Right-Hand Drive
Webasto Sunroof
Overdrive Transmission
Chrome Bumper Conversion
Engine 18V847 H020743
Minilite Wheels with 195/65-15 Tires

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September 1, 2022 - Best Bud Chip gave me a set of actual British 14x6 Minilite wheels for an MGB yesterday (I gave him the Motobecane moped).  They are aluminum, which is good as the magnesium wheels tend to deteriorate quickly.  I bead blasted  three coats of paint (white, cream, and dark blue) off to get bare metal and then gave the wheel a light coat of Moss Motors Argent Silver, used for MGB and TC wheels. There is only one center cap, but I cleaned it up and added a faded old MG emblem to get an idea of the look.
April 22, 2022 - Both of Rodney's older sisters were incapacitated for the Williamsburg British Car Club's annual show, so he ended up substituting.  The GT ran great all the way up and back, even when caught in tunnel traffic, and managed about 25 mpg.  There were quite a few MGBs on hand, plus a mix of other UK vehicles from a 1934 Rolls Royce and a 1957 Morris Minor delivery van, to modern Aston Martins.  If you look down the row, there is even another red MGB-GT similar to Rodney, though it was left -hand drive.  I went over for a look and the owner grinned and patted his Webasto top.  "You won't see another one of these, I'll bet."  I grinned and pointed to Rodney. Although not a prize winner, the GT did get a lot of admiring looks and questions - he was the only RHD MGB around!
March 29, 2022 - Rodney has been ignored most fo the past couple of months, so I gave him a chance to stretch his tires a bit today.  The car fired right up and we motored out to Mom's in Chesapeake, with a side trip to Sam's Club.  Gotta love that overdrive!
February 4, 2022 - The Tidewater MG Club had a "Horrible Idea' drive today to Edenton NC with a side trip to visit a windmill farm.   Over a hundred of the monster towers cover many acres of flat land.  We continued on the Edenton for a brief walking tour downtown, then had a great lunch at 309 Bistro and Spirits.  Best Bud Chip went with me for the trip, and Rodney was a perfect gentleman for the 160+ miles.  We rolled with traffic and still got better than 25 MPG!
November 13, 2022 - Although Rodney has had a few outings since August, I haven't really been giving him much attention.  We went to the Tidewater MG Classics tech session today (Home of former sibling 1948 TC Eleanor) out in Chesapeake, where he had some unexpected high revs a few times.  Turns out the return spring had come loose.  Much better now, and the car got some nice comments. Sadly, I lost the keys while shopping with the Sonata, and left it at Mom's while I took the Sonata home for some much needed attention.
August 28, 2022 - Rodney has gotten some use lately - we went for another long drive today and provided reference pictures for a fellow rebuilding a 1975 roadster.  As usual, he got lots of attention and compliments.
August 6, 2022 - An eventful day for Rodney - we started off with a 100-mile run over the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel to an MG CLub meeting at a member's house on the Eastern Shore.  We had not counted on traffic - it took 45 minutes to get to the first tunnel!  One member's car overheated and its overflow tank exploded in the owner's face - no serious injury, at least.  Rodney started to suffer vapor lock issues and almost stalled out, and then the clutch hydraulics overheated and almost gave out.  Almost.  Once I got into the first tunnel we rolled easy the rest of the way and both the idle and clutch pedal came back with no further issues.  The ride back was smooth and uneventful, and I made it to the Antique Car Club's Doumar's Drive-In gathering at 4 PM.  A hot fudge sundae with nut ice cream and a jumbo limeaid!
August 5, 2022 - Best Bud and MG Expert Chip told me about his conversion to gas struts for the rear hatch of his GT, and I decided to order the kit in myself from Moss.  It arrived today and was just as easy as Chip had said.  You drill two holes 12" from the original mount, install the hatch mount, and then snap the gas struts in place.  The whole job took 20 minutes only because I measured a lot before I drilled.  Now the hatch glides up as soon as I pop the latch.  Not for the purist, but since Rodney has many other more noticeable modifications, I figured it was not a problem.
June 19, 2022 - Rodney has been mostly ignored except for the battery cover for a while now - I spent a lot of time working on the 1974.5 MGB-GT, then focused on getting the 1949 MG TC ready for its big show.  We had a beautiful day today, so I got Rodney out for a well-deserved and very pleasant run.  He started right up and was eager to roll - we made a run out to my Mom's, for a total of about 50 miles.  Lots of waves and 'thumbs-up' from other motorists.
May 7, 2022 - I found this quick-release battery cover on the Little British Cars website - it makes the not-infrequent need to access the battery a lot easier with two twist locks.  I also got one for the 1974.5, but that one needed a bit of work to fit properly. 
March 5, 2022 - The GT has been out a lot more recently with trips to my Mom's and today's MG Club meeting in Hampton.  The car did great, carrying me and Chip out and then bringing back an MGB roadster and a GT.  Oh, they were 1/18th scale.   
February 1, 2022 - I hadn't realized it has been more than two and a half months since I took poor Rodney out for a drive.  Yet when I went out tonight to see if I could drive him to the Tidewater MG Classics monthly meeting, he fired right up despite mid-30s temperatures!   A nice drive, and a group of guys from the Discount Tire store next to the restaurant came over to admire the car and ask questions.
November 14, 2021 - Another TMGC meeting and a tech session combined was a good reason to roll out with Rodney again.  Bunches of MGBs, a Midget, a TD, a couple of MGAs, and even a (shudder) Triumph!  Rodney drove great all the way out and back, his usual most excellent self.  Chip rolled out as well with his brown 71 GT (just visible in the background).
July 6, 2021 - Rodney's first real run after the plug wires was tonight's Tidewater MG Classics club meeting.  Current 67 Cougar Mom Hilary rode over with us and he was a perfect gentleman.  The fuel filter and/or the wires took care of the stumbling, and the ride was smooth and uneventful.  I was able to pick up two sets of NOS MGB seat belts I'd bought some months ago from a club member, but had not connected with before now.
July 3, 2021 - Although I have had them on hand for a while, I just got around to installing the Cobalt plug wires.  I would not think something so simple would make a big difference, but Rodney is idling smooth and pulling strong. 
May 31, 2021 - Some quick and easy jobs on Rodney today.  The fuel filter was actually coming apart inside - it was older than I thought.  I had a new filter in stock and was able to get it installed pretty quickly. Although I have ordered new Cobalts, I had a new set of standard wires in stock and went ahead and replaced them as well.  That has solved most of the drivability issues, and Rodney is much happier.
May 27, 2021 - Chip and I went to the Tidewater MG Classics Dessert Drive tonight - about halfway there, the car started to stumble at low speeds.  We made it with no issues, though t e MG group was nowhere to be seen. (Turns out they were behind the traditional meeting place instead of out front).  After driving around a bit trying to find them, the car was spitting more and we parked in front of the destination Coldstone Cremery to wait.  Popping the hood, we discovered two red plug wires and two black plug wires - something I don't do.  We also found what appears to be a blob of ethanol goo in the fuel filter.  It took a while for memory to work - I cleaned off Rodney's engine bay back in January and sprayed engine cleaner on the still-running engine.  The front two plug wire ends evaporated in seconds!  I substituted some old ones with plans to order new Cobalts, and forgot.  The new wires are now on order and I have plenty of filters in stock, so both will be taken care of this week. (photo by Hilary Pavlidis)
October 20, 2020 - Rodney is doing well - I took him out for an 80-mile run today. The indicated 50 is actually 55 due to the 15" tires, something I have to be careful about.  Even after sitting a few weeks, the car cranks great and starts up easily.  I had to make a run to my office today, and the guard was amused when I showed my badge through the open sunroof.  "Think you're funny with a right-hand drive MG?"  I responded that the RHD made it easier to maintain social distancing.
August 31, 2020 - No, it didn't take me more than a month and a half to finish the clutch job - I appear to have gotten lazy or forgetful - both possible causes.  Anyway, the reworked hydraulic line did fine, and though it took a bit of doing to get the system bled out, the clutch works great.  I took Rodney over to a friend's today with the top slid back and the exhaust making snarky noises.
June 12, 2020 - Although the MGB is supposed to have standard SAE hydraulic lines, the 1/4" lines at the local auto parts places didn't fit.  I was able to salvage the broken off fitting, and decided to try reflaring the end of the old line.  I only lost about an inch total and may be able to adjust the bends to get that much back.  The flare turned out nicely, and my neighbor provided some petroleum-resistant Teflon sealer used at the local power plant.  I'll find out tomorrow if there is enough 'slack' to reach the hydraulic hose, but it looks nice, anyway.  I polished the whole line with 0000 steel wool.
June 7, 2020 - The new hose and washers arrived from Moss, but I found out why the original clutch hose had not been replaced along with the slave cylinder.  It was rounded off and completely locked in place.  A week of soaking with penetrating oil did nothing, and I could only get what felt like a solid grip in one position.  I hit upon the bright idea of undoing the rubber hose lock nut and turning it off while I held the fitting in place.  That seemed to work, right up to the point that the fitting sheared off the end of the line.  Oh, well.  I am going to pick up a hydraulic line from O'Reilly's (Standard 1/4") and cut it to fit, then use a tubing bender to match the shape of the original line, which came out reasonably easily.
