Run by Greg MacLeman
Owned since July 2013
Total mileage 60,699
Miles since March 2016 report 658
Latest costs £460
BEETLE GETS TO CHURCH ON TIME
My previous report highlighted a problem with the MG’s suspension, one that I had been ignoring ever since I bought the car. Crossing Lincolnshire’s bumpy roads had the front end bouncing all over the place, while the offside dipped alarmingly during hard cornering – not really confidence inspiring. It was my mother who proved the final straw. I can’t remember exactly what she said after our trip to the shops, but she looked a bit like Will Smith’s finger-wagging mum in the opening sequence of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and had turned a queasy shade of Tundra.
My first stop was the MG Car Club, of which I’d recently become a member thanks to a Christmas present from my old man – a fellow MG nut who sparked my interest in these cars a number of years ago.
I ordered a pair of reconditioned dampers, which were uprated in firmness by 25%, and a set of sporty front springs that would also lower the car by around an inch. The package was completed by Super- Pro: the firm’s sales manager, Nick Beal, generously offered a set of polyurethane bushes after hearing about my refurbishment plans.
Fitting them was not beyond my abilities, but time was running short to get the car ready for my wedding, so I dropped it off at Tomblins Garage in Pinchbeck. It has looked after my family’s vehicles for years and the chaps were happy to stick the B in the back of the workshop and work on it when they had the time. I could not have been happier with the result. The MG has gone from loose and rattly – and at times downright scary – to sure-footed and comfortable. I didn’t realise just how much road chatter, vibrations and crashes were being transmitted straight to the steering column.
Unfortunately – if not predictably – the suspension woes weren’t the only thing that needed seeing to before the MG took up its weddingcar duties. The mysterious clutch problem that has haunted the BGT for the past couple of years was also a concern. Having exhausted my own talents, and the patience of the rest of the C&SC team, I took the car to MG specialist Beech Hill Garage to get its expert advice.
It had been on the ramps for only a few minutes before the suspected culprit was tracked down: a worn clevis pin from the master cylinder assembly. The entire unit was quickly replaced and the drive back to Twickenham an utter joy until – just 20 yards from my front door – the lever once again snatched when disengaging gear and refused to budge from neutral.
I reluctantly accepted that such an unreliable vehicle wasn’t the best mode of transport for the most important day of my life, so issued an all-points-bulletin for wheels.
My prayers were answered by the lovely Lindsey Dipple from Jaguar Land Rover, who had just the thing for the job. Like the B, it was a twodoor coupé in British Racing Green: an F-type V6S. Had I been in the MG, I probably wouldn’t have made it to the church on time! The Jaguar wasn’t the only interesting vehicle involved in the big day, of course. My old friend Matt George offered his ’68 Volkswagen Beetle – a genuine Hermosa Beach car – to ferry my fiancée around, while his Triumph 2000 had lots of room for the rest of the bridal party.
As fantastic as the F-type was, it was great to have the old cars around – especially ones that I’ve had so much history with. The drive from Stamford Methodist Church to The George Hotel was hugely memorable thanks to the Beetle. It was my first drive of the VW, while the 2000 is set to carry us on this year’s Club Triumph Round Britain Reliability Run. Clutch problems aside, I’ve never been more excited about a summer of classic motoring.
Beech Hill Garage: www.beechhillgarage.com
Jaguar LR: www.jaguar.co.uk
Amy Shore: www.amyshorephotography.com
Clockwise, from main: even the Beetle’s smiling; F-type dwarfs BGT; Laura’s transport; fitting new master; sitting pretty on fresh dampers; weepy old ones. Inset: poly bushes.