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Original MGB Modifications: It Was Done Back Then

Posted by mgbbrown 
mgbbrown Avatar
Tony and Sharon Ann Brown
Rougemont, North Carolina, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB

A recent discussion initiated by Don Scott on "Originality-Does It Matter" has certainly sparked my interest. I would like to couch this thread by referring to the series of articles that Lloyd Faust pinned in the MGB DRIVER beginning in the Spring of 2009. Before being served on a platter-I would like to state emphatically that I am in TOTAL AGREEMENT in that it does indeed matter; and for those who have taken the time and in Lloyd's words-shown "perseverance" to get it right-you are truly to be commended as you have worked long and hard to preseve all aspects of the MGB production build correctly from both a factual and historical standpoint. May your endeavors serve to represent the marque correctly as to how it was manufactured to the next generation. It is important that we all share in this reference; but is it also important to understand that the MGB in particular-has enjoyed a long standing tradition of modification. MG Mitten; Villem B. Haan; Moss; Speedwell; Les Leston; HRG Derrington; Broadspeed; Downton; Don Nichols; Brabham; and Alexander have all served to perpetuate this activity. To our membership from the North-I would like to illustrate this point by showcasing the Al Pease MGB that was extensively modified to win the Canadian Championships. Al was a consumate competitor, earning a ride in DRX 255C at Sebring in 1965. BMC supported his Canadian racing efforts, albiet through the back door and in part through the connections of Dennis Prophet to the BMC Competitions Department from which he left in 1963 to immigrate to Canada, and from his experiences there form Reptune. His famous supercharged MGB was team sponsored by Dennis Prophet and his tuning and rally preparation firm Reputation Tuning of Toronto; of which Dennis mentioned Al fondly and was emphatic as to his driving abilities. This car was restored by Mike Adams faithfully in it's Camden supercharged form: http://www.britishracecar.com/MikeAdams-MG-MGB.htm . I open your comments to illustrate that the same modification genius that was performed then certainly flourishes today. Examples of historic modifications of any sort are welcomed here; as well as those you may be particularly proud of. Please understand that this is not an opportunity to be critical of someone's hard work- It will serve to outline the continuum of MGB enjoyment and purposeful change. God Bless! Tony Brown RN mgbbrown



Always drink upstream from the herd. Will Rogers



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/26/2012 11:10PM by Skye.
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Michael74MGB Avatar
Michael Austin
Odessa, TX, USA   usa
1974 MG MGB MkIII "Maggy"

I think I met Al Pease about 14 years ago. If I recall, he was running a FBO at Belen Airport in New Mexico. Still a real car guy, though (as most airplane nuts are). I think he had a mint 240Z. I wasn't into MG's at the time, had a Lotus Europa back then, but I recall his racing stories and pictures on the wall. A real gentleman racer. Often wondered if he is still around....



74 MGB: APT VP11 cam, lifters, valve springs; 9:1; ported head; TT exhaust; vernier timing gear; wizard aluminum radiator; dizzy by Jeff S.; stock HIF4's; it goes on and on.....
mgbbrown Avatar
Tony and Sharon Ann Brown
Rougemont, North Carolina, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB

Thanks Michael! The current owner and restorer Mike Adams reunited Al to his famous racer at Mosport in June of 2010. He appears a bit frail in the photo but my bets are that he is as sharp as ever! God Bless! Tony Brown RN mgbbrown



Always drink upstream from the herd. Will Rogers
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Michael74MGB Avatar
Michael Austin
Odessa, TX, USA   usa
1974 MG MGB MkIII "Maggy"

That sure looks like Al! Lost quite a bit of weight from when I met him. I didn't really appreciate at the time his role in MG history. Wasn't until I got mine a few years ago the memories started to come back. There was a coffee shop at the airport, and we'd hang out there and bench race or hanger fly. He was always in a good mood and was one of those guys that always knew more about stuff than you thought he might. Modest, too. Seems like such a long time ago...



