Scroll down for previous Newsletters from 2020

 

Newsletter May 2020 Part 2

Hello All

I did say in the last Newsletter that I may send out another one for May and here it is. Although there is nothing to report, there as still some stories to tell but please send me your story for the next Newsletters.

Graham is obviously have trouble filling his time during the lockdown and this time we have not just one but two cartoons. Here is the first, I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do.


Reports:

Nothing to report this time, what have you all been up to?

Future Events:

Club Night - Tuesday 2nd June: As there is no chance of us meeting at the Cross any time soon (although I have an idea for a 'social distance' day out in our MGs if anyone is interested), so it will be another virtual Zoom meeting again. I will send the invitation nearer the time.

Weekend Away 2020 - Dorset - Friday 12th June to Monday 15th June: The latest Government advice is that Newlands will still be closed when we should have been there for our Weekend Away, they have offered us the chance to rebook for next year (although food prices will be higher), however there are a number of people who have expressed a desire not to commit for 2021 and without the full complement of attendees, it has been decided to ask for a refund of our deposits. At the time of writing Nigel was still awaiting a response to our request. I will keep you posted with the developments.

Other Events:

No changes to the calendar, however some organisers are rescheduling events for later in the year, however until we know these will be able to proceed I will not be updating our calendar.

There is one event I have been advised about that some of you might like to participate in which is 'Classics for Carers'. Apparently this was held on the first Sunday of May and is planned again for the first Sunday in June. See the website for details: https://www.classicsforcarers.com/

The info is as follows:

Joining Instructions

Put that tinkering & polishing to a good cause!

On the day of the event, you are invited to share your classic car or bike either online (via social media using #classicsforcarers) or on your driveway, to give those on their daily exercise, a different view on the day!

(Following social distancing requirements of course)

This is a non-driving event and please observe social distancing requirements.

Please visit our JustGiving page to make a donation (perhaps equivalent to a ticket price, or whatever you can) to support NHS carers.

You can buy an event rally plate or stickers for your vehicle (where all profits go to the NHS charity), or save and print a copy of the Classics for Carers poster for display.

Send me a photo if you take part.


Other Matters:

Nothing to report this time.


What Have You Done With Your MG This Month:

David has sent this story , not so much as 'What Have You Done This Month' more a case of last year but still interesting, a good way to use your MG.

What have you done in your MG last summer

1203 miles and a German speeding ticket in a week! On 7 August the B headed out into the morning rush hour traffic headed for the Tunnel, via Newbury to collect my nephew Jonathan as navigator.

I had taken the car to France in 2010 and 2011 to visit the Ramparts event in Angouleme, south western France. Then in 2012 made the journey to the Le Mans Classic. So, the car and I had been suffering with drawl symptoms.

On those trips I had normally used night ferry crossings on the Portsmouth - Caen route which seemed a very civilised way to travel compared to the long haul around the M25 and down to the tunnel. However, as our destination was the legendary Nürburgring for the Old Timer Grand Prix the tunnel made sense.


The Old Timer Grand Prix is far less popular with British spectators so we couldn't play the normal game of spotting other people going to the same place.

The first time I went to Angouleme my wife had assumed that my late son, James, and I were flying. I didn't realise this until James told me about a week before we were due to leave. She didn't believe the B would make it. The car proved her wrong but it did add to my stress levels.

Over time I have become a lot more relaxed about taking on long journeys in the B and am happy to press on when needed. However, driving from home to the 'Ring in one day was going to be too much on what was supposed to be a holiday. Instead we stopped the night at Ghent in Belgium having driven along part of the Jabbeke straight of Jaguar XK120 speed test fame.

One of the strange features of the Old Timer Grand Prix is that you can't book the camp site in advance. So, we left Ghent early so as to get to the 'Ring early afternoon to make sure we got a pitch. We needn't have worried as the campsite was massive and we were arriving on the Thursday afternoon with practice starting on the Friday.

 

Jonathan hadn't ridden in the B since he was a small boy in 1992 and drives a quick version of the Renault Megan. He seemed surprised at the rate of progress we made in the B. As I had added him to the insurance, I regularly mentioned the need to press the brakes harder than a modern car and that the grip might not be to the level he was used to. On the way back he would find out what I meant as the B waggled its tail coming out of a wet roundabout while he was driving.

So how does the Old Timer Grand Prix compare? Well it's a smaller event than either the Silverstone Classic or Classic Le Mans. However, I was delighted to find there were lots of cars there I hadn't seen before. Some were from the UK but not many. There were 3 MGs.

My brother's children are both at university in Aachen which is 60 miles north of the 'Ring through the Eifel Mountains National Park. So, we took the opportunity of going there for a barbeque on the Saturday evening. My brother and his wife came over from their house near Dusseldorf as well. That was good as Monika brought some nice food!

 

The roads in Germany are very smooth compared to the UK, France or Belgium and it was late at night when we left Aachen. As we headed through some long and deserted road works there was a flash. Oh dear! Will they bother as it's a foreign registered car? Well the answer was yes. Shortly after returning home an official looking envelope landed on the door mat!

David Witham


Some of you may have gathered that Graham has been having a little difficulty with the starter motor on his Midget, this is the story of how he is trying to fix it!!

Memoires of an Unpractical Motorist . . . Chapter 39

The dead starter motor.

So you may have heard that the starter motor on Bumble is currently not. The key turns nicely in the ignition, and the relay clicks in a very earnest fashion. Mr Battery is alive and well and was tested recently to confirm it is firing on all . . . er . . . cells, as it were.

Therefore it seemed that the necessary action was to get as close to the starter motor as possible and speak jolly firmly to it and tell it to get a grip. Then Lockdown locked down, scuppering the chance of getting professional assistance for the aforementioned Unpractical Motorist.

Chance VE Day conversation brought about the loan of some blooming sturdy wheel ramps. This meant U.M. really had to have a go at it. Said Ramps were accordingly positioned in exactly the right spot relative to the track . . . took a run up with the MG . . . . and then got smartly out of the way as it bounced off from about a quarter of the way up the ramps, which was the measly result of what seemed a perfectly adequate run-up.

History of Production Engineering Problem Solving came to the rescue. Based on the well-tried concept of "If in doubt, gi'it a clout", something "big" was clearly called for. In this a case a Jaguar XF.

So, that bit went really well.

Then, having realised that trying to work underneath a car when it's on ramps constitutes my idea of a torture worthy of the Spanish Inquisition . . . the arrangement did at least it show that when it's ON the ramps it's a more convenient working position when accessing from above, under the bonnet.

So . . . . not only does spannering the square end of the starter motor main shaft reveal it is not jammed . . . . you can, in fact, turn it by hand. Easily.

Admittedly, it's not a very old starter motor, but that seemed a bit surprising. Or perhaps it's a very GOOD motor and something else is amiss.

Therefore, to recap . . . . SYMPTOMS . . . the good ol' relay clicks nicely enough . . . . maybe power just ain't getting to the motor.


At which point we unearth (pardon the pun) another area of personal expertise that is lacking: U.M. doesn't have a circuit tester, rendering it impossible to tell if poke is getting there anyway. ("Poke" . . . Joseph Lucas apprentice speak for volts) (Not to be confused with the "Pisser", which involves a great many more volts and amps and generally results in you ending up on the other side of the room. A rare occurrence with a 12v system).

So, there is your challenge! What's the problem?

Answers on a carefully laundered postcard, please, to Unpractical Motorist c/o UberStumpenFuhrer Dunster, Arden MG Hauptsitz.

Meanwhile I may see if Welford Garage is open for business . . .


My MG

Norman has done a full description of his MG story and of the MGB:





That is the end of all my stock of stories, so I need your input for the next Newsletter, so please drop me a note about what you have been doing (especially in or with your MG) or better still write your My MG story, it doesn't need to be as detailed as Norman's!!

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

 -----------------------------------

Newsletter May 2020

Hello All

The Newsletter is earlier this month and I may well send an interim one again before the end of the month with the invitation to join the Zoom Meeting for June, as it unfortunately looks like we will not be getting together at the Golden Cross for some time yet!!

To cheer us up a bit and give us a smile Graham has again put 'Pen to Paper' and sent in another topical cartoon, great fun, thanks Graham. Keep them coming.

 


Reports:

There are actually 2 things to report on, firstly what a great day we all had on 'Drive-it-Day' although it was reinvented as 'On Your Drive' day (thanks to Phil F for the idea). There were over 30 of you who entered into the spirit of the day, sending photos and they were posted on the Facebook page (I will try and upload them all to the website if my computer will work long enough to allow me!!). Norman then did a fantastic job of putting together a montage. It has been suggested we produce a 'Tea Towel' or 'Apron' with the Montage Photo printed on to it, who would be interested in having one if they were to cost between £5 & £10? Tea Towel of Apron?

