Welcome to my blogsite about Murphy, my 1972 MGB GT
It’s been exactly a year since I acquired this little green MGB GT, so to celebrate, I decided to start this blogsite.
This car has a history that’s still evolving under my care, so with 42 years under it’s fanbelt, (that’s a year younger than me), this seemed a nice way to keep a record.
I’ve always loved old cars. When I was little, my dad used to have a green 1967 Mini, which was so cool. I can still remember it’s registration, RYW 37F, and I was only 5 years old at the time. I once sneaked into the garage whilst my mum was having coffee with the neighbour, and started the engine. I’ll leave it to you to imagine the panic that ensued, followed by the trouble I got into, but I just loved that car! Was it the colour, the sound, or just the way it felt when it sped down those Oxfordshire lanes?
When I was 17, and just passed my driving test, my first car was a T-reg (1978) MkII Escort, (DBD 46T) which my dad and I literally had in pieces during my summer holiday from college. My dad has always been into fixing up cars, (a true engineer/inventor at heart), and had a garage that was well kitted out for any mechanical or electrical job (even welding and an engine hoist), so there were no problems regarding tools and other bit’s and pieces.
As the years passed, I moved out and ended up living 100 miles away from my parents due my strange choice of career. Work commitments plus buying my first house meant I had less time and money to spend tinkering with cars, so I moved from car to car, as you do, and eventually owned a BMW as a company car. At the age of 27, this was really cool, but there was always a little part of me that disliked the fact that this car was not really for me to get my hands on, or should I say, in.
I sold the BMW a couple of years after getting married in 2002, as it was a 2-door coupe, and a back-killer when getting our baby son in and out of the rear seat. Also, the boot wasn’t great for pram + shopping, let alone fishing gear, so it was time to get practical…
My next car was a Toyota Rav-4 – Japanese, reliable, roomy, etc, etc – and for 10 years, this car served our family well. So well in fact, that I kept it until it’s last day, by which time it had clocked ~130,000 miles, including many family road trips to Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Belgium – most of these places several times each. In it’s latter days, a few things started to go wrong, but I was able to fix them and keep it going for a few years longer, despite it not being the easiest car to work on.
I did get annoyed when my good friend Nick (who drives a 1988 Nissan Silvia) and I attempted to change the clutch, only to find it needed a proprietary “Toyota tool” and we were forced to hand it to a garage. When the ECU started playing up, which potentially could have been very costly, but actually turned out to be a screwy Lambda sensor, I started to wonder whether, with only 10 years under it’s belt, these fandangled computer-controlled vehicles may not be all they’re cracked up to be – well not for someone like me,anyway.
What I needed was a good old fashioned internal combustion engine, with simple electrics akin to battery/bulb technology, (something I could easily fix without a fault code reader) as opposed to fancy on-board computers. I work with computers and cutting-edge technology day-to-day, and though I love this too, there’s a part of me that loves to get away from it all in my personal time. (This probably explains my love of fishing too – no electronic bite indicators in my tackle box!)
Since my wife did the school runs and all things local, and I just parked in the work car park from Monday-Friday, I started to wonder whether it would be more economical/efficient for my wife to keep the bigger family car all week, then we use it as a family at the weekends, and what I needed was a little car to get me 11 miles each way to and from work each day.
Now, I’m a lucky guy, because I have a wife who get’s me (well, most of the time, anyway 🙂 As I started to look at smaller cars, (e.g. sports cars), and knowing how I liked older cars, it was she who suggested “Why don’t you get a classic car?”
After the company car, then the practical family car, this was music to my ears, and something I guess I’d never considered for some reason – maybe I never considered it practical. I did explain to her that I’d need to spend time looking after it, and there may be unreliable days, (thus I kept my 125cc Yamaha scooter and CBT up-to-date just incase I needed backup), but she still felt that I should give it a go.
So a year has passed, which includes last Winter, and neither am I bored nor am I regretting this decision, despite the leaks!
In fact, I’m really enjoying owning this little car; it’s fun to drive, easy to work on, the most complex item in the car is the stereo, unless you count the mobile phone in my pocket, spare parts are easy to find, and I’m part of a nice community via the MG Owners Club and Winchester MG Owners Club. Even my 9-year old son enjoys it and gives me helping hand from time to time, (he now knows how to do oil checks, pump the tyres and sort out the screenwash), and besides, it’s just nice to spend time with him and chat.
I have plans – nothing too grand, as I have to watch the pennies and my time, especially since we’ve had a beautiful baby girl this summer. I hope to share my activities, thoughts and findings with you via this blog, which I hope you’ll enjoy, and you too may be tempted to join in the world of owning a classic car, like Murphy, my MGB GT 🙂