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Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline
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  Chicagoland MG Club:Driveline
Tales of the Mongrel
“The Dinner Car”

What is the perfect MG?
There are as many answers to this question as there are members in the Chicagoland MG Club! I do not think there is a single member out who looks at his/her MG and pictures all of things he/she would like see in it and outside of it.
I have written a number of Driveline articles where I talked about how much I HATE the colour orange…..which is the colour of the Mongrel….my 1972 (sort of) MGB! When I get the $ it will become BRG. But that is another story.
This story has to do with my impression of “The Dinner Car”! The MGB that goes to the restaurant where a jacket is required, the Symphony and perhaps even the class reunion you may want to “show off” just a bit! This MG is the one Frazier Crane would drive (well, at least maybe).
The “dinner car” is my perfect MG. Actually; it would be an MGB-GT! After all wouldn’t you say that the “GT” model is just a little bit more formal than the “B”? Nothing against the famous “B” as I have faithfully driven one for 36 of 39 years that I have owned MG’s. The MGB is and always will be the true top down English roadster!!
But this is not a story about the car that is driven on warm summer days with the wind at your face and the sun at your back. This is NOT necessarily the car that makes it to the Spring Chicken Rally or Land’s End. These events are where the “fun” MG goes i.e. the “B”.
No, I am talking about the formal MG – the dinner car. The intimately “personal” drive. The one that you drive up to the valet at Ruth Chris and he stands with his mouth open just salivating to get behind the wheel.
What does the “Dinner Car” look like?
Well, you already know part of the story as for me it is a B-GT. The colour – black of course! The tyres….Pirelli P-8s a must! The model – any Mark II as one needs the full chrome bumper. The rear bumper (regardless of year) for me would be the split rear, 2-piece type. The wheels, well need I say Rothstyle annnnnnd CHROME of course my good man!
Front grille – all 1967 i.e. chrome and more chrome with an override bar as mandatory. Driving lights, white, round and the same diameter as the headlamps. Chrome backed!
The front bumper (although Mk II has a very nice chrome front bumper) is optional. That is, if you have a straight grill to ground spoiler – this adds the sex-appeal! Without the bumper, the grille of the car “frowns” at the public. The spoiler adds a “little muscle”. Now isn’t that just a tad-bit “snotty”! Yeah baby!!
Interior – all black. No need for the wood grain options of Moss Motors. The blackness is power, regardless of what is under the hood. And speaking of under-the-hood. Did I say that black and chrome is also the order of the day (or the night). Investment in chromed valve cover, SU Chambers and heat shield!! Weaved stainless hoses to the oil cooler and carbs really add to the affect. Did I hear the word “Bond” …… or at least Austin Powers…..yeah baby!
I have seen a “part” of such a car, many years ago at an “MG on the Rocks” show in Baltimore. The car (unfortunately) was a B vs. GT. It was owned by then MG Club President, Tom bridges. It was very cool!
Will I ever get to the Dinner Car?? Don’t know as I have BIG plans for the Mongrel first. But who knows? My wife (Susan) just may make that “formal” trip to Ruth Chris one night where I DO NOT allow the valet behind the wheel.

- Ralph Arata

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