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Still an amateur-- what is an MG?



  • You know if you were going to reprise a Triumph model could you do better then TR-6?

    It fits with BMWs tendency to use alpha numerics and BMW already has the best inline 6 cylinders in the world.

    I personally always liked the name Stag but I don't see it making a come back either.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    There was a car madein the USA called the American Moosehead. I always thought that would be a great name for a big SUV.

    This constant reaching back to the past smacks of desperation doesn't it?

    They'll never be another MG. It's still possible to evoke the past in a new car---Porsche and Ferrari both do that---their 2007 cars DO FEEL like the old cars in some ways...there's a definite connection in sound, driving position, even in styling....but a "new" MG? How could that possibly be re-created? Is someone really going to build a torquey pushrod 4 cylinder engine and mate it to a dogsled suspension? I don't THINK so.

    Ferrari and Porsche were sophisticated cars in 1965. MG certainly was not. It had more in common with 1925 than 2005.


  • There was a car madein the USA called the American Moosehead. I always thought that would be a great name for a big SUV.

    That would be a good name althought it almost sounds Canyoneroish.


    Completely off topic but that reminded me of this. If you ever get over to my side of the country you have to stop by the Golden Age of Trucking museum. My Wife's aunt, Aunt In-Law I guess, runs it along with another woman.

    Golden Age of Trucking

    I had my wedding there and it is a freaking cool place. They have some really cool old trucks there including some pre-war stuff from local makes.

    Partial list of trucks on hand They get new stuff all the time. When I was there for my wedding they had a collection of WWII era armor there.


    That is one of my favorites. 1928 Pierce Arrow.
  • One would think (if one were thinking) that to reprise a model name, one would pick a model name that had some glory, fame, mythology, etc attached to it....SILVER GHOST...CHARGER....MINI...MUSTANG....CAMARO....2002...540K...300SL

    but "spitfire"?

    I mean, this was a very humble little car when it first came out...

    But Mini "was a very humble little car when it first came out" as well.

    I can't imagine that BMW would launch a "BMW Spitfire" but a new Triumph Spitfire wouldn't have any negative connection to BMW. Nobody seems to have a problem with the ultimate British icons (Rolls-Royce and Bentley) being owned by their former rivals the Germans.

    BMW has done an excellent job of promoting its newer brands. Rolls-Royce has returned to its position as the top car to be driven in. Mini has established a subcompact as a premium brand. And none of this has seemed to lessen the impact of BMW's image.

    My dual loves of Triumph's rival MG (Triumph-powered MG Midgets were NOT as good as MG-powered ones) and off-brand vehicles in general are at odds. I would rather see MG become a global brand again (preferably not under Chinese control, though) than a revival of Triumph, but I also would like to see more niche brands revived. It's such a conundrum!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Well humble in original form but also developed into a world-class butt-kicker. The MINI Cooper S gave bigger faster cars FITS in racing on tight tracks and in the Monte Carlo rally (and others). You can still view old film footage of MINIS eating up Corvettes at Lime Rock (back when Corvettes had maximum power and minimum brakes). The racing MINIS were formidable and highly respected cars.

    Spitfires share none of this world-class glory IMO. It's a car you bought when you couldn't afford an MGB and when you couldn't bring yourself to drive a Triumph Herald.


  • Spitfires share none of this world-class glory IMO. It's a car you bought when you couldn't afford an MGB and when you couldn't bring yourself to drive a Triumph Herald.

    Again, I'm an MG fan so I find it difficult to defend Triumph. BUT...

    I would imagine that a revived Triumph would start with the TR-Series before they'd relaunch any other model name. I, personally, would rather see a revived Dolomite hitting the market to compete with the RWD tuner cars that the Japanese car fans seem to want from Toyota/Nissan.

    But make a TR9 and I'll be there to check it out.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    "Spitfires share none of this world-class glory IMO. ..."

    I'm sure you are correct, but in the world of sports car
    racing I seem to have read about several well tuned spitfires
    that did a lot in SCCA lower classes for several decades.
    Seems the car could be put in shape to compete at that level.
    BTW, I owned a B from '72 to '85 so was always partial
    to B's over any Triumph model.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    I'm sure a Spitfire won a race or two but we never heard about it in the outside world. MG had a lot more visibility in America at least, and certainly a more substantial pre-war reputation; also victories with Stirling Moss, etc. And of course, we had the MG TC which really was responsible for introducing the foreign sports car to America, with the returning US soldiers who brought them home after WW II.

    Triumph was, is, and always will be the also-ran of MG, and that's just the way it is, fair or not.


  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Guess that is the one advantage about not having followed it
    at the time. I only know about what they dredge up for the
    classic motorsports reviews of the past. I will say that
    I've seen two spitfires at track events in the past 4+years
    and no MGB's. Although the B's do seem to have a few entries
    at the Historic events.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Yeah I don't think contemporary vintage racing reflects the actual spread or performance of the cars at the time of their manufacture...but I'm sure people raced their Triumphs back in the day. But I don't think Spitfires made much of a name for themselves back then.

    It's a pretty slender hook upon which to hang a reputation, is my point. It's a rather obscure car for a "heritage".


  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    Guys, Fascinating forum. If you have a look at UK Google and search under UK CAR CLUBS you'll find a plethora of sites devoted to all sorts of marques, (some of which even this old Btit isn't really familiar with). One site lists them all, A - Z, incl non-UK marques. Hours of fun seeing what the folks of this nostalgic island are still getting up to. It's amazing to realise what is still alive and kicking.......and still being raced. :)

    BMW Spitfire ? No thanks; it would just be a re-hash of the awful Z4. I'd trust Mazda to build one, though. They understand the real "spirit" of small sports cars : MX-5 is the true successor to lots of them; B's, Elan's, Spridgets, (later A H Sprite & MG Midget were just about interchangeable), Healey's etc. You don't need huge power outputs, just power and chassis balance plus a brush to get the flies out of your teeth.

