Blog : So what’s so bad about rubber bumpers?

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

I’ve been pondering this very issue for some time. It seems that a fair number of MG enthusiasts have taken the time and gone to the trouble of removing their rubber bumpers and replacing them with the chrome ones found on the earlier ‘Bs…

I can understand the issue of styling purity and brand values, but did the later ones look that bad? They give the MGB something of a more modern appearance, whilst giving some protection from errant TESCO trolleys. The rubber bumper MGs also seem to have a very integrated style, which is no mean feat given that these bumpers were attached some thirteen years after the original launch.

They give the MGB something of a
more modern appearance, while
giving some protection from errant
TESCO trolleys…

Gerry McGovern, I reckon, agrees with me, as his MGF obviously draws on this car for its frontal styling, and not the earlier chrome bumper models. The same with the gorgeous looking MG RV8 – it is a reworking in styling terms, of the Seventies MG. So are the rubber bumpers really that bad?

I suspect that there’s an element of negativity with these cars, which stems from the raised ride height, which interfered with the roadholding of the original. Marque fans blamed all of the MGB’s ills on what happened at the facelift – so much so that the bumpers became a symbol of all that went wrong with the MGB during the “dark” decade.

And that’s a shame, because – as I said – it really does not look too bad at all with these bumpers attached. It could have been a hell of a lot worse – take a look at the Federalized Fiat 124 Spider or Fiat X1/9 to see what I mean about how badly bumpers could be integrated into a design.

So… MG owners: Don’t decry your safety bumpers. Rejoice in them… and if any chrome bumper owning MG owner gives you grief about them, simply challenge them to a car park fight: car on car!

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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