Safety Fast August 2019



At fairly frequent intervals on the various public pages on Facebook, for instance, I see questions about what fuel an MGB requires. The issue promptly gets confused as various people put in comments about running their car,without any mishap, on 83 octane with a supplement of donkey droppings and the thread then wanders off into the whys and wherefores of fitting different engines, carburettors or whatever. My sole contribution to these ramblings is always to remark that the MGB was intended to run on high octane fuel. Interestingly, I found an old BP advert, from the 1960s, which proves the point. As you can see it lists the various octanes that BP supplied in those far-off days and suggests the cars for which the various grades would suit. 99 octane is the highest grade of fuel supplied and it is that grade which BP recommended for the MGB. Obviously, things move on and the majority of petrol engined vehicles run cheerfully on the current 95 octane supplied readily on every forecourt. I have noticed that 97 octane is becoming more widely available, at the supermarkets not just the major fuel suppliers.

An old BP advert,displaying 99 octane fuel for the MGB

My MGB runs without issue on this grade and I am aware that 99 octane has been available at Tesco for quite a while and, again, this suits my old engine. I know these premium fuels cost more, but, for the limited number of miles I achieve each year in my B, I consider it worthwhile to provide the fuel it was intended to use.

My car is now 52 years old and, touch wood, seems to be running without any issues. I am using it frequently on local day-to-day trips, usually of around 30 miles as everywhere from where I live seems to be about 15 miles away… Truro, Penzance, Falmouth, St Agnes for Tim Kelly where I went the other day as a piece of my car had fallen off! Nothing truly dreadful, just the turnbuckle for the nearside quarterlight. The bracket holding it has snapped. Tim has the appropriate bits on order, not having one complete in his vast repository of parts. Looking at the fiddly assemblage I shall leave it to him to take the broken bits out and fit the new one.

The broken turnbuckle for the nearside quaterlight

Happy 52nd Birthday to my MGB GT


MGB to the fore of the display cars. Photo: John Watson


Lauran at Kimber House was asked, at short notice, if she could arrange a selectionof 20 plus two reserve Chrome bumper MGA, MGB, MGC roadsters and Midgets to Silverstone from Thursday to the main F1 race day on Sunday July 14.
The purpose of this model choicewas made so the 20 F1 Grand Prix drivers could be driven around the newly surfaced Silverstone F1 track, either in, or sat on the back of, the MGs.
So, on Thursday prior to the race we all arrived and set the MGs on display ready for the track parade on the Sunday. Come Sunday, it was a wonderful experience for the MG owners and I’m sure the F1 drivers.

Andrew Vigor by his MGB ready to take Alexander Albon on the parade lap
MGs gather in the National Paddock during the British Grand Prix. Photo: John Watson