Front Cover – TC/9507

5 May

Earlier this year, having just read my copy of Mike’s “TCs FOREVER MORE!”, I was inspired enough to contact John James and join THE MG ‘T’ SOCIETY. John confirmed my membership and in his reply he suggested I write an article about TC/9507, which is the second of the three TCs I have owned.

Some history of TC/9507 in Australia

TC/9507 (Engine number XPAG 10242) was produced on August 25th 1949 and was sold new on January 26th 1950 by Sydney MG Dealer Ron Ward Motors to Dr. Bill Haymet who was the Director of Dental Health in New South Wales at the time.

In March 1975, when I lived in Adelaide South Australia, I purchased TC/9507 that was then located in Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory, from Wayne Freeman who had bought the TC from Darwin architect Peter Dermoudy (famous for his flying saucer house) during 1974.

TC/9507 in Darwin when owned by Peter Dermoudy in the early 1970s.

Peter had owned the car since 1967 and I had seen Peter’s TC in Darwin some years before while traveling ‘around Australia’. I already owned TC/8752 but I left a message for Wayne to say if he ever wanted to sell the TC I would be interested to buy it.

In January 1975 Wayne was selling the TC to raise some money to purchase a new truck to work in the massive clean up operation after Cyclone Tracy that devastated Darwin on Christmas Eve in 1974. So, a deal was done.

In March 1975 the TC was delivered to Adelaide where it shared the garage with my disassembled TC/8752. TC/8752 was my first MG (also my first car) that I had owned sinceJanuary 1964. I had built up TC/8752 in 1964 as a ‘special’ with cycle guards, 13” & 15” wheels and a 1622 cc MGA engine.

If JJ agrees (Yes, of course!) details of this unique TC can be the basis of another article for Totally T-Type 2 magazine.

TC/8752 in 1966 at Riverside Raceway (Melbourne) quarter mile sprints.

When TC/9507 arrived in Adelaide it was drivable, but un-roadworthy, unregistered and was sand blasted all down the left-hand side that was caused by Cyclone Tracy. The engine in TC/9507 had been re-powered with a TF 1500 engine (XPEG 3548) and was fitted with a mix of 15” & 16” wheels that were chromed. The original engine (XPAG 10242) came with it in a wooden box.

When we moved back to Melbourne in 1978, TC/9507 went into storage and later that year TC/8752 was sold, in boxes, along with engine XPAG 10242.

Having to cope with the costs of two daughters school fees, a mortgage and establishing a new business TC/9507 remained in storage, unrestored, in our garage, for the next 19 years.

In January 1997 after a big garage clean up our girls suggested it was time to restore TC/9507 and restore it we did.

My plan was to have the major components restored, and new parts supplied by specialists irrespective of where they were located in the world. In my mind a specialist would do a better job because of their knowledge and volume of their business. The freight cost doing it this way would be offset by the quality of the work.

After many hours on my trusty Mac computer, using an Excel spread sheet program, parts were purchased from USA, UK and Australia. The body and chassis went off to Mike Sherrell in Perth and the mechanical work to Melbourne’s MG guru Ray Skewes.

In May 1998 the project was finished and TC/9507 was again on the road and registered as OWO 032, which was later changed to TC 9507 to match the chassis number.

TC/9507 arrives at home in Adelaide 1975.

TC/9507, at various times over the 20 years since I restored it, actually fits into all the TC classifications that Mike Sherrell highlights in “TCs FOREVER MORE!” as it is at various times a concourse car, a runner, a café racer, a touring car and a racer.

The article I have written is best read with a copy of Mike Sherrell’s ‘TCs FOREVER MORE!’ as I have linked the following comments, modifications and changes that have been made to TC/9507 using the page numbers as the reference.

The page number reference is shown at the start of each paragraph

5 FEW FACTORY FAULTS – Three more to add to the list:

SIDE SCREEN & TOOL BOX

The side screen box is lined with black felt, this may be ok for black weather equipment but it marks the later beige material of the side screens and why would you ever line a tool box with white felt?

SECURITY

The TC can easily be started and driven off by bridging the two fuses on the regulator with the spring clip that locates the regulator cover in position – No ignition key required!

WATER TEMPERATURE GAUGE

One has to ask why this was never fitted as a standard production item.

