A shock de­vel­op­ment

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Our Classics -


RJuly 2010


23,257 £40 (MoT)


ather than go down the ob­vi­ous route of don­ning match­ing T-shirts and go­ing on a drink­ing binge, I’ve de­cided it’d be more fun to chuck a cou­ple of clas­sics into my stag week­end. So I’ve been pre­par­ing to go to the Scot­tish High­lands for a few days (I’m get­ting mar­ried in July). But while I’m con­fi­dent the ‘B GT would rel­ish the chal­lenge, there is a small fly in the oint­ment. While CKE 303K has emerged from the garage with an­other 12 months’ ticket, the ad­vice from the menders con­firmed what I al­ready sus­pected: the front shocks are on the way out.

Stick the ‘B’s nose into a corner a bit too ea­gerly and the steer­ing wheel jig­gles more awk­wardly than a portly rel­a­tive on a dance­floor. The shock ab­sorbers might still be fit enough to earn an­other 12 months’ ticket but they’re clearly ap­proach­ing the end of their life.

The race is on to re­place them – and the big ques­tion’s with what. The equally tired lever arm hy­draulic jobs at the back got con­verted to Spax tele­scopic shock ab­sorbers, and I’m um­ming and ah­hing about whether to give the front end the same treat­ment.

Re­plac­ing the tired com­po­nents like-for-like would be quicker and a lot cheaper, but deep down I know the gas con­ver­sion would make my MG han­dle much bet­ter. It’s a fairly com­mon up­grade that doesn’t spoil the car’s char­ac­ter, and the sort of thing I re­ally hope any cack­handed im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Euro­pean Road­wor­thi­ness Di­rec­tive doesn’t spoil.

There are a cou­ple of other ad­vi­sory jobs to do on the ‘B, in­clud­ing tight­en­ing up a wheel bear­ing and sort­ing out a chaf­ing fuel pipe.

The ‘B GT’s run­ning a lot bet­ter than it was a few weeks ago, but I sus­pect get­ting it ready for Scot­land is go­ing to be a tough chal­lenge.

Will my MX-5 get the week­end north of the bor­der the MG so clearly de­serves? I’m look­ing for­ward to find­ing out.

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