Archive | Issue 58 RSS feed for this section

A summer and winter TD

9 Jan

Dieter Wagner has been in touch. He has sold his TC special and has acquired a 1953 TD. He bought the car unseen – i.e. not inspected – from the US with only some pictures and a description of the vehicle from the seller. A little risky, but after a bit of fettling Dieter is happy with the car, apart from one aspect.

The TD has a Datsun five speed gearbox and a 4.3 ratio diff. Whilst Dieter knew about the taller ratio at the time of purchase, he says that in the light of driving experience, the combination of the 5-speed with the 4.3 axle ratio is not very satisfactory as it is ‘too long’. Whilst he can live with it for the time being, he’ll be on the lookout for a 4.55 ratio, or maybe switch axles for one from a TF (4.875) in the future.

Having sourced a difficult to find hardtop for the car, Dieter has been busy restoring it and fitting it to the car whilst keeping the standard hood/side screen arrangement. How he did this will have to wait for the next issue as I’ve run out of space for all the pictures he sent, but here are some photos of the finished set-up and the usual hood and side-screens.

Here’s a couple of pics of the standard arrangement:

TD/TF WORKSHOP MANUAL

Available from the T-Shop http://tshop.ttypes.org at the competitive price of 19.50 GBP plus postage.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ntg-724x1024.jpg

LOST & FOUND

8 Jan

TC7460 – EXU model built on 22 December ‘48

Peter Barnsdale (a Brit working in British Columbia) is hoping that someone in the US might be able to shed some more light on his TC’s history. Peter bought the car at auction near Tacoma, Washington and imported it to Canada.

Originally exported to (Peter thinks) California, he was told that the TC had been latterly looked after  by a Californian family for 20 years before being reputedly sold to a film company, who held onto it for a couple of years before it went to be advertised unsuccessfully and finally sold to Peter at Auction by ‘Lucky Collector Cars’ in Tacoma.

The upended trailer in the background is being cleaned up ready for a respray when the picture was taken. 

peter(at)barnsdale.net [Please substitute @ for (at)]

TF10081 (55 FLP)

In Issue 55 (August 2019) when making an enquiry about a TF1500 (chassis number unknown) owned by Colin Lamdon in Bulawayo, I said that according to Clausager, there were no TF1500s exported to (the then) Rhodesia.

I subsequently received information from Alastair Stevenson, who bought his 1500 in Rhodesia in 1960 which contradicts Clausager. Alastair has seen an old advert placed by the main BMC garage in Salisbury (Harare) asking people to come and test drive the new MG TF1500. He is also doubtful whether any TF1500s were imported into South Africa (unless anybody can correct him). This is based on the recollection of his time at university in South Africa; there was another 1500 on campus, but he did not know where it was bought.  

Alastair’s chassis number is HDE23/10081 which would make it the 19th from last to be built, and is a RHD export model. He subsequently brought it with him when he immigrated to the U.K. and sold it 1965/66. It was bought by the late Ian Lloyd, restored and kept by his family for many years. When Alastair saw it for sale at Beaulieu garage, he just had to buy it back, as it is the only car that he regretted selling.

TC4428

TC4428 was sold new in South Africa alongside  TC4427, still in SA and owned by Viv James. Ralph Littlefield would like to track its history, but he hasn’t been able to make the South Africa connection between 1948 and 1980.

4428 was among several cars exported South Africa to New Hampshire, United States in 1980; others included Mercedes Benz 300SL and 300SL Gullwing. Ralph had hoped someone might have remembered a transaction like that, but to date no luck.

bulldogzoe(at)comcast.net [Please substitute @ for (at)]

TC0918 (JUM 427)

Information was sought in the previous Issue but I didn’t have a photo. Just to refresh, Paul Richmond is trying to locate the whereabouts of his late father’s TC (see picture). He owned it from 1947 until 1953, when he had to sell it – the impending birth of Paul’s older brother meant a more family friendly car was required! The car was originally green, but was restored and painted red in the nineties and last heard of in Sheffield in 2013. Contact Paul on 077 3148 0291

pfrguitar(at)gmail.com [substitute @ for (at)].

TA2399 (FZ 1835)

John Scott would like to try and track down his father’s TA – his dad, who died in 2019, is the one on the left in the pic. The TA was, when he had it, registered in NI as FZ 1835. Owned in the mid-50s he circumnavigated Ireland in the car, among other things (hence the camping equipment across the spare wheel!). John knows that it was not sold at the auction (below) but was sold at another auction about the same time and is likely to be in Germany. E-mail john.scott(at)ksbr.co.uk [please substitute @ for (at)].

RTD 898 1953 TD (chassis number unknown) & FGY 184 (TA1690)

Franklin Woodcock in Leicestershire has enquired about two T-Types he used to own. The first, pictured above, was owned by him from April 1966 until December 1968. He says it was a super car that never let him down in 35,000 miles and had such ‘luxuries’ as a dipping mirror, heater and reversing light. He saw it at a classic car show in Stoneleigh in the 1990s and was delighted to learn that it was then owned by the son of the original owner in Lancashire. The DVLA search facility confirms that it still sports its original green bodywork and that it is taxed and MoT’d.

The second car was bought as an engineless rebuild job in 1971. Purists now need to look away because a TR2 engine, gearbox and back axle was fitted. Further modifications included the redesign of the steering to accommodate a Morris Minor rack and pinion and the fitting of Austin A35 low level windscreen wipers.

Franklin admits it all sounds barbaric these days, but that was nearly 50 years ago.

TA1690 was sold to a chap in Nottingham and the last Franklin heard of it was at a dealer’s in Newark-on-Trent around 1995.

The DVLA search facility does produce a result.

Woodcock565(at)btinternet.com [please substitute @ for (at)].

Bits & Pieces

7 Jan

Treating Incontinence

Prevention is of course, better than cure, but if your XPAG or XPEG leaks from the rear main crankshaft seal and you don’t want to spoil your (or someone else’s drive) then help is at hand.

I am asked from time to time where these drip trays/catch tanks can be obtained and I refer the enquirer to Bryan Purves in East Sussex. http://www.bryanpurves.co.uk

Bryan took over the manufacture and distribution of these trays/tanks from the late David Pelham, who developed them (David used to call them “nappy buckets”).

Having spoken recently to Bryan he confirmed that he has plenty in stock and the current  prices are  55 GBP (UK) and 58 GBP (Rest of World) inclusive of postage.

Items made to order by Mick Pay

TA owner, Mick Pay, is still providing a range of items – these are shown pictorially later in this issue. Some of the items are listed below:

Petrol filters – these are in great demand as they are suitable for any pre-war small car or motor bike. Also supplied is a filter with 5/16 compression fittings for attachment to the petrol pump.

Copies of tax discs and labels for spare oil cans.

TA engine restraints – many TA owners will already have these, either supplied directly by Mick, or purchased through the trade.

TA & VA oil filter conversions –best to speak directly to Mick about these.

