery. Four prizes were awarded. That for the best YA going to Bill Bennett with UML241; best YB went to Richard Knight with UMG841; best YT went to Mike Silk with IR4304. The extra prize was the Piston Broke cup, but as a reward for attending every Register Spring Run AND for owning

his car now for a total of 51 years to Alan Chick, no spring chicken himself. This year the MG Y Type Register is having an Autumn Run to complement the Spring Runs organised so well every year by Jerry Birkbeck. The Run will start in the pretty town of Woburn and go through Bedfordshire lanes to the Shuttleworth Collection in Old Warden. The Run will start at around 11am and we aim to be at Old Warden for the start of the day’s flying at 2pm. The Shuttleworth Collection houses an astounding collection of airworthy vintage aircraft from the earliest aeroplane still flying, powered by its original engine, through thirties biplanes to Second World War fighters. Whether or not you’ve ever visited before, the sight, sound and smell of Edwardian aeroplanes flying over a classic grass aerodrome at twilight is unforgettable. If the aeronautical doesn’t appeal to you there are the beautiful Swiss Gardens to visit and a Falconry Centre. If that’s not enough there’s also a children’s playground and a field full of wallabies, emus and llamas. We have been given dedicated parking space on the flight line for 30 cars and a 10% discount on entry to the event. Cost will be £23.00 per car and driver including rally card, route book and entry to the Air Show. Entry to the Air Show for passengers will be at the discounted price of £18.00. We hope that Y Type owners who haven’t been to Spring Runs before will be able to join us. For details please contact Peter Sharp at: sharp. or 01525 861652. The picture is of Jerry having his car hidden as he did not want to win any prizes. JULY 2010


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JOHN WARD 01621 773606

Silverstone 2010 Just returned from another great MG Silverstone Weekend, can it really be that for 60 years we have been fortunate to have been given the complete freedom of this iconic venue and to indulge ourselves totally in MG’s past and present? The weather was amazingly kind to us, Friday and Saturday basking in glorious sunshine, Sunday a little overcast but dry. Not like the rest of the country which witnessed horrendous thunderstorms resulting in the scheduled flypast by the Hawker Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Flight being grounded in Lincolnshire, only some 50 miles away from Silverstone. Traditionally, though, we did get soaked on the way home when the heavens opened, but just as events were drawing to a close. The Friday Night Natter was as always a well-attended and lively event. Peter Cole, Graham Brown and their helpers being kept busy providing us with drinks and nibbles. All

The Chairman, David Butler’s XPAG Special


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FUTURE EVENTS 2010 The 2010 Register ‘T’ Party Last opportunity to arrange to go to the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb on Saturday July 17, the venue is in Worcestershire and it is a round of the 2010 Luffield Speed Championship. Contact Brian Rainbow on to book, which you must do in advance to take advantage of concessionary rates and join up with the other ‘T’ Types. The 2010 Autumn Tour This year’s tour is to Mid-Wales centred in The Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells on September 10–13. All the arrangements are now in place, the routes

are now mapped out and it promises to be two days of good driving and spectacular scenery through the mountains and valleys of the Cambrian Mountains. Skills Workshop 2011 No further news or details yet on the proposed Skills Workshop at the Oxford and Cherwell Valley Motor College in Bicester in October. Watch this space; as soon as such information is available it will be posted on the ‘T’ Register website or here in the Newsletter. The 2011 European Event of the Year It is now confirmed that next year’s event will be hosted by the MG Car Club Belgium and is to be based at Spa-Francorchamps in the Ardennes from June 3–7 2011. Obviously subject to the hitherto unknown date of MG Silverstone next year, there are a number of T-Types that would be interested in getting together to make this trip and possibly extending the stay at other places en route. If you share this view, make contact with the above and I will keep you advised of any developments in this connection. The 2011 Autumn Tour The Autumn Tour next year will take place from September 9–11 2011. The location will be in the glorious North Yorkshire Dales and will be based at the Coniston Hotel in Skipton. Grant & Barbara Humphreys are organising this Tour for us and you can now make a booking with them on

MIKE PARKER 01235 525255

With full reports of MGLive! elsewhere in this month’s magazine, I thought I’d concentrate on other activities, but not before congratulating William Smallbridge on taking the Steve Everitt Trophy. Having spun on the opening lap he pulled back more than a six-second deficit to win by a mere two hundredths of a second. It was a brilliant display of judged and skilful driving, very reminiscent of the great Steve Everett himself, and a well-deserved reward. Great stuff William, pity you are not racing the Midget more often this season. A big thanks also to Malcolm Beer for bringing 86

of this in the midst of the display of T-Type Specials, thanks to Stewart Penfound for organising the attendance of these rare and fabulous examples of MG heritage and the ingenuity of the builders. Saturday morning was hot and sunny and by 11am the allocated parking area for T-Types was full to overflowing and the designated overspill area just about coped with a remarkable turnout of pristine T-Type cars, picnic baskets and comfy armchairs! There was the usual steady and regular trade at the Register stand, and quite a lot of old regalia items were on sale which were eagerly snapped up at the discounted prices. Sunday was a quieter day in turnout terms; the forecasters must have convinced many that the possibility of thunderstorms in the area would, by experience, affect Silverstone!