 

I did put a selection of the comments received with your photos in an email but I think they are worth saying again:

"Got my car out this morning, wiped it down, switched the engine on, closed my eyes and imagined amazing country roads for a few minutes!

Stay safe and well.
Kevin Tasker

Thanks for staying in touch with us all and your efforts on virtual meetings - haven't made one yet but will try to catch one in the future. A couple of photos attached, MGA running bit TC awaiting return of some wheels!
John Woolston

MG photos on the drive today.
What a great day it would have been for the drive - a year for the history books!
Keep Safe
Richard & Fiona

Hi Paul
Hope you are well
Pic for the gallery, if you think it is up to standard.
At least the car is out of the garage, good excuse to polish!
All the best
Alan and Liz Griffith

Doors open for "Morag" on Drive it Day
David Curtis

How's this Paul....sorry we forgot to dress up for the golf club... ..love
Mick & Marg Walker

Hi Paul -what a grand day for it!! Heres my photo for Arden`s Drive it Day!
Best wishes
Andy Bourne

This sunny weather is mocking us
Alan Palmer

All ready for the road but just need the bacon butties to arrive. Yes it did take some time to get them all out but I enjoyed every minute.
Steve Farr.

We would like to thank Alan & Liz for arranging the most unique Drive-it-Day ever, even 'cooking' up the idea of 'do your own lunch'!
Well done
Alan & Julia"

Next was the 'Virtual' Club Night for May. I hope my computer problems didn't spoil too much for you all. The computer problem we have been having is with the 'Pointer' continually moving to the RHS of the screen, after being with a repair man it was working just fine until half way through the Zoom meeting, which made it very difficult to 'Mute and Unmute' people at the required time somewhat difficult! After many trials I think I might have fixed it today, fingers crossed!! There were 14 of us who joined in the fun, I hope you liked the idea of giving everyone a few minutes to have a say about what they have been doing, so computer permitting I will do the same next time.


Future Events:

Club Night - Tuesday 2nd June: Using Zoom, invitation to follow later in the month.

Weekend Away 2020 - Dorset - Friday 12th June to Monday 15th June: The report at the Club Night was that Newlands are making a decision on a weekly basis about cancelling bookings, so we await their response, although the new advice from the Government would indicate that social gatherings of this sort will not be allowed until August at the earliest, it looks like we will not be going, however we need to wait for the response from Newlands to ensure a return of our deposits. 

Other Events:

I have not been updating the Events Calendar, until the 'Lockdown' has been lifted and we know what the future will bring I would treat everything as cancelled, however I have received some notifications of rescheduling of events. Lets wait and see if they will be able to take place.

Other Matters:

I have received this message from an MG owner in Redditch:

"Dear Mr. Dunster.

Due to my osteoarthritis getting more aggressive I am looking to sell my MG. I have owned the car for 5 years after purchasing it from a businessman in Guernsey. it has an agreed valuation with Lancaster insurance of £13.000, I am asking £10.250, there is a photographic record of the restoration and I have also spent a considerable amount to improve the car. it will come with a new MOT for 12months. I would like the car to go if possible to someone in a club who will care for it. The car is in Redditch and I realize it is difficult with the lockdown and any questions please feel free to call me on 01527545615 or 07973328347. The pictures were taken in Guernsey but I will take some here if anybody wishes.

 

Regards.

Eric Lee"

If anyone is interested please contact Eric directly.

What Have You Done With Your MG This Month:

Phil Ward sent me this message about his MG collection:

"I now have 3 MG's (2TF's & 1MGF). I rescued the latest TF from Blackpool where it had sat (500 yards from the sea) for 8 months after some kind souls had stolen the whole exhaust system!

 

Took a road trip with trailer and recovered it, it's the sort of car that you would walk away from if it was for sale but hay hoe it was free and I'm a sucker for the under dog, so far I have removed and stripped the front subframe (which has now been powder coated) I've got it back but all the ancillaries are in 'Lockdown' at the powder coaters so work on the front has stopped for the duration.

Started on the rear, stripped brake callipers etc and changed top ball joints, plenty of wire brushing and coat of tough black paint improved the

    

appearance greatly, next job repair a couple of sheared studs & bolts (never leave a car by the sea everything rusts and seizes) still plenty of time to do the manual stuff."

 

Looks like you have plenty there to keep you busy during the 'Lockdown', thanks for sharing with us.

Andy has also been very busy - Jobs on the MG during Social Distancing.

Hi Paul -Just a note to let you know how I've been keeping busy! After 3 years in their box, I decided to fit the Spax rear suspension kit I had purchased from MGOC! Only take a couple of hours I thought! WRONG!

 

Yesterday I jacked up the rear of the Midget, removed the road wheels and started taking off the old Armstrong shocks and lower spring retaining plates, offside went well -nearside not! Nut on the inside of shock was spinning around and there was no room to get my faithful 9/16 box spanner on -good ol` B.L.

After a cup of tea and biscuits (Chocolate digestives I confess!), I jammed a screwdiver between chassis and bolt head and finally it came off as did several layers of skin on my hand! Shut garage door in disgust and had a beer and decided to start again next day .

Day 2 -cautiously approached the garage, in the hope the scrap man had been! No such luck! Finally fitted new kit to nearside, easy peasey -offside not -my lovely Maniflow exhaust system was in the way!! After 1 tin of penetrating oil, blowlamp, pipe wrench, burnt arm etc -finally got it off and fitted the gas strut -shut garage door in disgust and am about to have a G and T. Tomorrow I hope to refit the exhaust system, which also involves moving the number plate 40mm along the bumper! Oh what joy these MGs are, no wonder an ex Garage owner I know, asked me -did I know what MG stood for ? -"of course I replied " -"yes made grotty" he responded and drove off in stitches of laughter!

 

I hope you are keeping safe and well . Very best wishes Andy

     

      Exhaust removed                                                        Exhaust re-fitted with clearance

Hi Paul -I believe you wanted to be kept posted, re the Midget saga-well after 3 days its finally sorted , I had to fabricate a new middle and rear exhaust support brackets and twist the exhaust pipe to gain sufficient clearance (its cranked for that purpose), getting the old exhaust apart was "exhausting" (sorry )-copious use of penetrating oil, blowtorch and violence! To repair the damaged surface, on the parts I had bashed etc, Halfords click and collect service was used to obtain new heat resistant paints. (I incorporated the collection with a much needed food shop -so it wasn't an unnecessary trip out!). Finally had to relocate rear exhaust support bracket, from original location under boot floor -quite a shock how much stuff was in the boot! Lets hope it was worth the effort and neglect of my garden!

 

The contents of a Midget boot

Thanks Andy, looking forward to seeing the Midget out on the road, lets hope we can do so before the end of the summer!!

Now this looks interesting, how many of you have got one of these to play with:

 

My MG and Tiger Moth basking in the sun today waiting for the lock down to end

David Philips

Thanks David, I hope we might be able to have a flight with you sometime.

We forgot to mention [during the Zoom Club Night Meeting] that 3rd May was our MGA's 60th Birthday.

    

Pictures attached of its last trip out of the Garage onto the drive.

Roger & Caroline

Thanks for the photos, I hope the 'A' will finally be on the roads before the end of the year.

VE Day Celebrations

 

Lech got his Midget out and gave it a wash as the local residents of the 'Alveston Housing Estate' had a VE Day Classic Car Run around Avon Crescent and Dale Avenue.

He was then spotted by Graham S, who were out for the afternoon tea party and commented:

"Lech and Pam on a VE classic drive by this afternoon.

We were enjoying a glass of wine at the end of our drive.

If you look really closely you will spot my TF in the garage, still in pieces!


Regards

Graham "

Andy B also sent me a 'VE Day' message to prove his Midget will move:

Hi Paul -just a quick idea to show my car moves on VE Day ! Keep safe everyone -all the best -Andy

 

Looks like you had a good day out in the sunshine Andy.

I also received a message from Richard W.

Hi Paul
Trust you and Caroline are keeping fit. Have you been out on your bike? Just a note the wings and wheels has a new date August 31st.
I am under self isolation for 3 months because of my asthma and COPD !!!?? The nearest I get to driving the MG is starting up for a few minutes. Otherwise it's gardening !!!
Take care, Richard.

My MG

Tony B has kindly sent in his MG story:


Searching for a B

"Not a Rubber Bumper model or a White one"

I think I'll get myself a classic car now that I've retired, I thought to myself. Looking back to the cars of my youth, what should I go for? An Austin 7, the standard starting point for many a 17-year-old with a new unmolested licence as he sets forth on the relatively empty roads of the 1960's. Then I looked at the pace the Austin can go and the thought of driving one in modern traffic speeds, took that off the list.

