Eye Candy: 100th Gathering of the Faithful

The Gathering of the Faithful was held for the 100th time | Andy Reid photos
The Gathering of the Faithful was held for the 100th time | Andy Reid photos

Since the 1960s the New England MGT Registry has held an event called the Gathering of the Faithful.

I first read about this event in Road & Track when I was a kid. This was in 1980 and the issue I was reading was from 1973. It documented a road trip a journalist took in a MG TC to attend the Gathering. I was hooked and have wanted to attend ever since, but was not willing to do so until I actually owned a T series MG. Continue reading

My Classic Car: Ralph’s 1971 MGB

Ralph and Zelda
Ralph and Zelda

I owned two MGBs long ago — a spanking new ’78 and an old ’73 — but both were gone from me by the year 1985. I spent a quarter of a century bemoaning the absence of a British sports car in my possession, but life kept getting in the way of getting another one in the form of mortgages and kids and making ends meet. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1954 MG TF roadster

Styling for the MG TF was updated on the fly in the MG factory
Styling for the MG TF was updated on the fly in the MG factory

It was the end of an era. Sports cars were starting to become more civilized as well as better performing and MG was struggling to keep up. The car that they had planned to replace the aging MG TD, what would become the streamlined MGA, was delayed because of internal politics at the company.

As a result, the industrious British workers at MG did a revamp of the aging MG TD, changing the bodywork and making the car look more modern. They did this not work from drawings or models but with hand tools, beating the panels, setting back the grill and faired the headlights into the fenders. That car became the last of the MG T-series cars, the MG TF.

The TF was the last MG with classic British roadster features
The TF was the last MG with classic British roadster features

The Pick of the Day is a 1954 MG TF roadster that the private seller in Renton, Washington, says has had only two owners since new and has only covered 19,843 original miles. The owner states that this car was stored for many years, but was pulled out in 2000 and received a comprehensive frame-off restoration, which is documented with photos and receipts. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1971 MGB GT custom V6

A small hood scoop hints at the MGB's horsepower boost lurking under its hood
A discrete hood scoop hints at the MGB’s V6 transplant horsepower boost.

The classic MGB has always been an attractive and affordable choice for sports-car fans, but with one complaint: it could use more power. The 1.8-liter 4-cylinder OHV engine is a sturdy unit with 92 horsepower, but the sleek little B would be better with more.

The Pick of the Day seems to address that issue. It’s a 1971 MGB GT hatchback coupe with a 2.8-liter V6 from a British Ford Capri (sold in the U.S. as a Mercury) transplanted under its hood that brings 150 horsepower to the package. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1968 MGC roadster

The 1968 MGC roadster is presented in good original condition with less than 50,000 miles
The 1968 MGC roadster is presented in good original condition with less than 50,000 miles

Mourning the loss after 1967 of the popular but dated Austin-Healey 3000, the British Motor Company attempted to fill the gap by adding a new model to the MG lineup, a six-cylinder version of the MGB that was dubbed the MGC. More of a long-legged GT than the sprightly four-cylinder sports car, the MGC was produced for just two model years after a tepid reception by the press and buying public. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1965 MGB roadster

The 1965 MGB would be an affordable entry into the world of classic sports cars
The 1965 MGB would be an affordable entry into the world of classic sports cars

When the talk turns to affordable classic sports cars, the first one considered is often the MGB, Britain’s most-successful roadster. Hundreds of thousands of them were sold in the U.S. during the 1960s and ’70s, and while  MGB values as collector cars have crept up over the years, they remain quite inexpensive, rarely crossing $20,000 for the very best examples.

The earlier models are the most desirable, such as the Pick of the Day, a 1965 MGB Mark 1 roadster offered by a classic car dealer in Fairfield, California. This MG is a 67,000-mile car that has been thoroughly restored, according to the listing on ClassicCars.com, with fresh red paint and original black-leather interior. And the asking price is just $14,990. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1961 MGA roadster

The MGA is one of the most attractive of the classic British sports cars
The MGA is one of the most attractive of the classic British sports cars

Summer has arrived, the perfect time for top-down motoring, and one of the best ways to enjoy the wind-in-your-hair experience of a real sports car is behind the wheel of an MG.

The MGA roadster is considered by many to be among the most beautiful of all British roadsters. Amazingly, MGAs are still quite affordable.