771 BJB, the Jacobs Midget, to represent the model within the Main Marquee. It looked fantastic, and created much discussion and debate among enthusiasts, many spending a very long time lying on the floor looking under it. Wonder what they were looking for? Right, that’s it, I’m now finished with Silverstone. The Star Car has been out and about quite a bit since returning from Dominic Mooney and the guys up at MCR. You’ll see from the report that Chris Seaward and his lovely partner Lauren took the car on the Speckled Hen Run, and liked it so much

they won’t give it back! Subsequently Chris has taken it home on a few occasions, plus to and from Silverstone each day for MGLive! (Sorry, said I wouldn’t mention it again, but I have!) It was then in Lincolnshire for a weekend, and is now being prepared for its next big outing up in Scotland, for the Glamis Castle event on July 10 & 11 with the Caledonian Centre. Chris again no doubt refusing to leave the driver’s seat. What a busy Midge it is then, will it win Car of the Year for 2010? Not if I have anything to do with it, as I’m entering everything I can, including the September Road Run on

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REGISTER UPDATES September 5, for which entries are now coming in thick and fast, but so far only one Midget – mine! How is it that the Midget Register’s only annual road run, generally regarded as one of the very best if you really enjoy proper sports car motoring, only attracts at best about eight or nine Midgets out of a total entry of 70-plus cars? Regularly receiving entrants with every type of MG, from Vintage to modern Fs and Zs, we only ever see a handful of Spridgets. I’ve said it before, if Roy Locock could drive a Midget right around the world, surely you can manage the Cotswolds! Moan over, what else is there for you to look forward to? Luffield Speed Championship visits the wonderfully historic and evocative Shelsley Walsh on July 17 & 18, same weekend the Anglia Centre’s Queen Vic Car show at Billericay, Abingdon Works Centre have their Summer Day Out at Hinton Ampner on July 25 and, on August 8 SE Centre celebrate their 80th Anniversary. Plus, as


Events We have been invited to attend the South East Centre’s 80th Birthday Party at

SF_JULY_61-98.indd 87

where or what you’ve been taking part in. This month’s picture shows Malcolm Beer’s 771 BJB alongside the Mille Miglia K3 (K3017) Magnette.


This month’s picture shows the ‘Register’s Red Team’ at MGLive! and what a fine body of men we are! I’m writing these notes after an enjoyable weekend at Silverstone. I will say no more as I’m sure a detailed report will be appearing in Safety Fast!, but I do thank those and their wives who have supported the Register over the weekend to help make MGLive! the success it was.

mentioned, Glamis Castle and our own Road Run on September 5 to Compton Verney. Lots for you all to do then, so why not drop me a line or some pictures of

Penshurst Place in Kent on August 8, where we will have a Register Stand and reserved parking. This looks to be a fun-filled day for all the family – details are on the website. Henry Cole who is organising the Register’s Weekend on September 10–13 says there are a couple of spaces left so if you are interested give him a call. This year the weekend is based at Sherbourne in Dorset. There will be a couple of easy-going road runs the routes, which are being put together by members who have the local knowledge of the best places to visit. I can assure you

of an enjoyable weekend with a friendly atmosphere. Remember Henry is the man to contact – details on the website. On Sunday October 3 we are organising an MGB Gathering at Coventry Motor Museum where all models of MG are welcome. The first 50 cars which are registered before 1980 will be allocated special permits to park on Millennium Place and another 30 entrants not qualifying can park in the Museum car park. The Museum is right in the heart of Coventry and houses the largest collection of British Road Transport anywhere in the world including Thrust 2 the current world land speed holder. Bernard Rengger is the man to contact – details on the website. Whilst mentioning Thrust 2, on Thursday 7 October we have arranged an evening with the ‘Bloodhound SCC Land Speed record team’ the guest speaker is Andy Green the World Land speed record holder. More details in coming months. We are just finalising the program for the Maintenance Day, which is being held on Saturday October 23 at the Motor Sport College in Bicester. The format of the event will be as previous years with two different sessions, both workshopbased. We will announce next month what we are covering this year. JULY 2010


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VICTOR SMITH 0208 392 9434

The MGLive! V8 weekend got off to a good start with a lunch at the Pear Tree Inn at Hook Norton and later the V8 Supper at Sulgrave near Silverstone. Many overseas V8 members were at MGLive! including Steve Foldhazy from Australia, Al Riches from Canada and John Targett from the USA, with Marcus Ormanin from Germany and regulars Brigitte & Walter Kallenberg driving over from Germany. Geoff King was down from north-east Scotland in his V8 Roadster. As usual John Hoyle had a stand at the event with a useful display and during Saturday afternoon gave a talk on his front and rear suspension modifications for the MGB, MGBV8 and RV8 models. Angus Munro’s RV8 was on display with its recent Hoyle conversion with rear disc brakes together with Geoff King’s goodlooking MGB V8 Roadster with a Hoyle suspension upgrade. The informal V8 BBQ on Saturday


