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Review 2013


Chiltern Run
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Alan's MGB in an Icelandic Desert
Model :-   MGB GT

Registration No. :-  KJO 333W

Year of registration :- 1980

Owner/Driver :-  Alan Cumming (over 25 but not tax exempt!!)

The car has been owned since 1993, purchased with just 29,000 miles on the clock and came with a complete set of maintenance records, MOT certificates and sales documentation.  The previous owner was the first.  It was completely standard and had been Ziebarted (wax oiled to you) from new.  All panels were original.

When I went looking for an MG, I knew it was to be my only means of transport and therefore I went for a late model that had not been ‘improved’ by its previous owners - that I would do that myself.  I am a Structural Engineer and require reliable transport to get me to and from work and to carry out site inspections country wide. Therefore the intentions were to make subtle changes to improve performance to keep up with modern traffic, comfort and safety.

The car now has the benefit of a bespoke engine built 87,000 mile ago by Doug Smith of MG Motor Sport (01442 832029) complete with Weber carburettor, 123 electronic ignition and 50mm diameter big bore Peco exhaust. This set up provides 100bhp at the back wheels whilst still being pleasant to drive in traffic even if it only does 19 miles to the gallon.  In the safety department it has lowered and poly bushed suspension, a 20mm diameter anti roll bar on the front suspension, V8 wishbone bushes and fast road brake pads.  Creature comforts are provided for by a set of MGOC black leather club seats.

In this guise the car served as daily transport until July 1999 with a daily return trip from Hemel Hempstead to Central London to work and then anywhere else site visits took me.

It has taken Sharon, my MG widow, and me on many day trips to France, extending into Holland and Belgium on the same day, a 24 hour round trip to Edinburgh and eight annual trips to Le Mans.  In September 2002 and 2006 two 10 day tours of Northern Spain were added to its foreign travels.  Further trips include MGOC Travel’s Norwegian tours in 2004 and 2008, Corsica in 2005 adventures, a 3,500 mile tour of Iceland in 2007 and a 2,500 mile tour of Austria.  This year, 2013 we added a 3,700 mile return trip to Norway’s Nord Cape, several hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle.  

The car now has just over 200,000 miles under its belt. It was retired from daily use in July 1999 when a firms Peugeot 306 Turbo diesel was made available (currently replaced by a Seat Leon Tdi FR 550).  It was restored into its current condition in March 2000 by Autobody Services (01993 845819 - ask for Nigel Neiland) in Carterton, lives in a heated garage and only comes out when its not raining, well not too hard anyway!!

Latest upgrade has been the installation of a 5 speed Ford 9 gearbox supplied by Hi Gear Engineering Ltd (01332 514503 - speak to Peter Gamble) and this year Front Line’s Evolution 3 front suspension.

Alan Cumming
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