Arden MG Club Monthly News. Previous months newsletters can be found in the Newsletter Pages.

Newsletter February 2020


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;


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


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: 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 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 ( ), 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 ( 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 -

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: I have been advised that there are a few of the 60 places still available.


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