Technical Sheet 19
New style Welch Plugs - article from Mike Greenwood
The dish type welch plugs (steel or brass) used on Magnette engines have a habit of leaking or popping out. This can present a serious problem if this happens while you are driving especially well away from home. They can be used for all MGB series engines.
A new style of welch plug is now available that will get you out of trouble (see pictures below).
They are made from stainless steel with neoprene seals on the rim and on the hex screw. You simply knock out the leaking welch plug loosen the hex screw gradually until you can slip the retaining bar inside the block. Centre the plug and then using an Allen key tighten firmly. Top up your water and you are on your way. If you want to remove them loosen the hex screw but be careful not to loosen too much or the retaining bar can fall into the water jacket.
These plugs can be purchased from Rob Thompson at:
American HEMI Speed Centre
Post Office Box 392
South Australia 5006
Phone 08 8262 HEMI (4364) Mobile 0421 103 555
T-Type Autumn magazine, 2017
Having received the T type Magazine for many years I have been concerned that while our SA T Type owners have always been very active with monthly meetings all over Adelaide, we have not been appreciated on the biggest stage, until now!
I have attached a photo of the front page of the 2017 Autumn T Type magazine which features a stunning action shot of David McNabb’s TD under power; plus another of a pair of cream TC’s of John Bray and Thane Martin, lovely shots.
This magazine reaches other T Type owners and lovers of these old cars all over Australia and indeed word wide so I personally was delighted that our pre-war vehicles are now recognised plus our Pre-War & T Type Register Coordinator, John Bray’s report of the Register evening at Eden Hills Heaps and heaps of photos from this gathering all in colour!
The magazine also reports on the 2017 NZ Pre 1956 Rally from Whanganui, 70th Anniversary of the Y Type and The Manchester XPAG Test of modern fuels on classic cars from the MGCC UK plus many more photos of T Types and their owners.
If you would like to receive this quality quarterly magazine yourself please let me know. Membership cost is $50.00 per year
Mike Greenwood, email:
0412 701 850
T-Type Summer magazine, 2017
SUMMER EDITION OF AUSTRALIAN T SERIES ASSOCIATION.
The summer edition of the ATA has arrived! All in colour there is something for every MG T Type owner to enjoy with an emphasis on MG TD’s in particular.
This includes details regarding the very rare Arnolt TD of which just over 100 were built. There are several articles regarding the 2016 TYME event in and around Canberra.
Details about TD’s and their exploits on the racetrack. Plus a TD wiring diagram A report from Rod Cusack on the Springtime Rally to Bendigo with lots of photos of some splendid T Types. Also there is a concise History of The MG Car Company with more colour photos and a Triple M Report of the life of K3 004.
There is also a report by me on our trip to the 2016 GOF with a few photos and some photos of a very original SA TB to round it off this edition of ATA. I think you will enjoy the read with so much detail of these specific MG within the MG family.
Mike Greenwood – January 2017
T-Type Autumn magazine, May 2016
Some of the MG Car Club members may be interested to know that the latest edition of T-Type has now been produced. This production is specifically for those members interested in pre 1956 MG’s.
This is the 46th year that the magazine has been produced and the latest copy is exceptionally fine reading, particularly as the majority of the magazine shows lots of the predominantly T Types all in colour.
There is a wonderful article from a Victorian chap who was after a project and bought a rough TC only to find out that it had had quite an interesting racing history; lots of photos of how he brought this TC back to its former glory; there are numerous photos of mainly eastern states events; an article from an American TC owner and his trials and tribulations to find why the car kept stopping; there are details of the Barry Bahnisch collection auction; also included is a technical explanation about T Type cable and pipe layout.
There is also a disturbing report about the possible regulation change in relation to the age of car tyres, talking about setting an actual date.
Peter Kerr also has added a report of the 2015 Pre-War Rally in Bathurst and his experience with the ex Roger Waters TC V8 hitting an oil spill on Conrod Straight at speed on the Bathurst track.
So all in all a delightful magazine I find very hard to put down. It would be wonderful if there was some South Australian MG Car Club content, at present most of the reports are from the eastern states and overseas.