Slow running cable adjusters – for MPJG enginesMick says that the little slow running cable adjusters are quite useful as it is much easier to adjust just right. He adds that he needs to think how he could adapt them for TCs etc.

Also supplied are brass brake fluid reservoirs and a repair service for T-Type rev counter gearboxes (but see the full page of colour pictures later in this issue for specific details).

Mick can be contacted at mgp188(at)yahoo.com

[please substitute @ for (at)]

XPAG engine rebuilds

Ron Ward is a time served toolmaker (ex-Standard Motor Company) who has spent his working life in the machine tool industry. He is the owner of a much modified TC (90+bhp un-supercharged)   which he bought in 1984 as a ‘basket case’.

Ron builds 4 to 5 XPAG engines per year and currently has the following:

TC engine – Late block linered and bored 72mm, pressure tested, late crank std/std, crack tested, lip sealed front and back on speedi-sleeve, steel ‘spider’ flywheel, diaphragm clutch, all balanced, big sump, 280 fast road camshaft, Vernier timing sprocket set, stage II big-valve unleaded head.

Next build (TD/TF) – Late block bored 1380cc, lightened and balanced, lip-sealed, fast road camshaft, unleaded stage II big valve or Laystall aluminium head.

Have available fully refurbished period Laystall aluminium head.

Feel free to contact Ron for your requirements on 01422 823649, or 07790 458386, or e-mail valerieandron(at)gmail.com [please substitute @ for (at)].

Mirror re-silvering

Frank Shore has been in touch with the following:

“The silvering had deteriorated on one of the wing mirrors on my TC. I googled and found this business which re-silvers mirrors.

Contact details are: Daniel Frater, Mirrorworks, Alma Yard. Alma Street. Shrewsbury SY3 8QL and email is info@antiquemirrorglass.com

I sent the mirror glass (wrapped in lots of bubble wrap) off and 10 days later the newly re-silvered mirror arrived back all for a price of £35. Mirror looks good and I’ve attached a photo.  I highly recommend this service, which may be of interest to other members.”

New Book ‘Factory-Original MG T-Series’

The editor has a supply of this new book. The list price is £40, but it is being offered for £27.50 plus £3 UK postage. For an overseas postage quote, please e-mail the editor at jj(at)ttypes.org [please substitute @ for (at) and note that the address begins JJ but in lower case and not ii].

The books will be on sale at Stoneleigh in February.

Fuel Stabiliser Products

I recently noticed a reference to these products on the MGCC Triple-M forum. STA-BIL was mentioned as one of them www.sta-bil.co.uk

The product description on its website reads:

“STA-BIL Fuel Stabiliser is a fuel additive that keeps fuel fresh for quick, easy starts after periods of storing your car, motorcycle or lawnmower. Fuel Stabiliser eliminates the need to drain fuel before storage and protects your engine from gum, rust and corrosion. These problems can afflict engines after petrol left in the tank has broken down and has not been treated with a fuel stabiliser.”

Seems like a good idea to me, especially as I’ve had 7 gallons in the tank for the past few months and the car has not been used for a while!

My confidence in the product has gone up, knowing that a Triple-M owner, who I have known for many years has used it successfully in his cars and reports favourably on its use.

Another product available is Briggs & Stratton 100119 Fuel Stabilizer. It claims to preserve fuel for up to 3 years without going stale. Sold in 16 oz bottles, it has the capability to treat 80 gallons of petrol (the STA-BIL 16 oz bottle is said to treat up to 40 gallons).

Other products on the market are:

Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment Stabilizer Concentrate
PRI Fuel Stabilizer for Gasoline
Royal Purple Max-Clean Fuel Stabilizer System
Yamaha Fuel Stabilizer & Conditioner
Sentry New Technology Fuel Stabilizer
Maxima 89901 Fuel Stabilizer Additive

All these products are reviewed in the following website: https://www.carbibles.com/best-fuel-stabilizer/

It is well worth having a look at. The article declares that its ‘Top Pick’ is STA-BIL.

PROPSHAFT SERVICES

I have had good service from this company. They have made me new prop shafts for both my PB and J2. It was necessary to make new ones due to the fitting of an overdrive to each car.

Readers in the South West may wish to note the contact details.

PETROL CAP REPAIR

The petrol cap on my TF had lost its sealing ability due to the cork seal having disintegrated.

As can be seen from the picture, there is no seal sandwiched between the two dish shaped metal parts, which are pinned to the base.

To fit a new seal, it was necessary to remove these parts; the only way to do this was to drill through the pin.

Having done this, it was necessary to drill and tap (1/4” BSF) to enable the parts to be re-attached. However, it was not that simple because by now the base was rotating. Therefore, some silver solder was used to stop it going around.

The parts in order of re-assembly. In the absence of Loctite some superglue was squirted down the base which had been drilled and tapped.

To provide the cork seal I had to buy a roll of it measuring 12” x 24” x 0.9” (30.5cm x 70cm x 2.4mm) so if anybody wants some, they are welcome!

Here’s the finished petrol cap, which fits a treat and I no longer smell petrol when I raise the garage door.

Connecting up the coil

The following has been received from Michael Sherrell.

“As usual, Peter and Eric have smashed this one. For what it’s worth, I wrote this before TTT 2 Issue 57 came out.

In my opinion, Steve Priston’s problems or symptoms are coming from somewhere else. Swapping the connections to the coil would not be the cause.

Let’s employ Ockham’s Razor to the problem. It’s not that complicated. Connecting the coil ‘the wrong way around’ simply means the DC current flow through the primary winding is in the opposite direction. There is no difference in the current level (or strength) through the coil.

The only effect a reverse coil could have (as far as I know) would be to cause the electrons to exit the spark plug external electrode – the bit you bend to adjust the gap – and therefore deplete (erode) it, instead of the other way around, where the loss would be negligible. 

(Or is it the other way around? During the time we were trying to absorb Applied Electricity in the 50s, electron flow was magically reversed: first from electrons moving towards ‘holes’ – to holes moving toward electrons. It was early days).

Another place where a loss of metal occurs is from the centre of the dizzy Rotor. I’ve seen plenty of evidence of that, but that is in the HT circuit. It may be a similar problem, but probably has a different cause.”

Ed’s note: “Ockham’s (or Occam’s) Razor, also known as the Principle of Parsimony, is the idea that more straightforward explanations are, in general, better. That is, if you have two possible theories that fit all available evidence, the best theory is the one with fewer moving parts.”

As a follow up to the Peter Cole/Eric Worpe article in Issue 57and noting Michael’s comments above, Eric has provided me with the following:

From a thermionic point of view current, and hence electrons, flows from the cathode to the anode, which is why the cathode was heated up in good old valves to improve its (work function) emissivity. So, heat encourages the spark discharge from the central electrode of the spark plug, hence spark plugs carrying a heat range specification. Hot plugs for oily engines and cold plugs to prevent pre-ignition in high performance engines (I think).
 Peter and I came to the conclusion that providing a negative pulse to the spark plug might only be useful at high engine revs when the reduced time for the current in the coil to build up, results in a reduced EHT. The second most demanding time for firing the spark plug is when starting from cold, as the battery voltage is reduced and the central electrode is cold. This would suggest that a hot central electrode is not that important at low engine revs.