What about having an old Morris Minor convertible, the same as I had given to me by my parents in recompense for relinquishing the use of my mother's car. She was getting fed up with always finding it nearly out of fuel. Well, I like the Minor Traveller and it is the car of the period but it doesn't have much "joy of life" about it.

I know, an Austin Healey 100. I had one for a while as a teenager; it cost me the princely sum of £150 and I did really love that car, but on apprentice wages its greedy consumption of petrol and oil meant that it had to be replaced by something sensible. But now I could afford to put petrol in one so I spent some time looking on the various sites that one uses nowadays. How much! I'm not spending £50k plus on a toy that will sit most of the time in the garage. The car of my youth had gone from being the undesirable early version of the model to being the most sought-after.

I'd liked the MGB and have strong memory of the first one I saw on the road, in Iris Blue and coming past me on my bike with its hood down in the evening summer sun. It looked stunning. I knew someone in one of the walking groups who has a couple of B's and C's so I spent quite a lot of time chatting to him, John, about the various models.

That made up my mind, I'll look for an MGB. I like both the Roadster and the GT so I'll keep an open mind as I look. But I'll narrow my search down a bit - not one with rubber bumpers and really not one in white. Off I go. Auctions, internet classic car sites, classic car dealers, eBay and the MGOC and MGCC classifieds. That should keep me busy for a while and did of course lead to many miles wasted looking at so described "immaculate" vehicles.

I became a regular visitor to Brightwells classic car auctions in Leominster finding the auctions one of the most useful sources. You had plenty of time to look at each vehicle without an owner breathing closely down your neck. Lots of MGs and other classics went under the hammer, but I was only looking for an MGB, so I let pass the absolutely pristine Jaguar XJS convertible for £6k. Well, we've all got stories like that, I suppose.

On the private-sale trail we drove down to Wiltshire to look at a Roadster in Black with chrome wire wheels. It looked lovely and drove beautifully and back at the owner's house we looked at all the paperwork that he'd laid out. A lot of history and he did, to his credit, point out that although it was a Roadster the chassis number and log book bore the reference of a GT. As it had elements of both Roadster and GT perhaps this was the car for me, but then, maybe not.

A viewing of a GT through the MGCC classifieds looked more promising. Not too far, only Oxford this time. Pulling up outside the owner's house things looked favourable. A good-looking GT on the driveway and also a lovely TD sitting in his open garage. Clearly an MG man. "Take it out for a run" he said to us, so we did. A dreadful noise from the gearbox on over-run ensured that the test run was curtailed. "It's not done that before" he said. Another trip to add to the experience of classic car hunting.

That summer we met up with some friends in the New Forest and incorporated a visit to Beaulieu Autojumble. Fields of every automotive component imaginable and some pitches for classic car sales. "Oh, look there are a couple of MGB's on that pitch, let's see them." A very suave gentleman was pleased to show us around them. He was proud to say that he'd now found a new side-line for himself, bringing in cars from the US and converting them to right hand drive, and at the same time he could also carry on with his main job of being a Consultant at a Bournemouth hospital. Importing British cars from America is not new, but it is not usually left to the medical profession to do it.

We were now approaching winter and a lull in the number of classics up for sale. In the following Spring, again chatting cars with my friend John on a walk he casually mentioned that he'd been talking to a woman at an unconnected event who, knowing his interest in MGs, had said that she was selling her MGB. He hadn't mentioned it to me as it was a rubber bumper model and he knew that wouldn't be of interest, which I confirmed was the case.

A couple of months passed and having not progressed my B search much I thought why not at least have a look at the car, especially as it was only 5 miles away in Leamington. That arranged, off I trotted to my viewing. The car had been moved out of its garage and now stood on the drive. It looked alright, rather grubby but certainly straight and looking very original. But it was white.

I took it out for a drive, all was good except for the non-operation of the overdrive switch, easily fixed. Back at the home of the lady owner she brought out all the paperwork relating to the car. And there was lots of it, right back from the original purchaser. All the MOT certificates, the service records and the repair invoices. Some years the car had travelled only the distance to the local garage and back for its MoT Test. The current owner was only the second and the first had been her boss's wife's. At this time it had done only 29k miles, evidenced by the MOT certificates, and was completely original. Right down to the 'deckchair' seats.

Now I was in a dilemma. Not the spec I had been looking for, but where could I go to find such an original, low mileage car which had never passed through the stage that most cars go through at about fifteen years old. That stage when an impoverished young person buys it but cannot afford to run it, and then the consequent mates' bodges and temporary repairs. No-one had put on go-faster stripes, upgraded the sound system, put in leather seats or a Les Leston steering wheel. There it was, just as it came out of Parkside Garage in Leamington on 18th August 1977 complete with its British Leyland Passport to Service booklet.

So, I gave it some thought and pondered the options and I started to look at the rubber bumper models in a different light; they have an attraction of their own. So that was it, decision made, purchase done and collection made bringing it the five miles home from Leamington, the area it had lived in for the preceding thirty-six years.

Now we moved out of the reliability of many years of successive new company cars into the pleasures and vagaries of classic car ownership, especially challenging with a car that had hardly been used for many years, but that is another story!

    

    

      'Our B' at Show Night, The Golden Cross                 MGOC Display - Silverstone Classic 2019

I have another story for the next Newsletter but nothing after that, so while you have time during this 'Lockdown' how about writing a few words and send to me with a few photos.

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

----------------------------------- 

Newsletter April 2020

Hello All

Sorry about the delay in sending out the April Newsletter but as I said in my email we have had a major problem with our main computer but don't worry it was not a virus! We were not able to access the 'log in' field on the start screen and had bubbles along the right hand side of the screen. A local repair man took it away and reinstalled all the drivers, then we had the bizarre situation that it worked in his house but when it came back to us it didn't. He took it back, did nothing to it and it worked perfectly, now it is back with us and so far all is well (touch wood). Consequently I will make this a short edition and save some of the information for next month's. I may well then do a short Newsletter each 2 weeks, so keep sending me your stories and features to add. Don't worry if I have not published your contribution, I will soon.


As you can see above, Graham has been busy with a 'Topical' cartoon (well it would have been if I could have sent this Newsletter out earlier), if this raises a smile for everyone we might be able to persude him to produce some more for future Months, what do you think?

Reports:

Other than the Zoom meeting for the April Club Night, which went better than expected with 16 participants, nothing to report this month.

 


Future Events:

Club Night - Tuesday 5th May: Using Zoom, here is the invitation:

Paul Dunster is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: May Club Night

Time: May 5, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/78735642521

Meeting ID: 787 3564 2521

I hope to see lots of you logging in it was a good bit of fun last month, however this time once we are all there I will mute everyone and you will all then be given a short time to let everyone know, 1, How you are, 2, What you have been doing with your MG, 3, What you are doing during the 'Lockdown'. Then if time permits we will go back to a free for all.

Stratford Races - Sunday 17th May: All races have been called off, so this event is CANCELLED.

Ragley Hall Classic Car & Transport Show - Sunday 24th May:

Still awaiting information from Gemini Events.

Bidford Wings & Wheels - 25th May: No details on the future of this event.

Weekend Away 2020 - Dorset - Friday 12th June to Monday 15th June: No further news from Newlands, we have not cancelled our booking (as we will lose our deposits but we have also not paid any further instalments. I think they are waiting to know if they will be prevented from opening and will then be in a better position to know how to deal with original bookings.

Churchill Vintage and Classic Car Show:

Has been postponed due to the Corona Virus. I have received this message from the organisers:

"Whilst I am sure this will not come as a surprise, we are nonetheless disappointed. Our committee team has been working on this for the past six months and we feel that postponing the event is our best option. We plan to hold this event next year instead (usually it is every two years). The new date for your diary is Sunday 13th June 2021."

Other Events:

I have not been updating the Events Calendar, until the 'Lockdown' has been lifted and we know what the future will bring I would treat everything as cancelled, however I has received some notifications of rescheduling of events. Lets wait and see if they will be able to take place.

