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Lost & Found

1 Mar

BKV 67 (TA0346)

In looking through some old photos, Bob Lyell came across this period one of BKV 67. Bob would have taken it at Oulton Park in the early 1970s when he owned a TC (more about this in the next item).

The car is on the T-Database and is on the road.

Bob would be pleased to forward the original photo to the current owner, if s/he cares to get in touch with the Editor at jj(at)ttypes.org {Please substitute @ for (at)}.

FBT 113 (TC30??)

This is the TC that Bob Lyell owned in the late 1960s. He recalls the following:

“Still at school, I found it in a poor state in the village of Cheslyn Hay, Staffordshire in 1967 or 68. A friend’s father towed it home for me and I spent a couple of years patching it up, sufficient to get it through an MOT. I now realise that it was ex-police with black paint being revealed under the many layers of paint and filler and having a larger than normal bonnet bulge, although someone explained that away at the time as provision for a previous supercharger installation, I believed him. I ran it for about a year before selling it in 1970/71, I can remember some details of the purchaser, as by then I lived in Crewe and agreed to deliver some spare parts as part of the deal, the purchaser had a farm very close to the Jodrell Bank radio telescope.”

Bob sent me an invoice from our old friends, Archway Engineering in Manchester. Included on the invoice were six 8 penny clutch bolts for 4 shillings.

He also recalled that in those early days he met Harry Crutchley, who was ‘just up the road’ from where he was living at the time and joined the Octagon as member number 93.

Ed’s note: FBT 113 is an ex-East Riding of Yorkshire police car (we think it is TC3070). There is a photo of the car, pictured as just one of the whole fleet at the time on The British Police History website. I am seeking permission to publish it.

KOE 194 (TC10223) and MRK 528 (TF????)

Ian Potts has been in touch regarding these two T-Types owned by him in the 1970s. KOE 194 has previously featured in Issue 44, but nothing has been forthcoming. I was however, able to show the picture that Ian sent to Sam Walker, who lives just around the corner from me. Sam owned the car over 60 years ago and sold it to raise a deposit on a house. Whilst KOE 194 is still around, that may not be the case for MRK 528, a lovely looking car.

CBJ 84 (TA0635)

Octagon member, Clint Smith has been in touch regarding this TA. He told me the following remarkable story:

Amazingly, at a car meet last year, I got talking to a chap who told me his first car was a TA. Without asking him he told me the registration number CBJ 84 and it turned out to be the very person from whom my father had purchased the car 55 years earlier!

Clint is keen to make contact with the current owner to pass on some of the car’s history and talk about his period of ownership up to round 1974.

The picture shows the car part way through restoration in the mid-60s. It is currently SORN’d.

MG TD (HJF 197)

Andrew Scott is trying to get in touch with the current owner of his late father’s 1952 TD. The photograph, which has recently come to light, was taken sometime prior to 1959.

His dad, who died at the age of 91, was a life-long MG enthusiast and Andrew still owns his last car, a1964 MGB, registration number AAY 2 B.

A DVLA enquiry shows that the TD is on the road and taxed.

Any leads on this TD (HJF 197) and TA (CBJ 84) to jj(at)ttypes.org [please substitute @ for (at)]

KPF195 (TC0924)

I’ve had an enquiry from a former owner of this TC. He thinks that the car might have gone to Switzerland. Any information to the Editor, please at the above e-mail address.

GAP 811 (TD10913)

A few weeks’ ago, the Editor noticed a ‘LOST AND FOUND’ entry in the MG Owners Club magazine Enjoying MG. It was from Patrick Havill, a previous owner of MG TD registration mark GAP 811. The offer of an entry in TTT 2’s ‘Lost & Found’ column was made and readily accepted. Here’s a period photo of the car taken in 1962 when Patrick won his class in the car, his first award in a speed event.

In the meantime, Patrick mentioned his quest in a phone conversation to a friend of his. Success! His friend sent him a link to an advert on the web from 2016 in which there was some correspondence. On opening the link, there was his old TD, which had been looked after for over 30 years by the same owner. The advert also gave the address details of the current owner, who was contacted by Patrick and who invited him to visit and drive the car. The owner agreed to sell GAP 811 to Patrick in view of his previous ownership and competition success with the car.

What a wonderful outcome!

GAP 811 back in Patrick Havill’s ownership after close on 55 years!

FRK 137 Where are you now?

Robert Mansfield has recently re-discovered a couple of photographs of a car he owned in 1965 when he and his wife were courting. The 1946 black TC had fawn interior and hood. Having checked with DVLA, it has a current SORN certificate.

It would be great to trace the owner to see how it looks now and to send photographs from 55 years ago. (photo will be included in next issue).

Secret (oil) escapes

1 Mar

Many engine designs are compromised somewhere, often by packaging or manufacturing process constraints; the XPAG is in my opinion no exception. So, having taken my engine out to fix 3 weeping core plugs, hopefully once and for all, I decided to take the opportunity to improve a critical aspect of the oil gallery which has concerned me since I first noticed it when building the engine. Ignored, it has the potential for a significant internal leak which cannot be seen and a pressure drop when hot.

Unlike the distributor, the location bore for the oil pump body is machined clean through the main oil gallery; the body is waisted where they intersect to allow oil to flow around it. Any leakage outwards is prevented by the joint face gasket, but inwards, which cannot be seen, relies on just a short (10mm) metal to metal fit between the end of the tubular pump body and the machined bore in the block. The issue is referred to briefly in Michael Sherrell’s red book, page 139, but no solution offered.

Cross section through oil pump

As best I could measure it I had a 3 thou gap, so I resolved it by machining a groove in the body to take a 25mm x 1.5mm O ring to provide a more effective seal.

O ring in groove

Reassembly will require care and a good lubricant because the edges of the gallery which the O ring has to slide past are sharp and will it make any difference? I will probably never know but with the engine out it was relatively easy and makes me feel better, peace of mind.

I like to build an engine where maximum oil flow is delivered to the bearings and where the pressure is managed by the relief valve, not by unintended leaks which replace its function when the oil is hot.

For the same reason I had already blanked off the vertical drilling in each rocker with an M3 grub screw. Dictated by the shape of the rocker arm, these holes had to be drilled down from the top to complete the lubrication path between the pressurized bush and the horizontal drilling out to the pushrod cup. But I am convinced the open end should then have been plugged in manufacture.

Tapped M3 to take a grub screw

Ed’s note:

Regarding the issue of blanking off the vertical drilling in each rocker with an M3 grub screw, this was covered in an article entitled Mods and Rockers by Brian Rainbow in Issue 27. Here’s an extract (the diagram referred to has not been reproduced).

I found an article by Don Jackson in an old ‘Octagon Bulletin’ #198 dated July 1986. It explains that “these holes should have been blanked off in production, so you are only correcting a fault that shouldn’t have occurred in the first place. The result will be proper pressure-fed lubrication of the rocker bushes, improved lubrication of the tappets, and a vast reduction in the amount of oil swilling around in the rocker cover. You will also gain a few pounds per square inch oil pressure as a bonus!” The diagram that Don drew is reproduced below (diagram 1) and explains the problem. If you have ever run your engine with the rocker cover off, the eight holes look like mini ‘oil geysers’, with loads of oil oozing out!

