An MG is Born

An MG is Born

If you count yourself a classic car restorer, you have to restore an MGB. It’s compulsory. In fact, in many countries, including the UK, I believe it’s the law.

MGBs are often seen as the poor relation of more glamorous sports cars from the same era, like the E Type. Of course, E Types are more exclusive and these days their values are way beyond the reach of mere mortals. You have to be super rich to be able to afford a good one. MGBs on the other hand have gone up a bit, but they are still affordable. And, I for one, think they are truly brilliant cars.

The one Les and I restored was a sewage-coloured, 1974 roadster. And it was in a terrible state. Experts told us to scrap the body shell and buy a new one. They are available, made using the original presses. But, for us, showing how to restore the shell was going to be the central story of our 10 films. There’s no chassis. Like the E Type, the MGB is a monocoque and it’s strength comes from the way the 3d jigsaw of individual panel pieces is put together. And, OMG, it’s a huge amount of work to take one apart and to rebuild it. It took us 40 days to get the shell sorted. It nearly killed us and, on many occasions, we both nearly lost the will to live. But, it is one of the most satisfying things I have ever done

By comparison, finishing the car was a bit of a doddle. And, what a lovely car we ended up with. Silver birch with a red leather interior. I had some paint left over, but made good use of it. I needed a new lawn mower at the time. So I found a couple of knackered Hayter Harriers in the scrap bin at my local mower shop. I made one good one from the two, painted it the same colour as the car and replaced the Hayter badge with an MG octagon. MG for Mark’s Grass cutter.  Workshop genius !

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