May 30, 2020 - I've owned Rodney for almost exactly ten years, and today was the first time he didn't make it home under his own power.  I was on my way to drop off some computer equipment to the current custodians of Rodney's older sister Eleanor (1948 TC) when the clutch pedal lost pressure.   I had hoped it might have been a slow leak that was just now getting to the point where the pedal was going, but adding fluid just made a bigger puddle on the ground.  I had the car flatbedded home, and figured I could install the new clutch slave i already had on the shelf.  Turns out the slave cylinder had been replaced by someone who didn't know you were supposed to swap out the inlet and bleeder valve ports - and that had been a very long time ago.  The hose was leaking, and the slave cylinder was in terrible shape.  I got the new slave installed, but have to wait for an order from Moss Motors to get the hydraulics working again.
May 10, 2020 - My MG club had a 'drive by' Welcome Home parade for a member who was in a serious 4-wheel ATV accident in Aruba some months ago, and is just now coming back.  The stop ended up being an hour-long visit with the subject and his significant other in the driveway while proper social distancing was maintained and most wore facemasks. It was great to see him, and we had a really nice turnout of 25 vehicles and nearly twice that in membership!   Rodney (just visible in the back) did great.  I gave him a good cleaning today that he needed.
January 8, 2020 - Six months later, Rodney's battery has died again.  This time due to a defect rather than age.  The car wouldn't crank last week, so I tried charging it and it did OK once, but was dead the next time.  I tried charging it again this past weekend, but it would not revive. Back to Sam's Club for a free replacement Duracell, and it is doing great again.
June 9, 2019 - I tried taking Rodney out for a run today only to find the battery was almost dead.  This blog comes in handy a lot of times with so many cars to keep track of.  Case in point, I replaced the battery back just over seven years ago, which explains why charging it did not good.  I made a quick trip to Sam's Club and picked up a five-year Duracell battery and got it installed tonight.  So Rodney is ready to go again.
December 22, 2018 - There are a number of 'Cars and Coffee' shows throughout the year - I saw one listed close by for this morning and decided to check it out.  Best Bud Chip came out as well, and we got to see some interesting cars.  Most were newer Mustangs and other modern iron, but some were really eye-catching, like this 1957 Chrysler Saratoga.  Rodney is looking quite spiffy in his new paint, and got a lot of admiring looks.
December 16, 2018 - My MG club had our annual holiday brunch this morning and I was able to take Rodney over.  It rained a little, and I was pleased to find no sign of water leaks around the windshield.  While I eventually want to install the garnish molding, the car is pretty much complete for now.  I have to get busy on some other projects, including Rodney's new little sister 'Phooka'!
December 15, 2018 - Best Bud Chip showed up this morning and helped with the new windshield (one of two, actually) that I picked up from Moss Motors on Wednesday.  This time I used Dawn dishwashing liquid instead of Windex and worked a lot slower.  After a couple of false starts, we got the windshield seated in the bottom and gradually worked around to the top right corner.  After checking the gasket a couple of times to be sure all was in place, the locking strip went in next.  It took a few hours overall, and I will wait a while before trying the aluminum garnish molding.  Still, Rodney is now complete and drivable.  If it doesn't rain, I might be able to take him to the MG Club Holiday Brunch for his debut!
December 4, 2018 - One corner left in getting the new windshield installed and CRACK!  I said a bad word.  Just one, actually, and it wasn't all that bad.  The crack, however, was all the way down.  Looks like a trip to Moss Motors is in the works - possibly Saturday, as that will be my first chance to get to Petersburg. It's tempting to buy two just to save the potential trip back for a third. I've put in three windshields before, including one in a GT, and this is the first one I have cracked.  Oh, well.  Considering installation at a shop for this would probably run $1000 or more not including the glass, I can afford to lose one. 
December 3, 2018 - I let the gasket sit for 24 hours in place and then used windshield sealer/adhesive to secure the gasket in place.  That will be a huge help when i go to install the glass.  I also removed the sunroof wind deflector, which has been a real pain as long as I have owned the car.  The windshield visors had to be folded down across the windshield when the sunroof was closed, which was most of the time. It was very easy to remove, and I will clean it up and maybe put it back come summertime.
December 2, 2018 - I have started the windshield replacement job - daunting in some aspects, but I did a GT windshield in my garage long ago, and also did the Studebaker windshield.  This time I have some special tools to make getting the locking strip and the outer trim (which I have to get new) installed a lot easier.  As you can see, the old windshield (above left) was fogging around the edges.  The good news (above right) is that the metal under the original gasket was clean - the windshield edge is a common rust problem, but Rodney is solid as new.  The new windshield gasket went in with some Windex (right) to help slide things into place, though getting the top lip to seat properly over the headliner edge inside the mount area.  It took a couple of tries to get the edges all in place and the gasket straight.  However, the gasket is now in place (below left), and I plan to let it 'set' a bit before using adhesive sealant to secure it in place.  The windshield will be placed on top and seated by pulling the outer edge out around it.  One quick side project was cleaning up an armrest I found in the back when I was cleaning - looks like new now!
November 25, 2018 - The last assembly job (other than the windshield) was the front bumper, which naturally took way more time than expected.  Even though I took the bumper off, I have no idea how it attached.  None of the bolts threaded in and there was no way to get a bolt in the box frame.  Remember, Rodney started life as a UK-market rubber bumper car and was converted to chrome bumpers sometime before making its way to the US. Back to Ace Hardware for lag bolts which made getting the bumper brackets attached a simple matter. Fitting the new bumper I got last year from Santa Claus and newly-arrived bumper guards took a while  The windshield is going to be a big job and it was already mid afternoon, so I decided it was time to take Rodney out to show off his new duds.  Of course, that meant a trip to Chip's followed by Richard's.  The car drove great and got several 'thumbs-up' from other drivers.
November 24, 2018 - I spent all day on MG stuff, but pretty much only got the Webasto roof and the rear bumper back on.  The first part of the day was spent helping best bud Chip with a master cylinder job on one of his MGB-GTs.  After that I cleaned and recolored the Webasto roof assembly with black vinyl paint - the vinyl was in good shape, just a little faded.  Then came the job of putting it back in - easy peasy, right?  Four screws.  And about 4 hours.  I made three trips to Ace Hardware trying to find a combination that would work.  The Webasto is a dealer option in the UK, and whoever installed the roof did NOT do a professional job on the back mount.  The holes were not lined up with the rear securing posts, which required some strange angles and contortions.  I finally succeeded after getting hex-socket 10-24 cap screws instead of the Phillips machine screws it had used before.  Of course, working upside down with one hand trying to maneuver the back bar while I worked to get a retaining screw in place with the other resulted in quite a few screws and washers falling in my face.  After an hour of this, I was getting cranky.  After three hours of this, I was downright irritable.  However, I finally got the last screw in place and got the top tightened down.  Getting the rest installed was easy, and the top looks really good. You just have to be stubboner than the car. In comparison, the back bumper was a piece of cake.  While it did not look great before (bottom left), some polish, 0000 steel wool, and wax made it shine like new.  I also added bumper guards that I shifted from the front, as I have new ones that just arrived for the new front bumper. The corner fillers took some drilling as they had been riveted in before and I reinstalled them with screws.  About all that is left is the front bumper, backup lights (new lenses coming in Tuesday), and the windshield.
November 23, 2018 - A busy Thanksgiving - Steve texted early that the car was ready for pickup, and I had it home by noon.  That did not allow much time to work on it before I had to head off for dinner with the family, but I made up for it today.  First up were the 'new' old-style taillights, European version of course, and door seals.  Today I managed the side trim, grille, mirrors, mud flaps, all lights installed and working, new door cards, and arm rests.  It took a while as I was cleaning and polishing all of the items before I installed them, and dug out some new items like the grille center and badge and the door cards.  Big stuff left - the bumpers, sunroof, and windshield.
November 17, 2018 - The last big job left in getting Rodney ready for paint was removing the folding top.  There were no instructions available online, so I had to resort to guesswork.  Although I did have to make some screwdriver blades to fit the hardware, the top came off with no real issues.  When I called for an approximate date for paint, 'Speedy Steve' (the painter) said to bring the car over any time!  I had left the back lights in place and stuck the headlights back on to make it appear roadable, and drove the car out to the painter's shop, followed by best bud Chip.  I had planned to remove all the lights and the rear latch, but Steve said to leave it and he would remove them.  He is going to cut and weld in new doglegs, get the body sanded smooth, and then give Rodney a new coat of 1985 Corvette Red. This is a deeper red then he is now, with less orange.  After going back and forth on the color, the original Blaze Orange was a bit too much for me.  And since the car is modified anyway, I might as well do tit he way I like it. I should have the car back in a week!
November 11, 2018 - While it doesn't look like much has been done, Rodney is really almost ready to head off to the paint shop.  The side trip is all off, as are the mud flaps, antenna, and backup lights.  I turned the gas filler around so I could remove the grommet.  The last big job is pulling the sunroof, which looks like a fairly straightforward effort. 