Bits and Pieces

1 Mar

Thermostat Housing – The following has been received from Martin Holloway:

“The issue of overheating in T series cars has been covered at length, both here and elsewhere. Causes seem to be many and varied, and solutions range from replacement or re-cored radiators, replacement radiator fans and so on. One aspect that I have not seen mentioned is the thermostat – or more specifically, the thermostat housing.

The XPAG engine originally had a non-replaceable thermostat in a cast iron housing. Many T series owners have replaced the original housing with a new aluminium one, re-engineered to take a modern, replaceable thermostat. These are available from many suppliers. I fitted one to my TC as part of a recent rebuild.  

A year or so after rebuilding the engine I had occasion to remove the radiator top hose. I found, to my horror, that the thermostat was blocked with a large quantity of aluminium debris; in fact, the area of the housing above the thermostat was full of an aluminium paste.

I have included a couple of photographs of the cast aluminium thermostat housing after removal and cleaning. The extent of the corrosion is extraordinary; what you cannot see is the quantity of corroded aluminium paste scraped from the thermostat before removal, and that the upper hose seating rim has been reduced to the consistency of pastry – it distorts and crumbles under light hand pressure. The damage to the rim is not as a consequence of a ham-fisted removal of the top hose but what happened when I squeezed the rim with my thumb.

And this in less than a year and five hundred miles – with an aluminium suitable corrosion inhibitor in the coolant, a re-cored radiator and a chemically cleaned (and thoroughly flushed) block and head.

I replaced the housing with a beautifully machined one in stainless steel from Tom Lange – mgtrepair.net  There are further photographs detailing the corrosion problems with aluminium housings on his website.

So; if you have fitted a replacement aluminium thermostat housing to your T series, it may be worth spending literally just a few minutes lifting the radiator top hose to take a look.

Ed’s note: This is most worrying. I wonder if one of the poorer grades of aluminium has been used?

TA head gaskets

Gordon Norman has had a solid copper head gasket made for his TA MPJG engine and it has proved a success. He has paid for the programming of the CNC water jet cutting machine and can now offer these head gaskets for £98.00 each, sent worldwide at the appropriate postage for the country in question. He says that these gaskets, which are made in England, are not available anywhere else at the moment.

Enquiries to Gordon at: gnorman(at)gnorman.karoo.co.uk {Please substitute @ for (at)}

Set of 4 165 SR 15 Michelin XZX OFFER

Longstone Tyres are currently offering a set of four of these tyres for £349.20 (£420 for a set of five). I am shortly going to order a set and get them fitted and balanced by Steve Chave in Semley, near Shaftesbury, Dorset. Those who can balance wire wheels are few and far between. I’ll let you know how I get on in the next issue.

Restoration of the MG Hennefahrt

The car is a MG TD MK II special and possibly the only one of the custom-built bodies made under German post war production which survived in Europe (some may be in the US). It was the subject of an article in TTT 2 Issue 34 (February 2016) by Georg Rahm. Georg has recently been along to the premises of Rainer Kuehner, who is restoring the car and is currently working on the shell and paint work. He sent this picture of the current state of the restoration and has promised to pen another article when the car is finished.

The original Brooklands Silencer

Ian Ailes has kindly sent in the following:

“The original Brooklands Silencer was made here from 1924 at Yard Metal Works in Ship Yard, behind the Ship Hotel and next to (today) Waitrose just off the High Street in Weybridge, Surrey.  It was founded by Les Anstead and his son Derek took over the business as a blacksmith until his death in 2011.  It is still there.

Derek often found me bits of metal to restore my TD.    

The race track is basically opposite St George’s Hill, one of the most expensive estates in England.  Needless to say, they complained about the noise so the silencer was introduced and the 24 hour race became the Brooklands Double 12, racing 7am-7pm Saturday and Sunday.”

Ed’s note: A fascinating piece of history. I wonder how long it will be before the building is demolished to make way for a new development?

Manchester XPAG tests – the conclusion

Paul Ireland has written up the last in his series of the Manchester XPAG tests. Regrettably, I do not have the space to include it in this issue, but it will be in the next.

Dave’s Donuts

You must have been ‘eating’ them, because I only have three (3) pairs left from an initial order of 20 pairs. I will be taking these to the MG Spares Day at Stoneleigh on 10th February and will, in the meantime, order another 20 pairs.

The Early M.G. Society Limited (EMGS)

Those of you who are members of the MG ‘T’ Society will know that the covering letter which comes with the automated e-mail, telling you that a new issue of TTT 2 has been published, gives a link to the latest issue of the EMGS Newsletter. The EMGS has recently re-vamped its website, which is well worth looking at. It is at www.earlymgsociety.co.uk

A hard to detect rattle

I recently received the following enquiry:

“I have a 1954 MG TF 1250cc engine, that seems to have suddenly developed a rattle from possibly the gearbox when I hit 35…. nothing until I hit 35.

All gear changes are smooth or as smooth as they can be. Can’t find the source when stationary, but as soon as I hit 35 it starts, if I lift off the gas slightly and dip below 35 it stops, doesn’t matter if I’m in 3rd or 4th it’s the same thing.”

Dr. James’ diagnosis was “probably propshaft”, but I thought it wise to check with the Consultant, so I asked Barrie Jones. Barrie came back with the following:

“I agree that a worn or loose UJ is the most likely cause. However, there are many other possibilities.

The gear lever remote shaft could be worn,
the alloy housing for the remote could require bushes, the damper on top could require a new spring or a new damper (use MGB ones),
the rear stay on the bottom of the gearbox could have its cup washer the wrong way round (see my book)***.

Also, I had this on my TF until I replaced the spigot bearing in the end of the crankshaft. A new one stopped the rattle immediately.”

*** Barrie’s book entitled Barrie’s Notes: Maintaining a 1955 MG TF in the 21st Century is available, priced at 6 GBP plus postage, from the T-Shop on the website www.ttypes.org It has sold hundreds of copies worldwide and I have just topped up my supply with another fifty (50) copies.

A wonderful little book for not very much money!

MG TB80 80th Anniversary 1939-2019

1 Mar

2019 will be the 80th anniversary of the entire production of the MG TB. To celebrate, we are holding an event specifically for MG TB owners. TB80 will be run alongside the MG Octagon Car Club’s Founders Weekend from the 10th to the 13th May 2019, which is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the MG Octagon Car Club.

The Founders weekend itself will be based at the Oxford Spires Hotel; however, due to the limited number of rooms reserved for the Founders weekend and no additional space available in the dining room at the Spires, TB80 will be based at the Bird in Hand Inn near Witney and will join the OCC on their runs on Saturday and Sunday.

The Bird in Hand http://birdinhandinn.co.uk is a charming 17th century Cotswolds country Inn with delightful en-suite rooms and serving superb food.

The rate we have negotiated for the 3 nights B&B for two people in a double room is £345; for single occupancy the rate is £280 for the 3 nights.

The Bird in Hand, White Oak Green, Hailey, WITNEY, Oxfordshire OX29 9XP.

