All posts by amgba

From the Editor's Desk – August 2007

Welcome to the new members that have joined since the last issue. We would like to thank John Giannasca of the founding chairmen of the AMGBA for his article on his trip to New Zealand, Buzz Racine for his story and all of the other contributors to this issue of the Octagon. Also thanks to Art Isaacs for his continued work in answering members’ technical questions and answers.Be sure to send in photos and stories so we can include them in future issues of the Octagon.

AMGBA Meet 2007 will be held September 29, 2007 in conjunction with MGs on the Green in Charlotte, North Carolina. More details will follow on the website and in the next Octagon.

We have a new and improved club message board. You can access through the club website at www.mgclub.org or directly at http://board.amgba.com . We have a members only section of the message board. You can use the user id and password on page 3 of each Octagon or you can get a personal id and password. To do so, register and then logon to the message board and send a message to us with a reply in this section or via email. This allows you to access the MEMBER ONLY QUESTION & ANSWER and UPKEEP & PERFORMANCE HINTS area. It also allows you to post items in the FOR SALE and WANTED sections as well as post photos in the MEMBER PHOTOS area.

The club also now has a blog located at http://blog.amgba.com . Members can publish items or comments to the Blog by logging in as a member.

We have a new American MGB Association photo gallery located at http://photos.amgba.com . The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board. Members can download photos directly to this gallery.

Members now receive monthly publications. The Octagon is published in February, April, June, August, October and December and the eOctagon is published in January, March, May, July, September and November.

We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt. The rate is $95 or $125 for members outside the USA. So save some money and get a free t-shirt in the process!

Send us your email address so that we can send you the eOctagon. The eOctagon is sent via bulk email so if you are blocking this type of email you will not get it.

Remember the AMGBA “pays” for stories and info you send in the form of a credit toward regalia or renewal. We appreciate the increased number of color photographs that have been sent in recently for the color pages of the OCTAGON!

Send in your list of spare parts that you have for sale as we send out all lists we have received during the year to members that request lists of spare parts available. These lists are also now appear on our web page in the “members only” section!

You need an ID and password to access the “members only” section of our web site at www.mgclub.org . You will find the ID and password on page 3 of the OCTAGON. These change with each issue so be sure to use only the ones listed in the latest issue.

Have a great driving season!

MG TF Roadster Production at Longbridge

The Longbridge car plant in Birmingham was reborn two years after the collapse of MG Rover.

Although MG’s new Chinese owners hailed the moment as the restart of British car production at Longbridge, the new set-up is very different to the old factory.

At its height, Longbridge was one of the biggest car plants in the world, employing more than 21,000 workers.

The new MG production line is staffed by only 130 people – although bosses say this will rise to about 250.

MG TF sports car parts will be shipped from China and assembled at Longbridge for the UK market.

Despite this, the return of car production to the site augurs well for the future. It also fulfils a promise made when the Nanjing Automobile Company (NAC) bought the assets of MG Rover for £53m in July 2005.

At that time there was widespread scepticism at the Chinese firm’s promise to restart production in the UK, especially as NAC has already built an 800,000sq metre factory in China.

At yesterday’s champagne launch to celebrate the rebirth of Longbridge, NAC chief executive officer Yu Jian Wei described the West Midlands factory as having “an irreplaceable role in the MG project”.

If sales of the TF sports car go well, the plant could eventually employ 4,500 people and make 200,000 cars a year.

He said: “The UK is home to MG and it has a profound affection for MG. MG is the pride of the British people. It has a glorious past.

“We are the inheritors of this brand and we will continue to push forward our internationalisation strategy and continue to write new chapters for MG.

“Longbridge has an irreplaceable role in the MG project. It is in the front line of our internationalisation stra-tegy. This is the rebirth of MG.”

The first phase of the Longbridge plan envisages production of 15,000 cars a year – a mixture of the TF sports car and a redeveloped MG ZT saloon. Sales of the TF are due to begin this autumn.

Three pre-production TFs were driven off the line as part of the ceremony, which also included a cavalcade of MG cars.

Mr Wei said NAC was working on a number of new MG models, which would be produced at the Longbridge site, including a hard-top TF.

He added: “We want to do everything we can to develop the MG brand and make sure there will be good cars so there will be more people buying good cars and more employment opportunities.”

