1962-’74 MGB: Classic Chrome Bumper is still a Crowd Pleaser

by Mark J. McCourt from Hemmings Motor News

The new-for-1962 MGB’s up-to-date envelope body shape was a product of its new monocoque construction as it was of contemporary style. This sports car’s low, wide nose, deeply scalloped headlamps and its 1,800cc engine’s need for 120 square inches of radiator cooling area called for a new interpretation of the traditional chrome-surround/vertical-slat grille that had graced all MG’s since it debuted on the PB Midget in 1935.

The 1962-1964 MGB’s grille shell was chrome-plated brass matched with separate stainless-steel vertical slats, an it attached to the body with three riveted brackets. The were 18 slats per side, separated by a chrome-plated center bar that had a shield-shaped nose which held the plastic emblem with a chrome-ringed red MG octagon on a black field. A material change carried that grille on all MGBs and MGCs built from late 1964 thru 1969.

British Leyland felt the MGB needed a facelift for 1970. The traditional chrome grille was replaced by a trendy black, deeply recessed affair that was actually inspired by the grille design of the 1968 Ford Mustang.

The final grille to be fitted to the chrome-bumper MGB in 1973 and early 1974 production was a brilliant move by a British Leyland executive in New Jersey. He suggested combining the pre-1970 grille surround with a black mesh insert.

The 5 mph “rubber bumpers’ used from September 1974 to end of production in 1980 combined the front bumper and air inlet into one unit. While clever and traffic-friendly, this couldn’t compete with the original grilles in style or popularity.

NewGrilles1 NewGrilles2

MG3

The MG Car Club is delighted to confirm that the first public showing in Europe of the compact new MG3 will be at MGLive! Held at Silverstone, the home of British racing on June 15-16, 2015. MGLive! is the world’s largest celebration of everything MG, making it the perfect event to reveal the fun new hatchback to friends of the marque.

Taking style cues from the MG ZERO concept car, the MG3 is the epitome of modern British style. The new small MG will also be launched with a wide range of colours and personalisation options and a selection of these will be on public display for the first time at MG Live!

MG Car Club General Manager Julian White said: “At the MG Car Club we represent every model of MG from the very earliest to the very latest and are looking forward to welcoming MG3 into the family. MGLive! is the MG Car Club’s annual celebration of all things MG that attracts new and old friends of the marque from right across the world.

“We are truly delighted to include the European public debut of the MG3 as part of the weekend’s celebrations. In addition to the full MG display, MG3 will also play an important role in the MG Car Club display, with a line up of MG’s ranging from a 1929 18/80 to this latest model. “Guy Jones, MG’s Sales and Marketing Director, said: “The British Design and Engineering teams take pride in the fact that MG3s will soon be leaving the production line in Birmingham. MGLive! is the perfect launch pad for MG3 to ensure fans of the brand have the first chance to see the new MG.

“MG3 is a distinctive statement of British style in an affordable, small car that is fun to own and drive. It is the modern execution of the values that made the brand globally famous and the perfect addition to the range to attract both new customers and loyal fans back to the brand. There’s a great range of colour and styling options to make ordering one more fun, so why not come along and style your own personal MG3!”

MG3News

’72 B of Glen Maxwell

An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’72 B roadster of Glen Maxwell from Athens, Illinois. Here is his story:

I purchased this car in March 2014 from Country Classic Cars in Staunton, Illinois after looking at several others, all of which were either priced too high (for my budget) or in immediate need of major mechanical repair and/or body work. This on looked decent, ran well and was moderately priced.

The major mechanicals seemed to be in good order and he engine externals and all of the hydraulics looked to be in either new or recently rebuilt. There was some bondo on one front corner (fender bender repair) but the body was straight and rust free. The paint was an old respray from the original dark green to the current red. It was reasonably well done and still looked presentable. The interior was original show some wear and fading., but still serviceable with no cuts, tears, or broken seams. The top was an old replacement in pretty good condition. The only things needing immediate attention were some spotty lighting and the tires, which looked nearly new but had major flat spots. In the glove box were several old repair receipts from shops in Columbus, Ohio. The most recent was dated June 2001 at 105,707 miles and the current odometer reading was 05,875.

