I am writing these notes mid May, having NOT just MOT tested my MGB GT. It was scheduled for 7.00am. As I went to start my car the starter motor made a rattling noise… nothing more. How, in the name of all that is good and beautiful, has it got a flat battery? It has a smart charger almost permanently attached, certainly all winter though not for the past couple of weeks. In that time it has been driven, perhaps, 40 miles. This goes to prove the old adage. They do need driving and I have been sadly remiss in that department and have been caught out. I checked the car out at the end of last week; everything worked fine except the screen washer. Investigation proved that the washer bottle had cracked and the jet spout on the back of the hand pump had snapped off! How? They reside in almost total darkness and were merely 52 years old! Tim Kelly provided both components and a length of new hose and after much contortion on my back in the nearside foot well (I’m getting too old to do that) the system sprang to life. It produces enough of a sample to prove its claim to fame and, therefore, enough to satisfy the examiner. Which thought brings me to my conclusion. The current MOT expires on May 10. I cannot get it examined now before the 14th. It is taxed, from May 1 for 12 months (£0), insured and no longer requires an MOT, being the age it is. What is my legal position? Can I just drive it willy-nilly? Personally, I am confident that it is perfectly sound and fit for purpose but I would still like the reassurance of an inspection to a known standard by a competent motor engineer. John Watson, our esteemed Chairman, considers that an MOT, to whatever the standard is or will be, for older vehicles is the sensible option and I agree.

Just before going to press, my MGB GT passed it’s MOT with no advisories.

Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb The MGB Register will be at Shelsley Walsh on June 15 with a reserved parking area and discounted entry of £18 per ticket. All MG Car Club members are welcome. For full details and to book your tickets direct with the organisers, visit www.classicnostalgia.co.uk

Bicester Super Scramble Sunday June 23 Bigger, better and more action-packed than the well-established tri-annual open days, the Super Scramble will see the beautiful former RAF Technical Site filled with a specially curated collection of historic vehicles, the test track brought to life with cars demonstrating for the crowds and visiting aircraft on the historic airfield.

Classic Car and MG Summer Picnic Sunday August 4 Millets Farm Centre and Frosts Garden Centre offer various attractions and restaurants, something for everyone.

Who built your MGB? Sunday August 18 Here is a chance to meet the workers who built your MGB. Ex-Factory employees and MGB owners Welcome. Kimber House 10.30am

There are still a couple of places left on the MGBRegister weekend in Woodbridge, Suffolk, Friday 13 to Monday September 16. See the website for details.


MGB Register June 2019 eNewsletter



You remember from April’s notes that Peter Nixon from Tyne Tees Centre was searching for parts for his hardtop and found a possible contact in the USA. He tells me that he ordered the retaining strip that he needed and that it has now turned up and is a perfect fit! That’s good to know, then.
It would have been nice to get my BGT out this past couple of weeks, but, as my photograph shows, it has been used to store Easter Eggs (nice and cool in the garage and out of the sun). These are prizes for a Great Easter Egg Hunt organised annually on Portreath Beach in Cornwall for under-5s and over-5s…by Camborne/Redruth Lions Club. But how many Eggs are there in the Car? Send me an email with your guess and we will pick out a winner and organise a prize from the Register regalia. Cut off May 15. Last year there were more than 500 children, and even more enthusiastic parents, digging frantically for the buried treasure. The beach looked like a minefield afterwards. Hint…I don’t have all the prizes…

There are still a few places available on the Register weekend in Suffolk in the autumn. See the website for more details and a booking form.

I shan’t comment about losing MGLive! this year, other than reminding everyone that Silverstone is a Motor Racing Circuit, not merely another disused airfield, because of efforts made by the MGCC after the war.

A few tech tips from your new Register Committee member, Mike Barclay

MGB Bonnet: Refitting the bonnet on an MGB after working on the engine can be a bit of a fiddle, trying to line up the height and fit across the front wings. If you look at the bonnet hinges and the corresponding mounting points on the bonnet you will notice 2 x 1/8 inch holes drilled through each. These were used by the factory when refitting the bonnets at the end of the line to ensure the bonnets went back in the same place when removed at the start of assembly. When fitting the bonnet, once the bolts are in, fit a 1/8” piece of
bar (drill bit is ideal) in each hole, adjust and the bonnet should fit correctly.

MGB Rostyle wheel nuts: Using the original wheel brace or a normal socket to remove the wheel nuts on Rostyle wheels usually results in damage to the chrome plating. If you have a socket set with a plug spanner socket use this as it is the correct size for the nuts and fits all the way down the nut preventing damage to the chrome.

