Category Archives: General

Origins of the MG – The Evolution of the MG and Old Number One, Part 2

by Karen Border, TRF Publications

I have promised our MGB customers some stories about the origins of the MG marque and so I began researching them. But here is my effort to explain how the MG was developed. Because it is such a complicated story, I am going to have to do it in installments. I have also included a list of books and web links that I used for research, so you can read more about the subject. This is the second installment. All of the installments can be found at https://the-roadster-factory.com/Images/POTW/MG-Origins/MG-history.html .

Karen Border

INSTALLMENT 2. THE EVOLUTION OF THE MG AND OLD NUMBER ONE

Cecil Kimber (1888 – 1945) was born in Dulwich, South London, and he is credited with being the driving force behind the creation of the MG sports car. In 1921, he became the Sales Manager for Morris Garages in Queen Street in Oxford. Morris Garages was a sales and service center for Morris Motors, Limited, and included the main sales facility in Queen Street, a repair garage at Longwall Street and Holywell, and workshops in Cornmarket Street. William Morris also owned a manufacturing facility in Cowley where the Morris Oxford and Cowley cars were made. In 1922, Kimber became the general manager of Morris Motors after the resignation of Edward Armstead, and was then responsible for managing the sales office, the repair garage, and the workshops.

Kimber was aware that many people wanted cars that looked and performed more like sports cars than the cars that Morris offered, and he knew that people would pay a premium for them, thus increasing the profit for the business. He began promoting sales by producing his own special versions of Morris cars to appeal to people who wanted a custom or sporting car. In addition to being a sales manager and general manager, Kimber was also a visionary, and he and his wife, Irene, drew and designed custom body coaches. To build the cars that would eventually become the MG, Kimber first used the Morris Bullnose Cowley chassis and running gear from the Morris factory, and then he added his custom coachwork which he had produced by Carbodies of Coventry. The suspension was lowered and the high steering components were modified and lowered (raked). The car colours were pastel and they were two-seaters with leather seats and with the “Dicky Seat” (occasional seat) behind. The hood was unique because it covered the front seats as well as the occasional seat at the back. The car was nicknamed a “Chummy” which might have been because the hood covered all of the passengers and not just the two in front. One source called these cars “Kimber Specials”.

The cars were originally assembled at the Longwall Street repair garage, but in 1923, they needed more room. They moved to an old stabling yard in Alfred Lane which Morris had used to store used vehicles. The assembly staff consisted of Cecil Cousins and his assistant, Stan Saunders, Jack Lowndes and George Morris.

Eager to prove that his cars were true sport cars, Kimber entered a Chummy with a race-tuned engine in a road race. In March 1923, Kimber won a gold medal in the London-to-Land’s End-Trial. He celebrated his win by designing and ordering six two-seater coaches from Raworth of Oxford. These bodies featured yacht-like scuttle ventilators and rakishly slanted windscreens braced on the sides by triangular glass supports. These 11.9 hp Raworth Chummies were probably the first cars to be referred to as an M.G. However, sales were slow because the cars were twice as expensive as a Morris Cowley.

William Morris, seeing an opportunity for profit, created his own version of a “Chummy,” called the “Occasional Four”, and priced it lower than Kimber’s Chummies. Knowing that he had to make a distinction between his Chummies and the Occasional Four, Kimber next tried the Chummy coach on the Morris Oxford chassis and added a more powerful 14 hp engine later in 1923. Sales of this car were not too successful, so in 1924, Kimber tried a more elegant saloon body, designed by G.S. (Jack) Gardiner who was one of Kimber’s sales team, on the Morris 14/28 Bullnose radiator, Oxford chassis. This car body was of polished aluminum and may have been fabricated by Clary Hughes of Birmingham. Gardiner’s car was so distinctive that Kimber created a similar one with a coach from Carbodies for Billy Cooper who was a timekeeper at the Brooklands track. His car attracted a lot of attention when drivers and spectators saw it parked at the track entrance.