evening was popular despite the thunder rumbling in the distance with the threat of rain, which fortunately held off. At the V8 AGM on the Sunday at MGLive! David Biddle, who has arranged the V8 Curry Night, stepped down together with the RV8 Historian John Bolt who is taking a 12-month break. The new V8 Committee members elected at the AGM are Jim Gibson (V8 Treasurer), Howard Gosling (currently Club Vice Chairman), Julian Holmes (V8 Regalia), Ian Quarrington (V8 Secretary), Bob Owen (V8 Technical), Victor Smith (V8 Chairman and Registrar), Mike Taylor (V8 Events and Tours coordinator), and Clive Wheatley (V8 Spares). The V8 Cambridgeshire Tour 2010 is over the long weekend of September 10– 13 with a programme of visits to Fenland attractions and an ancient Cambridge college. The base will be the Holiday Inn at Cambridge. Further details of the event,

booking arrangements and location maps are available on the V8 website via a link on the Rolling V8 Calendar or you can contact David Allen on 01778 343235. A V8 Gathering at Abingdon is planned for Saturday July 17 at the Boundary House pub at 1pm. Further details of the event, booking arrangements and location maps are available on the V8 website via the Rolling V8 Calendar or you can contact Julian Holmes on 07765 432390. Good quality MGV8s are selling well at present with Ted Lay reporting his MGBGTV8 has sold to “Antigua of all places”. He was pleased with the responses his advert generated on the V8 website not least from buyers in France, Luxembourg and Germany all prepared to pay more than his asking price. Clearly there is a continuing demand for goodquality examples of this model and the strong interest from mainland Europe is still very real.

GINNY CARTMELL 01208 821552

Back to Downton The word ‘Downton’ is synonymous with MGC so when we heard that over the weekend May 1 & 2 there was going to be a second ‘Return to Downton’ event some C’s had to join in. So, fittingly, along with Minis there were four MGCs on display. Held on the Downton Football Club ground at the edge of the village, there was a good number of interesting cars to be examined and discussed with the local Downton experts. For those needing a distraction from cars there was breakfast and lunchtime BBQ and just up the road the annual ‘Cuckoo Fair’ was taking place.

For those who have not been, suffice to say that at the Fair there were stalls selling almost everything you could dream of, from plants to cakes, handbags to cider.

Plus live music and heaving pubs! On the Sunday, there was a road run over a mere 26.4 miles, or so the organisers claimed, that took you on the test route Continued on page 90


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REGISTER UPDATES used by the works, a steep (test) hill, plenty of bends, a straight on what was once a WW2 bomber runway (guess what was tested there) and past the former homes of Daniel & Bunty Richmond (founders of Downton Engineering). Followed by a pub lunch and then home with the ‘C’ owners vowing to return and ‘C’ if the ‘Minis’ could be outnumbered next time! The D.E.W.S Club organise other events, details at Thanks to them for a great weekend. Peter Ferguson


JOHN THOMPSON 01702 295989

The summer is finally here as we continue to move through our 2010 events calendar. There is still plenty to come in the months ahead to keep us Zed owners occupied. There are also some exciting plans in the pipeline too. MGLive! The hot and sunny weather over the weekend of June 4–6 helped to make MGLive! a huge success for the Register. Fortunately the forecast of heavy showers held off until the last moments of the Sunday. The Register stand was located within the Main Marquee with our range of clothing and merchandise available for sale. I can confirm that regalia sales were excellent over the weekend. A popular addition to our clothing range made its debut over the weekend, helped I’m sure by the warm weather. Our new T-shirt, with the Register logo and three Zed cars outlined on the front is available in black at present. It also boasts the legend ‘Life’s too short not to’ on the reverse. A large number of new members joined us over the weekend, so we’d like to welcome you to the Club and Register. We hope you enjoyed the weekend and to see you at some of our events in the future. Our display was further enhanced by Fiona Leggate’s Britcar ZR in the Main Marquee. This was kindly loaned to us by 90

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the Leggates for the weekend and created a flurry of interest with the visitors. I am also happy to report that the weekend generated the largest number of Zeds we’ve ever assembled, with hundreds being counted over the three days. Many thanks for creating such a wonderful display. The MGCC Racing Championship continued over the weekend providing exciting and, at times, nail-biting entertainment for the spectators. The flagship race, the MG Trophy Championship proved to be particularly exciting with Paul Luti and Chris Bray competing for first and second place respectively on the Sunday afternoon, despite the reversed grid. Nuffield Gold Cup Winners The highlight of the weekend, however, was a complete surprise. On the Saturday evening Register Chairman Neil Mattock accepted the Nuffield Gold Cup from Car Club Chairman John Day on behalf of the Register. This is the ultimate accolade within the Car Club and we are all immensely proud to have received such a coveted prize. It was felt the achievement of rebuilding ourselves back up from the foundations over the last two years to where we are today deserved recognition. This achievement is not down to any one EVENTS 2010 July 17 & 18 August 8 August 29 September 4 & 5 September 5 October 2 & 3 November 12–14

