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Back Cover Photos

6 May

Above: The Swedish winter doesn’t stop Stig Anderson driving TC2877. ‘Morris’ and ‘Austin’, his two poodles are sitting behind the seat and can see out of the two windows which Stig has made in the tonneau. Below: A photograph of a delightful water colour painted by Jean-Marie Guivarch featuring a TA and two young ladies with a cat.

Manchester XPAG Project Newsletter – May 2013

5 May

The team has purchased the items for the fuel recirculation system and heat shield, the two solutions they are investigating. They have also produced an internal report appraising the management of the project which contributes 5% to their final mark. Work on the technical report for the final product(s) has also begun. Additionally, Nigel Stevens has provided valuable advice on the test protocols and the team are seeking a more accurate way of relating optimum needle / jet position to the ideal air-to-fuel ratios for given RPMs.

Work on installing the engine into the test rig continues. Unfortunately, the dynamo was not in a serviceable state and an alternator has been fitted in its place to act as an idler for the fan belt. The carburettors have been fitted along with the fuel pump and fuel flow meter. A shield guarding operators from the rotating parts on the front of the engine has also been installed. Finally, the engine had been temporarily disconnected from the dynamometer in preparation to being started for the first time. In light of the delay in getting the engine installed on the test rig, the team has requested their project deadline be extended to 10th May 2013.

As the students’ project comes to an end, it would appear that the amount of work required to mount the engine on the test rig was underestimated. The Department has excellent engineering and manufacturing facilities, however, work needs to be planned and scheduled. Late requirements and unforeseen problems have resulted in delays. In addition, health and safety considerations have required additional work to install remote control systems, guards, etc.

This is a long way from my efforts when I first started my XPAG after its rebuild. I installed it in the chassis with a piece of old MDF for a bulkhead and various pieces of string and wire so I could pull the choke, throttle and starter at the same time while standing next to the “unprotected” engine.

This will be the last monthly newsletter for the current student team; the next item will be their final report. However, this is not the end of the line for the tests. Over May, I will be discussing with Dr Rob Prosser how this work can be continued on the basis of the first tranche of results.

The Ipswich to Felixstowe run with over 350 classic vehicles taking part was on Sunday 5th May. With the hot weather and delays in leaving the Park in Ipswich, the large number of “casualties” stopped at the road site reminded me of the importance of this work.

Paul Ireland

Ed’s note: My thanks to Paul, who has been the driving force behind this project and has produced seven newsletters, commencing with the November 2012 newsletter and finishing with this one.

Anyone who expected a magical solution to the problem will be disappointed but the team has identified two potential solutions which can now be taken forward (the fuel recirculation system sounds particularly interesting). Knowing Paul as I do, he will be keen to ensure that this work is continued.

Bits and Pieces

4 May

Pre-War Prescott Garden Party and Hill Climb Day, Saturday 20th July, 2013

Welcome to Pre-War Prescott – a unique motoring event for all pre-war car owners. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere among old friends and new and experience the unrivalled opportunity and thrill of driving your car up this historic speed hill climb venue in the glorious Cotswolds. Prescott is owned and operated by the Bugatti Owners Club and the event is being hosted by the Vintage Minor Register. Untimed climbs will be available throughout the day for all pre-war cars – saloons included. No racing license, helmets or flameproof overalls required, no scrutineering, and you can even take passengers along for the ride.

Full catering and a licensed bar will be available throughout the day, and feature fine ales from the newly-established Prescott Brewery. Just as the golden age of pre-war motoring was brought to a close by the outbreak of war, so Pre-War Prescott will conclude with a sumptuous forties style BBQ and dancing to stirring and sentimental wartime favourites performed live by Fiona Harrison, Britain’s foremost forties singer and entertainer at the Prescott Clubhouse. We are extremely excited to announce that, for the third year running, Pre- War Prescott has been awarded a flying display by the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

There will be a dedicated area in the Paddock for TAs and TBs, the entry fee for the event is £30 and that includes one run up the hill. Additional runs are available on the day at £5 per run. For those of you with post war cars (TCs, TDs and TFs) why not come along and spectate. You can park in the Orchard with full access on foot to the Paddock and Hill for an incredibly cheap rate of £10 per car. In past years we have had an excellent display of TAs and TBs at Pre-War Prescott, so why not come along and join us?

