Silverstone MG International Weekend
22 - 24 July 2005
by Andrew Coulson with additional photos by Phil Brackpool
For those who are regulars at the largest MG meeting of the year you know you will sometimes get either driving rain or fine sun — but as usual, this year had one day of each!
Friday 22nd July
A cunning plan had hatched whereby we would arrive after lunch on Friday, in time to beat that well known Y Register magpie (a.k.a. David Pelham) from clearing the Circuit of all Y related parts, memorabilia, deals and options. Travelling down in the YB pick-up was uneventful, apart from spotting (and mending) a leaking clutch reservoir pipe at a re-fuelling stop.
But that was the end of the successful plan, since David had arrived (Y less) and seemed bent on acquiring enough spares to build one over the weekend. Cat's eyes headlamp lenses went fast; carburettor bodies were sorted, selected and purchased; smaller unidentified parts disappeared; and the Pelham holdall steadily grew! Keith Herkes (Y borne) found bumper irons — and the Coulson goodie bag? A hubcap for the YB, and hose clips to reinforce the replacement pipe. We were obviously pacing ourselves carefully!
Saturday 23rd July
A fine sunny day starting with obligatory bacon rolls by the "Cars for Sale" paddock, revealed a 1936 VA DHC, in one ownership since 1939 (and totally un-restored) for around £11,500. Arlene's grasp of financial futures does not yet extend to pre-war companions for the current fleet. The circuit as usual was a mass of tents and campers, some labelled "Quiet Area" (next to the sprint and testing areas) and some labelled "General" — in the quieter parts, and just like Friday we were besieged by overseas owners wanting to know more of the history for the pick-up. (Rumour has it that articles will appear in a specialist USA trucking magazine and on several MG websites in Australia, South Africa and the Netherlands!)
The Register stand was manned by Jack Murray, Ted Gardner, Neil Cairns, Paul Dresser and others — with Neil taking the opportunity to discuss possible engine improvements to the 1,275cc block currently under the pick-up bonnet. Meanwhile a search of engines on site showed an XPAW — already sold and an XPAG — allegedly rebuilt, but everything was finger tight — my verdict is assembled does not equal rebuilt and so a decision not to purchase was made. This was confirmed by the £1,600 asking price!!
Racing was active all afternoon, and this year included the BMC 50th anniversary of competition cars. This meant that one grid even featured mini-coopers, Austin A40 Farina and a split screen Morris Minor alongside the midgets, MGA's, B's,T-types, Austin Healeys and even a recent MG ZR!
Y types were represented in the static display of BMC competition cars with the Dick Jacobs YB (now owned by Bob Ward)
Sunday 24th July
Now for the grumpy old man bit ...
Last year Arlene and I responded to the Y Committee request for "Some Y types in the Concours/Pride of Ownership" classes — and of course won it as we were the only ones entered! This year, where were you all?. A presentation tankard went begging; your name in lights went blank, and I was sorely tempted to cause a major dispute by entering the YB 'special' (sorry Jack, YB Pick up) in which we had travelled.
So here it is, "Come on committee (and others) let's see some Y's in the line next year!"
Anyway, with the weather suiting this darkening mood, and a lack of waterproof clothing very evident ( David 'the Dealer' Pelham sold the Y Stand's entire stock of umbrellas in around 3 minutes!) The last day proved a total wash out for racing and an unproductive one for haggling over VA restoration projects (oops! I don't think Arlene knew about that). So time was spent admiring this years MG success at Le Mans with Andrew Morland, Jerry Birkbeck and others in the dry of the Club marquee .. discussing what else but a 2006 run to Italy for MGs by the Sea.
Now that does sound like fun... Putting the Y in ItalY?
To enlarge the pictures, double click on them.