Morris Motors made some changes to the Oxford chassis in September 1924, which included a nine-foot long wheelbase. Kimber took the longer chassis and designed an all aluminum, four-seater open tourer with optional two colour paint on the bonnet, boot, and wings to go with the polished aluminium side panels. He dropped the Morris Motor name and advertised them as the M.G. 14/28 Super Sports, “our popular M.G. Saloon”. At least four different versions of the 14/28 Super Sport were offered at the 1924 Motor Show, including an open two-seater, open 4-seater tourer, and a vee-front saloon. The car badge was still the Morris Oxford badge that was used on all of the Morris cars, but a separate MG octagon badge, “MG Super Sports”, was added to the last of the 14/28 cars built. The cars featured artillery-style wheels in 1924-1925, and then in 1925-1926 they had bolt on wire wheels. Some experts feel that the 1924 Morris 14/28 was the first car to be called the M.G. instead of the 11.9 hp Raworth Chummy. Here is a YouTube video link about the 14/28 Super Sports: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8TCxKrr-gw

In 1925, Morris Garages moved from Alfred Lane, Oxford to a larger place on Bainton Road, which shared space with the Morris radiator works. Also in 1925, Hubert Charles, a Morris engineer, began working in his spare time fitting the MG bodies to the new Bullnose Morris Oxford chassis, and he also worked with Kimber on engine tuning and experimental work. He officially joined MG in 1928 as Chief Draughtsman. Continuing expansion meant another move in 1927 to a separate factory in Edmund Road, Cowley, Oxford, near the main Morris factory and for the first time it was possible to include a production line.

There are several points of view about the MG octagon badge and the official registration date of the M.G. Car Company. The logo appeared in Oxford newspaper ads as early as November 1923, and some sources say it was registered as a Morris Garages trademark on May 1, 1924. Other sources say that it was not a registered trademark until 1925. The exact date when the M.G. Car Company was officially formed also varies between sources. Most sources say it formed in March 1928, and they had their very own stand at the London Motor Show in October 1928. Old Number One.

Kimber was still interested in garnering racing credentials for his cars. In 1924, he had a special racing car built on a modified Bullnose Cowley chassis and fitted with the Hotchkiss (now owned by Morris) 11.9 hp, 1548cc overhead valve engine. The lightweight, two-seater body was built by Carbodies of Coventry, and had a boat-shaped tail. The rear was modified by cutting the chassis frame and welding new rails which curved up and over the rear axle to secure the rear springs. The engine was tuned and it had a standard Morris 3-speed gearbox. As with all the Kimber Chummies, the high Cowley steering column was lowered. The dash was fitted with a tachometer, fuel and oil gauges, in addition to the standard speedometer and ammeter. Lighting was provided by two small sidelights on each side of the scuttle and a single headlight. The headlight was removed at some unspecified time and is not on the car at the present time. The car was originally painted in plain grey primer, but its current color is red. It was originally registered FC 7900 on March 27, 1925. In March 1950, it was registered under a new number—FMO 842 after a restoration, however in 1959 the car was given back its original registration number.

Kimber drove this car and won a gold medal in the Light Car Class in the 1925 London-to-Land’s End-Trial. The car was then sold to one of Cecil Kimber’s friends. It was offered back to Kimber but he did not purchase it at the time. It was used to haul food for pigs for a while, and then it was purchased in 1932 by a MG employee after he recognized it in a scrap yard in Manchester. He bought the car for £15. The car was restored in the Abingdon factory in 1933 and was used for sales promotions. The Nuffield Organization (formerly Morris Motors) officially christened the car “Old Number One”. It was described as being, “The First M.G., Built in 1923,” even though it was built in 1924. Many people feel it was not the very first MG car as that honor should go to either one of the 11.9 hp Raworth Chummies or one of the 1924 Morris 14/28 cars. It has been exhibited at many events and shows in England and it was sent to the United States for the 50th anniversary celebration of the MG. Old Number One is currently on permanent display in the Historic Vehicle Collection at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon and is still kept drivable. Here is a link to the British Motor Museum: https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/. You can view a video about Old Number One at this YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfZKfbfMviw .

