Letters from a few of my customers. (Originals on file.)
Subject: Driving Report of 1976 MGB
Hi Ron. As said, I took the car on 400 mile drive this weekend.
I was able to take curves marked 50 or 45 at 70+ while feeling secure. The suspension is tip top. Some of the road texture for these curves was rippled but the car stayed glued to the pavement better than I expected.
As you know, that era of MGB was underpowered for its weight, and although acceleration is not good, I was able to cruise at 80 (3400 rpm) against a stiff wind and on slight inclines while not needing to hold the throttle wide open. I was wondering about that with the larger tires. The gear ratios are ok, maybe slightly narrow between 1st and 2nd. It’ll come in handy in more hilly terrain, I suppose. It was mostly flat on my trip.
The steering linkage tightness and resistance plus the tires are a perfect match for me but not too difficult for my wife to drive. You’re right, I think the bigger wooden wheel would have been too much in addition to not looking right. Plus the rim diameter and texture of the Moto Lita is a better fit for my size of hand.
The new seat belts were comfortable as far as seatbelts go.
No vibration and rattles from the car. Nice and tight body. Excellent job reassembling it and securing wiring, etc.
Good brakes and clutch.
Good fit on the top. I had it up or down several times.
I didn’t have driving fatigue from the new seats, but it does seem that I sit a little higher than before. Lowering the seat back helped. Maybe that’s how I used to drive it. It’s not a problem though as it’s a good height for when my wife drives. She can’t drive the Morgan at all.
Those who saw the car had nothing but positive comments about the color scheme and execution of the overall look of the car. I’ll have to do some work on the paint finish, though. It doesn’t look as good as black can look. It has a hazy appearance probably from using the wrong kind of wax for a black car. This is especially noticeable at night. The buff job isn’t good, either. It’s as if the car was not washed properly and then buffed. Many light scratches and a few buffer swirls. I can fix that with a random orbital and a good polish.
The rubber of the bumper at the left front corner is somehow separated from the metal frame. In other words, about 8 inches of the end of the frame shows.
Those are my only complaints.
I suppose you noticed the tap coming from the engine. Is it in need of some valve or cam-to-valve mechanism work? Sounds like just one cylinder and the oil pressure has always been good. Maybe just an adjustment?
As said, I’d like to keep the old license plates. Please let me know when I can pick them up.
We’re happy with the job you’ve done, and especially Nigel, who apparently did so much detail work very well. We appreciate everything done for the car and will continue to recommend your shop.
Subject: 1974 MGB Servicing Complete
Thank you for working on my vehicle. It is so great to hear the sound of my vehicle's engine running again. Perhaps even better is the nostalgic aroma my MGB produces, the same as it did when I first bought it. It is everything I had hoped for.
I made the drive home safely with no problems by driving up north on Burnet. Then left on Duvall past 183 and back over to 183 and my Northwest suburban neighborhood where I can drive it more safely. Now for the first time since the 1970s, it is a daily driver, just so long as the streets are dry. Yesterday I drove it to the store and tested the suspension by slowly driving it over a speed bump. I will avoid speedbumps from now on until I can save the money to bring it back to you for some work on the suspension. On Sunday mornings I want to drive it faster on Parmer or 183. Everything went well this morning at speeds up to 60 mph on Parmer although it did miss a bit when driving while it was warming up. I will try keeping the choke on or part way on a little longer next time I try it, or maybe I could try letting it warm up a little longer. The previous owner probably had the carburetors tuned a little rich based on the black color I always saw on the spark plugs in the past. I never have tried to tune it myself, and up until recently I was baffled by the dual carburetors.
Today I started working to clean up the rust spot that developed under the place where the air conditioner was. It is great to have more room now and accessibility with the air conditioner gone. I also love the new clamps on the battery cables. Many times I would ask myself if I should request a change in the clamps, but the need for new clamps did not show up in the literature I read. Now the windshield wipers go at the right speed and presumably the batteries are recharging correctly now, whereas previously with the old clamps and whatever else might have been wrong, my vehicle would occasionally stall out due to the battery losing its charge.
The question I have about inspection concerns exhaust emission. Since my vehicle does not have a catalytic converter, is it exempt from the exhaust emission test? Will I need to be concerned about passing any exhaust emission tests in the future?
I also like the mini swiss army knife I received as a gift from you, and I have attached it to my MGB key chain.