Display of TAs and TBs at a previous Prescott

Full details of the event and an on-line entry form are available on their website, please see I am acting as the co-ordinator for MG T-Types, so if you are planning to attend, please drop me an e-mail to: brian(at) {substitute @ for (at)} so that I will know how many are attending, and can ensure we have enough dedicated space in the Paddock. I hope to see you there on Saturday 20th July 2013.

Ed’s note: The photo is by kind permission of Ian Grace of the Vintage Minor Register.

I am going to book for this event and take my PB (but I hope to be able to park with the TAs and TBs).

The 5th biennial National Weekend Rally of the Pre-war MG Register of Australia

This event takes place from 25 -27 October 2013 in the historic city of Bathurst – 200 kms West of Sydney. With only 350 MGs built before 1940 spread across Australia, which is an area larger than all Europe, the Register is proud that participants with 70+ year old cars make the effort to drive long distances to attend and enjoy the social interaction and camaraderie.

The selection of Bathurst as the venue for the 2013 event is to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the staging of the 1938 Australian Grand Prix (AGP) at the nearby and now famous circuit of Mt Panorama. For this event on unsealed public roads an MG NE (NA0520) was purchased by ex-pat Aussie John Snow in England and shipped to John Barraclough in Australia as they both thought it had a good chance of winning this handicap race. This was despite the formidable entry including three K3s and Peter Whitehead’s B-Type ERA – also specially imported.

Regrettably the NE failed to start but the MG marque’s honour was upheld by the nine other MGs including two TAs which were 3rd and 5th.

This very NE, now residing on the other side of the continent in Perth, will be the star attraction at Bathurst along with many of the surviving racing MGs that competed in Australia before WWII including the two PAs that won the 1935 and 1937 AGPs and a replica of the TA that won the 1939 AGP on handicap. A freshly restored Q-Type will also be in action again.

The weekend will also celebrate the 80th anniversary of the K3’s class win at the 1933 Mille Miglia with one of the team cars present (K3002) and possibly another (K3003) and the ‘recce’ K3 (K3752). The ex-Bira K3 (K3030) will also be attending and possibly two others that reside in Australia. There will be several K3 replicas.

The owners of all these cars and all the other MG sports, tourers and saloons will have the opportunity to drive around the Mt Panorama circuit over the weekend as it is made up of public roads. The weekend see the attendance of some vintage MGs, examples of all of the MMM MGs, as well as some elegant SAs, VAs and WAs.

As the Register embraces all MGs up to 1939 there will be a good selection of TAs and TBs making up an expected total of more than 100 pre- war MGs. The weekend will start with a Friday Greet & Mingle evening at the Bathurst Racing Car Museum. On Saturday there will be car display in the centre of Bathurst and a run to the historic town of Sofala to pan for gold followed by a barbecue evening for story telling – true or otherwise. On Sunday there’s a scenic and historic tour around the region with a relaxing lunch stop and a Grande Finale Presentation Dinner.

International visitors with or without their pre-war MG are most welcome and there are hosting arrangements available with local MG owners.

For further information visit the website


Nick Fitzhugh, a relatively new TC owner, took his car to Peter Lander’s premises in Gillingham, Dorset and found the visit well worthwhile…

“I had over 2 hours at Peter’s premises on the rolling road. The timing was checked and found to be OK. The gas analysers showed that there were problems with the carbs and these were investigated. The back carb was sticking when idling while the front one was sticking at high revs. Also the needles had uneven wear along their lengths. The needles were smoothed off and centred to correct the sticking problem. The plugs were also getting oiled and a new softer set put in. Peter thought that the car had been running on 3 cylinders only and that explained the uneven running. I was aware that oil was being burned by blue smoke from the exhaust so that was not a surprise.