The air gap between the rotor arm and the terminals in the dizzy cap serves a useful purpose if the plugs are fouled up with carbon deposits. The carbon can cause the energy in the EHT wave form to leak away before sufficient EHT has been reached to fire the spark plug. The EHT wave form consists of a sine wave, so the limited slew rate of the leading edge is a disadvantage. However, with an additional spark gap, the EHT rises to a level that eventually jumps the additional spark gap and therefore presents the spark plug with a fast leading edge EHT pulse. This reduces the effect of leakage across the spark plug. Old hands would sometimes clear a fouled plug by holding the EHT lead away from the terminal of the plug by about a 1/4″.


Garage labour charges

Eric Worpe was very taken with an enamelled sign he saw at a recent Kempton Park bike jumble with the heading ‘Car Repairs’. He regrets not having bought it, but the stallholder was busy and it was a cold day to stand around waiting:

“Mechanic’s hourly rate is £100.

£125 if you want to watch

£150 if you’ve worked on it before

£200 if you’re going to tell me how to do it.”

Fitting tapered roller bearings to the front hub

I have a data sheet from Timken bearings which I received back in 1985. It advises that end play should be between 0.050mm (2 thou) and 0.150mm (6 thou). I have read elsewhere that end play should be between 0 and 4 thou.

What is not in dispute is that there should not be any pre-load, but there should be a minimum amount of end play.

However, the question is ‘how do you measure end play in this situation?’

TD5685 back from sandblasting

This is Matt Sanders’ TD5685, which has just returned from the sandblasters. Matt wrote the article entitled British Racing Green – so what is the correct shade? in the last issue. He tells me that he has obtained a 5 litre can of the Connaught racing car British Racing Green, colour matched from an old Valspar colour no longer available.

The TD should look really nice in that colour.

TD25045 now in Germany

This is Marek Rossmann’s TD with one of his sons at the wheel. Marek had just purchased the car from Junction 59 Classics in the UK and was having trouble registering it for classic status in Germany. I was able to help out with a suitable letter to the German Registration Authorities on Octagon Car Club headed paper. Sorted!

Dave’s Doughnuts

I have plenty in stock!

To order, please send an e-mail to:

jj(at)ttypes.org the email begins JJ but in lower case; [please substitute @ for (at)].

Parts for sale and wanted on the ttypes.org website

This section of the website is a useful facility for those wishing to advertise their parts for sale or wanted. Parts are advertised and bought and sold worldwide. I try hard to keep it up to date, but I am not always told when sales or ‘wants’ have been met.

One subscriber who did tell me was Marv Proctor in the US; Marv had advertised a steering arm for a TF, which went to Tasmania, helping to keep another TF on the road.

There is also a ‘Cars for Sale’ section on the website.

Tracing the current owner of a once owned MG

It seems that my paragraph in the last issue may have been based on a misunderstanding. There was an article in the November issue of Enjoying MG, the monthly magazine of the MG Owners Club. The article described the efforts of a grandson who was successful in tracing the owner of his grandfather’s TC. However, it may have been written, based on previous experience of the time when DVLA used to provide this service, but sadly no longer do.

At the time of writing I am seeking clarification.

Bah, humbug! – worth a chuckle or two!

This was sent to me by Mel Howe. Unfortunately, it was not received in time to make the December issue.

It rather reminds me of the time when I painted my TC’s back axle casing on the dining room table. I have the photo somewhere – I must dig it out!

The current state of the UK market for our cars

The market is pretty ‘dead’ at the moment – some may say dire.

I have never seen so many cars on the MG Octagon Car Club website. If you take a close look at the models, it is noticeable that TDs and TF1250s are ‘sticking’ badly.

The Triple-M website also has quite a record number of cars for sale, with, in my view, some silly prices being asked by some.

There is probably no single reason for this state of affairs, but Brexit and political uncertainty have surely been contributory factors. Perhaps it is also down to some of us all getting old together and deciding to call it a day. Perish the thought!

All Ian Ailes wanted for Christmas!

Well, I’m not sure if Ian got what he wanted. Just a hood and side-screens are needed to finish the car.

Derbyshire Police TCs

I have been in touch with Jonathan Shepherd, who owns ex-Derbyshire police TC (JRA 250), pictured below.

Jonathan wondered what had become of JRA 253 as he has some period correspondence about Derbyshire police TCs which mentions this car.

This led me to research if there were any survivors seen in the picture of the six Derbyshire police cars being collected from the factory in January 1946 (see picture). It looks as though three are known to have survived, with possibly one more as a chassis only. Happily, JRA 253 has survived.

The details are as follows:

Chassis no.    Registration mark     Survivor?

TC0341                       JRA 250          Yes

TC0342                       JRA 251          Not Known

TC0343                       JRA 252          Chassis only?

TC0344                       JRA 253          Yes

TC0345                       JRA 254          Not Known

TC0346                       JRA 255          Yes

The picture shows the six TCs being collected from the Factory in January 1946 (the cars were built on 18th December 1945). The man wearing the trilby hat is Inspector George Holmes, who was in charge of the Derbyshire Constabulary Motor Patrol Section. The two gentlemen with him are M.G. men, possibly the shop foreman and the General Manager. Those standing by the cars are Police Officers who would have driven the cars back to Derbyshire.

In a letter to the owner previous to Jonathan Shepherd we get an interesting insight into the use of the cars from ex-serving officer D. Burgoyne. He was allocated JRA 253 and when stationed at Buxton, was virtually the sole driver of the car from 1946 to 1948.

As a young constable, Mr Burgoyne said that he “thoroughly enjoyed working on MG cars, but on reflection, they were a most unsuitable car for our purpose, particularly in the Peak District in winter time.”

He added that with Buxton and North Derbyshire getting its fair share of bad weather in winter “a car with MG type side windows let all the cold air in.”

To close the ‘Bits & Pieces’ feature of this issue I offer a tip from Gerrit Gartner TD and TC owner in Austria.

Gerrit is not very tall and suffers from cramp in his right leg from driving his TD. He says “I simply put a piece of wood, 1.5“ thick, maybe 10“ long, under the carpet, in front of all pedals. With the heel now raised, no problems any more.“

“Don’t despair!”

5 Jan

When the true horror of the condition of his purchase of an ostensibly sound TC was revealed, Ray White vowed to completely rebuild it – he’s got off to a very good start…………

“I had just said good-bye to my 1926 Dodge Brothers tourer, the restoration of which had been a big part of my life for the past seven years, and I was suffering from the usual withdrawal symptoms. Then one morning, my wife noticed an advert on the internet. “What about this?” she asked.  