person, but an all-round team effort. We would like to thank everyone who has helped, contributed and supported the Register with such enthusiasm over the last two years, this is for you too. The work doesn’t stop here, however, and we will continue to build on this achievement into 2011, the tenth anniversary of our cars. Events As previously mentioned, the Modified Nationals were held over the bank holiday weekend of May 28–30 at the Peterborough Showground. We would like to congratulate Nick Holland for winning the National Best Lit Car competition for a third year in a row. Quite an achievement! Upcoming Events The MG Saloon Car Day at Sandon Hall will be upon us as you read this. Then two weeks later will be the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power. This is a weekend of engineering excellence on land, water and in the air. Take a leaflet from the Register stand at our next event or visit their website for more information. Moving into August, we return to the Garden of England on the 8th as we join the South-east Centre in celebrating their 80th Anniversary at Penshurst Place.

Cholmondeley Pageant of Power SE Centre 80th Celebration Britcar 10 Day – Wicksteed Park MGCC Racing Rounds Trax Show MGCC Racing Rounds Classic Car Show

Cholmondeley Castle Penhurst Place, Kent Kettering Cadwell Park Silverstone Snetterton NEC, Birmingham

For further information regarding our events, please contact our Events Co-ordinator Peter Skipper or visit the Register Micro-site.

25/06/2010 13:14


OF THE MG CAR CLUB To celebrate 70 years of the MG Car Club in 2000 the Club published a special anniversary book explaining the structure and history of all parts of the Club. During this, the 80th Anniversary year of the MG Car Club, we will be reprinting pages from the book within Safety Fast!



hen the MG era started, large parts of the African continent were pink on the world maps. The MG badge has traditionally followed trade and emigration, but whilst little is known of the marque in Northern and Western Africa, MG activity in Central and Southern Africa has been plentiful. In the 1930s, MGs appeared regularly in motor racing at circuits in East London, Cape Town in South Africa and Bulawayo in Southern Rhodesia. In 1934, Dick Seaman ran a K3 in the Border 100, which became the first South African Grand Prix, and was placed fifth. Ralph Rohr drove a C Type Montlhery Midget and an MG J2 was entered in the same race in East London. In 1937 and 1938 Roy Hesketh entered the Ex-Doreen Evans MG R Type in the Grovesnor Grand Prix and the South African Grand Prix. He was killed in a flying accident during the Second World War, but was subsequently remembered with the racing circuit in Pietermaritzburg, Natal being named after him. Lionel Buller entered an MG NA Magnette in the 1936 Grand Prix and in 1938 Les Miller in an L Type Magna finished sixth. In 1939, the Natal Centre of the MG Car Club came

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by Brian Woodhams

into formation and is recognised as the oldest overseas affiliated club. The Second World War caused an interruption in MG activities, but post 1945 when colonial emigration was encouraged MGs once again found their way to Africa. There were BMC factories in Southern Rhodesia, Durban and Cape Town in the fifties and sixties. The Durban factory produced 345 MG TDs, 602 MGAs, 98 MGA Twin Cams, 750 Z-Magnettes and 396 MK Ill Farina Magnettes. In the sixties the winds of political change blew most of the MGs southwards from Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda, but as expatriates were recruited to bolster flagging independent infrastructures, MGs were imported privately as part of the expatriate package via the Union Castle line. In 1970, I exported an Austin Healey Sprite Mark 1 (Frogeye) to Zambia, driving the 2,500 miles from Cape Town in five days. What an experience! In the seventies the six centres of South Africa were in existence, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Natal and Pretoria and there was briefly a seventh in Bloemfontein. MGs are still known in Kenya and Botswana, and my BGT lived there from 1987 to 1992. Two

MGAs were heard of in Morocco and President Kenneth Kuanda’s son owned an MGB GT V8 in Zambia. Many years later the last V8 gearbox was found in a dealer’s parts dept in Zambia, still in its crate. Since 1974, a Biennial International Indaba is hosted by each South African Centre at which the silver African Nuffield Trophy is presented to the Centre which has shown the most meritorious growth and achievement. In 1980, upon closure of the factory in Abingdon, some 250 MGBs and MGB GTs, being the residue of production, were exported to South Africa on the container ships SAS Winterburg, Ortelius and Sederburg. The arrival in South Africa of these new cars helped to bolster the membership of the six centres. However, in the 1990s, due to the exchange rate of the pound going from two rand to the pound to ten to the pound, the South African membership have struggled to Maintain the Breed. In recent years private imports of the MGF have entered South Africa after Rover sent some out for climatic testing and evaluation.

