Noggin 'N' Natter Archive

Below you will find descriptions of the Noggin 'N' Natter events we have held over the past year or two:

Noggin 'N' Natter Wednesday June 12th,

For the June Noggin 'N' Natter we were fortunate to get Kerry Cheyne General Manager, MG New Zealand to talk to us about the new range of MG cars. Coincidentally this was the very day that MG released the MG3. While it was great to hear about the new models, I was personally fascinated by Kerry’s explanation of how the automotive industry is being impacted by a whole raft of mergers and takeovers. My ‘day car’ is a Peugeot and I was interested in how Peugeot and Citroen are now the same company! The other interesting discussion was around how automobile manufacturers are working hard to separate marques from country of manufacture. It no longer matters that Jaguars are made in India or MGs in China.
The Marque is the thing!!

Noggin 'N' Natter, Wednesday July 10th

Those of us who drive the older MGs are in no doubt that comfort was definitely excluded from the design spec of these cars (but we love them anyway). Having unfolded myself in agony from our ‘B’ many times I was looking forward to listening to Martin Rooke, Director of Morfit, who has invented a lumbar support which not only moulds itself to your body shape but holds that shape until you release it to use it for someone else. Martin spent some time talking about the science behind the device especially how our backs work and the fact that sitting in an upright position puts more strain on our backs than any other position. It seems that the only way to have absolutely no strain on our spine is to hang upside down in a frame – not sure if that will catch on! Martin brought along a number of Morfit back supports and we had much fun trying them out. He also supplied a number to members who went on the mid-winter run. A very useful device if you are having back problems!

Noggin 'N' Natter Wednesday August 14th

We had a dual presentation at this Noggin 'N' Natter. Since the video prepared by our Patron, British High Commissioner Vicki Tredall didn’t come across too well at the AGM, due to an excess of ambient light and a paucity of volume, we played it again at the N&N on the big screen TV. We are certainly fortunate to have secured a patron with a long family history of MG enthusiasm.

After the video we had a presentation by Michael Shouse on replacing floor mats and seat covers. Michael’s presentation took the form of running a couple of videos by University Motors accompanied by Michael talking about his experience at each stage of the operation. The clear messages from the presentation was, one – you can do it yourself as, while appearing somewhat daunting, it isn’t all that difficult. Two – the secret is in the preparation! Make sure you have all the equipment and tools laid out ready for use and ensure that any floor rust is dealt with before replacing the floor covering. The videos also provided some good tips regarding keeping your seat runners in good shape. In all a good and useful night!

Noggin 'N' Natter Wednesday 11th September

It had been intended that this Noggin 'N' Natter would be devoted to maintenance and we had downloaded a number of videos from University Motors in Canada. In the event the weather was so appalling only three hardy members were game enough to venture out! However we ran several of the videos, including an excellent one on balancing twin SU carburetors. Hopefully the weather will be kinder to us in October.

Noggin ‘N’ Natter Wednesday 9th October

Around 16 members attended the October N&N to hear Mark Stockdale, Principal Advisor, Regulations with the Automobile Association talk about the new WoF changes. Mark himself is a classic car enthusiast (although he tells us the new term is ‘Heritage Vehicle) and currently owns eight cars. It seems he has plans do downsize his fleet to five! Mark is an excellent presenter and communicator and was able to clearly explain what, at times, were quite complex graphs and statistics. Mark worked through the background and rationale of the changes and provided us with some interesting and, in places, quite staggering statistics. It seems that the changes will save motorists around $160 million PA and that our current inspection frequency is three times that of the UK and five times that of Germany. He showed statistics that proved that the proportion of death & injury crashes caused by vehicle faults was as low as2.5% and of those most were caused by tyres! He also presented some graphics to show how much contact a tyre worn down to the legal minimum –but still legal – has with the road at 90kph on 1mm of water – seriously scary!!! Mark has agreed to come back and talk to us again on other subjects – don’t miss it next time!!

