Davis, a"Dummkopf" and the Dunlops
In the 2020 MG Car Club's Twin Cam e-mail newsletter there was an excerpt from a 1960s Twin Cam Group newsletter - featuring a snippet involving none other than Rob Davis!
Many of the questions James has fielded at shows and events also query the Dunlop wheel configuration - specifically being of a knock-off design. To date he hasn't been asked if Halfords ever supplied the wheels!
"Rob maintained that, because he had owned and raced the car for so many years, he had the right to make various alterations, upgrades and improvements."
Rob told James he had asked the then MD of MG John Thornley and chief MGA designer Syd Enever why the 'MGA' never had a unified bodyshell, as Austin did with their Healey BNs. The response he received was the bolt on wings were purely practical for ease of repair!
Despite remaining adamant of his dislike of de-seamed cars, Rob had the car de-seamed in Canada in 2007 when the shipping damage was repaired and the car repainted. Bonnie told a story where Rob got quite animated at a local car show when the "originality boys" started commenting and pointing.
According to James:"If the Twin Cam had been restored to factory spec I wouldn't have had the same connection with it - nor could I have afforded it! The whole reason I feel such a connection with the car is that I have known it all my life. The modifications made over the years certainly weren't done to please purists - these were done to enhance the performance and enjoyment of driving and were underpinned with many conversations between father and son and cemented by a ground up restoration in the 1980s."
James was keen to reunite Rob's set of period banded (non Halfords!) Dunlop steel wheels. The price to purchase from Ricky May in the US was paid (plus significant shipping from the US) which saw them finally re-united with the car in 2020, repainted and shod with Blockley tyres. James's good friend and Twin Cam guru and specialist Neil Burnside had spotted that the US tyres were the wrong profile! The Peter Wood limited run cast alloys (which the history file shows Rob purchased in 2006) were then sold by James.