Other Matters:

I mentioned that we have postponed the presentations of our 'Heritage Run' donations, however we have made bank transfers to the organisations concerned and we have received these messages of thanks:

DONATION OF £500.00 TO ALCESTER DEMENTIA DAY CARE FROM MG MOTOR CLUB

Firstly please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to thank you for the very generous donation from the Arden MG Motor Club. Due to a family bereavement I am only just now catching up with our Dementia Day Care work.
On behalf of the Trustees and staff at Alcester Day Care I would like to pass on our most sincere thanks to you, and all the Members of the Motor Club for your continued support and most gratefully received donation which was exceptionally generous. We are most appreciative of your support.
Our aim at Day Care as I'm sure Carole has already spoken to you about is to provide quality care for clients with Dementia, enabling them to experience a day away from home to safely enjoy group activities, interact with friends and staff they are familiar with and know they are safe being cared for by qualified staff. Just as important to us is to know that our clients carers, partners and family members can also take respite time for themselves, which would not normally always be possible.
As a Charity we rely entirely on donations together with monies which we raise through our charity events. Unfortunately, at the moment due to Covid19 we are unable to carry out events which we had planned and have had to put everything on hold. Without the donations we receive from people's kindness and local companies we would not be able to offer our much sought-after service at Day Care.
On behalf of the Trustees would you please accept our most sincere thanks and especially for supporting our Charity.

Carol Davies, Company Secretary & Treasurer for Alcester Day Care

Motor Neurone Disease Association

Thank you so much for your recent kind donation of £500.00 which was raised through an MG Meet. We are sincerely grateful for your generosity and support.

Your gift will help us to improve care and support for people with MND, their families and carers, across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It will also help us fund and promote research, and to campaign and raise awareness so the needs of those affected by the disease are addressed by wider society.

We are so determined to achieve our vision of a world free from MND and your support helps us to make a real difference. You can keep up to date with our work and stay involved with us by visiting our website www.mndassociation.org.

Thank you once again for being part of our fight for a world free from MND. Please let us know if we can help you in any way, we will always be delighted to hear from you. Simply call 01604 611860 or email fundraising@mndassociation.org.

Steph.

Shakespeare Hospice

On behalf of The Shakespeare Hospice, I just wanted to express our thanks and gratitude for the £500 donation received from the Arden MGClub.

Sharon Hanson, Fundraising & Income Processing Officer, The Shakespeare Hospice

The Coronavirus Situation in Germany

I received the following from David Rayner.

You may remember our friends, Christian & Stefanie from Germany (MGB GT). We often email, and as you know they come over once a year, but not this year, I briefly summarise below their last email:

"We have received an email from our friends, Christian & Stefanie who live in Freiburg South West Germany, who come to the UK each year, and have attended club meetings and runs when over here. This is their life under Covid 19. We are both fine. Here in SW Germany it's much the same as for you in the Cotswolds: We have fine weather (22°C today) and spring arrived with all the flowers and bloom (but without Blue Bells - we don't know them here), and with all the birds, especially with our storks on the clock tower of the village church (3 eggs by now!).

Stefanie does normal work at the office, but they take great care for social distancing there, doing much of the work via email, phone and video.

I had to move my workshop in March, unfortunately to a smaller location. Moving was a lot of work and hassle, trying to get a Ford Transit with hydraulic lever just before the beginning of corona war (as our french friends from the Perigord say - everything's fine there, btw), but after all I managed to move out in time. The old workshop will be scrapped for a new hall for Volvo lorries - sniff! But now I'm in the house with a list of work like yours (without garden). And I can do some work in the man's cave (is that the word?) for my business with the Alfa Romeo tools, and I brought the screws and small parts of my Triumph project car for cleaning, sorting out etc.

The life outside the house is ... hm ... somewhat funny: the children are at home since weeks (schools and universities are closed) with parents desperately trying to invent new games and new jobs to keep them busy (didn't see so much nicely washed and polished cars and so short cut grass for years). Driving with the cars is big fun (no traffic), no french or swiss cars because the frontiers are closed, you need a permit paper to cross the borders and we aren't allowed to go shopping in France (fortunately we stocked up wine and delis in time), pubs and restaurants are closed here in Germany and in France (not so funny), but in Germany most of the restaurants offer an order and pick up service to get some money - very difficult times for the landlords. In Freiburg there are no tourists and in the city all shops except the supermarkets, the groceries and the daily market are closed. In our village the supermarkets and the garden center are open (why the garden center, I wonder, when the little book store is closed?). The most curious thing perhaps: the blue sky has no white contrails! Didn't notice that until Stefanie said it. Very unusual, as we live "near" the airports of Frankfurt, Basel/Freiburg, Zürich, and under the sky roads Frankfurt-Lyon, Frankfurt-Italy and Zürich-Paris.

On the streets there is a limit of two persons to meet (with a distance of 2 metres) except with your partner and/or family living in the same appartment. If not living in the same appartment: distance. Groups of three or more persons are to be controlled by the police. No picnics, no parties. But the discipline is very good, everyone tries to overcome the western manners (no shaking hands, no bises)...

Shopping in the supermarket is quite normal today (two weeks ago they had a shortage of toilet paper and ravioli, but wines and spirits were plenty available - I can live with that). And the farmer's stores in the village are open, so wine and "obstler" are safe, as are apples, potatos and - since last week - asparagus. You have to keep your distance in the queue, but otherwise... The queue for the village post office reaches 10 metres outside the door, with only 4 people waiting. But the Post and DHL are doing a great job delivering letters and parcels in 1-2 days, as usual.

Social life is down. My student's fraternity is mothballed (semester of the university is postponed), as you will know from your wine fraternity. Vintage car club is the same thing - no meetings, no tours. Churches are closed.

But all of our friends are healthy, no covid infections as far as we know. So we observe the number of infections in the news and newspapers, we hope that the medics and the government don't loose control, we try to manage this new kind of life, but all this seems to be far away, unreal. So we hope that we, our family and our friends stay healthy and that we can return to a more normal life in May."

So it would appear their life is much the same as we are in the UK

What Have You Done With Your MG This Month:

Dusty has been busy, well just before the 'Lockdown'.

     

      The old MG GS                                                           The MG TF Under Wraps

Well to be frank - not a lot this month.

But just before Christmas I went over to Jay Bee Motors at Banbury to have a look at the new MG HS. Just a look you understand. I was struck by how things had moved on from my GS. The paint finish, the shut lines, the interior equipment, leather door cards and dash and those oh so comfortable leather seats. A half hour test drive and I found myself putting down a deposit.

I was due to go and see my daughter and family for a couple of months in the New Year so the GS was handed in as part exchange and the TF160 was waxed, polished and wrapped up in the garage for the winter. Hand over for the new HS was 1st March a couple of days after my return.

Now after enjoying 200 miles and finding out some of the overwhelming number of gadgets and gismos it sits on the drive and the TF is wrapped up once more in the garage awaiting the time when we can enjoy our MGs and can go further than the local shops for essential food, if the shelves aren't bare.

So what have I done this month, not a lot? - apart from polishing!

     

      The New MG HS                                                        New MG HS Interior, lots of nice leather.

Thanks Dusty, let's hope we can see your new MG 'In the Flesh' soon.

John Draper sent this message :

"Not being able to go out in it" is frustrating for us all. My MG was stored in Classic Car Hub over the winter. JWORX in Bourton collected it a couple of weeks ago for its pre-summer service and returned it to Hub, as I'd asked them to do, and there it is now stuck. Lets hope the situation improves soon."

Fred Bury has also been very busy:

You will be aware that Lech helped me fetch an MGTF from Hertfordshire last month. It is a 2004 nightfire red TF 115 Sunstorm (sports brakes etc). The car failed the MOT April 2019 with a number of issues, the worst of which was corrosion at the rear end of both sills, but It is a one owner vehicle which has had all the right mechanical things done including head gasket, SS coolant pipes, clutch and recent SS exhaust and CAT. There were a few scabby bits here and there as well as the sills and, as MGBs are getting so difficult/expensive to find I thought it would give me something to fiddle with during my spare time (didn't realize then how much of it I would have!)

My friend who normally does my welding broke his ankle the day we brought the car home (pretty inconsiderate I thought) so I wondered about trying my hand at it. Having spoken to a few club members at the next club meeting I bought a MIG welder on Richard Avery's recommendation and away I went - well kind of! After much practice and loads of help from Richard I finally managed to get things together, found my favoured gas, wire thickness, speed etc and set about repairing my sills.

Having now painted, cut and polished it looks very presentable! Having attended to the other items it passed an MOT last Wednesday and I'm now busy wax oiling servicing and fettling ready for a proper drive when restrictions lift.

So all in all an interesting experience. I hope I enjoy driving it when permitted but the six miles I've done so far leave me with mixed feelings. Although it goes very well considering it's only the 1600cc version I find the feel of the thing a bit cheap and nasty compared to a well sorted B! But time will tell and I've enjoyed the challenge and working on something alien to me.

Speaking of cheap plastic I have a problem that I wonder if an F/TF owner may be able to help me with; the rotary (plastic) heater fan switch has broken leaving part of the plastic switch on the shaft in the control unit and I can't get snipe nosed pliers to it through the hole in the metal panel. Does the switch just push fit? Any ideas anyone?

