MG F (1998) has run 228,684 kilometers

Tim Vogel has a 25 year old MG F. It already has more than 200,000 kilometers on the clock. ‘With English cars you have to be forgiving’.

Tim Vogel has a special hobby and it is called MG F. You must have a thing for English sports cars if you buy a used MG with more than 175,000 kilometers on the clock. Well, Tim has that. “You have to be a bit forgiving,” he reveals.

Just over two tons on the counter. At Klokje Rond we normally don’t get out of bed for that, but in combination with an open sports car with a mid-engine from England it becomes a different story. Hats off also to owner Tim Vogel, because he bravely perseveres. He keeps the MG on the road and likes it too much to throw it away. Admittedly, in our opinion the car is MG’s nicest attempt at a rebirth, with the fast ZS and ZT also being launched in addition to this F. In the end it didn’t work out.

Bought MG F in 2015, nicer than the MG TF

Back to the beginning. “I bought this sports car as a barrel from a dealer in Diever in 2015,” says Tim. “I was looking for a sporty convertible as my first car and I immediately fell in love with the shape, character and color of the MG. I especially like the headlights of the MG F. They are much nicer than those of its successor, the MG TF.”

Over the past eight years, Tim has put a lot of time into his hobby. He does quite a bit himself, especially on the cosmetic side, and for really technical matters he takes the car away. Cosmetically, the MG F needs quite a bit of love and care, but thanks to the driving pleasure that the MG gives back, Tim is holding up for the time being.

Now more than 20,000 euros in repairs

“It’s not the fastest, but due to its light weight the car can still keep up quite well,” says Tim. Above all, it remains an endless battle against rust and Tim is now a well-known person at the Roadside Assistance… “It takes many hours of work by myself and an MG specialist in Friesland. I think I have spent more than 20,000 euros on repairs and improvements in eight years,” says Tim. That’s a lot of money and it’s not ready yet. It’s never finished. “There is still plenty to do on the car and I tackle some jobs every summer.”

MG F is Tim’s first car

What’s cool is that the MG F is Tim’s first car. “I bought the car without a driver’s license. I achieved that months later. So my partner did the test drive at the dealer and she didn’t like the car,” Tim laughs. A good reason to buy the car anyway. “In 2018 I drove it to the factory in Longbridge, England. That’s where he rolled off the production line exactly twenty years ago.”

Tim regularly drove the MG F around the circuit (“Take it easy.”), but before the children came, he and his partner also did beautiful road trips through Scotland, Italy (Tuscany), Germany and the Route Napoléon in France.

Three breakdowns during road trip to Scotland

That did not happen without a hitch, however. “During a road trip in Scotland, my car broke down three times. It started immediately with a broken dynamo when I just drove off the boat from the Netherlands. All kinds of uncomfortable things regularly arise, but for now we will continue happily,” says Tim. Such as the moment when Tim wants to get on board to go on a road trip to Scotland. “Breaks off the door handle. We quickly provisionally repaired it and it never became really tight again,” pointing to the door handle on the driver’s side.

Zero point zero suspension

Look, there is judge Tim de Leeuw back from the test drive. He doesn’t look very happy. “This thing has no suspension at all! Zero point zero!” Cameraman Joppe te Lindert is also shaking for ten minutes after the test drive. “Yes, the suspension works with spheres, which have to be re-pressurized every year, that’s the way it is,” owner Tim explains. It can be done differently. There are MG F owners who have the spring balls replaced with ‘normal’ struts. “That is of course quite a job, which also costs serious money. I don’t know yet whether I want to start doing that.”

That will also depend a bit on what judge Tim van Carrec will find today in terms of defects in the MG F, which is 25 years old. Owner Tim: “I expect comments on the chassis, because they are very sharp about it here and it could be a bit tighter. I also fear rust damage. It is almost a prayer without end.”

Engine should deliver an extra 20 hp

The longer you talk to Tim about the MG F, the more ‘things’ come up. The engine was overhauled in 2017. “Then it turned out that the wrong cylinder head had been screwed on, so that had to be done again,” Tim looks back. The four-cylinder has been slightly improved and should now deliver approximately 140 hp instead of the 120 hp according to the factory specifications. Those spring balls also return every year. “You can bet that this will continue. This inspection is therefore also a bit of a test case for the future. Of course, a hobby should remain fun.”

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