The return journey (70 miles) showed a much improved performance with a smoother engine note and a comfortable cruising speed of 65. Towards the end of the journey I had to coast behind a slow moving vehicle down a 1 mile steep hill and the plugs oiled up again.

Peter’s opinion was that the engine had plenty of power and no worrying noises. The oil was probably coming up past the pistons and suggested a rebore might be worthwhile although the car could run in the present condition for years to come.

I think my next course of action is to take off the cylinder head and check for oil leakage past the valves – I understand that this is a common problem.

Overall, the visit was very worthwhile. The carbs are now operating correctly. I had 2 hours of Peter’s time plus 2 hours of one of his engineers and was charged £108.

I would certainly recommend Peter and what was good was being able to see what was being done rather than being kept behind closed doors.”

Sigma Engineering, Brickfield Industrial Estate, GILLINGHAM, Dorset SP8 4LT. Tel: 01747 823270

JDO Instruments, Keighley, West Yorkshire

Following a recommendation from me Nick Fitzhugh used the instrument repair services of JDO Instruments and reported as follows…

“Just to let you know that I have used John Ostick for repairing my car clock and the 30mph indicator in the speedo unit.

I reinstalled both units yesterday and both are now working correctly. Both items were turned round in about 1 week. The clock did have to go back because a screw holding the hair spring in place had worked loose in transit. This was rectified with no quibbles.

John suggested that the clock has a switch installed so that it can be switched off to prevent the electrical contact burning out when the car battery runs down. A useful suggestion which I have followed.” 01535 672125.


Tim Whellock, who with his wife, Anne runs Vintage and Sports Car Services in Chard, Somerset, offers a safety check for Pre-1960 vehicles which do not now need to be presented for the annual MOT test. The safety check includes a road test. The safety check list has been reproduced below for your information. The cost of this service is a very reasonable £40 plus VAT.

and finally… nearly forgot the Front Cover!

Bob Grunau started work on TC6073 in 1995 from a bare chassis and finished it as a purpose built race TC. First track outing was June, 1998 at Mosport Park, Ontario. Last race with Bob driving was Mid Ohio, 2007. Bob sold the car in January 2009.

MG TA Engine Restraints

3 May

Whilst in conversation with a TA owner recently about engine mountings, the subject of TA engine restraints came up and I gave him the contact details for Mick Pay. Subsequent discussion with Mick produced the following notes and a couple of photos and a drawing. I hope this may help TA owners who still have the MPJG engine fitted in their car to check details.

The engine restraints on the TA are two flexible restraints connecting the front engine mounts to the front cross tube that sits under the radiator. These straps stop the engine moving backwards & forwards. They do not fit them on the TB/TC because the link from clutch pedal to clutch arm is via a chain, whereas the TA has a solid link, so any engine movement in the chassis ends up ruining the bell housing.

The originals were made of bellac (webbing which flat belts were made off) not obtainable now.

The webbing used is tough webbing used to locate Land Rover rear axles, I got some on the internet; they are rear axle check straps as fitted to early Land Rovers.

The metal work is self explanatory if you follow the drawing (courtesy of Brian Rainbow). I used 3/8 bolts welded to the bracket as it is what I had “in stock”. However, Brian’s drawing shows 5/16. Rivets were a job to find unless you want to buy a box of a 1000, but in the end I found some at a local blacksmiths. It certainly does look better with rivets, more original.

When you fit these restraints hand tighten the radiator side nuts and then tighten the outer nuts as required, they need re-adjusting after a few months to take up any stretch.

Mick Pay

Ed’s Note: Mick has a few of these engine restraints for sale at £33 plus postage. Also available are early TA and VA oil filter conversions and late TA and VA conversions at £72 and £62 respectively plus p&p. They are made to order and prices may vary due to price of brass etc. E-mail mg188(at) {substitute @ for (at)}.

TA engine restraint drawing (click photo for bigger version)

TA engine restraint fitted.

Early TA and VA oil filter conversion.

Late TA and VA oil filter conversion.