If you are interested in becoming a subscriber to this magazine then send me an email: email@example.com or contact the Editor, Peter Kerr via email on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Greenwood - Strathalbyn
Short-term unregistered vehicle permits - 2 Nov 2015
The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure has announced that EzyReg Account customers will be able to apply online for a short-term unregistered vehicle permit (UV permit).
A UV permit is available for a vehicle to be driven on the road without registration for a special reason such as:
Currently, customers wishing to apply for a UV permit must visit a Service SA Customer Service Centre to apply in person.
As of 8 November 2015, customers will be able to apply for and be issued a UV permit online via a valid EzyReg Account which can be accessed via the link https://account.ezyreg.sa.gov.au
Online UV permits are issued for a maximum of 3 days with customers required to supply information about the vehicle and journey including:
Once issued, the UV permit must be printed on A4 paper and be displayed on the vehicle when in use for the duration of the valid permit.
For further information on how to create an EzyReg Account, please visit http://www.sa.gov.au/topics/transport-travel-and-motoring/ezyreg/create-an-ezyreg-account
OCTAGONAL ODYSSEY - USA 2015
from our USA / AUS correspondent, David McNabb!
Notwithstanding the substantial cultural gap between USA and Australasia, one significant common denominator between these continents is the ongoing mutual admiration and respect for MG events and activities, as many of our Club’s recent travellers to North America have found.
Despite the current painful US dollar exchange rate, a seemingly large number of MGCC SA members have headed Stateside (and UK/Europe) over the past few months, recent returnees including David McNabb and Kerry who survived five weeks checking out what makes America tick.
A small octagonal flavour came in Canada, when a 1978 MGB was spotted in Quebec – this being the only random MG seen on the entire trip, apart from chatting with a Canadian driver whose van had a front number plate bearing an MG octagon. Most North American States don’t require regular front plates, hence you can display anything on the front of your vehicle. It transpired that “Mister Van” owns a 1971 MGBGT which he really likes.
McNabb’s MG highlight of the trip came in Indianapolis, when David and Kerry were able to meet up with an email correspondent Tom Wilson who is one of the organisers of this year’s GOF – that annual Gathering of the Faithful MG Rally held in different States around America. In fact Tom had only just returned from a flying trip to UK for the 2015 Silverstone MG Race meet but took time out in driving his lovely blue MG TC to the hotel where our Aussie octagonalites were staying, for a couple of hours of updating on matters MG.
Tom is restoring a dozen pre-war MGs (true!) and also owns a 140mph Frontline MGB GT – similar to the BGT that Troy Ryan imported from UK last year. He’s also negotiating to buy a really early MG from UK – seems that such sought-after cars become available so rarely that it’s best to nominate your interest on a “register”/waiting list!
At this year’s American GOF there were two Aussies entered – Mike Sherrell from Perth and Newcastle’s Jeff Newey. There was very nearly one from SA as well, but unfortunately the GOF was being held three weeks after David was leaving the event’s location (Indianapolis) and his schedule couldn’t quite fit in this MaGnificent event.
One final MG flavour to the McNabb US odyssey came during a few days in Los Angeles. By chance on the outskirts of LA, David found a place named Culver, and was able to correctly link this to the 1960s lyrics of Neil Sedaka’s “Wheeling West Virginia”, which features a red MGA. For the uninitiated, the song begins: “Laurel to sunset, Culver to freeway, racing my MG down to MGM, etc”!
Footnote: For part of our USA trip we were joined by our son Ryan who flew over to meet us. Of course Ryan’s claim to fame is his birthdate, April 12th – which he shares with some bloke named Cecil Kimber!
Articles of general interest: (provided by Kym Dubrich - Jan 2014)
The Byfield Jaguar
The Byfield Jaguar
During a recent visit to Perth; we called in at the “Motor Museum of Western Australia”, located in the Swan Valley.
Upon entering, I saw a remarkable yellow car, and having no idea as to what it was asked the guy on the desk about the car next to the Delorean. The answer led me to research its remarkable creator a little deeper.
The car was affectionately known as “Buttercup” and was a “Byfield Jaguar XJS-HE V12”, being a mid engined supercar hand built by a local legend Mr. Cliff Byfield.
The car was built between 1996 and finished in 2005 when Mr. Byfield turned 82 years of age!