Sources Used: The websites listed here provide more in-depth information and are worth the time to read!
https://www.mgownersclub.co.uk/mg-guides/pre-war/old-number-one
https://www.namgar.com/articles/article/mga_history/mg_-_early_days/
https://www.mgownersclub.co.uk/mg-guides/pre-war/1440-tourer
https://www.namgar.com/articles/article/mga_history/mg_-_early_days/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris_Oxford_bullnose
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris_Cowley
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Morris,_1st_Viscount_Nuffield
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MG_Cars
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MG_14/28
http://www.bullnose.org.uk/
Video about the Bullnose 14/28: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8TCxKrr-gw
Video about Old Number One: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfZKfbfMviw
Great Marques M.G., by Chris Harvey, 1983
MG Past & Present, by Rivers Fletcher, 1985
MG by McComb, by F. Wilson McComb, Revised Edition by Jonathan Wood, 2004

Karen Border
TRF Publications (The Roadster Factory)
www.the-roadster-factory.com
Sales Department Phone: 800-234-1104

Origins of the MG – Background to the MG, Part 1

by Karen Border, TRF Publications

I have promised our MGB customers some stories about the origins of the MG marque and so I began researching them. The one thing I learned about the development of the MG was that it seemed to just sort of grow out of one man’s desire to make a better car than his employer made! Today it would be odd indeed if, for instance, Ford or GM would allow their Sales Manager at one of their car dealerships to purchase a factory-made chassis and then put a body that he or she had designed on the chassis, and then sell the remodeled car. I was not able to determine whether or not Morris got the profit from these cars, or if Cecil Kimber made the profit from them, or if they split the profit. Another thing I learned during my research was that there were some differences in versions of how the development of the MG marque came about, and there is no clear timeline. But here is my effort to explain how the MG was developed. Because it is such a complicated story, I am going to have to do it in installments. I have also included a list of books and web links that I used for research, so you can read more about the subject

Karen Border Installment 1. Background to the MG

The history of MG cars began in the early 1920s as a sideline sales promotion business of Morris Garages. William Richard Morris (later 1st Viscount Nuffield) started a garage in Oxford in the early 1900s and by 1910 the name was known as Morris Garages, Limited. At that time, Morris Garages began to produce the Morris Oxford, a series of models which included the 1913 Bullnose Oxford, and continued through 1935 with the Farina Oxfords V and VI.

The Oxford Bullnose was designed in 1912, and produced in March 1913. It was a small car with a White and Poppe 1018 cc four-cylinder, side-valve engine with fixed cylinder head. It had a distinctive radiator with a bullet-nose rounded top, sort of like the front of many farm tractors. It was an open-tourer, two-seat car, but they also made a van version. No four-seat versions were made as the chassis was too short and not strong enough. The Bullnose de luxe had a longer chassis with different body versions and it became available in November 1913. The body versions included limousines, sporting cars, and vans.

In 1915, Morris developed the Continental Cowley, and it included an engine from the United States made by the Continental Motor Manufacturing Company of Detroit. This 1495 cc engine was 50 percent larger than the 1018 cc engines previously used, and the car was also longer, wider and featured other components from the United States. Some of the other parts from America included the clutch and three-speed gearbox from Detroit Gear & Machine Co. The front and back axles and steering gear also came from America. The car design still had the Bullnose radiator, and because it had a larger and stronger chassis, it was available in a two-seater body with occasional seats at the rear, which I believe in America we might have called “Rumble Seats”, but in England they were called “Dickie Seats”. Dickie seats were sometimes called “mother-in-law seats” and they originated from horse-drawn carriages. Their purpose was as a place for servants or guards to ride. Or children would ride in the Dickie seat.

The Cowley was also the first Morris car that included electric lighting as a standard feature on the cars, but lighting was not provided as standard on Cowley delivery vans. Lucas was, of course, the lighting supplier. Production halted during WWI because it became difficult to get the parts from America, and the factory was used to make munitions. Several Continental engines were lost at sea during the war. The last Continental Cowley was made in 1920, and used the last of the American engines.

After the war, in 1919, the Morris Cowley was updated and called the Cowley Bullnose. The engine was switched to a Hotchkiss & Cie French engine, that was manufactured at the Hotchkiss branch factory in Coventry, England. Morris would end up buying the Hotchkiss works around May of 1923, and it became known as the Morris engine branch. From 1919 on, the Cowley was what we would call the “Economy Model”, and was only available in a two-seater model with smaller, lighter tires. You can read more about the Cowley on this wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris_Cowley. This article gives detailed specifications for the cars and the engines.

