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Club Newsletter

for members of MG Northumbria

February 2017
MG Northumbria club meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month.  Most months we have a presentation, often car related but not always.  In the past for example we have had talks and demonstrations covering such varied topics as
  • Car tyre advice
  • Northumbrian area history
  • Toys & model cars
  • Travels in New Zealand and North America
The next meeting is at Backworth Hall on Wednesday 1st February starting at 8:00pm. Come along and bring your subscription payment with you instead of posting them.
Club nights remain very popular with lots of members.  Why not give one a try this year and meet other like-minded members, have a chat and/or a drink, ask others about problems you may be experiencing with your car, find out more about club runs, shows or other events etc.
If you’ve not been before, give it a try. (NB If you want to attend regularly you would need to become a social member of the club but it only costs £10 for a whole year).
In this month's issue
Chairmans Chat
MGC Article
College Valley Run


Just a reminder to send your club or car related photos taken after the 2016 Heritage Run to Tim if you want them included this year.

 Chairman's Chat  
Welcome back
It wont be a great surprise to say there isnt a lot to report from January. What was a surprise, was the turnout at Daniels Farm Cafe on 22nd January.
I had booked for 15-20 as I thought the lack of a run and the mid afternoon time might have put some off.  Far from it, I counted 34. Many thanks to all who came out.
(Editor) Someone having a bale of a time at the January meeting!

In previous years some charities have taken over a year to claim the funds awarded to them after the Corbridge Show so for last years show we included the requirement that all funds must be claimed by the end of December 2016. Unfortunately 5 charities did not apply for their funds so the Committee agreed that those funds,  £3000, will go back into the pot.
We also agreed with the proposed new format for the newsletter that I hope you like.  Lorraine is working hard on the events programme, which we hope will be as full and varied as last year.
We welcomed Susan Farley to her first committee meeting and will welcome Joan Clubs & John Patterson to the first meeting of the 2017 Classics in Corbridge committee, which will have taken place by the time you read this.

This group has lost Lorraine Hunter, Ian Macneish, Steve Miller, Terry Hammond and Peter Hyde. A big thank you to them all for their work in previous years.

Finally, do we have a qualified electrician in the club who could help out on the saturday and sunday of the show sorting out power to various parts of the site including the mobile stage. If so please get in touch. Also, If you have one of the container keys can you please let me know

Best wishes

This Month's Calendar
This year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the MGC.  Several hundred of the 8,999 cars built, will gather from all over the world in June at Chateau Impney in the Midlands to celebrate the milestone.

Much has been written about the marque and little point in this short article regurgitating the poor press reports of 1967 or details of the car.  This can all be found during moments of leisure on the internet.  Instead I will write a few words about my life over the past four years living with an MGC, with apologies in advance to comparisons with the very popular but less powerful MGB.
People have often asked “what are the differences between the MGB and the MGC?  My reply is most likely along the lines “the C is much heavier at the front end, so the first time you barrel into a bend you think: “Oh dear, we’re not going to get around here”.  You change your driving style quite quickly - brake hard in, gently round then power out. I think that is probably the main difference.  Understeer will always be one of the cars characteristics waiting to bite the unwary!

The MGC is a much heavier car to drive and nothing near as light and nimble as an MGB.  You might even come away thinking, “gosh I miss my MGB, particularly when being a bit cheeky on country roads”.  The MGB is much happier to take a corner rather quickly, but with an MGC you (hopefully!) will be more cautious. Having said that, on gently snaking roads the car is a delight to power along and kiss the curbs.   The MGC is said to be 22% less reluctant to go round a bend than an MGB.

The car is often described as an excellent continental cruiser.  When in fourth gear with the overdrive on, the engine is still responsive if you suddenly request more from the pedal.  Much controversy surrounded the choice of engine for the MGC.  A new in-line six-cylinder C-series had been designed by the Morris Engines Branch, Coventry in 1954 with 2,639cc.  Built for the Austin Healey 100-6, launched in 1956, this only had four main crankshaft bearings and more power was required, so a new 2,912cc four bearing engine powered the Big Healey 3000, launched in 1959.

For the MGC, a new design of six cylinder engine of 2912cc with seven main bearings was produced by Morris Engines Branch, which, although lighter and 1.75inch shorter in length than the Healey 3000 engine, was still 209 pounds heavier than the MGB engine.  This required stronger torsion bar front suspension, and a large bulge on the MGC bonnet to accept the radiator plus a smaller bulge to clear the forward (of two) carburettors.  The engine thus created the 55% (front) and 45% rear weight ratio.  The press thrived on this fact, made worse by the initial use of under-inflated narrow tyres during road testing.  However, today many say the engine, though very slightly less powerful, is better than the Big Healey 3000.

Following much reading I quickly started to learn what was good about the car and what was not.  One of the best (and easiest) improvements was to pump the tyres up to about 30psi.  It made a heck of a difference. That is the kind of easy fix I like!
Most anywhere, people show a lot of interest in the car. It’s an occupational hazard!  It can be slightly annoying to hear some kind hearted people say “I had an MGB when I was first married”.  It may be the right moment to lower the bonnet and display the bulges!
Some improvements to the MGC I have either made or inherited.  Fast road cams, tubular exhaust systems, gas flowed systems, air filters or fitting poly-bushes to the suspension.  Even the edition of a third carburettor.  All things we could do to an MGB or similar sports car. Little will increase the power appreciably beyond the 145 bhp the car was born with.  However….as an actress once said to a certain person, every little bit helps!! I digress.

Unlike the MGB, I feel it has taken time to grow to love the animal.  I am still not quite there through no fault of the car.  Given a choice between the B and the C to use on one of the many excellent runs our committee puts together, without doubt it would be the MGB.  But should Marion and I decide to go to Bordeaux for a long weekend in the Spring, it would be the C.  Like all things in life, everything has its moment to shine.

Regretfully September 1969 dawned all too quickly and production of the motor car that proved with the passage of time to have more potential than expected, came to an end.

John P Mitchell
Help another member
Member Leon Lindsey writes:-

"I have been working on my Stag which is back on the road again.  I have fitted wire wheels and am finishing off a full cream leather interior refit, numbers and numerous other items.  I hope to able to attend some runs in the car this season

Does anyone know of anywhere which will mix cellulose compatible aerosol colour matched paint?  The standard colour code aerosol is not quite right (Pimento Red) and I have a couple of areas left to re-touch"

(Editor) if anyone can help in any way please contact Leon on
Reproduced with kind permission of the George Dalgarno Collection
    College Valley Run    
Thanks to everyone who got back to me regarding the proposed college valley run.  Together with those that indicated at the January club meeting they may be interested, it is clear that there are more than enough member to make it worthwhile organising the run.

I have passed the information on to the estate manager together with a couple of proposed dates in August and am I awaiting his response. There may be an overall limit on the numbers but I am confident we can organise something.  I hope to be able to update you all and take names in the next edition of the newsletter.

Peter Hyde
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MG Northumbria · 8 BridgewaterClose · Wallsend, Tyne and Wear Ne28 9ee · United Kingdom

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