74 MGB: APT VP11 cam, lifters, valve springs; 9:1; ported head; TT exhaust; vernier timing gear; wizard aluminum radiator; dizzy by Jeff S.; stock HIF4's; it goes on and on.....
mgbbrown Avatar
Tony and Sharon Ann Brown
Rougemont, North Carolina, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB

"...but is it also important to understand that the MGB in particular-has enjoyed a long standing tradition of modification...It will serve to outline the continuum of MGB enjoyment and purposeful change." Tony Brown RN mgbbrown

Guys; I just received an email regarding originality that was shall I say-less than objective and certainly not representative of my intent. Please CAREFULLY READ the opening of this thread! I WANT to illustrate modifications and improvements that were done pretty much since the MGB rolled off the assembly line. I WANT to show purpose built performance enhancements that were both executed THEN as well as now. My car is extensively modified as it was done in period-I ditched the inverted oil cannister long ago and never ran one on my 1969 MGB! I do APPRECIATE them though as they were original to the manufacture of the car. I have no desire to paint my car as it was done then- I'll use single stage Glasurit because it is practical; durable; won't break the bank; and forgiving-not to mention easily repaired. I WANT to see engine compartments of famous race cars; cockpits; suspensions; vintage engine swaps; and bodywork of historically modified cars as well as examples of your incredible work. That is all. Nothing more; period. To be honest I selfishly am hoping that the consumate front end will be posted so I can emulate that particular look and bodywork on my car. Danny and I from Germany have been discussing privately how to move foglights away from the grill to improve air flow and this was actually what motivated the thread. I want my car to both be fast and look fast- as one would have done then. This is NOT a debate! Please do not be critical-MG is the marque of FRIENDSHIP. God Bless! Tony Brown RN mgbbrown



Always drink upstream from the herd. Will Rogers



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2012 11:49AM by mgbbrown.
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mgbbrown Avatar
Tony and Sharon Ann Brown
Rougemont, North Carolina, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB

Thanks Mike! Al was the perfect gentleman I have been told and a credit to MGB history-too bad his foray into Formula One did not work out! Thank you for posting! God Bless! Tony Brown RN mgbbrown



Always drink upstream from the herd. Will Rogers



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2012 12:02PM by mgbbrown.
mgbbrown Avatar
Tony and Sharon Ann Brown
Rougemont, North Carolina, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB

Let's move on here. Front end treatments of the various Works MGB's were individualistic and reflected the talents of the builder-be it Johhny Organ; Den Green or others- it was as much about individual talents as it was being executed by the department's build specification to make the car competitive. Your input here Lloyd! God Bless! Tony Brown RN mgbbrown



Always drink upstream from the herd. Will Rogers
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mgbbrown Avatar
Tony and Sharon Ann Brown
Rougemont, North Carolina, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB

Now a current interpretation. God Bless! Tony Brown RN mgbbrown



Always drink upstream from the herd. Will Rogers

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Daniel Mahr
Cologne, Germany   deu

Tony, great theme!

I personally think "period" modifications are perfecty acceptable. E.g. wheels, classic tuning, accessories.


Cheers

Danny
balloonfoot Avatar
Lloyd Faust
Southlake, TEXAS, USA   usa
1967 MG MGB "MAX"
1985 Chevrolet Corvette "EASY 1ST"
1986 Chevrolet Corvette "Gas Mileage Special"
1989 Chevrolet Camaro ""I Rock""

Well as the fact Tony alludes too, every works MGB was a bit different. Each mechanic had a car that he built with a helper. The bonnet pull might be in a bit different location from car to car as example. When I was doing my works replica, I had the advantage of being able to study numerous works cars at my leisure. I was able to pick and choose the features I liked best and build my car that way......no two alike anyway. Picture for front end treatment string.



“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”.
- Abraham Lincoln

"Anyone with an intense emotional interest in a subject loses the ability to observe it objectively: You selectively perceive events. You ignore data and facts that disagree with your main philosophy. Even your memory works to fool you, as you selectively retain what you believe in, and subtly mask any memories that might conflict."