October 28, 2018 - Slow going due to work, weather, and other projects, but I got busy on Rodney again today.  The windshield trim is removed and the gasket cut back.  I had to really clean the engine bay up - critters got in and ate the hood pads, leaving a shredded mess all over the engine bay.  Not much is left for me to pull - the door side trim and the folding roof are the last difficult items.  I have the pull the door panels to get the trim off.  The Webasto roof should not be all that difficult - I just have to undo the rear part.  Back to the red as a color choice - still time to change my mind.
September 9, 2018 - More 'progress' on Rodney - the front is pretty much stripped and I have started on the back and sides.  I was able to get the stainless side trim off without damage.  Just the door strips left, but I have to remove the interior panels to get those off.  Still leaning towards the orange - I have a lot of prep left before I have to make a decision.
September 8, 2018 - I have continually put off Rodney's paint job for other projects, and finally realized there will always be 'other' projects.  So I started prepping him for paint.  The grille, front bumper, and headlight rims came off this afternoon.  Note the odd mounting for the bumpers - Rodney is a 1978 that came from the factory with the rubber bumpers.  Someone in the UK converted him to chrome bumpers and did a very good job.  With the bumper off, though, it is obvious that new paint is needed.  The red paint on the front valance is falling off, and though there is no serious rust, the metal needs to be well sanded and primed.  I had planned to redo the red, but Rodney was originally vermillion (orange).  The engine bay and interior surfaces where visible are vermillion, and it would be the only one around here that color.  I'll see how I feel when I get closer to taking him to the painter.
July 4, 2018 - What is the best way to celebrate American Independence?  Drive a British Car!  And follow it up with a meal at Taco Bell.  Rodney has been mostly ignored for close to two months, but he fired up right away and ran great.  We went out to Richards to finish putting a fuel pump on TC5908, and then to my Mom's for a visit.  Scattered rain clouds meant I had to close the sunroof up a few times, but most of the day was wide open. 
March 25, 2018 - The last time I took Rodney out, he had several bouts of stumbling and low power on the way out to get a first look at Penelope, but was fine on the way back.  Chip and I figured it was bad gas, a diagnosis that seems accurate.  I drove him today with nary a hiccup.  I gave the car a bath beforehand, and put in some high test to help make sure I didn't have the issue in the future.
January 21, 2018 - My antique car club had an impromptu fun run today to take advantage of a warm and sunny day after weeks of sub-freezing temperatures and snow.  Having already rolled Rodney out yesterday for the funeral of an old car buddy and an awards banquet for the car club last night, he was ready to roll this morning.  Richard and Sandy Hall and Terry and Sue Bond (Eleanor's humans) also brought their MGB-GTs, so we had a nice trio going.  Rodney does look somewhat more aggressive with his late model higher ride height and 15" minilites.  I am hoping to get him painted soon!
January 1, 2018 - Santa Claus brought Rodney a new front bumper in anticipation of a new paint job.  I want to strip the trim and do some prep ahead of time, including removal of the Webasto sunroof fabric and windshield trim.  I've had him out a few times this Fall and Winter - the MG Club is meeting Wednesday and I plan to drive him there.
August 9, 2017 - It has not really been five months since I took Rodney out for a run, but it was a beautiful day and today was a special trip.  I took him over for an estimate on getting anew paint job.  Although he looks fine in photos, the sad reality is that his paint is badly water stained and chipped, and some body rot is claiming his right dogleg.  The estimate for a really good paint job and the needed body work was substantially more than I had hoped for, but I think I will end up going for the best results available.  I plan to hang onto the car, so I might as well invest in it.
March 18, 2017 - Rodney has gotten out a few times over the past couple of months - including today.  We rolled out to Abacus Racing for a car club event.  Abacus is the local sports and exotic car machine shop and major service center.  I had the MGA's flywheel and rear engine plate machined here a few months ago.  Given the damp and chilly weather, Rodney was one of only a few antique cars that showed up, though we had well over 50 people participating.  From the shop, we rolled out to the Virginia Beach waterfront where the owner maintains his private collection of sports and exotic cars.  There were Ferraris, Austin Healeys., a Cobra, Sunbeam Tigers, an AC coupe, and an MGC-GT - plus a Lola race car that nearly broke eardrums when it was started up.  Rodney was not impressed - only one MG in the place.  Even so, he ran great and did not mind the rain at all.
January 5, 2017 - Alas, poor Rodney!  After claiming he was not being ignored, I practically forgot he existed as another vehicle (1989 Reatta) snagged my attention.  I don't think I have had the GT out in months, not even for a run around the block.  Yet when I was reminded of the MG club meeting tonight (Which I really had forgotten), he fired right up and provided a fun drive with nary a complaint.
September 7, 2016 - Although it may look like Rodney only gets driven to MG club meetings, I've had him out several times over the past month.  He's running perfectly - I can't say enough good things about the Pertronix ignition setup.  In fact, I just installed the conversion kit in Wildflower, my 1948 MG TC.  Anyway, tonight's TMGC gathering was at the Ocean View Fishing Pier in Norfolk, with top deck seating and a great broiled shrimp dinner. 
June 6, 2016 - Another meeting, another outing.  This time an outdoor picnic in Virginia Beach.  The original intention was to take Wildflower, but threats of thunderstorms and an occasional sprinkle made it another run for Rodney.  Chip was there with son Ben in tow, running his 1972 MGB-GT (next to Rodney in the picture.) 
May 4, 2016 - Rodney has had a few MG Club outings recently, tonight being the monthly meeting.  Running perfectly - I can't say enough good things about the Pertronix distributor setup.  The meeting was held at a member's house in Norfolk that is always waterfront on the Hague - but tonight high tide brought the waterfront a bit too close for comfort.  You can see the flooded street in the background.  As you might guess, nobody pulled up front in their MGs tonight!
March 31, 2016 - Somewhat ironically, a late model British market dashboard appeared on eBay right after I had fixed up Rodney's.  The dashboard is one of the few items unique to the British market cars, and for $300 I decided I would get it as a spare.  It's a bit pricey for something I don't expect to use, but if I do need any gauges or switches (all different from US market cars) I will have them.
March 2, 2016 - Indirect progress on the paint job as I just got a new full-sized compressor to handle the sanding work ahead.  However, I decided to go ahead and install his new walnut dash!  Rodney came from the factory with a plain black painted dash - since he is already modified into a chrome bumper, he can get any upgrades I like, including a new look inside.  I ordered a wood appliqué set from England (His home market dash is different than US cars) that arrived a few weeks ago and finally had the weather and time to install it.  The appliqué is flexible and has a very strong adhesive on the back - you have to get it right the first time.  I cleaned the surfaces with alcohol, dried everything with a hair dryer, and set to work.  The kit is perfectly cut and looks very nice - quite a change from the plain black!
November 8, 2015 - I was able to compound out the worst of the water damage, though it is still pretty obvious.  However, Rodney did not let it get him down, running flawlessly for the 450+ mile road trip and even got about 28 MPG.  Not bad for a sports car.  More importantly, I was comfortable the whole way.  Although disguised as an early chrome bumper car, Rodney is really a 1978 model with U.S. DOT-required higher ride height.  Add his 15-inch wheels and tires and he tends to look a but like a crossover 4x4 when he is with his much lower siblings.  The upside is that he rides much better and is easier to get in and out of.  After 4 hours driving the only slight ache was in my gas pedal foot.  Rodney flipped over 86K miles on the trip - not bad for a 37 year-old car!
November 6, 2015 - Poor Rodney apparently had his paint ruined by a combination of feral cats, rain, bad paint, and a car cover.  The cats climbed up on the cover and put small holes in it, which let rain get trapped under the cover.  Rodney has always had a water-spotting problem - I suspect the paint was of poor quality, and the trapped moisture created white splotches wherever the cover touched.  Oh, well.  I had planned to get Rodney repainted eventually.  Hopefully I can manage it this winter.  In the meantime, I compounded out the worst of it and put a coat of wax on to seal things up for now.  We are heading up to Lynchburg tomorrow morning with the MG club - it will be a homecoming of sorts, as that is where I bought the GT back in 2010!
July 8, 2015 -  There was a chance of rain, so I drove Rodney to the Tidewater MG Classics meeting this month.  He did great.  No issues since I replaced the distributor.  Had one scare tonight, though.  I tried to slide the roof back while I was moving, one-handed, and it popped the track.  I pulled over and put it back in place, but saw that one of the near-impossible-to-replace plastic sliders had come off.  Happily, it was in the rain gutter and I got everything back together.  I won't be trying THAT one again.
April 25, 2015 -  Rodney has been doing great - I have taken him out for a couple of nice runs, and he has been very happy with the new distributor.  My antique car club had a rehearsal for a national meet we are hosting next week, and we will be taking photos of every car in front of one of the Military Aircraft Museum's planes.  I am one fo the photographers, and took advantage of the setup to snap Rodney in front of the P-51 Mustang.  None fo the British aircraft were out, so I had to make do. 
March 7, 2015 -  As usual my attention has gone to the new kid on the block, so Rodney ahs been mostly ignored in the garage while I puttered with the Nissan.  I decided to take him out to my car club's annual swap meet today.  He fired right up despite it being 20 degrees and ran great.  The GTs are so much nicer than the roadsters in bad weather - I had heat and no drafts.  Best of all the car continues to drive and stop great.  By the way, the silver pickup next to Rodney in the photo is MG pal Richard's GMC.