Booking a room

As our allocation of rooms reserved for us had not been completely taken up by a date agreed with the Bird in Hand, we have had to release some of these. However, it is not too late to book.

To book a room please call the Bird in Hand on 01993-868-321, specifying that you are with the party for the TB80 weekend on the 10th to the 13th May 2019. Andrew, Tom and Jodie have all the full details but they can be very busy at times, the best time to contact them is between 10.00 and 12.00.

If you have any problems or questions you can also contact Mike Inglehearn (contact details below). Once you have made a booking please let Mike or Jeff Townsend (contact details below) know so we can keep a track of how the bookings and numbers are going.

The entry fee for the Founders weekend event will be £30 per car (reduced as we will not be joining the MGOCC in the evening at the Spires)

This promises to be a great weekend with daily runs organised by the MGOCC, great accommodation and superb meals, so make a note in your diary, get booking and let’s celebrate the 80th anniversary of the TB in style with a weekend to remember.

For more information contact Jeff Townsend (jeff.townsend(at)hotmail.co.uk) or Mike Inglehearn (mingle54(at)btinternet.com)

Update: It looks as though we will have up to twelve or possibly thirteen TBs at the event. Some participants live within relatively easy travelling distance and will be motoring on a daily basis.

Register of surviving TBs

To all TB owners,

With the 80th anniversary of the TB in 2019, I am trying to build a record/register of how many TBs are still in existence in some form or other. I am asking TB owners to contact me with details of their cars; what I would like is the chassis number, engine number, and current state, such as on the road, under/awaiting restoration or even just a chassis and bits in storage. Additionally (if happy), the current registration (licence plate) number and/or the original UK registration number (if known), the current colour, year of purchase, general area (town or county) and any other information you think would be of interest.

I would like to produce a list ready for TB80 in May, but advise what details you are happy to be published and which you wish to remain private. If you know of other TB owners who may not have seen this, perhaps you would pass my details to them.

When completed I will be happy to send a copy of the register to current owners who have sent details of their cars.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Mike Inglehearn (contact details above).

Hydraulic brake system transmission

1 Mar

A late issue with brake system of the TD entails my investigation and reflection. So, I was very keen reading the article of Paul Ireland regarding the brake drum in issue 49. Paul’s article focuses on the drum and brake shoe, the active part of the braking system. Brake drum and shoes are the place where dynamic energy of the car dissipates into heat to slow down the vehicle when brake is applied.

Only one point to complete Paul’s interesting article and the main topic of my discussion, will be about hydraulic transmission from master cylinder to wheel cylinders. Though this system is often explained in many documents, there remains some untold facts regarding the detailed design.

As Paul says, the one pivot system implies a leading shoe and a trailing one with a self-servo effect on the leading one. The stress on the leading shoe being greater than the trailing one, the wear of the lining is greater. Then it was a current practice to install a longer lining on the leading shoe to compensate for wear.

To compensate for shoe wear out, it is necessary to have an adjustable system to maintain the shoes as close as possible to the drum when the pedal is released. Until the 1960s, two manual systems may be found on different car makes. Both systems need regular adjustment to maintain a short action gap on the pedal.

The first system is based on an adjustable stop for the shoe when returning to stand by position. This is the Bendix system (a schematic is shown below). As lining wear out takes place, the shoe stop is manually advanced to maintain the same gap between the lining and the drum. Therefore, the lining wear out is compensated by additional fluid in pistons. Then the pistons and the cups operate at different positions in the cylinders as the stop adjustment goes along. It might be necessary to refill the fluid reservoir with this first system. Also, as the cup operates at a new position at each adjustment, a cylinder leak may immediately follow a brake adjustment because of cylinder local pitting or corrosion.

When flushing the fluid with this first system it is better to release the adjustable stop to empty the wheel cylinders.

The second system is implemented on TDs and other MGs. This is the Lockheed system. The micro adjuster that we all know adds a variable distance between the piston and the shoe. Therefore, the lining wear out is compensated by a mechanical part. The fluid in the system remains constant and minimal. The cup/piston always operates at the bottom of the cylinder which remains almost empty when brake is released.

I can only see advantages for this Lockheed system.

Figure 1 Bendix system for wear out compensation

Figure 2 Lockheed system for wear out compensation

Apart from a messy job, bleeding the TD brake system might become a hassle on these cars. Bleeding goal is to completely fill the system with fluid. In other words, bleeding goal is to take out any air from the whole system. Unfortunately, bleeders are only on wheel cylinders and some high points remain with air bubbles trapped in these points.

High points for TDs are the front hoses, the relaxing loop at each rear wheel brake plate and the rear cylinders of the front wheels. The pipe between both front wheel cylinders is also a high point. A quick depress of the pedal might probably push air out of those small diameters high points in front of the fluid.

But the rear cylinders of the front wheels may lead to some difficulties. Since both front wheel cylinders are identical, the input and bleeder of the front one is on top but the rear one input is on the lower part. Air remains trapped in this cylinder. Furthermore, when pushing the fluid to the front cylinder, the air inside the rear cylinder is away from any turbulence of the bleeding operation. On the web, we can find recommendations to fill this rear cylinder with fresh fluid by the cylinder itself before fitting the rubber cup and the piston.

The DOT3 and DOT4 fluids are soon contaminated with moisture. Pour some water in a DOT4 jar. At first, they do not mix but the day after there is only one liquid phase.

When brake pedal is released the cups are pushed inside the cylinders by the retaining spring of the shoes, but despite the cup pushes the fluid back to the master cylinder, the inner wall of the aluminum cylinders remains covered by a very thin layer of fluid which soon gums up with moisture. Dust covers are less than perfect. I guess that nowadays rubber boots are much more efficient. Brake after brake, stop after stop, the gum layers accumulate and the piston gets sticky inside the cylinder requiring maintenance.

The Lockheed Service Manual recommends to renew the fluid at intervals of 18 month. But it also recommends to exchange cylinders or at least cleanup the cylinders and renew all rubber cups every 3 years. I bet that except for racers, no TD driver follows this recommendation nowadays. So, don’t be surprised when finding a stuck or leaky cylinder. Lockheed was probably aware of its system weaknesses. Aluminum cylinders are implemented for their moisture robustness without any corrosion to the cylinder wall. A simple cleanup operation allows to recover from a stuck cylinder.

DOT3 and 4 fluids are quite cheap and regular flushing of the system is the minimum operation to perform.

But low points of the system prevent the fluid to be totally flushed out. Draining the fluid is usually done by the bleeders. By definition, bleeders are located in upper points. Chances are that the fluid in rear wheel cylinders, and front cylinders of front wheels is never drained out (see Figure 3).

Figure 3 Front wheel cylinders arrangement

Flexible hoses are also a usual source of malfunction. These hoses should be flexible to allow for differential movement of wheels and chassis. But they should keep their fluid volume constant; hence a very strong material. Inside diameter of such a hose is about 4 mm and the total length of the three flexible hoses is about 90 cm on a TD. Let’s assume that its length is constant under pressure. A diameter dilatation of only 10 % represents a volume of 2400 mm3. This volume is equivalent to a displacement of 6 mm of the master cylinder piston and a free movement of 25 mm of the brake pedal. Adding the 13 mm free play of the pedal and we get a total of 38 mm gap before brake pressure is applied to the drums. Three times the normal free play! Due to flexible hoses aging and expansion, the pedal may feel spongy despite a correct bleeding of the system.