The car is not a plastic job, but is a hand crafted aluminium body with a targa top. The body panels are all non load bearing and so can be removed for repair and the body is built on a steel platform and uses the V12 XJS motor coupled to a Maserati transaxle, again all assembled by the maker.
Even the wing mirrors are hand crafted by Cliff.
The car has all the usual cabin comforts including air-conditioning has plush leather seats which rise electronically to greet the occupants.
The interior boasts a Byfield hand made, one piece, curly-grain jarrah facia and matching steering wheel, for Cliff is also an accomplished carpenter with a passion for furniture making.
Cliff started his career as an apprentice coach builder in the 1930’s working for a Western Australian company, then later went into teaching, passing on his skills in a technical college.
Not surprisingly for such a man, this is not his first private project as a master coach builder and proudly states he uses “scrap” metal to build his cars, primarily the steel components.
Other cars he has made included..
Byfield Jaguar SS Tourer. An amazing custom built Jaguar by Cliff Byfield (pictured next to the car)
1952 Byfield Jaguar – SS Tourer
As a star of the WA Jaguar fraternity, long may he continue to inspire people with his creations and hopefully make another one some day.
As for the Museum it is worth a look with some 50 cars plus bikes and assorted motoring memorabilia.
There was in fact a very smart MGA (silver grey with red hood and upholstery), plus a quite ordinary MGB, albeit two ladies were commenting on how much they liked it and had always wanted one just like it!
Oh, and as for the Delorean I found it a little disappointing as it was not of a particularly high quality build for a “supercar” given the hype and vast amount of money thrown at the venture at the time.
A visit to Carl Lindner's Jaguar Collection
A JAMBOREE OF JAGUARS
When Carl was made aware of my involvement with the MG Car Club he immediately invited the Club to come to Tanunda to look over his beloved Jaguars and other vehicles. Needless to say his offer was eagerly accepted. The next problem was to fix a date. Finally, thanks to help from Roger Ford long-time friend of Carl, the 17th of March 2013 was agreed to by all parties.
The first building you enter houses the main collection of fully restored Jaguars. Carl operates his business interests from this building and his office has a large picture window looking out to the rows of gleaming cars. It must be difficult to concentrate on business.
When you think that you have seen it all there are two larger buildings at the rear. Contained in these are yet more Jaguars and a few other vehicles, some of which reveal Carl’s involvement in the wine industry.
In the past he was involved with St Hallett Winery and Langmeil Winery but now his new label is Dandelion Vineyards, which is doing great business domestically and overseas, particularly in Canada and the UK.
Getting back to the subject of cars; the rear buildings contained Jaguars in various stages of restoration. Many were quietly gathering dust waiting patiently for their turn at showing off in the main building.
I’m sure that all who viewed the Collection were impressed by the quality, presentation and the generosity of our hosts Stan, Jan and Jeff. It was indeed a world class display.
Historic Registration Team Visits Jeremy Cordeaux's "Shed"
Photos thanks to Roger Polkinghore and Tony Freckleton
MGs in Finland - September 2012
In 1981 Kalle Tenlenius from Finland, came to Australia to supervise the installation of a newsprint paper machine at Albury Wodonga, for Australian Newsprint Mills, the company I worked for at the time had the contract to supply the exhaust & ventilation systems associated with the installation. During the course of the contract Kalle visited our workshop, in Gepps Cross, several times, and I visited the site in Albury Wodonga, and as a result became quite friendly with Kalle, and kept up the occasional contact via xmas cards and then by email.
Visit to Sweden
A TRUE BARN FIND
A rare two-seater car found buried under a cowshed in Gloucester-shire has won a Best Vintage Car award.
All the parts of the 1928 MG MK IV Sports car were found in 1999 on a farm "carefully dismantled" and laid in the ground under two inches of concrete.
Fred Body, from Cheddar in Somerset, has spent over a year painstakingly rebuilding the early MG.
He said: "It's weird really - most of it was there and most of it was as sound as a pound."
According to the Early MG Society, only 135 examples of this model were made in 1928 and this car is the sole survivor in the country that displays the correct coachwork.
"When it was found it was completely taken apart, laid out flat and covered in gravel and one or two inches of concrete," said Mr Body, a car enthusiast who bought the parts when the owner put them up for sale.