In addition to the Cowley Bullnose, Morris continued development of the Oxford Bullnose. It was modified to have a longer wheelbase and stronger construction, and could carry up to five passengers. It featured a self-starter and had a better electrical system than the Cowley. It was what we would call, the “Deluxe Model”. It featured the Hotchkiss 11.9 fiscal horsepower 1548 cc engine. The Oxford Bullnose was admired because the transmission and everything that revolved, except the fan belt, was fully enclosed in an oil bath.

One notable thing about William Morris was that he introduced the techniques of mass production to England by using the assembly line processes that Henry Ford had been successful with in America. Prior to this, most automobiles had been built one-at-a-time. The Cowley and the Oxford became mass produced cars. From 1919–1925 Morris expanded his production from Oxford into factories at Abingdon, Birmingham, and Swindon.

We will leave the development of the Morris Cowley and Oxford cars, and for the next installment, I hope to be able to cover the beginnings of the MG, Cecil Kimber, and Old Number One. In my research, I came across an English group of pre-1930 Morris car owners called the Morris Bullnose Club. Here is a link to their web page: http://www.bullnose.org.uk/. They have several photo galleries on the website which you might like to view. At the end of this letter is a list of the sources that I used and I am including this installment of the story and some photos on our Photos of the Week page. I welcome any comments or corrections to this series on the MG. Please send your comments and edits to trfpublications@aol.com.

Until next time,
Karen Border
TRF Publications (The Roadster Factory)
www.the-roadster-factory.com
Sales Department Phone: 800-234-1104

Visit to Johnson Press

by Frank Ochal

On our way back from Meet 2017 in Alabama we stopped in Pontiac, Illinois to visit out printer, Johnson Press.

This was our first opportunity to meet with the people we have been communicating by phone and email with and to see where our magazine has been printed since 2012.

Bruce Magers and I were led on an informative tour of the plant with our Customer Service Rep, Teresa Masching. It was interesting to see the care that they take in printing each magazine. It was amazing how technology has improved the printing process since the last time I took a tour of a printing plant. The reduced size of the machines is the first thing you notice.

The visit concluded with a light lunch with Teresa and plant manager, Steve “Buzz” Zeller.

Thanks again to everyone at Johnson Press of America for the welcome and the continued fine job done with our magazines!

Auto Insurance

The auto insurance industry is not easy to navigate. There are so many factors to consider when shopping for a provider that car owners often get lost in (or cheated by) the fine print.

On behalf of consumers, a team of researchers at Reviews.com set out to identify the auto insurance providers that rise to the top, “based on their ability to serve customers and actually pay out claims; not just on premium cost.” Take a look at their helpful guide here: https://www.reviews.com/auto-insurance/

They started with 41 of the nation’s top auto insurance companies. These are the factors they considered in their comprehensive review:

  1. Financial solvency
  2. Claims processing
  3. Coverage options
    1. New car replacement
    2. GAP insurance
    3. Uninsured motorist coverages
  4. Discounts
  5. Customer support

Their guide not only provides their overall favorite auto insurance providers based on the above considerations, but also offers recommendations tailored to your personal needs – whether you’re a pet owner, veteran, on a budget, or…a classic car owner! (They recommend Grundy) Find their research process, recommendations, and purchasing tips here.

The Value of an MG

by Art Isaacs

In case you have not noticed, the value of our MG cars has been increasing steadily. Many collector cars have, some to extremes we can never hope to have our cars aspire to, but that’s really a good thing. Why? Well, despite appraisals (and auction selling prices) going into the mid-30’s, the MGB has not reached the threshold where owners don’t drive them anymore for fear of damaging their investment. That’s important and I’ll get back to this point.

Now, $30,000 is not what it was in 1990 when I bought my ’73 MGB for $300. Inflation has taken some of the shine off that sort of increase in value, but at that time, a running big Healy or Jaguar E-Type could still be found in the $10-15,000 range and a well restored MGB for the same or even less. Paying $6,500 for a B you could drive home, clean-up and take to a local popular show in the next week to take 2nd or 3rd in class was not that unheard of.

