Sunday 24th July 2011 marked the 10th anniversary of the launch of the MG ZS, ZR and ZT cars with the ‘ZedTen’ event at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Having attended our first MG event last month (the MG Live 2011) and being the proud owners of 2 ‘Zed’ cars (a ZT-T and a ZS) we decided to head down to Cambridgeshire to support this event and have a look at the variety of Zed cars on show.
The event was much smaller than the MG Live event,m with just a few traders, the MG Owners club and the MG Car Club in attendance. But, there were lots of Zed cars on display, with the main attractions of the day being the ‘Pride of Ownership’ and ‘Loudest Exhaust’ events. The museum was also open to visitors so we got to have a look round there as well. The venue was chosen because the first ever Zed register meeting was held there a decade ago.
This is going to be mainly a photo blog as we mainly just looked at the many ‘cool’ Zed cars on display and spoke to a couple of owners, there is not much to say about the event itself other than it was an enjoyable, well attended day.
With little else to do other than viewing the cars my fiancee took the chance to try and ‘educate’ me a little about the engines he was taking so many photos of – seeing as I was more interested in photos of the ‘pretty’ ‘shiny’ cars with the photochromic paints! lol. Thus, the commentary on this blog is more about my ‘engine education’ than the event itself…
It was my own fault, I had asked whilst looking at the ZT V8’s what was the benefit of a ‘supercharger’, he explained in great detail about the air/fuel ratios – pretty much all of which went over my head, all I know is more air is better and superchargers help with this!? hehe
He then went on to ask me, whilst we were looking at a ZR , if I knew what ’16 valve twin cam‘ meant – of course I had no idea. So again he explained the valves and cams etc. So, in my girlie understanding, cars used to just have 8 valves and a single cam, the cam turns to open the valves to allow fuel and air in and then exhaust gases out. 8 valves were not very efficient so they developed 16 valve engines and added a second cam (twin cam) to enable greater efficiency/higher performance. (how am I doing so far in explaining this? lol) Later MG Rover developments meant that there are now 24 valve quad cams in higher performance cars (and even higher in modern engines).
This lead to an explanation of the air filtration systems, which are either standard or modified to ‘cool’ the air because cool air is denser and means you can mix more fuel with it and get more power from the engine.
Okay so, next it was ‘what is a V8?’ (why do I keep asking these things? It’s not like I’m going to retain this knowledge, or use it!?). So, a V8 engine is configured so that the pistons (of which there are 8 – surprise there, not) lie in a ‘V’ shape which takes up less space, reduces vibration and improves performance, in comparison to cars where the pistons are ‘in-line’, such as the 16 valve twin cam I had looked at earlier, which had 4 pistons (The V8’s we looked at today also had 16 valves but most modern V8 engineswould have 32 valves). Pistons can also be in the ‘flat-four’ or ‘flat-six’ configuration which is known as a ‘boxster’, you would find this on porsches, old VW campers and performance Subaru’s so I didn’t see any examples today…
I may not remember all the details of this stuff, but I can at least look under a car bonnet and recognise if it is 16valve twin cam, V8, or supercharged – although most of this information is provided in/on the vehicle, so it’s not that useful being able to identify these things really I guess, but i suppose its nice to be able to as before today I wouldn’t have had a clue! and it is all very interesting, but still means nothing to me, I would still prefer to ask ‘what colour is it?’ if I was looking to buy a car, guess you can’t remove the girliness!
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