Soft pedal feeling may also be caused by flexible hoses when they become almost clogged by a thick fluid. Probably a mix of old brake fluid and the degradation of the hose inner material. When the pedal is depressed, the clogged hoses restrict the fluid flow giving this soft feeling on the pedal until all the linings contact the brake drums.

DOT 5 based on silicon, is not prone to moisture degradation. Switching to DOT5 for our vintage vehicles is a real improvement regarding maintenance. But this fluid is not compatible with DOT4 or DOT3. More precisely, they don’t mix (see picture). So, no solid material could clog the small holes or the hoses. But since DOT3 and 4 are denser than DOT5, DOT3 and DOT4 would accumulate in low points; cylinders which are never drained out.

Thus, there would still be the moisture issue. That’s why an efficient switching to DOT5 needs a complete flushing and cleaning of the system, tubing, cylinders, hoses. Don’t forget the brake switch.

Another good feature of the Lockheed rear wheel pistons. The rear wheel cylinder piston is actually split into two pistons. When acting on the handbrake lever, only the outer piston is pushed by the lever thus preventing any air suction passed the cup. This is clearly explained in the Lockheed Service Manual, figure 25.

The hydraulic brake system could appear very simple once installed but it is a great part of design engineering. And we could also examine the relative strength of all the springs in the system which are thoroughly chosen. Compared to cable transmission system it has the huge advantage of being self-balanced on all wheels. Filled with DOT5, the hydraulic system requires no maintenance. A lifetime of 10 to 20 years is claimed by fluid manufacturers. I’ve been running the same DOT5 fluid in a car for 13 years without any issue. And the TD will switch to DOT5 for next season.

Ed’s note: This article was sent to me by Laurent Castel. Laurent’s written English is very good and I have had to make only a couple of alterations. I hope that readers will find the article interesting.

T–Types at the Circuit des Remparts France

1 Mar

Background

The Grand Circuit de Vitesse Automobile des Remparts (The Great Circuit of Automobile Speed of the Remparts), as it was originally called in 1939, was immediately given the nickname “Circuit des Remparts d’Angouleme, the name which has continued to this day. The then mayor of the city M. Guillon, along with the Municipal Council and the Prefecture, validated the original idea on the 2nd July 1939. The course measured just over 1.2km or about 0.8 miles and consisted of two short straights, three right angle bends, a large rapid corner and three hairpin bends. All created within the old city walls or ramparts – hence the name. The course is unique as it remains completely unchanged and together with Monaco and the grand prix circuit at Pau, is one of the few remaining city centre racing circuits.

Nine drivers joined the very first Circuit des Remparts d’Angoulême, (the original poster advertising the first race is shown opposite) and among them were some of the most well-known racing names of the day. One of these, Raymond Sommer, went on to win the race and set the best lap time at 1mn 10s in his Alfa Romeo. The race on the 1.279 km course consisted of two qualifying rounds of 40 laps each (with a total distance of 51.16 km) and a finale of 70 laps (with a total distance of 89.53 km). The cars included Bugattis, Delahayes, Maseratis and one MG K3!

A lot has happened since that first race. In 1950 Juan-Manuel Fangio participated and, as expected, won with a new lap time of 1mn 3 secs. Since then, a number of world famous racing drivers have participated, including Stirling Moss, John Surtees, Didier Pironi and more recently Derek Bell – in a blower Bentley no less!

1955 saw major changes to racing following the tragic accident at Le Mans and the fact that the cars were now becoming far too fast for tight urban circuits. Indeed, for a time, racing was stopped at Angouleme.

In 1978 the Circuit des Remparts was revived by the then mayor, Jean-Michel Boucheron. He organized the idea of retrospective historic racing with some 60 cars taking part. The event was opened by Juan-Manuel Fangio and was a huge success. However, the circuit lacked homologation and after great efforts this was achieved in July 1983. Since then, the event has kept its historic theme.

The Circuit des Remparts actually takes place over three days and is always held on the third weekend in September. The Friday evening is given to a concours d’elegance, where some 30 selected cars and their owners parade in front of the crowd in the main square.

Saturday is the Rallye. This is divided into two parts; an International Rallye and a Club Rallye. The International is, as the name suggests, given over to international entries, who complete a roughly 200 km course around the beautiful Charente countryside. They stop for a superb lunch at a local chateau.

The Club Rallye is to enable local classic and historic vehicle clubs to participate and is very well supported. If you don’t get your entry in early, you won’t get a place. (I do mine the week after the event for the following year!).

This year the Club Rallye was well supported by a number of MGs of various types and vintages including – yes, you’ve guessed it … T- Types.

One well known participant who has taken part over a number of years is Mike Inglehearn with his wife, Angie. Their TB (TB0457) is pictured below.

TB0457 was actually registered on 3rd September 1939, the day WW2 was declared. There is no evidence the car was responsible!

TDs were also well represented……

and……Ok, it’s not strictly a T-Type, but we are all well aware of the origins of the TD and anyway, it was a beautifully presented saloon.

Sunday is given over to the racing. There are a number of events or plateau as the French term them. 2018 saw the following;

Plateau Raymond Sommer: Racing grid of Pre-war cars of less than 1500 cm3 (FFSA race). Twenty-six cars on the grid.

Plateau Maurice Trintignant: Racing grid of Pre-war cars of more than 1500 cm3 (FFSA race). Twenty-six cars on the grid.

Plateau Marc Nicolosi: Racing grid of Bugattis, Types 13, 37, 35, 51 and 59 (race FFSA). 26 Cars on the grid, of all cylinders, from 1910 to 1939.

Plateau Archibald Frazer Nash: Racing grid of Frazer Nash (FFSA race). Twenty-six cars on the grid.

Plateau Louis rosier: Racing grid of Prototype category Le Mans and Mille Miglia (FFSA race). 24 Cars on the grid.

Whilst they are all fantastic grids – where else would you see 26 original and very expensive Bugattis being raced? – and I do mean thrown around the circuit with no quarter given! – the one that interests the T- Type enthusiast is Trintignant with no less than six MGs racing. Three TBs, a TA and two K3s.

Above: Some Ts weren’t necessarily “standard” engine configuration. Below: Luke Baker’s TB having its picture taken.

Cockpit of Luke Baker’s TB

More info at:- https://www.circuitdesremparts.com

2019 marks the 80th anniversary of the Circuit des Remparts. It’s also the 80th anniversary of the TB. The organisers are well aware of this and depending on the number of TBs that come to Angouleme – not necessarily to race – I think they would like to put on a little something special for them.

It’s worth coming just to see the cars and the racing on the Sunday. Where else would you see a Bugatti line up like this? Seats in the stands are quite reasonable from 49 Euros. You get a wrist band to wear and this entitles you to entry into the pits which is a great experience. Not one that can be enjoyed at other historic racing venues.

