1993 MGR V8 3.9
I've occasionally seen these cars at shows and thought they looked somehow nicer than the standard MGB but had never really considered them before. Sometimes these things just happen without any pre planning, as was the eventual purchase of this car. It all started quite innocently and quickly took on a life of its own.
I had been to view some unwanted equipment for possible donation to our Orkney Menís Shed and on returning with the donor to his place of work the car park was full, so he left his van down a nearby alleyway. As we left the van I spied the corner of a green sports car and dismissed it as an MGF - no offence to owners of these vehicles but they donít come near the top of my list for possible ownership. A second glance and a firm rebuke from my friend made me take a closer look - this was a forlorn looking MGR V8, complete with MGR number. Dumped amongst unwanted pallets and other dross, two tyres were flat, there was green slimy mould on most of the roof and water in the floors and the wheels looked as though they might have been immersed in salt - how can anyone leave a car to get like that? Following a brief discussion with the owner the following day, it was ours! Oh, and before you ask - yes it was cheap!
Only 2000 of these
cars were built and around 1500 of those were sold to Japan although some of
those have now been re-imported. Most of the Japanese cars were painted in
Woodcote green but only 311 of the total production were in British Racing Green
Christine and I decided it might be worthwhile to bring it back from the dead and use it next season for a show or two - something we have done many times before with cars and motorcycles. Unless we are really stupid with the buying of parts, we can't possibly get our fingers burned.
It was delivered the following Wednesday and after finding the oil quite clean and most things still worked, was running and driving by the Friday. It has like many cars, rather a convoluted story and appears that after 3 owners in the first 6 years, was brought to Orkney and left virtually unused, first in a showroom then much less well cared for, for some years until we bought it. If it had lain unloved for another winter it could have ended up being worth nothing more than expensive scrap.
The original tool roll was still there (including torch!) but the spare and jack have wandered off. Even the wheel chocks are unused.
The interior was very dirty but eminently salvageable and only the door cappings have deteriorated badly.
A few weeks of drying out, deep cleaning, claying and waxing have brought the paintwork to a pleasing standard and wheels are well on the way to being acceptable. These cars were probably painted properly by a dedicated man in overalls rather than by a robot controlled by an accountant.
A full brake overhaul will obviously be done together with all bodily fluids being changed and the usual expendable ignition bits replaced. Needless to say a set of new tyres will be needed but not until the Spring when it will once more take to the roads.
Our first sight of this once cherished car
We could see through the layer of grime that this would make a very acceptable car
The good thing about anything made from an aluminium alloy is that the oxidation actually protects the bulk of the metal underneath, providing that it's left undisturbed as it becomes an impervious layer - unlike the oxide on ferrous metals which is porous.
Part 2 Refurbishing the alloy wheels
Part 3 The final touches
Restoring the seats
Back to Main Page