Under a photo of a shiny red MG TC was an intriguing description.  “Genuine rust free 1949 matching numbers car. Only 25,000 miles.  £18,000.”

TC10030 on arrival at Ray White’s home – looks good, doesn’t it!

It sounded too good to be true but I simply had to find out more. I arranged to see the car that afternoon………much to the surprise of the owner, who had just placed the advert and had not expected such a quick response!

The MG worked its magic.  They do that, don’t they?  I overlooked all the warning signs and latched onto every word the owner said.  He was a most convivial elderly chap, quite disarming in a way and I believed every word he said. The engine had been re-bored, the crank reground and he had fitted all new wood.  I just wanted it all to be true.   But it wasn’t.

When I got the car home and started to investigate some of the more obvious problems that I had previously dismissed, the truth began to dawn on me.  I had bought a ‘lemon’. Underneath the smart new leather trim, the wood had indeed been replaced … but with firewood.  The body had been basically bodged and painted straight over rust. It was scrap.

Worse was yet to come.  The engine had good oil pressure but then gear oil has that effect!  The crank had been fitted to a dirty engine and would need a regrind.  The block had not been re-bored – in fact there was 0.027” wear in the bores, one of which had been relined as a result of a seizure at some time in the distant past.

Some things were original. For example, the tyres and the oil filter were genuine 1950s items still in place! The gearbox had been run with no oil and the rear axle could at least be sold for scrap.  I won’t bore readers with more tales of woe; the list is far too long.

Every cloud has a silver lining.  In the case of TC10030 it was an opportunity for me to build an MG TC from scratch – but to my own design.  Fortunately, the chassis is pretty much rust free and reasonably straight.

Once the car had been stripped down, the chassis just required prep and paint – although one of the scuttle mounting brackets needed replacement and Pete at Octagon spares service went out of his way to find me one!

When it comes to bodywork, I am happy to entrust the job to Andrew Denton of MG Ash Frames in Yorkshire.  Andrew is a qualified pattern maker with many years’ experience working on MG frames.  He knows his stuff!  He will be supplying a complete body including doors and a new dashboard. He is also making new floor boards.

I have so far renewed the king pins and bushes. but instead of the usual thrust washer I have fitted needle roller bearings. Having crack tested the spindles I will be fitting the front hubs with taper roller bearings.  I will also be replacing the drop arm and track rod ends.

Other parts that I have bought ready to install are a new bronze master cylinder and bronze wheel cylinders with Alfin type drums all round. A Panhard rod from Roger Furneaux will stabilise the front axle and the springs will be refurbished with poly bushes.  The rear springs are to be renewed and the Luvax shock absorbers are currently with “good bloke” Raj Patel in Leicester.  

I am awaiting new “improved” brake shoes from Peter Edney.  He is restoring my engine which will have a +0.030” rebore and quality pistons; a reground crank and new bearings; cylinder head shaped and ported with bronze valve guides, TF valves and springs and converted to unleaded.  I have ordered an Eaton M40 supercharger from Steve Baker which will be mated with a stainless exhaust system including an extractor manifold. I also have invested in a Peter Edney fast road camshaft with new bearings. The fly wheel will be slightly lightened and everything balanced. 

As the electrics were incorrect, I am fitting a new wiring harness from Auto sparks and a 45amp dynamator with electronic distributor with sports coil.  The loom has indicator wires included.

I recently collected a five-speed gearbox conversion kit from Peter Gamble of Hi-gear Engineering near me in Derby. I have opted for a modified higher first gear and reversing light switch.  On dismantling the axle pinion assembly, the front bearing cage collapsed and ball bearings fell out all over the bench!  I also discovered a broken pinion tooth.

A replacement crown wheel and pinion kit with taper roller bearings and thrust bearings has arrived from Roger Furneaux in Devon.  I have opted for the TA 8/39 higher ratio. I will also be fitting his ingenious sealing hub nuts….  the half shafts need to be crack tested.

It may not suit some people but I am changing the layout of the dashboard.  The original board has long since been replaced with a “best guess” version so I will have a new one made and as I don’t like the original vinyl covering, mine will be wood.  I have bought a new bronze coloured dash panel from Andy King and intend to fit cream switches and knobs. A new 151/2” cream Bluemels Brooklands steering wheel will complement.

My original instruments are being restored by John Marks of Vintage Restorations in Tunbridge Wells.  He owns the British Jaeger brand. In addition to a dual water/oil gauge, I am having a boost gauge for the supercharger and a petrol gauge which will complement the low-level warning light.  The sender unit is a dip tube type that will fit in the top of the tank at the opposite end to the filler.  I have ordered another filler cap that can be fitted over the sender unit to disguise it.  The effect is a dual filler tank……quite sporty, I think!    John will also be modifying the ammeter to handle the 45 amps alternator output. There will also be improved back lighting. 

Although the interior is complete; the seats don’t match so I will be recovering them in matching’ biscuit’ leather.  I have also taken delivery of a new hood and side screens finished in matching ‘Stay fast’, but although the frames are present it is a job that can wait.

The chrome plating will be farmed out but I shall be painting the car myself.  I have chosen Reno red cellulose but the biggest challenge will be all the preparation.  I hope to have it all done by this time next year.

TC 10030 was built in November 1949 and exported to Australia.  The first owner is not known but what we do know comes from Allan Gallard  of Woolamara who owned the car for about 10 years.  He bought it from one Les Johnson of Mount Colah, nr. Hornsby, NSW.  Les had inherited the TC from his brother Don who had raced it.  When Alan bought it, the car had been off the road since being totally dismantled in 1960.  The registration number back then was BGZ 773 and this is confirmed by a registration sticker that is still on the windscreen.  (A great piece of history!).

Alan advertised the dismantled TC on Ebay as being suitable for restoration or spares.  “Not for the faint hearted” was how it was described.  The remains were purchased in 2016 and repatriated to England. An age-related registration mark was obtained for the car once it has ‘so-say’ been rebuilt.

I purchased the car on June 6th this year. I had been looking for a TC for some time and when this one appeared in ‘Classic Cars for Sale’ I jumped in.  I was the first to see the car and believed the story I was told of the ‘rebuild’! 

I was pleased when Allan Gallard came to look at the car on a visit to England.  He had been in contact with Les Johnson and I am hoping that a photo of Les’ late brother Don with the TC will be sent to me. Evidence of the car’s competition history is a photo of Don with Stirling Moss back in the 50s which would be another nice bit of history to go with the car- if I could get hold of a copy!”

Ed’s Note: Since sending me the article Ray has invested in a new pair of half shafts and hubs with taper fit from Roger Furneaux (he found the originals had been stuck together with glue!!). He’s also replaced the front hubs and fitted taper roller bearings.  The chassis, back axle and back plates are all now in new paint.

Also renewed are the rear springs and shackle pins with the front ones having been stripped, sand blasted, refurbished and installed.

The track rod and drop arm ends have been replaced and a VW steering box conversion sourced. A heater will be fitted.

