Showing posts from February 5, 2017

Random # 100: 'Rubber-Nose' MGB

Late-model MGBs, often called Rubber-Noses, tend to cop a bit of stick from some elements of the classic car set.

According to their detractors, Rubber-Noses are unattractive and they handle poorly, too.

First things first:  beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, in UMPH's opinion, the one-piece front bumper and grille, and the matching rear bumper are actually quite a pleasant looking evolution of the MGB's style.

A similar treatment was given to the MG Midget, supposedly to help both vehicles meet US collision regulations stipulating that automobiles' bumpers need to be at a standard height and provide greater impact resistance (the result of which can be seen on other vehicles of the era, such as the Series II Fiat X1/9).

However, those regs are said to have had two deleterious effects on rubber-nosed editions of both cars' handling:  first, to achieve the extra height needed to match their bumpers to those of other vehicles, their suspension was raised; and, second,…

Random # 99: Alfa Romeo Spider

This Alfa Spider, photographed in North Hobart, Tasmania, was in great nick.

As these photos show, its panels, paint, roof and interior all looked to be in very good original condition.

The basic Spider shape persisted from 1967's Series 1, or 'Boat Tail,' through to the car featured here, a Series 4, the production of which ceased in 1993.

In precis, the main visual markers that identify the four series are:

Series 1 (1966 - 1969) -  'Boat Tail,' featuring a tapered rear-end treatment;Series 2 (1970 - 1982/83) - more truncated 'Kamm Tail,' with chrome bumpers;Series 3 (1982/83 - 1989/90) - same rear end treatment but with black rubber bumpers and a black boot-lip spoiler; andSeries 4 (1990/91 - 1993) - ditto on the rear end styling but, in this instance, featuring full colour-coded plastic bumpers, Alfa 164 style taillights and the deletion of the spoiler.
(Wikipedia - .)

Like most Alfas, the specifications list wa…

Random # 98: Ford Van (Challenge Met!)

As UMPH reader Humpty points out in his reply to Random # 95 (, Ford Escorts are culturally significant to several early 1980s alumni of a particular Tasmanian residential college.

Back then, four students at that august institution owned Escorts: three had panel vans - one of them belonging to UMPH himself - plus there was a single sedan.

Humpty suggests that the diminishing stocks of Escorts mentioned in Random # 95 can, in part, be attributed to the demise of alumnus DHR's white van, which was rolled by its owner in suburban Launceston in 1983.

He also writes that, in consideration of the close association of Escort vans with the group, UMPH ".. will have to come up with a van" for publication.

Challenge met:  this classic 2.0 litre van was recently photographed at the Coal Valley Vineyard and Restaurant, Cambridge.

It appeared to be largely original, featuring factory-optional d…