President’s Report

March 2021

Around the bend – the ravings of your President.

It is my pleasure to announce that we are having our first club night in 12 months. Unfortunately under the current regulations we will have to tone down any singing or dancing. We will however be able to gather, share some tales of what we’ve been up to in our sheds, have a drink with mates and watch a few motoring films on the big screen

If you want some supper, the bad news is that at the moment it will be BYO. The good news is you won’t have to share. The bar will be open and tea and coffee will be available. If you want to attend, please let a committee member know as we need to restrict numbers. There will be a NSW State Government covid QR code to sign in and hand sanitizer.

Despite the restrictions, I think it will be good to see one another again.

With talk about MG values ongoing, there is a K3 with impeccable pedigree with a tag around a healthy $1 million. I don’t know if that is US$, UK£ or what currency. On the more normal side, I was looking at the price of Midgets. Two ‘68s for $48,000 and $35,000, a ‘70 @ $22,500, a ‘64 @ $20,950. That is more than MGBs. It is scary and pleasing at the same time I suppose. It is nice to know our indulgences are finally going up in price. It seemed that MGs were the forgotten classics.

My race Midget is fresh from another engine rebuild to fix a nagging and more than standard oil leak. In doing this build, I’ve again discovered that it is still possible to find shoddy tradespeople. I got a new block a year or so back and the person I bought it from insisted that he’d get the machining work done. Two extra head stud holes and two extra centre main bearing cap bolt holes were needed. I said that I had a place I trusted but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. I should have twigged when he wouldn’t tell me who was doing it.

I quickly learnt that a child sitting on the garage floor with a hand drill did the head stud holes... at least that is the standard of their work whoever they are. (I have suspicions). When I tried to put the head on

a) you couldn’t even get the gasket on and

b) when you tightened the studs it lifted the head. They were both miles off square.

Now this new oil seal I’ve just fitted is a beautiful piece of engineering work and came with all new bearing caps requiring a line bore. When APM tried to do up the centre main cap, they found they couldn’t because the extra two bolt holes weren’t square. It was 4 for 4. It’s hard to believe that such incompetence still exists. I could have done a better job in my shed and I’m not an engineer’s armpit. APM managed to get around the problem and everything was eventually done.

With the help of mates, the engine was put back together. ‘Mr Impatience’ put a lick of paint on it on the Sunday morning and had it bolted back in the car and half the ancillaries on by the same afternoon. It’ll dry in place. It is now running again and since there is a week of lead time with the magazine, hopefully all dry underneath (and the paint). The big test will come in a few weeks at the HSRCA Autumn Festival at Wakefield Park. Matt Blanch is joining me on the track with the usual three Blanch generations. Matt will be at one end, I’ll be at the other. This will be my last event to get my full circuit race licence so I just want to finish with a clean slate. I’m keeping everything crossed that we get a dry track this time.

The power of our magazine! I mentioned last month that I’m chasing an early 70’s Midget/ MGB steering wheel for Bev’s Midget. Within a few days of the magazine being published, I had a call from a member of another MGCC that had a steering wheel for sale. Unfortunately the wheel he had was from an earlier car with a smaller diameter column. I’m still looking.

It was very sad to hear of the passing of Ron Taylor. Ron was in the business of restoring MGs and his work was breathtaking. His knowledge of older MGs was encyclopaedic. There are very few that could consistently produce MGs of this quality. Ron will be greatly missed.

I look forward to seeing you all again soon. Stay safe and enjoy the autumn months (if it stops raining).

Steve

See you soon, Jonesy.