Book Review (by Ted Hack)
They Started in MGs – Profiles of Sports Car Racers of the 1950s By Carl Goodwin, Forward by John Fitch. Published by McFarland & Company Inc.
Paperback 7” x 10”. 283 pages. ISBN 9780786460526.
£29 on Amazon UK | $35 on Amazon USA | C$35 on Amazon Canada
Whilst this book is exclusively about American racers and therefore of primary interest to US readers, it will no doubt appeal to those further afield. With many black and white illustrations, just over 80 drivers are profiled in alphabetical order with 3 or 4 pages on each. Of interest to us, of course, is that most of them started in TCs, but there are many who began in TDs and even a few in TFs before they progressed on to other makes.
Whilst many of the drivers will be unknown to readers outside the USA, some reached international fame and will be familiar to all, but their starts in motor racing will probably contain some unknown facts for most people. Here are some of the more well known names included:
S H Arnolt – the brains and money behind the Arnolt TDs.
Briggs Cunningham – who eventually had his own cars at Le Mans for many years.
Richie Ginther – one of the few Americans in Formula 1.
Phil Hill – arguably the most successful American in Formula 1
Karl Ludvigsen – motoring photographer and author.
Steve McQueen – enough said!
Ken Miles – the Englishman who went to the US, famous for his MG specials.
Al Moss – founder of the Moss parts companies. Carroll Shelby – Cobras, Le Mans etc!
The author, Carl Goodwin, was himself a racer and has many articles to his credit in a host of motoring publications which have won him many awards.
John Fitch, who wrote the foreword, is himself profiled and tells us his very first sports car was a lemon coloured TC in 1948!
A must have for MG book collectors like me but for others, worth adding to your Christmas lists for an interesting read in the holidays.
POLYURETHANE BUSHES FOR TCs & TD/TFs
I have continued to nag the supplier about a completion date. At the end of October I received a response from him as follows:
MGTC Bushes, only received the metals today so will be about 6 – 8 weeks before we’ll have 200 off each – so it seems we might just have them before Xmas.
I followed this up with a strongly worded e-mail, which said that customers would be extremely disappointed with this news and could I at least have some indication of the price so that I would have something to pass on to customers (who have been extremely supportive with orders from all around the world).
All went quiet and I was just about to pick up the phone on Thursday 10th November when the supplier rang me and gave me some prices as follows:
Part no. 0073 (shorter bush) £1.60 plus VAT
Part no. 0074 (longer bush) £1.63 plus VAT
Cost of moulds £200 plus VAT ( for the two)
I have ordered 200 of each bush and amortised the cost of the two moulds over the 400. Therefore, I make the non-profit selling price (to get my money back!) to be £2.79 each. This is around one third of the price of those available from a commercial supplier and mine are correct and do not need trimming.
Well over half the bushes have been pre-ordered and I will be contacting customers as soon as I have them. I’ll be asking for an (optional) small separate donation to the TTT 2 ‘hard’ copy fund with each order sent.
RADIATOR MASCOTS (from Jeremy Evans)
“I read with pleasure and interest the latest edition of the TTT2 – as usual, a great read to chase away the darkening evenings.
The article on the ‘Midge’ radiator mascot was particularly good, but I have one observation for you. In 1937 the Road Traffic Act was modified to preclude the use of radiator mascots and calorimeters and such like in the interests of safety. Fitting a mascot like the ‘Midge’ to a car made after 1937 therefore runs contrary to the Road Traffic Act and cars fitted with these should fail their MOT and in the event of an accident the owner could, if the mascot caused any injury, be liable in any personal injury claim.
Having had vintage cars, with lovely mascots and calorimeters, I wanted to fit a ‘Midge’ to my TC, but this legislation prevents me, I wonder if a word of warning would be appropriate to warn other UK T-Type owners that the fitment of anything to the radiator other than the original octagonal cap might land them in hot water”.