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MG MGA - The Power and Influence of this BBS

Back in about 2000 I researched what jack I needed for my A. When the deed was done I was forced, persuaded and cajoled by some of you guys (you know who you are) to publish my findings of the 3 relevant jacks. Had I known about Barney's site at the time I need not have bothered. The info was already there.

However, my published findings got owners from other car clubs contacting me with the details of their car jacks.

So, 16 years on, thanks(?) to you guys the 3 jack database has expanded to 21 databases featuring 563 different British jacks with approx 240 classic cars, including WW2 tracked mortar carriers, linked to some 300 of the jacks. The site has set the price of jacks worldwide and has seen some jack prices rise from about 50 to 1800.

I get about 150 emails a week on the subject and am top of the Google hit list when you search any British jack type.

There is a downside. I spend 15 to 20 hours a week of my retired time managing and updating the site so I get that less time to drive the car. You may also now understand why I appear on this BBS so often. I am on the PC so much working on the databases that this BBS is just one click away.

Wish I got paid for it. Only source of income is the adverts but they do not quite cover the hosting and domain name costs. Please click the odd link next time you visit!

Steve Gyles

Steve, your information re jacks has been a useful resource to myself, and obviously countless others. Well done!



PS - hope you have time for a pint or two, you are retired after all!
George G.

Well done Steve. Makes you think about how much time Barney has spent building his site!
Mike Ellsmore


Absolutely. Mine is minute in comparison. I am just surprised he has had the time to put so many miles on the MGA clock.

One big time consumer for me is tracing the history for each jack and cross checking with various vendor claims. Very few sales and product manuals are still in being, so it ends up with long conversations with people who claim their particular jack is original to the car.

When the cars were new, toolkit items were rarely named by brand in the drivers manuals etc. I guess no one considered that one day a particular car would be a classic and an enthusiast would strive to get every detail perfect.

Also, in the post war years many companies were 'asset stripped' by unscrupulous investment companies. Shelley, for example, was bought out and the entire production records were destroyed at a stroke.

Steve Gyles

It's a great service you're doing, Steve! I'm proud to be a small part of if (one picture). :-)

I still need to get a jack for my 1500...
David Breneman

My thanks as well. I have referred a number of people to your excellent site over the last few years.

Pity you don't actually own all those jacks...
A Bowie

One of the pleasures of this type of work is the contacts made with classic car enthusiasts world wide. I have had terrific email conversations with all sorts across the spectrum of classic vehicles: a farmer in the Dunkirk area with amazing tales of the evacuation in 1940 and the collection of vehicle bits he scavenged and stored; the owner of a Bren Gun Carrier; The E-Type Jaguar concours specialist; the renowned Healey equivalent of Barney; the British Post Office engineer who traveled the country-side in his Moggie van; a Swiss Lagonda owner who sent me a box of chocolates after I sourced a SkyHi jack for his motor. The list is almost endless. Often I try to say a few words in their native languages. Google translator is not always the best!

The most common type of email is from people who have uncovered a Lake & Elliot hydraulic jack. The first thing they do is pump it up to see if it works. They then ask me how it lowers! For any of you who don't know, the handle has to be pushed fully down through a restriction (pressure release piston) while weight is applied to the shaft.

....and as I titled this thread, it's all your fault, you members of this BBS. It was the banter and cajoling from you guys that forced me to publish my MGA and other MG jack data that started it all off.

Now, there must be someone else out there who could bring other toolkit items together in one website - Gordon Pugh, are you reading this?

Steve Gyles

Hi Steve nice try but Barney's already done it

cheers Gordon ps still hanging on to one kit in the vain hope that one day it will be worth enough to buy the back wheel of an MGA :(
G C Pugh


I was meaning all cars, not just the MGA!

Steve Gyles

Hi Steve, I think for the sake of the consistency of the quality, it's definitely one for you
G C Pugh

This thread was discussed between 02/09/2016 and 21/09/2016

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This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGA BBS is active now.