"I think what must have happened was the war was coming and someone thought 'they're not taking my car for scrap'.
"They carefully took it apart and buried it thinking they would come back and put it
It was only when the shed was pulled down and the floor dug up that the car was discovered with all its identification including Guarantee plate and original number plates.
"Some of the original leather from the seats and paint work was there so we could colour match it as near as possible," said Mr Body.
"But some of the aluminium had corroded where I think the concrete had cracked and urine from the cow house had got in.
"And all the instruments were missing - they probably adorned someone's fireplace - so they were the most difficult to find."
At the end of April the resurrected car won the Best Vintage Car award at the Bristol Classic Car Show.
A spokesman for the Early MG Society said: "There is no history on this car until 1999 when it was miraculously 'discovered'.
"It is now one of the few genuine MGs that has come to light in the last 25 years - it's been a real "from the ground up" restoration."
This article was provided by a member
MALLAL A DREAMTIME by Wayne Hough
Late in February I was invited out to Mallala by Club member Allan Semmler to watch Kevin Weeks and his Supaloc Racing Team setting up and testing Kevin’s latest race car; a FORD GT. Allan has his own precision engineering Company on the same premises as the Supaloc Racing factory and is part of the Supaloc Team, taking on the role of Head of Manufacturing. Allan is often called on to create specialised parts for the racing cars.
The Ford GT40 was always a dream car of my youth (yes I can still remember that far back) and I would keenly read all I could at the time when Ford mounted their campaign in the 60’s to win the Le Mans 24 Hour. Kevin’s Ford GT is not from the 60’s but is a modern race version produced by Ford. The GT is similar in outward appearance to the original Ford GT40 cars, but bigger, wider, and 3 in (76 mm) taller than the original 40 in (100 cm); as a result, a potential name for the car was the GT43. The GT is capable of speeds in excess of 200mph. Although the cars are visually related, structurally there is no similarity between the modern GT and the 1960s GT40 that inspired it. The production Ford GT began in the autumn of 2004. The production run of 4,038 GTs ended on September 21, 2006. The power plant in Kevin’s GT is a Roush Yates 5.3L V8, normally aspirated
Kevin and his team were setting up the GT prior to it’s appearance at Clipsal in March. The sessions consisted of a warm up lap, two hot laps and then a cool down lap before returning to the pits to analyze the data collected. The data relayed back to the computers in the pits gives Oscar Fiorinotto, Team Technical director, a complete picture of not only the performance of the car but also that of the driver. Kevin and Oscar would then sit down and analyze cornering data seeing where braking and acceleration could be improved. After he and Oscar decided on the next tactics, Kevin would come over to Allan and me and give us a lay man’s version of what was happening.
The GT doesn’t have power assisted brakes so to slow the beast requires a pedal pressure in excess of 140kgs every time; that’s at every corner lap after lap. I reckoned I would be stuffed after one lap, let along a full race.
The team arrived at the circuit in a newly acquired transporter . The truck is able to carry both the Ford GT and the Lamborghini together with all the equipment needed for a day’s testing or racing.
The following photos show Kevin in his favourite “Office”. The one concession to comfort is the retention of the air-conditioning unit. A big duct directs cool air onto the driver which must make the cabin slightly more tolerable. Allan can be seen helping Kevin with the seat belts.
The vehicle Kevin arrived in at the track sat to one side with an almost “menacing” look. You almost had the impression the Aston was angry at being ignored and not allowed onto the track.
My thanks go to Kevin, his Team and especially Allan for giving me an “up close and personal” look at a fabulous racing team.
An Interview with an ex MGB
production line worker
At this year's (2012) all British Day at the Uraidla Oval, a gentleman approached the MG club’s marquee and looked with interest at the poster about the 50th anniversary of the MGB. He spoke to member David Maxwell who found out that this gentleman, Mr Bryan Cole was an ex-employee of the MG factory in Abingdon. He had worked on the MGB production line starting in April 1968 until December 1972.
Mr Cole now lives in retirement in Adelaide’s southern suburbs. He very kindly agreed to “an interview” about his time at the factory. He spoke to members David Maxwell and Stephen Holmes – and this is his story.