Cheap thief deterrent: Unfortunately we are seeing more and more MGBs stolen these days. Because of the era these cars come from there is very little to stop anyone breaking in (particularly the Roadsters) opening the bonnet, “hot wiring” the ignition and the car is gone. All MGBs have an electric fuel pump. Power to the pump is fed from a white wire connected where the front and rear harnesses join in the group of bullet connectors below the fuse box. If you remove this connection and make up a small harness connected to a secret switch (mine is mounted in a hard-to-find place under the dash) you can turn off the pump when you leave the car. If someone tries to take the car it will only run for around 200m before running out of fuel. OK, it will not stop the determined thief but it might just make them abandon their attempt to steal your car.

Bonus wiring: This only works for MGB Roadsters. The front wiring harness for both Roadster and GT is the same. This means on a Roadster the wiring for the rear heated screen is present but not used. This leaves a +12 wire feed (green) and return wire (white/black) that terminates in a bullet connect in the bundle of bullet connectors below the fuse box. This can be useful when wanting to add things like a radiator fan override switch, avoiding having to add extra wiring under the dash and through the bulkhead to the engine compartment.

Battery conditioner: MGB batteries are not located in the most convenient place, making the connection/disconnection of a battery charger/conditioner time consuming when wanting to use the car. The cigarette lighter on later cars is permanently connected to 12V. Using a suitable lighter plug connected to your charger output makes disconnection/connection quick and simple. Make sure you get the polarity correct.


I couldn’t go to the Register-organised Spring Run but did go on the local event organised by John Harvey, leader of the West Cornwall Natter. This was a castle to castle event starting at St Mawes and finishing at Caerhays. Three MGBs, two TFs and a 1937 TA took part. All open top motoring on a bright but chilly day. Good to blow the cobwebs away and give the cars an airing after the winter. The gang up country seemed to enjoy themselves… according to Roger and Nicky Boys…

The MG season has started. The MGB Spring Run for many is the first major event of the year and all owners look forward to taking the opportunity to shake the cobwebs off their MG. There were approximately 74 cars that pitched up at Millets Farm, near Abingdon, for the start. There was quite an MG buzz in the cafe as we all met up with old friends and discussed the modifi cations and work that we had completed during the winter, and naturally there was the opportunity to put the world to rights – Brexit, despite being a taboo subject, got a mention! The warmth and smell of cooking breakfasts and hot coffee made it difficult to get motivated and set out on the route. The weather did its best for us; despite remaining cool and overcast all day, we were fortunate that there was no rain for the whole time we were out in the car, hence the roof remained down, but a warm jacket and woolly hat was required.
The first section of the route was brilliant; it took us deep into the Cotswolds, exploring some beautiful villages built in traditional style featuring the lovely warm Cotswold stone and thatched roofs. The roads were interesting and at times challenging. Goodness knows how much it would cost to fill in all of the potholes and refurbish the roads of this area, let alone the rest of the country. Lots of MGs were seen parked up in delightful places, taking lunch before completing the route to The Classic Motor Hub, Bibury. Great credit here goes to Roger and Joan Cooper for planning the interesting and varied route. Nicky and I made a couple of silly errors due entirely to a lack of concentration which caused us to miss a turning. However, we have resolved to complete it all again during the coming summer when the views will be less shrouded in mist. 

The Classic Motor Hub, Bibury, is a fascinating place, filled with an interesting array of exotic classic cars, the majority of which are for sale and could be tempting if you have deep pockets. Everybody was very friendly and made us all extremely welcome and we were encouraged to explore. I have to admit that as we did not get there until 2.30pm we did not get an opportunity to look round, just time to grab a coffee before it was time to set off on the second section, which took us back towards the start where we had an opportunity to visit Kingston House at Kingston Bagpuize.

The half way halt, the Classic Motor Hub at Bibury. Photo: Mark Rathbone

The Classic Motor Hub regularly advertises in Safety Fast! and holds a number of British Coffee and Classics events throughout the year, so keep your eyes open and visit them, you will not regret it. Look at www.classicmotorhub.com for information.
The route back was more direct and gave us all an opportunity to speed up and enjoy the wind-in-the hair motoring. The Kingston House owner was on the gate to welcome us all. Approximately 40 cars made it to the end. We guess the other cars had headed for home. Here we had the opportunity to go into this fascinating house, steeped in history, as well as explore the grounds or simply enjoy afternoon tea while continuing the conversation with friends plus, as a bonus, super homemade cakes, some of which were made by the owner!
Nicky and I completed 140 miles by the time we got back to Newbury and enjoyed the ‘Boneshaker’, our 1964 MGB, during an excellent day out to start the MG year. Thanks go to the MGB Register Committee for organising such a wonderful event. Shall we do it again next year? Yes, please.
Roger and Nicky Boys.