All you need do is compare the cars pictured in older issues of the Octagon magazine to those in current ones or attend a local LBC show to see the level to which owners are now restoring their cars. Part of this is that the cars are older themselves, have been used and enjoyed, so now need the kind of complete tear-down, including rotisserie body restoration that was barely an option 20 or so years ago, both in finding shops qualified to do the work and the cost-vs-value thing.

Now, the cost of entry has risen as well, but not 100 fold. There are still any number of decent MGs to be found at under $5,000, but get too far below that and you get cars with more serious needs. Midgets can still be found for less, but not much for a rust-free, complete driver. Again, the value of the finished product is such that reasonable investment makes these a good option.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure what I have actually invested in my car. It started life over 25 years ago as a ‘pocket-change project’, as I had a house and 2 young children with no place in the budget for restoring a classic car. I used my ‘lunch money’, asked for parts as birthday presents, scrounged from what others discarded as they restored their cars, bought a lot used at swap meets and sorted through junk yards. Back then, unless the junkyard specialized in these types of cars (anyone in the NY/NJ area remember Stucker’s on Staten Island?) Midgets, MGBs and other sports cars were looked upon as more of a nuisance by the mainstream GM, Ford Chrysler or AMC based yards, as there was little call for pieces from them on a regular basis and they took-up valuable space. I would see a B in the pile and some of these yards would try to sell me the whole car for a bit more than I was willing to pay for the part I needed! Looking back, I’m sorry I didn’t buy some of those, but I just did not have the room (or the money) at the time.

As a result, I’ve had to do things more than once and often do more work to undo the modifications made to fit adapted parts. There have been any number of seat/upholstery changes, carburetors, distributors and suspension work to get where I am today. But if it was not the most direct and economical way to do things, it was fun.

And that brings me back to my point about these cars. They were meant to be fun. Not investments cowering in the corner of the garage for fear of getting wet, dirty or causing wear with use. They are meant to be driven and enjoyed. And the passion, not just for the look, but the feel and joy of what a British sports car was meant for needs to be passed on to our children and grandchildren. Otherwise, they become like dinosaur bones, to be looked at and not touched.

The sports car has had a rebirth and is currently coming around to something closer to what we enjoy. The fact that the Mazda MX-5 Miata has been sold over 28 years of continuous production (8 years longer than the original MGB series) speaks volumes to this. The current generation is now closer to its original roots, which were based in a fondness for the British Classics, like the Lotus and MGB. And we are seeing the return of affordable true sport sedans, like the Alfa Guilia, not to mention that Chrysler-Fiat now offers their own version of the Miata as a new incarnation of the Fiat 124.

We already know and have what they are looking for. Getting into your B is more like putting on your favorite jeans. It fits in all the right places and becomes part of you (and, as WE get older, sometimes presents the same challenges). You feel and experience it as much as drive it.

And just because it is now worth more should not diminish the love for flogging them around the turns of the back roads and running 50-60 miles each way, just to go to a favorite spot for lunch or dinner, oft times more because the ride is fun and interesting than the food so unique. That is the true value of our cars.

They belong on the road, as do we. Get a kid out in them, even if just for grocery run. Let them help you prepare for gathering or show and then come along.

Allow a child to sit in your car at a show. You have no idea the impression that makes on the next generation. Or the spark that kindles.

So whether you’ve put in your money, your sweat or both, get the most out of your investment. Whenever possible, shake the dust off your MG the easy way – Drive!

Safety Fast!

Art Isaacs

British Sports Car Hall of Fame

Celebrating the history and heritage of British sports cars and the people that made them legendary.

The British Sports Car Hall of Fame was established as an
independent entity in 2016 to preserve and perpetuate the legacy and impact of these legendary vehicles and to honor the men and women responsible for their success. Induction into the Hall of Fame is reserved for those who have made a significant and lasting impact on the British sports car industry and hobby, making it a singular honor for a lifetime of achievement. By celebrating the memory of the dedicated individuals that played key roles, the Hall can serve as a touchstone for British sports car enthusiasts of all ages and interests, furthered by its various preservation and education initiatives. The Hall is supported by individual and corporate contributions.

