View Full Version : Car Talk's Road Trip to ****

07-10-2003, 10:50 AM
This is from the forgotten features section of Car Talk at Cars.com.... it's about a MG Midget, but I'm sure you could easily insert Triumph, Healy, Jaguar....ha ha ha ha

And What Part Didn't Break?
Submitted by Thomas J. Martinez

I could sum up this little adventure in one phrase--1977 MG Midget--but here it is anyway. I left Los Angeles in July of 1979 with my girlfriend, the MG midget, and naiveté. We were headed for Yosemite.

Going up the Cajon Pass, the car boiled over so we stopped and let it simmer down. As soon as we hit Victorville, the accelerator cable let go. I found a foreign parts store but the only cable they had was for a Spitfire--it barely worked.

We made it up Tioga Pass sputtering all the way. I hit a deer at the summit. It busted both headlights. It was dark so we slept on the side of the road.

The next morning we got to Yosemite Valley and promptly lost the clutch. I tried unsuccessfully for two days to fix it. That night bears ate all our food.

The next day a stranger suggested that I drive the car with no clutch. I didn't know how, so he taught me the finer points of "speed shifting."

The next morning we loaded up and headed out toward Merced, grinding the gears on twisting mountain roads. We made it to Merced in time for a rain storm. You've got it: The top leaked!

The fuel pump gave out in Salinas. We had it fixed in Monterey. It cost a fortune.

We made it down to Bakersfield when the water pump went.

We finally puttered into the San Fernando Valley--Oops! There goes that throttle cable.\


tahoe healey
07-10-2003, 01:25 PM
My little adventure was in your back yard. I was touring from The San Fernando Valley (LA area) to Julian (mountain community near San Diego) in my XK140 when my oil pressure dropped to near zero. I had sprung a leak in the rubber gasket between the oil filter and the engine. Couldn't find a replacement at 8 o'clock at night. Cut one form the inner tube on the spair which was kind of flat anyway. Added the 12 Qts of oil. I got another 35 miles when it gave out by the nuclear plant near Ocenside. Got towed to the closed service station. The only filter that would fit was for a 1947 Hudson tractor (and 12 more Qts of oil). Made it home only to find I'd blown a freeze plug (never heard of that happening to anyone before). Rebuilt the engine with new pistons and sleeves and bore. Expensive trip but that's not what British cars are about. Trips are always exciting. I joke that my Jag could pass anything on the road but a mechanic.

07-10-2003, 10:30 PM
It will never Break if it lives in the Garage...now will it.?

At Least ay gave it a shot. Better than sittin @ home doing nothing.

07-10-2003, 11:35 PM
Yeah, better than being a trailer queen. British cars are made to be driven.


[ 07-10-2003: Message edited by: mrbassman ]</p>