British Car Myths

By Eric Glomstad

I began my ownership of British cars when I was 19 years old. The vehicle was a Jaguar XK150, which I drove through my first three years of college. Since then, I have owned six Jaguars, seven MGBs, two Midgets, one Sunbeam Alpine, two Triumph TR3s, and three Austins. Through all the joys and frustrations of ownership, my vehicles have taught me many truths and dispelled others. Here are few of those “myths” which are often spoken of but which are not certainties by any means.

Lucas is the “Prince of Darkness”
Everyone has a story of being left on a dark night without lights, or finding that their car won’t start because the battery has died for some unknown reason. Yes, I have had my share of electrical gremlins in many of the British cars I have owned. Yet, these were few and far between. I learned that, for the most part, Lucas designed a system that was pretty reliable. Most of the electrical problems I had were due to my own attempts to add fog lights, 8-track tape decks, or some other accessory. Lucas systems in the early years were delightfully simple. For example, my TR3 had only four fuses! Contrast that with my BMW 325, which has more than 50(!) fuses on its panel.

British Car Parts are Expensive
Not only is this a myth, it has been proven to be false with nearly every repair I have had to make on my many British vehicles. In the early 1970s it was possible to find used parts in most wrecking yards. There were few manufacturers making reproduction parts, but the reverse is now true. Few wrecking yards have the parts I need, but there is a wealth of reproduction or remanufactured parts available for the enthusiast. These parts are not expensive! No one is giving them away for free, but the cost of replacement parts has dropped on many of my favorite makes and models. While wrecking yards have dried up, Craigslist has exploded with parts cars and used parts. They seem to be everywhere and most likely will remain tucked away in sheds and garages for decades to come. Contrast this with the cost of parts for many American vehicles, especially since they are not “made in America” as they once were.

British Cars Leak Oil
Okay. This is not a myth. It is quite true that they leak oil. My point is that every car I have ever owned leaked oil and therefore, it’s not a problem unique to British cars. I drove an Austin Marina from Portland, Oregon to my home near Seattle, Washington. In the 300 plus miles, I left an oil track that even Hansel and Gretel would have been proud of. But this was an exception, and not the rule for every British car I have owned. From Pontiacs and Buicks, to Mazdas and Volkswagens, they all leaked some oil. My worst leakers were the seven Chevrolet Corvairs I owned. But that story is for another time.

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British Carburetors Need Constant “Fiddling”
The auto enthusiast looks forward to “fiddling” with his/her automobile. However, the myth is that British cars require a prodigious amount of fiddling. I find this to be untrue. Carburetors are often cited as a source of constant frustration—adjustments, synchronizing, and repairing linkage “slop” are thought to be time-consuming exercises which rarely produce pleasurable results. The truth is that SU, Stromberg, or Weber carburetors are quite simple and respond well to the efforts of amateur mechanics. If an owner wants to make the most of his engine’s power curve, a synchronizing vacuum gauge, such as a Unisyn is absolutely necessary. There are no moving parts to master with this tool and no electronics to fuss with. I have also had excellent results with a plain rubber hose inserted into my ear, the other end inserted into the throat of a carburetor, when measuring airflow differences between twin carburetors. The cost of this tool, though primitive, is negligible.

British Cars Are Not Watertight
When I was in Junior High my father and I visited Beach Motors, the local Sunbeam dealer. We were looking for a used commuter car and I was eager to have him purchase something sporty. It was in the fall and the rains had already come to Western Washington. While I admired the lines of the Triumphs, Austin-Healeys, and MGs on the lot, my father had criterion very different than mine. He opened the driver’s door of every car and felt the floor for moisture. We went home that day in a Renault Caravelle, simply because the floor was dry. Needless to say, that was not my idea of a sports car. It’s hard to dispel a notion that is “mostly true” as this one is, but I have found ways to seal the stubborn leaks in the British cars I have owned. Sunbeam Alpines and MGBs have removable hardtops and roll up windows. There were no water problems in these cars. The Jaguar XK 150s I owned were “drophead coupes” and they were watertight as well. The Triumph TR3s were another matter. Not only did they leak when sitting still, they both spit at my face while driving in the rain. A judicious buyer can make a prudent purchase by following my father’s advice: “Don’t buy a car with a wet floor.”