I managed to contact the car dealer who had found it and several other old cars sitting in a barn some miles north of Columbus. They had done all of the recent work to get the car running, cosigned it to auction and it ended up in Staunton. I have been addressing the remaining bits and pieces in need of TLC, all relatively minor in nature.

Over the year I have owned it, the car has accumulated a total of 5000 miles with only two on the road problems: one flat tire and a failure of the ignition switch start position. It has earned several trophies at local car shows: two first and two thirds in class and one top twenty overall. Not bad for an unrestored barn find/daily driver.

Now with much help from my brother-in-law, a retired body man, the car is getting its restoration. The bondo from a couple of old fender benders and rust repairs is being replaced with new metal. Aside from the lower edges of the skin, the only rust damage has been to the inner rocker panels. The rest of the monocoque body has turned out to be straight and rust free. The paint was originally Green Mallard, long ago resprayed to red, and the new paint will be Flame Red. The original interior was faded and starting to come apart in a few places, so it will be replaces with a tan interior. Everything should be completed and the car back on the road by the end of April.

Some of the photos shown are from local show last summer (I am the older guy in the ball cap) except for one from a Halloween night show. It went as a Ferrari 250 and was the only car in costume. The kids there loved it.

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’71 MGB of Jack Wheeler

An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’71 B of new member Jack Wheeler. Here is his story.

This is the third MGB I have owned. The first was a 1973, which I bought in 1976 when the car was basically new. Then in the early 2000’s I came across a 1972 ‘barn find’. Literally, it had been stored in a barn for many years. The owner died, and I bought it from the estate, and did a complete, but quite easy restoration.

I have been primarily a Triumph guy since I bought my first TR-3 while I was in college. Then later, I raced a TR-4 in SCCA for 25 years. But, having had 2 MGB’s, this latest one caught my eye a few months ago. It is a 1971, so it is similar to the 2 previous cars I have had. This car came out of Texas, and I believe it spent most of it’s life in the South, so it is very solid. While it does not need any body work, it needs some TLC to get it back to original condition, so I am enjoying searching for the missing and broken parts (mostly electrical and trim). I’m hoping the club can help me with finding some of the rare parts I will need. While I have been driving it quite a bit in the mild North Carolina weather, I look forward to the spring, when I can put the top down and do some ‘top down’ touring.

The person I bought it from had owned it for 20 years, and in that time had only put about 8,000 miles on the car. He finally decided to sell it because he was no longer driving it. It was stored inside all of that time, but I don’t know much about it prior to that, except that the previous owner bough it in Northern Virginia.

71 B of Jack Wheeler 71BJackWheeler2 71BJackWheeler3 71BJackWheelerseats

2014 Chicago British Car Festival

Story by Bruce Magers, photos by Frank Ochal

The 28th annual Chicagoland British Car Festival was held on Sunday, September 7, 2014 at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois just outside of Chicago.

The show is organized by a consortium of British Car Clubs in the Chicago area. It has become the premier event for those interested in British cars.

Each year the show features hundreds of automobiles ranging from those in concours condition to just normal everyday drivers. This year was no exception as approximately 600 cars were gathered on the field representing virtually every marque produced in England. Door prizes and popular vote awards were presented to the lucky winners.

The weather was perfect – sunny and mild which obviously helped boost attendance. In addition to the vast array of stunning vehicles there was also a display of British motor cycles for those who “like their fun on two wheels”. A bag piper and traditional Irish dancers helped to put the crowd in a festive mood. Numerous vendors were also in attendance offering everything for the British car fan. The American MGB Association (AMGBA) was on the field welcoming old members and signing up several new participants.

If you have not had the opportunity to attend this popular event be sure to mark you calendar for the 29th annual to be held on September 13, 2015 at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois. For further information go to www.britishcarunion.com or www.mgclub.org .