The site does have an English translation and for those who wish to enter there is a telephone number for an English helpline. You’ll get through to Teresa – don’t upset her she’s a good friend of mine and I want to take part in 2019!

John Murray

Ed’s note: Thank you John for an informative article. Last pic shows the Baker TB in the line-up.

MG TA Tickford Rebuild Project

1 Mar

(Martin Curren says “It has been a long road to getting her back on the road, at times definitely a labour of love, but overall it has been well worthwhile”….)

MG TA chassis number 3184, engine number 3442, Tickford body number 4674.

MG build date 13th March 1939, Salmons & Son build date 15th to 21st April 1939.

I bought this car in 1968 in Plymouth. It was my first car and I subsequently ran it until 1976 as my daily car, including regular trips from Plymouth to Leeds where I got my degree. It was a runner when I bought it but it had no hood and only cycle wings on the front. I fitted full front wings and running boards and got a local trimmer to make up a rudimentary hood.

The car was laid up in 1976, not being suitable for our growing family, but I was always able keep it stored in the dry and hoped one day I would be able to restore it to its former glory. That chance came in 2010 when it became my first retirement project. This is the car before it was dismantled in 2010.

Between March and October 2010, I completely stripped the car down to bare chassis level. The chassis itself was sound apart from needing some repairs to the rear body mounts, repairs to the battery carriers and a new front pin for the rear spring hanger on the offside. I repaired these bits myself and then had it shot basted, primed and painted in satin black. I got a local engineering shop to make me up a new pedal shaft drilled and tapped for a grease nipple so that I can lubricate the pedals.

The rolling chassis was built up in the usual way for any T Type with the possible exception of the road springs which I took to Jones Springs in Darlaston and asked for them to be reprofiled with an extra one inch lift to cope with the extra weight of the Tickford body. The springs seem to be standard TA ones but I thought it sensible to allow for the extra weight. The Tickford body adds at least another two hundredweight to the car compared to the standard body.

The Tickford has an additional metal sub frame mounted on the chassis and bolted to the front and rear outriggers plus additional mounts bolted each side adjacent to the front hand brake cable mount. These brackets are handed with the nearside one allowing for the two petrol pipes to run through it.

The subframe on my car was badly corroded and needed quite a bit of new metal welded in to certain parts. I made up a wooden jig to keep the shape correct while I made the repairs. This frame provides the essential shape for the rear wheel inner arches and acts as a mount for the wood frame uprights for the bulkhead, the door posts and the wood over the rear arches.

The repaired subframe was then mounted on the chassis and the scuttle toe board and heel board fitted to ensure everything lined up. The scuttle is unique to the Tickford having an extra metal strip added around the outer edge making it slightly wider than the standard car. The scuttle on my car was in good condition and just needed cleaning and painting. Similarly, the toe board was fine and is the same as a standard TA. The heel board is an all steel one instead of the wooden one on the standard car. On my car, both outer edges had corroded badly and I made up new ends and welded them in. The battery cover over the rear axle is also unique to the Tickford, all in steel with two removable covers for the batteries. I made up a new one in place of the single sheet of aluminium on my car. The complete installation, together with the original floorboards, fitted together pretty well.

Progress then slowed down. The Tickford has two key brackets that form the curves at the back of the body tub bolted to the metal sub frame. These are made of aluminium and the brackets on my car had almost corroded away because when you have steel and aluminium in contact it is the latter that suffers the most. I had to find a source for some new brackets. Eventually, I located a small company in Bridgnorth who were prepared to have a go using what was left of my old parts as a pattern. Initial attempts failed to get the right shape but they finally got it right. However, it took the best part of a year to get them made. I also got the alloy pieces that act as rear mounts for the subframe cleaned up – these also support the petrol tank.

Above (left) pic shows one of the old rear body brackets and the one on the right shows the pair of newly made brackets in aluminium, using what was left of the old ones as a pattern.

During that time I also found a brass foundry in Telford that could make me some “pram irons” for the hood because these had always been missing on my car. They did a good job and stamped the body number on the inside of the pieces as per the originals.

By now it was 2012 and I started on the body frame to create a new tub. As with the standard TA all the body timbers are made of ash and there are 14 that make up the rear of the tub, another 14 that make up the scuttle and under door framework. Each door has another 8 pieces of wood. My car only had two pieces of the scuttle that were salvageable and two pieces of each door that could be used again. Fortunately, I had enough to create patterns for each piece.

I managed to find a large amount of seasoned ash and bought myself some woodworking kit, including a band saw, a planer, a belt sander and a router. Armed with this lot, I spent the next year making and fitting each individual piece until I had a complete frame and two doors that fitted. I assembled the windscreen to ensure the fit of the scuttle was right and would allow the opening screen to fit and seal properly. Quite a long time was then spent installing the winding window mechanisms into the doors to make sure they worked and would line up with the hood bows and door apertures.

The next job was to refurbish the hood bows, of which there are three with an additional front stick that mounts on the windscreen. The metal parts cleaned up fine but I decided the wood had to be replaced in every case and I also made new cant rails that swing over the tops of the doors. Once this was all done, I fitted the radiator and headlight brackets so that I could check the alignment of the bonnet and front wings. Finally, I made up new inner wheel arches at the rear from new steel since the old ones had almost rusted away. I made each out of two pieces spot welded together.

The body frame nearly finished, just the third hood bow to make.

In 2014 I felt the body was ready to be skinned and I looked for a specialist who could undertake the work, preferably not too far away, so that I could keep an eye on it and sort out queries if they arose. I was fortunate to find David Cale who runs Cales Specialists, just outside Worcester. David learnt his trade at the Morgan factory and has set up his own workshop specialising in bespoke bodywork. He had not worked on an MG Tickford before, but was confident he could do the job based on the frame I had built and a variety of patterns and pictures that I have. I had to wait nine months for him to be able to fit it in, but I’m glad I waited because he did a great job reskinning the complete tub and doors in aluminium. We discussed whether to do it in steel or aluminium and I opted for the latter to save weight, particularly for the doors, and also to limit future corrosion. He managed to get the swage line down each side lined up well with the bonnet tops. The bonnet tops are also unique to the Tickford, slightly wider at the scuttle and with a swage line down each side.

This was all finished by November 2014 and the car trailered back home.

In the meantime, I had stripped the engine down and thoroughly cleaned and inspected everything. The car has the original TA engine MPJG 3442 as first fitted to the car. It had been bored out to +80 and one bore was badly scored from the little end where the little end bolt had come slightly loose and allowed the pin to slide though the piston slightly. The most critical thing was the fact that the water jacket on the offside of the engine (manifold side) was badly cracked. Not that unusual for a TA but the cracks were extensive and I had previously tried to reduce water leaks with copious amounts of araldite. Despite all this, I was keen to stick with the original engine if possible. I decided to use Coventry Boring and Metalling after visiting them to look at their workshop and facilities and see what they could do. I was very pleased with their work and service.

I first asked them to repair the block and crack test the crankshaft. The crank was sound and I next asked them to pressure test the block and head; fortunately both turned out to be ok. So, the decision was made to sleeve the block back to standard, fit new pistons, re-metal all main and big end bearings, lightly skim the cylinder head and fit valve guides and seats suitable for modern fuel. I also persuaded them to lighten the flywheel by taking about 5 lbs off. I don’t think they had done this for a TA before but I felt that the standard TA flywheel was so heavy it would benefit from this – it is still very heavy!