There it is, my top five British car myths. Perhaps you have a few of your own? I currently own a 1970 MGB Roadster with a removable hardtop in place for the winter months. The blinker lights are slow, the car drips a bit of oil, I just synchronized the twin SU carbs, and on Tuesday I felt a few drops of water hit my left ankle while driving in the rain. I’m glad I have Moss Motors to assist me, and the parts are not expensive!


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'British Car Myths' have 33 comments

  1. April 9, 2020 @ 4:19 pm Mike Eastman

    My Bugeye Sprite doesn’t leak in the rain, except when I have to stop for a traffic light. It was really my fault for not checking the weather before I left the house without the hood.

    Reply

  2. April 9, 2020 @ 5:40 pm Britnut

    Old British cars are more reliable than new American cars!
    As a young father I bought a 10 year old ‘87 XJ6 Jaguar when I needed to carry my 2 kids in car seats that would not fit in my MGB. I had admired this XJ whenever I visited a local shop and I knew the manager was the owner of the car. Eventually I noticed the car was no longer in the parking lot and asked why. The manager explained she parked it in the garage when the ac stopped working. Well of course I asked if it was for sale and we settled on a price that was 1/2 what had been spent on a recent repaint mostly because she wanted her baby to go to a good home. The ac turned out to be a low cost repair since the parts are shared with all GM cars. For the next several years I drove the XJ daily with no issues while my ‘buy American’ bosses new cars had major failures. A brand new Jeep Cherokee’s rear end blew up after one week and the transmission in a Ford Explorer exploded within its first year! Therefore all my cars since have been British and all ways will be!

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  3. April 9, 2020 @ 7:01 pm Don Phillips

    Hey, as the original owner of a ’69 MGB which I bought in St. John’s, Nfld, while I was in the U.S. Navy ,prior to going to Jacksonville for my last duty station before returning to college (Go Vols!), I loved your post. I still drive the B about every other day–well, before the novel coronavirus appeared–to the gym, about 6 miles one way. It only has about 155,000 miles on it, so my Gold Seal engine is still sitting in the original wooden shipping crate from the UK. Just want you to know that yes, my B does leak oil a bit, but such is life. What really cracked me up–I’m sending a copy of the “British Cars Leak Oil” portion to my older brother–is the comment about Corvairs. We had a 1962 one if my memory serves me correctly. Nope, not the Monza one–too expensive. Later there appeared a great bumper sticker: “Invest in foreign oil…buy a Vega.” I thought it should have referenced a Corvair. Thanks again for the post!!!

