Sunday, September 13, 2015

2015 Battle of the Brits: MGs

This year's Battle of the Brits took place Sunday, September 13, at Camp Dearborn in Milford, Michigan. As usual, I took way too many pictures. I could try culling that big pile to the best half-dozen, one for each marque or somesuch, but part of what makes the Battle of the Brits great is the sheer quantity of cool old British cars.

So, I'm just going to divide them up into a few big posts:

The biggest pile belongs, of course, to the MGs. So let's get started.

The FUN MG and I pulled into our spot around 9:30. A big show like this takes a lot of coordination, and the Detroit Triumph Sports Car Club does a great job of running the car side of the show each year. (The Metro Triumph Riders run the motorcycle side of the show. Sorry British bike fans, but it's pretty much all car photos from here out. I walked through the bikes and enjoyed the sights, but there's just too much on display to take photos of everything.)

The FUN MG was looking its shiniest after a Saturday night wash and wax:

Any suspense about whether the FUN MG could repeat its unlikely first-in-class from last year (when dubious weather kept all the really nice 74-1/2 to '76 rubber-bumper Bs at home) was short-lived. The Black '75 B at the top of the photo above just completed an unbelievably nice three-year restoration.

Check out its engine bay:

There are lots of great details in there, but I think my favorite thing is the little rack with four extra spark plugs. You know ... in case you're driving along and decide to pull over on the shoulder and do a quick tune up.

After conceding this year's title and giving the FUN MG a few last-minute buffs it was time to wander around the show and take some pictures.

Let's start with some MGTs:

How about some MGAs? These are about as pretty a car as has ever been made anywhere.

This is an MGA Coupe, the hard-top version of the MGA. You don't see a lot of them around, but they've got a great rounded look.


Let's take another quick swing by the FUN MG, now in full sunlight:

Holy cow, it's in the middle of a veritable swarm of black rubber-bumper MGBs!

And now, off to see the rest of the MGBs:

When cars win their class three times they get promoted to the "Preservation Class," a group of cars that are really the best of the best in Metro Detroit. Here are a few of the best:

A 1980 MGB Limited Edition.

An MGC and that same MGB LE.



Uh-oh. Back at the FUN MG the judges stopped by for a look.

They even wanted to see under the hood, which really made me wish I'd opened the hood and washed the bugs off the radiator when I was washing and waxing the night before.

Judging complete, it was time to wander back out among the MGs. Let's take a look at some of the zippier MGs.

This is an MGC. It came from the factory with a 2.9L straight-six engine that produced 50% more power than the four-cylinder engine in MGBs.

What's that you say? Six cylinders isn't enough? I've got a deal for you. Only a very few factory-made MGB V8s ever made it to America, but that hasn't stopped folks from going down Carroll Shelby's path and shoving a big V8 in a little British sports car.

Here's a B with a 5.0L Ford Mustang engine:

And here's one with a Buick 300 V8:

I reckon those two cars would get you to the grocery store promptly.

Today's final MG? A rare sight in the US, a 1996 MGF. These were built by the Rover Group from 1995 until the MG Rover Group went under in 2005. They were never cleared for US regulations or sold new in the US, which means that they can't be imported to the States until they are at least 25 years old. However, some of them have made it to Canada, and the Battle of the Brits was just a quick hop across the Detroit River away.

And that's about it for MGs at this year's Battle of the Brits. 

The FUN MG and I had a great time at the show, and a great time taking the scenic route home.

Next marque? Triumphs!


  1. Nice photo collection!
    And let's remember, 4 is my lucky number...

  2. Nice photo collection!
    And let's remember, 4 is my lucky number...