'72 B-GT of Jack Feldman of Downers Grove at 2014 Chicago British Car Day '80 B of Terrill Janssen of Barrington Hills, Illinois at 2014 Chicago British Car Day
’72 B-GT of Jack Feldman of Downers Grove, Illinois ’80 B of Terrill Janssen of Barrington Hills, Illinois
'70 B of James Brennan of Palatine, Illinois at 2014 Chicago British Car Day '72 Midget of Pat Killlen of Park Ridge, Illinois at 2014 Chicago British Car Day
’70 B of James Brennan of Palatine, Illinois ’72 Midget of Pat Killlen of Park Ridge, Illinois
AMGBA Tent at 2014 Chicago British Car Day

American MGB Association Meet 2015 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: The American MGB Association at 773-769-7084, info@mgclub.org or www.mgclub.org

The American MGB Association’s 38th Annual Meet – AMGBA MEET 2015 – for the MGB, MGB-GT & Midget – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – October 3, 2015

MG sports car production as we know it was discontinued in 1980 with the closing of the famed Abingdon-On-Thames works in the United Kingdom. But these modern day classics are being preserved forever here in North America by members of the American MGB Association which serves enthusiastic MGB, MGB-GT, and MG Midget owners throughout the USA, Canada and throughout the world. Each year, the AMGBA holds its National Meet.

The 1978 initial gathering was held in Chicago. In 1979 and 1980 the AMGBA National Conventions were held in New York state, in Ithaca and Glens Falls. The organization’s success led to renting the world famous Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway in 1981 for the AMGBA National Convention. In 1982, the AMGBA held its National Convention outside the USA in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. In the years 1983 and 1984, the AMGBA went west for the first time in Lake Tahoe, California and Boulder, Colorado. In 1985, the AMGBA held two conventions in Santa Barbara, California and Abingdon, Illinois. In 1986, we visited Texas during its 150 year anniversary in San Antonio, Texas and in 1987 we visited the Saratoga Springs area of beautiful upstate New York. In 1988, the convention site was Kansas City, Missouri. In 1989, we visited the Great Northwest part of our country in Springfield, Oregon.

In 1990 the convention was held in Atlanta, Georgia which was a first for that area of the country. In 1991 we returned to the site of our first convention in Chicago and in 1992, we returned to the West Coast to the beautiful San Francisco Bay area in Palo Alto, California. In 1993, we traveled to New England at Keene, New Hampshire near the site of the Westminster MG Museum. In 1994, we went for the first time to the San Diego, California area at the Del Mar race track. In 1995 we went to Memphis, Tennessee, home of the blues and Elvis Presley. In 1996 we joined with all of the major MG clubs in North America for MG Indy ’96 in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indy 500 track. In 1997 we were on the West Coast in the San Francisco area at Palo Alto, California. In 1998, we were in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Lake Campus of Davidson College. In 1999, we went to Los Angeles, California.

In 2000, we went to Armagh, Pennsylvania and joined with the TRF Summer Party and in 2001 we were in Houston, Texas for the Houston MG Club’s All British Motor Vehicle Exposition. In 2002 we again went to the San Francisco, California area for the Palo Alto British Car Meet. For 2003 we visited Florida and the Space Coast in Titusville, Florida. In 2004, we visited picturesque Cape Cod in Massachusetts for the Cape Cod British Car Club’s British Legends Weekend. In 2005, we were in San Diego, California at Fairbrook Farms in Bonsall for San Diego British Car Day. We were in Maryland in 2006 at the MGs on the Rocks Show and in 2007 we went to Charlotte, North Carolina at the MGs on the Green Show. In 2008 we were in Armagh, Pennsylvania with The Roadster Factory Summer Party and for 2009 we planned for a show in the Central Valley of California.

In 2010 we went to Sussex, Wisconsin for the British Car Field Day. For 2011 we were in Ohio for the first time at Dayton in conjunction with the Annual British Car Day at Eastwood Metropark. We went to the Jersey Shore in 2012 with the Annual Brits on the Beach Show in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. In 2013 we visited Mississippi for the first time to the oldest city on the Mississippi River in conjunction with the English Motoring Club of Mississippi’s Brits on the Bluff Show in Natchez, Mississippi. In 2014, we were at New England’s largest British car show at the British Invasion in Stowe, Vermont.

