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Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5932 posts)

10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

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different perspectives
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: April 22, 2009 05:17PM

I found myself wondering about this chase for more power, better handling, and modernization that we're on, this right after reading an article on the MT car of the year I think it was, a little Import known as Godzilla that the Japanese have been hiding from us in plain sight for years. Went out and SPANKED the BMW 911 at the Nurembergring. Has all the bells and whistles and sells for 79K. OK, now that is a level we may have some difficulty attaining with an MGB simply because the car is 4wd and it's computer takes action faster than we can think and that gives it a couple of edges that might be very expensive for us to counter. Of course it's kinda ugly.

Every few years this question seems to come up for me, and for quite some time now we've been successfully taking a 50 year old design and enhancing it to the place where we fear no street car. That's fine and I have no problem with that but when do we attain obsolescence? As fine of a car as the Model A Ford was in it's day,or for that matter the MG-TC is there anyone who thinks one could be expected to keep up with a modern automobile regardless of how much the older car was modified? So in the normal course of affairs you'd think we would reach a similar point with the MGB and other period cars. Have we reached it already? Maybe. It's difficult to say. But the point is, does there come a time when it no longer makes much sense to pursue horsepower and handling the way we have been because the world has simply moved on. It seems inevitable and every now and then I wonder if maybe we're really going in the wrong direction. Does it perhaps make more sense to distill those things about the MGB (for example) that make it such a fun automobile and then enhance those aspects rather than taking the broad brush approach to power and speed. Is it really the speed, or is it the perception of speed? Is it really fine handling, or is it the control-ability at the limits? Are these impressions enhanced by increasing traction, or does decreasing it give a more "fun" experience? I know some will think that less traction could never be more fun, but if all it does is move the max speed in a corner down and leave the same feel doesn't that decrease the anxiety level? When was anxiety ever fun?

Not that many of us would ever be happy with making the handling of the MGB less than it was originally, and there will be few if any who will not agree that more power makes it a more fun car, but more power also makes it a faster car, again increasing the anxiety level. Is it conceivable that when power is increased that a corresponding decrease in cornering ability could make it a more fun car to drive? It would certainly place more emphasis on braking and setting up for corners.

It should be an easy experiment to find out. Just find a set of stock rostyle rims, mount some real skinny bias ply tires on them, and go for a drive but do it with an open mind. You aren't going to go as fast, but it will probably be more of a challenge. The control-ability of the car shouldn't change but your level of finesse may go up. You will corner at slower speeds, but you just could find yourself liking it more. Something to think about anyway.


Joe Schafer
Central Michigan
(150 posts)

10/23/2007 06:46AM

Main British Car:
1971 Mgb 1991 5.0 Ford

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Re: different perspectives
Posted by: MGB SS
Date: April 26, 2009 07:31PM

Wow Jim that is some heavy thinking:)
Both Max And Carl prove that driving skill is worth more than the extra H.P. and Tire width that we install on our little cars. I am not into vintage racing and I drove my B and others with the stock engine and tires.... No thank you I will keep my 5.0 and 245-50-15s they do bring a smile to my face.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2009 07:35PM by MGB SS.

Brian Mc Cullough
Forest Lake, Minnesota, USA
(380 posts)

10/30/2007 02:27AM

Main British Car:
1980 MGB '95 3.4L 'L32' SFI V6, GM V6T5 & 3.42 Limi

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Re: different perspectives
Posted by: BMC
Date: April 26, 2009 10:04PM


I'm right there with you in thought and have pondered this many a time. Probably starring up at the same star you did during those same moments.

One item that i would have to say about this is that the MGB and even the MGA are basically not far off from modern cars or can be turned into modern cars on the underside and still have that MG charm. Same can be said for Triumph and Healey. An MG TF or older will Never be a modern car. To modernize one of those will remove all forms of class and charm from the car and give you a modern feel. When they start building MG hovercraft, then I may say different.


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