I thought I would share a little bit of research I've been doing on the evolution of the various different Smiths heater labels that were used on early MGB's. Unfortunately there currently only seems to be 2 of these variations available on the market today, however maybe this research will lead to some other variations being produced at least small scale for those who seek them.
The first incarnation seems to be the metal plates for both the Caution label and another for the model spec info - these are being sold by a few manufactures as correct for "early MGB" - however I have yet to see any MGB with these plates on originally. They were however used on the MGA's and it's worth noting the exact text and arrangement on these plates - the caution label refers to "freezing" conditions and is only 4 lines long in text under the Caution. The Smiths label says "manufactured in england" and has little rectangular boxes for the actual code numbers to be stamped in.
The next style of these labels that I have clearly seen on all original early MGB's up to mid 1964 is this printed style of lettering that is printed directly onto the painted black surface of the heater. It's not a sticker - it's printed lettering most likely done with a dry transfer that is burnished on.
The Smiths label in white says "manufactured in england" again, has the little boxes around the code numbers, and says "heater" under the smiths logo - just like the plate.
The caution label in red is now spread to 5 lines of text under the caution, speaks of "winter conditions" instead of freezing conditions now. The faded one on the right is from my car from February 1964 and is identical to the left one from 63
This style of printed lettering continued through 1964 however somewhere along the way was slightly altered. The pic below is from a late 64 car and the text has changed just slightly to now say "made in uk" instead of "made in england" - this is the best shot I have yet of this original style of printed lettering and shows the code numbers clearly -
This printed lettering lasted until sometime in 65 when it was replaced by a pair of stickers. These stickers are readily available today and what most MGB restorers have been using as standard on even the early earlier cars. You can see that the word "heater" has been dropped, so too have the little rectangles around the code numbers. The numbers themselves have changed too (perhaps the heaters are a different model?)
The Caution sticker now has 5 lines of text and speaks of "freezing conditions" rather than "winter".
So there you have it, the evolution of these heater labels on the earlier cars. I know that there were even further changes to the logo's on later cars too, but that's for another article some day. I am currently working on making accurate artwork for the earlier printed style of labels that were found on my 64. When it's done I'm going to have it made into dry transfers that can be burnished on. Perhaps I'll get a few sets made for anyone else who really wants the correct labels on their early heater.
Until next time -
Classic auto enthusiast, upholsterer, coach trimmer, and fine scale modeler.