The GT comes “home” and is a little worse for the experience.

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After rearranging cars and garage spaces, I finally had room to bring the MGB GT home to Framingham this past weekend and start the work. After exploring various options, Mike Crawford, a friend, BAMG member and the owner of British Motor Works in Hopkinton agreed to help get it home if I would rent a tow dolly or trailer. These aren’t the easiest to find or find locally, but I finally sourced an auto trailer through the U-Haul in Norwood. (They have several in their fleet). At ~$65/day with insurance, it was a bargain…especially when compared against having a flatbed go down and pick it up ($375 +/-).  Hello AAA

I met Mike in Ashland where his father, Rich, was kind (or crazy) enough to let us borrow his pickup for the day. Once we got down to Norwood and completed all the paperwork, we set about hooking up and testing the auto trailer. All went well until we were about ready to leave, when the attendant, who helped hook the trailer up, noticed that the license plate on the trailer didn’t match the contract. A quick check confirmed that he had connected the wrong trailer to our truck. After debating if he could just change the paperwork, it was decided that it would be easier to just unhook the wrong trailer and hook us up to the correct one….really?? More fumbling and bumbling and we were finally on our way.

When we arrived in Plymouth, I was very happy to see my new car had been moved out of the driveway and was sitting, waiting for us, on the front lawn. This confirmed that it did indeed roll and was not all locked up as we had feared. We parked the truck down at the bottom of the street which was a small hill in hopes to use gravity to help get the car up onto the trailer. Paul offered to help by using his pickup to pull the car off the lawn and slide it down the hill to the waiting trailer. That sounded like a great idea and the car was soon hooked to his truck and ready to go. Gravity indeed worked it’s magic and the GT rolled down the hill while being held back by Paul’s truck. All went fine until we got to the bottom of the hill and the trailer. While we had good momentum and the car started to roll up the ramps, we didn’t have quite enough momentum to get it all the way up. With no brakes, the car started to roll back down the ramps and ran smack into the rear bumper of the pickup truck with a sickening THUNK!


While I hoped for the best, my heart sank as I got out and surveyed the damage. The very respectable aluminium hood was now crumpled at its nose and the original grill and emblem were damaged beyond repair. After a round of mutual depression and second guessing, we decided to soldier on and get the car up on the trailer and home before we did any more damage. Paul was truly sorry to see the damage, but offered to help haul the car up onto the trailer with a chain winch that would offer more control and probably should have been used in the first place. (Hindsight is always 20/20).

We got the car loaded and strapped down in a quick 10 minutes and I went with Paul to finish the paperwork and make the final payment, while Mike turned the truck and trailer around and headed in the right direction towards home. In no time we were traveling north.


By early afternoon, we had arrived at the garage in Framingham and unloaded the car with a little less drama. Mike and I pushed it into position outside the garage where I wanted to leave it so I could power wash it down, vacuum it out and degrease it before pushing it into the bay where it will spend the winter. Before leaving, Mike decided to put a jump pack on the starter solenoid and see what happened. The result was a pleasant surprise as the engine turned over quite willingly, indicating that it was free and moving. After a little more fiddling and some quick rewiring, we then tried to see if we could get spark, but that was a fail. Probably a bad coil or condenser. Those will be added to the parts list.


In the end, it was an exciting, if not a little disappointing, day. The car made it home and is now under my control, but it’s a little worse for the experience. It just goes to prove that proper planning and execution may take a little longer, but the extra energy is usually worth it. Another lesson learned.

Oh, BTW, in all the drama created by the “accident”, we neglected to collect the car keys for the GT. Let’s hope that this is not a sign of things to come.

Welcome to your new home….


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