JULY 2010


25/06/2010 13:14

                             

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Luffield Cars Ltd 01509 216100


         

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                                                                                                                                                                MG SV-R 5.0 ( ‘09’ / 2009 ) -

       British   Ex 2004 N.E.C Motor Show Car       

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  

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 

                    

  


Oceana Blue Metallic with Black Full Leather Interior. Manual Transmission Unregistered

“Dusty Blue” Micatallic with Azurite Alcantara /       2010        MODEL YEAR   Leather Interior. Manual Transmission Mileage 1,000

Price £39,995

 

Platinum Silver Metallic with Black Full Leather  

  

Interior. Manual Transmission Unregistered


Price £14,495

Specification Includes:-    Front aerodynamic splitter, Rear air diffuser, Large Rear Wing, Price £14,495 Carbon finish side air vents, Green tinted glass, Electrically heated     and adjustable power-fold door mirrors Sparco reclining leather and Specification Includes:Alcantara seats, Carbon finish header, and door Leather rails  posts,     power steering,  Speed sensitive ABS/EBD, Remote central locking,   steering wheel with height adjustment, alloy finish  gearknob,  Leather       Electric front windows, Front fog lights, 16” ‘Twisted Pepper’ alloy upper door waist rails, Centre console storage bin with armrest,           wheels, Thatcham category 1 alarm+immobiliser, Radio/CD + MP3, Two cupholders, Leather & bright stainless steel sill trims, Leather                    Leather upholstery, Electric door mirrors, Height adjustable steering handbrake, gearshift gaiter and console lid, Projector headlights, Front           wheel, Driver/Front Passenger airbags, Cigarlighter, Hood cover,           and rear foglights, Electric front windows with drivers one-touch-down           input socket, bumpers, Deadlocks, Heated   Auxiliary  Body colour    control, Heated rear window with  timed switch-off Dual-action (inertia rear window, Leather trimmed steering wheel, Heated door mirrors,   Leather      and fixed) 4-belt, 3-point safety harnesses, Remote control central door Service interval indicator, handbrake gaiter.        locking, Perimetric alarm system, Electric internal fuel  filler release,          

Specification Includes:-

Speed sensitive power steering, ABS/EBD, Remote central locking, Electric front windows, Front fog lights, 16” ‘Twisted Pepper’ alloy wheels, Thatcham category 1 alarm+immobiliser, Radio/CD + MP3, Leather upholstery, Electric door mirrors, Height adjustable steering wheel, Driver/Front Passenger airbags, Cigar lighter, Hood cover, Auxiliary input socket, Body colour bumpers, Deadlocks, Heated rear window, Leather trimmed steering wheel, Heated door mirrors, Service interval indicator, Leather handbrake gaiter.

                                                                                       

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                        


                   

NEW MG TF 135     BRAND   

     MG TF 135 ( ’10’ / 2010) MG TF LE500 ( ’09’ / 2009)

MG TF 135 ( ’09’ / 2009)

      with  Storm Grey Metallic Black Full

Radiant Red Metallic with Black Full Leather Interior. Manual Transmission Delivery Mileage Only

Intense Blue Metallic with Black Full Leather Interior. Manual Transmission, Mileage 5,000

Radiant Red Metallic with Black Full Leather Interior. Manual Transmission, Mileage 6,500

Price £12,995

Price £12,495

Price £10,995

Specification Includes:Speed sensitive power steering, ABS/EBD, Remote central locking, Electric front windows, Front fog lights, 16” alloy wheels, Thatcham category 1 alarm+immobiliser, Radio/CD + MP3, Leather upholstery, Electric door mirrors, Height adjustable steering wheel, Driver/Front Passenger airbags, Cigar lighter, Hood cover, Auxiliary input socket, Body colour bumpers, Deadlocks, Heated rear window, Leather trimmed steering wheel, Heated door mirrors, Service interval indicator, Leather handbrake gaiter.

Specification Includes:Speed sensitive power steering, ABS/EBD, Air conditioning, Remote central locking, Electric front windows, Front fog lights, 16” 11 spoke alloy wheels, Thatcham category 1 alarm+immobiliser, Radio/CD + MP3, Leather upholstery, Electric door mirrors, Height adjustable steering wheel, Driver/ Front Passenger airbags, Rear parking sensor, Cigar lighter, Hood cover, Auxiliary input socket, Body colour bumpers, Deadlocks, Heated rear window, Wind deflector, Leather trimmed steering wheel, Heated door mirrors, Service interval indicator, Leather handbrake gaiter.

Specification Includes:Speed sensitive power steering, ABS/EBD, Remote central locking, Electric front windows, Front fog lights, 16” alloy wheels, Thatcham category 1 alarm+immobiliser, Radio/CD + MP3, Leather upholstery, Electric door mirrors, Height adjustable steering wheel, Driver/Front Passenger airbags, Cigar lighter, Hood cover, Auxiliary input socket, Body colour bumpers, Deadlocks, Heated rear window, Leather trimmed steering wheel, Heated door mirrors, Service interval indicator, Leather handbrake gaiter.

Leather Interior. Manual Transmission    

 


Price £13,795

  Specification Includes:Speed sensitivepower steering, ABS/EBD,         Remote central locking, front windows,          Electric    Front fog lights, 16” alloy wheels, Thatcham           category 1 alarm+immobiliser, Radio/CD +          door  mirrors,    MP3, Leather upholstery,  Electric   Height adjustable     steering  wheel, Driver/Front   Passenger airbags, Cigar  lighter, Hood cover,        Auxiliary input socket, Body colour bumpers,          Deadlocks, Heated rear window, Leather trimmed steering wheel, Heated door mirrors, Service interval indicator, Leather handbrake gaiter.

