Canadian Corner (Volume XII, Issue 3 - September 2004)

Canadian Corner (Volume XII, Issue 3 - September 2004)

by: Martyn Harvey

We always look forward to the annual British V8 Meet and each year we're never disappointed. For me, one of the most important parts of this event is that each year there are new ideas and features that people have incorporated into their cars. Sometimes, people even show up with new cars they've completed over the previous winter. There are always new ideas to leave with and renewed motivation to start a new project!

This year was no exception. As soon as we arrived home I switched the taillights in my '80 MGB V8 for a pair of antique tail lights from a '66 MGB. While at the show, I noticed that quite a few people had done this and I really liked the style of the earlier lights. I also replaced the original tail light bulbs with a set of halogen ones that will increase our chances of survival on the highways. Of course we're keeping the original taillights and bulbs just in case we ever need to return the car to "original" but I guess that will never happen! It's a little too late to be concerned about originality. In 1980, MGB roadsters didn't leave the factory with a V8 engine, 5-speed gearbox, Holley carburetor, louvered bonnet, 4-link coil-over rear suspension, vented front disc brakes, rear disc brakes, posi-traction rear axle, or leather seats. This is one MGB that will continue to incorporate many different personal modifications that make the car enjoyable and will never, ever go back to the way it was born!

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There were four Canadian cars at this year's Meet: Graham Creswick's beautiful burgundy, chrome-bumpered, Rover-powered MGB; David Burstyn's newly acquired Rover-powered black MGB; Chris Trace's awesome red Ford 302 powered Triumph TR6; my Rover-powered MGB. The fifth Canadian car, owned by Peter Smith, decided to cause him trouble by refusing to start on the day of departure. Thankfully, the trouble was "only" a faulty fuel pump and we expect to see Peter at the 2005 Meet in Terra Haute complete and running well with a new fuel pump.

The night before leaving for Grand Rapids, I loaded the car with "those important spare parts" such as fuel pump, hoses, electronic ignition and, of course, the all-important tools. Luckily, I didn't need to use any of the spare parts but I did need to use some tools. The second day in Grand Rapids the alternator blew up and on the third day the exhaust system came apart in a road construction zone.

Thanks to Dan Lagrou for selling beautiful chrome alternators at the show, thanks to Ted Lathrop for the use of his MGB V8 garage, and thanks to muffler mechanic Steve Carrick for crawling under the car. Thanks to Steve, Andy, Ted and Judy, Dan and Dan for organizing the events that made this Meet so enjoyable.

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