Front Wing Protection

2 May

Having had a couple of near misses with dropped spanners on my newly sprayed (at enormous expense) PB front wings, I was reminded of the ‘CARE AND PROTECTION’ chapter in Jonathan Goddard’s book ‘Practical M.G.TD’. Jonathan has given me permission to reproduce the paragraphs and photos on ‘Front Wing Protection’.

It is all too easy to drop something when you are working under the bonnet and inevitably the “item” will fall on to a nice clean painted wing.

As I had experienced this event, with some frustration, I decided to look into making some wing protectors so that the paintwork would be covered and protected during under bonnet maintenance.

I used cloth backed vinyl in a light “biscuit” or beige colour which matched the vinyl on the interior of my car. This material is available from some high street haberdashers but also from coach trimmers and some M.G. parts suppliers.

In order to obtain a good fit, and to work out how to hold the cover in place, I made a trial cover out of brown paper. The paper can be cut and ‘moulded’ to the required shape in order to provide an exact (3D) pattern for the vinyl.

If the vinyl is supplied in one metre (39 inches) width you might want to make the protector out of two pieces. The overall length of the cover is 48 inches so I put a joint in just before the headlamp support to achieve curvature around the leading edge.

By stitching in a number of cut darts in the vinyl this curve can be accommodated. I also included six darts down the inner edge to achieve a good fit down the inner wing length.

The maximum width of the cover is 29 inches but you might want to add an additional 4 inches to allow the edges to be folded in (2 inches each side) and machine sewn to give added strength.

All the edges of the finished cover should be turned over and hem stitched to provide strength.

The wing cover has a number of fixing locations helping to hold it firmly in place.

1) A tailored, shaped front top wing section with a “pocket” edge to grip firmly at the front.
2) An “opening” around the headlamp bracket-to-wing fitting has to be cut to allow a wrap around and overlap for a tab with sewn in “Velcro” to help achieve a secure fitting.

3) A hole to allow the side light to protrude through and help align the vinyl.
4) Two slots cut into the “inner” trailing edge of the cover that fit over both the bonnet buffer bracket and the bonnet catch rear brackets.

As the wing protectors are “handed”, it is necessary to make one for the driver’s side and one for the passenger’s side. Note these pictures are from the passenger’s side front wing.

Wm. M. Collingburn is a traditional coach trimming supplier for MG cars.

Wm. M. Collingburn & Son *WE HAVE MOVED* Unit 6, Mowbray House, Olympic Way, Gallowfields Trading Estate, Richmond, North Yorkshire DL10 4FB, ENGLAND.

Email : collingburn(at) {substitute @ for (at) to beat the spammers} Tel / Fax : +44 (0) 1748 824105. Due to the nature of production in our workshop we are not always available to answer.

Editor’s Note:

Jonathan’s book has sold hundreds of copies worldwide, but there are still TD owners who are not aware of it.

The book is available to order from the T-Shop at £6.99 + postage, from this link: Practical MG-TD: Maintenance, Update and Innovation

Flexolite Products

2 May

Readers may recall the article featuring wire wheel re-builder James Wheildon in the February issue, When I sent out the printed copies of the February issue I sent a complimentary copy to James and he was most appreciative. He asked if I would be prepared to feature ‘Flexolite’, the business run by his wife Sue, and of course, I readily agreed. So, Sue has provided me with the following:

Flexolite are leaders in fuel, oil and hydraulic systems for classic cars. The largest part of the business is the ever increasing range of spin-on oil filter adaptor kits which enable classic cars to take advantage of modern oil filtration technology. For ‘T’ series cars with the bypass filters we are able to supply a remote filter head which utilises the modern spin-on filter. Flexolite also supply stainless steel braided hoses and fittings for oil, brake and clutch applications as well as a host of other products.

The photos show examples of some of the products offered by Flexolite.

As many classic cars now have to cope with hard motorway driving they can be susceptible to oil overheating and the fitting of an oil cooler is high on the list of upgrades to be considered. Flexolite use mainly Setrab oil coolers and can supply the components, parts, or a complete kit including rubber hoses, unions, fittings and instructions.

Another popular improvement when restoring classic cars is the fitting of a replacement electric fuel pump to help overcome fuel starvation caused by vaporisation. At this stage it is also prudent to consider modern fuel filters and possibly a fuel regulator.