Further efforts to limit the effects of under bonnet temperature in a TC

4 Jan

Steve Priston described in Issue 56 (October 2019) his attempts to improve matters with hot fuel under the bonnet. This included re-routing the fuel hoses to the carburettors by swapping the float chamber tops over, enabling him to run the feed to the front float chamber around the back of the air cleaner, so that being nearer the bonnet louvres, it was away from being directly above the exhaust manifold. 

Regarding the fuel hoses themselves, he made some new hoses in 6mm bore, reducing the hose stored fuel volume, by around 40% per inch.

The fitting of a Facet fuel pump rendered the SU pump redundant with another small reduction in under-bonnet stored fuel.

As a further development he decided to try fitting pancake filters on the assumption that they would draw in cooler air than the standard arrangement, which being  situated at the highest point under the bonnet, would surely pull in the hottest air, rather than being as far away from the exhaust/engine heat, as you can get.

A pair of foam type pancake air filters, were purchased. Also sourced was a pair of replacement outer covers, in order to create the required offset hole to miss the radiator support strut.

“All in, having bought filter assemblies that were sold on eBay, as seconds, along with the two extra covers, the cost was £23. Yes, they are almost certainly made in China and yes, they needed a bit of finishing off, but they are stainless steel as well as being cheap!” said Steve. Having studied Brown & Gammons heat shield, along with one featured in a restoration book, that fitted to the manifold clamps, the heat shield you see in the picture below was fabricated using a piece of 3mm alloy.

Rather than resort to a cardboard template the inlet manifold was measured up (7 3/16” centres) and a SU gasket was used as a template.

Two spacers, made from Tufnol were cut from some 6mm material, with paper gaskets fitted between everything, and with the addition of ‘Wellseal’.

Steve is hoping that the front lower bend in the heat shield, will help direct an airflow, between the shield and the manifold, also that the alloy will help to dissipate heat, more effectively, than steel.

To fit the carburettors, it was necessary to use a couple of M10 studs for the lower fixings, due to the lack of room, preventing the fitting of a long enough bolt.

The carb to carb hose has been moved again, now being lower and about as far away from heat, as it is possible to get, being about the same length now, as the original.

All that is needed now, is to find a suitable breather, to screw into the rocker cover and for the weather to improve for road testing. The pancake filters make tuning of the carburettors much easier, with only a couple of 6mm nuts to undo on each. Steve has come up with an easy way to check/compare the air flows, which is to use a cheap (yes eBay!) stethoscope but not with anything other than the open, lower piece of tubing, held in the carburettor mouth, so a much clearer sound can be heard when listening for a difference in intake roar!

Thinking about storing your classic car over-winter?

3 Jan

I know of some people who put de-humidifiers in their garage over-winter to help keep things dry. At first sight this appears to be a good idea. However, they have the potential to cause far greater harm than dampness will.

When trying to keep your car dry, the critical value is the Dew Point, the temperature at which water condenses out of the air. The Dew Point is dependent on both temperature and relative humidity. For example, at a 60% relative humidity:

Ambient Temperature Dew Point Difference
80° F (26° C) 63° F (17° C) 17° F (9° C)
50° F (10° C) 38° F (3° C) 12° F (7° C)

At 80% relative humidity:

Ambient Temperature Dew Point Difference
80° F (26° C) 73° F (22° C) 7° F (4° C)
50° F (10° C) 45° F (7° C) 5° F (3° C)

The key to preventing condensation is to keep the temperature of your car above the Dew Point, the greater the temperature difference, the lesser the chance of condensation.

The foregoing table shows that at 60% relative humidity, there is approximately 15° F (9° C) difference between the ambient temperature and Due Point. In other words, at 60% relative humidity, the temperature would need to suddenly drop by around 15° F (9° C) before condensation would form on your classic car. Unfortunately, at 80% relative humidity, more typical of a UK winter, the temperature only needs to fall by 6° F (3° C), making condensation more likely. This is why we often get damp winter mornings in the UK.

One option is to heat your garage rather than use a dehumidifier. Unfortunately, installing a heater to increase the temperature, also increases the Dew Point. Lowering the Dew point (i.e. reducing the Relative humidity from 80% to 60% at 50° F (10° C) is over twice as effective as raising the temperature to 80° F (26° C)).  Even with their lower efficiencies below 50° F (10° C), dehumidifiers are probably the most cost-effective solution.

When I rebuilt my TC nearly 15 years ago, I considered a dehumidifier to keep it dry. Unfortunately, just installing a dehumidifier in a garage will serve little purpose, unless the garage is sealed. Nature abhors inconsistencies, so as the air in the garage becomes dryer, water vapour will increasingly seek to “fill the space”. This could come from the air outside the garage or drawn in through the floor or walls.

A dehumidifier will need to run 24 hours/day 7 days per week in its unsuccessful attempt to remove this moisture. There is one case known where the dehumidifier burned out and caught fire! Fortunately, the classic car was not totally destroyed.

After considering the options, I choose the Permabag storage solution. https://www.autopyjama.com/permabag-engl/cars/

As the website says, this is basically a large bag, sealed with a zip that you put your car into, along with two large desiccant cylinders. This serves the same purpose as a dehumidifier, the main difference is the car is stored in its own sealed bag. The desiccant cylinders only need to dry the air in the bag.

As a test, I took a piece of mild steel, aggressively cleaned it with a wire brush, cut it into two parts and degreased each half. I placed one half on the floor outside the bag and the second piece about 6 inches away, but inside the bag. The Permabag is a relatively expensive to buy, but has almost zero running costs. The desiccant cylinders can be regenerated any number of times by baking them in the oven. Mine require one regeneration for the whole winter period. It also comes with a temperature gauge/humidity meter that is fitted inside the bag, which in combination with a supplied graph that plots humidity against temperature, tells you when the cylinders need regenerating. The big advantage is that you do not need to leave electrical equipment powered on inside your garage over winter.

The disadvantage, although the bag will unzip all the way around, getting the car into it can be awkward, especially if you do not have much room in your garage.

The only addition I would recommend is a soft car cover to protect the paint from the plastic bag.  The photographs show my TC “bagged up” for the winter. Also note (bottom left first photo) the barrel of Sunoco Optima 98 – ethanol free storage petrol used to protect the fuel system components.

So, what about the pieces of mild steel? Before you look at the photograph, I should tell you that I live about 10 miles North East of Britain’s official semi-desert. Hard to believe, but one tiny corner of the South East of England has so little rainfall it is classified as a semi-desert.

So, for those of you in the wet North East, imagine how much worse the piece on the right would have been had it been exposed to a damper climate. (The two silver “dots” are the heads of aluminium rivets I put into the steel to “enhance” the effect of corrosion.) Needless to say, the piece on the left is the one that over-wintered inside the Permabag.

Certainly, for me the evidence is clear, the Permabag was a wise investment.     

Paul Ireland

A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF AN MG TA…

2 Jan

THE START OF 2019: “I hate old cars!”

