Winter Motoring

  The automotive journalist and former race driver Denise McCluggage has written about taking her MG TC to Vermont in the winter to go skiing.  Cor’ Blimey, what a feat in a car which pre-dated the in-dash heater !   By contrast, this writer simply keeps an MGB GT with four studded snow tires at the ready during the winter months.

Rubber Bumper MGB GT at Abingdon Spares

First Blue GT at Abingdon Spares

What you can do with $50.00 and a set of used winter tires from a Saab 99.  This photo was taken in front of Abingdon Spares the “T” series MG parts house in Walpole, N.H. just across the river from Westminster, Vt.  A frequent winter destination. 

  Forget the old wive’s tales about parking them for the winter.  This GT was a reliable starter right down to -20 F. It was featured in the “Drivable Dream” section of the June ’07 issue of Hemmings Sports & Exotics, although it was retired shortly thereafter when then associate editor Dave LaChance put both his feet thru the passenger floor.  

Dave LaChance photorgaphs the 1st GT in Wilmington, Vt

Hemmings Journalist Dave LaChance plies his trade

These cars are massively strong and are safe even when extensively rusted. The point of “no return” is easily measured on the tourers by inserting a quarter in the bottom of the door gap at the back and seeing if you can run it straight thru to the top.  If it stops around the side molding it means the car is starting to fold, not a problem with GT’s but when the floors go south,  you can end up with frost bitten feet on a really cold day.  

GT #1 past its prime

Last Roundup

By the time this picture was taken, the much lamented $50.00 GT had become an organ donor (engine) for the much spiffier , but unfortunately pre-molested, blue GT #2.  It even has a Webasto sunroof, never opened except on the roughest of roads.

"new" rubber bumper GT

blue GT #2 after heart transplant

In this picture the Webasto sunroofed follow-on blue GT has just received the engine from the original blue GT.  

  These cars are true work-aholics.  The old  advertising slogan “You Can Do It In An MG” was never more true, Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones did.

four Jaguar tires & wire wheels fit in an MGB GT

Tire Transporter

There is simply no end to the usefulness of the rear hatchback on these cars.  It’s easy to move a complete set of Jaguar wheels & tires to the tire shop with a little ingenuity.

  While maybe it’s not as toasty warm as your Volvo, and on some days it’s not warm at all (wear wool), an MGB GT with four studded tires is still a panic to drive even on snow covered roads.

MGB GT on a snowy road

The View From Here

For more information about the suitablilty of MG’s for winter driving, contact us.

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