Longbridge will also carry out design work for future MG cars using many of the technical staff who lost their jobs when MG Rover closed.

'74 B of Simon Bentley

I was due for a holiday and I wanted to climb an Alpine ice gully. I had just had an important birthday in May. I decided to drive to California’s Sierra Nevada in my 1974 MG !

This meant a 370 mile drive from Joshua Tree , Ca. to near Mono Lake , about 65 miles north of Bishop . You might think that a long day like that would be tiring , true but I was so excited about going.

I am originally from England. I first visited the USA on an exchange visit with the USAF . The year was 1974 and this is precisely the same year that my MG came over here also . It was also the year I turned 18, a very good year !

I bought the car in January . I paid a fair price for the car , but I wanted to know she would not let me down. I found an English bloke in LA who had moved here from England in 1968 . He has been working on British sports cars in the same location for almost 40 years.

The car was running well when I got her , but that was not good enough for me . I had the mechanic put a new clutch in replace all leaky engine seals , replace almost all the suspension . He also replaced the entire cooling system with new parts . I also had a new Falcon stainless steel exhaust put on . The engine shows about 165 lbs of pressure in each cylinder and has an overdrive gearbox . I was now anxious for the open road.

Early one September morning I set of from the desert loaded with all kinds of climbing gear . The plan was to meet two climbing friends at Matt’s Mobile Gas mart in Lee Vining that evening.

Well it was difficult driving at around 55 mph , but that was what I wanted to do . I wanted to try and return 30 mpg for my trip .

55 mph seems to be around 2350 rpm with my 175 SR14 wheels . I managed it most of the way with a few stretches of 50 mph and some 60 mph. It took around 9 hours . I stopped several times for some serious leg stretching and also to buy food supplies.

I met up with my two friends that evening in Lee Vining . If you ever get up that way you really have to go to Matt’s Whoa Nellie Deli . It is situated on Highway 120 about 1/4 mile west of highway 395 . It looks like a typical Mobil Gas Station , but once inside you see things are rather different . Matt is actually a well known and critically acclaimed Chef. I would describe the place as ‘ fine dinning in a Gas Mart , drinks served at family restaurant prices.

Tomorrow was an early start . We only had a few beers and went to our sleeping bags early . We were going to climb the Mount. Dana Couloir . The climb starts at almost 12,000 feet . I was overcome with the worst altitude sickness I have ever experienced at around 11,500 ft . We all agreed to return to the cars and go back to camp. Well at least I was the bloke driving a real car !

The next day my friends went their separate ways and I decided to enjoy the mountains with my roadster !!

I checked into Murphy’s Motel in Lee Vining and got a good night’s sleep .Next morning I got up early , had a quick breakfast and took the roof down off the car.

I headed up towards the high Sierra . Driving up the Tioga Pass in the MG with the roof down was awesome . The pass enters Yosemite National Park at about 10,000 ft . My car was not too fast going up the massive grade , but once up in the high country of Tuolomne Meadows she flew along really well .The Yosemite High Country is an Alpine region and is full of the most amazing rock domes and meadows .

It is a popular hiking , rock climbing and horse riding area. People travel from all over the world to go climbing here.

Tuesday morning rolled around too soon , and it was time to head back to Joshua Tree .

I drove 997 miles on my trip and using 87 octane fuel managed to squeeze 29.9 mpg . I did not go over 60 mph and my car has overdrive gearbox .

I got home safely that evening and am now looking forward to my next MG adventure!! (excerpt from articles appearing in the club magazine, the Octagon)

Editors' Desk – June 2007 Octagon

Welcome to the new members that have joined since the last issue. We would like to thank Art Isaacs, Simon Bently and our Secretary Margie Springer and all of the other contributors to this issue of the Octagon. Also thanks to Art Isaacs for his continued work in answering members’ technical questions and answers. Be sure to send in photos and stories so we can include them in future issues of the Octagon.

AMGBA Meet 2007 will be held September 29, 2007 in conjunction with MGs on the Green in Charlotte, North Carolina. More details will follow in the next Octagon.

