Monday, November 26, 2012

Overheard in the Office...

Bobbi is surfing her favorite eccentric old car dealer's website*, upon whose digital glass she is often found leaving binary noseprints...
 RX: "Ooh! That's pretty!"

Me: "Huh? Oh, a Triumph Spitfire. Cute! It looks clean..."

RX: "$7,000..."

Me: "You oughtta see what kinda core charge they'll give you for your MGB."
(On the right side of the Roseholme Cottage garage, dwarfed by the towering bulk of the Nazi rollerskate parked next to it and the pennyfarthing bike leaning against its rear bumper, is a blanket-swathed MGB, once upon a time Bobbi's daily driver and now one of those "someday" projects that fill garages across America...)

*Well, the cars are eccentric and old. The dealer might just be some normal middle-aged dude, for all I know...

42 comments:

Old NFO said...

Ah yes, MGs much like Triumphs are sitting in garages everywhere... And the darkness is running out of the Lucas wiring as we speak... :-)

Scott J said...

"Someday" indeed. The passing of this November marks 6 years since my Alfa became a "someday".

I'm still praying for the dedication and funds to get it back on the road this Spring though.

Jennifer said...

Ah someday. I have a garage full of someday while the daily driver parks in the driveway.

mustanger said...

What’s the "nazi rollerskate"?

I do know one VW joke... we bombed Germany, they put wheels on 'em and sent 'em back.

Jay G said...

Heh. My "someday" car was my 1983 Cadillac Coupe DeVille. Drove it for the better part of a year, after two nasty accidents - the goal was that the next person that slammed into me was going to come out of it worse than me! - and then it completely fell apart.

Goal was to find a hunk of GM iron to replace the anemic 4.1L Caddy V8 - you know, an engine whose CI starts with a number beginning with "4" - and have the ultimate sleeper.

Reality was a large metal hulk that housed several generations of rodents, several million hornets, and a family of raccoons, and was eventually hauled off for scrap.

*sigh*

I need another project like I need a hole in my head, but gorram another Caddy calls to me...

Anonymous said...

Peter Egan (Road & Track) has written many good columns about the rebuilding of tired British sports cars, including MGBs. His stuff is well worth reading if you like older cars.

Tam said...

Peter Egan is a simply wonderful writer; I'm definitely a fan. There's probably a bit of his prose DNA in my own writing.

Tam said...

mustanger,

"What’s the "nazi rollerskate"?"

My Zed Drei.

The Old Man said...

What's the site?

fast richard said...

My "someday" vehicle is not a car, but a 1948 Stinson that's been sitting much too long.

Anonymous said...

Bring a Trailer dot com?

Matt
St Paul

Firehand said...

Friend is restoring a little Triumph; has it down to the body work, and can drive it. He loves that little car.

Murphy's Law said...

"core charge.." Snicker.

And Old NFO's spot on. The Prince of Darkness has a name: Lucas.

staghounds said...

Matt wins.

There was a cool old sports car rally here (Amboise) yesterday, saw a 70s Lotus all the way back to long, low interguerre road racers, all zipping past from the era when safety, noise, and emissions standards were things of the future.

NAVIGATOR said...

IM SYMPATHETIC MY BROKEN DREAMS INVOLVED
SOMEWHAT LARGER THINGS MEASURED IN GROSS OR DISPLACEMENT TONS WERE THE LAST OF THEIR KIND HELPED CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY FOR THIS NATION AND WERE IN THEIR FINAL DAY WERE IGNORED BY THE PEOPLE WHO SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER
LACK OF POLITICAL SUPPORT AND TIMELY ADAQUATE FUNDS SEAL THEIR DOOM THE "HARPIES OF THE SHORE" CLAIMED THEM AND YEARS LATER THE POLITICIANS WHO IGNORED
THEM ASKED "WHY DIDNT ANYONE SAVE THEM ?" I TRIED

Scott J said...

More funny car stuff: My first car was a 1970 Beetle (handed down to me in 1985). I got part way in to making it a show car in the late 80's but stalled and it sat as a hulk for many years. I finally decided I would restore it to original "someday"

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/21/91435619_0e6b3f06b0_z.jpg

I finally faced that day would likely never come last year and traded for a project quad ATV. Decided on the way home with it that it was more work than I wanted so I traded it for a Taurus 24/7 9mm.

One range trip later I stumbled into a late 50's vintage nickel S&W .38 and someone willing to trade for the Taurus and $50.

And that's the story of how I turned my first car into my first nickel plated gun.

http://i410.photobucket.com/albums/pp182/ScottJ175/K38Nickel/DSC_3052.jpg

Anonymous said...

Ah the quintessential British car experience! (j/k)

Mine is domestic. One of God's Mistakes ;-)

-SM

perlhaqr said...

Oh yes. I have a lot of those. The fact that I have a friend who owns a junkyard where he lets me store things is somewhat enabling...

Ken O said...

I grieve when I see certain types of vessels being broken.

NotClauswitz said...

Have More fun with a Sunbeam Tiger! ...Finding (hunting) parts, but it at least it ensconced a 289 Ford V-8 for crazy power...

Stretch said...

I have 2 masochistic friends.
One restores MGs. The other Norton and BSA motorcycles.
"Wouldn't it be cheaper just to pour the oil directly on the garage floor?"
Have ridden the Colonial Parkway with a flashlight in either hand; one in the left hand pointed out the rear in the hopes we wouldn't be rear-ended and one in the right illuminating the front side of the road.

Roger said...

The XK 120 in my garage runs just fine and the lights all work.
The ghost of Joseph Lucas has been exorcised.