           SF_JULY_61-98.indd 095_MGE_JUL10.indd 9295

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The photographic archive at Kimber House is being categorised and sorted. We are starting to come across a lot of interesting older photos which we know very little or nothing about as there are no captions. With your help we hope to be able to add more details, such as where the photo was taken, who appears in it and what era it was taken in. The more details the better.


bit of a mixed bag this month. We kick off with a couple of rocker box racers under starters orders. Who, we wonder, was the eventual winner? Looking at the grid line-up it is clear to see that the entry list comprised a wide spectrum of MGs from ‘Old no 1’ to a ‘K3’! Where and when please. Moving on we see a TF attempting a spot of submarining. Perhaps we should entitle this ‘10 things not to do with your Classic MG’! We think this event took place in April 2000. Maybe you could tell us where. Finally we have a photo of a young lady giving a whole new meaning to ‘tailgating’. We believe this picture was taken at Beaulieu in 1993. Cheers! As always, if you would like to donate photos, brochures or any memorabilia relating to MG or the MGCC for the archive here at Kimber House we would be very grateful to receive any donations.

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MGA Roadster 1500 1957. Old English white, wire wheels, full restored 1989-92. Photos and service records, very good condition. £18,000 Warwickshire, 01789 762882/07785294172.

MG TF160, Dec 2002. One owner and 24000 miles from new. XPower grey with black hard top. Excellent condition. Offers over £4500. Tel: 07710 027580 email: jrbs

MGC Roadster 1969. Stunning, beautiful condition, everything as it should be, the engine is a joy to behold, wonderful to drive. 31,000 miles since nut and bolt restoration. £16,900. Bill 07966 499275. Suffolk.

1996 MGF 1.8i, British Racing Green. PAS, ABS, MG radio/ cassette, windstop, mats, mudflaps, Cylinder head gasket replaced 2004. My wife and daughters car for 6 years. Sound reliable and clean car, 89k miles. MOT. £1550. Tel: 01978 780372.

1977 MGB Roadster, one owner from new, stored on blocks for 25 years, but needs an engine rebuild, otherwise good original condition. Offers over £2000. 07071622014.


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MGBGT 1975, very low mileage, Full leather trim,MOT August 2010, Chrome rostyles, Chrome bumper, New tyres, S/S exhaust, VGC lots MOT’s, £4500, Tele. 01322 431989 after 4pm.

MGB V8, Roadster, 1980/V, black, concours, owned 14 years. Rebuilt Rover 3.9 litre V8, four choke Webber, Offenhauser manifold, stainless exhaust, alloys, new tyres, hood, Waxoyled, immobiliser, 5 speed, walnut & leather, full history. T&T, £7,750 ono. Tel 01494 672004.

MG Midget 1500 1976. Unleaded rebuilt engine 4000mls. gearbox rebuilt. body resprayed. good underseal, new seats, new hood, duck tonneau. MOT and Tax. owned 14 years £2,200. Tel. 01902 741783. Wolverhampton, W Midlands.

MGB Roadster 1974 LHD US Specification, Tundra Green with chrome bumpers. Interior in excellent original condition, three owners 58000 miles. Complete with hard top, soft top and tonneau. V5 but No tax or MOT last used 2007. £2500 ono. Mobile 07837 762134 (Cambs.)

1947 MG TC. One owner since 1967 [Mike Barnett]. Excellent original condition, with red paintwork & red leather interior. Engine modified, 1310ccs, AEG122 cam,1.5 inch carbs,4 branch exhaust manifold. £22000. For further details or to view, contact Kim Johnson on ; M 07866594391. H 01905775763.

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Midgets bought, sold and restored.Contact the Midget Specialist MIKE AUTHERS on Abingdon 01235 834664 CHROME BUMPERED MIDGETS in excellent condition bought up to £5,000 View current stock at

MGTD 1953. White with red leather. British car. MOT until June 2011. Present owner for 42 years, selling due to lack of time to enjoy driving. Reg YMG 147. Price £11500 Tel No 07850 771891 SW Scotland.

1980 MGB GT. Two lady owners since new. Current owner 26 years. Very good condition, genuine 59439 miles. Maintained to a high standard regardless of cost. £3200. For further details or to view, contact Mrs Tessa Barnett on; H 01527 876755. MGBGT/M Series Project MGBGT r/b bodyshell and suspension with Rover M Series engine, Sherpa sump and bellhousing with unused MGR gearbox. £500. Other parts also available, eg vented discs. Please phone for more info. Richard on 01865 881582 (Oxford). WANTED MGB wanted from the sixty’s for enthusiast’s. MGCC member and good home waiting! anything from needing TLC to good working order. Please contact 01784 459585 or 07923 430012 or brewerton2@ Thank you.