January 25, 2015 -  Rodney's back brakes are all back together.  It turned out to be more of a chore than expected, as usual.  The replacement brake line turned out to be way too long, but the old one came off intact!  I guess the penetrating oil finally got through.  So I cleaned up the old line and was back in business.  Both brake adjusters were frozen.  I had to knock the pistons out and polish the bores and pistons, but they are fine now.  New rubber line, new shoes, new wheel cylinders, and new hardware - I am going to hold off doing the fronts since I put new pads on back in 2011 (less than 3,000 miles ago.  I took the car out and had excellent brakes for the first time since I got the car - I was able to lock up all four wheels at speed and had no pulling to either side..  And the parking brake works!
January 19, 2015 -  I continued the brake system rebuild today, taking a day off from work to enjoy 50+ degrees and sunshine in January.  It looks like the back brakes need some work.  The shoes on the left side were dark and would not clean up, and there was no dust at all.  I suspect they are contaminated from an old wheel cylinder leak where the cylinder was replaced and the shoes were not.  I replaced the rubber hose to the back brakes, but when I tried to undo the line to the right wheel cylinder the line twisted.  I ordered a new line from Moss, along with new hardware and also have new shoes coming from O'Reilly's Auto Parts.  I'll finish up the back and then get the front hoses, rotors and pads done.
January 11, 2015 -  Rodney has been suffering from low-RPM blahs from several years now - I have tried plugs, carb adjustment, timing, coil, wires, cap, etc. with no success.  This year, Santa Claus (in the form of my parents) ordered me a complete Pertronix electronic distributor, Flamethrower coil, and high-performance wires (can't imagine how they knew).  It arrived late, and then weather has not cooperated for working on a car in an enclosed, but unheated carport.  Today was nice, and I took the plunge.  The original ignition system had a ballast-type coil with extra wires, all of which went away.  I got the new setup in, set timing statically, and fired him up.  Once the car warmed up I set the timing electronically and took him out for a drive.  Wow!  The car drives better than it ever has - smooth and easy off the start, strong acceleration, and NO STUMBLE!    This is a huge relief, and will get Rodney out on the road a lot more!  Which will let me make use of another present from myself to Rodney - a special MGB cupholder shaped to fit the console.  It looks like a factory item, and works great!
January 10, 2015 -  There were a lot of factory design changes to the MGB during its life - one of the not-so-good changes was an ignition relay added in 1977.  This relay provides power to the coil and fuel pump when the ignition switch is on, so if it goes bad your car dies.  More interestingly,  the car sends power to the coil through the starter circuit, so when your relay goes bad, it will start fine and die as soon as you release the key!  If you don't happen to know about the relay, it can be a bit frustrating to diagnose.  I have plenty of experience, so when Rodney recently showed symptoms I got one from Moss Motors - it was Taiwan-made and had the wrong bracket (dual hole), but worked.  I just picked up two Lucas relays with the correct single hole bracket off eBay - they are 5-contact versions that can be used simply by ignoring the extra contact, or for those of you who don't feel like taking chances (like me) snapping the extra post off (left relay)!  Plus, the two were cheaper than the single one from Moss.  The car uses two of these, so I will replace the remaining old relay and the new Taiwan relay with these and keep them as spares.
January 3, 2015 -  Rodney's battery charged up and tested good - Advance told me something must have been left on to drain the battery.  That's good news as I don't have to buy a new one!  Running back through possibilities, I had driven the car at night, and any lights left on would have been visible when I put the car cover back on.  Aha!  Rodney's electronic overdrive is wired directly to the battery - yep, the switch was left on.  On to the distributor!
January 1, 2015 -  Rodney's new brake master cylinder went on with a minimum of fuss and frustration.  One good thing is that the fittings, which are crammed against the right inner fender wall on U.S. market cars are wide open on right-hand drive cars like Rodney.  I bench-bled the unit and then took a minute to work the pedal a few times in short, slow strokes to bleed the lines.  I seem to have full pedal, and it does not sink as it did before.  Unfortunately, the battery is dead - don't know why, but I have it on charge.  The battery is just a couple of years old.  Next up is the new Pertronix distributor, coil, and plug wires which Santa brought (a bit late thanks to the USPS) Rodney for Xmas.  (NOTE - the battery did not take a charge from my light duty unit, so it is at Advance Auto where I bought it getting an overnight charge and test.  It only showed only 4 volts, so something is definitely a problem.) 
December 23, 2014 -  I went ahead and got everything for a major system overhaul of the brakes.  New master cylinder, wheel cylinders, front and rear hoses, and brake rotors.  I have it on good authority that Santa is bringing a Pertonix distributor to help cure Rodney's low=speed stumbling!  Looks like he will be getting a lot of attention over the next few weekends.
December 14, 2014 -  The timing did not really fix things - Rodney's issues are not consistent, which makes me suspect wear in the distributor.  However, on the way the Tidewater MG Classics Christmas Party a bigger problem surfaced when the brake pedal took a dive.  I still had brakes, but the brakes had to pumped to get a full pedal.  I stopped to get brake fluid, assuming there was a leak, but the reservoir was full.  Internal leak.  No telling how long it has been since the brakes were worked on, so i will go ahead and do the works.
December 10, 2014 -  I got home a little early tonight and pulled out the timing light and a 7/16th wrench.  It only took about 15 minutes to adjust Rodney's timing to factory settings and get the carbs turned down to 800 RPM.  I have not had time to try driving the car since, but hope to check out the new settings this weekend.
November 30, 2014 -  Poor Rodney has been largely neglected for months - between driving the Jaguar a lot and being out of the country a lot, I just have not had time.  It was a warm and sunny day today, so i figured he was due a good run.  We went out to Richard's of course.  The GT started right up and ran well - I still need to set the timing back some.  There is major tune-up on the agenda, complete with valve adjustment.  However, he did fine today and we had a good time on back country roads.
May 28, 2014 -  It seems that Rodney's stumbling woes are not gone yet.  I drove him on the MG Club's Peninsula Ice Cream Run tonight, quite a jaunt as it started in Yorktown and ended in Williamsburg.  There was no problem going in to work in Newport news this morning (halfway to Yorktown), and he did fine meeting up with the group.  But as we toured the Colonial Parkway, low speed issues started up and got worse.  We completed the whole tour and made the 50-mile trek home without incident.  Still, the spitting and dying at low-speed load is really annoying.  Gotta do more diagnostics, it seems!
May 7, 2014 -  I took Rodney out for a nice long drive tonight - first out to my parents' so I could solve a computer issue, then to the MG club meeting in Virginia Beach.  It's really nice to have him running well again, though I heard a bit of pinging on acceleration that tells me the timing is still a bit advanced.  An issue of high idle turned out to be a sticking choke, quickly solved.  I'll get the timing adjusted back further this weekend.
April 6, 2014 -  Poor Rodney has been sitting under cover for months because I couldn't figure out what was making him stumble at low RPMs. So I took him over to the MG Club Spring Tech Session this morning in hopes of getting help.  Frank, the Club Guru, performed a compression test (165,165,160,163 - excellent!)  and then hooked up a vacuum gage.  After looking at the spark plugs and topping off the carbs with oil, he had me advance the timing a few degrees.  And that's all there was to it!  The timing was off, though I had set it to factory spec.  The lag and stumble at low RPMs are gone.  Considering how much work i have done elsewhere to fix this issue, I should be embarrassed, but I'm just happy to have the car running well again!
December 15, 2013 -  It's been almost 4 months since we got Rodney's carbs sorted, but I only just got him out of the garage for a drive today!  He fired right up and did great on the Interstate, but still has issues with low RPMs.  With the carbs rebuilt and all other elements rebuilt or replaced, it looks like the distributor itself may be the culprit.  I am considering getting a Pertronix electronic unit to replace the 35 year-old original Lucas electronic dizzy. 
August 19, 2013 -  Best Bud Chip came over yesterday to help me attack Rodney's carbs.  He is terrific with SUs, and we figured we would get the car straightened out with new floats and 'grosse jet' needle valves from Moss.  The carbs were dirty inside and one of the needle vales looked to be sticking.  He also discovered that the choke linkage was bent and not engaging the forward carb!  We got it all cleaned up, put in the new parts, and got the carbs back together.  When we tried to start Rodney, he wouldn't idle and both carbs dumped gas out the overflow.  Having spent most of the afternoon sweating and scraping knuckles only to make matters worse, we quit for the day.  I took it all back down tonight and reinstalled the original needle valves.  This time Rodney fired up and ran smooth, and I let him idle for 30 minutes with no ill effects.  It was too late to juggle cars enough to take him for a test drive, but I think he is ready to go!
July 25, 2013 -  After nearly two years, I finally got the Mountney steering wheel installed.   It took that long to locate a good steering column cover!  It looks good and feels nice.  Of course, the job took far longer than it should have, but that's how things go.  The stumbling was a lot worse during the test drive.  High RPMs are OK, but at idle and low RPM he bucks and stalls.  So far I've replaced the coil, distributor cap and rotor, plugs, checked timing, tweaked the carbs, and replaced the fuel pump and filter.  Electronic ignition, so no points of condenser to replace.   I'm beginning to suspect fuel floats in the carbs.  Going to have to investigate that angle next.