We have a new and improved club message board. You can access through the club website at www.mgclub.org or directly at http://board.amgba.com . We have a members only section of the message board. You can use the user id and password on page 3 of each Octagon or you can get a personal id and password. To do so, register and then logon to the message board and send a message to us with a reply in this section or via email. This allows you to access the MEMBER ONLY QUESTION & ANSWER and UPKEEP & PERFORMANCE HINTS area. It also allows you to post items in the FOR SALE and WANTED sections as well as post photos in the MEMBER PHOTOS area.

The club also now has a blog located at http://blog.amgba.com . Members can publish items or comments to the Blog by logging in as a member.

We have a new American MGB Association photo gallery located at http://photos.amgba.com . The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board. Members can download photos directly to this gallery.

Members now receive monthly publications. The Octagon is published in February, April, June, August, October and December and the eOctagon is published in January, March, May, July, September and November.

We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt. The rate is $95 or $125 for members outside the USA. So save some money and get a free t-shirt in the process!

Send us your email address so that we can send you the eOctagon. The eOctagon is sent via bulk email so if you are blocking this type of email you will not get it.

Remember the AMGBA “pays” for stories and info you send in the form of a credit toward regalia or renewal. We appreciate the increased number of color photographs that have been sent in recently for the color pages of the OCTAGON!

Send in your list of spare parts that you have for sale as we send out all lists we have received during the year to members that request lists of spare parts available. These lists are also now appear on our web page in the “members only” section!

You need an ID and password to access the “members only” section of our web site at www.mgclub.org . You will find the ID and password on page 3 of the OCTAGON. These change with each issue so be sure to use only the ones listed in the latest issue.

Have a great driving season!

2007 Naples, Florida Antique Car Show

While down in Naples, Florida, my husband Jim Springer and I went to an Antique car show on March 3rd.

There, I saw a pretty ’63 Midget owned by the Smiths (didn’t get to talk to them) and an immaculate ’77 B owned by John DeMado.

I spoke with him and he says he trucks it down every year from Connecticut and drives it all around Marco Island where he lives half the year. He had it painted the real British Racing Green. I introduced myself and asked to take a picture, which is shown here.

Margie Springer


[ad#google-video]

MG Reborn in China

The entrance to the Nanjing plant.

THIS is the stunning new frontage of the Chinese factory which will soon be making MG cars once produced in Longbridge.

The giant MG logo is being built outside Nanjing Automobile’s new factory in the Pukou area of Nanjing.

But while the factory is new, a lot of its equipment is from Birmingham.

Like a modern-day version of the reconstruction of London Bridge in America, thousands of containers of equipment were brought from the silent plant at Longbridge to Nanjing.

Machinery bearing the names of Midland companies like Alfred Herbert from Coventry and Henry Filters from Wolverhampton, were brought over during the last two years as 5,000 containers were delivered to the factory, which will open shortly and recommence production of MG cars.

Almost two years on from the collapse of MG Rover, Longbridge’s machines will soon be active again – on the other side of the world.

The new MG assembly line in Nanjing.

Paul Stowe, Quality Director of Nanjing Automobile Corporation, said: “There’s a great story that even the toilets were taken from Longbridge and set up here, but I haven’t seen any here yet.”

Paul, who once worked at the former MG Rover plant in Birmingham, admitted to often feeling emotional.

“I would be lying if I said I never shed a tear when I walked around here. It was quite strange to find it was a Chinese company that was prepared to make the investment in MG, which is the most British of companies.

“But I am extremely happy someone has rescued the brand and its name. Without the Chinese it would probably have disappeared forever.

“They could have been accused of stealing the brand, but they have invested in its heritage and understanding it.”

The whole construction has been an impressive feat. The first foundation stones were laid in March 2006, and from a greenfield site an 800,000 sq mtr factory has been established.

The plant will eventually employ 4,500 people and produce up to 200,000 cars per year. Throughout the factory, posters and banners abound, proclaiming the company’s objectives.

One simply says: “MG: iconic British car worth waiting. (excerpt from the club magazine, the Octagon)

by Gray Marks of the Birmingham, U.K. Mail

The entrance to the Nanjing plant.

THIS is the stunning new frontage of the Chinese factory which will soon be making MG cars once produced in Longbridge.

The giant MG logo is being built outside Nanjing Automobile’s new factory in the Pukou area of Nanjing.

But while the factory is new, a lot of its equipment is from Birmingham.

Like a modern-day version of the reconstruction of London Bridge in America, thousands of containers of equipment were brought from the silent plant at Longbridge to Nanjing.

