Home » This Is One Of The Weirdest Trim Pieces In All Of Motoring: Cold Start

This Is One Of The Weirdest Trim Pieces In All Of Motoring: Cold Start

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Today’s Cold Start is going to be one of those where I’m just focusing on an small detail of a car that’s decades out of production. You probably understand these for what they really are: wildly, almost deliriously important. There is nothing happening in the world today that is more worthy of your attention than to know and understand  how I feel about the small strip of chrome trim placed on the front end of the bulge in the MGC’s hood (fine, bonnet). Are you ready to hear how I feel about it? Are you stitting? Do you have a helmet on, and, ideally, a bite guard in your mouth? Is there a dropcloth under your (ideally perforated or slotted) seat? We all good? Okay. Here’s how I feel: somewhat confused.

That’s right: somewhat confused.

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Easy, everyone, take it easy! Let’s all just calm down. Are we settled? Good. Okay, now I implore you to look at this hood bulge yourself with its little chrome strip and attempt to understand why I feel the way I do:

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So, I get why that hood bulge is there – this is an MGC, not some pedestrian four-cylinder MGB, that C stands for Cix, which is how one might misspell six if they were trying to make a point that this car has an inline-six engine, like I am. No one thinks the C stands for “cix,” just to be clear. That bulge is to make room in that little engine bay for that three-liter six, and especially the radiator, which had to be shoved way forward, too:

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That front SU carb also gets its own little bulge-on-the-bulge, to give room for the bottle-shaped dashpot. A bulge is fine! Lots of great hoods have bulges in them! I love bulges, and you don’t need to take that out of context, but if you do, enjoy. It’s not the bulge I have a problem with.

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It’s that weird strip of chrome that runs across the hood bulge. Why is it there? At first I thought it had to be covering up some sort of ugly seam, because that’s the only thing that makes sense. But it doesn’t. There is a crease there, a little step-down for the chrome trim, and that front edge of the bulge is just part of the hood, not some separate piece that could be, say, removed for an air scoop or something. It’s not like that.

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It’s just strange! It doesn’t really follow any of the lines of the car, it’s perpendicular to the direction of most of the other trim strips on the car, it feels weirdly haphazardly placed, I just don’t get it. And I see a drawing like this from a MGC brochure that ignores it entirely, and I wonder if I’m not alone:

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This drawing also shows how much cleaner it looks sans chrome strip, I think.

I just don’t get why it’s there. The MGC is a sort of a troubled car anyway, often considered a disappointment. The bigger engine wasn’t as powerful as everyone wanted, these cars tended to understeer significantly, and a lot of the lithe joy of the MGB was lost, and for what? A real-world gain of about 20 hp and a lot of weight?

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But more importantly, I just don’t get why that chrome bit is there! And, even more confusingly, sometimes it doesn’t bother me? And then it does? See, it’s complicated. Am I alone here? What’s going on?

Cs Strip Compare

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Daniel Franco
Daniel Franco
2 months ago

(top photo caption) “Why yes, Penelope, can’t you see I’m crazy about you?”
(bottom photo caption) “Cthululu Rylaggh P’targh!”

…hope that clears up your confusion.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
2 months ago

It seems perfectly placed for a cutout for a scoop to reduce heat for say a six cylinder engine

Black Peter
Black Peter
2 months ago

The Chrome Layers Union specified that every British car have a minimum of 24 linear feet of chrome striping, The MGC came up just short

Argentine Utop
Argentine Utop
2 months ago
Reply to  Black Peter

Makes sense.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
2 months ago

In the matte damp weather of the UK, it could sometimes be difficult to see the bulge, as there were quite seldom sun reflections, so they emphasized it with a chrome strip. Simple as that.
I do like it a lot more than the fake hood scoop of the comtemporary Ford Cortina!

Last edited 2 months ago by Jakob K's Garage
Goffo Sprezzatura
Goffo Sprezzatura
2 months ago

It’s as if the designers felt obligated to use chrome as often as they could.

James Carson
James Carson
2 months ago

I don’t find it as disturbing as the pagoda cooling tower hood scoop thing on the hood of the Iso Grifo 7 liter.

Titillating Bustline
Titillating Bustline
2 months ago

Trouser tenting for $200, Alex.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
2 months ago

That piece of trim looks just fine to me. Sure, her orange top is a bit outré, but it’s not off-putting.

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