June 5, 2013 -  I've made a point of getting Rodney out more, and had him on several trips to Richard's.  Tonight was another TMGC meeting (Tidewater MG Classics), so we rolled over there to be joined by 22 other MGs!  It was a great night to slide the Webasto back and enjoy the sunshine.  Some low speed stumbling remains - I need to do a really good tune-up on him (seems to be a common issue).  Between the rubber-bumper suspension and the  chunky 15" wheels and tires, Rodney looks more aggressive than any of the others. 
April 2, 2013 -  Poor Rodney has been all but forgotten, hidden away on rollers in the garage.  While he fits there nicely, getting him out for a drive means a lot of car shuffling, so he's been sitting since December.  I adjusted the carbs and helped the low idle issue a lot.  The idle adjustment tension springs are missing, so they back off and drop the idle below 0.  I used a drop of Locktite on each for now.  He did great going to the TMGC meeting tonight.
December 23, 2012 -  An early Christmas present for Rodney - a friend gave me this new air vent grille and screen yesterday - left over from his Dad's MGB.  It's a simple press-fit, and even had the new plastic locking sleeves that go in the body.  I probably need to adjust his carbs a bit - I think the idle is too lean.  Other than that, he is doing well.
October 14, 2012 -  Curses!  Coiled again!  Well, hopefully this will undo the curse.  I had replaced the coil with a good Lucas Sports Coil and things only got worse.  Then I discovered that Rodney has the later ballasted ignition which takes a different coil.  Those chrome bumpers make me forget he's really a rubber bumper model in disguise.  So I ordered a new sport coil for ballasted systems, and installed it and a new cap and rotor.  The car started right up and ran fine - I drove him out to my parents' without issue and so far all seems good.  Another issue has been the alternator light, which does not come on.  I was able to test the circuit and determine that the fault is in the new alternator - a transistor is apparently bad and was not caught in the rebuild process.  I'll take it back and try another one - lifetime warranty from CarQuest!
September 16, 2012 -  The good news is that Rodney got Second Place in the MGB-GT class at the Classics on the Green Import Car Show in New Kent today.   He made the long trip up with no issues, and was the only right hand drive MGB out of a field of 50 MGBs paraded out for their 50th Anniversary.    The bad news is that on the way home, the stumbling and sputtering at low speeds started up again.  Poor Terry Bond, who drove him to the show for me, had to struggle to keep the car going when we hit bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way home.  He is safely home, and I'll do some research into possible causes.  What's weird is that the car started up and idled fine five minutes after Terry parked him in front of my house! 
September 3, 2012 -  Rodney has been sitting a while, so I decided to take him out for a run today.  And he was ANGRY!  I could barely get the car started, and then had to get revs up to get the engine firing on all four cylinders.  Everything looked OK, but the symptoms pointed to bad plugs.  They are pretty recently installed and were clean and dry when I pulled them, but were old stock.  So I picked up some NGK Platinum plugs and installed them.  He started up and ran just fine - must have been some internal corrosion or breakdown on the old stock plugs.  I also replaced the ignition relay, which has been causing me a bit of trouble.  The new square relay turned out to have exactly the same markings as the old Lucas round relay, so installation was quick and easy!  Rodney has been registered as one of 50 MGBs at the Classics on the Green car show.  He and Wildflower will both be on the field!
August 7, 2012 -  The Tidewater MG Classics club picnic was tonight, and given the rolling thunder and dark clouds, I opted to take Rodney instead of one of the open TCs.  There were plenty of other Bs to chat with while the humans had hotdogs and hamburgers.  Rodney did great, and it was nice not to have to worry about the occasional spatters of rain to and fro. 
July 28, 2012 -  Rodney has been behaving himself since the battery incident, running well on a number of short jaunts.  The latest was a run out to Richard's to visit with TC5908.  The youngest of our three TCs, 5908 was having some brake issues which we finally got sorted out.  The TC has almost the same colors as Rodney, bright red with tan interior.  And its newly-painted silver wire wheels and new tires really set it off!
May 27, 2012 -  I think Rodney was getting a bit jealous of the sudden attention being given to the 73 MGB-GT.  (at least until he saw the gold car hauled off to a new home).  I had been keeping him in the main garage while I worked on him for the show and hadn't swapped things around yet.  And when I went out to move him so I could take the 73 out. his battery was stone dead.  His 2-year battery had been installed in 2008, so I couldn't expect more.  Off to Advance for a new battery, which got him running and raring to go.  Just in time for Drive your British Car Week (May 26-June 2).
May 5, 2012 -  I pulled in the driveway at home with a sense of relief combined with admiration for Rodney's roadability.  He performed flawlessly for over 630 miles the past two days, and managed a very respectable 28 MPG on mountain roads and a lot of bad weather.  We took some back roads and cruised parts of the Skyline Drive, visiting my former college in the Blue Ridge Mountains and my birthplace.  No word on results of the show, as we left well before the banquet.  In truth, Rodney had too many modifications and too little show preparation to expect a trophy, but you never know.   The important thing was that he not only made the drive without complaint, I got out tonight after driving a sports car over 600 miles just as comfortable as if I'd taken the Sonata!  Rodney has more road trips in the future!

May 6, 2012 - Rodney got a 2nd place trophy!  That is an excellent achievement considering everything. 

May 2, 2012 -  With the 6-hour trip to Roanoke looming just a couple of days away, I wanted to make sure that I'd solved the issue with Rodney's stumbling, so I drove him to work, and then to the MG Club meeting for a good 90 miles or so round trip for the day.  He performed flawlessly, and I also had the old alternator pronounced dead at a local auto shop as further proof.   So it looks like I'm on for the great adventure to the Blue Ridge Mountains!
May 1, 2012 -  As expected, Moss got the new fuel pump to me today and I got busy putting it in.  It installed easily and quickly - and started leaking fuel from one of the fittings.  So I pulled the fittings and found some old paper gasket stuck inside one facing.  I cleaned it off and put it all back together.  It was leaking worse!  But this time, I saw it was from a crack in the hose (see inset photo lower left).  As it turned out, the 'hard plastic lines' I had referred to before were actually 'petrified rubber lines' - oops!  A quick trip to Advance for 5/16th hose and clamps, and I was able to get everything installed securely and leak-free.  I took the car out for a triumphant test drive...  and he stumbled on acceleration again.  Same symptoms - idling was rough and pickup from idle brought stumbling like a bad air leak, but higher RPM seemed OK.  I checked but found nothing.  Frustrated, I took a break to get a photo of the new driving lights on (below).  The engine died while I was taking the photo, and barely cranked when I went to restart it.  Weak battery = not charging = bad alternator?  Luckily, the 73 has the same alternator, and I swapped it out.  Smooth idle, and no stumbling!  Well, darn.  looks like the alternator has not been putting out enough voltage at low RPM.  I didn't need to spend $200 in fuel pump parts, did I?  I'll get the 78's alternator checked just to be sure, but I am pretty sure it's the culprit.
April 30, 2012 -  Tonight was 'wire the driving lights' night - again, a 'simple' job that ended up taking hours.  I had gotten a wiring kit, but of course, I had to fabricate most of the actual wiring harness to fit the MGB.  Plus, I took great pains to make nothing permanent.  I was able to find a console screw that held the switch perfectly in a convenient and rather factory-looking location.  And I have TRIPLE fused the system to make sure nothing melts down.  The driving lights now come on with the lights in any position, but go off when the lights are turned off.  Hopefully I will get the fuel pump tomorrow.  Other than that, I want to pull the seats and check out the speaker wires to the stereo.  Not really necessary for the trip, but it would be nice to have everything working.
April 29, 2012 -  Some recent intermittent running issues with Rodney seem fuel-related, so I decided to install an after-market fuel pump.  Easier said than done.  The single stainless steel screw holding the cover was one prior owners must have tried and failed to remove. I tried screwdrivers, vise grips, a chisel, and multiple drill bits before finally grinding the $%#@! thing down with a Dremel tool.  However, once I got to the pump, I found out that Rodney still has his factory hard plastic fuel lines in great shape.  I'd have to cut them up to rig in the aftermarket pump, so I ordered a new Solid State SU fuel pump from Moss.  With the fuel pump on hold, I decided to attack Rodney's one major blemish, an old dogleg repair that looked pretty bad.  I do not have the patience to do really good body work, but this came out pretty well.  The color coat tonight went on smooth and looks good, at least in artificial light.  You can see in the flash photo that the new paint has less orange in it, but once I compound the rest of the paint and polish it out, I think the repair will be almost invisible.  Better than that ragged hole, to be sure!
April 3, 2012 -  Poor Rodney!  Here I was thinking he had fouled out plugs, and he was actually starving!  The lower fuel filter hose connection was leaking, and with a low-pressure system that meant the fuel was pooling in the engine compartment instead of getting to his carburetors.  A couple of new piece of hose and a new filter and he is idling and accelerating just fine.  I'm considering taking him up to Roanoke VA for the Old Dominion Meet the first weekend in May - they are featuring British cars.  There are some great mountain roads around there - I went to college nearby.