I looked into the option of a counterbalanced crank but I decided to stick with the standard one and have the whole bottom end, including clutch assembly, fully balanced. This leaves the rotating mass a lot lighter than having a counterbalanced crank and, at the end of the day, you rarely rev these engines beyond 4,000 rpm.

I asked Newman cams to check the camshaft and see if it could be re profiled. They advised that there was too much wear and strongly advised that I have a new one. This was before the Octagon Car Club were able to supply them and it was expensive but I felt it was an important step in getting the engine running well. I also fitted new timing gears and timing chain from the MGOCC. I asked Coventry Boring to ensure that the new camshaft would fit the old bearings properly.

This was all done by February 2015 and I collected all the parts and started assembling the engine at home. I had already fitted the original back axle which just needed new bearings and some shimming and I had completely stripped and rebuilt the gearbox which was simply very dirty inside. The only thing I did was fit a new front seal for the input shaft. The engine and gearbox assembly was installed and running by the end of 2015.

During this time, I had also sorted out most of the parts that might need new chrome work. As well as the usual headlights, radiator surround and so on the Tickford has a wide array of various hood parts that need chroming as well as a comprehensive windscreen frame and brackets and catches that allow it to open from the top – all of which are chromed. In total there are 28 individual chrome parts associated with the hood in addition to the external beading and the rear window.

Some of the chrome parts associated with the windscreen and hood.

All these parts were cleaned up and checked for fit and about 80% needed to be re-chromed. I had the radiator surround repaired and re-chromed by S&T in Bristol but I opted to have all the other smaller parts done by Castle Chrome in Dudley. Both did a good job. At this stage I also needed to get all the rubber parts, most of which came from the MGOCC but some, being peculiar to the Tickford, I sourced elsewhere. This included the seal at the top of the windscreen and the seal that goes around the windscreen frame itself. Woollies and Phoenix Trim both have extensive ranges of rubber seals and other bits of trim; I also ordered from them the window channel felt used in the door windows.

I also needed the special grommets that fit in the bulkhead to seal the wiper spindles. I thought Y type ones might work but Pete at the Club dug some out and they were the wrong size. He very helpfully pointed me in the direction of Paul Beck and they had what I wanted. They were also able to supply window winder handles very similar to the originals. I also needed the correct door handles (my original ones were not right) and I sourced these from Peter Radcliffe in Hull who was still running the SVW business at the time. The driver’s door has a lock and the passenger door has an MG logo.

By this time, we were into 2016 and I did a trial fit of all the body panels prior to painting. Most of this is the same as for the standard TA with the exception of the petrol tank, which has special alloy mounts with studs fitted into the rear bodywork for the top of the tank straps and the tank sits on the special cast aluminium brackets previously noted. The other main difference is that the running boards have a different fitting arrangement underneath the doors. I think the original running boards must have been made specially for the Tickfords but I only had a pair of standard ones and adapted them to fit.

The car was originally a single tone green (Apple Green I think) but I decided to go for Duo Green which I thought would suit the car even better. Tom Wilson in the States was able to tell me that the two colours are Westminster Green (dark) and Almond Green (light). I got these mixed up in cellulose and opted to have a go at this myself. The results are not bad for an amateur and I certainly learnt a lot as I went along. I left the panels for a couple of months before fitting them so that the cellulose would have extra time to harden.

During that time, I stripped the instrument panel down and took all the interior wood trim back to bare wood before applying a new stain and several coats of varnish. I managed to clean and refurbish all the instruments myself and got everything working, even the clock. I also stripped the seats down to see what could be salvaged. I made new wooden bases but the seat backs and hinges are steel and they were fine after a coat of paint.

The spring backs were also good to use again. The base and front of the seat back are trimmed in leather but the rear of the seat back is trimmed in carpet. The trim is attached to wood strips attached to the outer edge of the seat back and I had to make new wood strips for both seats. I had the seats and door cards professionally trimmed in leather.

The carpet is Wilton produced in small quantities by the late David Tankard to the original patterns and colours available in the 1930s. In my case it is green with a black fleck. David was an avid collector of Tickfords and Tickford parts and it is sad to know that he never did realise his dream of driving a finished car on the road.

The seats are special to the Tickford and have a useful hinged back. Originally the bases were filled with an inflatable bladder and I can still remember using these when I first had the car and on a long trip they would always leak and deflate. Although new bladders are available, I opted to go for solid foam filled bases as a more practical arrangement. Dean Russell in Rubery did this trim work for me.

The car with painted tub and panels plus newly trimmed seats and door cards.

There were three main jobs to do next to get the car finally on the road; wiring, interior trim and the hood. I felt I could tackle the wiring and the interior trim myself but I would need a professional for the hood.

In terms of the electrics I had been thinking about the main elements for a while. In the main I have tried to keep the car as original as possible except where it was either safer or more practical to change things. I tried to adopt the same approach with the electrics. So I have kept the original third brush dynamo and CJR3 control box, the original distributor, coil and fuel pump and kept it all positive earth. The original wiring loom was only good as a pattern as was the dash loom. So, I bought a new loom for a positive earth TA from Autosparks with built in flashing indicators and this included a new dash loom.

The Tickford has the same electrical set up as the standard car, but with the addition of semaphore style trafficators, fitted just in front of each door, an underbonnet wiper motor driving individual wipers via a series of cranked arms under the dash and an interior light fitted on the hood bow just above the rear window.

I installed the new looms – both the dash and main loom – and first of all wired up the dash and fitted all the instrument panel lights. I then added extra wires for the trafficators, the wipers and the interior light. To reduce the load on the old third brush dynamo I decided to fit LED bulbs wherever possible. After much research I managed to find suitable bulbs for the panel lights, the interior light, front and rear sidelights and brake lights and the headlights. They reduce the load considerably and are brighter at the same time than the originals.

I managed to wire up the indicators in such a way that the trafficators work in unison with the front and rear orange flashing indicators. The arm comes up and the bulb flashes in line with the others, a bit like a side repeater.

I also decided, in the interests of safety, to fit an extra high-level brake light and chose a simple LED one mounted above the petrol tank. It is bolted to a stepped aluminium bracket that is clamped under the fuel tank straps. In this way no extra holes had to be drilled anywhere.

The original indicator switch was similar to those found on Morris Minors and positioned to the right of the Speedometer. My car had always had a stalk indicator switch fastened to the steering column and I opted to keep that as more practical and use the hole for the indicator switch for a water temperature gauge.

The underbonnet wiper motor next to the control box and the trafficator acting as a side repeater.

The interior light attached to the rear hood bow and a close up of the same.

My car was missing the interior light and the late Derek Hopper had a spare one which I bought from him. When he had finished building a couple of Tickfords himself Derek was very helpful with various patterns and measurements, as well as odd bits like this light.

A picture showing the rear light set up including the high-level brake light is shown below.

