Slow Car Fast
April 11, 2008 - Meet the newest member of the fleet - a 1972 MGB GT.
This little car is for Janel. At a track day in Pueblo a month or two ago, I had to chance to meet Curtis Jacobson and his V8 MGB GT. I'd already been thinking about GTs, and having all day to look at his car didn't do me any favors. More importantly, Janel fell in love with the look and the sound of the little critter. She started to badger me for a "fun car". Something small and cute with a big noise under the hood.
The car's also going to save me a lot of money, because she's a fan of the Porsche 911. The shape of the MGB's headlights and hood seem to hit the same chord, so now we have a 911 substitute. Sort of.
entry 1 - tags: intro
April 11, 2008 - The car was found on eBay.
It's a "blue plate" car from California, meaning that it's always lived in that warm, dry climate. It's avoided the biggest curse of the Little British Car (LBC) almost completely. No rust! That's a big plus. The fact that the car is black is also a plus.
So, time to get to know the car. The paint isn't perfect, with a big burn on the roof and little nicks and cracks elsewhere. But overall, it looks pretty good. The biggest problem is with the brakes. They have a hydraulic leak somewhere.
The plan for this car is to sort out its various problems and run it as-is until after the Targa Newfoundland. Then, take it off the road for a while and stick a Ford 302 under the hood.
entry 2 - tags: intro
April 11, 2008 - Like any 36-year-old British sports car, it's seen some modifications over the years.
The repaints and the questionable wheels are just the beginning. Underneath, there's a set of telescoping shocks in the rear as well as a long pair of shackles. The broken exhaust system doesn't really count as a user modification, though.
entry 3 - tags: intro
April 11, 2008 - Discovery time.
Shortly after the car arrived, I was swarming over it (if it's possible for a single individual to swarm) and exploring. There are lots of little problems to deal with, as expected with an LBC. The right rear running lights appear to be stuck on. There's a mysterious battery drain which is probably directly related. The right turn indicators don't work. There are random loose wires under the dash and underhood.
The good news is that with the car idling (a little fast, probably due to the higher altitude), nothing dripped on to the driveway!
entry 4 - tags: intro
April 11, 2008 - Not only are the wheels cosmetically challenging, they're also the wrong offset.
The tires and the inside of the fender lips were not getting along, and the steel was winning the battle. New wheels and tires are on the way soon.
entry 6 - tags: intro, suspension
April 11, 2008 - The car's fitted with air conditioning, which I believe was a relatively unusual option.
It's not working right now but it's worth rescuing.
entry 8 - tags: intro
April 11, 2008 - The biggest problem is this.
A Viper alarm system. I hate car alarms. They're designed to make cars not work. And some cars - especially LBCs - don't need help. The first thing I did was pull this accursed box out.
entry 9 - tags: intro, electrical
April 11, 2008 - The biggest modification is the tan interior.
As much as I can tell, the dash, console, headliner and other interior trim was all painted tan some time ago. Our mysterious interior decorator actually did a pretty good job until it came time to do the dash. The masking job there wasn't quite as well done as it could have been.
entry 10 - tags: intro, interior
April 11, 2008 - Here's the problem with the dash painting.
Some parts were simply painted over, others were not masked well. It's possible to scrape the tan off the hard plastic parts with your thumbnail. The current idea is to de-tan the dashboard ourselves. I'll see if I can repair a crack in the top pad at the same time.
entry 11 - tags: intro, interior