Angus McThag said...

NFO, Lucas NEVER runs out of darkness.

Stars emit light, they go out.

Black holes devour light, they never die.

Such is Lucas, Prince of Darkness.

Sigivald said...

Nothing wrong with a Triumph or MG that can't be solved by replacing all the wiring.

And maybe the engine.

(On the plus side, hey, the body panels come off, right? And the car's only midget-sized, so there's not that much wire...)

Kevin said...

Lucas Factory Service Wiring Harness Replacement Smoke

I always wanted an MGB-GT or a Triumph GT-6 with a 3.5L aluminum V-8 transplant from a Rover.

And all new wiring.

John Richardson said...

I almost bought an IH Scout II "with transmission problems" but I came to my senses rather quickly.

I still occasionally think about restoring an early '70s BMW 2002 Tii but then remember I live on a dirt road and the rust would never end.

Anonymous said...

On a related note, I once came across a guy who claimed there were more Duesenbergs road worthy today than came out of the original factory.

Lots of restorers starting with one headlight and building a car from it.

Anonymous said...

1. MGBs are unibody -- very, very paranoid unibody but they have some difficult-to-recover failure modes. Rust under the doors is usually working its way out from inside -- deep, deep inside.

2. IMO, Lucas gets a bad rap. You do have to look after the harness, grounds can be a huge issue, but most of the "horrible Lucas failures" turn out to be foolhardy mods gone wrong. Their designs are unforgiving but not self-destructive.

Robin said...

The reason the Brits drink warm beer is that Lucas makes refrigerators.

Richardson, actually IH Scouts were basically built from Detroit spares. If the body was good, and the engine good, the rest was going to come out of a GM or Chrysler catalog. The Scout II auto trannies were all Chrysler 727 to my recollection.

A bad transmission for a Scout II is almost the best news you can have. 727's are still relatively cheap or cheaply rebuildable. Its the body cancer that's the real problem.

Robin said...

Its the TR6 that I still dream of finding ...

Will said...

Stretch:

Back in the day, Norton parts were on a par with Lucas stuff. I had replaced a few kickstart pawls in customer bikes, so, I took a look at the one in my '71. It had some wear, so I put in a new one, and threaded my key ring through the pivot pin hole of the original. Made a neat key fob.

A couple years later, the pawl gave up the ghost. Couldn't find a new one, so I put my key fob back in service. Last I heard, it was still working.

BigDick said...

I had the pleasure of running into a 1973 Triumph TR6 while riding my 1979 Triumph Bonneville Special one day. Had to stop and chat, turns out the lady had owned the car since she was 16, and just a few years back her husband had paid to have it restored. Before I left I had to park my bike nose to front bumper and take a picture. Pretty cool. . .

Leslie said...

And the darkness is running out of the Lucas wiring as we speak... :-)

Nothing like looking out in the yard at your 71' spitfire and seeing the entire cockpit filled with thick, white smoke.
Oh well, it did (later )succeed in catching the eye of the girl I'm now married to.

abnormalist said...

I used to auto cross with a group that did a vintage british class. A few of my buddys ran their spitfires and MGBs with it.

The trick was to always run the vintage british class as the last class of the event, as it put too much oil on the course for anyone to turn in a good time afterwords.

yeah, you read that right :-D

I appreciate stretchs comment "Wouldn't it be cheaper just to pour the oil directly on the garage floor?"

This is why I drive a miata for racing, all the looks and appeal of a british sports car, but made by the japanese :-D

Firehand said...

Kevin beat me to it: friend restoring the Triumph replaced the ignition system with a virtually drop-in electronic replacement; there's enough of a market that such is made, and it works great.

That and replacing some old wires did wonders for the beast.

NotClauswitz said...

My housemate in Arlington rebuilt an MGB from the ground up and it still leaked oil and had faulty electrics.
He said it always ran best on misty days when the ambient temperature was about 62 and hated Washington summers.

Mark Alger said...

I once had the pleasure of driving a Spitfire (BRG, of course) in its first year of life. Not quite a virgin, but quite young and limber. In summertime. Top down. Barefoot. Through Eden Park and Mt. Adams, for those familiar with Cincinnati. Forty years on, the memory is still fresh. ::sigh::

I wonder whatever became of her. The car, too.

M

Justthisguy said...

Heh. Did I tell y'all I got to drive a Bug-Eyed Sprite, once? The owner was horrified when I told him I'd shifted it down into First when it was moving, First having no synchros. I assured him that I was expert at the doubling of the clutching, but that did not reassure him, somehow.

Anonymous said...

Chicago, Illinois, May 15, 1966, a young couple entering their first day of wedded life together, put the four tires of their 1964 MGB onto Route 66 determined to follow it all the way to the Pacific Ocean as they began their three week honeymoon and 46+ years of marriage.
Looking ahead to May 2016, the now old man tells his bride, "We need to find another MGB and reenact that drive for our 50th wedding anniversary. His wife just smiles at her husband's silliness.
Will Bobbi's MGB be ready for a coast-to-coast endurance run by then?

Justthisguy said...

@Anonymous @4:12:

Awww, just Awww! I wish you and the spouse all the best, and please hoist one for me when y'all get there.

Justthisguy said...

I was always annoyed by those raised seams on the tops of the Spitfire's fenders. Surely, they could have done better than that?

Vernon said...

In her younger days my ex answered an ad for a sports car that needed some work. Drove out to a farm to have a look. It was in a field or something, up to its hub caps in mud. She decided $3000 was too much for it.

Much later in life found out the significance of the name Shelby Cobra.