MG MGB (1970)
When my father died in 1973, I was 24 years of age but still didn’t have my driver’s licence. At the time I was not interested in cars at all and I didn’t need one either. Yet my mother persuaded me to take driving lessons, also because my father left a 1968 Audi Super 90. During those lessons, my interest in cars that I used to have in the fifties gradually came back and I fell in love with the lines of the MGB Roadster.The Audi wasn’t very much fun to drive and I hated the gearbox with its worn synchromeshes and selector at the steering wheel.
After six months of searching I found a blue royale 1970 MGB with 40,000 kms on the clock, a nice car in good condition. I bought it and never regretted it, used it daily for almost sixteen years and had tremendous fun with it. I became a member of the MG Car Club Holland, was inspired by the secretary to raise a regional centre in the north of Holland and in 1976 “MG Noord” was born. Local rallyes as well as natters and noggins were organised to make it possible for MG-enthusiasts from the north of Holland to meet each other without the need of driving long distances.
Holidays were often spent in the United Kingdom and in 1976 I succeeded in visiting the MG factory in Abingdon and felt very privileged! Unfortunately in June 1980 the MGB was stolen from the parking lot next to my hotel during the "tour of Britain", an MG Car Club event on the occasion of their 50th anniversary. That left me immobile because the restoration of my other MGB (that I bought in 1977) still wasn't finished. But after three months I got a phonecall through Interpol: my MGB had been found in an abandoned state on a roadside not far from where it had been stolen! So I went to the UK again (and got extremely seasick...) to collect the car from the Aylesbury police station. The fuel tank was empty and all tools in the trunk were vanished, but after a refill I could drive the MG home again! Of course the first things I did then was buying a steering lock and mounting a hidden switch on the fuel pump.
Late 1987 I realised the first step of a dream I had for years: I bought a Rover SD1 V8 engine to replace the 1800 lump of the MGB. Also several parts for the conversion were bought in the next years, but the actual installation should never take place...
The effects of daily use, especially during the winter seasons, became more and more visible despite the application of Mercasol ML at first and many litres of Waxoyl later. Wings and doors needed replacing eventually but the sills never did! In 1988 the new body panels were installed and the MGB got a respray. But in 1990, when I saw a colleague of mine driving a Citroen Traction Avant, a car that was the great love of my youth, the end of my MGB era was gradually announced. The V8 engine was sold and though I had never expected to sell this MGB, yet I did in 1991.