I recently had had my second Covid jab and have, so far, not even got so much as a sore arm. I must report that, contrary to rumours, I am not now able to receive DAB Radio by tweaking my right ear and my MG ZS changed the clock from GMT to BST without my interference.
Hopefully, we will be able soon to enjoy meeting up on those friendly social events; look at motor cars, drink beer and put the world to rights. The Marque of Friendship rules and all that. It would also be great to see the racing boys out again driving their irreplaceable cars like the world ends tomorrow. Cecil Kimber said that he wanted MGs to be cars that someone could drive to work all week and then, without modification, go clubman racing at weekends. It is great to watch this spectacle, wander through the pits and admire the machinery and, though one could never aspire to racing, it has been fun to take the MGB around the circuit at Silverstone and feel some of the thrill of being part of the track experience.
I have also driven around Silverstone, under the guidance of a racing driver, in an Aston Martin DB7. He commented that I had done it before and enquired in what. “ My MGB GT,” says I. “ Wonderful agile car,” was his response.
It’s time I stopped rambling and reminded you about the delights of the MGB Spring Run which will go from Millett’s Farm, Abingdon OX13 5HB to Stowe on Sunday June 27 with a 9.00am start.
We have also reserved space for the register at Kopp Hill on September 25-26, we will be in an MG area with the Abingdon Works Centre, Midget and Magnette Registers.
You can also Zoom to our AGM on May 22 at 11.00am; see the Register website for details.
I am also asked to suggest that you may well fancy a new polo shirt, so have a look, again at our super new regalia on the website.
Clive Wilday has been busy, as the following shows…
At the beginning of lockdown last year, I looked at my Limited Edition MGB GT Jubilee and thought: “ Oh well, hopefully we will still be able to get in some of our planned outings when restrictions are lifted” . Silly me! Well, that snowballed so I decided to make sure we were primed, ready, and looking our best when we would be allowed to integrate with the world again.
To begin, I totally cleaned the whole underside of the MG then I Schutzed and Waxoyled it inside and out (including under bonnet, door shuts, etc) to help preserve her for future years. Anything that was not 100% perfect was replaced, including a new petrol tank along with petrol cap, fuel pump and pipes. I even treated her to new K & N filters.
I needed to upgrade the wheel nuts; as the Jubilee has V8 wheels I had to source V8 wheel nuts which now compliment the distinctive black and gold wheels.
The inside of the MG also got a spruce-up and refresh with new door cards and trim including chrome door caps, seat belts, new front seats, and a new Moto-lita steering wheel as the Jubilee has a lovely V8 steering wheel with a gold MG boss in keeping with rest of the car, but it is large and cumbersome. I also fitted a top tint windscreen so also had to purchase a fitting kit.
I finished it all off with a whole new set of door locks. I have recently replaced the battery and earth lead, too.
Lots of work and expense but totally worth every penny and moment of my time.
Now my MG is completely ready, as am I, to finally get out back to enjoying shows and meeting people. I am looking forward to thoroughly immersing myself and my pride and joy back into MG life and hopefully some sort of normality when we are allowed some freedom.
THE RESTORATION OF POPPY
In early 2017 with time on my hands I decided to look for another restoration project. Since retirement, I had restored an MG TD and an MG YA but was now looking for another challenge. After spending a couple of months searching for a likely candidate, I came across a 1971 MGB GT, As a teenager, I thought it was a good-looking sports car and being an MG fan it fitted the bill.
Although the car was running it showed the usual signs of rust in all the usual places, so after trailering the car home I started to strip her to find the extent of the work required. The car came apart quite quickly and my list of repairs grew rapidly. At this stage I decided that the work required would be far easier to carry out if the body was mounted on a car turning jig. So I took time off to design and manufacture a jig. As I had completely stripped the car to just the shell, it was reasonably easy to mount on the jig. Once on the jig I realised I had made the right decision – I could spin the body with little effort into the correct position for working on.
Many months passed as I worked through the weld repairs and new panel fitting, ensuring good panel gaps. Luckily I managed to borrow a spot welder which helped enormously. Once satisfied, I sprayed the shell in acid etch primer.
It was now time to look for a suitable chassis coating; I was recommended UPOL Raptor. Raptor provides a tough, durable, long-lasting protection and by adding base coat body colour to the mix, the underside can be spraying body colour in one.
Now I could refit the newly restored suspension, springs, shockers and back axle to the chassis so I could remove the body from the jig and place it back on its wheels. When building up the suspension I used all poly bushes in touring hardness quality. At the rear I have used Parabolic springs and Gaz adjustable shockers.
It had taken me almost 18 months to get to this point and I was looking forward to getting the shell off to the painters. Although POPPY came off the production line in December 1970 painted in Midnight Blue, I decided that I would paint it Flame Red, equally a 1970/71 paint colour.
Once it was back from the painters I cracked on with the rebuild. I have to say, fitting the heater unit tested my patience trying to get it back in the hole with the thick rubber seal seemed impossible. After reading up about it on several sites nobody finds it an easy task. After a fair passage of time, much shouting and swearing and plenty of various lubricants it finally slipped in. I am not sure I wish to take it out again, though.
It is a toss-up which is the worst job on a MGB GT – replacing the heater or fitting the front and rear windscreens. One thing worth mentioning is, get the right screen rubbers to start with. After much research I found that www.Coh-Baines.co.uk were the original suppliers and still supply most original rubbers for MGB GT. Once the windscreen and rubber is fitted the small rubber beading is pushed into the rubber seal to lock the glass in place. Once this is in, you then have to fit the chrome trim strip which takes much patience and care.
At first it appears impossible, there is no tool for doing it, but once you find the knack with a thin, bent screwdriver it does eventually go in, but it took me a full day each to fit the front and back window.
On the downward slope now, I fitted the rebuilt engine/gearbox back in the car and moved on to the interior. I decided to change the interior colour from black to biscuit. I bought a complete kit from “ Mirror Trim” and rebuilt the seats myself, which I have to say was easier than I imagined.
In total the restoration took me three and a half years and she now has 500 miles on her. The last year of Covid has curtailed our enjoyment, as Poppy the MGB GT sits in the heated garage. Hopefully it will soon celebrate its 50th birthday in the summer sun this year. We are looking forward to the MGB Register weekend away in September at the Barony Castle hotel in Scotland.