Keith’s Corner, February 28th

It’s been a busy week at SCM world headquarters. The final two MGs for the “Road to Reno” arrived, both 1974s. One came from Durango, CO and the other from Renton, WA. The white 1974 we picked up two weeks ago is at the detail shop; the detailer says that removing the Mae Wests from the front bumper “made the MG look like a sports car.” We think we’ve found a solution to the hideous burgundy vinyl dash cap sitting atop a black dash – it appears that the dash caps should be black, regardless of the color of the interior (burgundy vinyl with cloth inserts, in this case). So after we get it back, we’ll run it over to Guy’s Upholstery on NE Alberta Street to have a black dash cap installed.

The GT is quite a marvelous car, at first blush. The wood-rimmed period wheel is a nice touch. The interior and exterior are excellent. It’s next in line for the detail shop. When it returns, the burgundy 74 will head over. The car is solid and runs well – although the clutch feels a little low to the floor. The rear bumper is dented, perhaps in transit, but that’s an easy fix. The Mae Wests will have to come off of this car as well. We appreciate the updated radio with an iPod aux in jack.

Both roadsters appear to sit a little low in the back; after they are cleaned up, they’re headed to Ed and Barb Grayson’s Consolidated Auto Works for a safety check and tune as necessary.

Overall, all three cars are better than decent. No rust, straight panels, seemingly decent mechanicals. I would rate them from a high 3 to a low 2 (for the GT, especially). Tires are good on all of them. SCM staff shake-down cruises ahead.

On the Rover side, our 1973 SIII went off to Ship’s Mechanical to have its gearbox replaced with a rebuilt unit from Ashcroft Transmissions, Luton, England. That should put an end to its popping out of second gear. The battery on the 1989 Range Rover Classic fainted at the first hint of 20 degree nights, so it’s being replaced today as well. (If Rovers tickle your fancy, take a look at the site I’ve put together – Rover fanatics have been posting images from treks in Iceland, Iran, Wales, south of France and more.

I’m off for the next ten days, to Auctions America in Ft. Lauderdale, FL to shoot more episodes of What’s My Car Worth, then to Amelia Island to hook up with the SCM gang, more shooting and the chance to judge at the Amelia Island Concours. Will be posting to FB from there, look forward to seeing you in Florida at both events.

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, now in its 33rd year. Keith has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and had his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity. He has received many honors, including the Lee Iacocca Award, the Edward Herrman Award, was inducted into the Concorso Italiano Hall of Fame and more. He is on the boards of directors of The LeMay Museum and Oregon Ballet Theater, and was formerly the chair of the board of the Meguiar's Award.

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