Picture the scene…there are just two weeks left to go until the MG Octagon Car Club ‘Founders Weekend’. The pet sitter has been booked, hotel deposits paid and I’m working in the garage as I have been for the previous three weekends and also every night after work until at least 10pm. My wife has been making bacon cobs, cups of coffee and meals to keep me going and clearing up after me so I can stay in the garage. It’s reached the point where it is no fun anymore and comments of “I’m not having any more holidays in old cars” whilst delivering cups of hot steaming coffee have been heard resounding around both the garage and the house!

BACKGROUND TO THE GARAGE SCENE….

For the last few years of ownership I have noticed that the TA has been exchanging oil and water. In an effort to come up with a solution I bought an engine from a seller in France.  This caused my wife Mel much amusement as she listened to the phone calls being made and the use of my best “allo, allo” accent whilst speaking all the time in English (to my mind I was speaking French!) Despite my lack of French speaking ability, the deal was somehow done.

My original plan was to make a rig to run the French engine out of the car and, when proven and fully sorted, the plan was to then install it in the car. In the event, when my car was put away for winter, I decided not to waste time manufacturing a rig to bench test the engine, but to cut corners, save time, and simply install it in my car with a belief that all would be fine; if it wasn’t I could easily change it back! Around this time, I also removed the radiator shell for chroming and was advised it would be at least March before I could collect it.

Note: when I bought the car there was a “pimple” and a small patch of chrome missing on the top right-hand side of the shell……strange, but explained later in the story!

As I couldn’t get the car running until the radiator shell arrived back, I thought I could occupy myself with other things…

February soon arrived and with it the stark realisation that there was not actually much time left until the start of the new car season. I installed the replacement engine and gearbox with little trouble and was then waiting for the re- chromed radiator shell to arrive. The shell was returned at the beginning of March and time was now fast running out. I got the car started but it was running rather rough. I managed to drive it around the corner to my long-suffering friend and “go to man” Mike for help. Mike set the timing and tuned the carburettor and before long he had it “running sweet”. I went for the first test drive back around the village and as soon as I met the first hill……….clutch slip!

I had no option but to get to the clutch, either using plan A – engine and gearbox back out, or plan B – remove the floor and bring the gearbox out the back. I selected plan B and with a little wiggling the gearbox and bell housing came out and I was able to see the clutch. Nothing looked obviously wrong but I did notice it was a modern Kevlar clutch, rather than the cork one as originally fitted.

The TA clutch plate with the Kevlar lining is shown on the left with the plate with the cork lining (as originally supplied) shown on the right. Acknowledgement to Bill Davis in the US for these pictures, which are on his useful and informative websites on the TA. If you ‘google’ Bill Davis TA you will find the sites. The Kevlar pic was sent to Bill by Tony Slattery in Australia.

I read up in “Blower” – oil fed cork clutch ….”oil, “oil, ……..there was no oil!!!! So how could the oil get to the clutch? It seemed it should come from the end crankshaft journal and down a drilling in the crank but, there was definitely no oil coming down the crank. I then worried about whether oil was getting to the journal. On a spare crank I retraced the oil feed but it wasn’t clear to me how the oil got from the journal down the crank drilling.

Still not keen to remove the engine I decided to drop the sump and remove the main bearing cap. I located the oil hole in the crank and was able to blow air down it which came out the end of the crank, it clearly wasn’t blocked but that didn’t explain why there was no oil?

Help was needed, I admitted defeat and rang Brian Rainbow; there is nothing Brian doesn’t know about MG TAs. What happened next was quite  comical and you have to close your eyes and once again picture the scene….I was in my garage on the phone to Brian with various bits of engine in my hands while at the other end of the phone Brian was in his garage with various bits of engine in his hands, trying to understand how oil could get through to the crank. After a lengthy discussion with Brian I followed his suggestion to make a ” groove” across the main bearing cap to aid the flow of oil to the hole in the crank. I rebuilt the engine again and ran it up in the car …….success! Oil was now coming down the crank to the clutch……I couldn’t thank Brian enough…at last I felt I was getting somewhere, although how it should actually work, I’m still not fully clear on …. any answers gratefully received.

BACK IN THE GARAGE ……

I rebuilt the clutch and gearbox and re- assembled the car once again. I gave it a test drive and managed to ascend test inclines without any problems (or as well as can be expected in a TA!).

We were now ready to go to Oxford for the ‘Founders Weekend’ with 2 days to spare when only 48 hrs earlier it looked like we were going in the modern car.

As I was washing the car and getting it pristine for the weekend ahead, I noticed to my horror that my nice newly chromed radiator shell had a pimple and the chrome was lifted just as it was before I sent it for re-chroming …. Aghhhhh….

I believe that when I re- aligned the engine and gearbox, I jacked up the engine and during all my “wiggling” to align things the radiator top tank pushed up into the chrome shell! I won’t repeat what I muttered (I had a Basil Fawlty moment) but be forewarned!

NB:  I now remove the top hose before jacking the engine!

FOUNDERS WEEKEND – OXFORD:

Despite all the trials leading up to the ‘Founders Weekend’, including navigating the Oxford ring road, we had a great time with the Octagon Club and it was fantastic to catch up with everyone. The “icing on the cake”, having actually made it to the weekend, was to get presented with the Founders Cup….what an honour and completely unexpected!

We had a good drive home until I thought that I could hear a noise; I managed to keep it from Mel for a while but once she had heard it too, something had to be done…and only 2 weeks left until our next event at Beamish…..here we go again I thought. I consulted Mike and, with his stethoscope at the ready, we prodded and poked around; something clearly didn’t sound correct but what? The engine was running well enough but, – and I hated to state this – it sounded like it was coming from the clutch area. As I had recently been working on the clutch, I feared I had done something wrong.

Out came the floor and the gearbox again. The clutch appeared “ok” but without the gearbox on, it still made a noise….it was at this point that I began to have nightmares. Maybe the groove I’d made in the bearing cap had caused the white metal to break up and the bearing was now no good? Maybe the fact I had achieved good oil flow to the clutch with the groove I’d made in the bearing cap was taking all the oil that fed the number 3 big end bearing?

I took the sump off again to check the big end journal, all looked in order. The main bearing looked fine too, I rebuilt it all and ran the engine in the car again – the noise was still there! As I listened, I convinced myself that the noise was coming from the back of the engine. As I looked closely, something caught my eye…the back of the engine had a small bright patch; the starter ring had moved forward on the flywheel and was rubbing on the back of the engine……found it!!!! Who would have thought of that? I removed the flywheel from the engine that had originally been in the car and fitted that; soon the car was once again back together.

My good mate Mike came around again to help and, as he leaned across the car to check everything as I was turning the engine over with the starting handle without any plugs in, he complained that he had got wet!? It seemed that something had come out of number 3 cylinder. We checked again and sure enough there was water coming out of No 3 cylinder……agh !!!! What else could go wrong?

