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MG MGA - The Aroma

Finally found a free day to catch up on some MGA jobs. The brake pedal had been marginally soft on first press if not run for a week so I did a full bleed. Two medium bubbles came out the right front but the rest were fine. What a difference! Quick Polish then out for a run. Still only runs at 170 even in the 25c temp. Back into the garage and oiled the Connelly leather seats.

This evening I went into the garage. What a wonderful aroma. It's a mixture of leather, oil fumes and polish etc. Something that just cannot be replicated in modern Euro boxes. Most intoxicating. End of a satisfying day.

Steve Gyles

For me it's usually the smell of burning wires and leaking petrol...
A Bowie

i love that smell..but don't have the connelly contaminating it.
It is all a matter of what turns you on.. I submit those other famous words from Apocalypse Now " I love the smell of Napalm in the morning.'
Neil Ferguson

Steve, although I can detect the faint aroma of petrol and leather in my garage, I am embarrassed to admit that polish is sadly absent and I intend to apply some to the bodywork this weekend.

Neil, unlike the famous general in Apocalipse Now, I much prefer the smell of coffee in the morning.

Steve, I'm surprised that you don't prefer the smell of JP4 jet fuel!☺i

The motoring aroma that does it for me is that of burnt Castrol R40 from racing engine exhausts.
It immediately takes me back to my kart racing days and I'm back at Silverstone doing 100 mph laps.

Years ago I answered a knock on my door to find a new neighbour who asked about the source of that evocative Castrol R40 smell that seemed to be drifting over from my garage. It appears that he was a long retired motor racing mechanic.

I must admit that he was a little disappointed when I showed him that instead of the expected exotic vintage racer, I had been using up some old R40 2-stroke fuel in my lawn mower!😟

Colyn Firth

They should bottle the smell of Castrol R, better than any perfume!

Paul Dean

I keep a sock full of naphthalene moth balls in my car to keep rodents away. At first the odour was a bit sharp but now it's mellowed and combined with the other smells to give a very pleasant aroma - an aroma with a patina!.....................Mike
Mike Moore

Mothballs? My granny would soak her woolly jumpers in Castrol R40.
Graeme Williams


The smell of burnt jet fuel always takes me back to RAF Syerston in March 1966 when I arrived at the guard room to start my jet training. It's amazing how certain aromas/smells one immediately associates with a time and place in one's life. The old car aroma always takes me back to my Dad's 1930s ex police car Wolseley (as seen in Foyles War). Done the Lawnmower trick. Gummed the motor up horribly but made lawn mowing a pleasure. Perhaps a bit in the MGA would be fun????


Steve Gyles

The Castrol R40 may have kept the moths away from your grannys woollies, but I bet she was continually pestered by retired racing mechanics!

Colyn Firth

I can sympathise with this.My MGF goes away every 1 Oct for the winter.I potter and do " unnecessary" things to it but its a bit sad when you Autoglym clean the leather followed by leather feed.And then occasionally put my head into the car to smell the leather.Sad innit?
M Blencowe

Interesting to read your post - I enjoyed the exact same aroma the other day too.
We need to bottle it, and sell it as air freshener!
Graham V

This thread was discussed between 08/06/2016 and 09/06/2016

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