Flexolite also sell one of an additive endorsed by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Club, Ethanolmate, which stabilises ethanol blended fuels. To put it simply modern fuel left in a tank tends to break down and becomes corrosive. Ethanolmate stops this process so reducing the damage this mixture can cause to pipes, unions, carburettors etc.

As many as possible of Flexolite products are sourced and manufactured in Britain. We make up hoses to order for brake or fuel systems and have 100s of specification on file. If you can supply a pattern or detailed information Flexolite can produce hoses to your specific requirements.

Always ready to help, please contact Sue Wheildon, Flexolite, Old Brickwood Farm, West Grimstead, SALISBURY, Wiltshire SP5 3RN. Tel. 01722 712829 e.mail: Web site:

Editor’s Note: I thought that I would show the side-laced wheels which James Wheildon rebuilt for me. They are now shod with 400 x 19 Blockleys and will go on my PB later this year. I had the tyres fitted by Peter Briffitt of Bridge Garage, Bleadon, North Somerset. Peter is ‘old school’ (not many left!) and is very keen to keep our cars on the road. Peter, (contact details 01934 812206) is on our list of T-Type Friendly Garages, is an MoT station and has attendant fuel delivered service (rare these days). He corrected the camber on Derek Pearce’s TA and I know that Derek was pleased with the work done on his front axle.

Hagerty Classic Car Insurance

1 May

Who are we? Believe it or not, Hagerty Insurance Agency is the largest classic car insurer in America with over 450,000 policyholders.

Hagerty International Ltd started in the UK in 2006 and our combined policy count makes us the largest classic car insurance company in the world.

We are thrilled to be working in partnership with John and his son Steve – between them they are producing an excellent publication and I know you all enjoy reading and know that this is a ‘font of knowledge’ for many of you.

John suggested it would be rather nice for us to include an item about some of the staff working at Hagerty so that when you call, you have an image in your mind of who you are speaking to – we are a relatively small team of just 16 and are working hard to raise our brand awareness without dropping our high standards of customer service.

We also concentrate on ensuring that we retain our competitive edge, and what sets us apart is not only our experienced team of classic car owners, but also our ability to maintain our premiums at a consistent level. We can achieve this consistency because we do not offer cover on modern or everyday use vehicles, nor do we offer household, life or pet insurance – all of which have contributed to an increase in premium for some of our competitors.

Here follows a short biography of just a few of our staff – selected in no particular order!

Charlie Patterson – Born and schooled in Windsor, previously worked with modern Motor Manufacturers such as Rover Group, SAAB and Nissan and joined Hagerty in 2008 as a Valuations Underwriter.

“I have always had a passion for classic cars in particular, although additionally, I have an interest in Aircraft and Boats as well. I believe this stems from my family background; my father and older brother often had a restoration project at home, whether a 1960s moped or even vintage Tractor at one stage, it obviously rubbed off on me and I have owned various classic cars for the last 20 years. They can be such good investments if (and it’s a BIG if) you buy the right car for the right money and keep it in tip top condition.”

Charlie is our expert on vehicle valuations – and do remember, we provide agreed value from policy inception. We must have this backed up with photos and we re-evaluate every three years.

Ian Arthur – Originally from the Isle of Man.

“My interest of all things old and mechanical came from my late father at an early age, my interest quickly grew into classic cars and motorcycles. I am currently the custodian of the family Morgan which was purchased new by my late grandfather and has been passed down the family since and a 1962 Land rover which I learnt to drive in when I was 6. My ‘never’ project is an early Range Rover which has been in various stages of rebuild for nearly a decade, every year I promise myself this will be the Range Rover year.”

Phil Dunne – Born in a little mining Village in South Yorkshire.

“I moved to Silverstone in 1992 after working in Engineering at British Steel. I started working part time at Silverstone Circuit then full time at their Driving Centre as Front of House Manager for many years. Dealt with Formula 1 administration through to Club events at various circuits, both here in the UK and Europe.

