Safety Fast August 2016

As my MGB GT sailed through the MOT without any advisories, again, I’ve had a few good, local runs out with the MG this early summer, including two days around Cape Cornwall doing some seascape painting ‘en plein air’ as they say, as here in the far west of Cornwall we escaped the thunderstorms that affected the rest of the country. I just need to do some routine maintenance on the MGB, such as change the brake and clutch fluids and, all being well, we are fit for the long trek to Skipton in North Yorkshire in September for the annual B Register weekend.

Following on from what I was saying in July about changing to historic vehicle status, Roger Cooper has gone through the process with his GT. It seems to be more straightforward than he initially found. He wrote as follows: Just had a word with DVLA about what to do. I can deal with sending them the V5C and the form V10 but they also want an extract from either the manufacturer’s records of production (our MGB Register perhaps) or an extract from the Glass’s Guide check book. If we don’t have the data on the Register and I can’t get hold of a Glass’s Guide easily I look like I have a problem. So! Does the info you are publishing give us a way round this? DVLA do not have this info on file – only the date of registration. Granted that will be a later date than date of manufacture but they don’t see it that way.

I suggested: Date of original registration is apparently sufficient or date of build if known. Aren’t the records for build dates in the Archive department at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon?

Roger: I shall have to try Gaydon. As I bought the car second hand I do not have a date of original registration or a build date – only the bill of sale from the local garage where we bought it in 1979 – five years after original sale somewhere in Bristol. I do however have a tax disc dated July 28 1976 from Swansea – that, by July 31 this year, should be enough to make it 40 years old. Perhaps that is good enough?

However the solution was easier than DVLA were making out. Following the DVLA lady’s advice I popped into my local Post Office to ask for a form V10, only to be told they are no longer relevant and so they could not supply. The lady asked why I wanted one and when I said I wished to change the MGB from a taxed vehicle to HISTORIC classification she said all I needed to do was take the V5C to her and she would do the rest – so I went back with the V5C and she did just that, giving me a receipt to confirm she had done it and tearing off half the form to send to DVLA, returning the other half to me. She said it would take two to three weeks and that DVLA would automatically refund any tax outstanding for the rest of the year.
Could not have been easier, so why the lass in Cardiff wanted so many impossible proofs of this that and the other I do not know – the lady in the Post Office said NOTHING was required except the V5C.
So, there you have it. The definitive way to change the status of your vehicle to historic once it is 40 years old- tried and tested by Roger.


Neil Hyatt had an interesting meeting at Silverstone with Mike Garton caused by the Denton Rally Car that the Register have acquired and are having fully restored. Again, I am using the ensuing correspondence in reporting this.

“Mike Parker introduced me to Mike Garton at MGLive! when we had a good chat about the car and Jean. Evidently he knew both Jean and her husband Tony, Tom Boyce and many more. Mike’s background is engineering and obviously he was very much involved in motorsport at the time. He said he would look through his things and pass anything of interest to me. Attached is what he has sent so far.”

It’s taken a while, but I’ve searched through a lot of photos and old diaries. Unfortunately the 1969 one suffered from water. When working at Comps, Peter Browning introduced me to Jean to help her with racing.

Initially she had UMD 534F, which was a GPIII MGB we raced at the Nürburgring 500Ks and at Mugello.

At the Nürburgring Jean drove alone, although I sneaked in a qualifying lap for her.

I was driving a French Sprite Mk IV I had specked for Special Tuning at Abingdon, but Jean wanted me to drive the MGB.

My notes revealed that Special Tuning had fitted a new production multi blade, plastic fan, which broke up during the event!

Some notes from the events that were in my diaries:

July: Brands JDR 1, Super Charged Heavy rain, hopeless. John Gott Mini stolen from car park! Mugello with UMD

August: Marathon 84 Hours at the Nürburgring. Crank failed 46 Hours in, when 9th overall

September: MG Silverstone, JDR 1 Supercharger blown again!

July: Mugello, UMD, diff failed after four laps.

September: Nürburgring 500Ks, Jean in UMD, MG in Midget Silverstone: JDR 1, 2nd to John Gott Healey

October: Brands Hatch, JDR 1, Supercharger again! Montlhery Rallye l’Agaci in Midget 13th Overall Class 2nd

I am hoping we can find out a lot more about this period, the works race cars and the people involved with them. Publishing some anecdotes would, I am sure, be of interest to many people.