Machinery bearing the names of Midland companies like Alfred Herbert from Coventry and Henry Filters from Wolverhampton, were brought over during the last two years as 5,000 containers were delivered to the factory, which will open shortly and recommence production of MG cars.

Almost two years on from the collapse of MG Rover, Longbridge’s machines will soon be active again – on the other side of the world.

The new MG assembly line in Nanjing.

Paul Stowe, Quality Director of Nanjing Automobile Corporation, said: “There’s a great story that even the toilets were taken from Longbridge and set up here, but I haven’t seen any here yet.”

Paul, who once worked at the former MG Rover plant in Birmingham, admitted to often feeling emotional.

“I would be lying if I said I never shed a tear when I walked around here. It was quite strange to find it was a Chinese company that was prepared to make the investment in MG, which is the most British of companies.

“But I am extremely happy someone has rescued the brand and its name. Without the Chinese it would probably have disappeared forever.

“They could have been accused of stealing the brand, but they have invested in its heritage and understanding it.”

The whole construction has been an impressive feat. The first foundation stones were laid in March 2006, and from a greenfield site an 800,000 sq mtr factory has been established.

The plant will eventually employ 4,500 people and produce up to 200,000 cars per year. Throughout the factory, posters and banners abound, proclaiming the company’s objectives.

One simply says: “MG: iconic British car worth waiting. (excerpt from the club magazine, the Octagon)

by Gray Marks of the Birmingham, U.K. Mail

Editor's Desk – March 2006 Octagon

Lyle and Claire's BWelcome to the new members that have joined since the last issue.

We would like to thank Joseph Sunde for his entertaining article, David Johnston for his car show report, Maureen Samuelson, Karl Kaminski and all of the other contributors to this issue of the Octagon. Also thanks to Art Isaacs for his continued work in answering members’ technical questions and answers.Be sure to send in photos and stories so we can include them in future issues of the Octagon.

We have a new and improved club message board. You can access through the club website at www.mgclub.org or directly at board.amgba.com. We have a members only section of the message board. You can use the user id and password on page 3 of each Octagon or you can get a personal id and password. To do so, register and then logon to the message board and send a message to us with a reply in this section or via email. This allows you to access the MEMBER ONLY QUESTION & ANSWER and UPKEEP & PERFORMANCE HINTS area.ÿ It also allows you to post items in the FOR SALE and WANTED sections as well as post photos in the MEMBER PHOTOS area.

The club also now has a blog located at blog.amgba.com. Members can publish items or comments to the Blog by logging in as a member.

We have a new American MGB Association photo gallery located at photos.amgba.com. The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board. Members can download photos directly to this gallery.

Members now receive monthly publications. The Octagon is published in February, April, June, August, October and December and the eOctagon is published in January, March, May, July, September and November.

We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt. The rate is $95 or $125 for members outside the USA. So save some money and get a free t-shirt in the process!

Send us your email address so that we can send you the eOctagon. The eOctagon is sent via bulk email so if you are blocking this type of email you will not get it.

Remember the AMGBA “pays” for stories and info you send in the form of a credit toward regalia or renewal. We appreciate the increased number of color photographs that have been sent in recently for the color pages of the OCTAGON!

Send in your list of spare parts that you have for sale as we send out all lists we have received during the year to members that request lists of spare parts available. These lists are also now appear on our web page in the “members only” section!

We have improved our web site and it now includes on-line ordering of club regalia. You can also print out renewal forms. Our web site is simply www.mgclub.org or www.amgbal.com .

You need an ID and password to access the “members only” section of our web site at www.mgclub.org. You will find the ID and password on page 3 of the OCTAGON. These change with each issue so be sure to use only the ones listed in the latest issue.

Think spring!
Frank Ochal

Chinese start MG's relaunch

The former MG Rover Longbridge plant built these two MG TFs recently.

Nanjing’s Automobile Group Co.’s plans to relaunch the MG brand gained speed this week when the first two preproduction MG TF roadsters were built at the former MG Rover Longbridge plant in Birmingham, England.

MG plans to build about 80 preproduction TFs to validate manufacturing and assembly operations and to ensure that the cars meet safety and emissions standards.

The TF’s 1.8-liter, 135-hp engine and five-speed transmission are manufactured in China and shipped to England. The body is made at the Longbridge plant, where painting and final assembly takes place.