Interested in classics as a very small boy with Grandfather’s passion for Jaguars and racing in the 70s with my Uncle as a 7 year old pit crew!

Cars in the past have been varied from Mk1 Escorts to a late Alfa Romeo Spyder, Morris’s to a Figaro! Have a 1971 Lotus Europa in need of TLC but I will wait on my big 50 present for that!. Spitfire in the pipelines!! Put simply I am a Petrol Head!”

Janet César (pictured with Phil in the ‘POW – ZAP’ photo)

Born in Aldershot – therein lies a clue… most jobs I have had involve customer service from hotel management to running Silverstone Racing Club, which I did for nearly 8 years. My role at Hagerty is to reach out to the classic car community across the UK and raise our brand awareness. I do this by attending club meetings, events, shows and rallies. We will also support by advertising, promoting and hands on help with club events. If you are involved with a club and would like to know more – please do not hesitate to call. P.S. my surname rhymes with bizarre!

Please call us on:


You MUST quote the following promotional code:


in order to obtain the Totally T-Type 2 Hagerty Insurance discount!

Editor’s Note: I first became aware of Hagerty in May 2012 when the insurance premium on my PB fell due for renewal. Although I was aware of their major presence in North America, I was (until 2012) unaware of their presence in the UK and I now see from the article that they have been operating here since 2006!

I was impressed with their customer service and was pleased with the competitive quote offered, which was lower by some considerable margin than the two insurers with whom I had dealt with previously.

I passed on Hagerty’s details to a few of my close MG friends, who subsequently insured their cars with the company and the relationship developed from there.

MG TA Water Pump & MGB Fan

1 May

My water pump failed on a recent trip back from Brooklands, luckily only a few miles from home. The ignition light also came on so at first I thought the fan belt had failed. However, once home, I discovered that the belt was still in place but the pulley was flopping about.

I removed the whole pump/fan/thermostat assembly (see details below) and discovered the pump impeller centre had collapsed and let the shaft locking pin fall out, loosening up the shaft and pulley (Figure 1).

Figure 1 – the collapsed pump impeller centre.

I was lucky that the whole lot did not travel further forward and chew up the radiator. I later fished out a lump of moulded plastic from the header tank, which fitted perfectly over the broken impeller, so it had been “repaired” with this rather than replacing the impeller. Humpf!

The pump had been reconditioned during the car restoration and had only done 2,100 miles before failure. I sent the pump and a used spare off to EP Services for a complete rebuild. EPS supplied all new internal parts except the shaft and inlet donut – impeller, seal, Oilite internal bearing and a sealed outer bearing. They also checked and trued the pulley and centre taper. The cost per pump was £75 + tax & shipping. (Please note I have no connection with EPS, other than being a satisfied customer, see advert in TTT2.) The impeller supplied (Figure 2) was a much improved 6-vane angled design, rather than the original 4- vane straight design. This should give a faster smoother coolant flow, and so far seems to be excellent in service. It was interesting to note that my spare pump impeller looked like it would fail in a similar way if ever put back into service.

Other points of note in this exercise:

Fan – As I intend at some point to take the car to hotter climates, amongst other things, I fitted an MGB fan during the restoration. This is an excellent and hardly noticeable modification and really works well. It is easy to do and the parts required are shown in Figure 3. The original greaser extension was omitted to provide about one inch clearance between the MGB fan and the radiator, so the new sealed bearing solves the omission of the greasing capability.

Figure 2 – the replacement (and much improved) six angled vane impeller.

Figure 3 – shows the parts required to fit a seven bladed (plastic) MGB fan.

Pump fixings – Brian Rainbow suggested recently that replacing the studs with bolts enabled the pump and hence the cylinder head to be removed without disturbing the radiator assembly. Well, having done this some time ago after a head gasket failure, I was able to remove the pump, fan, thermostat and top hose all as one assembly in under one hour. I just had to swing the dynamo outwards and undo the nearside radiator stay to give clearance. Replacement is just as easy, particularly pivoting the complete assembly on one bolt only, to align and fit the top hose. See Figure 3 for bolt details. Wonderful suggestion, thank you Brian!