    TVR rather lost the plot, IMO, and just kept on adding power. Wonderful but not to be used if there was rain within about 50 miles. (Now that's going to get me in trouble).

    We still have some small-volume builders; Morgan, Aerial and Noble are three that spring to mind. Caparo is, (probably), the latest but that's a truly mental motor car at an eye-wateringly high price. :D
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Some companies evolve their "vision", others seem to really lose it.

    The idea of the Brits killing off the MG so that they could divert all capital to the TR7 still makes me overheat (appropriately enough).

    How ironic that Mazda has remained so pure to original intent. We do not have the V-10 Mazda with 9-speed paddle shifting and computer suspension costing $65,000, and hopefully I've never have to suffer looking at one.


  • colloquorcolloquor Posts: 482
    Kas Kastner, Bob Tullius, and all of the Group 44 drivers from the mid to late '60s would beg to differ on the role of the Spit and TRs success on the SCCA circuit. The Spits "cleaned many MG clocks" in G and F Production. And, the TRs did the same in C, D, and E Production classes.

    I had the "pleasure" - if you can call it that - to own a number of Brit cars during the late '50s into the '60s, and early '70s. No need for any rehashed BMW versions here, as I owned the originals. Been there, and done that for sure . . . I will stick to the modern cars I drive today, albeit they don't mark their parking spots as all of my Brit cars did.

    With all the emphasis on curtain and lumbar side airbags, plus all of the other safety equipment available today, I shudder to think of being T-Boned in my 1960 Triumph TR-3A. Beautiful to look at, but deadly in an accident. Sometimes, I really feel lucky to be alive after having spent so many hours in the cockpit of those cars!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Well gee how's an MG going to race against a TR6? With an MGC?---hahahahaha....

    My point/opinion (once again...ahem...) is that Spitfire has no heritage in the American buyers' memory but MG does. If Americans remember anything about Triumph, it's the TR3 or the TR6 (or the TR250, my favoritest British sports car of the 1960s!!!)

    Ergo, marketing a new Spitfire in America would drop like a ball of lead from a clock tower.


  • colloquorcolloquor Posts: 482
    The TR250 was a nice TR4A with the 2.5L Inline 6 from the Vittese and Triumph 2000 sedan, but the TR5 was much nicer, with petrol injection (albeit Lucas) rather than the Stromberg CDSE carbs. Of course, the TR5 wasn't officially imported into the USA.

    The Inline 6 in the TR250 was only marginally more powerful than the Vanguard 4 in the TR4A, due to the Zenith-Stromberg carbs, milder cam, and somewhat retarded ignition advance curve. The TR250 was only produced for 15 months (late '67 and '68), and was an interim model between the TR4A and the TR6. I still have very vivid memories of a BRG TR250 sitting on the dealer's showroom floor when I bought my GT6. A '68 TR250 and a '68 E-Type Coupe both on the showroom floor, and I can still remember the sticker price on the E-Type to this day: $6,800.

    Many econo cars of today would out handle either the TR6 or MGC which really isn't saying much is it? Especially the MGC - it could go fine in a straight line, but when you wanted to turn, ah, it was a different story.

    Hardly anyone today remembers the Spitfire, either the car or the plane that saved Britain's bacon in 1940. Sad really, but true . . .

    P.S. In mentioning the TR4A, I am always amazed at what Triumph engineers did when converting the live rear axle of the TR4 to an IRS configuration used in 75% of the production of the TR4A, and all of the production of the TR5, TR250, and TR6. The axle shafts run above the frame rails - amazing, only in England would they consider this. You can always easily pick out and IRS equipped TR, as it squats significantly under acceleration or load.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Oh yes, the Stromberg "vacuum depression" carburetors. Kind of a nuisance, very tedious to adjust. The SUs were much easier to work on, and more economical by a long shot.

    If you got the Strombergs set up right (bought the jet tools, etc) and rebuilt them, I'd have to admit they ran stronger than SUs through the rev range.

    I think the TR5 with the Lucas injection would not have been a success in America. Maserati used that same system to no good result.

    Alfa's SPICA was better.

    I guess MG did finally bow to Stromberg when the pathetic rubber bumper MGBs came out with a SINGLE Stromberg. I remember how the exhaust manifolds would glow red at night on those cars.

    Top speed was an alleged 73 mph.


  • mattandimattandi Posts: 588
    My first car was a '72 MGB. Kept it through my first couple of years in college in the Appalachian mountains of NC. What a blast on those roads. Used to just laugh at Florida expatriates in their RV's.

    Two six volts in the back "seat." Three wipers. Fussy webers that just never got just right (could either idle or run flat out, but not both)

    Most invaluable features were aftermarket ad-ons - a Chilton manual and a basic toolkit. ;)

    I keep threatening my wife that I am going to find another one.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Now's the time while they are still reasonably cheap and while the aftermarket parts are plentiful.

    Yes, avoid Webers on an MGB if you can. Too much carburetion for that engine.


  • I am thinking about buying a '54 or '55 MG TF, but I am concerned about value. In the recession, prices went down, but as we recover I am a little doubtful that prices will rebound. Any ideas out there? I can only afford to buy one classic car and do not want to blow it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    MG TFs are charming cars and I think they are the best of the "T" series. The 1955 model with the 1500 engine is the rarest of the TFs, and somewhat more valuable than 53-54s, so the best appreciation will be the 1500. I don't see these cars ever going down in value.


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