March 31, 2012 -  Rodney and I took a rainy day drive over to Richard's to see if we could solve an exhaust leak on TC5908.   I had trouble getting the GT started and running, but once on the road he did OK.  Some stumbling on acceleration from a stop.  I may have flooded the engine and fouled the spark plugs a bit.   However, the GT did great otherwise.  I really like the look of the Raydyot driving lamps - they fit just right.
March 29, 2012 -  I picked up an NOS set of period Raydyot quartz-halogen driving lights on eBay - these are common in Rodney's home country, but outside the UK they are mostly unknown.  These turned out to be a perfect size and fit for Rodney, mounting directly in the grille.  The lights came without any installation parts other than the mounts, so I did a check local check for a wiring setup.  No luck!  Modern light kits come with an installation kit, but you apparently can't get them separately at auto parts stores any more.  Ah, but then there is eBay!  I checked and found a complete installation package for $14.00 with postage.  I should have it sometime next week, but for now  they at least look good.
February 5, 2012 -  I took Rodney out to Isle of Wight (about 45 miles way out in the boonies) yesterday to visit a friend who'd just had her hip replaced.  I spent the day, and came home in steady rain.  Just before a long bridge, I heard a thump and scraping and pulled right over.  The back section of the Ansa exhaust had come loose.  I was able to fit it back on, but the rain and traffic passing by a few feet away discouraged me from trying to lie on the ground and tighten it.  The exhaust came off again, but only as I pulled into the back yard.  This time the insulator of the back mount also tore apart, leaving the exhaust in the grass.  Luckily, there was no damage, and it was a generic Advance Auto muffler mount.  $5, a bit of paint to spruce up the muffler and tailpipe, and a few turns of the wrench and Rodney is ready to roll again!
December 18, 2011 -  Best Bud Chip came over today and helped me get the steering wheel off and repositioned  - I used graphite on the splines in hopes that it won't be so hard to remove next time.  Then I drove him out to Richard's and my parent's.  The car drives wonderfully.  I ordered a new hazard light switch from England yesterday - the bulb cover has melted a bit and even with postage from the UK, the new switch was under $20.  The dashboard is one of the few unique features I have to get parts for straight from England.
November 13 2011 -  I got Rodney out for a long drive today, and found some great country roads.  We're at the tail end of the leaf color season, but there was still plenty gold and red in the trees.  Better yet, there wasn't another car on the road for miles.   I have to admit some relief when the winding detour took me out to the main road I had hoped to find. 
October 17 2011 -  I'd noticed some stumbling at idle and low speed before, but yesterday Rodney was having some real issues.  I could mostly take care of it by pulling out the choke, but the car still ran rough when you first started off.  I figured it had to be a vacuum leak somewhere, and MG Guru Chip confirmed that as a likely source.  He also suggested, among other things, tightening the cab mounting bolts.  After finding no loose hoses, I took a half-inch wrench to the bolts in question - they were not finger loose, but did take a couple of turns.  And sure enough, that cured the problem!  Now I just need to get the $%@#@! steering wheel back off so I can straighten it - it's cocked to the left  enough to be annoying, and I did too good a job of putting it on yesterday. 
October 16, 2011 -  Between going to Hershey last weekend and getting ready for the big local car show this weekend, Rodney has been ignored for a few weeks.  I finally got him out and cleaned up, figured out how to get the %$#@! ignition light in (You can pull the indicator assemblies out from the front), and everything back together.  I did try the Mountney wheel and it fit fine, but I need to replace the column cover with one that has a deeper outer end.  The one on the car is shallow and leaves about a third-inch gap that looks bad.  Until then, I'll stick with the original wheel, which still looks nice.  By the way, if you happen to own an MGB, note the unusual dash setup.  Rodney is a 'home market' GT, and they retained the look of the early MGBs.
September 29, 2011 -  I recently noticed that Rodney's ignition warning light was not coming on when I started the car.  This is the light that goes out when the alternator is charging, and in typical Lucas fashion, the whole charging system can go out because of a dead bulb.  In order to get to the bulb, I had to pull the steering wheel, drop the steering column, remove the cover, and then perform contortions with my hands.  Guess what?  NO bulb!  Could be it was taken out of the system by a previous jury-rig.  Also in the Lucas tradition, the OUTSIDE of the bulb socket was hot, and I accidentally shorted and melted the brown and white wire when I was trying to test it.  Happily my spare MGB wiring harness provided the correct socket and wires in unmelted shape.  I did manage to get the panel dimmer switch (round knob on left) installed, as well as the bulb for the left runs signal indicator.  The ignition warning light is getting no ground, so i need to continue troubleshooting.  But I have a lovely new Mountney wood-rim steering wheel to install when I get the steering column put back together.  A reward for (hopefully) good behavior on Rodney's part.
July 19, 2011 -  K&N provided a nice surprise when I called to ask about replacement parts.  Although the air filters are only sold in the UK, where Rodney emigrated from in 2000, they had a cover in their California warehouse.  Then an even bigger surprise - when I asked the price, the young lady on the phone said she was going to replace it at no charge under warranty.  Which is exactly what she did - the new cover arrived today via UPS.  I made a trip to Ace Hardware for a pair of shiny new acorn nuts and lock washers, and got it installed.  Kudos to K&N - I am duly impressed.
July 9, 2011 -  No, Rodney hasn't been sitting ignored for the past few months.  He's been out for runs once a week, and been completely dependable.  We went out to a local parking lot show today and ended up next to a Monster Truck.  The combination made a good photo op, though more than one observer noted they'd rather have Rodney.  Actually maneuvering that monster pickup would be bad enough - can you imagine filling its gas tanks?  Unfortunately, when I opened Rodney's hood, it turned out that the forward air cleaner retainer nut and cover (shown in the photo below) had come loose and fallen off onto the road somewhere.  So I'll have to get another air filter assembly.
April 23, 2011 -  The GT has been sitting a few weeks while the Studebaker and the TC got some exercise.  Today, I decided to roll Rodney out for some overdue maintenance and a drive.  The valve cover gasket has been leaking, so the first thing was a new gasket with Permatex.  Then the K&N air cleaners got a good cleaning, the first since I have owned the car.  They were black, but attention with a K&N 'recharge' kit I've had for at least a decade got them cleaned up like new again.  Replacing a kinked hose clamp and a new fuel filter completed tinkering, and I finished up giving him a good cleaning.  Then we rolled out to Richard's for a momentous occasion - TC5908 rolled under her own power for the first time!
March 26, 2011 -  I took Rodney out on my antique car club tour today, as the weather was chilly with a chance of rain.  Two other folks also brought their GTs, and we took a minute for a group shot after lunch.  The other two GTs are almost identical twins (one belongs to TC5908's daddy Richard), both earlier series with the original suspensions a wheels.  Rodney is a 1978 with DOT-mandated higher suspension.  When the extra height combined with the 15" panasport wheels, he looks like an off-road vehicle!  We ended up rolling about 120 miles all told, with nary an issue. 
March 23, 2011 -  The new brake pads and rotors arrived yesterday, and i decided to get the job done tonight.  Dire predictions of rain seemed to be incorrect, so I pulled Rodney around in front of the garage and pulled the wheels.  The outer pad on the right side must have broken - all the others were in good shape, but it was pretty much bare metal.  The rotor wasn't really bad once I took a closer look, but I figured I might as well replaced them since I had the new ones.  That is, until I started undoing the rotor mounting nuts.  When you work on cars long enough, certain fasteners give you a sick little twinge when you start to undo them.  Three of the nuts came loose properly, but the fourth?  Given the fact I plan to use the car in a rally this weekend, and the damage to the rotors was pretty superficial, I took the coward's way out and just replaced the pads.  Nature applauded my wisdom, sending a smattering of droplets in warning as I finished up. and put tools away.  The brakes feel great, and I can always work the hubs some other time.  Preferably after I get a spare in case that retainer bolt breaks off!
March 19, 2011 -  Rodney has been doing well for a while, but coming home from my parents' last weekend, I heard some grinding from the front when I hit the brakes.  It's been a busy week, so it wasn't until today that I pulled the car around and checked the front end.  Sure enough, the outer right brake pad had come apart and was just metal backing plate against rotor.  Which didn't do the rotor any good.  I could get the old one turned, but decided to order a full set of OEM replacement rotors and pads.  The car has the fancy cross-drilled rotors, but the scoring was pretty deep and I'd just as soon have the stock setup.  Hopefully they will be in by the end of the week, as they are only coming from Delaware.   Also took a trip up to Moss Motors in Petersburg VA today with the Tidewater MG Classics Club and picked up a new windshield and seal.  Rodney's is starting to delaminate at the edges, so a new one is somewhere in his future.
February 1, 2011 -  I took Rodney to the MG Club meeting about 20 miles away and didn't hear any clutch noise there or back.  Very encouraging, as is the lack of any vibration even at speeds that are not quite legal.  The car is driving great - I am really pleased with the new tires and wheels, and it is nice to have the dash lit up properly.  Next project is probably getting the radio/CD player working.  I suspect trouble with the speaker wires.
January 30, 2011 -  Some minor electrical work today - I replaced the upside-down and loose main US-Market LIGHTS switch with the correct international symbol item form the UK and then took the panel switches apart and got them all lit up again with new bulbs.   I drove the car a lot today, and was pleased to find that the clutch noise is all but gone.  Maybe I won't have to pull the engine after all.