Noggin N Natter Wednesday November 13th

The November Noggin N Natter featured Terry Collier talking about his recent attendance at the Goodwood Revival Meeting. The first thing that became obvious was the sheer size of the event – as Terry put it “you could spend a half day just wandering around the public carpark”, such was the variety of classic cars in attendance. Terry started by explaining the history of the event, starting with the building of the WWII airdrome then the development of the race circuit in 1948 , it’s closing in 1966 due to more stringent safety requirements and, more, recently, its revivalJacobs MG Special 1954 as an historic & classic race venue. Despite 150,000 people attending the event Terry, as well as meeting up with the Armstrongs, bumped into local Wellington classic race enthusiast Don McLean there, and Don came along to add some additional details. Terry has an impressive knowledge of classic and historic racing and his recital of the detailed history, with dates and drivers, of the dozens of machines he had photographed was little short of staggering. We had to cut Terry off after an hour or so or we’d have still been there at daybreak. Definitely one of the most informative and entertaining N&Ns we have held!

Noggin 'N' Natter Wednesday December 11th,

A very small group of members attended the Christmas Noggin N Natter. The club bought everyone their first drink and a couple of platters of nibbles were provided. Everyone had provided a gift for Santa's sack and Santa (AKA Chris Ward) handed out the presents. At least one member was completely mystified by the purpose of the device he unwrapped - probably donated by another mystified member!! In spite of the small attendance a very pleasant couple of hours was enjoyed by all with much discussion of their latest mechanical problems.

Noggin N Natter Wednesday 12th February

Some 15 members attended the February Noggin N Natter to hear a presentation by Patrick Harlow who has recently written and had published a book on NZ produced cars with a focus on the cars that were actually designed and produced in New Zealand. Patrick had an excellent screen presentation which included a number of video clips of some really historic NZ made cars. Patrick told us that he had restricted his study to cars that actually ran on the road and he’d excluded race cars. The book was 10 years in the making and, when he started Patrick said he’d set out to get at least 20 cars but he ended up with 90! Since publication he’s found another 30 so it looks like a sequel coming up! Patrick has an encyclopaedic knowledge of NZ-built cars and provided us with a fascinating talk of his journey to produce the book!

Noggin N Natter Wednesday 14th May 2014

The May Noggin N Natter featured a review of the 2014 National rally in Dunedin. The Wellington contingent also attended the Wings over Wanaka airshow and Ross Armstrong started the evening’s presentation with some pics and vid clips of the show. This was followed by a blow-by-blow description of the group’s run to Dunedin and the rally events. The run down was well organised and included a number of visits to scenic attractions. One pic showed the combined might of the club members seemingly trying to roll one of the Moeraki Boulders, while another showed Michael Anderson doing his Titanic impersonation. By all accounts the rally itself was thoroughly enjoyable, if somewhat challenging in the Trial run which seemed to have covered most of Southland.

Noggin N Natter Wednesday 11 June 2014

Sometimes the MG ownership journey is a long and arduous affair. Chris made contact with an MG owner, while not a member of our club, who has laboured long to get his steed to its present state and then the spark faded when the wof failed at the final hurdle. Andy Wilson had enjoyed his 1973(?) MGBGT for some years and related his lament with the failed warrant. The metal worm removed - then a repaint with particular attention to the choice of colour. Not a usual MG colour but a Honda red somewhat minutely modified so as to not have that 'newness' of a paint job. Andy's picture of the effect was splendid. But the story of the failed warrant was a particular talking point for many of those present who had battled the vagaries of what seem to be inconsistent levels of inspection expertise. It was good to see some regular faces and some not so regular. Andy was wanting to get that spark of inspiration back so as to finish the tasks and have the MG on the road. His coming to the meeting, and talking with us, has given him that incentive and I feel sure he will fill in that membership form. Rod, one of the members present indicated he had a story to relate so we can look forward to more reminiscing later in the year. Andy thanks for "volunteering" your time.

