COLIN UPCHURCH’S 1973 MGB ROADSTER
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.