Keith’s Corner: May 24th

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The white MGB convertible is having a little body work and minor rust repair performed on the driver’s-side rocker panel and should be back this Thursday.

The source of the B-GT’s tire shimmy at 60 mph has been identified as the tires themselves – we swapped the fronts with those from the white convertible, and the shimmy followed the tires to the white car. That means four new tires, which should be installed today.

Dealing with the seemingly never-ending list of stuff that keeps cropping up is fatiguing and expensive. These were all pretty good cars to start with, but had a normal amount of deferred maintenance that we are catching up with all at once.

Would we have been better off buying $7,500 cars instead of $5,000 ones? Or $10,000 cars? Maybe, but I think only if those cars had been in the hands of thoughtful collectors who were using them on a daily basis. I believe most of the things we are dealing with are just part and parcel of “reconditioning” 37-year-old cars that have been driven and not particularly thoughtfully maintained.

On another front, the Becker AM/FM/Shortwave radio in the 1959 Mercedes ponton has returned, and the instruments have been rebuilt, so that car should be back on the road soonest. We’re toying with putting in a clutch fan from a later model, along with some Dynamat to quiet it down, before we lead a Mercedes club tour to Mt. Rainier in July.

And finally, our OSU “Beaver” license plates arrived for the 1984 RHD Defender Turbo Diesel, and the big stereo is now installed, meaning it’s just about ready for the Rover Club off-road meeting in Central Oregon next weekend. Our children Alex and Tyler are driving the Range Rover Classic up from Corvallis, OR after their classes conclude on Friday, and will rendezvous with Wendie, Bradley, and I (driving the D90) in Salem. Then the caravan will head East to Redmond, OR for some serious family four-wheeling.

Keith Martin

Keith Martin has been involved with the collector car hobby for more than 30 years. As a writer, publisher, television commentator and enthusiast, he is constantly on the go, meeting collectors and getting involved in their activities throughout the world. He is the founder and publisher of the monthly Sports Car Market and bi-monthly American Car Collector magazines, has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and has his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity.

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