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Used Parts Bin: The MG6, Racing Deaths, and Century-Old Technology

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  MG
Opinions expressed by Bill Crittenden are not official policies or positions of The Crittenden Automotive Library. You can read more about the Library's goals, mission, policies, and operations on the About Us page.

Used Parts Bin: The MG6, Racing Deaths, and Century-Old Technology

Bill Crittenden
June 24, 2013


MG

So MG, the once iconic British marque, sold 16 cars among 50 dealerships in the UK in the month of May, up from 13 in April (progress!).

Their offering is the MG6, a 4-cylinder front drive sedan derivative of the Rover 75 cranked out by the Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation (SAIC). About the furthest thing imaginable from the MGB.

I'm reminded of the boys on Top Gear making fun of all the MG-branded products one can buy. It seems there is one thing MG fans won't buy: an MG badged Chinese-made sedan.

Racing Deaths

Jason Leffler in a Sprint Car, Allan Simonsen at Le Mans. Is racing too dangerous all of a sudden?

On average, 89 people died each day on America's roads in 2011 (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year). 89 is a number. Cold, hard, statistical. Jason Leffler was a person, someone a lot of folks in the NASCAR garage knew and loved. Pictures of his son were shared on Twitter. Allan Simonsen had friends as well, and died with millions of people watching on television. Of course these events are going to burn themselves into our memories while a weekly body count on par with a Michael Bay film goes unnoticed by most of the country unless we knew a victim personally. It's all perspective.

Century-Old Technology

Going through the patent records and newspaper clippings from the earliest days of the automobile is fascinating. One thing that interests me more than anything are the technologies we think we're inventing now that were dabbled with unsuccessfully a century ago. Run-flat tires, onboard automatic tire inflation systems, hybrid gas-electric, and average speed calculators. There's even a device that measures distance traveled of a free wheel against a driven wheel to calculate how much you're slipping your wheels...the foundation of traction control technology today. All done mechanically, without computers both in implementation OR design, I might add.

Very impressive. Why did we forget these ideas for so long, though?



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