MGs are spice of life for collector
Search Driven for MG for sale
ENTHUSIAST RACKS UP KILOMETRES IN THIS CLASSIC BRITISH MARQUE
You could say Tony Bushell is MG mad. He’s even got windows shaped like the MG badge.
“I told him he could clean them,” said his wife, Margaret. They’re a bit of a double act, when she can get a word in.
He owned his first MGA 20 years ago and sold it after “a joker rang me every day for a month”. Five years later he had a quadruple bypass, decided “life’s too short”, and started looking for another.
It took years to find a good one.
The couple don’t just sit back and look at their cars.
“I broke an axle the first rally we used it in, got a spare part locally, fixed it and drove home.”
He’s since changed it to fine-spline axles. “The 1500s, TDs and TFs came out with coarse splines which were renowned for breaking, the 1600 engine came out in 1959, they were breaking axles so they put the fine-spline in.”
He also got the hard roof, replaced the petrol pump with a modern one, but that’s about it.
The car’s finished in the original colour combo, though the fabric roof is black, “I imagine it’d have been red.” They put the hard top on for winter, or long trips, “otherwise you sit in the sun and fry”. The couple have just returned from a trip to Greymouth in the MGA.
The boot isn’t very roomy, hence the boot-mounted luggage rack, which he’s fitted upside down with the upright “shelf” at the top.
“It’s designed to hold the suitcase, but I carry the spare wheel on it when the boot’s full, and fitted it that way as it protects me from the wheel flying forward in a sudden stop.”
They take the MGA out quite often, though Margaret doesn’t drive.
“She doesn’t like constructive criticism — don’t say I said that!”
“With the MGA the chassis curves round the sides and you sit down in it, you’re much lower, so the suspension acts quite differently.”
It’s firm and it doesn’t have a sway bar. “It needs one, but they haven’t made 40-hour days yet.”