Bryan Cole was born and educated in Oxford, England. His father worked for the Pressed Steel Company who were part of the BMC group. Bryan’s first job was also with Pressed Steel, first in their mail department and then in their insurance department. But the lure of more money encouraged him to get a job in the trim shop at Pressed Steel. Apparently they weren’t all that happy having a person from staff join the work-shop, it wasn’t the done thing!
At the time, Pressed Steel built the bodies for the Hillman Minx, Super Minx, Rapiers and Sunbeam Alpines then painted and partly trimmed them. This was around 1961 to ’63.
Bryan then got married and as he didn’t want to work shift work, he got a job at Morris Motors (across the road)working on the production line of the Morris 1100, 1300 and Morris Minors. Moving from Pressed Steel to Morris Motors was also not the done thing! Even though the companies were all in the same family, there was a gentleman’s agreement that workers would not go from one company to the other. Bryan got around this by working for a third company for a few months in between his move from Pressed Steel to Morris.
After a couple of years at Morris he was transferred back to Pressed Steel.
Back at Pressed Steel he started doing panel work straightening bonnets on Wolesleys. He was put through an intensive training program where he made all his own tools (that were suited to his left handed tendencies!)
In 1968 he started work at the MG factory. It took him quite a while to get into MG, as it was a hard place to get a job at if you didn’t have family working there! (This was their way of trying to protect the jobs of Abingdon people).
He started in the assembly/rectification and shortages section, which taught him about the assembly of the MGB and Sprite/Midgets. This section fitted missing components or replaced damaged ones after the cars had come off the production line.
After 12 months here, he was as-signed to the MG assembly Line 2 where he worked on body drops – the section where bodies were placed on the front and rear axle. The front axle was a “sub-assembly off line” and the rear axle came assembled but the springs, U bolts and brake lines were added on the line. The bodies were then dropped onto these assemblies. Bryan got all the jobs that were best suited to a left handed person as he was naturally this way inclined. These jobs included fitting all the brake lines.
As noted, Bryan worked on Line 2. There were six production lines in all at the time. Line 1 and 2 assembled MGBs, there was an MGC and Healey 3000 production line, a Sprite/Midget line, a storage and sub-assembly line and an experimental/development/try out line. It was on this last line that MG at the time were developing the MGB GT V8 which Bryan says they were having a devil
of a time with.
Assembly lines 1 and 2 would build both Roadsters and GTs that would come down the line in no particular order. At the time around 95% of the cars built were left hand dive for the American market. Engines came in three colours, red, black or green de-pending on which market they were headed for. Each car would have a destination sticker. This would affect what parts were fitted to each car, for example, brake lines would differ.
Bryan loved MGBs. Working on the production line didn’t have a negative effect on his desire for one. Before he came to Australia in 1975, he wanted to buy a Harvest Gold GT, chrome bumper version, as this was his favourite car. It would have cost him 864 pounds, but unfortunately, due to importation regulations, he wouldn’t have owned the car long enough to
allow him to bring it to Australia, so it never happened. (Bryan did say that his ultimate MG would have been an MGC GT, but he felt that the C’s weren’t best suited to Australia be-cause of over-heating issues then.)
The quality and efficiency of MG cars being built during this period was regarded as the best of the time com-pared to other makers of the era. It was stated that MG built a 1000 cars for every 1,000 people employed. This was accepted as the best efficiency of any manufacturer at the time.
Things changed (for the worse) when Leyland took control of MG. Head of British Leyland, Lord Stokes, allegiances lay with Triumph. He put in writing to the employees of MG that there job was only going to be avail-able as long as MG’s were selling well in America. Once that market declined, they would be out of a job. It was this that encouraged Bryan to migrate to Australia.
At this time, there was an MG “in plant supervisor” that bought a Triumph TR6. It so upset the Plant Manager that he refused to let the owner park his car in the management car park. He had to park it off site in the workers car park!
Bryan never got to meet any of the upper management of MG - people like Lord Stokes, Syd Enever or Cecil Kimber. The class system in the UK was alive and well and workshop floor personnel had no contact at all with the powers to be.
