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Red MG Diaries - Part 3

2006-08-10 08:35

Chris Emmanuel

So as the clouds rolled over the mountain I waited and waited for the first really rainy day so I could see what would happen. Visions of water spraying through the floor panels and spitting through the rubbers at the edge of my teeny tiny windscreen predominated my thoughts.

In fact, the first rain experiment happened out of the blue. I was only covered by the soft top at that point and I must admit, besides the slightly dampened breeze that always hums though my corner windows, not much happened.

The wipers winced to life and then made great work of making my way remarkably visible and besides a small drop of water on the dash from a perished rubber, well, yet again, myth busted.

With all the stories of possible water infiltration and risk of drenching my cherished leather boots and Miu Miu jacket I did have a back up plan however and that included the purchase of a hard top for the rainy season.

Now firmly wedged into the brackets it makes the car feel quite a bit roomier as it has more headroom. But other than that the sexy factor is just as high if not higher than the soft top. OK that leaves dropping the top at the first sign of sun totally out of the equation but alas, the world is not perfect.

That being said, if the weather looks like it has potential for the day, it is a harmless exercise removing the hard top by ones self and just popping it in the garage or against the wall of your bachelor pad (very sexy and retro and gives one even more excuse to talk about ones baby!).

There were also rumours of the car just not starting as soon as it rained. Something about badly sealed spark plugs or some other balderdash. Yet again myth so busted. I must admit though that my MG is garaged so it never sits over night in the rain, possibly a reason for the lack of damp effects.

Sex appeal

So any truth to the many stories. Now four months in I can confirm that people just never stop looking. The sex appeal of this car makes me long for a parking outside Caprice on a hot summer day in Camps Bay, and by Caprice I refer to the bar and not the international lingerie model although both would suffice.

I have learned some fabulous tricks one strange one being to not depress the clutch while starting the engine as for some reason it puts great strain on the starter motor and battery. How we live and learn.

And learn I have that anonymity and secret outings are a thing of the past, friends, previous lovers, basic acquaintances and sometimes even one of those dreaded 'private number' callers will randomly phone you and say "So, you are in Moulli Point hey, what are you up to??

You firstly feel exposed and guilty even though you are just sitting at Bravo sniffing on a cup of hot coffee to try and put a dent in the post Friday night hangover, and secondly you wonder, wonder why and how they know where you are.

Then you remember that you now come fitted with a very old and sexy ID tag, not implanted in your skin just behind your right ear but sometimes effective from great distances depending on how easy it is to find a parking!

MG myths?

Excitedly a friend told me the other day that he too was going to buy an MG. He has a motorbike and that just spells even more hell in the rain. So, off he went.

I only hope he has the same experience as I have, even with all the these myths proved wrong I still get a pang of nervousness when I think that someone may actually go out and buy an old car after speaking to me or reading this column.

Is it that much of a lucky draw, and how solid is the decision. Who knows? One thing is for sure, old cars are a lot easier to fix provided they are relatively common.

I am the third column in to this experience, time is always a good test of decision making and as time goes by I swear by everything that is sacred to me that I will not be one of those people that says "Oh wow, I used to have a car just like that, the reasons slip my mind but unfortunately I sold it!"

How sad and how stupid is my internal monologue, but what I say to them is "It's better to have driven an MGB once than to never have driven one before!"


Bullet: Name, set and match!

2012-04-16 16:47

Inside Wheels24

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