|Oily Hand's Life with MGs||
Just arrived this weekend, new rear wheel bearing carriers. As my garage is too narrow to pull the halfshafts inside, I'm hoping for some decent weather to work outside soon.
There it was.
Loaded up on its way to pastures new
To be honest, when I bought this car, I didn't expect to have it this long. It was bought as a cheap winter driver and was a bit rough. It lived outside all year round and for a few years was my daily driver. I thought I'd probably have it for about five years.
Over the years it's had quite a bit of work done, just to keep it half decent and roadworthy and it just kept on going.
Recently it's had little use and it needs more work than I want to do on it so it is time for it to go.
There are many happy memories with this old bus. Many great trips to Scotland; blasting down the A1 to buy the alloy wheels, having them fitted and blasting back again; a tour in the Midlands with the MGB Register; and many more. Our touring holidays were usually 1000+ miles and mostly trouble free.
I'm sad to see it go.
After ten, mostly enjoyable years and thousands of mainly trouble free miles, it's time for the GT to have a new owner, We've had a blast with this car and will be sad to see it go, but life changes and it wasn't getting used as much as it should. It also has some issues that I'm not in a position to sort out so rather than let it rot on the drive, it's for sale on Ebay.
If you know anybody who may be interested please let them know, thanks.
We took Numbum to Preston Park to meet Nick Georgiou, a super professional photographer, for him to work his magic. The results are stunning. I have no association with Nick other than a very satisfied customer. I cannot recommend him highly enough and if you are looking for a shoot, he is the man to go to. Excellent work and very good value too. Here is a selction of the many he took.
The man behind the lens after a quick blast round the car park.
The whole album can be seen here
We booked a photoshoot for ourselves and Numbum with Nick Georgiou, the brilliant guy who did our daughter's wedding and provided hundreds of superb photos.
Suitably attired we headed to Preston Park and spent a very enjoyable time while Nick worked his magic with the camera.
This is the taster shot he sent us and we think it's wonderful. The rest will follow as soon as he can get them done, but he's a busy guy and we're happy to wait.
Nick also has a Facebook page.
Once again we decided to make a weekend of our trip to Lancashire to take part in this excellent run organised by the 2300 Club. Our chariot of choice was the MG3.
With a start time of 10.17 we didn't have to be up too early to get to the start to meet up with friends from Durham Auto Club, Pam & Roger Broom, Stuart Anderson and Chris Thirling with plenty of time for chatter and the much needed cuppa & bacon bun.
Paddy Hopkirk was the star guest and he was flagging the cars off at the start. We had a brief chat about the MG3 on the start line but unfortunately I lost the video.
There was an eclectic mix of cars from the exotic to the mundane. The stars of the show were the two minis that Paddy drove back in the day, 6 EMO and 33 EJB
We were away on time and had a great drive over some lovely roads and hit our times at the checkpoints, Phew! We didn't kill each other either.
Thanks to Pam for the photos.
We made the lunch halt without trouble and enjoyed the break and food before setting off again for the afternoon section.
This didn't go so well as a couple of wrong turns had us pushing hard to keep in time. One wrong turn took us miles out of our way and we had to backtrack, but we couldn't remember exactly which way we had come. We turned into one country lane and found a checkpoint. It was the one we wanted but we had no idea how we got there.
With these problems our mileages were all over the place and Pam was kept quite busy calculating mileages and times as well as keeping me on the right road. Thankfully she's good at it and did well.
We finally made it to the end in time and took part in the optional challenge which involved me wearing a blindfold and Pam directing me. This involved a bit of shouting as can be heard on the video.
After this it was back to the start venue where a hot meal awaited and very good it was too.
Paddy was signing autographs so we got our route book signed.
This isn't a competitive event but all those who had a clean sheet were entered into a draw for two bottles of bubbly. The 2300 Club have a system where if the crew selected isn't there another is drawn until there is a crew there to receive the award. We won on the third draw. Paddy presented us with the bottles.
As neither of us drink much we asked Paddy to sign the bottles and we gave them to Durham Auto Club for the next time they are raising funds for The Great North Air Ambulance. Paddy, a true gent, signed the bottles.
Awards over it was time for the talk and Paddy entertained us with his humourous tales of his life.
Now for the rant.
Only one thing that we didn't like about the day was the queues of cars at the checkpoints. That's fine if they are all on time, but many times they were early and just parked up waiting for their time. This created problems for anybody who was pushed for time as nobody knew who was early and could end up waiting and losing time before realising the situation. Also on narrow roads getting past was sometimes a problem.
To my mind the whole aim of the event is to regulate your speed on the route to arrive at a checkpoint on time, not to just drive and block up the road because you are early. That is just lazy.
It made me think of the twelve car rallies we used to do in the 70s. If you got your times wrong and approached a checkpoint early, your only option was to slow to a crawl and hope to lose enough time. If you stopped within sight of the checkpoint the marshals would give you the time you stopped, not the time you reached the checkpoint so there was no advantage to stopping short early.
Despite this we had a great day and huge thanks go to all who worked so hard planning the event and those stalwarts manning the checkpoints on the day.