More info at www.britishsportscarhall.org .

American MGB Association Advertisers – Insurance, Parts, Service

These are the people and services that help bring information to ourclub members by advertising in our club publication, the Octagon.  Please support them.

Insurance

J. C. Taylor Insurance, 1-888-ANTIQUE, www.JCTaylor.com
collector car agreed value insurance

Parts

Apple Hydraulics, 1-800-882-7753, www.applehydraulics.com
shock absorbers, brakes, carburetors

APT Instruments, 1-877-856-7103 (toll free), www.gaugeguys.com
Smiths instruments, gauges for British cars

British Wiring, 1-866-461-9050, www.BritishWiring.com
wiring harnesses, wire and terminals for all British classic cars & motorcycles

British Automotive, 415-883-7200, www.mgbmga.com
brakes, engines, suspension for MGAs and MGBs

British Car Specialists, 209-948-8767, www.BritishCarSpecialists.com
restoration, service, repairs, parts for British cars

British Car Part Restoration, 951-678-4182, Lake Elsinore, CA, info@british-car-part-restoration.com
restorations, parts and service for all British cars

Little British Car Company, 1-800-637-9640, www.LBCarCo.com
British car parts, their service puts them apart from the restClick here to visit Little British Car Co, LBCarCo

Moss Motors, 1-800-667-7872, www.mossmotors.com
parts, tech tips and more!

Northwest Import Parts, 503-245-3806, www.northwestimportparts.com
quality parts, knowledgeable and friendly service, same day shipping!

Parts for your MGB, MGB-GT and Midget, http://parts.mgclub.org
parts for all MGs and other vehicles!

SC Parts Group, +44(0) 12 93 8472 00, www.scparts.co.uk
parts for all British cars and the 123 Ignition

The Roadster Factory, 1-800-234-1104, www.the-roadster-factory.com
The Roadster Factory Will Pay Your AMGBA Dues!

Victoria British Ltd., 1-800-255-0088, www.VictoriaBritish.com
great prices on original equipment, reproduction and high performance parts and accessories

Publications and Literature

AMGBA Technical Sections, 773-769-7084 , www.mgclub.org/mgreg.htm
Volume I, II, III and IV.  Copies of technical topics published in the AMGBA Octagon.

Books4Cars, 1-888-380-9277, www.books4cars.com
books and manuals for all MGs

British Marque, 401-766-6920, www.britishmarque.com
car club news from clubs across the country and the U.K.

MG original sales literature, 315-432-8282, www.autolit.com
original sales brochures for most cars & trucks

Service

About Time Restorations, 860-301-8621, Essex, CT,  www.abouttimect.com/automotive-restoration-services.html, martin@abouttimect.com
30 years of experience in MG repair and restoration, they also buy MGs and other British cars

White Post Restorations, 540-837-1140, White Post, VA, www.whitepost.com
Sleeve and rebuild brakes: master, wheel, calipers, servo, slave, clutch cylinders and booster, reline shoes

Where do alfa romeos come on the scale of luxury?

Alfa Romeo is an Italian car manufacturer, known for their distinct and bold design as well as their policy of affordable luxury. They’re eccentric, sporty and oh so fashionable, which makes it easy to see why so many people love them. But, in the past there has been some disappointment regarding what these cars promised and what they managed to deliver.

For some time, Alfa Romeo has been known as a brand that wants to share luxury with as many people as possible. Alfas have all of the style, and grace of a real Italian sports car. But, when it comes to reliability and performance, there have been some models that were somewhat less than luxurious. They all had their strengths and weaknesses that left some people a little undecided about the brand. They had the look but lacked the ‘umph’ necessary to match up to the considerably more than cheap prices. But, that doesn’t mean that all Alfa Romeos have shared the same fate.

While some Alfa Romeos have been hit and miss in the past – good quality, but sadly trumped by their less expensive competitors – one of the latest models is the best there’s ever been. The Alfa Romeo Giulia completely raised the bar for the brand and conquered the road. While most other Alfa Romeo models promised luxury through and through, the Giulia managed to deliver and has outdone its hatchback brothers in terms of both form and function. This impressive executive saloon should be cause enough to have your faith restored in Alfa Romeo.