A correct luggage rack is attached to the trunk
A correct luggage rack is attached to the trunk

The MGA is possibly the best mix of vintage and a modern roadster. It offers a vintage sweeping design, an interior in leather that even a 6-foot-plus driver can be comfortable in and enough power to keep up with modern traffic with ease. Continue reading

Pick of the Week: 1960 MGA roadster

The MGA has one of the sleekest and purest sports-car forms of the 1960s
The MGA has one of the sleekest and purest sports-car forms of the 1960s

Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer, and what better way to enjoy the warmer weather than at the wheel of a vintage British roadster. Wind in the hair driving, along with lusty engine sounds, sharp steering and responsive handling, are the things that make little British sports cars enduring favorites. Continue reading

Beaulieu celebrates MG’s 90th anniversary at Simply Classics show

National Motor Museum to celebrate 90 years of MG at Beaulieu's Simply classics & Sports Car
National Motor Museum to celebrate 90 years of MG at Beaulieu’s Simply classics & Sports Car

Now with a new name — Simply Classics & Sports Car — the fourth-annual road rally and car show takes place August 24 at Britain’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu./p>

The road rally part of the program involves whatever routes people and their classics and sports cars take through the New Forest to arrive at the museum. The event is open to any pre-1989 classic or sports car.

“British sports car manufacturer, MG, is this year celebrating its 90th anniversary and will be the featured marque at Simply Classics & Sports Car,” the news release reports.

The scene last year
The scene last year

“In a special display area at the event, MGs of all ages will be on show from early VAs and TAs to the ever popular MGB and Midget, as well as modern classics such as the MGF and MG TF, plus the current MG3 and MG6 models, with displays from regional MG clubs and individual owners as well as a number of trade stands.”

A special parade of MGs will take place in the afternoon, and in addition to a Beaulieu Trophy for the People’s Choice award, there will be a second such trophy presented to the People’s Choice just among the MGs.

Entry fees for car owners and their passengers include admission to the museum, the World of Top Gear, Beaulieu Abby and the Palace House and gardens.

Our Classic Car: Peter and Kerith’s ’round the world 1978 MGB GT

Across one of the bridges of Madison County | Buckingham photos
Across one of the bridges of Madison County | Buckingham photos

We drove our car, a 1978 MGB BT, around the world.

In 2010 we shipped the car from Australia to China and drove from Beijing to London with 5 other couples, all of us in MGs. It was a”private” trip, organized by the participants. We drove through 17 countries, including four of the “-stand” and Iran. 23,000 kilometers in 3 months.

Last year, my wife and I decided that as we had already driven three quarters of the way around the world, we should complete the drive. We shipped our car to Vancouver, British Columbia, and drove across North America to St. Johns, Newfoundland. 10,000 more kilometers in 2 months.

We then turned around and drove back to the West Coast via Chicago and Route 66. We finished at Santa Monica Pier and then shipped the car back to Australia. Another 23,000 kilometers, and in only 1 more month.

Some interesting figures from this trip: One set of tyres, and they’re still on the car. No punctures, and the spare is still new in the trunk.

No mechanical failures other than replacement of front brake pads in Switzerland, and the replacement of the electric fuel pump in Canada.

We did a couple of “on the road” services, oil changes and replacement filters, new spark plugs and points — all items carried on board except the oil.

Our car attracted a lot of attention as we traversed the North American continent and we were constantly interviewed by local newspaper journalists, which was rather entertaining, particularly the several TV and radio interviews we did. There was constant amazement that we had travelled so far in such a small car, and were made very welcome by various MG car clubs along the way.

In Newfoundland
In Newfoundland

I ran a daily newsletter email to a few friends which soon multiplied to over 60 recipients, including Moss Motors (MG parts distributor), our insurance agent (Hagerty) and several of the MG people we met along the way.

Channel 7 network in Australia did a live cross from their LA studio when we completed the trip, which ran for over 6 minutes, the theme being that “Grey Nomads” were still active. I’m 69 and Kerith is 66.
Goodyear tyres are looking at doing a promo on our trip and we’re now considering doing a North-South trip next year from the bottom of South America to the Arctic Circle.

Fuel line repair
Fuel line repair

P.S.: We are car lovers and have 9 vehicles, although we’ve sold the two Porsches that we rallied for 15 year. Kerith drove a 1963 Porsche 356C in major events here and in Targa Newfoundland. I drove a 1965 Porsche 911 in the same events, including Targa Newfoundland.