    Reply

  4. April 9, 2020 @ 7:13 pm Peter Pentz

    A lot of these comments deserve of further comments …….
    Lucas…….. This varies from car to car. I can go one better on the number of fuses – the Mini has exactly 2 fuses, and the Ford Cortina Mk1 exactly none ! (think fire hazard ….). Most of the component ancilliaries were pretty robust – distributors, generators, starters.
    That was until Lucas started to try and “get smart” in the 70’s – their early Alternators where a disaster and totally unreliable, starters with the solenoid on the starter were totally unreliable, early attempts at electronic ignition were laughably unreliable.
    On early 60’s systems, the greatest point of failure was the wiring harness connectors that were touch and go.
    The most amusing over designed cars electrics was the E Type Jag – I’m qualified to comment – I own one, and it is begging for electrical failure. For example, the starter is excited from the key, through a relay, a solenoid, and a second solenoid on the starter – OMG three possible points of failure.
    SU Carbs – Biggest point of failure, the amateur idiot who tries to adjust them without understanding the correct procedure. Once correctly adjusted they are utterly reliable and should not be tampered with. Weber carbs are also bullet proof once set correctly, but Strombergs are the biggest POS on the market in my opinion.
    English cars leak oil – show me one that doesn’t ! Some of them are almost designed to leak. I remember admiring a new Jag on a showroom floor one day, until I noticed it had an oil drip tray under it. I have owned multiple BMWs, VWs (post the stupid Beatle), Alfas, and various Jap cars – not one of them leaked oil …..
    English cars leak water – hell yes, but so do early Alpha convertibles, Fiats etc. Soft tops in general in the 60s where a nightmare when it rained – the side screens were barely adequate (basically rain protection), and when wind-up windows came along the window to top seal was often questionable. But I have had several British saloons from the 60s that leaked – I had an Austin 1800, an MG 1100 , and several Minis that had exactly the same problem. Left alone in the rain at night, the doors would fill up with water, and would not drain down, due to faulty door drain systems. The first corner you turned in the morning, the contents trapped in the door would spill out and flood the carpets.
    I own five classic British cars, and would happily jump in any one of them and drive them thousands of miles without concern, but then I’ve spent years finding ways around their design floors ! As a simple example every one of them no longer have points ignition – they are all running Pertronix ignition triggers.

    Reply

  5. April 9, 2020 @ 7:53 pm duncan

    The carbs are not the problem. It’s the lucas electrics.

    Reply

  6. April 9, 2020 @ 9:04 pm Gary Eye

    Eric,

    I have heard the same stories you discuss above and agree 100% with you that they are mostly myths. I have had 14 british cars and enjoyed all of them in one way or another. Back in the day, when I went to a bone yard looking for parts I would make a list of interchangeable parts as many within a family like Roots group were.

    Reply

  7. April 10, 2020 @ 3:37 am David A. Warr

    I certainly agree with these myths especially the Lucas, Prince of Darkness. Also I find that everyone has an opinion on British car ownership but yet have no real experience with ownership. The myth keeps perpetuating itself as the years go by. It is unfortunate.

    Reply

    • April 10, 2020 @ 8:08 am Ralph Tella

      These are actually all part of their charm.

      Reply

    • April 10, 2020 @ 8:28 am Russell VanTine

      I COMPLETELY agree with the comments on LUCAS. Most problems are because we attempt to add something or fix something electrical with the wrong parts, the wrong tools, or because we rush it. The KEY to electrical issues are to make sure your wiring harness is FRESH! the wiring harness is the key to your electric issues in your car. If you see wear (usually because the car is old) START with the wiring harness! if that is not in good shape then you will have electrical problems. Is it worn? are there frayed wires? is some copper showing? is there oxidation on the connections? It’s like the engine….. if the timing is wrong then how can you correctly adjust the carburetors and plugs and expect to have it run smooth? Luckily our English cars are VERY simple when it comes to electrical connections… you just have to take care of them! Many of our cars have been around for a LOOOOONG time so, of course, things can go bad! But start with the basic wiring before something else has a chance to burn out because of a basic “short” somewhere because of exposed wiring from an old wiring harness!

      Reply

    • April 10, 2020 @ 9:07 am Lew Specker

      60 year ownership of 53- 120 Coupe. , 68 MGBGT, 67 E rdstr
      The 120 is very dry but the position of the distributor allow water to shut it down if it gets wet. The B leaks through the brake master cylinder mounting. The E leaks through the windshield top rail to the convertible top or removable hard top. fix is electrical tap over the junction. (rarely go out in the rain anyway.
      They all leak oil in variable amounts.
      I redid the electrical wiring in the 120 50 years ago with modern plastic insulated wires. No issues since. The B and the E have original wiring with no issues (so far).
      Added a positive ground alternator to the 120 (excellent) to accommodate 7.7″ Lucas fog lights and modified the original 7.7″ tribar headlights of accept halogen bulbs.
      Also added Pertronix ignition to all three.
      Once set the SU’s just require periodic damper oil. Never have to re-adjust. I change the motor oil every 5K miles or once a year.