As far as Management and employee relations went, MG never went out on strike – they were the only BMC/BLMC that could claim this. There was a time when Firestone who sup-plied tyres for the MGB went out on strike and this threatened to shut the factory down, however the plant man-ager refused to let this happen. To keep everyone employed, he kept the line running – but of course it meant there were no wheels available for the cars.
To overcome this problem, the man-ager procured from a local timber merchant hundreds of wooden stumps that the completed cars could be set on. Finished cars were driven into the storage yard, jacked up and placed onto the stumps, their wheels removed and taken back into the factory for the next car ready to come off the line.
When the Firestone strike finally ended, there was lots of weekend work available for those who wanted it, fitting wheels to the hundreds of stored cars that were completed, except for the wheels.
Next to the main plant where the MG’s were built was the Special Tuning/Competition building, so Bryan did get to see some interesting cars at the factory. Parked outside the plant under tarps were famous record breaking cars such as EX 182 and EX 135. There were other “one offs” as well, such as a mini MGB – a scaled down MGB with a Morris 1100 front clip – a design that never went any further. He got to drive some of the special Mini Monte Carlo Rally cars which he said were very fast and noisy!
A pre-production MGB was used as a tow vehicle in the yard. It had an A Frame welded to the back of it to tow around any non-runners. At one stage this vehicle had an ex works race engine fitted to it, which he said really made it go! It was eventually cut up, as it was rusty and management didn’t want customers coming to the factory seeing a rusty MGB.
No production line workers were ever allowed to take photos in the factory, it would mean the loss of your job, but, apparently there were many visitors from America who came through the plant who were quite free to take photos.
After Bryan came to Australia he worked for Chryslers at Tonsley Park for a time doing panel work, but due to various circumstances he ended up working at Bridgestone in quality control for many years. But he recalls fondly his years at MG as his favourite time of life. It was certainly a time
when the British car industry was at its peak, but that was not to continue as we all know.
We were very lucky indeed to have had the chance to speak to Mr Cole . What a fantastic chance meeting it was. Our society is full of interesting people whose stories often go untold and it is a good feeling to find just one of these people and to bring their story to those of us interested. Some older members may recall Bryan giving an address to the MG Club way back in August 1985?
We would like to thank him sincerely for his time and his story. It adds just another interesting piece into the jig-saw of the MGB history.
Stephen Holmes & David Maxwell
AUSSIE DRIVERS FLY
THE FLAG AT MGB50
Australian MGB owners will be well represented at the grand finale of this year's MGB 50th anniversary celebration being held at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire UK on Sunday September 23 2012
Thirteen club members representing four Australian clubs have paid deposits for airfares, accommodation and entry fees to enable them to attend the event which will feature a 120 car MGB time line display.
MGB50 Chairman, John Watson, says Blenheim will be the largest gathering of B's, Cs, and GTV8s, with MGs coming from throughout Britain to mark 50 years of this great British sports car.
South Australian members attending are Stan and Jan Ward, Helen and John Tamke and Peter Grant.
Other Aussie members include two couples from the Gold Coast and one couple from each of the Sunshine Coast and the Hunter Valley.
Accommodation for the Blenheim Palace event has been arranged at historic Eynsham (pronounced “Encham”) Hall, a magnificent Jacobean period Grade II listed manor house nestled in 3,000 acres of beautiful gardens and parklands located just a few minutes drive from Blenheim Palace ( see www.eynshamhall )
The present village of Eynsham dates back well over 1000 years and is claimed to be one of the oldest villages in England. It did not change much between the middle ages and the 20th century, although it is now home to around 5000 residents. Many of the quaint houses inn the village are built from stone recycled from a local abbey that fell into disrepair around 1600. Eynsham also boasts many old English pubs.
The weekend prior to Blenheim Pal-ace, the group is also attending what will undoubtedly be a most memorable Goodwood Revival Race Meeting where a special event for MGB's will feature noted 'competition' drivers.
Goodwood will also host the greatest ever gathering of the legendary Silver Arrows cars. Once raced by such famous drivers as Nuvolari, Rosemeyer, Hans Stuck and Manfred von Brauchitsch and not withstanding the fact that each of the 10 Silver Arrow cars is today valued at well in excess of 10 million UK pounds, these iconic Mercedes Benz W25, W125, W154 and W165s plus examples of the Auto Union C and D types will again compete against their contemporaries from MG, ERA, Maserati and Bugatti.