Unlike some other Alfas that can’t quite decide whether they’re a sports car or an everyday car, the Giulia knows exactly where it stands. It’s a confident everyday car that gives you something more. It gives you the comfortable and smooth handling you need to make driving easy, but it has the power and speed to make driving fun, too. It handles like a dream thanks to the innovative ‘Alfalink’ suspension and semi-virtual steering axis developed by Alfa Romeo. Nothing feels more luxurious than being completely in control of this stallion of a car.

When you sit behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo Giulia, you’re the one holding the reigns. The interior is all designed around the driver with the main controls all in easy reach and the push to start button to top it off gives you the feeling of sitting behind the wheel of a real Formula 1. Driving is a pleasure when everything you need is right there in your lap. The central infotainment system is also a real beauty and you can clearly see that Alfa Romeo have come a long way since their first design.

Overall, the Giulia is a car that gives you everything you could want – the best of both words. It’s practical and stylish; spacious and neat; powerful and svelte; comfortable and cool. When you’re looking for Alfa Romeo cars for sale , this should be the one to look out for. Whether you’re rushing to work or cruising down the Amalfi coast, this is a perfect, luxurious car to suit your needs.

Book Review: Making Cars at Longbridge

Making Cars at Longbridge

by Gillian Bards and Colin Corke

This book charts over 100 years of car making at Longbridge, near Birmingham. The Austin Motor Co. was founded here by Herbert Austin in 1906, opening its doors in early 1906, and it has been home to the British Motor Corp, British Leyland, Rover Group, and MG Rover. Its products include some of the most famous British models ever produced: the pioneering Austin Seven of the 1920s, the classic Mini, the Austin Metro, and in later years the MG TF and Rover 75. The factory was a major employer and integral part of the community since its foundation and its demise saddened many, but the areas will never forget its long and proud tradition of manufacturing.

 For 99 years, cars were made at Longbridge. Less than a year off its century, the factory closed and 6,000 people lost their jobs. The first cars to roll off the production plant were Austins, and the site has been a center of car manufacturing ever since. From the original Austin 7 of the 1920s to Rovers and MGs, there is a rich history of Longbridge that has been offset by the recent misfortune.

Gillian Bardsley is a social historian with a special interest in the rise and fall of the motor industry in Britain. She has been Archivist for the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust since 1990 and has contributed to many TV, radio, and magazine features. Colin Corke is the vicar of Longbridge.

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher:

The History Press (February 1, 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0750965290

In The News! – Skinner’s Union: The Story Behind the S.U. Carburetter by Mike Harvey

Review by Malcolm Jeal

skinnersunionbook Members of the SAHB will already have had a foretaste of this book as a result of the impressive article on the early part of the company’s history that appeared in Aspects of Motoring History No 10. That outlined the origins of the invention of the SU carburetter in 1904 and those that brought this about, and traced developments through the next 25 or so years. In addition there were some fine full-page freehand technical drawings that showed the construction and workings of the different carburetters that were designed and made.

Now this book has been published we not only get the full story that sustains the tenor of the Aspects article, but we also have a publication that is of inestimable quality both in terms of presentation and content. Printed on high quality art paper and profusely illustrated in black & white and colour where appropriate to a high standard, it is an attractive book to handle and a pleasure initially to just turn the pages and savour what is to come. Once actual reading commences, it is difficult to stop so doing.

Inevitably there is technical information that some might consider to be rather daunting, but this is expressed in accessible language so that with a degree of mental application plus reference to the accompanying illustrations it is understandable. Along with this there are the biographical stories of members of the Skinner family and associates, whilst a chapter is devoted to the various sporting cars that family members competed with in the 1930s – and the subsequent histories and restorations of these vehicles.

Most of us will think of SU carburetters in connection with motorcars and so the section on the various aero engines that also made use of them, notably the Rolls-Royce Merlin and Napier Sabre power units during World War Two, add an interesting additional dimension to the story. And there is of course more – William Morris’ acquisition of the business in 1927 and subsequent developments being but one example – but this is a review, not a summary.

Visit www.sucarb.co.uk to purchase a copy – it does have a ‘Part Number’: ALT 9527.