MG spokesman Kim Custer says plans to launch the TF roadster and hardtop in the United States are on track for next year. Some assembly will be done in England, but final assembly will be in a small plant in Ardmore, Okla.

by Richard Truett, Automotive News

The Nanjing MG!

MG Project by Nanjing Automobile

Nanjing MG LogoIt is a significant step taken by Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC) in its global strategy to acquire the assets of MG Rover and Powertrain Ltd. After its successful acquisition of MG Assets, NAC is now undertaking the overall planning of MG project, of which, some part is already underwayNanjing MGs for implementation. NAC has now decided to establish production bases of MG project at Longbridge U.K., Nanjing China, and Ardmore Oklahoma USA. On one hand, the production of some products with rather high cost if produced in the U. K., such as engine, transmission and medium and low end vehicle products, will be transferred to China, where a mature supply chain with low cost will be set up step by step. On the other hand, with part of production facility retained in the UK, the original Longbridge site will be integrated to resume the production of MG TF sport car and part of high end products (including ZT and ZT-T). Meanwhile, by making full use of the prominent R & D capability and human resources in the UK as well as that MG Nanjing China Factory Groundbreakingof China, the Euro IV engines and a new generation of vehicles will be developed and then produced in both China and the UK in the near future.

Then, the sales network of China established by NAC and the global sales network of the former MG Rover can be used to meet the demand of various markets in China, Britain, Europe and North America.

In the current plan, the production will be resumed in the Longbridge plant in 2007, when MG TF, MG ZT and MG ZT-T will appear on the market again through sales networks in the UK and Europe. The products to be re-launched into the market will preserve the original British style, reliable and stable quality and robust power, and be sold with MG brands. Meanwhile, some other products like MG ZS and MG ZR will be produced by the company in China and then supplied to the market of China and that of the UK and Europe as well.

MG Production Plan

In 2007. Naning Automobile plans to build 13,000 cars based on the Rover 75 / MG ZT lower-premium sedan. It also plans 7,000 MG TF convertible sports cars.

Nanjing’s Rover 75-based cars will be mostly sedans that will be called the MG 7. Nanjing will also build some station wagons called the MG 7T. It intends to build the MG 7 in both China and at the former MG Rover factory in Longbridge, England. By 2011, Nanjing hopes to assemble 85,000 MG 7 a year and 25,000 MG TF. Nanjing will source as many parts as possible in China for both models to keep costs down.

The Future of the Longbridge Plant

The Longbridge CenterThe MG Rover plant at Longbridge was for many years one of the most important factories in Europe and was the largest British owned car manufacturing plant until the bankruptcy of the MG Rover Group. After the factory of Abingdon closed in 1980, Longbridge was also from 1982 the home of MG. Longbridge employed 16,000 ten years ago, down to 6,000 when the company collapsed into administration in April 2005.

Shortly after Nanjing Automobile bought the company it revealed plans to employ 1,200 workers and ultimately build 100,000 cars in 2006, but apparently just 600 jobs are now likely to be created and 15,000 cars assembled at the beginning, which represents a tenth part of those originally planned. The factory is now planned to reopen in 2007. There are plans for three new model range to go on sale in late 2008, with MG and possibly also Austin badges.

MG Motors North America: Ardmore Plant

MG vehicles will not only be built in Nanjing, China, but also at the Longbridge assembly plant near Birmingham, England and at a new American assembly plant to be built at the Ardmore Air Park in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Headquarters for MG sales, marketing and distribution (outside of Asia) will be located in Oklahoma City. Research and development will be in Norman at the University of Oklahoma. The company expects to start construction of the Ardmore assembly facility 2007 with production to start by the third quarter of 2008.

27th Annual San Diego British Car Day

The 27th Annual San Diego British Car Day took place at the Bonsall Farms on October 1, 2006. The featured marque was the DeLorean which had 16 cars at the show. There were, of course, hundreds of MGs of all types. The best of show was a Rolls Royce Phantom IV limo that had beautiful picnic side boards attached to the front wings.Lyle & Clair Abel's Award Winner
Lyle and Claire Abel took 1st place in the rubber bumper MGB roadster category again this year. The picnics were all enjoyed, the food and souvenir vendors did a great business.

David Johnston