Um, that was easy. The dreaded safety inspection turned out to be a piece of cake. I figured out by furious Googling that all the safety equipment introduced since 1958 (including seat belts) are not required for my car even for daily use. I was worried about having to add a third brake light, put in a roll bar, and all kind of other crazy notions but as far as the good State of Virginia is concerned I can drive this thing just like they did in '58. A word of advice if you find me out on the road: steer clear for all our sakes.
|"Safety Fast" has been the MG motto since the 1930's|
The safety inspection itself was pretty anticlimactic. He knew the car so well from owning and working on it just weeks prior that he pretty much just glanced it over and declared me safe. That was great in a way, but has haunted me a bit as I rattle down the road. In fact, when I found another MG-friendly shop just a few minutes from both home and work I decided to take it in to them to have the "Shake and Rattle" looked at and to get a general "is this thing safe to drive" second opinion. Turns out, all five (spare included) of my wire wheels are shapes other than round, but the worst was one of the tires has a bulging spot that was causing the worst of the shake. They also found a few broken and bent spokes, and some oddities in two of the brake lines. As a temporary fix they swapped the spare into the spot the lumpy tire was, and made me promise to either tune the tires back to round myself by tightening and loosening the appropriate spokes very carefully (no small feat), or by buying new wheels. Driving back to work that day after swapping out the worst tire was incredible. The shake was almost totally gone, and I had no problem getting up to highway speeds and took the liberty of passing a few people with a big stupid grin on my face. At close to $1,500 for new wheels I decided I could live with the much improved status quo a little while longer while I figure out how to tune and true the wheels myself.