We said our thank yous and goodbyes and headed off to our hotel and a comfy bed after a long but very enjoyable day.
By the time we got home we'd done 357 enjoyable miles.
This great event just keeps getting better and better and huge thanks must go to all who worked so hard both through the year and on the day. It's lot of work and we really appreciate it.
There was a change this year which improved things a lot. The holding area was enlarged and classes called earlier so that those going out didn't get in the way of those coming back in. This went fairly well considering that trying to get people where they should be is a bit like herding cats.
When we set out in old Numbum it was fairly cold and despite wearing more skins than an onion we were very cold when we arrived. A cup of coffee helped before we ambled around to get some photos and video. Thanks to Pam for the photos.
Numbum has been suffering from an intermittent misfire problem for a while now and each time I think I've sorted it it comes back again. On the run to Saltburn the old gal was running really well but later in the day the misfire returned.
It got warmer as the day progressed and we ended up doing the runs without our coats. With the improved arrangements we got two runs in in the morning. The hour lunch break was abandoned so after our second run we dashed off for the obligatory fish & chips which were excellent as usual.
Our third run was soon after finishing eating and I'm sure we were slower with the extra weight.
There wasn't time for all to have a fourth run but there was a chance but we had to be quick because the road had to be opened again at 4pm. We just made it and had another reasonably good run which was only marred by Numbum dropping out of second gear. That's a first and something else to investigate.
The entry was 116 this year and the organisers think it was too many. There will be a limit next year.
On the video front I decided to try something different and find a couple of volunteers to talk about their vehicles. I found two which were great but I'm not sure about the audio. The background noise was drowning them a little and my camera doesn't have provision for an external microphone. What do you think?
All in all, a great day despite the misfire which reared its ugly head again on the way home.
With our interest in railways growing I decided to start a new blog to chronicle our visits to various railways both large & small. I don't know how busy the page will be as it depends on how often we can get away to visit. If you like heritage or small guage railways there may be something of interest. See the link in the header.
We were pleased to be asked to do the official photos & video for this show and we set off in the MG3 across the A66 to Dalemain House near Penrith. The sun was shining when we set off but as we crossed the Pennines we ran into rain which wasn't too good.
The rain didn't let up and we arrived to a wet showground. Despite the rain there were plenty of cars there.
The rain was a problem for us trying to keep our cameras dry but we managed to a degree. These photos by Pam.
There was an autotest running though the day and it got more interesting as the ground got muddier.
The judging system is quite good. Each class judges itself and the winners of the classes go to the arena where they judge the overall winner. It works well.
The rain was still coming down after lunch so the organisers brought things forward and the judging took place earlier than planned so we had an early finish. This was welcome as we were boath well soaked
This is a massive show with cars & bikes from all eras and some interesting motorsport cars. It takes around 80 marshals to manage it and they did a brilliant job in less than ideal conditions. It's probably the best organisation of any show we've been to.
Once again we took Numbum to join Middlesbrough & District Motor Club on their stand.
Most of the people there were welcoming as we were in a car, not on a bike, but a few were not. Comments like " What's that car doing there" and "Why don't you park it over there with the other cars". One man in particular was more obnoxious than the rest and the fact that we were members of the club, and there with the agreement of the organisers didn't seem to make any difference to him.
We had an early track parade which was good as it gave us the rest of the day free, but not so good as there were few spectators there so early.
The classic racing bikes track parade followed ours so I stopped to take some video before returning to the stand.
When we got back to the stand our previous spot was taken by bikes and discussion suggested that they weren't going to be moved any time soon so we were stuck with nowhere to go. The great guys from the Croft Classic & Sports Car Club came to our rescue and moved one of their cars to make some space for us. Thanks guys!
Once that was sorted it was time for refreshments before heading off for another wander. Thanks again to Pam for some of these pictures.
We spent some time on the banking watching the races but sadly the races we like had much smaller entries than previous years and were not very exciting.
Once again we met friends old & new and had some good craic.
The atmosphere was subtly different from previous years and it took us some time to figure out what it was. The "nostalgia" element wasn't there. Fewer military displays, 30s/40s re-encators were missing. The music was from much later years. Croft had grown better and better over the years and was deemed by many to be the Goodwood Revival of the north. All gone in a flash. We spoke to one stall holder who caters to the re- enactors and he said it was the worst year for trade in all the time he had been coming to Croft. "It was hardly worth the effort" he said.
The pre event publicity was pushing the 60s & 70s with no mention of the earlier years. This must have felt like a slap in the face to all those who had played a major part in the event in previous years and it's no wonder that they weren't there this year.
The usual best dressed competition was held again today and I wasn't dressed for it.
Despite that just after I'd sat down about half past two I was approached by a young lady inviting me to be judged again. Judging was at three so it was a quick gulp of coffee and off to the marquee. I didn't win this time. I came joint second with all the others who didn't win.
Soon it was time to head for home after an OK weekend. It cerainly wasn't as good as previous years.
Hi, I'm Owen and I've been having fun with MGs since 1970, starting with my 1937 MGTA. Since then I've had three Y types and a couple of Z Magnettes. I now have a 1971 MGB GT along with the TA and my wife and I are still having fun