      Reply

    • April 10, 2020 @ 9:45 am Larry Jackson

      I have owned British cars since I was 19, ( 71 now) my first was 1964 Triumph TR4, which was traded for my 67 AH 3000 MK3, which I still own. Currently I own 8 British cars of 4 different marques and if they aren’t leaking a little of something, I know it is out of fluid. Love SUs and Webers, but not fond of Strombergs. Most electrical problems can be attributed to poor grounds or faulty switches. Hope to keep restoring these classic beauties for many years.

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    • April 10, 2020 @ 10:32 am Kenneth Lee

      Like the author, my first car was British, a 1957 XK-140 roadster. I had to put it together myself and learned enough in the process to make a life-time career and avocation out of it. I’ve owned around 12 Jaguars of various models, along with MGBs. Currently own three V-8 Jaguars and an MGB-GT. What I discovered early on was that very few Americans have any understanding of British cars, especially the mechanics trying to work on them. Most repairs I’ve had to do were the result of improper earlier ‘repairs’. The main problem I have found with British electrics has been the bullet connectors and sockets they pushed into with a friction fit. Over the years, the socket would loosen a bit and the resistance in the connection would increase to the point of it getting hot, resulting in a LOOSER connection. At that point, components would start to fail. Oil leaks have generally been caused by inadequate maintenance, i.e., tightening stuff regularly as instructed by the owner’s manual. Every engine I’ve re-built has been oil tight afterward.
      I’m actually happy that most people in the States don’t understand these cars, since their skepticism about them has kept their re-sale prices low enough where I’ve been able to buy, own, keep and enjoy so many of them for the last 55 years. I’m also deeply appreciative of Moss Motors and other companies for their continued support.

      Reply

    • April 10, 2020 @ 1:50 pm Dave Liddie

      My 1955 MKVIIM is a different vehicle! I’ve owned it for twenty years and know it’s idiosyncrasies well. Of the 40-some Lubrication points, 10 will drip at any one time. Heaven only knows when a cloth-coated Lucas wire will wear through where it passes through the firewall. The cowl vent and moon roof assure that my feet and head will be rinsed if I drive it in the rain. The original motor does not smoke after a brief warm-up, the windshield wipers work as intended, the original Moss gearbox w/overdrive behaves as new, and radial tires allow stability at (reasonable!) highway speeds. I consider myself truly fortunate to own and enjoy a true British landmark automobile.

      Reply

    • April 10, 2020 @ 4:46 pm robert oringdulph

      Re: myths..I cant speak to the wide range of British cars the writer describes but I can, with reasonable experience, give my thoughts on the Jags. I purchased by first Jag, a 1951 120 rdstr while in college and moved through 140’s, 150’s, Mark II (2). back to a 120, a 140, a XK 40, XK12L, S type and finally a XKE. Never really had any electric problems or more than normal mechanical issues.. overheating issues seemed the most aggravating (but all solved with fans and higher capacity radiators). I still have two Jags and am still a lover after 60 years
      .

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    • April 11, 2020 @ 6:29 am Brian Johnstone

      Mostly agree on British car myths with a couple of caveats: Lucas electrics are generally reliable but on older cars need to be maintained. Over time, bullet connectors collect dirt, terminals need periodic cleaning. When I did a frame off restoration on my 61 Austin Healey 3000 about 10 years ago, I replaced all the wiring. Haven’t had a bit of trouble since. BTW it’s a side curtain car… it leaks. I keep it in a climate controlled garage. Second caveat: both my Healey and my 69 series II E Type OTS Jag leak oil. Mostly the rear main. Healey has no seal it’s a reverse threaded oil “slinger”on the crank. The Jag has a rope seal that wears out fairly quickly. While re building the engine a couple of years ago, fixed the Jag rear main problem with a special kit from Moss. Works great. Final comment… oil leaks, as long as not major, are not necessarily a bad thing. Prevent rust.