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BrsMgbv6 Avatar
Bryan Heidtman
SW ohio, USA   usa
1976 MG MGB "Uknown Cost"

I dig the leather "clasp" (?).
mgbbrown Avatar
Tony and Sharon Ann Brown
Rougemont, North Carolina, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB

Thanks Lloyd! The publicity photo of 6DBL is interesting-the valance is formed aluminum as was yours on BMO. On 6DBL the long range lights were not recessed which is a nice touch indeed and well done-but they were recessed on 8DBL. Modifying the front valance and removing the front bumper was certainly something practiced both on the street and track. I ran my car sans overriders and had a set of original Perspex cowlings on my MGB that I got from Neil Satur before these were reproduced-one was unfortunately destroyed as a result of my Christmas Eve accident in 1987. I immediately located a Special Tunings air dam but have yet to try it. I did have an original Special Tunings bonnet strap-but in act of kindness gave it to Tim Handy in Goode,Virginia for his Sebring car restoration. I had a chance to see it in place at the Gold Cup Races at VIR several years ago. Since I had not heard from him about the strap-I called Tim the next week and as a result got enough bits to restore a set of Kangol Magnet three point belts. Nothing is free these days! I now have a set of Les Leston straps supplied by Kjell Qvalle which are not even close to those used by the Comps Department! Note too that the bonnet strap goes under the grill in 6DBL. My current grill configuration will retain the SCCA badges, but those lights must be moved! SCCA TSD rally cars of the period were still grocery getters despite their rally modifications. As for those seat belts-I'm going with vintage Simpsons but still have an option. I want my fanny strapped down I say! God Bless! Tony Brown RN mgbbrown



Always drink upstream from the herd. Will Rogers



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2012 05:52PM by mgbbrown.

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balloonfoot Avatar
Lloyd Faust
Southlake, TEXAS, USA   usa
1967 MG MGB "MAX"
1985 Chevrolet Corvette "EASY 1ST"
1986 Chevrolet Corvette "Gas Mileage Special"
1989 Chevrolet Camaro ""I Rock""

Tony....when we were doing these cars in the late 80s early 90s, we had the straps made up by the original maker....along with the spare tire straps as well. They are exact. He was a cobbler in Abingdon ! !



“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”.
- Abraham Lincoln

"Anyone with an intense emotional interest in a subject loses the ability to observe it objectively: You selectively perceive events. You ignore data and facts that disagree with your main philosophy. Even your memory works to fool you, as you selectively retain what you believe in, and subtly mask any memories that might conflict."

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race car 003.jpg (50.8 KB) –
race car 003.jpg

mgbbrown Avatar
Tony and Sharon Ann Brown
Rougemont, North Carolina, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB

Lloyd; I have a set of those late 1980's Abingdon straps too for when I get the guts to drill through my grill. They are of impeccable craftsmanship-very much unlike the Les Leston ones which are poorly made-look closely and you will see a partially punched latch hole! They are worth the effort should I go that way. Mine were imported by John Peters at Sports and Classics, but now the current US suppliers are rather prideful of them by the price. Just showing something different for the discussion. Thanks! God Bless! Tony Brown RN mgbbrown



Always drink upstream from the herd. Will Rogers
balloonfoot Avatar
Lloyd Faust
Southlake, TEXAS, USA   usa
1967 MG MGB "MAX"
1985 Chevrolet Corvette "EASY 1ST"
1986 Chevrolet Corvette "Gas Mileage Special"
1989 Chevrolet Camaro ""I Rock""

Tony....you might also notice that the headlight buckets used in the original works cars were BPF, not MGB style buckets. Easily seen in the B&W 8DBL picture and the 67 Sebring picture of LBL.



