Monday, October 10, 2011

2X Cylinders = 2X Fun

You may recall an earlier post wherein I found a deal on a factory hardtop for my trusty MGB. The trip that brought that particular bit of good fortune my way came about when a group of us gave ace car restorer and all-round top bloke Mike Darby a hand in getting a couple of cars back to his shop in Silverhill, Alabama from Meridian, Mississippi. 

In addition to a pre-war MG, Mike repurchased an MGB GT that he had converted to Rover V8 power for the owner some years back. As usual, the GT was finished to Mike's typically high standard when it was delivered to the owner. Over the ensuing years, the owner had focused on a couple of other projects and felt the need to sell it on as it had sat unused for some time.

Mike has made good progress on the car by getting it running reliably and stopping surely. A flawless respray in bright red is the icing on this particular cake. Still to go is the interior trim, exterior chrome and installing the bonnet.

Richard Cunningham and I paid Mike a visit yesterday while he was working on a lovely MG-TC that he is restoring for an out of town client. Richard needed to press in some new rubber bushes on his E-Type trailing arms and I rode along to enjoy the gorgeous almost-fall weather.

I saw the GT sitting outside Mike's shop, engine ticking quietly while it cooled off from a run. Mike noticed my interest and asked if I've ever been in a V8 'B. I hardly had the negative answer out before he motioned me into the passenger side and he had the 3.5 liter V8 started. We got out to the rural road that fronts Mike's property and he buried the throttle. Since Mike failed to tell me that the passenger seat wasn't fastened to the floor, I found myself looking at the ceiling of the car as the tach needle shot up the scale. 

The sound of the aluminum V8... oh, mommy. 

Mike ably demonstrated that the car is very docile at low speed and the torque is such that downshifting the Rover 5 speed is an option unless you just wanted to hear that lovely exhaust note. Acceleration is astounding in that the view from the passenger seat is typical MGB, so the unusual amount of "umph" doesn't compute mentally at first but after a few miles it is nothing short of grin inducing.   

The car is for sale and my inner hooligan has been throwing temper tantrums almost non-stop since my ride. My inner accountant, however, has been tapping his pencil on my depleted bank book. 

I hate my poverty.  

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