      Reply

    • April 11, 2020 @ 6:40 am RF [Bob] Thom

      I’ve had British cars since 1960, and still have three [3]. Most of the problems I’ve encountered have been electrical, but not what you think, it’s not the accessories but the wiring. First thing I do is discard the short battery cable that connects the battery to the body, and replace it with a long shielded cable and connect it to one [1] of the starter securing bolts. Next every time a component fails, like a turn signal not working, I check the wiring and usually find an ‘open’ in that circuit. The wire harness is made up of several smaller sections, ie: front lighting, engine, dash, rear lighting, all interconnected with bullet connectors. On my ’77 MGB I had some problems and finally decided enough is enough. Time to upgrade those bullet connectors. I removed the rubber insulator, opened the connection, slid some heat shrink tubing over one [1] wire, remake the connection, solder it secure, slip the shrink wrap over it and sealed it. Since I did this that MGB has been to the east coast, out to St.Paul MN, out and around Road America track, to Watkins Glenn more time than I want to admit, to Lime Rock, to Mossport in Ontario, even around the Indy 500 track, all without incident. Three [3] years ago I broke down on New York Thruway when a fan belt broke. Luckily I noticed some years before that the belt seemed low in the pulleys and I replaced it, putting the old belt in the trunk. Fifteen [15] minutes and I was motoring, bought another new one at the first auto parts store I passed.

      Reply

    • April 12, 2020 @ 7:15 am Don Johnson

      On a road trip from Pittsburgh to Road Atlanta with my daughter Chrissy. In West Virginia the sky opened up and the 70 E type OTS with roadster Hood in place started to leak. the resourceful Chrissy collected in her coffee cup the drops coming through the seal between wind screen and hood a two hours later a full cup had been collected. Oh it leaks oil front and rear engine seals too.

      Reply

    • April 12, 2020 @ 7:21 am r chisolm

      Corvair ugh,,,had one for a year one lifetime,,I agree with the rest,,plus “new” old parts are usually upgrades ,,Pertronix for an etype,,retro hose kits and cooling etc,,,Costs of Parts? any Jap. car ,,for instance the non normal transmission of certain acuras,,cant be repaired and not available for less then 3K,,! fact I always new,,lack of maint and owner neglect are the greatest problem,, R chisolm,,1955 thunderbird

      Reply

  8. April 10, 2020 @ 5:58 am Ray Costa

    Having owned many British cars I agree. Most electrical problems come from old age. The last Triumphs and MGs sold on our shores are now forty years old. I’ve had more electrical problems on Japanese cars that were much newer. Part of the problem is corrosion at the grounds This can happen in any car, and the problem is easy to solve if you take the trouble to clean the ground connections at the body or frame. Also, in the early days Lucas used bullet connectors. These fall apart over the decades. I replace them with spade connectors. No, it isn’t authentic, but it works. I also solder a lot of things together rather than use connectors at all. I have never been stranded by Lucas electrics. Lucas switches can be rebuilt. Try that on a modern car! Carburetor is a French word for “don’t touch.” Works for me. I think I’ll go for a drive, now.

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  9. April 10, 2020 @ 8:30 am Steve Gutzmer

    British cars are simply just British, if you can appreciate Bennie Hill,or Monty Python combined with the Brit slang then you will love your auto made in the UK. My brit cars require no more maintence than any other made elsewhere, my biggest complaint is that they leak oil almost through osmosis! The article was factual on all counts, thanks to Moss and other suppliers all parts are available and relitively inexpensive. I love my E type, she leaks, she smells like oil and smokes occasionally, but comparing her to a Tesla ? Who would want one of those steril Ipads on wheels. Thanks Moss for help keeping my Etype alive, now if we could only keep all those wankers off the road life would be perfect.

