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MG vs VW

To:, mgs@Autox.Team.Net
Subject: MG vs VW
From: Jeff Boatright <>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 09:22:03 -0500

I own an Austin-Healey Sprite, which is identical to the MG Midget, which
is the little brother of the MGB. I cannot speak directly to the B series
engine of the MGB, only to the A series of the Sprite, but they are very
similar in design theory and maintenance. Same goes for electrics. I've
also owned a lot of old VWs. I do all my own maintenance.

The LBCs (Little British Cars) are just as easy to maintain as the VWs.
With the age of these cars, your experience will depend ENTIRELY upon what
kind of shape your purchased lbc is in. Buy the best you can possibly
afford. You will not regret it.

There are some philosophical differences between the Germans and Brits. VW
never used a 10 cent part when a 5 cent part would do, barely. I've
generally found that lbc parts _that are made in Britain or the USA_ are of
much better quality. Lots of things on VWs never worked right, right from
the drawing board (eg, the heaters, the early wipers, that freakin' rear
suspension, heck, the entire cooling design, etc.). Most systems on an lbc
work well, though they are quite different from VW or American designs, and
often antiquated compared to their peers.

Everyone (including myself) loves to joke about Lucas electrics. However,
the only problems I've ever had were a loose fuse and a dirty horn contact.
Really. That said, though, Lucas electrics can be pretty minimal. They
probably got the job done in 1965, but with 30+ years of vibration and
dirt, they just might disappoint you some dark night. I suggest replacement
of any wiring/connectors that do not look perfect. Preventative maintenance
is key here.

One final and big difference (to me): When I turn wrenches on my lbc, I
can't wait to get it running and wring it out in a test drive. With the
VWs, I just prayed they'd get me down the road. The lbcs are meant to be
driven for fun, though they are useful transportation (I drive my '65 to
work everyday). The VWs are useful, basic transportation, though they can
sort of be fun (I had a Karmann Ghia, too) if you're not used to much.

Welcome to the list. It's a great bunch. Don't talk about cats, though.


Jeff Boatright    __o_\__           '65 Austin-Healey Sprite

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