If you have a driving licence and some spare time, driving an MG for the weekend was just great fun. Classic cars have these strange quirks that normal, modem day cars just don’t have. That strange whir, the slightly sticky gear shift and of course that old car look… oh yes, that old car look…
There were a few moments where I was not sure if people were looking at me because of the low rumble coming from the engine, the fact that I was driving a convertible with the top down in autumn or was it just the MG that they were looking at. The sideways glances at the lights were a little un-nerving at first but after a while you do get used to them and learn to smile and wave back.
Autumn might not have been the best time to take a classic convertible for a spin over the blue mountains but it was superb fun. When you settle back into the drivers seat and realise that defiantly is not about the destination, it is about the ride, you realise that an MGB really is a nice ride. Then you run into your next “classic car moment”, just as you glide through Katoomba a light rain will begin to fall – without missing a beat you reach over to the dash and flick the wipers on. The nice old switch makes a very satisfying clunk and the wipers begin their crawl across the windscreen. Now it all becomes clear, it is called a windscreen because it is there to keep the wind off. Cars of this vintage should be indoors, away from the rain not doing 40 miles an hour over a mountain.
For a car that is distinctly older than I am, it handled everything I could throw at it. Ok, so maybe not everything – it didn’t climb the hills at the 100kph that I am used to but I was not going to complain, the MG did admirably with its four speed gearbox. Honourable mention must go to the overdrive and the M4. Man that was fun, watching little old grannys out for their Sunday drive turning around to find out where the sound was coming form and watching their faces as my red MG slid past them.
Ok, seriously, even though it was autumn, the little MGB is nice and warm inside with the top up and you get more room in the boot if you don’t take the top down. You can quite easily get two small bags(read Gym Bags) in the back of the car and a suit bag into the trunk without hassle even if you decide to take the roof off.
Oh yes, the roof, when you get your first tour of an MGB, listen carefully when they tell you it will take a few minutes to get the roof on. With two people, it can be done easily in about four minutes but if there is only one of you be prepared for a little bit of juggling to get it on, the roof itself is easy, it is getting the frame in that is the hard one. Oh and the 40 miles per hour is not a typo, the speedo is in miles so just watch your speed – I had a very low tech solution, a postit note with the various speeds in both mph and kph just so I would not get them confused.