1996 MGF BRG 36, 775 mileage. New MOT, taxed Nov £1500. Tel: 01775 762157 (Spalding, Lincs).

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The complete service for ALL MGs MGB Roadster, 1974, Green, Overdrive, Black Leather seats with green piping, Wood rim steering wheel, Roll Bar, Recent bare metal re-spray. Superb condition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£7,995 MGB Roadster, 1974, Green, Overdrive, Black Leather seats with green piping, Wood rim steering wheel, Roll Bar, Recent bare metal re-spray. Superb condition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£4,995 MGB Roadster, 1975, Red, Rubber bumper, Overdrive, MOT Dec 2010, Taxed March 2011, Oselli re-con engine, Rebuilt with photos approx 2002, Bootrack, Radio/CD Player, Black interior, Tidy car £4,750

MGB GT Tailgate mint condition no rust £50. 4 lookalike Minilite wheels as new 14”x5.5J with 185x14 Dunlop formula R no marks £200. Recondition rear shock absorbers £15 pair. Rear spring lowering kit £15. 07958 651884. WANTED VA, saloon, tourer or drophead. Prefer car in good original or restored condition, but anything considered SA WA etc. if reasonably priced. Please email, or phone 01204 413693.


MGB Roadster, 1973, Black, Chrome bumper, Overdrive, Kenlowe fan, Electronic ignition, Wire wheels, Wood rim motolita steering wheel, Half and full tonneaus, MOT Dec 2010, Taxed April 2010 . . .£4,500 MGB Roadster, 1977, Rubber bumper, Re-import 1999, RHD, Brooklands Green, Overdrive, Alloy wheels, MOT March 2011, Biscuite interior with sports reclining seats, Walnut dash, RV8 Style Double duck hood, US Spec boot rack, Attractive looking car . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£4,500 MG TF, 135, 1.8I, 2003, Silver, MOT May 2011, Just over 49200 Miles, Cloth interior, Service history with bills for headgasket and cam from local main dealer, Nice tidy car . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£4,500

1978 MGB fully restored 1999 with a 1950 unleaded engine. National show winner 2000-2002 still in excellent condition. Full MOT, 3 months tax. £8000 ono. Tel: 01865 760723 (Oxford).

MGB Roadster, 1981, Rubber bumper, Brooklands Green, Black leather seats, New hood, Motolita leather rim steering wheel, Sony Radio/CD Player, Good allround condition, Taxed Aug 2010, MOT Feb 2011, 4 New Tyres, Serviced Feb 2010. Also comes with Full and Half Tonneuas . . . . . . . . . . . .£3,995

Opening Hours: 8am – 6 pm Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri • 8am – 5pm Wed, 8am – 4pm Sat Viewing out of hours strictly by appointment only Units 9/12 Fifehead Business Centre, Manor Farm, Fifehead, Magdalem. Nr Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5RR

TEL/FAX: 01258 820337 All major credit/debit cards accepted Proprietors: MA & CV Rolls, Family Run Business with Years of Experience

Jan 2002 MG ZT190+. Mot & tax, nice clean condition, new front tyres, recently refurbished alloys, fully serviced since purchased in 2006, inc cambelts in 2008 £1263, a new fan pack and thermostat 2008 costing £991, plus all regular services. recently replaced rear exhaust unit (£236). 76150mls, only on its third owner. £2895 ovno m. 07984744192.

WANTED MGA Coupe. Prefer De Luxe or Twin Cam. Anything considered but must be tip top condition. Please call 01654 767055.

MGB GT 1980. Second engine mileage – 20,000 mls, 1 Owner from new. Garaged day and night, Excellent condition, as new. Full service history, MOT to October 2010. Taxed to November 2010, e-mail for more pictures. £5000.00 Tel. 0182470 3354 e-mail – haydn@

1956 MG ZB Magnette. Total body restoration in the nineties, then recon engine, recon carbs, new wiring loom, stainless steel exhaust, new interior trim. Recent headling and master cylinder. £7,500. Tel: 01892 664867 or 078555 71308 (Sussex).

MGB GT 1972 Tax Exempt -Overdrive-BRG, MOT October 2010. Registration - FGA 777L, PRICE - £1,950. For full details Tel: 01289 386434 (Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland). 1965 MGB Roadster. Total restoration project . The car is very rust having spent years in the open before going into a garage. It comes with various new and second hand parts. £450 ono. Tel: 01373 832733 (Wiltshire).

1995 MG RV8. 23,000 miles, Woodcote green, excellent condition. New Clive Wheatley carbon fibre windscreen frame, aircon, tonneau, tool roll. Mot April 2011 taxed. Summer use only, £12500. Tel: 01962 772374 (Hampshire).

MG ZR 105+ 2004 04 PLATE Trophy yellow, full zr bodykit, 17” straight alloys with 4 nearly new tyres, full s/history, 53,731 miles, 2 owners, half leather, ew,m,s, tinted windows, lots extras, showroom cond, £3,800, 01922 418444, staffordshire. JULY 2010


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PETER BEST David Newton.qxd:Layout 1


The best policies for either classic or modern MGs 15:39

Call for a quote today

01621 840400 MW RESTORATIONS NOV07.qxd:Layou

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Chateau Des Granges.qxd:Layout

Heath House Estate, Stockbridge, Hampshire. SO20 6BY



Chateau Des Granges

restoration division Chateau Des Granges is an ideal base for exploring the Dordogne in your classic car. We can organise scenic tours ‘tailor made’ to suit you. We have Bed and Breakfast accommodation for up to 10 people (5 en suite bedrooms). For larger groups, additional accommodation can be arranged just 2km away.

