MYTH BUSTER

De­bunk­ing the most com­mon old wives’ tales

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

1 THE RUB­BER BUMPERS WERE MADE FROM RUB­BER They were ac­tu­ally made from polyurethane plas­tic with steel in­serts. At least they were wellinte­grated – un­like the ex­tended items that ru­ined the looks of, for ex­am­ple, the Fiat X1/9. Plus, on our crowded road­scape, their re­sis­tance to 5mph park­ing knocks pro­tects the car so much bet­ter than chrome ones thanks to in­ter­nal spring blades. 2 THE HAN­DLING IS TER­RI­BLE This is hugely over­stated. Yes, cars built for the 1975 and ’76 sea­sons han­dle worse than the older ‘chrome bumper’ mod­els, mainly be­cause they had no front anti-roll bars, they were 70lb porkier due to the bumper assem­blies, and their ride height was an inch higher (to com­ply with US head­light laws). Once the anti-roll bar was re­in­stated, much of the poise was re­stored, and to­day you can even buy kits to lower the ride height. US driv­ers had spe­cial rea­sons for com­plaint, as the engine was mod­i­fied to re­duce emis­sions, se­verely blunt­ing per­for­mance; Bri­tish-mar­ket cars saw only slight power re­duc­tions. 3THEY’RE NOTH­ING LIKE AS GOOD AS EARLY MGBs Very de­bat­able. The post-1977 MGB is ac­tu­ally one of the most us­able clas­sic road­sters on a dayto-day ba­sis. The in­creased ride height makes it eas­ier to get in and out of; the ex­tra bal­last gives a smoother ride; it has a great dash­board de­sign with round di­als; and over­drive is stan­dard, which makes mo­tor­ways less weary­ing. And one un­ex­pected ben­e­fit of the slightly higher ride height is its abil­ity to tra­verse speed bumps with less risk of un­der­side dam­age. These sleep­ing po­lice­men weren’t even around in the MGB’s 1960s and ‘70s chrome­laden hey­days, of course…

No 8: THE MGB ‘ RUB­BER BUMPER’

‘Cheer up – if we stand here, we don’t even need to look at the bumper.’

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