Undeterred, I changed the head gasket and, after setting everything up, we were up and running again……with only a couple of days to go to the Beamish event.

BEAMISH SAFETY AND RELIABILITY RUN:

Mel has previously written an article on our annual Beamish trip (pic is from the 2019 event) so I won’t dwell on it but, suffice to say if you ever want a challenge for you and your car, Beamish is it!

Things were looking up again, 600 miles under our belt without too much trouble. The car jumped out of 2nd gear a couple of times whilst tackling steep ascents but I have trained Mel to hold it in position for now … the gearbox will need to come out again at some time.

A TA AND A SPITFIRE:

The next event on our calendar was a photo shoot with a Spitfire plane. In the light of all our recent history I was starting to feel anxious that the car would be “ok” as I didn’t want to let anyone down.

Derby Museum wanted to create artworks to celebrate local history and involvement in the war effort and had commissioned a professional photographer ‘Red Saunders’ to work on reproducing important historic scenes in what is called “The Hidden Project” ……. 3 historic and globally significant moments for the City were planned to be re-created by ‘Red ‘in a series of 3 photographic tableaux for the new Museum of Making.  ‘Red’ wanted a period car to stand alongside the Spitfire to create the war time scene along with actors and Rolls Royce employees dressed up in period dress.

Our Deputy Managing Director at work is a keen classic car enthusiast and was initially contacted by the Museum and asked to provide his car, an MG TD; however, he recognised that this was too modern for the period and selflessly got in contact with us to see if we might be interested in taking the TA….of course we were….what an opportunity! We had an amazing day as invited guests of Rolls Royce at their private hangers situated at East Midlands Airport where they keep the Spitfire (a MK 19 reconnaissance plane) and also their business jet. After meeting everyone we were asked to park the car in front of the Spitfire in the hanger. Red started to take pictures and the scene continued to develop adding actors and props – a small folding table where they were playing cards etc until a full pre-scramble type scene was created. It all looked great with our little car very much in the middle of it all.

While all this was going on, I had the freedom to walk around the hangers. A sectioned Merlin engine kept my attention for several hours and a sectioned jet engine too. While we were there, a small aerobatic plane that the pilots fly, as it most closely replicates the Spitfire, went out into the runway just yards away.

At dinner break I was able to get close to the Spitfire and was given a personal explanation of the controls while stood on the wing. Unfortunately, getting to sit inside the cockpit was a bridge too far but what an excellent day.

The car was very much co-star with the Spitfire taking the lead role and she behaved perfectly. We can’t wait to see the finished painting in 2020.

GOING TO THE CHAPEL AND WE’RE GOING TO GET MARRIED…….

The next event was as a wedding car…. some time ago a work colleague of Mel’s had mentioned he was getting married and Mel mentioned our TA should he not get sorted with anything else. I would never have thought of a TA as a wedding car but in August that is what it became……we tied some ribbon around the little car and it did look really smart. This time I was even more apprehensive than at any other time, having the responsibility to get someone to their wedding and the thought of spoiling their big day was a bigger pressure than I could have imagined.

On the day itself Mel followed me in her modern car and just to be sure, the Groom’s brother followed behind Mel too! The weather wasn’t great but we tried to be brave, keeping the roof down until one particular heavy shower and the roof had to go up. That wasn’t the biggest problem though….I pressed on and when I got to a particularly tight corner and we experienced a “little rear end slide” the groom looked a little startled (I think it is something he will recall for some time!) and from that point on I only managed the dizzy heights of 20 mph before he looked very uneasy and suggested that we were going quite fast enough! I protested we were only doing 20mph and he replied “that’s it, 20 it is then” so we continued on our way very slowly even for a TA! The groom arrived dry and safe at his wedding venue, but he did reach rather quickly for the bottle of beer that the event staff offered him on arrival!

FACTORY ORIGINAL MG T SERIES….BOOK

Last year we responded to an advert in The Octagon Bulletin regarding members’ cars suitable for a revised book that was being re- written by Anders Clausager……..we were accepted and a professional car photographer came to take loads of pictures of our little car during one day in 2018……. we didn’t hear anything for a while, but hoped our little car may get a mention inside the new book.

One night during August this year Mel was looking on the Internet and found the new book publication details along with release date…I couldn’t believe it when I realised it was our car gracing the front cover……what an amazing surprise and what an honour!

PRE-WAR PRESCOTT

Next in the calendar was Pre-War Prescott …I know this event is well supported by the Octagon Car Club so I won’t go into detail, but just to mention that this is an excellent event that you should really consider if you haven’t yet been… the entry form for 2020 is on the Pre-War Prescott website http://prewarprescott.com/

On the Sunday there is also a scenic tour around the Cotswolds ending with a cream tea at Stanway House …….after a full weekend we returned home after another 450 trouble free miles.

Kev in TA0375 pictured just off the road in the Gloucestershire countryside during Pre-War Prescott weekend in 2019.

TOUR OF MID WALES

The final event for the TA in 2019 was John James’ Totally T-Type 2 event in Mid-Wales. With Brian’s support this was another brilliant event and an excellent opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new; as always, we had a great time. The weather was amazing for a Bank Holiday weekend in Wales. The routes and scenery were tremendous and provided ample challenge for car, driver and navigator. Look up The Devils Staircase

https://www.dangerousroads.org/europe/wales/3989-abergwesyn-road.html

…….which reminds me of another job I need to do on the TA……improve the brakes!

To say the little TA was trouble free would be a slight exaggeration as on the second day my less than perfect gear changing seemed to be getting noticeably worse…….I soldiered on, blaming myself but on the way home from the event things continued to get worse. A quick stop and a check under the bonnet revealed the clutch rod adjusting nut had backed off, a quick tighten up and magically I had a working clutch again which improved my gear changing abilities dramatically.

REFLECTIONS:

What a brilliant year …“I love old cars”!

My reflection on classic car ownership is this…….through all the trials and tribulations we have a great time with old cars, long may it continue. But, in reality it’s all about the people……special thanks to Mike Glendenning and his long-suffering wife Penny without whom I wouldn’t even get out of the garage. Brian Rainbow and John James for organising such great events and Brian for all his technical help and advice and his willingness to share his knowledge. And of course, all the friends that Mel and I have made these last few years and who we look forward to catching up with every year…without the TA we wouldn’t know such lovely people and our paths would never have crossed.

So, winter has arrived and it’s back into the garage for me preparing already for next year … 50th Beamish event, Pre-War Prescott, TYMC Eskdale safety run are already booked……look forward to seeing everyone in 2020!

Kev (and Mel)

Editor’s note: The referenceto “Blower” will be understood by most readers, but may not be by some. The “Blower” book covers MGs from the M-type to the TF1500. It is a compilation of extracts from Instruction Manuals, Workshop Manuals and (some) Service Information Sheets. I’ve had mine for over 50 years and it is well ‘thumbed’ and falling apart!

