THE STORY SO FAR Miles driven 25 Total mileage 79,872 What’s gone wrong Let me just fetch the list of MoT advisories…
CHRIS HOPE Things were quiet on the MG front until fairly recently. I drove it to Oxfordshire with photographer Stuart Collins to meet MGF owner Carol Bradley, and Midget 1500 owner Roy Locock, for last issue’s head-to-head feature, but aside from that, there’s not been a lot worth mentioning. No news is good news, as it were…
Speaking with editor David Simister following its visit to Kimber House, though, resulted in the decision to put the ZR through its MoT early – it’s still very much a CCW project car, but there are a number of parties who are interested in what it’ll be doing once it eventually vacates these pages. With this in mind – and almost a year since we began reporting on our £500 bargain – we decided to get an independent assessment of its overall state of health. It failed, but not spectacularly. In the end, the phone call with Dave Drew of Express Autocare in Peterborough (01733 352352, expressautocare.co.uk) was pleasingly straightforward. The headlight aim on the driver’s side was too low and it was impossible to adjust it back within the legal range. This was resolved by replacing the headlight cluster. And, hey presto – a clean bill of health for another year.
The advisories aren’t too serious either – it’s a relatively short list with notable entries including a slight seepage from the power steering pump and weak front shock absorbers. Not bad for a £450 car that hasn’t rested much in our hands.
The prize for our MG ZR not disgracing itself arrived in the post several days earlier. Readers will remember that our hunt for a proper MG ZR grille began three months ago. A Rover 25 spares car donated its bumper to our ZR in the interim, as its chin had been scuffed during a minor traffic incident. But while sourcing a ZR grille isn’t difficult, finding one in the right colour proved to be more of a challenge; the cost of respraying a grille to match our British Racing Green car far outstripped the cost of the grille itself. Our patience was finally rewarded when Mr S spotted one on an internet auction site. Down to us for £45, including delivery.
Having returned from Express Autocare, I set about undoing the pair of plastic screws that secure the Rover grille before unclipping it from the bumper. It was then a simple reverse process of fitting the MG with its marque-correct grille. And what a difference it’s made, spotting it in the car park, I have to check the registration number to make sure it’s our bargain MG. This is partly because I’d got so used to its Rover grille, but mostly because, in a sudden fit of über generosity, I did that rare thing of treating it to a thorough clean.
Regular readers may remember how ashamed I was when I took the MG to its last car event – the May meeting of The Great North Road Vehicle Gathering at Stibbington Diner. It’d been parked up under a tree beforehand and looked terrible as a result, and since then I’ve been determined to clean up the MG’s act.
After its cosmetic surgery it’s finally at a point where we can take it to shows, knowing it’ll pick up admiring glances rather than baffled enquiries.
Up on ramps at Express Autocare for its pre-MoT inspection. Soluptatur, eaque que et enihilia conestrum que sequodis si utatia A deep clean and new grille have restored the ZR’s old sparkle.
Out with the old – this is the last time you’ll see our MG wearing a Rover 25 grille. In with the new – the MG badge may be faded, but this proper MG grille is the correct colour.