Merged image of a V8 engine, Sherman Tank,  Clementine the Cat, and my MGA in the Alpes



MGA restoration

Road trips

To the Alps in an MGA

MGA to Morzine 2008

Engine and cooling

MGA cooling

Fuel vaporisation

Hot starting

123 Tune Ignition Timing


MGA seats - making them comfortable


Alternator and negative earth conversion

Morzine 2008

A repeat of the grand tour of the Alps 5 years previously had been the plan. It was John's idea.

Unfortunately we were both quite busy and didn't have much time to prepare and test out the MGA before the trip. There had been the odd hesitation over a 20 mile trip, but things seemed to be working....


The plan was for myself and John to blast down to Morzine in the MGA for a week of skiing. Robert decided to come along too, but didn't fancy sitting in the boot so booked a flight to Geneva.

We'd set off at 6:00 am, planning to meet Robert in Morzine for dinner.

MGA on breakdown truck

The trip could have started better.

100 miles in and the MG started to misfire and ground to a halt. We turned back. Frequent repair attempts (or at least letting the car cool down) were giving diminishing returns, so we called a recovery truck rather than risking a further break down in the Dartford tunnel.

(Turned out after much checking a few weeks later to be the rotor arm - 3 megaohms when cold but just a few kilohms when hot. 30,000 volts of spark dribbled away.)

Much phone calling to arrange a hotel for Robert.


Update: Took a full year for a proper fix. Replacement Lucas rotor arms are a disaster. See a thread about rotor arm problems. The last poster Jeff sells alternative rotor arms from Advanced Distributors in the US (also available from Distributor Doctor in the UK). Both pointed out that the side exit caps with screws that pierce the leads are not suitable for the carbon leads sold by many spares places - they put a lot of strain on the rotor arm. Instead use the copper cored leads available as "original style leads" from Moss, or cheaper from the guys above.

John in flight again

The next day we started off at 5:00am in the Ford Focus, and arrived in Morzine 13 hours later (failing to beat the record set on the Renault 4 trip to Chamonix - ferries are slower).

There was more snow at the bottom slopes of the Avoriaz resort than the top of Val d'Isere, but it had started to become a little crunchy by the time we got there. Here's John in flight. He didn't land this one but did land the next two.

Robert and vin chaud

Happy Hour!

This is more like it. Robert enjoys a vin chaud.

Morzine at night

Morzine at night.

For some reason it attracts a lot of Brits. Possibly because it's the closest resort to home. Doesn't make the restaurants any quieter in the evenings.

Snow making machine at night

The snow deteriorated during the week. We boarded for the first few days then skied once the snow had gone off. Turns out I'd forgotten how to ski.

The photo is a slope used for evening events in Morzine being fed with artificial snow. The ski instructors would be up there having slalom competitions while we were having dinner.

John in powder

On the final day - real snow. It rained all of the previous evening in Morzine. We woke up to find a few inches of powder on the slopes. There are great expanses of powder on the lower slopes so we don't get to the top until late morning. It was lovely to have some powder - last time for me was 2003. Weight on the back leg and go as fast as you can seems to be the trick for decent turns.

At the top of the mountain John goes exploring - no avalanche risk there at all John.

John in the trees

Somehow exploring takes John in to the trees, stopping before a precarious drop that he insisted wasn't there.

Me in powder


I took another route and bumped into a rock completely covered by the show. My board stopped instantly, flipping me over. John asks if I'm all right, and I say fine apart from 2 broken ankles.

Turned out to be a mis-diagnosis, but I did sprain one ankle only so boarding was over for me by lunchtime, and borrowed ski poles were needed for use as crutches on the drive home.

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