While scanning endless negatives and slides for the 1965 Impala Hell Project, I’ve run across a few images of other heaps from my past. I’m kicking myself now for letting dozens of now-interesting hoopties pass through my hands without getting any photographic record, but that’s how the pre-digital-photography era worked. My British Racing Green, chrome-bumper MGB-GT, however, served three years as my daily driver, and so it did get caught by a few photographs. Here’s a shot showing one of the many, many repairs this fine British Leyland product needed while serving as my primary means of transportation.
The Killer Bees MGB has participated in just about every West Coast 24 Hours of LeMons race for the last couple of years. The Bees have done quite well, generally finishing in the top half of the standings, but somehow another entry managed to take home LeMons racing’s top prize in each of those races; even a British Leyland product has a tough time when submerged in a field of 150+ entries. This time, however, the yellow MGB finished well into the top 10 of the standings and claimed the IOE in a no-doubt decision.
One of Bertel and my favorite Chinese car blogs, ChinaCarNews, has been reporting since October than the next-generation of MG/Roewe midsized sedans would be based on GM’s Global Midsized (Epsilon II) chassis (which underpins Buick LaCrosse/Regal and the new Chevy Malibu), and now the rest of the media appears to be catching up. From InsideLine to Autocar, everyone’s running with the story that MG/Roewe, which is owned by GM’s main Chinese partner SAIC, is working on an Epsi II-based MG7 for launch in the 2015 timeframe. According to InsideLine
[In 2015], the MG7/Roewe 750 sedan replacement appears some 15 years after the debut of the Rover 75 they’re based on. A coupelike four-door, it uses GM’s Epsilon platform and will be powered by 2.0 and 2.4 four-cylinder gasoline engines and a 1.9 diesel, all with dual-clutch transmissions.
GM and SAIC signed a Memorandum Of Understanding back in October [.DOC file here], which included the provision that, in addition to developing a next-gen electric architecture,
SAIC and GM anticipate sharing an additional vehicle architecture and powertrain application in an effort to help reduce development costs and benefit from economies of scale.
This could explain MG/Roewe’s rumored use of the Epsilon II chassis, but for the moment GM dismisses these rumors as “speculation.” And no wonder: even GM hasn’t announced when it will offer a dual-clutch transmission in its Global Midsized platform. Chances are, The General will want to offer that combination before its Chinese partners use it to beef up its MG/Roewe brands, which have been in product rehab for some time now.
We were all quite impressed by the way the Cardorks/Invisible Pink Unicorn BMW clawed the win from the grasp of the Pro-Crass-Duh-Nation Alfa Romeo, but the serious battle at the Real Hoopties of New Jersey 24 Hours of LeMons took place among the contenders for the race’s true top prize: the Index of Effluency.
Kevin Wale, head of GM China, confirmed what we had intimated a month ago: GM wants to give their Chinese joint venture partner SAIC access to GM’s sales network in the UK. “We have agreed in an MOU that we would discuss the potential for MG to be distributed in the UK,” said Wale to Reuters.
If the deal is signed, it would be unprecedented.
Next year, the UK will get back a long lost son, who has found adoptive parents in China: The MG. Gasgoo reports that the MG6 Saloon will enter the British market in 2011. That was announced by Chen Zhixin, Executive Vice President of SAIC Motor and General Manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle Co., at the UK Pavilion of Shanghai Expo, while Ms. Carma Elliot, Consul General of the United Kingdom (UK) in Shanghai, was watching. Just Auto thinks the Chinese car with a British name will be shown to the UK public at the Top Gear Live MPH motor show at London’s Earls Court, on 4 November.
How about this for a world upside down: Instead of producing foreign cars in China, the Chinese will produce a foreign car, developed in China, in a foreign country. Such will be the case for the MG6. In a way.
China’s SAIC will manufacture its self-developed MG6-series sedan at its U.K. plant and sell the sedans across the European Union by the end of the year, SAIC’s chairman said to Reuters.
The pop rivets on the crudely fabricated rocker panels were a dead giveaway: tell-tales of ill health under the distraction of a box fresh $29.95 Earl Scheib paint job. I noticed the rivets as soon as the smarmy soon-to-be seller of the ’57 MGA pulled into the driveway. But I was 15, and not the intended victim. That would be my older brother, who was utterly blinded by lust as the late-summer sun sparkled on the curvaceous roadster. He was 19, and about to enter that unique form of parallel hell endemic to the ownership of a clapped-out rusty English car. His only consolation: unlike most self-inflicted drives to auto-hell, his would at least be fairly quick, and a one-way trip.
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