If anyone can help Fred, then drop me a message and I will put you in touch with him.

Mick & Marg Walker have not been doing anything with their MG but don't want to be forgotten:



Hi folks..we're still here. Thinking of you all and hoping you are behaving! We have finished spring cleaning , painting , tidying the garden...now for DIY hairdressing! Love you M& M xx

I'm happy to include similar messages in the next Newsletter

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

----------------------------------- 

Newsletter March 2020

Hello All

The main purpose of the Newsletter is to report on past Club events and to let you know what events are coming in the future, however we are living in very difficult times. I was going to say that "there are no events to report on, however Graham will be pleased to know the event season is just about to start"!!! How things have changed, with the current Government Guidelines it is very unlikely any Club Events will happen for the foreseeable future, so I'm not going to include any events after June and these listings will be mainly to advise on the current situation of the event.

Reports:

Nothing to report this month.

Future Events:

March Madness Run - Sunday 29th March:

Walton Hall are indecisive about cancelling our event, so we have decided to postpone the run/lunch until Sunday 19th July, assuming the World is back to normal by then. Trevor has not banked any of the cheques he has been given, so if you have booked there are 3 options: retain the payment for the July date, cheque returned to you or cheque to be shredded. Please let me or Trevor know which option you would choose.

Trevor: ardenmgclubevents3@gmail.com

Malvern Festival of Transport - Sunday 5th April: I have just heard that the Three Counties Showground have cancelled all events at their venue, so this event is CANCELLED. Classic Shows have stated that all bookings will be automatically transferred to the Malvern Festival of Transport in October.

Club Night - Tuesday 7th April:

I don't know if the 'Cross' is going to be open but given that the 'Guidance' is for no social gatherings or visits to pubs, there will effectively be no Club Night until the Guidance changes.

Asparagus Festival - Thursday 23rd April: Nigel has CANCELLED this event.

Drive-it-Day Run - Sunday 26th April:

The Stratford Golf Club have closed their catering to groups and events. This event is therefore now CANCELLED.

Alan will shred all cheques he has received unless you request a return. Please contact Alan before 9am on Monday 23rd March if you would like your cheque returned.

Alan and Liz on: alan.griffith@hotmail.co.uk or 01789 294776.

Stratford Races - Sunday 17th May: All races have been called off, so this event is CANCELLED.

Ragley Hall Classic Car & Transport Show - Sunday 24th May:

Still awaiting information from Gemini Events.

Bidford Wings & Wheels - 25th May: No details on the future of this event.

Weekend Away 2020 - Dorset - Friday 12th June to Monday 15th June: Newlands are awaiting guidance from the Government, which will determine if we postpone or they refund deposits.

Quiz-on-Wheelz - Wednesday 24th June: TBA

Other Events:

See the Events diary but please note I will not be able to keep track of every cancellation, so please check before attending any of these event.

Other Matters:

Donations: We will delay our presentations until the current crisis has diminished and we return to 'normal'.

What Have You Done With Your MG This Month:


Now for some good news, my windscreen is back in the car and Trevor has also been successful in fitting his to his Duratec 'B'. Trevor came to see me for a training session on how to fit the 'Frame to Body' seal, so I enlisted his help to slide the seal along the groove, I managed to get it 75% of the way but my arms were not long enough to finish the last bit. Having done that Lech has lent a hand to fit the screen back into the car. Lots of lubricant on the seal and pushing on the frame got it into position where the contortionist could locate the fixing screws. Trevor had advised me he used a 'G' clamp to hold the frame in place (see photo) and we found that a useful ploy as well. All I need now is some fine weather to give it a run round, at least we can drive around even if there are no events to attend.


Before finishing the screen I had replaced the gearbox mountings What a job, getting it out was relatively easy but trying to locate everything to refit was a challenge. I could see the mounting rubbers were deteriorating from the oil leaks but when I separated them there was supposed to be 2 'Grommets' on the vertical mounting but they just did not exist but you can't see them in normal circumstances. It didn't help that I didn't realise the crossmember mounting was not symmetrical, so of course I put it in wrong way round to start with, it was very helpful being able to study the parts on the sectioned (divorce model) MGB GT at the Museum!! Anyway after a day struggling underneath the car, it was all back together.


Graham has been having some fun taking his Midget apart (well removing the battery to charge it) but the best photo he sent me was of the part that 'Pinged out at him' requesting help as to where it might have come from. No prizes here, it is the bracket that holds the heater together.


Restoration of and Installation of a Ford 2l Duratec Engine into our MGB - Part 4.

SUCK SQUEEEZE BANG BLOW (or put another way the 4-stroke process for engines)

Although details about the engine performance are not that relevant to how everything was made to fit into an MGB, for completeness and because it did present a few problems along the way, I cover some points that could be interesting. I apologise in advance if I am oversimplifying this topic for those who have a good knowledge of engine specification.

The blueprint for this project was to have an MGB that had more usable power, comfortable cruising speed, reasonable fuel economy, handling like an MGB should, drivable in traffic and at low speeds and I suppose mostly, a good well-mannered all-round tourer. Time will tell if any of this has been achieved.

More power was already achieved by installing the Duratec engine. In standard form they produce 150 bhp with 136 lb ft of torque at 4500 rpm. We chose the figure of 210 bhp only because if you are going to risk a mental breakdown, make it worth it. Doubling the power output from 95bhp to over 200 bhp, just sort of appealed. Plus, I did have prior knowledge that this is doable without major internal engine changes, which always equals selling your sole to pay for it.

 

The Duratec engine is very tuneable and being all aluminium, the racing fraternity have taken it to their hearts so there are many cost-effective tuning parts readily available. There is no mystery to producing more power from any internal combustion engine, as they all rely upon an explosion to produce power. Now the bigger the explosion, more times per minute in a controlled way, will give oodles of extra power until of course it just explodes and about £20,000 worth of your hard-earned cash has just spread itself over four counties. In terms of performance 4-cylinder race engines, £20,000 is quite a modest figure. I must point out that for the power we have settled on, you do not have to spend anywhere near that figure. Angie would have me disappeared if I even thought about it.

So how do we get a bigger explosion? The explosion happens because a mixture of petrol and air is put into a tight space and in petrol engines, this is then ignited by a spark plug. Put simply the more petrol and air we can get into this tight space a bigger bang will be the result. Getting it in is only part of the story, you also need to get it out of this space very quickly so that you can get a fresh mixture in.

Suck, this is the method of getting the optimum mixture of petrol and air into the explosion chamber. A poor ratio of petrol/air will not give the biggest bang. The velocity of this mixture when being sucked in is also very important, get it wrong and the petrol can migrate to the outside of the inlet manifold, resulting in a weak mixture and pre-ignition. Have you ever noticed that on some cold damp mornings your car goes along a bit better? This is no accident, cold air is denser, so more gets sucked in for the same time frame. This is why that for turbo engines fitting an intercooler gives a good increase to power output.

Squeeze, Now that we have the petrol and air in our explosion chamber, if we squeeze it till it squeals it will burn hotter, bigger bang, happy days, or maybe not because if the mixture is poor it will just melt the top of the piston, which equals no power and a week in the doghouse. Compression ratio plays a big part in how much time you could spend in the doghouse. Standard Duratec compression ratio is 10.8:1, a good race engine compression ratio can be 12 or 13:1. (this means it squeals very loud)

Bang, this is the easy bit, or is it? The spark plugs through some electrical trickery produce a spark just at exactly the right time, to cause the explosion and push the piston down the bore, and via other bits, turn the rear wheels. The standard engine component modification options that are available to have the biggest bang possible without exploding the whole engine, is why when it comes to tuning engines for more power, money can disappear quicker than Tommy Coopers rabbit. (showing my age). Even with a standard MGB engine just having the correct mixture, good compression and the spark just at the perfect time, can pay dividends. You would be surprised how much power can be lost if any of these parameters are not spot on.

Blow, this is the bit that very often gets overlooked in engine tuning. Some people think the exhaust system is just a metal pipe to get exhaust gases from the engine to the back of the car. Oh no nothing as simple as that. We have just caused an explosion and we have left, lets call it smoke, in the combustion chamber. But that is no good because this is taking up space that within a nano second, we will want to fill with as much as possible of new fuel/air mixture, to give another big bang. (it's all about the bang) A well designed exhaust system should in addition to the piston pushing the smoke out, suck the smoke from the engine. This can be achieved in two ways, creating a vacuum (venturi effect) and producing a shock wave caused when the hot gases within the exhaust system escape to the atmosphere. The latter is the hardest to achieve. We have 4 pipes leaving the engine, but only one at a time is taking the exhaust gases to the back of the car. We can use the other 3 create a vacuum to suck the smoke out. On this engine 4 pipes into 2 pipes into 1 pipe works best for our needs. On some applications 4 pipes into 1 pipe would be best. The biggest enemy to a good blow, is back pressure. In this I mean any restrictions to stop the hot gases escaping as quickly as possible. Some back pressure is needed, but too much is detrimental in our search for power. For this reason, a straight through system is required, i.e. no baffles. I love exhaust systems, again having designed some from scratch, I could bore you just as much as my talk on suspension design.