An Upper Hutt visitor expressed that the journey in after work to make the 6 o'c meeting was stretched to make it. A comment was that this site was far better than the Evans Bay room we used to frequent. Whether the site should change we can debate in Committee. However the meeting for 9 July will be in Johnsonville, 11B Burgess Road, at Keith Webb Autos. Subject could revolve around his Ferrari which is in throes of restoration, or another technical angle. He is a mine of information about any car so feel free to quiz him when we meet.

Noggin N Natter Wednesday 9 July 2014

The July N&N was held at Keith Webb Autos in Johnsonville. this was a departure from the usual venue at the Waterloo Hotel beside Wellington railway station.

the night was very cool and the workshop floor was exposed to the elements which Keith endures every winter!

Members showing up numbered a dozen hardy souls with one traveling from town by train and a hope, to be present. The hope was he could bludge a ride to Kapiti after the meeting and of course he was.

Keith was able to hold his audience captive expounding his in depth knowledge. He started speaking about station car warrant failures and what inspectors are looking for. He reckons warrants will become more strict for safety reasons. He spoke of tyres and showed us a run flat tyre off an expensive BMW. The inside line had worn through and was a risk waiting to happen. this situation was repeated to some degree on the other three tyres as well. The owner was required to replace all four at a cost of $850 EACH.

My MG was the subject of his finer inspection and placed on the hoist for dissection. One point he took great satisfaction in finding was the RHS brake hose was not original and was too long. Not much else was found wrong. (Phew)

Many other anecdotes were traded back and forth between the members and Keith.

To round off the evening Keith spoke of his ultimate fixer his Ferrari Dino 308 GT4. On show for us to savour repainted in red of course, engine overhauled and in place, but with all the interior to be completed.

Keith was a fine host providing nibbles and a noggin. All appeared to get some enjoyment from the evening. An event to be repeated in summer times. Keith invites all MG members to his shop to discuss classic issues. If a Saturday morning suits give a phone call first. 04 4782477.

July Noggin & Natter

A small but enthusiastic group of members attended and enjoyed a very well put together presentation by Ron & Jacqui Blackwell.

Having owned a number of cars and coping with a growing family the duo presented their respective side of life with MGs. In particular the BGT which they have owned twice in their lives and still do.

The Rover SD1 and BGT part of a growing families adventure trips around New Zealand.

Jacqui also informed us of a little know design attribute the GT has, it’s ideal for changing babies naps with the tail gate up at the back. A marketing ploy BMC seemed to miss.

Ron & Jacqui thank you for an entertaining view of life with MGs. They also have an MGF now.

Noggin N Natter Wednesday 8th Oct

A small group of members gathered at the Waterloo Bar & Grill to listen to Paul Chipp talk to us about his recent visit to the UK, more especially attending Goodwood. The talk started with vehicles he’d discovered in the carpark – almost the best part of the day. We then moved to the Marque displays and then out to the racing itself. Paul had managed to get himself a perfect spot in a stand just coming out of a sweeping right-hand corner and we saw some great pics as the cars came around – many saving tyre rubber by having only three wheels on the ground. The clarity of Chippie’s photography was quite remarkable – I really thought he must have been using a tripod – and we often saw three shots of the same car as it came around the sweeper. A very enjoyable evening!

Noggin N Natter Wednesday 12th November 2014

November’s Noggin N Natter featured our President Ross Armstrong, newly arrived back from China and other parts. Ross was fortunate enough to be able to arrange a visit to the SAIC factory in Lingang where the MG and its sister Marque the Roewe are being built. Ross was able to get some pics even though factory security got a bit grumpy and it was interesting to see the MG badge alongside the Roewe badge on the main building. The Roewe was to be a Rover before SAIC found they hadn’t bought the marque after all but the Roewe badge has kept the same outer shape as the old Rover one. SAIC is China’s biggest car factory and produces millions of cars annually. The factory pics were followed by some of Ross and Anne’s trip up the Yangtze a great trip and very interesting presentation.

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