…….and now a note from Mel about Beamish

The 50th Beamish Reliability Run will take place on the 3rd Sunday of June 2020…it is always held on this date which coincides with Father’s Day and also the nearest day to the summer solstice to offer maximum daylight for the competitors……

.

Kev in his much younger days used to spectate at this event along with his dad and the crowds around Muker (the vehicles passing through this Swaledale village twice). Then, watching All Creatures Great and Small a dream started to form about owning a car like Tristan Farnham (Peter Davidson played the part) a little MG……. Little did Kev know that in June 2014 we would be actually taking part in our first ever Beamish Reliability Run and how naive we were….our 1936 MGTA arrived on the 8th June 2013 and in June 2014 we were taking part in our first Beamish Run along with our friends Mike and Penny and we have taken part ever since. I will never forget our first encounter of the Stang as it appeared around a corner, the bank covered in spectators and Kevs face as he frantically tried to select a suitable gear for the ascent and the hairpin bend in front of us……..worst was to come with Silver Hill!!!

So, what is the Beamish Run? It’s described as the North’s premier old motoring event for vehicles manufactured up to 1956. It is probably the oldest and toughest regular event for old cars, motorcycles and light commercials certainly in Britain……this is no Sunday ride out, it will challenge you and your navigator throughout its 155-mile route.

The hills and dales of the route were once the test grounds for the then infant motor vehicle both, before and after the Great War period. The route now runs 155 miles to incorporate most of the old former trial routes.

Interested?……then time to get the road atlas out and start G………oogling……The route starts at the Beamish Museum then winds its way through the charming and unspoilt County Durham countryside and forested areas to Barnard Castle, said to be the gateway to the Dales. There is a fabulous checkpoint under the French chateaux style portico of the award winning 19th century Bowes museum. You then enter the Yorkshire Dales over the Stang forest hills and into Arkengarthdale through the famous Herriot water splash (remember the opening credits of All Creatures Great and Small?)  turning for Low Row and Gunnerside then the Buttertubs Pass via Muker onto Bainbridge for a one-hour lunch stop.

Onwards to the Tan Hill Inn, Britain’s highest pub at 1732 feet above sea level then entering Cumbria towards Brough, on to the Durham Dales and into Weardale. The route ends at the Beamish museum where you drive through the actual museum itself down the cobbled roads and tram lines, through the village and onto the finish line.

Prior to finishing you will have been questioned at 9 checkpoints where you must stop to be quizzed by check point marshalls – using the Highway Code of today, and yesteryear plus motor history and maintenance. You will have completed 6 severe hill tests (look up Silver Hill near Keld, The Stang Hill just past the Bowes museum, Askrigg Town Bank, to name just a few). Your driving will also have been observed and scored via both open and secret observed sections.

This year 165 vehicles took part. When the weather is fine spectators can be viewed all along the route particularly on the many village greens and around the severe hill tests.The crowds are usually out in force at the Romaldkirk checkpoint where the village hall opens for amazing cakes and teas.

Entrants receive a detailed route book including safety advice, and an entry number.

Around July a letter will land through your letterbox advising of your score, along with an enamel badge and year bar (gold, silver, bronze or red for did not finish) there are also many class trophies to be won and an overall trial winner who receives the magnificent Beamish Enthusiasts Trophy awarded by the Jolley family.

If you think you would enjoy taking part, go and drive the route in your modern car to enjoy the scenery of the area and also to get a taste of the challenges you will be facing in your vintage car.

To enter a vehicle please contact:

George Jolley Hon. Secretary
12, Celtic Crescent
Cleadon Village
Tyne and Wear
SR6 7RZ

0191 5360929 Further information can be found on the NECPWA Motoring Club.

The Editor

1 Jan

Welcome to the first issue of 2020 – February, number 58.

I have sold my TC (or rather, Steve Baker has sold it for me). Widely known as ‘The Vicar’s car’ I had to come to terms with the realisation that I had too much on my plate with a J2 that is still not finished and a TF1500, which still needs work. However, I’m sure that the new owner, who is known to me, will ‘do the honours’ and get her back on the road.

Talking of TCs, I’d like to introduce you to the ‘4tees’ who are pictured below as a group, with their TCs starring in a separate photo alongside. These four gentlemen bring their TCs and meet up regularly for a pub lunch.

From left to right, David Irwin, Mike Lugg, Eric Worpe and Mike Card. The following is by way of introduction from each of them.

David Irwin: “I bought my TC in Los Angeles as a millennium gift to myself in late 1999.  Had it shipped over, arriving port of London in April 2000. Two years of work and then MOT in April 2002.

Been a steady runner and regular attendee to our ‘4tees’ pub lunches.”

Mike Lugg: “I bought my TC in August 1959 when I started my graduate training, building steelworks in Scunthorpe. The car was a wreck, as they all were in those days, but it served me well regularly covering the 220 miles from Scunthorpe to the Isle of Wight where my girlfriend lived. The car remained in regular daily use until I got a company car in 1964. 

Completely rebuilt by me in the late 70s/early 80s back on the road in 1986 for the London-Inverness run featured in Motor magazine. Henry Stone the ex-MG racing mechanic rode with me one day and christened me “Le pilot fou”!  Since then used regularly on MG runs, weekends and short breaks both here and on the continent.”

Eric Worpe:  “BRJ 999 was bought in 1964 and I soon discovered that I’d been sold a ‘pig in a poke’ by a Mr Fowler; I missed the clue. Actually, it’s been a mixed blessing as it has allowed me to gain (too) much knowledge during two rebuilds. I’ve reversed some of the demands of the “bean counters” at Abingdon by strengthening most of the weak areas and fitting higher brake/side lights, which I feel is less of a “violation” than being shunted.”

Mike Card: “I bought SRF 435 as a bare chassis frame in 1998. Built it as a supercharged “Café Racer”. Put it on the road in May 2007.”

The cars from left to right:

SRF 435 (TC9477) – Mike Card; LPD 626 (TC2490) – Mike Lugg; DAS 719 (TC6132) – David Irwin; BRJ 999 (TC 0367) – Eric Worpe.

Front cover:

‘Ruby’ (KKA 362) First Registered 2.2.1949 in Liverpool

*TC 7635 XPAG 8386 matching numbers

*No. of former keepers 5

*Owned since 6.6.2013, bought in running order and run until December 2018

*Engine/gearbox rebuilt in 2019 by George Edney to 1350cc fast road spec

*Body etc “refreshed” in 2018 – just back on road

‘The Beast’ Jaguar E-Type (known as an XKE in US) 3.8 litre Series 1 OTS matching numbers 

*First Registered 11.10.62 by Henley’s, Park Lane, London to owner at 59, Knightsbridge, London

*VIN 878237, Engine R7627-8 matching numbers (verified)

*No. of former keepers 2

*Owned since 1.12.2000 …barn find near Crawley in West Sussex; 30 years off the road at that point

*Full nut and bolt restoration throughout

*Returned to road in 2012. 5000 miles run since

*Still in contact with second owner.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hagerty-ad.jpg