Tuesday, 9 September 2014

MG motoring essentials


The Herald recently posted what it called ten inventions every new car should have

Darryl Bretherton at the MG Car Club disagrees.  He reckons all ten are either totally unnecessary, reduce your driving pleasure, or are something your classic MG already has but in a much more robust way.

Some people might even call them bollocks.

For example:

  1. The Herald reckons you should have Adaptive Cruise Control to “ease the driving load on long journeys.”
    MGs have drivers who pay attention.
  2. The Herald reckons you should have Cross-Traffic Alert “to detect approaching traffic from either side as you reverse and warn the driver.” MGs have drivers who pay attention, and no roof so that paying attention is easier.
  3. The Herald reckons you should have a reversing camera. MGs have roofs you can take down so they don’t get in the way, and drivers who pay attention.  (Are you seeing a trend, here?)
  4. The Herald reckons you should have a decent-sized glovebox. In MGs, we call this a boot.
  5. The Herald reckons your car should have a Cargo Net in your boot to stop your tennis racquet sliding around. No problem in your MG: there’s no room in your boot for a tennis racquet because it’s full of spare tyre.
  6. The Herald reckons you should have a Tyre Pressure Monitor with a fancy-arse light on your dashboard. MG drivers like to keep their dashboards clean. So they use their foot. Or look. Or, to get posh, use a tyre gauge they keep in the glovebox (see 4 above).
  7. The Herald reckons your new car should have a Built-In Vacuum Cleaner. The MG driver simply takes off his roof and drives fast.
  8. The Herald reckons you must have Keyless Entry, sensing when your key fob is within range and opening the door automatically. Having no roof to worry about, MG drivers simply lean over and use the inside handle.
  9. The Herald reckons your new car must have Inductive Charging so you can charge your phone or music player while you’re driving. If they ever use them while driving, MG drivers remember to charge their phone or music player before they go out. The reason they don’t need to use them is they prefer to listen to their engine.
  10. The Herald reckons your ideal car will have a Handbag Holder. Yes, campers, a Handbag Holder. A Flap in the passenger seat in which to put your hand bag, money bag or man bag just before you throw your man card out the window. MG drivers simply place their wallets in their pockets, and larger items in the footwell – which is much, much closer to hand in your average MG.

So that’s ten things that will mostly all go wrong one day that no sensible person ever needs. And MGs, being the choice of the most sensible drivers, have only the three essential modern features every sensible car needs:

  1. Indicators: those little yellow lights on either side of the car so rarely used by drivers of new cars.
  2. Brake lights: preferably working.
  3. A MaGic driving experience: the indefinable pleasure of having as much fun as you can within a reasonable road speed.

Yes, give me my rudimentary little MG any day over a boring box crammed full of gadgets and handbag holders.



  1. Always thought it would be fun driving an MG, though haven't done so yet. Plus the main use for our car is getting myself, Mrs H, dog, up to ten client files, laptop, iPads and other items of office, clothes, booze and food between Mahau Sound and Geraldine: I don't fancy my chances.

  2. @Mark: You clearly have far too much stuff. Does Mrs H. really need to come too? ;^)

  3. Much more fun if Mrs H doesn't come, because I take the train from Chch to Picton: brilliant ride sitting in the diner. Only operated summer now however.

  4. MGs; OMG! I had the misfortune of working on them in the old "New Zealand Motor Corp" days back in the mid-late 70's. Nothing but rust buckets with very bad water leaks through the roof & oil leaks everywhere. Just awful- everybody goaned when 1 came in for service or repair or the infernal 'find the water leak' request. The other major problem was the wait for spare parts to ship from England (6 months for a side windows). An MG owner knocked a Hells Angels Biker off his Harley & for months we had damaged MG's brought in for repair done by the BIkers who took revenge on any MG they came across.

    They do look good however, but I still cringe when I see one today.


  5. The only British car I ever owned, was a car I got to know very well.
    For some reason, it picked up a habit of needing repairs by the end of the week, which I always did over the weekend. I gave up when the thrust bearing in the clutch seized as this was going to be a major hassle to fix.
    By this time I had rebuilt the Alternator, fixed the float bowl in the Carb, replaced the leaking fuel tank, replaced the back brake shoes & seals, & stopped a water leak from the radiator.
    I sold it in the end to a young student for a pittance, just to get rid of it.

    B. Whitehead

  6. The essentials are: leather seats, at least 6 cylinders. 1/2. Sorry red midget.

  7. As the owner of a pretend MG (1997 Rover MGF), I can confirm the more modern variants retained all of the charm of the older ones, which you've articulated most adequately. The only thing I'd add is that on the modern as with the historic, the roof is there merely for decoration. It serves absolutely no useful purpose whatever, especially during winter in Auckland!

  8. Some MGs have character/charm but they are among the least rational cars you could buy.


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