January 19, 2011 -  Work has been crazy this week, but I managed to drop the wheels off at WalMart this morning and picked them up with the new tires tonight just before they closed.  It was unusually warm, so I got Rodney out and swapped out the wheels in less than 30 minutes.  As you can see by the picture below and left, the 15" Minilites with the Goodyear Eagles are only a little taller, but noticeably wider than the original 14" Roistyles.  After I got the tires on I took the car out for spin.  The tires are quiet, hold the road great, and were totally smooth up to 80 MPH (Professional driver, closed course...  riiiight).  Plus I love the look of the wheels and tires.  The standard Roistyles will find a home on either the 80 roadster or 73 GT, depending on which one gets finished first.  (Note - photo at left was added Sunday (Jan 23rd) - first time I'd seen them in daylight.)
January 17, 2011 -  Rodney's new 'shoes' arrived today and they look pretty spiffy!  I plan to drop them off at WalMart tomorrow morning to get the new Goodyear Eagles mounted and balanced.  There probably won't be time to swap them out on the car until this weekend, but I'll be glad to have them in the garage and ready to go.  I also plan to install the new light switches I got in from the UK.  
January 15, 2011 -  I took the GT to our MG Club meeting last week and she was smooth and silent all the way there.  Unfortunately, the clutch noise came back on the way home, so I'll have to put up with it until I get around to pulling the engine for a clutch job.  There is no problem with grabbing or slipping - it's just annoying.  On the plus side, Rodney has some fancy new shoes on the way.  I've long admired the Minilite style wheels, and since the GT has already been modified with the early style bumpers and grille, I decided to splurge.  I got a set of 15x5.5 Minilites off eBay for a good price, and ordered a set of Goodyear Eagle 195/65/15 tires from WalMart.  The combination should look great and have the added advantage of a better footprint.  And I need wheels and tires for the 73 AND the 80 MGBs, so I take care of two cars at once.  The wheels are due Monday, and the tires have already arrived at my local WalMart.  I also just got in two dash switches from England - a correct main lighting switch to replace the upside-down 'lights' US switch, and a new map light switch to replace a damaged original. 
December 31, 2010 -  Record-breaking snow finally cleared up enough to allow tinkering - Chip brought his GT over and I got Rodney out to attack the clutch linkage.  I started off fixing an annoying driver's mirror that rattled and flopped by replacing it with a new one from Moss.  Then I jacked up the car and checked out the linkage  - it was locked solid!  As you can see by the photo below, the clevis pin that connects the pushrod to the throwout arm had rusted in place and was seizing.  We had to use penetrating oil and vice grips to get the clevis pin out.  It looks like the pushrod was pretty worn as well.  I put some grease on the new pushrod end and the clevis pin and put her back together.  The clutch feels smooth and makes no noise.  Because the problem was intermittent I won't know for a while if that was the cure, but it sure looks promising!
November 29, 2010 -  The GT has had an intermittent noise when the clutch is pushed in for a while now - it became much more prevalent during the Black Friday Tour.  I would expect a bad throwout bearing to be consistent, while this noise comes and goes.  Buddy Chip suggested I replace the clutch actuator rod and clevis pin - they can get worn and cause odd noises.  So I have ordered the parts in from Moss.  If that doesn't fix it, I'll be doing a clutch job on the GT this winter!
November 26, 2010 -  Rodney and I had company with us for the Tidewater MG Classics' 180-mile Black Friday Tour to the Eastern Shore, visiting artist's studios and wineries.  MG friend Susan Bond was along for the ride - a long-time MG driver and mechanic herself, it was a little strange for her to be in the driver's seat with no controls and none of the mirrors set right.  Predicted rain ended up limited to a couple of sprinkles early on, and we had a great time.  There were seven cars along, all 'B's, though Rodney was the only GT.  Rodney managed 26 mpg in brisk driving - pretty good!
November 13, 2010 -  It's been almost a month since Rodney got some exercise, so i rolled him out for the Model A Ford Club Meeting on Thursday.  Despite being ignored so long, he fired right up and was happy to get out on the town.  I need to replace one dash switch and some of the switch light bulbs in the center dash area.  With winter approaching, I expect I'll be using Rodney for MG Club meetings while Wildflower winters in her private cottage.
October 21, 2010 -  Hey Hey, it the MONKEES!  I stumbled onto something unexpected tonight - a song by Peter Tork called MGB GT!   And yes, it's about the car we all know and love - complete with overdrive.  CLICK HERE for a listen!
October 2, 2010 -  Part of the vibration issue was Rodney's driveshaft - Chip got underneath and diagnosed a bad front U-joint.  I had a spare driveshaft, and gave it a major cleaning and new U-joints.  Then I just swapped out driveshafts.  Most of the vibration is gone, but I think there is some play in the front end.  It only shows up at higher than legal speeds (in VA, anyway), and it is very slight now. 
September 11, 2010 -  Been busy the past few weeks, but I've managed to get Rodney out for a run every now and then.  He is doing quite well and was ready for a run today.  The TC tends to be favored when weather is really nice, but I have to admit that Webasto roof makes for pleasant summer drives.  Still haven't had time to get the vibration issue completely solved - I did find out that the speedometer is reading somewhat slow, so the vibration is mostly coming into play at 65-70.  It's not enough of an issue to worry about that much, but I want to get it cleared up eventually.
August 21, 2010 -  Rodney got to reunite with an old friend today - Donna, the lady who brought him here from England.  She was also the one who listed the GT on eBay when Darrell outbid me.  I got to meet her then when I drove the car before the auction was over.  She is just a nice now, as are her very cute pups.  We had a quick chat, and then she presented Rodney with a new car cover she'd gotten for him but forgotten to include when he was picked up.  She checks the website every now and then as well, so "Hi, Donna!"
August 18, 2010 -  The CarQuest starter arrived on time, and to my amazement, was not only a rebuilt Lucas unit, but the correct and fairly rare later style that came out of the car!  As you can tell by the photo, it had been raining all afternoon, but stopped long enough for me to install it.  The starter dropped in easily and worked perfectly.  Not only was it substantially cheaper, it comes with a lifetime warranty!  Rodney is ready and rarin' to go again.  Good timing, too.  I just got the contact information for Donna Kelley, the previous owner, and Bernard, the MG specialist who maintained it in England.  I'm hoping to take the car by Donna's for a visit this weekend.
August 16, 2010 -  The starter (on right) came out easily, but when I compared it to the planned replacement (on left), everything came to a halt.   Although the nose (gear) end looks the same, the main body and solenoids were vastly different.    Some research turned up the explanation - Lucas switched to the smaller starter for 78-80 cars.  The larger starter is much more common, and even with the early solenoid can be used if you swap over some of the contacts.  However, rather than try rigging something up, I was able to order a new starter from the local Car Quest Parts store, and will have it in a couple of days. 
August 1, 2010 -  Rodney has a rather curious starter sound - like a turbine winding down before it catches and starts.  I am guessing it is a gear reduction starter, something I have heard of but never had.  The wind-down is apparently a sign of a bad connection or possibly a failing starter.  I mentioned it to friend Richard, who took me out to his garage and led me directly to a rebuilt MGB starter he has had since about 1985!  He handed it to me and told me to get my old starter fixed and put it in inventory.  I am planning to check out the starter one night this week and either get it working better or replaced.  The local MG club is having a tour this weekend that I am planning to take the TC on, but if the weather looks iffy, Rodney gets to go.
July 25, 2010 -  The GT has been sitting for a couple of weeks, so I gave him a good run today out to my parent's in 105 degree heat.  Happily, he doesn't seem bothered, with the temp gauge sitting right in the middle even at 65-70 mph.  The vibration is back - not sure if it's tires or something loose in the front end.  Could be kingpins, though I recall they were redone in England.  Not bad, just annoying.  Oh, in case you noticed the sudden gender change, the GT is now Rodney - I had to come up with a pen name for the article I wrote about our Tour a couple of weeks ago.  So the GT is now a he, and I will try to remember that.
July 10, 2010 -  My first real trip in the GT turned out very well.  She ran cool and steady the whole time, and with the sunroof and side windows opened up, even I stayed pretty cool despite hot and humid weather.  I did get the oil changed last night (Castrol 20/50) and checked everything else.  Brake and clutch master cylinders were all the way to the full mark, as was the radiator reservoir.  She did get pretty dirty - one of the attraction on the tour had a long and very dusty road.  Nothing a good bath won't fix.  I really do love the GTs - all the handling of the roadster and plenty of room for coolers, tools, and other stuff in the back.  Plus, I think they look better.  Anyway, a really nice day and a great first long run for the GT!