The labels read:

Fan Bolts – All M5x0.9 pitch: 4 off 12mm thread length, with SS washers
O-ring – 25-30mm ID, 2mm thick (centres fan)
Pump bolts – M8x1.0 (fine), Hex 2x30mm thread length, Hex 1x50mm; Cap Head* 1x25mm
Washers – 4 spring lock washers

* This is fitted at the Offside upper stud location as spanner access is severely restricted. An hexagonal key or socket extension provides ample access for tightening and removal.

Pump lubrication – As both pumps only had a plain hole above the Oilite bearing, I sourced two flip-top oil lubricators and tapped the holes to M6 x 1.0, as for most of the MPJG engine bolting. NB. Only late TAs use oil here, as early ones used a greaser.

Ian Linton

Manchester XPAG Project Newsletter – April 2013

1 May

The engine mounts have been installed and the engine has been loaded onto the test bed, including a simulated exhaust system and temperature controlled cooling water supply. The fuel tanks have also arrived at the University and currently the technicians are preparing for fuel purchasing (BP Ultimate and UL91 avgas). There was a minor problem with the rear mounting plate. There were some inaccuracies with the position of the holes in the plate and some holes in the engine had stripped threads. Fortunately, this proved not to be a major issue as the technicians have managed to install the back mount using the remaining holes.

While the remote control system for the engine is being installed, the students have been working towards making sure their propropsed solutions to the overheating problem are ready to be tested. The students presented these proposals in their very interesting talk at the MG T Register Rebuild seminar. They are also planning to trial a fuel recirculation system and assess the effectiveness of a heat shield. The design for the fuel recirculation system has been finalised and a heat shield has been sourced from Barrie Jones.

The team will shortly begin work on its final presentation and report for internal assessment; these are due shortly after the Easter break. A technical report will also be produced which will act as a “scientific” manual for the kit being produced. The fuel recirculation system will be manufactured within the next 2 weeks, after which testing will commence and various data will be gathered and subsequently processed.

With the engine now connected to a water brake- type dynamometer, it is possible to run it at a set RPM and measure the torque the engine delivers. Coupled with the additional temperature and mixture sensors that have been installed, this will allow the students to perform a far greater range of more accurate measurements than possible on a rolling road. By varying factors such as timing and mixture they will be able to produce an ideal tuning map for the engine with the different fuels and assess the effectiveness of their proposed solutions.

If all goes to plan we should start to see results emerging over April.

Paul Ireland

Ed’s Note: Space does not permit the inclusion of the presentation which the students gave to the T Register ‘Rebuild’ Seminar, but it can be viewed here: XPAG Project Presentation (10mb – large download)

Photos show two views of the engine on the test bed, a schematic diagram of a water brake-type dynamometer and a ‘shot’ of the dynamometer.

MG TC Special from Down Under

1 May

Stewart Kendell has re-created the Golden Era of motor racing with this meticulous restoration and construction of a MG TC Special. The Special has been featured in a publication of the MG Car Club Canberra by Jim Gibson and Jim has given permission for the Editor to adapt it for publication in TTT 2.

Photo 1 – Stewart Kendell’s TC Special.

The clean and simple lines of the MG TC really epitomised the evolution of design of the immediate pre- and post-war British affordable sports car. It was eminently suitable for its intended purpose with absolutely no decoration – a great example of simplicity being the essence of function and beauty.

Stewart Kendell, the restorer/constructor of the MG TC Special in this article, was well aware of the pitfalls of deviating from the Factory original specs in the knowledge that they can be many and unforeseen. Subsequent remedies can be costly, time consuming and frustrating, and in themselves can lead to later problems.

After two successful careers plus two ten-year TC restorations, Stewart decided at the age of 75, that he would take on this project and give it a go anyway. Six years later and now aged 81, the little racer was finished and at its first two outings it won three trophies.
So what makes a normally sane man with no formal qualifications in design, engineering or metallurgy, believe he can produce something as good as, or even nearly as good as, a famous automobile manufacturer? The first answer is “delusions” and the second is “No he can’t.” quips Stewart.

