Monday, December 26, 2011

Driving a Tent on the Highway

First, a little language lesson. In "British" the top is called the hood. The part that lifts up to reveal the engine ("hood" in Americanish) is the bonnet. The trunk is the boot. Got that straight? Hood, bonnet, boot. That said, it's kind of fun driving with the hood up. In cold weather it only takes a few minutes to get the inside toasty warm, and it's a little like driving a tent around. And who doesn't like tents?
The inside of the car is hermetically sealed from the elements
by the hood and the side screen, except for a "minor" two-inch gap.

Stranded Twice - The Most Unreliable Part

Now that the top was up I could handle even cold days and began commuting in the MGA basically every day.  Early on I had a few days working off site, which required a slightly longer trip in - about 45 minutes across town in typical DC traffic. Visibility isn't as good with the top up, but I did fine with the stop & go.  I think people are a little less aggressive around me than they would if I were driving my typical car, and I am certainly more cautious.

This picture from a few months ago captured the most unreliable thing in the car. Can you spot it?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wrestling an Octopus Armed with Hammers - Installing the Top

With my teeth rattling issues sorted out, I was able to really start commuting in the MG.  As the cooler weather started to set in, I needed to bundle up a little but it wasn't so bad, especially putting the heat on.  This is the right way to drive to work - a lot of fun.  That is, until the "cool" weather gave way to some no kidding cold days. I realized it was time to get the top figured out - it was time to convert this convertible.

Getting ready to take the first spin with the top up.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Safety Fast

A special note to my fans: I'd like to apologize to both of you for the long delay since my last post, especially given the safety cliff hanger I left you with in the last installment. I will endeavor to catch up.

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.