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Graeme Gallaoway's Anglia
Dixon Chases Tulips - 4 to 10 May
Report by Ian Dixon

member Ian Dixon is taking his recently rally prepared MGB/GT on the 2014 Tulip Rally, a grueling event with various disciplines; starting in France at Lake Annecy and traveling through Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and finishing in Holland.  Never having competed in this style of Rally before, it came as a surprise to Ian, also a member of the MGOC Kingdom club, just what level of compliance was required, to compete in this FIVA event.

Ian displaying the new car with Maurice, at Scone Show last year.

Up to this point, Ian has been competing in the NESCRO (North East and Scottish Rally Organization) historic rally series over the past 8 years, initially in a MK11 Escort RS 2000 then in 2010 he decided he needed a change of vehicle, firstly something that was tax exempt and a vehicle that no one else was competing in. After considering his options he chose the MGB and struck a deal buying REN 114K. One or two minor repairs and three years later the car is back on the road fully rally prepared.

The restoration consisted of a full strip down to bare shell, welding in new floors and rear arch sections as well as strengthening the suspension mounting points and seam welding. This included incorporating a welded in roll cage complete with door bars. That done it was off to the paint shop for a full British Racing Green re-spray.
Whilst the car was being painted the engine was stripped and re-conditioned with a fast road cam and large valve head. The box and overdrive units were overhauled with new parts. A further modification to achieve the driving characteristics meant an alteration to the rear axle differential ratio and the fitting of a plate type limited slip differential. Then came re-assembly of all services and ancillaries inside the car, this included a new and designated harness for all the in-car rally equipment.

Thinking the job was done, now there was the compliance needs for the Tulpenrallye. Firstly the car, in order to be eligible, must have been manufactured prior to the 1st January 1972. Suspension, brakes and axle have to be in period specification with no dramatic changes, in short it has to be the original specification as applied to the vehicle in its year of manufacture. The softer issues of fire extinguishers, first aid kits and service ground sheets have to be addressed. In Navigating you cannot use GPS; only basic navigation equipment is allowed. Anything showing average speeds is not permitted; your information has to be worked out mechanically.

With the changes now to hand on the MGB GT (affectionately known as “The Beastie” in the Kingdom club) came the real test as to what the car could do. The first of the shake downs was Durham Dales on the 1st September 2013; it came 2nd in class and 9th overall out of approx. 50 cars, 2nd test was the Doonhamer Rally at Dumfries in September 2013 it came 2nd in class and 5th overall out of 70 cars. In the NESCRO series of 2013 out of 147 competitors REN 114K finished 11th overall….”we’re ready says Ian!”

Ian Dixon and his friend Maurice Millar the navigator, have been rallying together for 3 years, in excess of 300 competitive hours together see this challenge as a natural progression from UK based events, also Maurice has covered several other European events over the years, so together these guys have the makings of a great team.

Asking Ian, “Given that the event and the car are new to you, what is your goal for the Tulpenrallye?” he said, “To complete the event and enjoy the experience”. Ian joins the Rally to make a total of seven entered MG’s. i.e. MGC, MGB Roadster and 5 MGB GT’s competing on a world wide stage of up to 230 cars.

Watch the coming editions of Enjoying MG for coverage of Ian and Maurice’s Tulpenrallye experience. Web info:
Watch out for their progress on

Checkout how the crew are progressing on our live reports HERE

Updated 3 May 2014