We have everything you need to get your car looking good and going well! • Full bodyshop and paintshop • Welding, panelwork and MOT work • Mechanical repairs and servicing • Electrical and wiring repairs • Rustproofing and waxoyling • Suspension and brake upgrades • Collection and delivery service

MW RESTORATIONS Saffron Walden, Essex

For further information contact: Geoff or Christine telephone/fax 00 33 (0)553 350 775 email website

Specialising in all aspects of MG restoration and accident repair to any age and make of vehicle

Amazing Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Georgian detached house, 50 yds water’s edge idyllic harbour. 6 bedrooms, inc 4 poster, sleeps 2-12, 4 bathrooms. Dishwasher, video, CD, DVD, parking. Good restaurants, galleries, beaches & walking. 07860 906032

01799 584994 Email:

MG IN NORTH HERTS After 14 years working in Hoddesdon, I have relocated and carry out the same service for: MGA, MGB/C, V8 & MIDGETS. MoT failures, Servicing, Restoration. BRIAN BROWN CLASSICS R/O Langley Garage, London Road, Langley, Nr Hitchin, Herts. SG4 7PJ 01438 729288 Mobile: 07860 473298

All-new MG Parts UK website now live! Visit

Members can advertise their MG for FREE in Safety Fast! A colour photograph is Free and text advert is FREE for members! Non members pay £17.62 – please make cheques payable to Hine Marketing. The deadline for receiving your advert is 8th JULY 2010 For AUGUST 2010 EDITION Please quote your membership number and return this form to the MG Car Club or e-mail a jpeg & text to Non members please send your credit card details or make cheques payable: Hine Marketing (Non Members £17.62 inc VAT) Please send your credit card details or make cheques payable to: Hine Marketing ( Non- Members £17.62 inc VAT ( Whilst every effort is made to ensure correct insertion and accuracy of members’ advertising, neither MG Car Club nor Hine Marketing can accept responsibility for errors or omissions which may occur. It should be noted that neither MG Car Club nor Hine Marketing make any recommendation in respect of any goods and/or services supplied by any advertiser in this issue. It is the responsibility of readers to satisfy themselves that goods or services offered are bona fide and in no instance can the MG Car Club nor Hine Marketing be held responsible.

MG Car Club, Freepost, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1BR Tel: 01235 555552 email

ADVERTISERS’ INDEX Abingdon MG Parts Ltd......................... IFC, 3 Adrian Flux .................................................. 84 Airflow ........................................................ 31 Aldon Automotive ....................................... 33 Autobush .................................................... 84 Autoglym..................................................... 61 Beech Hill Garage ....................................... 94 Brian Brown Classics ................................... 96 British Motor Heritage ................................ 27 Brown and Gammons ............................. 6, 31 Carole Nash Insurance ............................... 71 CCHL ......................................................... 33 Chateau Des Granges ................................. 96 Church Square Autos .................................. 81 Classic Car Tours International ................... 89


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David Newton ............................................ 96 Don Trimming ............................................ 84 Fishers Garage ............................................ 84 Footman James ........................................... 43 Frontline ..................................................... 26 Hagerty International .................................. 79 Hi-Gear Engineering Ltd ............................. 97 Jolley Engineering ........................................ 75 Kimble Engineering Ltd ............................... 89 Kingsland Sawmills Ltd ................................. 8 Luffield ............................................... 92, 0BC Lumenition.................................................. 71 Manor Garage ............................................. 79 Market Square garage ................................. 75 Meguiars UK Ltd ......................................... 21

MG Barn (formerly Abingdon Sports Cars) . 89 MG MECCA ............................................... 79 MGF Mania ................................................... 8 Midland Sports and Classics ........................ 16 Midland Wheel Ltd...................................... 89 Mike Authurs Classics.................................. 95 Mike Rolls.................................................... 95 MW Restorations ........................................ 96 Naylor Brothers .......................................... 98 Nicky Paul-Barron....................................... 97 Norton Insurance ....................................... 61 NTG Services ............................................. 79 Oselli ltd ...................................................... 37 Paul Harris Classic Tyres ............................. 84 Penrite Oil Co Ltd ....................................... 71

Peter Best ..................................... 84, 96, IBC Peter Edney Classic and Sports Cars ............. 8 Quickfit Safety Belts .................................... 71 Rimmer Bros Ltd......................................... 33 SC Parts Group Ltd ..................................... 57 Skiptune ...................................................... 37 Steve McKie Sports Cars............................. 75 Surrey Sports & Classics ............................. 75 Sussex Classic Car Parts ................................ 4 The Hutson Motor Co Ltd ............................ 8 Webcon UK ................................................ 75 ADVERTISERS’ INDEX CORRECT AT TIME OF PRESS

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MG Car Club, SafetyFast! July 2010  
MG Car Club, SafetyFast! July 2010  

Safety Fast!, the MG Car Club's 100 page, full colour, perfect bound Monthly magazine is an integral part of club membership. The publicatio...