Once all this was complete, I could drive the car on the road and, subject to dry weather, since it still had no hood, I started to cover some miles and start running the engine in. I had also made a decision on my favoured professional to do the hood; I knew of three possibilities, Peter Radcliffe at SVW in Hull, Suffolk and Turley in Nuneaton and a self-employed specialist living near me in Worcestershire called Bernie Lewis. Peter had lots of experience of Tickford hoods, Suffolk and Turley had done at least one for Derek Hopper and the local person had not done a Tickford hood but was well recommended locally, although he had a long waiting list. I preferred to try the local option on the basis that it would save on transport distance and time and would mean that I could keep an eye on progress and resolve queries on the spot with the professional.

So, I called Bernie Lewis and agreed to drive the car to him so that he could see what was required. This was Easter 2017 and he had work lined up for the rest of the year. However, I felt confident that he would be able to do a good job and it was also obvious that he liked the look of the car and saw it as a good challenge. So, we agreed to aim for early 2018 and he would have the car for about 6 weeks. With his advice I bought the material needed for the hood, lining and external beading from Marstons in Digbeth, Birmingham and in the meantime, I started work on the interior trim.

Apart from the seats and door cards my car was missing all the interior trim. There are trim panels around the rear of the car and there are carpets covering the rear wheel arches, the battery cover, the heel board, the transmission tunnel, the floorboards, the gearbox cover and the front side foot wells. There was also a gaiter for the handbrake.

David Cale who skinned the body tub for me mentioned that he had done some work for someone with a TB Tickford and I was able to get in touch with the owner, Clive Brook. By good fortune he had stripped the trim out of the car and I was able to take photographs and cut out paper templates of all his trim pieces. In all there were 17 different trim pieces and this gave me a good guide as to what goes where.

Taking these patterns as my starting point, I cut out the trim panels to fit the rear of my car and covered them in PVC to match the leather used for the doors and seats. I also cut out all the carpet pieces for the rest of the trim and sourced an MG heel mat from NTG. I eventually got these to fit well and took all the carpet pieces to Dean Russell for him to bind the edges, stitch in the heel mat, insert lift a dot fasteners for the floor carpets and make up a handbrake gaiter. The original foot well arrangement was a single piece of carpet, each side stuck to the well and with a large pocket on the passenger side. I decided to alter this arrangement and carpet just the front part of each well, held in place by a vinyl covered trim piece at the rear of each well with a pocket in each.

Two shots showing different aspects of the trim panels and carpets for the Tickford.

Finally, I made up an additional vinyl covered box-cum-armrest that sits between the seats on the transmission tunnel. As well as general storage, this houses two modern USB charging points directly wired to the battery with negative earth. This enables me to charge modern equipment such as phones or a satnav if necessary.

This was all completed by the end of the summer of 2017 and I completed 600 miles by the end of the year and did an initial oil and filter change. The car then went into the garage to await the hood work scheduled for January 2018. I took a call from Bernie Lewis towards the end of November to say he had a gap in his workshop and could take the car in straight away. I jumped at the chance and said I would be there on the next dry day. I got the car into his workshop the following week, together with the material that I had bought earlier in the year. I took with me as many pictures as I could find showing Tickford hoods, including some from Bill Hentzen in the States, showing the hood on his car in various stages of completion. We talked through the various options in terms of fixings and fastenings and I left Bernie to decide how he was going to do it.

The following week he asked me to call in and talk through various aspects of the work, in particular the tensioning arrangement for the front part of the hood. We worked out the best way of getting the tensioning wire fitted, the correct positioning of the hood bows and the desired line of the hood over the top of the door windows.

Setting up the hood bows and tension wires for the hood prior to cutting out the fabric.

I then left Bernie to it for a couple of weeks and the next time I called in it was shaping up nicely.

The fully lined interior

We talked through the best line for the front of the hood and how to seal it on the windscreen and also how the straps would work to hold the furled front section of the hood in place when in the coupe-de-ville position. Bernie continued work through to the first week of January and I picked the car up on the 8th of January 2018 and drove it proudly home. It had proved to be a good decision to use Bernie Lewis – he had done a good job and the car now looked like a Tickford should. There is no doubt that the hood is a key component of the Tickford cars.

Since then the car has been in regular use, usually at least once a week. The first major outing was to the NAC at Stoneleigh in February where I joined several other T Types on the MG Octagon Car Club Stand.

The car has now done 2500 miles including a weekend trip to Plymouth to meet up with my brother and sisters in March, a trip to Abingdon to meet up with friends in April and a trip to Goodwood for the Classic Revival meeting in September where it attracted much attention as well. There have been the usual teething problems along the way but most of them minor. Two mechanical problems stopped me for a while, the first a failed condenser which cut low voltage supply to the distributor (fortunately I had a spare condenser) and secondly a broken pushrod which snapped clean in half. I was able to extricate the broken parts from the tappet chest and fitted a replacement with no serious damage done.

Compared to another ordinary TA I have fitted with an XPAG engine the performance is stately but I am actually surprised how well it goes, given the extra weight. There is less acceleration but once wound up it cruises along on A and B roads quite happily. It is snug inside and certainly not ideal for the taller person. It is ok for me at 5’10” but anyone much taller would struggle for headroom and legroom. The seats will not go as far back as the standard car because of the rear wheel arches. That said, it is a very comfortable ride and with the hood up very warm even in winter with no draughts – quite an unusual experience compared to the standard car where I usually need extra clothing. There is a little more body roll but the handling remains good and feels safe. I think in many ways the TA MPJG engine suits the character of the car very well.

It has been a long road to getting her back on the road, at times definitely a labour of love, but overall it has been well worthwhile and I have enjoyed the challenges and the new skills I have had to learn along the way. If anyone is interested in even more details about the Tickfords I would be very happy to share more information with them. Finally, my thanks, in particular to Bill Hentzen and Brian Rainbow for their help and encouragement during the rebuild project.

Ed’s note: Thank you Martin for a most informative article. Martin’s Tickford will be on display on the Octagon Car Club stand at the Practical Classics Restoration Show in March.

Shown below are Bill Hentzen’s TB Tickford (TB0437) and (I think) Milly Player’s TA Tickford (TA3079). Both cars are in the USA.

The Eskdale Run

1 Mar

I would have liked to have published this item in February’s TTT 2, but unfortunately, space did not permit. So, the reference to dark nights is a little out of date, because the nights are now opening up and we are looking forward to the new season. Over to Mel Howe, who has written this article………………

It’s that time of year when the dark nights are still upon us and the car runs are quiet. If you are anything like Kev (the better half), you will already have started “tinkering” in the garage, preparing your beloved cars for all the challenges 2019 has to offer…….

So, with hopefully nearly empty new diaries for the latter part of 2019 can I recommend a challenging run for you and your cars with the question…..who’s up for the challenge?

If so, please put the date in your diaries now for The Teesside Yesteryear Motor Clubs – ESKDALE RUN – always held on the first Sunday in September.

ESKDALE, the word to conjure up thoughts of beautiful hills and valleys with vast rolling spreads of purple covered moorlands, forming the renowned scenery of the North Yorkshire Moors. To the motorist it is the thought of narrow, winding, picturesque roads with some NOTORIOUSLY steep hills. In the past on roads such as these, reliability and regularity trials were organised to test those early vehicles.

