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).

Image result for rubber nose midget
A Rubber-Nose Midget (internet image).

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, the bumpers themselves were heavier than the earlier chromed steel versions.  


The resultant higher centre of gravity and extra weight is said to have ruined both cars' balance and handling.


There are a surprising umber of ex-US cars, converted to right-hand drive, in Tasmania, imported at a time when cheap examples and favourable exchange rates made it an attractive way to secure a good quality classic at a reasonable price.


The main car seen here appears to have been an Australian-delivered example, however, as it doesn't feature the indicator repeater lamps that US-market cars do (also an American safety reg requirement).

Image result for rubber nose US mgb
A US version Rubber-Nose MGB - note the repeater lamps on the front and rear mudguards (internet image from Just a Car Geek).

Its suspension height appears to be the same as earlier MGBs', so it's unlikely it would suffer from the same centre of gravity issues attributed to US versions, either.




U M P H

(uppermiddlepetrolhead.blogspot.com.au.)

All iPhone images.

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