The two guiding principles were that workmanship must be of the highest quality and the final overall visual impression, from any angle, should fit comfortably into the period of the TB/TC. Sounds simple enough, but the execution is another matter entirely.

The car is 20kg lighter than a TC. The GRP (fibreglass) body from the bonnet back is much lighter than the original, but the internal steel frame and roll bar fully braced sub frame negates much of this saving. The bonnet, lower panels and cycle guards are also steel.

Even though this restoration is of a 1948 TC, Stewart wanted to re-create the glory days of the 1930s when MGs, like the K3 Magnette racer for instance, ruled the racing circuits. These cars were successfully raced in 1933, winning the 1100 cc class in the Mille Miglia driven by Capt. George Eyston and Count Lurani. The K3 also scored an outright victory in the Ulster RAC Tourist Trophy (TT) race, where the car was driven by the legendary, Tazio Nuvolari, at an average speed of 78.65mph. The K3 attracted many great names in the racing world – Sir Tim Birkin of Bentley fame, Whitney Straight and ‘Hammy’ Hamilton.

Getting started

Stewart had been through a bout of illness and after his recuperation said to his wife Helen – “I need some therapy in the form of a car restoration, something I can create with my own hands” – so after a nod from Helen the search began.

He’d owned many MGs from the square-rigger T– Types to the very smooth-lined MGA and B models. However, he was particularly fond of the iconic TC.

He found one in Sydney that someone else had partly assembled and was for sale, together with parts collected over a 20-year period. The boat tail GRP body came later, one of nine manufactured years before by Graham Paine in Melbourne. It was to be fitted in lieu of the standard TC wood and steel version. The detail in the fibreglass moulding is superb – what would have been rivets on an original steel body have been replicated and look very authentic.

The rolling chassis and associated parts arrived on a trailer at Stewart’s house in Surf Beach on the NSW South Coast. This became the start of a 51⁄2- year journey in bringing this unique little sports car to life.

Stewart’s meticulous attention to detail is demonstrated in its first-class presentation – this was no ordinary restoration.

The Execution

Stewart painstakingly manufactured the many additional special components needed, striving for accuracy and only used outside artisans for the body painting and seat upholstery. However he did work in an advisory capacity, in conjunction with local area tradesmen on specialist stainless steel welding and high-quality machine shop fitting and turning.

A steel frame had to be constructed and fitted to the TC’s chassis and the chassis had to be shortened at the rear.

Photo 2 shows the steel frame fitted to the chassis.

As Stewart pointed out before starting the project, there are pitfalls when deviating from standard specification. He found on several occasions that had he been a couple of steps ahead of himself, he would have fitted some components in a slightly different position, because in not doing so, another part, when he came to its fitment, had to be repositioned.

The TC’s 19-inch spoke wheels had rusted and the brake drums were not serviceable, so once again with attention to detail being the criterion – brand new ones were ordered (very expensive, but necessary) as the finished product had to be perfect.

After the engine sludge was removed, the engine was reconditioned. It has a standard bore and stroke – the bearings are standard thanks to a pristine Wolseley crankshaft, which was part of the treasure trove of parts (as there’s a lot of commonality between the XPAG [MG] and XPAW [Wolseley] engines of the day). Stewart also has another XPAG engine, which can be suitably modified as a racing engine, should more power be needed in the future.

The gearbox is standard TC, but the differential’s crown wheel and pinion are Morris Minor 4.55:1 taller ratio.

He painstakingly cut holes in the dash to house the instruments and controls and then covered it with green vinyl to match the leather seats.

The front mudguards and stays were a challenge, he says, “It took me several attempts to position them correctly, to allow clearance for front wheel cut.”

To see this little sports car in the flesh is a delight for anyone with an eye for early 20th century red- blooded sports/racing cars.

Ed’s note: A very pleasing result and looks a nice practical car to drive. Chassis number is TC4486.

Photo 3 – the dash has the original instruments, albeit arranged differently.

Photo 4 – much the same engine bay as a standard TC

Photo 5 – view from the rear