Now into our fifth year, the Register's annual shoot out was delayed until early December last year from our more usual November date, due to a couple of technical problems. But our members are an accommodating lot, and fully supported the day in their usual way. Alan Goodwin, and the crew at Aldon, welcomed us as warmly as ever, and to enable everyone to be on their way home before darkness fell, swiftly the first car was strapped down for the fun to commence.
I thoroughly enjoy organising this day, which often sees past attendees coming along purely out of interest, the whole day having something of a social feel to it. Quickly new faces are chatting with the regulars, this low key meeting wrapping up the season on a high note. Already I've received requests to do it again this year, so November 9th or 23rd will see the day being repeated. Interested? If so give me a call on 01296 714232 or e-mail dennis.wharf(at)btinternet.com to book your place - remembering they are limited to only about ten.
Now its over to James for the technical bit.
Owner's name Ken Harris, locksmith and HGV lorry driver from Newnham on Severn, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
Car type/year/Registration number MGB GT 1971 , ADG 616K, built on a heritage shell by Ken who has owned the car since 2006. This is the 5th year in a row that Ken has brought a car to this event.
Owner’s expected power output Ken brought the car here in 2009, he felt it had a small problem due to fuel pressure problems which have since been rectified. He said he would “like to see 100bhp; if it will out do Dad’s 97bhp with his 2 litre MGB I will be happy.”
Actual power output 91bhp@ 5660rpm Torque 91lb/ft@ 4645rpm
Owner’s comments I would have hoped it would have given slightly more than last time
R/R operative’s comments Ignition 32degrees max advance, jets heights were uneven and it was rich at 7% CO; both items rectified . Car drives nicely. Ken said he had disconnected the servo some while ago as it was found to be drawing in air
Owner's name Andrew Lowis, who works for Jaguar Power Train at Coventry and lives in Leamington Spa. Andrew raced in Class C [Road going class] of the MGCC Midget Challenge in 2006-8 and is now preparing a Sebring Sprite for Class B [Race Modified class ] for 2013.
Car type/year/registration number Midget 1971 GLP 445J owned since 2001
Engine type/capacity 1310cc
Modifications [cam, head, carbs, etc] 266 cam, stage 1 Metro head, K& N filters, 9.0 to 1 C/R, Minilite wheels, Mota lita steering wheel
Owner’s expected power output Lucky to see 70bhp [ it gave 67bhp 5 years ago]
Actual power output 59bhp@6095rpm Torque 54 lb ft @4215
Owner’s comments Slightly disappointed, pleased mixture and timing is OK, will go and have a think about I
R/R operative’s comments Checked timing to be surprisingly high at 20 advance degrees at idle and max 37degrees advance. This was considered to be probably OK that degree of advance as the engine had a low C/R. Carbs were rebalanced, front opening earlier than rear, speedo a long way out,[ over reading by 15mph at 70mph], tacho 500 rpm slow. Ignition changed to 33 degrees max and it gave slightly more power. Disappointing, needs investigating; could be a problem with lack of compression…..
Owner's name Richard Boobier, design manager in building construction with McAlpine; lives in Clevedon, N. Somerset
Car/type/year/Registrationnumber Midget 1972 FOV 381L re- built 8 years ago by Richard from a Heritage shell
Engine type/capacity 1293cc
Modifications [ cam, head, carbs etc] Oselli built engine with 266 cam, stage 1 head, Maniflow inlet and single HIF6 carb, 9.5 to 10.0 to 1 C/R, Aldon dizzy, Mota lita steering wheel
Owner’s expected power output” It was 76bhp last time two or three years ago with standard twin carbs
Actual power output 74bhp @6665 rpm Torque 62lb ft @ 5805
Owner’s comments “Seems better on the road but the numbers show a bit less; glad the mixture is now right now as I had just bolted on the new single carb about a month ago”
R/R operative’s comments Needle change from BDL to BDK, a richer needle. BDL was too lean at bottom ; good improvement after change, timing 29/30 degree max, much smoother power curve with BDK needle.
Owner's name John Austenfield, has his own company that manufactures elevated roofs for camper vans/ motor homes, lives in Selby, Yorkshire.
Car type/year/Registration number Midget 1968 OKO 455G, John has owned the car for 10 months
Engine type/capacity 1800cc K series and Ford Type 9 five speed gearbox
Modifications; [cam, head, carbs, etc] Ported and polished head, Omex ECU, 270 degree cams, Quaife LSD, Peter May comp half shafts,
Owner’s expected power output It showed 191 bhp recently at Noble’s Motorsport R/Road [Chesterfield]
Actual power output 177bhp @ 7300rpm Torque 132lbft @ 6530
Owner’s comments Happy as mid-range power up, max is not important
R/R operative’s comments It was initially lean at the top end, tried adding 10%fuel improved power through the range, tried more advance 15%, but no improvement so put it back again. Could do with a longer mapping session. Rear brakes were found to be very bad on the rollers, John Austenfield said he was converting it to discs soon.
Writer’s comment This proved to be the most powerful Midget on the rollers during the day
Owner's name John Collins, Deputy head teacher at a primary school in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Car type/year/registration number Midget VLB 30M; John has owned the car for 4 years and fitted the K series engine himself to this ex track day car.