But I will not do that here, and I have only written all the above (sorry there is so much) to tell you what our engine needed to produce our chosen figure of 210 bhp. To move from the standard 150bhp/136 lb ft of torque to 210 bhp and about 172 lb ft of torque we only needed to improve suck, bang and blow. Because I have had the engine fully rebuilt, I took the opportunity to have some lightening and balancing carried out. It will now rev to 7500/8000 rpm. As I have already mentioned race engines, a top 2 litre Duratec engine, normally aspirated can give 275 bhp with 190 lb ft of torque. After this figure you would need to fit a turbo to take it over 300 bhp.


Remember in part 2, I said that size was important when it comes to suck i.e. fuel/air mixture. Our needs required single point fuel injection via tapered throttle bodies (jenvey) ram pipes (trumpets) and a properly designed free flowing air filter/air box. All of this is called the inlet tract, and it needs to have enough length to allow correct velocity and for the petrol to mix with air, giving best mixture. A throttle position sensor is fitted, so that the ECU knows the position of the throttle body air flap.

The bang is a bit more involved. To give the best fuel/air mixture through the complete rev range and to make the explosion happen at the perfect time a programable Engine Control Unit (ECU) is required.

There are many on the market, but we have chosen an MBE 9A4 being their latest generation. This on its own has enough computing power to put an MGB on the moon. We only want it to do 2 things - always give best fuel/air mixture and always make the explosion happen exactly at the right time. It must do this for all temperatures and throughout the complete rev range.

So how does it do this I hear you ask. The answer is it must be taught on a rolling road (mapping). A rolling road is a device which will allow you to drive the car as if you are belting down the motorway, but you go nowhere. The rear wheels are dropped into rollers just like the brake test for your MOT. The difference here is that there is a known resistance at the rollers that can measure how much effort if being applied to turn them.

The ECU will only have 4 inputs from the engine -throttle position sensor, crank position sensor, temperature and rpm. Whilst on the rolling road a lambda sensor is fitted to the exhaust manifold. The lambda sensor is measuring how much oxygen is present in the exhaust gases. All modern cars have a lambda sensor to ensure strict emission limits are maintained to minimise the risk of poisonous gases reaching the atmosphere. On modern cars the lambda sensor is close looped to the ECU, constantly adjusting for best emissions and fuel economy. On our engine it will not be closed looped. It will only be used on the rolling road to monitor when we are getting the best controlled bang which equals power and hopefully reasonable fuel economy. This is very important because as stated earlier, a weak mixture, i.e. not enough petrol, will melt pistons.

The engine will be monitored and held at 500 rpm steps or less throughout the complete rev range to check fuel/air mixture and effort applied to the rollers. This is where the skill of the technician kicks in, he or she will give instructions to the ECU to make adjustments via the fuel injectors and spark position to give optimum power throughout the rev range. If you think of your MGB there is a vacuum pipe from the inlet manifold to the distributor, to advance the ignition and there are also "bog weights" to give a pre set "power curve" profile. These and changing the jets in carburettors were and still is used to give best bang when using carburettors. The rolling road will be the first time the engine will run because the ECU will have no data. A map will be provided at the rolling road, that will at least allow the engine to be started. Then like a new born, it will have to learn how to crawl, walk, run and then run very fast.

It will probably take a whole day to map our engine. We are not going for max bhp because we will use this car as a daily driver, so reasonable fuel economy would be nice. At the end of the mapping process, a printout of the results will be produced, this is where fact meets fiction.

Finally, the blow, for this part I called upon the experience of a Leeds company called Tony Law Exhausts to make the exhaust manifold. They made a great job of bending the four 11/2-inch pipes as close as possible all the same length, before becoming two pipes in the space that was available. The two pipes become one 2-inch pipe, and this is where the exhaust system starts. The exhaust manifold ends about halfway down the car, leaving not a lot of length to silence all the raw power we have generated. In Stratford upon Avon there is a company, that sell all the parts you need to make a bespoke exhaust system. My problem was, how do I fit a straight through system with enough silencer capacity to not sound like a boy racer, make it fit into the space available, and get past the fuel tank on a car with little ground clearance. I have managed to fit two expansion boxes/silencers as long and as big a diameter as I dare. I may have to raise the ground clearance a tad to clear speed humps. I think it may be a bit loud, but I hope a nice tuned sort of loud. Then again, I could be deaf the next time you see me.


Thanks Trevor and we know the windscreen has gone back on the car, what is in the next instalment?

Stay safe, stay well

Paul

----------------------------------- 

Newsletter February 2020

Reports:

Sorry Graham but no events to report this month, you will have to make up the Enjoying MG report as usual!!

A couple of things were different this evening, we started the Notices earlier, should we do the Notices at 8.15 every meeting? Please let me know what you think. Then there were some changes to the room, I tried to cover some of the hard surfaces in the room but I'm not sure this had any effect, however Matt has agreed to look into getting an accoustic survey done for the room, let's see if this gives us any assistance. The other change in the room was to move the booth benches back against the wall, most comments I had on the night were that this was an improvement for us, however so I have some definitive feedback to give Matt please let me know your views.

Future Events:

Club Night - Tuesday 3rd March:

Social gathering at the Golden Cross.

March Madness Run - Sunday 29th March:

Trevor & Angie have had a few problems with the venue for this run but we know it will start from the Golden Cross at the usual time of meeting at 11am to leave around 11.30. The lunch destination will still be in the Brailes area, so we should have some less travelled roads to experience. I will email the menu as soon as this has been finalised.

Club Night - Tuesday 7th April:

Social gathering at the Golden Cross.

Asparagus Festival - Thursday 23rd April:

 

This is the start of the Asparagus season and is celebrated at the Fleece Inn in Bretforton, several of us attended last year and it was great fun, so Nigel has offered to arrange this as a Club event. In order for the venue to cater for the Pork Baps Nigel needs to collect names, so please let him know if you you like to take part in the display and run.

Drive-it-Day Run - Sunday 26th April:

Drive-it Day is a national activity arranged by the FBHVC to encourage all classic car owners to take their vehicles out to show them off and maintain the historical past of the British motor industry.

 

This year we will once again be starting from the club base, The Golden Cross at Arden Grafton. The run will head East and finish at Stratford on Avon Golf Club, Tiddington Road, CV37 7BA, for Sunday Lunch.

The Golden Cross will open at 10.30am for coffee and baps, the run will start at 11.00am onwards.

 


The menu for lunch is as follows;

Starters

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Prawn and Avocado Tian

Creamy Mushrooms, Smoked Pancetta and Asparagus Pots Served with Crusty Bread

Main Course

Roast Rump of Beef & Yorkshire Pudding

Roast Loin of Pork with all trimmings & apple sauce

Fresh Salmon and Asparagus wrapped in filo pastry served with white wine sauce.

All served with a selection of seasonal vegetables and roast potatoes

Desserts

Selection of Desserts from the trolley

Followed by Coffee & Mints (Tea if preferred) - 2 or 3 course


The cost including gratuity will be; 3 course £18.50 and 2 course £16.00. Payment in advance please.

The Starters and Desserts will be served at the table, however the Roasts will be from the Carvery.


Please book for the run and lunch with Alan and Liz on:

alan.griffith@hotmail.co.uk or 01789 294776.


Club Night - Tuesday 5th May:

Social gathering at the Golden Cross.

Stratord Races - Sunday 17th May: Nigel has offered to organise another of his guided days at 'the Races'.

Ragley Hall Classic Car & Transport Show - Sunday 24th May:

 

Please book with Fred on tbury04@aol.com the Show organisers need the final booking before the May Club Night, so to be sure of getting an advance ticket the closing date will be the April Club Night (7th April). The cost per ticket is £4.00 but this is for your car plus 2 Adults (& 2 Children is anyone wants to take them!!). Fred is happy to accept the booking by email and payment on the Club Night. He will then arrange the display area for us. This is a local show we have not been to for many years, I think the last time was with the Heritage Run, so will be good to go again.

Bidford Wings & Wheels - 25th May: Bank Holiday Monday, David & Diane will be collecting names nearer the time.

Club Night - Tuesday 2nd June:

Social gathering at the Golden Cross.