July 8, 2010 -  The GT's great-Granny got all the attention the past few weeks, but I am planning on taking the GT on a tour of the Eastern Shore on Saturday with the Tidewater MG Classics Club, and it was time to get busy.  I  finally tried swapping out the front tires with two of the tires that came on the 78.  Sure enough, the vibration was gone.  However, it turned out not to be the balance.  Neither I nor Wal-Mart had checked the pressure in the tires from the 73, and they were all low.  I thought I had checked them when I got the 73 home, but obviously not.  With 34 psi all around, the car rolled at 70...  um...  55, yeah, 55, with no vibration.  The spare was flat, so I swapped it out, and made sure the jack and handle were in place.  I'll try to get the oil changed tomorrow night, only because I haven't done it on this car yet and I don't know how old the oil is.  About the only item not working now is the fancy AM/FM/CD radio - it comes on, but the sound flickers in and out - mostly out.  Might be something as simple as a loose wire.  I'll try pulling it and checking the connections and grounding.
June 13, 2010 -  Some minor tinkering the past couple of days:  the GT's horn button activated one very weak high note that did little to attract attention when and if needed.  A pair of near-exact replacements for the factory horns were hanging from the rack at Advance Auto Parts, bolting in with no modifications and a much healthier 'honk.'   I had to pull the grille out to get to the horns, and noted some serious rust on the center piece.  I have three battered grilles in the garage, and one had a much better center piece.  So I swapped that out before I put the 78's grille back in.  I have some vibration at highway speeds that I think is the tires, despite having them balanced.  Gonna swap out to her old wheels/tires and see if the vibration goes away.
June 9, 2010 -  I adjusted the choke idle speed, carbs, and valves tonight, which greatly improved her start and idle, and also got rid of an annoying 'tick'.  Also installed new spark plugs and wires.  The alloy valve cover that was on the car was corroded, so I polished up a spare that came with the 73 and installed it along with chrome holdown nuts and oil cap, plus new seals from Moss.  I did some work over the weekend as well, getting the exhaust system tightened back up and adding a center brace, and also replacing the wiper blades.  I've put about 200 miles on the current tank of gas - curious to see what the mileage is.
June 1, 2010 -  The GT made her debut tonight at the Tidewater MG Classics monthly meeting.  She got a few double-takes when people saw the right-hand drive, and then again when I mentioned she was a late model.  A few folks remembered the car from the previous owner, and at least a couple had turned wrenches on it at a tech session.  I lost a windshield wiper blade coming home in the rain - I'd painted the wiper arms and put them a bit too close together.  It appears that one is an incorrect size. In any case, I stopped before any damage was done and removed the bladeless arm.   I'll replace both tomorrow.  Also, the Ansa exhaust slipped  a bit and is rattling slightly.  Another tweak for tomorrow night.
May 29, 2010 -  The wheels are all finished up - it was very tedious work repainting the black inserts with an artist's brush.  I outlined each opening first, then filled in the middle.  Even the two I had done before had to be repainted, as neither the plastic paint mask or using masking tape really did a decent job.  Given what I was starting with (lower left image in the wheel pictures), I am very pleased with the results.  Another 'quick' job that turned out to be not so easy was swapping over the Ansa exhaust from the 73.  The 78 has had the rear suspension converted to tube shocks - great for the ride, but the conversion cuts into the area that the exhaust system usually goes.  It took a good bit of refitting and twisting to finally get the Ansa setup in place, but it sounds great and looks good.  Still have some vibration at speeds over 60 - I suspect the tie rod ends may have some play.  Something to check out, anyway. Oh, took her over to my parent's tonight - the car drove great and the new seats were very comfortable.
May 28, 2010 -  Got the last two wheels stripped and painted silver - tomorrow I will take all four over to WalMart and get them rebalanced.  Turns out the best way to do the black inserts in the wheels is to hand paint them - I'll finish up the last two wheels after I get the wheels balanced..  I also pulled the Ansa exhaust system off the 73 and cleaned and painted it. 
May 27, 2010 - Major changes! - The original cloth seats were pretty decent, but the driver's side had holes and the fabric was still a bit dingy.  So tonight I decided to try the new seats that came with the 73.   Swapping seats was pretty simple, and I can get in and out easier with the smooth surface than with the fabric.  I think the new seats have better back support - the test will come with actual driving.  They make a drastic change to the interior appearance.  I also got spare keys made today - the locksmith even had MG key fobs!  Took her into work again - running smooth and cool, even in 90+ degrees and traffic
May 25, 2010 - Re-tired - The GT passed inspection recently, so the tires were safe to drive on.  However, they had uneven wear and were mismatched.  The 73 had nearly-new tires that I put on it when I had it, and since she isn't going anywhere soon I figured I'd pull a swap.  The wheels were a bit rough looking, so I media blasted the front two (with the tires on - I LOVE that big cabinet) and then painted them with Eastwood silver wheel paint I'd planned to use on the TC's wheels.  I put masking tape around the edge and then made a cone using some oversized paper sheets.  The plastic paint mask for the wheel did OK, but I had to paint the black inserts by hand.  I think I'll try masking off the next one instead.  Oh, also used black vinyl paint to cover the inward-facing whitewalls.
May 24, 2010 - Making her mine - I added bumper guards and a badge bar/grille guard to the GT tonight.  It changes the look of the car quite a bit.  The original silver and gray cloth seats are in remarkable shake to be 32 years old, and the engine compartment has both of the original Lucas cooling fans AND the cardboard air deflector between the radiator and the oil pan.  I am very pleased with the car - it has just enough different about it to be a little unique, yet it is no harder to get parts for than any other GT.
May 23, 2010 - The GT had some idle issues and had to have the choke in just the right position to run well.   I took a look at the carbs this weekend and got her adjusted so that she now runs smooth and steady with no choke needed once she starts up.  The adjustment screws had no lock nuts and the back carb was mostly off at idle.  First trip?  To Richard's of course - she rolled out to Chesapeake with nary a hiccup, and received Richard's nod of approval.  I dug up some nice front bumper guards and the over rider bar in the parts from the 73 and plan to add them, along with a transfer of the 73's tires and Ansa exhaust.  The 78 has a stock stainless steel system which I am going to put on the 73 instead - that car will get restored to original while the 78 will get the 'fun' stuff.  I got the seats cleaned up, and the paint is responding well to polishing compound.
May 20, 2010 - I took care of the title and tags today at lunch - the prior owner gave me a letter relinquishing the '78MGBGT' tag number, as well as the tags and registration.  I was able to turn the plates in and get the number re-issued on Antique Tags.  After due consideration, I realized that a license plate that started with 'SHT" would provide too much opportunity for coarse humor.  Hey, it's the first thing that came to MY mind.  Anyway, I got the temp tags on and drove the car to my car club meeting tonight.  She is one of the peppier MGBs I have driven, and the overdrive works great.  I should have time to do some work on the car this weekend, though the majority of effort will be spent trying to sort out and store all the parts that came with the 73 GT.
May 19, 2010 - About four years ago I saw a really neat-looking MGB-GT listed on eBay.  It was a late model Home Market (originally sold in the UK) with the professional chrome-bumper conversion, Webasto full sunroof, and overdrive.  Better yet, the car was located nearby, and I was able to give the car a test drive.  The lady selling it had brought the car back from England (photo at right is the car when she had it in England) - she was very nice, and really hated to have to sell the GT.   It had been repainted red, and had the original fabric seats in good shape, with 70+K original miles.  The overdrive was smooth and the car drove nicely.  It had the beginnings of dogleg rust, a common issue with MGBs, but nothing terrible.  I liked the car a lot, but by the time the auction ended my $4300 top bid didn't come close to winning.  I chalked the car up to the 'loss' column and pretty much forgot about it.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when some idle Internet browsing turned up a familiar-looking car for sale in Lynchburg VA.  The GT's buyer was relocating to Northern Virginia and had no place to keep the car, so was reluctantly parting with it.  I was rather overwhelmed with work trying to get the TC ready for the Grand National show in New Bern, so there was no way to make the 200+ mile trip to look at the car until this week.  Unfortunately, the owner was running out of time, as he had to get things settled in Lynchburg and then spend the weekend getting settled enough in Northern VA to start his new job Monday.  He basically had Monday, Tuesday and today - so I scrambled at work and took the day off today, made a stop at the Credit Union, snagged the Model A Club's tow dolly, and rolled to Lynchburg early this morning.  He had the car out front when I pulled up.  The years showed some in the form of faded paint and progression of rust which now was starting to appear in both lower front fenders and doglegs, but again, this is pretty normal for MGBs.  The structural stuff was all good, and he had extra wheels, new rear springs, and other parts to go with it.
I took the car for a drive around the area, not too long, but enough to check out the overdrive, brakes, and drivetrain.  She had 50 psi oil pressure at hot idle, the transmission and clutch were great, and the overdrive worked perfectly.  Even the clock worked.  When I got back (after getting lost for a short time), I did another walk-around and did a very small amount of haggling - we both knew I was going to buy the car, and I ended up getting it for my original $4300 eBay bid from 4 years ago.  We drove her up on the tow dolly and I dropped the driveshaft at the rear axle to avoid damage to the overdrive.  The trusty Mazda pulled her 230 miles with nary a complaint, and I simply rebolted the driveshaft up when we got home.  She is now in the garage - I plan to hit DMV tomorrow.  The owner gave me a letter relinquishing the 78MGBGT plates - but I am also considering the car's UK registration number, which is etched in the glass and lenses: SHT51S. I could put at least one of the UK plates back on her.  We'll see what happens at DMV.  In any case, I am delighted to have the car and am looking forward to playing with her.

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