Engine type/capacity 1400cc K series Caterham Super Sport engine with standard ECU
Modifications [cam, head, carbs, etc] Nice period woodrim Mota lita steering wheel, Minilite wheels, Ford five speed gearbox, full roll cage
Owner’s expected power output It gave 119bhp last time, nothing has been changes apart from metal instead of plastic throttle bodies
Actual power output 119bhp@ 7905rpm Torque 80lb/ft @ 7335rpm
Owner’s comments Pleased it has stayed the same.
R/R operative’s comments As expected, really good for a 1400cc engine.
John’s annual school report; “ Another good year; has done well to maintain a high standard when performance is examined under testing conditions “
Owner's name Eddy Brown, a 3D artist involved in computer graphics, lives in Milton Keenes. Eddy ran a Midget when he was 17 for nine years and still owns it.
Car/type/year/Registration number Midget 1974, SYD 687M This is a car which Eddy has owned for 6 months. It used to be a raced by a previous owner with an A series engine
Engine type/capacity K series could be 1400cc or possibly 1600cc ? The vendor did not quite know apparently……
Modifications [ cam, head, carbs etc] Twin 40 DCOE Weber carbs, very small 12 “ red Sparco race steering wheel, Full race roll cage painted white to match car; ,suspension has been lowered.
Owner’s expected power output Anything around 100bhp would be OK; it is a big unknown.
Actual power output 105bhp @ 7150rpm Torque 86@5385rpm
Owner’s comments Quite happy with it; 105bhp is spot on the Rover figure for a 1400cc engine.
R/R operative’s comments Rich on idle, came down on main jets to 115, needs a bit more setting up as unable to do that in the time available today, but carbs not miles out.
Writer’s comments The starter began making a noise being partially engaged when it was on the rollers. The car was pushed off the rollers and with Anthony Cutler’s help [Midget K series guru] things were improved a bit by pushing it backwards in gear and it disengaged. It then came back on the rollers for a second time at the end of the session as Eddy was prepared to take the risk of the starter partially engaging again. Fortunately all was well. At least it proves that it Is more than likely a 1400cc engine [rather than a 1600] and we hope he got back to MK without any problems with the starter.
Owner's name Danny Cusworth, a locksmith from Handforth, Cheshire.
Car type/year/Registration number Midget RHP 699H. Danny has owned this car since he was 17 in 1988. He repaired and painted this car himself and his Dad rebuilt the engine with a 285 cam. Danny has raced and sprinted this well known Midget for many years. He is one of the members of the MGCC NW centre who organise the Luffield Speed Championship
Engine type/capacity K series 1600cc. Caterham Super Sport/Mega Graduate engine bought on e-bay for £600 . It was engineered and fitted by Danny over a period of 2-3 months in early 2012., most of the other components ie gearbox, Caterham bell housing, starter, alternator, exhaust have also been bought on e-bay or from a scrap yard, apart from the gearbox mounting and propshaft, which both came from Frontline.
Modifications; [cam, head, carbs, etc] Forged pistons, and unspecified modified cams and small sump, Ford type 9 five speed gearbox from V6, £75 on e-bay; full roll cage. Fitted with standard type ECU which has been loaded with a slightly different map.
Owner’s expected power output Don’t really know, have heard that this type of engine should produce between 130-140bhp, shall be interested what the rollers say.
Actual power output 136bhp @ 7375rpm Torque 101lb/ft@ 5905
Owner’s comments Very pleased to see a very strong power plot with no dips. It seems very healthy for a 2nd hand race engine from e-bay. Best £600 I have ever spent !
R/R operative’s comments Torque good all the way, would have been nice to have had just a bit more.
Writers comments Danny uses this Midget for the road, speed events and circuit events, and trips to Le Mans; in his own words” it is a very practical multipurpose clubman’s car”. Should be a possible contender for a future all-rounder’s award ? [see next car]
Quite a coincidence to have two locksmiths owning MG’s at this R/R session. Compared to engineering one’s own conversion from A series to K series power; sorting out locks as a day job would seem relatively straightforward for Danny.
Owner's name Steve Clark, vintage car restorer from Oxford.
Car type/year/registration number 1972 Midget DBE 756L Steve has owned this car nearly a year. He has used the car for road runs, auto solo competition [forward only driving tests] and sprints/hillclimbs in the MGCC Luffield series standard class, Steve has won the Midget Register car of the year award for 2012 in recognition of the wide variety of different events in which he has driven the car during the last 12 months.
Engine type/capacity 1275cc
Modifications [cam, head, carbs, etc] K & N filters, electronic ignition, richer needles, rear roll cage and fire wall
Owner’s expected power output Standard is 64 bhp; surprised if it gets to 64 as it is down on compression on number one cylinder
Actual power output 62bhp @ 6360rpm Torque 56@ 4300rpm
Owner’s comments Quite good really, better than I expected.
R/R operative’s comments Ignition retarded from max 35 to 31 degrees as it was pinking. Light throttle perfect mixture, with throttle wide open it was a bit rich; good standard engine.
Congratulations, Steve on your Register award in your first year of owning a Midget. Hopefully this may inspire other Midget owners to take part in similar events in 2013 and have a lot of enjoyment and camaraderie, just as you did in 2012, as this is exactly what these great little cars were built for.