Weekend Away 2020 - Dorset - Friday 12th June to Monday 15th June:

Nigel has advised me that one of the couples have unavoidably needed to cancel their place, so there is a Pool side apartment available with the deposit paid. If you are interested in taking this opportunity to join us, please contact Nigel as soon as possible ( stephannigel@btinternet.com ), no deposit required.

Quiz-on-Wheelz - Wednesday 24th June: More details later, Graham & Lech are working together again, so will be good fun.

Show Night - Club Night Tuesday 7th July: Our annual gathering to show off your cars.

BMC & Leyland Show - Sunday 12th July:

Badsey Flower Show - Saturday 25th July: Please note the change of date to that previously published.

The list for 'Possible Future Events' is still on the Club website, so if you would like to get involved and try running an event then let either me or Trevor (ardenmgclubevents3@gmail.com) know.

Other Events:

See the Events diary.

We have received the following invitations from other Clubs:

MGCC Midland Centre - As in previous years, the Midland Centre is working with the Midland Automobile Club (MAC) at Shelsley Walsh on their Classic Nostalgia weekend, which this year falls over the 20-21 June. The Midland Centre will only be present on Sunday 21st. The MAC has once again agreed to offer tickets to members of recognised car clubs at a discounted rate when purchased in advance, this year £15 per day if bought separately or £30 for a 2-day ticket. Camping is also available at a further £15 per night for Friday and/or Saturday. Tickets are now on sale through the MAC ticketing website -

https://www.classicnostalgia.co.uk/tickets

Please ensure that you enter the title 'MG Car Club' when prompted to do so during the purchasing process. This will help us and the MAC to identify who has bought tickets. If any of your group are already MAC members they may need to contact the MAC directly to obtain a vehicle pass - please check with them for details.

This year, as well as seeing a return of classic rally cars to the venue, the MAC will be hosting a special 'Made in Britain' display, and classic car clubs are invited to participate. The Midland Centre is presently involved in discussions with the MAC on how this will work for MGCC members, and further details will be circulated when available. In the meantime, please see general weekend details below by scrolling down this page.

MGCC Midland and SW Centres - are organising what is called a 'Naviscat' event on 3rd May this year. The location will be the Old Prison at Northleach, which is on the Fosse Way A429, near Cheltenham, post code GL54 3JH.

I have the details which I can forward to anyone who is interested to give this a try.

Churchill Show: Sunday 14th June. Most of us will be away on our Weekend away, however if you are not going to Dorset this may be of interest.

Coast to Coast: 7th to 9th August 2020. Morecambe to Sunderland via Penrith. I have full details which I can email to anyone who is interested in this weekend event or contact: norman@frenchblat.com. I have been advised that there are a few of the 60 places still available.

HARROGATE MG 2020/MGOC NORTHERN NATIONAL - Sunday 9 August 2020

Following a very successful show last year, we would, on behalf of the Chairman and Committee of Harrogate MG Club, like to invite you and your members to join us for the weekend (or just for the day) of the HARROGATE MG 2020 event.

We are returning to Pateley Bridge for our 35th show during the weekend of 8/9 August 2020 with show day being Sunday 9 August.

Don't forget there is a discounted entrance fee of £4.25 per person for prepaid entry tickets. You only need to purchase 5 or more tickets to qualify for this rate. Your members paying on the day will still have to pay the normal entrance feel of £5.00.

We are pleased to announce that there will be the usual evening of entertainment on Saturday night, following on from the BYO BBQ. Camping is available, on site, at £5 pppn, (payable on arrival) so why not make a weekend of it?

If anyone is interested in this event or woud like to organise an Arden MG Club stand please let me know and I can forweard further information.

Other Matters:

Donations: We are making progress with arranging presentations for the gifts we decided earlier in the year and Carol from the Alzheimer Cafe in Alcester will join us at a Club Night either March or April and the Fund Raiser for the MDNA will come to the start of the March Madness Run to accept our cheque and give us a short talk.

Route Books: I have still got a number of Rally Plates & Route Books from the last Heritage Run, if anybody would like one please let me know before I put them in the recycling.

What Have You Done With Your MG This Month:

Lech has not been out in his Midget (he doesn't use it over the winter) but as we have had such a mild winter he thought we might be interested to be reminded what real snow looks like. These were taken after attending the 'European MG Event of the Year' in Norway, above the Arctic Circle!! Despite the rain and wind I think I prefer the mild one.

    

David W has also been in touch and I went over to his unit to see what he is doing to prepare his MGB Roadster, in the light of last year's experience, for circuit racing, mainly with the Classic Sports Car Club events but also for his annual trip to Malta. Looks like there is still lots to do!!

 

Fred uses his MGs all year round and joined in the display for the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historic on the streets of Banbury. All the display cars got to parade through the start ramp and be showered with the steam jets.

 

I have made no further progress with refitting my windscreen, I damaged the seal so need to get a replacement, however I have still been busy, I purchased a full set of parts to fully refurbish the complete brake system (excluding the master cylinder which I put new seals in last year) from Midland Sports and Classic when they were having their 20th anniversary offers and I have just finished fitting all the parts just need to replace the rear hose and fill/bleed with brake fluid.

Whilst I had the front hub off, I also replaced the bearings, many thanks to Lex for the Xmas present.

   

Trevor has been putting pen to keyboard again, so we have the next instalment on the building of his Duratec MGB Roadster:

Restoration of and Installation of a Ford 2l Duratec Engine into our MGB - Part 3.

Sleepless Nights and Calculations

With many of the main mechanical design issues completed, it was time to consider the handling and engine management aspects of this project. This is not the first time I have been involved in a bespoke car build. For 25 years I was involved in motorsport, and during that time built 3 cars from scratch as well as making constant modifications to go faster than the next guy. I had to learn about suspension geometry, most of which is talking about points in space and weight transfer when you go around a corner.


The MGB has a solid rear axle connected to the chassis with leaf springs. Each wheel cannot act independently from the other. This set up does not lend itself to the finer points of suspension tuning and the roll centre height is fixed. The roll centre height is the centre of the differential unit. This means, if you can imagine it, that when you go around a corner the whole-body pivots about this point. Depending on the track, centre of gravity height, strength of the leaf springs weight distribution and shock absorber settings, a calculated figure for roll stiffness can be found. Of course, this is also true for the front wheels, they will also have a calculated roll stiffness, based on the same criteria as for the rear.

The front wheels are effectively a double wishbone independent set up. Now with this set up the world is your oyster when it comes to making changes. (or get it wrong and your world ends) The top wishbone is the lever arm shock absorber fitted as standard, the bottom wishbone is the spring pan. I wanted to fit an adjustable coil over shock absorber which would give me the biggest scope for tuning/balancing the front roll stiffness with the rear roll stiffness, plus with adjustable shock absorbers also fitted on the rear, I can adjust ride comfort. This all may sound rather daunting, but the law of physics dictates that the stiffest end of the car going through a corner will lose traction first. This means that either the front or rear tyres will have the greatest amount of weight transfer in a corner, the tyre becomes overloaded and says not today thank you, and you head for the scenery.


There are proprietary kits on the market - Hoyle, Frontline etc sold by most main MG spares outlets to convert from lever arm to coil over shock absorbers but these do not take into account the lightness of the Duratec engine, also, they are not as adjustable with regard to camber, caster, instantaneous centre and roll centre height plus other adjustments that I may require. To cover all my bases and with my knowledge of suspension geometry, I decided to design and manufacture my own fully adjustable set up. I do not have a dynamic software computer programme to show me the way (probably could not use one anyway) so it was good old pencil, paper and calculator. One of the hardest calculations was what strength of coil spring would be needed to keep the front of the car off the ground and give a good roll stiffness balance front to rear. I could find no information on this whatsoever, as all spring rates related to standard 4-cylinder MGB engines or the rover V8. Luckily this can be adjusted by changing the thickness of the anti-roll bar, if a complete cock up has been made. This will not help if the front springs are not even in the ballpark, but the anti-roll bar is a very good way of changing roll stiffness. Incidentally there is no anti roll bar on the rear suspension, as I believe there will be a bucket full of powered oversteer available. Powered oversteer puts a smile on your face.


The golden rule of suspension tuning is - only change one thing at a time and judge the effect. Well I have completely blown that one. Because of the vast difference in weight distribution, centre of gravity height and roll couple value, I have had to change many parameters to hopefully have a well-balanced handling car. Like all things in life - talk is easy the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Some other aspects of suspension design that I have not covered in this part will be covered later. I am sure you are all bored now with talk of suspension, so I will move on to SUCK SQUEEEZE BANG BLOW but this will be for next month.

If anything, I have mentioned about suspension geometry has whetted your appetite to know more, please just ask.

