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Silverstone MG International Weekend

13 - 15 June 2008

by Andrew Coulson

As a Racing Circuit, MG Silverstone can vary from a total wash out to two days of high speed adrenaline surges – and that’s just for the spectators! This year we had the latter, along with thousands of cars, vintage buses and a chance to price up spare chrome work along the "Trader’s City".

No apologies for stating the blindingly obvious, as yet again it was down to the regular small number of Y owners that the Register Parking at Silverstone did not become swamped by the SVW, Z or MGBs who were our neighbours in the field this year! With 1 car on Friday and six on each of the other two days, those who came were at least assured that there would be minimal competition for any rarer Y-type parts from dealers and jumblers alike.

A slow but steady trickle of visitors to the Register Stand saw competition among the volunteers manning (and womanning) it – with Janet Cairns gaining the honours for ‘largest sales volume in a single shift!’ Several visitors had cars undergoing restoration and details were added to Jack Murray’s masterfiles of all things Y, along with invitations to complete their details with photos for the web/register records.

This year the K types took centre stage, but among this ancient and esteemed contingent was another MG very special to the Y: EX135 was on loan for the event, now with Perspex panels cut into its streamlined bodywork – and Yes! The engine is clearly and very familiarly visible as a (rather modified) XPAG. If only I’d taken a few more tools with me, they’d never have spotted the swop (well they never start EX 135 these days!).

In contrast to previous years, the T-racers were in very short supply, having one of the smallest grids for a long time, as indeed did the pre-war cars for the Kimber Trophy. It was heartening to see however that Richard Last in the Parnell K3 raced away to win the Kimber, and then, complete with his laurels and still in fireproof racing suit, returned the car at high speed to the main MG Pavilion to park it in a heat haze and  aroma of racing oil for the delight of visitors! And who says ‘Things ain’t like they used to be!’

On a personal record, our round trip of 400 miles took 3¾ hours down and a nifty 3hours 20 minutes to return on Sunday evening, at an average of 35 mpg and the obligatory two halves of oil! No Concours or POO entries for us this year, with three very long runs in the past two months we have had to leave the “spit and polish” to a minimum and concentrate on things mechanical and electrical! Which lets me finish with the latest items brought back from the Silverstone Weekend: one set of springs (various) to re-fit the troublesome throttle return spring on the YA; one set of under-bonnet rubbers (rear of bonnet) as supplied from MGA spares to replace one or more cracked on each of the three Y’; one small pile of brochures for Norway 2009- the MG European Event of the Year.

As the Newcastle to Bergen ferry is now stopping we were advised by those very friendly Norwegians at Silverstone to “Try Scrabster!” – not sure if that was a local delicacy, a traditional game or something else, we now know that Scrabster is a small port just West of John O’ Groats. It seems the only way to get to Bergen next year will be as part of an even more heroic adventure than usual. Any takers out there for putting the Y back into NorwaY?

Auto-jumble initiative?

Back end of Sunday

Fastest XPAG ever!

Yes it is an XPAG

Register stand in good hands

Some of Saturday

Stylish ... and fast

And the rear's from the other end of the line ...

(courtesy of Sheila Hope)

Proof there were actually 8 Ys at Silverstone ... though only 7 at any one time!

(courtesy of Peter Sharp)

To enlarge the pictures, double click on them.