    Reply

  10. April 10, 2020 @ 8:35 am michael J shor

    re Lucas electronics…..hmmm, purchased my first TR3 while stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Promptly drove it to the O Club as freshly minted butter bar…and as good luck would have it fell into a conversation with a rather attractive nurse going through her officer training. As evening progressed, offered her a spin in what I described as a “poor mans Jag”. Off we went into the night…engine making the wonderful sounds only a TR# can make and a bit of Rod Stewart coming out of a rather marginal radio. All was perfect until she asked me what the flames were coming out from under the dash. Perfect evening filled with possibilities, quickly became an “oh s$$%t” moment. Was able to smother the fire with my “C” cap…her next comment..”nice car, take me back to base”…..yea, my introduction to Lucas! But still at it…current TR3A 1961 deep blue!

    Reply

  11. April 10, 2020 @ 8:56 am Cliff

    I have a 1969 series II XKE needing complete refurbishment. My question is this mark even worth restoring, it is a California car so very little corrosion but the seats are shot needs an engine overhaul and a new paint job?

    Reply

  12. April 10, 2020 @ 9:11 am Michael D> Rogers

    STILL have about 80 old Brit sports cars, I DO replace the Lucas fuel pumps in that I don’t like having to clean the points once a year, the Lucas generators don’t like to put much current out and will ‘throw their lead” if you ask more! OK– DON’T ASK! and YES–the modern rocker switches are crap. The newer the car Brit or Amurikun is the more difficult it is to maintain–they have become disposable cars no matter how much they cost when new!
    SOLUTION: only have the car you love that YOU can maintain–I’m building a 1957 Jaguar at this time as my keep forever car~~

    Cheers
    ROARRR

    Reply

  13. April 10, 2020 @ 9:30 am Durwood Dugger

    I have always loved British Car design aesthetics and still do. My love is limited to their appearance aesthetics however, because I have fully experienced the functional and material engineering limitations of the British car designers.

    In 1970 my new Triumph GT-6 (my second – the first a 1967 destroyed when rear ended) that had the entire wiring harness melt down a week after purchasing it – would disagree with the authors assessment of Lucas Electric reliability. Too few fuses is not only simple and cheap for the builder, but it dramatically increases the risks to catastrophic electrical failures for the owner. The failure of the Lucas negative ground system also stands as an evolutionary electrical engineering extinction signpost – to Lucas electrical engineering lack of timely updating competence – if not general incompetence.

    Since then I have restored a 1954 MG-TF and a 1961 Jaguar MK2 (needed a complete electrical re-wiring). All had a host of electrical problems that I have not experienced in the many non-Lucas electrical system cars that I have owned in the past 55 years. I don’t agree that Lucas is the Prince of Darkness – there are simply too many glowing wires and sparks that over come any darkness and reveal the many problems of Lucas electrical systems.

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  14. April 10, 2020 @ 9:31 am chuck Dreiling

    I have a 1956 Jaguar with su carbs and the last time they were messed with was 1975 and they still function as they always did. Now leaking oil, a Jaguar mechanic told me in 1977 that a quart of oil in normal due to a splash guard vs seal on rear crankshaft on the older engines. They make a retro kit however you need to remove the engine. Plumbers tape works well when replacing oil plugs etc.

    Reply

  15. April 10, 2020 @ 10:55 am Henry Smith

    I have owned a British car of some sort since 1986. Several big Healeys an E-Type roadster and currently a 64 E-Type coupe. My experience with Lucas is the problems don’t have anything much to do with. Lucas. Mostly the age of the car or previous owners improving things. If your British car idles rough don’t adjust the carbs. Probably needs the valves adjusted or more likely the points gap and or timing. It is NOT the carbs. The E-Type has 3 SUs and has never needed adjustment in over 10,000 miles since I put it back on the road. My car has Pertronix electronic conversion in the original Lucas distributor so the timing moving around is no longer a problem. When warm this engine starts and runs like fuel injection. 20 mpg on the freeway so also an economy car!