Entry to the event is open to motorcycles and cars; non-members’ vehicles have to be registered before 1st January 1972. Entry is usually strictly limited to just over 90 participants (in 2018 there were 98 entries) with an entry fee of £15 for non-club members and please note – this Club will make you very welcome.

Shortly after the closing date, successful applicants receive notification of their start time and number, together with details of the route which is approximately 100 miles long, involving several well-known inclines.

The event commences from Coulby Newham at the Middlesbrough and District Motor Club where you will be issued with a rally plate and route book.

There are checkpoints and observers en-route and the route is extremely well marshalled.

Think you are up to it?……….

How about starting with a quick look at your road maps over a cup of coffee and have a “Google” of the following places….?

Carlton Bank ascent, Fryup Dale Bank ascent, Limber Hill ascent (33%), Egton High Moor Bank (ascent 33%), Rosedale Chimney Bank ascent NB: this road shares with Hardknott Pass in Cumbria the title of the steepest road in England. There is a maximum gradient of 1:3, and it climbs 568 feet on its 0.81mile route. Moving on to Blakey Bank ascent, Sandhill Bank and Sleddale Bank descents to name but a few….the ascents and descents on this event just keep on coming !

The first year we took part we entered Kev’s 1936 MG TA and completed the run in dense mist and fog …. a huge achievement when we have done the route since and reflected on the fact we were on unfamiliar moorland roads, hardly able to see a hand in front of our faces!

The following 2 years we have entered in my Austin Healey Frog Eye Sprite and for the past two years I have won the title of “best lady driver” and this year also won “best car 1946-1959”.

There are some lovely places to stay either prior to or after the event so why not make a weekend of it? and it’s also a perfect location for exploring Whitby, Goathland, Hutton-le-Hole; and for those of you who like traditional, unspoilt English pubs….try Birch Hall Pub at Beck Hole (you can’t pass by without sampling their delicious beer cake!)

So, are you up to the challenge and, will we see any more familiar faces at the 2019 Eskdale Road Safety Event?

NB: for some members this is their “local” event, whether taking part or marshalling. For the rest of you out there……. this one should be on your “bucket list”. Entry forms are available, July 2019.

Contact details for the event are as follows…. chairman(at)tymc.org.uk or terry.peacock(at)virginmedia.com

Above: It’s one of those fords again! Below: Kev and Mel’s TA climbing yet another ascent on the Run. A Mini Clubman can just be seen bringing up the rear.

Above: Mel’s Sprite on one of those spectacular climbs, followed by a Triumph TR4A. Below: Time for a stop. Behind can be seen, not one, but two Austin A40 Farinas. I haven’t seen one of these for ages!

The Editor

1 Mar

Welcome to Issue 53 – April 2019.

MG Era Day at Brooklands is being held on 14th April. According to a friend of mine, it was originally billed as celebrating 95 years of the MG Marque. However, this was until the organisers were politely informed that the 95th Anniversary was last year as in fact, the first Raworth bodied MGs were built and sold in 1923!

In response, the organisers said that they would change their marketing material to Celebrating 95 years of MG Production, from “Old Number One” to the present day, with displays of cars through the 10 decades of MG production.”

However, “Old Number One”, FC 7900, was originally registered as a Morris Cowley Sports on 27/3/1925 with Cecil Kimber as the registered owner, i.e. it was Kimber’s own car. Therefore, if one were to celebrate 95 years of MG production from “Old Number One”, the celebration would need to take place next year.

Whichever way one looks at it, 2019 has no significance as a 95th anniversary.

MG Era day is now being billed as celebrating 10 decades of MG Production.

Why does this matter? Well, it matters for the sake of historical accuracy, particularly as the Centenary celebration in 2023 will be upon us sooner than we think. Please remember that it should be 2023, not 2023/2024 or 2024!

This year sees the 50th anniversary of the founding of the MG Octagon Car Club and the 80th anniversary of the introduction of the TB. The Octagon will be holding a celebration dinner on Saturday evening 27th April at the Arden Hotel and Leisure Club, Coventry Road, Bickenhill, SOLIHULL B92 0EH. This venue is very close to the NEC and the M6/M42 motorways. If you are a MGOCC member (lots of readers of this publication are) and would like further details, including preferential rates for an overnight stay, please send an e-mail to the office at admin@mgoctagoncarclub.com

The Octagon follows up with its Founder’s Weekend in May, which is based at the Oxford Spires Hotel, Abingdon Road, Oxford. The dates are 10th to 13th May and Brian Rainbow can give you all the details. Please contact Brian at brian(at)brianjrainbow.free-online.co.uk {please substitute @ for (at)}.

At the time of composing this editorial there were only a handful of rooms left at the Oxford Spires, so it would be as well to check availability.

An update on the arrangements for TB 80, which is running alongside the Founder’s weekend can be found later in this issue.

In August, the TTT 2 Tour of Mid-Wales is being held, based at the Metropole Hotel & Spa in Llandrindod Wells.

The dates are 23/24/25 August 2019 with an optional stay on the 26th. 50 rooms have been reserved of which 25 have already been booked. The booking reference is ‘Octagon Car Club’ and a £20 non-refundable deposit per person is payable on booking (Telephone number 01597 823700). The rate for guests staying for 3 nights is £80 per person per night with a 50% reduction for those staying the extra night. There is no single room supplement – up to a minimum of 6 available.

Brian Rainbow has helpfully produced the following outline guide to the routes we are likely to take:

The Saturday run of approximately 75 miles will be based around the beautiful Elan Valley. We will visit the Elan Valley Visitor Centre just outside of Rhayader, before going over the mountains, past the reservoir to a coffee stop at Devils Bridge. From there we will have a choice of various optional tours, such as a walking tour of Devils Bridge, a trip on the Vale of Rheidol railway to Aberystwyth and back, maybe a visit to the Red Kite Centre at Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest or a trip into Aberystwyth for a stroll along the promenade, taking in the sea air! We will return to the Metropole via a visit to the old drover’s town of Tregaron and an excursion over the Abergwesyn Mountain road via the Devils Staircase. This will set you up nicely for the Saturday evening celebration dinner.

The Sunday route will be a bit longer at around 80 miles, along some lovely lanes past Abbey-Cwm-Hir Hall and on to Bwlch-y-sarnau, then via Red Lion Hill to Newtown. We then head north past Dolforwyn Castle and on to Berriew to the gorgeous Powis Castle and gardens. This lovely National Trust location has featured quite a few times recently on the BBC antiques programme Flog it and looks absolutely fabulous. We will return to the Metropole via Montgomery, skirting around Clun Forest to Felindre and back to Llandrindod Wells.

It should be a fabulous weekend of T-Type motoring in Mid-Wales.


DISCLAIMER BY THE EDITOR

Totally T-Type 2 is produced totally on a voluntary basis and is available on the website www.ttypes.org on a totally FREE basis. Its primary purpose is to help T-Type owners through articles of a technical nature and point them in the direction of recommended service and spares suppliers.

Articles are published in good faith but I cannot accept responsibility or legal liability and in respect of contents, liability is expressly disclaimed.