MG wins best ride

Last updated 15:14 16/07/2014

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Since his mid-20s, Timaru man Norman Bunt has had a love of classic cars and a love of driving them.

"I convert petrol in to pleasure," he smiled.

A member of the South Canterbury Vintage Car Club, Bunt said that quote was made by a now deceased member - but it summed up his feelings when he drove his restored 1965 MG 1100.

The MG 1100 is a badge engineered variant of the BMC 1100 and by the time production finished in 1975, 2.5 million of them had been sold.

The BMC 1100 consisted of popular brand names like Austin, Morris, MG, Austin-Healey, Riley and Wolseley.

Bunt's black coloured MG could not be purchased off the showroom floor and had to be ordered via the factory.

"The black ones, either with a red, green or black interior had to be purchased from the factory."

There's four other MG 1100 vehicles in South Canterbury that Bunt knows of.

Previously, Bunt and his wife Anne owned a MG Roadster which was bought from a friend. However, they sold it to buy a MG BGT. The MG BGT had a tin roof compared to the Roadsters canvas roof, making it more suited to Timaru's weather.

The MG is powered by a reliable BMC 1098cc A series engine. A big innovation with the BMC 1100 was the hydrolastic suspension (a fluid system with no springs or shock absorbers) which resulted in a very smooth ride.

MG 1100s were normally fitted with a twin SU carburettor, but the Bunts' MG has a larger single SU carburettor fitted.

With only a handful of MG 1100 in South Canterbury (that Bunt knows of) the car suits the Bunts needs.

"We enjoyed many years of motoring in our MGB GT but were finding it harder to get in and out of, so changed it for an MG we could both drive. Also it's 3 to 4 inches higher which makes it easier to get in and out of.

"It travels economically on the open road and is very comfortable to ride in."

A former milk vendor, Bunt said renovating cars has taught him a lot of skills.

"I'm not a mechanic, but I'm mechanically minded. Through doing all the cars I've learned how to do spray painting, upholstering and panel beating, and I know enough mechanically to get me out of trouble."

While it doesn't turn heads like some other classic cars, the couple have no plans to sell it.

"Out of all the cars I've owned the MGs have been most enjoyable."

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- The Timaru Herald


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