    Reply

  16. April 10, 2020 @ 10:56 am MARK L CAMPBELL

    I have owned British cars since the late 1950s. Most of the electrical problems that I encountered were the result of bad grounds. Probably not the Prince’s fault. Once I learned to look for this situation, my life became much more pleseant. If you choose to own a car that is seventy years old, you should expect seventy year old engineering. I lived in the UK in the early sixties driving a TC. It seemed to fit the task that it was designed for quite well. Perhaps we should appreciate our cars for what they were designed to do.

    Reply

  17. April 10, 2020 @ 12:53 pm Will Humiston

    I am in total agreement. Concerning Lucas Electric, I learned back in the late 60’s when I started out on BSA motorcycles, that Lucas was in fact very simple and very efficient. I think because the early British vehicles were positive ground, a lot of people didn’t understand and didn’t want to learn, because it was different. As for the carbs, again, pretty simple by design. The twin strombergs on my ’70 E-type have never given me an issue in the 30 yrs I’ve owned it, with the exception of Ethanol gasoline and damage it plays on components. Other than that, it’s pretty much “set ’em and forget ’em. Oil and water leaks are also resolvable (for the most part), Usually being caused by poor material or misalignment. It’s too bad people would rather point the finger and criticise from ignorance than learning and understanding. But I guess that’s why we love to tinker and “fiddle” with our beloved vehicles.

    Reply

  18. April 10, 2020 @ 2:09 pm Stan Jonutis

    Also had a 1961 powder blue Renault Caravelle in my high school years. Under-powered? Sure, but it got fantastic gas mileage and was very maneuverable. The convertible top was also tight and very easy to raise & lower. It was also ultra-simple to repair and maintain -and it was French! – How cool is that?! Wish I would have kept it!!

    Reply

  19. April 10, 2020 @ 2:12 pm charlie Kile

    I’ve owned my 68 E-Type convertible for more than 45 years. It’s one of the most reliable autos I’v ever owned.
    of course it’s a male and marks it’s territory . But it’s never left me stranded !
    Charlie

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  20. April 10, 2020 @ 9:17 pm Laurence

    My ’69 E Type OTS actually doesn’t leak oil, because since new its owners have looked after it. Neither does it have any electrical problems, and all its wiring and components are original, including the points ignition. It is a low 30 thousand truly original mile car, with good original paint and interior. It only goes to show that if garage-kept, well-maintained per the owner’s manual, and not subject to abuse, these cars are able to survive over half a century with no problems. Many of the myths were caused by both jealousy and ignorance, when it came to servicing a non-American sports car.

    Reply

  21. April 11, 2020 @ 5:19 am Paul RUYS

    Reminds me of my first car, a10 year old MG TD. Bought in Switserland where I studied, driving back to Holland, where I lived, the car had the nasty
    habit of stopping occasionally. Soon found out that the culprit was the SU fuel pump. Open the bonnet and tap the pump with my fist and back in action.
    It happened too often so I tied my shoe lace to the pump, fed it under the bonnet edge and a few tugs kept me going till I got home. (right hand drive car of course)

    Reply

  22. September 18, 2020 @ 12:55 pm Jheff

    20 British Car since 1970; currently own 13 from the 50’s, 60’s, 00’s, 10’s Austin Healeys (4), Aston Martin Vantage, Bentley GTC, Jag XKR, Land Rovers (2),Minis (2), Turner, & Sunbeam Tiger. All the 50’s & 60’s cars leak a little oil and you get wet in the rain – the Tiger being the driest. Fuel pumps, brake cylinders and electrical connectors can be problematic. On the newer cars, batteries are run through quickly unless left on battery tenders. All in all, the most smiles per mile than any other country of origin. I can’t decide what sounds better – the big Healey, the Tiger or the AM Vantage. My German cars are probably better built and my Miata NA6 has been hands down the most reliable, but there is something about a LBC…….

    Reply


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