MGB Register May 2019 eNewsletter



There are still places to be snapped up on April 7 on the MGB Register Spring Run 2019 Supported by British Motor Heritage. This year’s Spring Run starts at Millets Farm, visits the Classic Motor Hub Bibury and finishes at Kingston Bagpuize House. .Entry is £26 and includes Route Book and Rally Plaque. Don’t forget, if you wish to visit the house this can be booked on the day. There is a maximum limit of 100 MGs. You can turn up on the day and register your intentions…
I had a phone call from Peter Nixon of the Tyne Tees Centre and, consequently, he sent me the following. In response to a posting I put on MG Experience website in the USA, looking for Works hardtop parts which are no longer available in the UK, I was given the following web address: http://trf.zeni.net/MGB-GC/254.php which brought up the ‘The Roadster Factory’. I was able to order the retainer strips which go under the rear glass area for the rubber that sits on the back of the MGB, total cost including postage from the USA was $58. The price includes the rivets.
This is on that page: “It may be that we at TRF know more about the hard top than any other source because we purchased all the remaining parts and moulds from a motorcycle side car company known as Watsonian Squire back in the 1980s. Watsonian manufactured parts in glass fibre, and they were the original supplier of the hard top to MG. This project has been on hold at TRF for many years, but we are looking again at the possibility of producing original hard tops. In the meantime, we have many parts in stock for repair of used hard tops. By the way, TRF’s owner, Charles Runyan, was trained by Watsonian Squire in hard top assembly. Also, Watsonian is a descendent of a company once known as The Swallow Side Car Company (I vaguely remember the Austin 7 having bodywork by Swallow, correct me please if wrong) When the company split, the other branch was known first as SS Cars and later as… yes, Jaguar. No English company wanted to be known as ‘SS’ anything after World War II.”
Incidentally, the works hardtop rear glass is available from Brown & Gammons for £46.80 including VAT, postage is prohibitive at around £76 for a pallet, so better to pick it up. I just bought that glass for the hardtop which I picked up for a pittance as it had no rear glass in it.

The photograph is of Danny Waters, our technical guru for many years. He is collecting the Marque of Friendship Award from Club Director, George Wilder, and the caricature as a thank you from the MGB Register.


It is a quiet time of year, not a lot is happening. My MGB is still under its cover in the garage with a strip heater under the sump and an intelligent conditioner/charger attached to the battery. There are signs this week that, for the moment at least, the gales and horizontal rain have abated so I might be tempted to lift the cover and see about waking JCP up.

A selection of MGBs on the Register display at Stoneleigh

John Watson has actually been active and sent the following as a result of a Register presence at Stoneleigh.

For the second year, the MGB Register took a stand space in Hall 3 at the MG and Triumph Spares day in February at Stoneleigh. We took a convoy of Bs up the M40 on very sunny Saturday afternoon.
On arrival we positioned Andrew Vigor’s roadster and the Marathon B on the stand. We then took Geoff
Edwards and Neil Hyett’s B GTs to the local Premier Inn where, after a couple of beers and dinner, we had sorted out all the world problems.

The following morning we drove in heavy rain back to the show ground to add the GTs to our display in a very cold Hall 3. As with all these events, you spend so much time talking to many MG friends from around the World. We had a great discussion with a Peter who keeps a register of MGBs in Switzerland. We also welcomed a group from the Bridgend MGOC who had made a considerable donation to the restoration of the Marathon MGB. They were so pleased to see the transformed car and had a group photograph around the B. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to visit us at Stoneleigh.
Just a couple of quick
reminders then…..
March 23 MGB Register AGM 10.00am-12.00pm The MG Car Club Ltd, Kimber House, 12 Cemetery Road, Abingdon, OX14 1AS.
The MGB Register Spring Run 2019 Supported by British Motor Heritage This year’s Spring Run on April 7 starts at Millets Farm, visits the Classic Motor Hub Bibury, finishing at Bagpuize House.
Entry is £26 and includes Route Book and Rally Plaque. Don’t forget, if you wish to visit the house this can be booked on the day. There is a maximum limit of 100 MGs – closing date for entries is March 23. Book Your Space Now.