MG-C and Jaguar Spares
FOLLOWING a number of complaints from readers about the poor availability of MG-C spares, we approached British Leyland’s Parts and KD Division at Cowley for clarification of the position.
British Leyland admit that there are problems and that they are currently looking at one or two particular trouble spots with a view to “resoureing” individual items. They point out that such problems “Tend to be highlighted in the case of vehicles, such as the MG-C, where the vast majority are exported to America”. By that we’re not sure whether they mean that the American owners of MGs, E-types, Spitfires, TR6s and TR7s are going to be in worse trouble than Home Market owners or that its the Home Market’s bad luck that most of the spares are shipped to America.
They go on to say, about gearboxes, that, “It is quite. true that the standard and overdrive versions are no longer available, although the automatic version is still currently available. Where parts are no longer available from Cowley, we are always willing to do one of two things to help the customer. “The first is to refer him to particular dealers or distributors who have tended to sPecialise in a particular make or model; University Motors of Epsom in the case of MG, for example. If this fails, we are always prepared to do a ‘search’ for a particular part throughout the whole of our dealer and
distribution network to try to locate it for him.”
British Leyland mention the MG Car Club as another possible source of help in case of difficulties.
Bearing in Mind that the MG-C has been out of production for only a little over live years, the spares situation seems most unsatisfactory, the result of extremely bad planning on somebody’s part. MG-Cs generally seem to have been Most reliable Cara (we have a roadster on the Standard House fleet which has covered over 120,000 miles on its original engine, gearbox and axle, and recently disposed of a GT which had covered 70,000 miles, with an SU petrol pump listed as its only replacement part), and only now, as most of them reach high mileages, is there a .really significant demand for parts. The resultant lack of spares suggests that there was never an adequate stock. Or could there be an alternative cause. such as premature dispOsal of parts for scrap in a warehouse clear-out ? That certainly wouldn’t be the first time, as the Assistant Editor discovered recently when he visited Oldham and Crowther, the Peterborough jaguar renovation specialists, to buy parts for his jaguar 3:4 Mk. I. Like him, readers may have wondered where on earth Oldham and Crowther Obtained their “large range of spares for jaguar, Daimler, Standard Triumph 1945to 1965” advertised in MOTOR SPORT. The truth of the matter Was quite alarming, as told to him by Ruth Oldham as they surveyed a warehouse swamped with 18 articulated lorry loads of the above parts. By chance Binh discovered this huge mountain of parts just as
it was about to be scrapped by British Leyland’ (indeed some, including several hundred XK silencers, had been broken up already) and was able to negotiate its rescue. Nobody would have wept much over the loss of early Vanguard parts perhaps, but the consequences of the loss of XK and TR parts to the thousands of ,enthusiasts who are preserving them would have been tragic. Just as Worrying, also :included were-spares applicable to Mk. 2s, their Daimler V8 sisters and S-type derivatives, in production until late 1968, and the 420G, in produetion fir a while After the Xj6 appeared. Many thousands of these popular cars remain in use: a deliberate .policy of disposing of applicable spareparts, if it .exists, would be scandalous.
By all means unload space-taking spares for your older “collector’s item” cars, British Leyland, but please don’t unload them on to the scrap heap! Thousands of us would pay realistic prices for them either to yourselves, if your dealers were kept informed of their availability, or to any retail outlet you might dispose of them to.
We had always believed that manufacturers were under a legal obligation to be able to supply parts for a vehicle for ten years after production has ceased. The SMM & T inform us that this is not So; the 10-year agreement is an unwritten onebetween manufacturers. British Leyland are not the only orteS to Offend against what is surely a moral obligation. No apology is necessary for singling them out for, when you think about it, they’re the only big British manufacturer with any models worth keeping more than 10 years!—C.R.