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On Pole at Silverstone

Jack and Kevin Skuce enter their ZB in the Concours at MGLive! (11-12 June 2022)

Most often, especially in car magazines, cars have their 'moment in the sun', during and just after restoration. This is often quite rightly so, as the effort that is made by many in car restoration should be shared and celebrated. This was the case with our ZB Varitone Magnette, which featured fresh from its latest restoration in the July 2020 edition of Safety Fast! We were proud of the restoration that the car received, however we didn't want it to become a 'Trailer Queen' and as such it's had over 1500 largely trouble free miles since.


With our tickets booked for MG Live we knew that the Magnette would come along with us. The Z Magnette has always been a car that is under the radar of the non-MG car enthusiast and we struggle to understand why. Great 'Air Smoothed' of the era looks, fantastic handling and a luxurious interior, all (certainly currently) at a very affordable price. What, however, is more concerning is the age demographic of many current Magnette owners. Despite all of the things going for them mentioned prior and more besides, most young classic car enthusiasts and even MG oriented ones barely even know about them let alone are interested in owning one. In 10-20 years' time much Magnette knowledge and ownership will be lost. We decided that this MG Live, we wanted to start a discussion on changing the narrative of these great cars.

As part of the plan, we decided to enter our car into the Concours contest at MG Live. We'd restored the car with originality in mind so we felt the car could do well. The Saturday of the show had, on the whole gone well for us. It was good to see some familiar names from the Magnette world and meet some new ones. Sunday came and the day of judgement had arrived, for our Magnette quite literally. Having spent several hours the night before cleaning and polishing the car, it was driven into the judging area and the last checks were done.

The time came for the judging to commence and we arrived back to show the judges around the car. Despite the restoration being several years old there were many positive comments and some things to improve upon. On the whole we came away with positive vibes and we left the judges to deliberate.

Although being an MG Car Club member for a while, I recently joined the Young Members branch of the Club so it was good to have a chat with fellow member Keiran. Most of our efforts until now were focused within the Magnette Register, but we'd be preaching to the converted there, so it was good to make some contacts within the Young Members branch. One member of the committee is apparently looking for a Magnette to purchase, so progress is already being made!

The judges had finished their deliberations so it was time for the awards. We had never entered any of our cars into any competitions before. Max's MG Metro Turbo which was also in our category looked more original than our car so we weren't expecting much. As it happened our car was chosen for two awards, it won the 1955-Present GT's, Saloons and Coupe's in the Concours. It was also chosen for 1955-Present Best MG Saloon by the Anglia Centre! We were very happy to have received two awards first time out and it's great to receive recognition for the car and its restoration.


We returned from MG Live with the car’s first Trophies, though at the time of writing due to the Concours trophies having not having arrived in time for MG Live, only one is in our possession currently. Once again we’d like to thank all those who were involved in the car’s restoration and maintenance, especially Kevin, Alex, Paul and Gary without their work these awards wouldn’t have been possible. It has been great to raise the profile of Magnettes at this event and our work continues. Looking forward to the future, there is certainly more chapters left to be written in this car’s history.

Jack Skuce

Some more MGLive photos by Cynthia Harris 

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