And for 2015, we will be in South Carolina for the first time at the Grand Strand British Car Club’s Britfest in Myrtle Beach on October 3, 2015.

It promises to be a great time and a memorable experience for all that attend. For more information contact the above, write to the American MGB Association, P.O. Box 11401, Chicago, IL 60611, call 773-769-7084, email us at info@mgclub.org or explore our website at www.mgclub.org .

MG GTS Crossover Will Be Built in China by SAIC MG

by Mircea Panait at autoevolution.com

As many among you already know, MG Motor UK Limited is nowadays just a subsidiary brand of a Chinese company called SAIC Motor. Only recently, the state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation finally decided to unveil the MG GTS, a crossover that looks similar to the Renault Koleos.

Its proportions, glasshouse, even some creases intended to beautify the bodywork resemble those of the Renault Koleos, which is not exactly a looker nor a commercial success for the French automaker. If you peer over those similarities, you’ll notice a few details that make the MG GTS crossover likable.

As SAIC MG highlights on its official Chinese website, the MG GTS uses the brand’s new SSA vehicle platform.

If Google Translate is not mistaken, all-wheel drive and an active rollover protection feature come as standard on the high spec model. In terms of grunt, the best the GTS can do is a 2-liter petrol-fed turbo.

Apparently, this mill coupled to the all-wheel drive system translate to an 8-second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph). MG’s 2-liter turbo powerplant is said to return 220 horsepower and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of twist. Mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic, the powertrain isn’t too shabby by all accounts.

In the near future, a 1.5-liter turbocharged petrol will also be offered, pumping 167 horsepower and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque. Slated to premiere in the first half of 2015, the MG GTS will be built and sold in China, with no confirmation whether MG SAIC will import the new model in Western European markets.

MG GTS Crossover

MGB Timing Adjustments

Q:     I am a new AMGBA member and I have a tech question. I have a 1977 MGB with twin HIF carbs and pertronix ignition. My question deals with timing. When I got the car (my 4th MGB) the vacuum was not hooked-up . I was advised to hook it up. When checking the timing with a light I found it to be 10 degrees BTDC @ idle with approx 30 degrees @ 1500 RPM. I reset it to 13 degrees idle.

My issue is when I hook the vacuum advance, the timing will advance to about 45 degrees idle and even more @ 1500 RPM. Back in the day when I had cars with a vacuum advance, I set the timing and hooked up the vacuum and did not look to see what happened. I looked at the B to insure the advance worked and it did. Is this normal or should I not use the vacuum. The car runs fine without it but if it works better with it I would use it. What do you think? Thanks.

Chuck Gonyeau, Island Pond, Vermont

A:     Your car has been modified, so the manual does not exactly apply. I am not sure, but there may be some things that you are doing that can effect the timing.

First, when you disconnect the vacuum tube, it should be from the distributor side and you should plug it before attempting to set the timing. The car should be warmed-up and at idle (800-950rpm).

Being that your car has a twin HIF4 and you are saying it has a Pertronix conversion, you should have either a 25D or 45D4 distributor, not the stock electronic unit. I can make some suggestions based on that.

To begin with, the vacuum advance would be necessary with this set-up. And failures of the advance systems, mechanical and vacuum, are fairly common on the 25D4 and 45D4 distributor.

From what you are saying, the timing advances too far as soon as you connect the tube, even at idle. It sounds like the vacuum advance is working, but the rapid advance at high idle may show something in the mechanical system. Weak or broken springs will cause the mechanical system to advance too quickly, but don’t jump to trying to find replacements for those before looking at the more method related possibilities.

For one thing, the mark for this set-up should be about 8 degrees BTDC at idle. This is more typical of the older set-up. I have a 73 with twin HIFs and a 25D4 that this works well with it.

I also connect the vacuum line to the intake manifold, not the carbs. The photo below sourced from the web shows the stock position and the alternative pick-up. I’ve always had it hooked up to the manifold since removing the AIR smog system the car years ago. May not make too much difference, but I know it works.

These are no cost changes, so I’d suggest you start there and see what happens. Let me know how you make out and we can take it from there.

Safety Fast!,

Art Isaacs

for MGB, MGB-GT and MG Midget owners