MG MGB – iKenteken


Today was a good day, because even though I caught just a glimpse of a beautiful car, I managed to get the number plate. While I despise the repetition of the name, I absolutely adore this MG MGB. Here’s why.

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This is why, goddamnit!

Take it in. Breath in.. Breath out.. Sync it to your heartbeat. Dear beloved baby Jesus.

Okay, we’ve calmed down a bit, but holy spirit, I cannot be the only one that mentally envisions these surroundings when thinking of a British sports car from the 60’s. However misleading pictures might be though, I still think that this car should not be seen anywhere else in the world than in between Britain’s rolling hills, their sheep and the picturesque grass. Luckily for me, this is not the reality we live in, because I saw it in a place with not the highest levels of flair: one of, if not the largest home and garden decorating stores in the Netherlands. Yup, right there, at 4 PM on a Thursday. Picture that.

One downside of knowing you have these series going on, on your blog is that, when in the rare occasion that there is a vintage car, you cannot pay that much attention to the vehicle itself. At least, not when it’s passing by. At the time, I was cycling. (big surprise)
The car rolled by, with the age-old straight 4 puffing and sputtering. It immediately came to my attention, and I hadn’t even seen it yet, that this was an old car. Not that hard to imagine, especially if we keep in mind that the vast majority of cars travelling about on Dutch roads are the simple, lease-practical, same-sound engines you stop hearing after a while. It’s like how the ticking of a clock suddenly appears when you focus on it. You didn’t hear it before, did you? Now it’s stuck in your head. Thank me later.

After I tried to memorize the numbers on the plate by talking to myself out loud, like a sociopath, I finally opened the app and entered the digits. A few hours later, when writing this article, I still know it by heart. I was excited. What were we dealing with? I only saw it for a few moments, then it disappeared off into the distance. It looked British, of that, I was sure. I loved its behind too. I am a complete sucker for that, both in cars and women. Time to find out.

When it opened up, it came up with a simple, yet beautiful three-letter combination. As if it were an abbreviation for something divine. It wasn’t though. Far from it. Just something a bunch of Brits came up with in the early 60’s. In my silly mind, I thought it would represent an actual set of words, but it doesn’t. The MG MGB is just the successor of the, you guessed or already knew it, MG MGA. I would say that every great car needs a successor, but it really doesn’t. Think of it as a great, one-off movie that suddenly gets a sequel and messes up your love for the first one. That’s sort of what happens when car companies fail to satisfy our terrible need for better and better cars. They get a new designer, CEO, policy or whatever change might cause it, and mess it up.

Not this time though, because as I stated earlier, this car has the inevitable factor of the wows. Especially in that magnificent environment, but let’s not tangle off to that phase yet again. Let us discuss some specifics on the car I saw earlier today.

  • Topless, a.k.a. a convertible, or in their words a MGB Roadster.
  • Straight 4 cylinder, 1.8l engine capable of producing a solid 82 HP.
  • Spoke wheels. Behind white walls, one of my favorite features on vintage cars.
  • 860-960 kg. Try getting that number on a sports car today. hint You can’t.
  • Front-rear drivetrain, which is always a great feature in any car, if you ask me.

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I mentioned the ass, so logically, I cannot leave that out for you, unless you happen to have read this article and somehow have one in your driveway and want to look at it real quick. By all means, do your thing. I wish I was you.

Saying that gives me the perfect segue to what I want to introduce to you now, which I think adds up nicely to the part of our name that says ”Tales”. Anecdotes is something I’ve wanted to use for a long time now. What better time to include them when we’re discussing the MGB?! How would I do that though? I didn’t get to ask the driver anything?

The answer: internet. The website MossMotoring.com has a great story on a man named Ken Smith, who, ironically enough, has a wife named Barby. I could re-write their article, but I think it’s best if you would check it out yourself here.

An amazing man like Ken is obviously stuffed with amazing stories, one of which he told the interviewer. I adored it.

“We left Kansas City in our MGB one morning at 5:00 am enroute to a car show in Dallas. Traveling down I35, dawn broke, and to our left was the rising sun and on our right was a full harvest moon. You can only get this kind of experience with the top down in a British sports car! The fact that our MGB was stolen two days later in San Antonio was yet another reminder that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone!”

Absolutely mind-boggling, to say the least.

It’s reasonable to assume that elderly guys like Ken have the ability to state things that are completely true, because they have such a big span of life-experiences. He shows this off by saying this.

“MGs were meant to be driven, and there’s no greater pleasure than traveling top-down on some back road where the car can really be enjoyed. So my advice is don’t just show it—drive it—time is too short to have your MG standing in some car park even though a lot of people admire it.”

Bottom line is, this car is amazing and I feel the urge to spend all my savings and birthday money on a vintage British car. Sadly, that life-achievement is too far-fetched at the moment. I do feel completely certain though, when I say that one day, I will own a car like that. Actually, not like that. I will own an MGB, or at least, momentarily, when I drive it through the valleys of some part of Britain. That would be a dream come true.

Have a good one,

Harry

@TailPipeTales


About Harry

As a small child, he already knew one thing for sure: his life would in some way revolve around cars. Several years later, he pursues his goal of earning a living as a motoring journalist. Also has a deep adoration for sushi and hip-hop music.

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