John Watson sent the following notes after a hectic weekend with the Rally car at the Bicester Heritage Flywheel event and a visit the next day to the British Motor Museum at Gaydon in Warwickshire.


The weekend of July 2-3 were busy days for the Jean Denton Marathon MGB. On the Saturday it appeared at the Bicester Heritage Flywheel event on the MGB Register stand.

An early start saw the car arrive at 8.30am with thanks to David Savidge of British Motor Heritage. The wind was blowing across the second world war airfield as we put up the MGCC marquee. We were very pleased to have it, as during the day we had some big black clouds dropping lots of rain on us. We tried selling standing space for £20 but not many visitors wanted to pay up!

The Marathon MGB received a lot of interest from all who attended. One gent who visited us was looking at the folders of pictures of the car and said he had some bonnet straps at home that we could have. I have since received a text from Nigel wanting my address so he can post them to me.

In the afternoon we had an excellent aerobatic display from a selection of WWI bi- and tri-planes.

Around 4pm the sun came out and dried off everything, so we could pack up and prepare for the next day’s show.

Sunday saw us set up at the BMC day at the new British Motor Museum at Gaydon. We were invited to attend with the Marathon MGB as they were going to arrange a display of BMC 1800 Landcrabs and other World Marathon cars. This day we got sunburned and spoke to many interested rally people about the car. There were some interesting cars on display, including a group of Austin Metropolitans and a beautifully prepared Austin A35 with a 1275cc 140bhp turbo charged engine!
I would like to thank Neil, Robin, David and Clive for assisting over two long days.

John Watson


I recently attended the Scottish Transport Extravaganza at Glamis Castle, where there were hundreds of vehicles of all shapes and sizes, two, three and four wheeled, from 1890 to present day. It was encouraging to see so many MG owners turning out despite the rain to support this event. Perhaps not surprisingly the largest penned-off areas belonged to the MGCC Caledonian Centre and the Tayside MG Owners Club. In chatting to Anne Howitt of the MGCC Caledonian Centre, who has a very smart MG TD, it brought home to me just what a passionate following, of not just MGs but all Classic Cars, there is in Scotland.

It is clear that the MGB Register needs to make renewed efforts to engage with our friends, not only in Scotland but in all corners of Great Britain, and wherever else passionate MG Owners live. During my period as Chairman I hope to be able to further develop these links.

The Croft Weekend, often referred to as a mini Goodwood (August 6-7) is fast approaching and I encourage you all to attend this event where we will be flying the MGB Register Flag. Please see our webpage for details

On the same weekend we also have the Bicester Heritage, Sunday Scramble, which looks to be a grand day out. There are discounted tickets offered to members. See our MGB Register Forum and Facebook Public Group for details

Both the Forum and the Facebook Group are being visited by a large number of members and proving to be a great success.

If you haven’t accessed these yet then I urge you to do so. Both sites are great for finding out answers to technical problems or offering your own advice to others’ problems. Not only this but they are a useful resource for finding out what’s happening, and letting others know what is happening. Many proud owners have put photos of their cars on there and I encourage you all to do the same. We are currently looking at next year’s events and I look forward to presenting these in the next issue.
Graham Dix


I have recently taken responsibility for the MGB Register and this seems a good opportunity to introduce myself. Firstly I
must thank the previous Registrar, Chris Wilkins. He and his predecessors have managed the database diligently and we now have details on over 18,000 cars from the full period of production.
For the cars for which we have full information, we now have almost 3,000 ‘GHN3/GHD3’ listed which date from the beginning of production to 1967, almost 9,000 ‘Mark II’ cars dating from 1967 to 1974 and 6,500 ‘Rubber Bumper’ cars produced from late 1974 to the end of production. To put this into context, the DVLA have over 34,000 cars listed either currently registered or on SORN. Of course these are all UK registered, whereas many of ours are registered in other countries. We have a considerable amount of detail for most of the cars on the register. Because the register number stays
with the car, this is retained on file and data on the vehicle is built up through changes of ownership. For the future, subject to maintaining confidentiality, we intend to make more information available through the website and the MGB Forum. In the meantime if you would like to register your car or have a question please contact me through or use the Register link on the website. We will do our best to help.