The gathering marks 75 years since the first racing appearance of the all conquering German teams on UK soil at Donnington Raceway in 1937. Race organisers say this will be the first time so many of these priceless machined will have been driven together at full racing speed since the Yugoslav Grand Prix on September 3, 1939 the day after WWII broke out.
Arguably, the site and sound of these magnificently polished and prepared pre-war gems of Grand Prix automotive history will be one of motor sports most momentous occasions and a highlight of this trip.
Prepared by Charles Dickson Gold Coast Member Edited by John Tamke for MG Motoring SA
AN OLD MG FRIENDSHIP
The MG Car Club UK often use the motto ‘The Marque of Friend-ship’ and it is true there are many long term friends to be made through MG car clubs, both our own and abroad.
Four weeks ago I was reunited with an old friend I met at our car club in 1974. Gordon Higginbottom joined and was very active in the MGCC of SA in 1974 and 1975. Then he disappeared to Borneo and was never hear of again until I saw a message on my Skype from him 4 months ago. He asked if I was the real Ian Buckley from Adelaide with an MG or some-thing like that. When Gordon left Adelaide he worked in many obscure places around the world and of course there was no email etc and most men don’t write letters.
Gordon and I were good friends in Adelaide during his time here and when he left he gave me a new leather bound steering wheel for my MGB which is still fitted today. Gordon was a computer engineer for Seismographic Services which had an office on Greenhill Road in a cottage near Anzac Highway. Therein I saw my first computer. It consisted of rows of machines with reels of magnetic tape going back and forth which interpreted information from oil exploration going on in the South Australian Outback.
They probably found lots of oil, but Gordon didn’t tell them about it and has kept the locations ready for his retirement. While he was here Gordon imported his yellow MGB which some unfortunate soul probably owns today.
He also bought an MG TC from Bob Bazzica and entered some competition just like almost everyone did in 1974. Paul Dallwitz has rummaged through his old photo-graphic files and found 2 excellent photos of Gordon hotly competing in the MG TC in a dirt (yes dirt) motorkhana at Elizabeth. I wonder who owns the TC today.
When Gordon found me on Skype he and his partner Gaynor and I had many long chats about the old days. Gordon had already planned a trip to Australia with Gaynor and Adelaide was his destination. Coincidentally Gaynor is a retired school principal and has some of her former students living in our northern suburbs.
Gordon and Gaynor duly arrived in February and stayed for 2 weeks which included 2 stints at my house. It was a great reunion and I took them both to the clubrooms on a Friday night to meet some of the old hands who remember Gordon well. I also took them to Lanac Park where Gordon competed. I am sure others will remember Gordon with his distinctive huge head of red hair and similar beard. I have attached copies of one of the photos from 1974 of Gordon driving and a group photo at our clubrooms with Gordon and Gaynor, Bazz and Shelley, Dr Dallwitz, Curly and myself.
Gordon still owns an MGA coupe which is on semi-permanent loan to his son. His main hobbies these days are black powder shooting and large format canvas printing which he does at home for fun. I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of one of these canvas prints of one of my photos in China.
Jake Harper alias Buckles
Artist's Impression of the new racing MG
Report from --- Ian Hobbs
MG Motor UK announced on the 25th of January a return to the 2012 British Touring Car Championship. Two MG6 GT cars will run in the new MG KX Momentum Racing team, driven by double BTCC champion and veteran, Jason Plato and rising star Andy Neate.
The cars will be prepared by established constructors, Triple Eight Race Engineering and sponsored by Tesco Fuels and KX energy drink. MG KX Momentum Racing will debut at Brands Hatch on April 1 when the 2012 Dunlop MSA BTCC championship season gets under way. The MG6 GT five-door fastback is the first all-new MG in 16 years and is designed, engineered and assembled in Birmingham.
Jason Plato is the most successful driver in BTCC racing history with 68 career wins, with more fastest laps, pole and podium positions than any other driver in the history of the Series. Plato said: ―It‘s really exciting to be involved in a brand-new all-British team and it‘s just brilliant that the iconic name of MG will be back on the track.