Final assessment of the MGF, post-MoT, reveals good newsÉ and bad
2001 MGF 1.8i
I concluded my last report on the MGF wondering whether it would get through an MoT, despite having been off the road for more than 18 months. As it turned out, the answer – perhaps unsurprisingly – was a resounding ‘no’. However, all was not lost for the stricken MG – as long as I was prepared to spend a healthy wedge of cash on getting it a fresh ticket. Happily for the ’F (if not for my bank account) the answer to that question is an equally resounding ‘yes’.
Weirdly, three of the four fail items are at the car’s offside rear, including a rotten subframe mounting and brake pipe and a brake clevis joint – whatever that is – with restricted free movement. Not for the first time, too, the handbrake is in need of adjustment, and while the front brake discs have constituted only an advisory, I don’t take risks with my cars’ anchors, so they’ll get changed, too. Steve Hall at Hall’s Garage in Morton, Lincolnshire, costed the work needed to get it through an MoT (and secure a pair of replacement front wings) and having knocked back a quick fortifying snifter, I gave him the go-ahead. Having money is so last year anyway.
In the meantime, I paid the old boy a visit to see what sort of state it was in after spending so long snoozing under a car cover. The scabrous front wings were no surprise, but the bottom of the driver’s door turned out to be a bit more corroded than I remember. Hopefully, a salvage one in the right colour won’t be hard to find or financially ruinous to buy. That done, it should be a simple matter of swapping over the interior door trim and lock.
Better still the hood – which for some reason I thought was quite literally coming apart at the seams around the rear window – just needs a damn good clean, and I’ve no doubt that Hall’s will be able to coax the loose driver’s footwell carpet back into position. The leather seats look like they need a good dose of hide food and the rest of the by now rather mouldy interior – currently a rather sickly greenish hue – needs a thorough clean. I think it’s finally time to accept that the scruffy two-tone steering wheel really needs to be replaced by a standard allblack rim, too, though I will certainly keep the original in hope of getting it professionally refurbished at some point in the future.
I plan to address the rest of the body scabs over the next couple of years – the worst culprits are around the rear air intakes, and there’s another on the bootlid. But that lot can wait. Wth a fresh MoT and new wings fitted – and following a serious valet inside and out – I just want to drop the hood and drive the wheels off it as often as I can this summer. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel.
Mike’s MGF nervously mingles with assorted other ‘Fs whose futures lie in the balance.
Once-smart interior is now covered in a thin coating of mould. Time for a clean…
Tired exhaust will be binned in favour of one with proper oval tailpipe finishers.
Crusty front wings will soon make way for salvage replacements in the correct colour.