COLIN UPCHURCH’S 1973 MGB ROAD­STER

New Zealand Classic Car - - The Survivors -

Colin pur­chased this in­cred­i­ble Damask Red MG brand new in Lon­don un­der the ex­port scheme (no tax or duty) and drove it for one year in the UK and Europe be­fore ship­ping it home to New Zealand. Since then, it has had a var­ied life but has since been pro­moted to its right­ful place as an in­dul­gence to be en­joyed by choice. Track days, tour­ing, mo­torkhanas, na­tional MG Car Club (MGCC) ral­lies, dirt roads, and so­cial events — this is a well-used ve­hi­cle that has never been con­sid­ered a show car. In­deed, while Colin’s MG has been well cared for, it has never been re­stored. Not sur­pris­ingly, gen­eral main­te­nance ne­ces­si­tated the re­moval of the cylin­der head — just once — for a valve grind and new gas­ket, but, other than that, the four-cylin­der 1798cc mo­tor, which sports twin SU car­bu­ret­tors, has been largely un­touched and is still run­ning sweetly, ac­cord­ing to Colin. The car re­mains a plea­sure to drive. The bur­ble of the ex­haust note with the top down, the slick pos­i­tive gear­box, and ‘play­ing tunes’ up and down through the ef­fec­tive six gears on of­fer from the over­drive box are all en­dear­ing to Colin — af­ter driv­ing this MG for 42 years, he can be for­given for any bias. Colin has en­joyed many great trips in this car and par­tic­u­larly re­mem­bers driv­ing from Lon­don to Aus­tria with skis on the roof and a Sains­bury’s frozen turkey in the boot in 1974. Any­thing to save money in those days!

He loves this car be­cause it is me­chan­i­cally sim­ple, cheap to main­tain, and full of char­ac­ter. It still looks good af­ter 42 years of use and, to­gether with the so­cial life avail­able through the strong MGCC, it is a win­ning com­bi­na­tion. No one has ever re­gret­ted buy­ing some­thing that is al­ways fun!

The late Ross Jensen al­ways had a lik­ing for this 2000C, even­tu­ally buy­ing it back from Orr. Ross rou­tinely drove the car, even though he owned other in­ter­est­ing cars as well.

Upon his death, the 2000C (along with his much-loved white BMW E24 model M6 coupé) re­mained with the Jensen fam­ily. Know­ing the pas­sion Ross had had for his 2000C and want­ing to see this unique New Zealand car pre­served, the Jensen fam­ily trans­ferred guardian­ship of the car to BMW New Zealand and, in re­turn, BMW New Zealand en­listed the BMW Car Club of New Zealand’s as­sis­tance in en­sur­ing that this 2000C be main­tained in mem­ory of Ross Jensen and re­main in New Zealand.

Much to the de­light of Hazel Jensen, Ross’ wife, this year, the car was pre­pared this year for dis­play in the Sur­vivors Class by the BMW Car Club. The car is vir­tu­ally com­pletely orig­i­nal and re­mains al­most as it was im­ported and sold new, the main ex­cep­tions be­ing the ad­di­tion of a tow bar, an early ’70s Sanyo ra­dio, and a rather pe­riod car phone later in­stalled for Ross.

This car has now been gifted to the BMW Car Club with the in­ten­tion that the club fur­ther re­store and main­tain this sub­stan­tially orig­i­nal ex­am­ple of a rare RHD BMW 2000C.

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