Job Vacancy

As you read this, I should have had the car back from the" make it look all shiny and new paint man" and be well on the way to having put all the bits back on (if I can find them). I am afraid that this will mean a part 5 as there are some interesting bits not yet covered.

I did have the "Stig" all lined up to give a full road report on the finished car. Some say if you pay him enough money, he will write whatever you want, he does not, so I had to sack him. This means there is now an open position for somebody to give an honest report on this car to see if we have come close to our original hopes.

So, do we know of anybody who has owned an MGB for a long time, has a feel for all things MG, is a pillar of society, honest and may have at some time owned other cars that shall we say handled better than your average saloon. Names on a post card please.


You will need to wait till next month when we will have Part 4 (this is becoming an epic).

Enjoy your MGs

Paul

----------------------------------- 

Newsletter January 2020

First of all can I wish you all a Very Happy & Healthy New Year to enjoy your MGs

I have received a number of comments that we should start the notices earlier in the evening, which I'm happy to do, so at future Club Nights I will stand up to give the notices around 8.15/8.30pm.

Reports:


Chilly Willy Run: This got the New Year off to a great start, this year we started and finished at the Golden Cross and a few folks took advantage of the bacon rolls before the run. The route was set out using only gritted roads but the weather was warm enough that we didn't need to, however there were some interesting roads for us to travel along. It would appear that one of the junctions changed from when we did the recce as it appeared different to the instruction but it was so close to the Cross I don't think anyone got lost!! It was great to see that two thirds of you took the day seriously and used your MG, my 'B' was indisposed but we did bring the 'New MG 124 Spider', maybe this is what the MGB should have become. There were 33 of sitting down to lunch and the staff at the Cross did their usual great job looking after us.


Club Night & AGM:

 

Very well attended for the January meeting with 54 signing the register for David. We quickly went through the AGM, Roger advised the that the Club had more than sufficient funds, which include a balance from the Heritage Run. David gave a rundown of the database with 96 now listed as a result of 9 new people, although only 62 were active in 2019. Alan expressed his thanks for all the support he had received over the years attending events and especially to his bank of willing helpers. Alan has stepped down from the role of Event Secretary and advised this was due to an impending house move out of the area (but not too far he will still come and see us), so Trevor has volunteered to step into this role, otherwise the existing officers were re-elected in the absence of any other volunteers. The minutes will be uploaded to the website.

 

After the AGM David announced the winners of the award for the 'Attendance at the Most Club Events' and the worthy winners were …..... Alan and Julia, well done, the get the bottle of Champers.

More of Norman's photos in this link: http://normanlarge.com/ArdenAGMJan20/

Future Events:

Club Night - Tuesday 4th February:

Social gathering at the Golden Cross.

Club Night - Tuesday 3rd March:

Social gathering at the Golden Cross.

March Madness Run - Sunday 29th March:

Trevor & Angie have a venue planned for this event.

Club Night - Tuesday 7th April:

Social gathering at the Golden Cross.

Asparagus Festival - Thursday 23rd April:


This is the start of the Asparagus season and is celebrated at the Fleece Inn in Bretforton, several of us attended last year and it was great fun, so Nigel has offered to arrange this as a Club event.

Drive-it-Day Run - Sunday 26th April:

Alan & Liz have planned a venue for this annual run.

Club Night - Tuesday 5th May:

Social gathering at the Golden Cross.

Ragley Hall Classic Car & Transport Show: Date to be confirmed but usually the end of May, Fred is organising our display.

Bidford Wings & Wheels - 25th May: Bank Holiday Monday, David & Diane will be collecting names nearer the time.

Club Night - Tuesday 2nd June:

Social gathering at the Golden Cross.

Weekend Away 2020 - Dorset - Friday 12th June to Monday 15th June:

41 people are booked for this year's weekend away, details of the event are on the website, please talk to Nigel if you would like to join in the fun.

Quiz-on-Wheelz - Wednesday 24th June: More details later, Graham & Lech are working together again, so will be good fun.

Show Night - Club Night Tuesday 7th July: Our annual gathering to show off your cars.

BMC & Leyland Show - Sunday 12th July:

Badsey Flower Show - Saturday 25th July: Please note the change of date to that previously published.

Other Events:

See the Events diary.

Other Matters:

After sending out the last Newsletter I had reason to try and contact Alan & Hazel Carter, you may remember a previous Newsletter article from Alan in the 'My MGs' stories, Hazel replied with this sad news.

Terribly sorry to say Alan did not make it this far.

Forgive me for not letting you know - it's been very distressing losing him to such a cruel condition.

In his honour I am writing a book about his life and all the things we did to stay positive during the 18 months he had Motor Neurone Disease. He died peacefully with me and his best friend by his side on 5th June. He was cared for at home after he gave up work in December 2017, until the last 2 months of his life when he was in Marie Curie hospice.

I am happy for you to pass this note on to the members with my contact details.

Finally, Alan sold his beloved MG in the summer of 2018 as by then he had lost the use of his arms and legs. Half the sale proceeds were donated to the charity that supported us, MND Association.

 

Alan will of course be remembered within the Club as the person who named our 'Quiz-on-Wheelz, I have asked Hazel to let me know when her book has been published, I for one will be very interested to read about their 'journey'.

Donations: In Roger's report for the AGM he stated there are still some funds left from the Heritage Run and the 'Run' committee have decided to make donations to the Shakespeare Hospice, Alcester Alzheimer Cafe (both organisations we have supported in the past) and Motor Neurone Disease Association. The last of which is in memory of Alan Carter. There will be £500 for each of them. It was discussed that the funds the Club holds are more than required for our normal needs and it was suggested we make a further donation to The Air Ambulance.

Club Clothing: Due to an omission on my part, we need to place another order for the Club Clothing, so if anyone would like to purchase any of the items please let me know and we can spread the carriage cost between more people. Please let me know before the end of January.

Club Equipment: In the last Newsletter I mentioned the 'protection' bags for the Flag Pole & Banner, I have now gone one further and purchased a large bag (intended for a Xmas Tree) to carry them around. If you are using the Club Equipment at an event please treat it with care and use the covers.

Proposed Event List: Please look at this list (it is on the website, not far down the list) and remember that it is not exhaustive and any new event CAN BE ADDED, for instance it has been suggested we have a Dinner Dance at Xmas so I have added this to the list it just needs someone to volunteer to organise it.

Another suggestion I have received is to try using a different venue when we have a special evening on a Club Night (a Guest Speaker for instance) where another room may be more suitable. Great, all we need is the idea and someone to arrange it, please let me know and we can add it to the calendar.

As you can see in the minutes of the AGM, Trevor has been elected as the new Events Secretary and he has agreed to take over the coordination of the 'Events List', so please direct your offers to volunteer for events to him ( ardenmgclubevents3@gmail.com )or of course I can forward and message.

Route Books: I have been having a clear out and found a number of Rally Plates & Route Books from the last Heritage Run, if anybody would like one please let me know before I put them in the recycling.

Links to Norman's Photos:

As you may have realised by now Norman has become our 'official' photographer and his selection of shots goes back some time, he uploads these photos to his own website and the full selection can be seen (I only publish a small number of those he takes), so if anyone would like to view the back catalogue follow any of these links:

2020

http://normanlarge.com/ArdenMGCWRJan20/

http://normanlarge.com/ArdenAGMJan20/

2019

http://normanlarge.com/ArdenMGCCWRunJan19/

http://normanlarge.com/Patrick/

http://normanlarge.com/MarchMadness/

http://normanlarge.com/ArdenMalvernA19/

http://normanlarge.com/DriveIt19/

http://normanlarge.com/ArdenMGJune19/

http://normanlarge.com/AMGCShowNight19/

http://normanlarge.com/ArdenMGQonW19/

http://normanlarge.com/ArdenMGCBroughton/

http://normanlarge.com/AMGCSkittles/

http://normanlarge.com/ArdenMGNov19/

http://normanlarge.com/ArdenMGCWRJan20/

2018

http://normanlarge.com / Plum2018

http://normanlarge.com / Arden30

http://normanlarge.com / Show18

http://normanlarge.com / AMGCWW

http://normanlarge.com / AMGCRaces2018

http://normanlarge.com / 25Heritage

http://normanlarge.com / DriveIt

http://normanlarge.com / MalvernMG18

2017 Heritage Run:

http://normanlarge.com/HeritageRun17/

Click on the link, then click on any photo to view a larger image and scroll through them. A copy can be downloaded but if anyone would like a hi resolution copy Norman would be happy to send it to you, just note the event link and the photo number and ask him or myself.

What Have You Done With Your MG This Month:


For those who thought having no windscreen in my 'B' was a poor excuse for not bringing it on the Chilly Willy Run, here is a photo of it looking very forlorn in the garage.

Enjoy your MGs

Paul