“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”.
- Abraham Lincoln

"Anyone with an intense emotional interest in a subject loses the ability to observe it objectively: You selectively perceive events. You ignore data and facts that disagree with your main philosophy. Even your memory works to fool you, as you selectively retain what you believe in, and subtly mask any memories that might conflict."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2012 06:14PM by balloonfoot.
MGB567 Avatar
Barrie Braxton
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia   aus
1966 MG MGB MkI "Money Guzzler"

Tony/Lloyd an interesting thread to which I haven't got anything to add except I noted "I want to keep my fanny strapped down." (Now to some of us that would have an entirely different meaning but I digress.) I note you refurbished a set of Kangol Magnet belts. Now you know what you're doing but to those that don't, don't be installing period correct belts that haven't been refurbished properly as belts have a use by date (even if never used in anger) and they deteriorate even quicker in a topless car. If you just stick old belts in they're highly likely to do do nothing in the event of a catastrophe! (I'm not looking for a pro/con discussion on wearing belts - here we have no choice unless you want to pay plod and lose points)



CKD 11/66 first registered 8/5/67 owned since 3/77. Undergoing nut and bolt restoration. Tartan Red (now). 18GB +40 balanced with almost all new internals. Peter Burgess big valve fast road head. Piper 285. TT exhaust. ARP everywhere. 123 ign. Needham 4synchro c/r box. Stock rebuilt/replaced suspension. Superpro bushes. New brakes all round including all pipes in SS flex. Interior redone. CAMS approved roll bar and side bars. Lots more. Hybrid of o/e and show/fast road car. Not for sale - it's my toy!
mgbbrown Avatar
Tony and Sharon Ann Brown
Rougemont, North Carolina, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB

Barrie; You are absolutely correct-The Simpson lap belts were recertified-you can see the tags on them in the photo. Interestingly someone at Simpson wanted the vintage Simpson lables as much as I did; but they were retrieved in the end. I also have restored a set of Hickok USA aftermarket supplied belts which too are recertified. Hickok was famous for their men's cuff links and tie tacks, but also manufactured seat belts. The Kangol Magnet belts are just for show and a pain in my fanny since we are talking about that! Funny you mention strapping... I used the word hooch as it was Vietnamese villager hut slang once...Thanks for mentioning seat belts-they too were a popular period modification. I had US military surplus helicopter belts in mine when I first purchased the car. Along with the steering wheel the friend I bought the Roadster from wanted them back. We did not bother to recertify in those days! God Bless! Tony Brown RN mgbbrown



Always drink upstream from the herd. Will Rogers

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mgbbrown Avatar
Tony and Sharon Ann Brown
Rougemont, North Carolina, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB

Thanks Lloyd! I failed to mention that and the louvers punched out in the bonnet of 8DBL easily seen with Nobby Hall wrenching! God Bless! Tony Brown RN mgbbrown



Always drink upstream from the herd. Will Rogers

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8DBL Nobby Hall.jpg (42.5 KB) –
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ourmg Avatar
George Heissenberger
Victor, New York, USA   usa
1973 MG MGB "OUR MG- The Old Girl"
2006 Mini Cooper "Greta's Mini"

Tony I agree with period correct mods completely. I try to keep mine in the spirit of the 70's. We're talking about MGB's which were and are readily available and not at all rare. If you want 100% factory, thats OK, but if you want to modify I say its your car, go for it.



"OUR MG" Glacier White 1973 MGB, owned since 1983. Factory hardtop. Member MG Car Club Western New York Centre
"Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Ben Franklin
mgbbrown Avatar
Tony and Sharon Ann Brown
Rougemont, North Carolina, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB

George; You are certainly right on both counts. I just thought folks would be interested in vintage modifications. I was once in the original camp and endlessly strived in that direction. My car was purchased with a Koni conversion in the rear so I restored that. Koni was so interested in the project that they sent me a set of shock body decals they found in a retired employee's desk along with a set of NOS eye bushings. I am hoping that folks will be willing to show what they may have in that regard- to me it is a part of the MGB car culture that was so prevalent in the 1960's and 1970's; fuelled too by the sheer number of sports cars. The famous New England SCCA rallyist Larry Reid even wrote a book on the subject! It is full of the now obscure! Thanks for the comment! God Bless! Tony Brown RN mgbbrown



Always drink upstream from the herd. Will Rogers
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