11 Mike details the remarkable performance of the Tomlinson TA/MPJG to win the 1939 Australian Grand Prix.What is even more impressive was that 15 years later this same superb handling pre-war TA chassis was still racing through asuccession ofowners. In 1954 it was fitted with a new lightweight single seat body and a supercharged XPAG TC engine by Curley Brydon who drove the car to finish second in the 1954 Australian Grand Prix at Southport in Queensland. Again, if JJ agrees, the later history of this TA can be the basis of another article for Totally T-Type 2 magazine in the future. (Yes, please!)

In the Chapter “LORE” Mike writes about the different forms of TCs that have developed over time – TC/9507 is a unique car as it represents all these different forms.

15 The CONCOURS CAR – If you don’t open the bonnet and look inside at the extractors, bigger SUs, K&N air filters, alloy tappet cover and side plate etc. refit the 19” wheels, the original bonnet and sides, weather equipment and radiator cap still looks as original as when it was produced in 1949. It would never win a club concourse competition but from a distance still looks like it could.

TC/9507 in TC section of an MGCC Victorian concourse event.

21 The RUNNERS – since 1998 TC/9507 has been a genuine and well used runner.

TC/9507 at Cowes, Phillip Island.

22 The CAFÉ RACERS – Remove the 19s, the full bonnet (weighs 20kg), strap on the aluminum bonnet (weighs only 4 kg), fit the 15” radial tyres, the reproduction pre-war racing radiator cap and the full tonneau cover and this full-bodied TC looks just as good as the more common cycle guard equipped café racer.

TC/9507 the “CONCOURS CAR”.

TC/9507 the “CAFÉ RACER”.

23 The RACERS – TC/9507 continues to perform well as a hill climb, sprint and regularity race car

TC/9507 The “HILL CLIMB CAR” at Rob Roy hill climb.

TC/9507 the “RACE CAR” at Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit.

41 TOURING IN A TC – TC/9507 continues to be a great touring, and long-distance touring car with its large capacity XPEG engine and high ratio Nissan differential.

TC/9507 the “TOURING CAR” at Strachan in Tasmania here with John Gillett’s K3030.

58 LUGGAGE RACK & the weatherproof ‘Rak-Bag’ is a strap on variant rather than the usual bolt on type.

TC/9507 with ‘strap on’ luggage rack and ‘Rak-Bag’ luggage container.

28 HIGHER RATIO DIFFS

The original 5.125 TC differential was replaced during the rebuild with a higher ratio 4.6 diff centre from the UK. Unfortunately, this excellent 4.6 diff from Roger Furneaux did not live long with the high torque XPEG when competing in sprint and hill climb events. It was replaced with a diff centre from a Nissan/Datsun Bluebird. There are two differential options from Nissan, the alloy carrier variant (from Nissan 510 Bluebird), with 4.1 ratio and the heavier duty steel carrier type (from Nissan B120 1200 Utility/pickup), 4.1 & 4.6 ratio that is fitted to TC/4134 race car.

Nissan has historically been the source of an improved steering box and engine valves for TCs but it is not often known that is an excellent supplier ofalternative replacement TC differentials to fit in the original TC axle housing.

Original 5.125 TC diff on the left, the replacement 4.1 Nissan diff on the right.

33 FRONT ANTI-ROLL BAR on TC/9507 is mounted directly to the axle rather than on to the spring plates

34 CENTRE LACE 19” WHEELS AND ‘OFFSET’.

TC/9507 is fitted with centre laced 15” wheels because there are more tyre options available for 15” than there are for 16” wheels that were used in the past. 70 profile is the minimum ratio for tyres that are permitted for historic racing in Australia by the regulatory authority CAMS. The tyres are currently 185 70 R 15 Pirelli P 6000s which are now being remade by Pirelli as this is a size that were used on the early Porsche 911 models. The original TC stub axles were upgraded with new spindles from Bob Grunau in Canada.

35 BRAKES are fitted with cast drums as a replacement for the original steel brake drums. A hydraulic brake light switch is fitted to the master cylinder replacing the original mechanical switch. Brake torque reaction cables are fitted from the top of the king pins and run back to the chassis.

38 The Panhard Rod that fitted TC/9507 to control the front axle location for competition events was sourced from Walter Prechsl in Germany

59 WIRING COVER in TC/9507 is fitted but it is split over the steering column for easy removal. Also fitted to the wiring cover is a simple toggle type indicator switch directly over the gear stick for easy operation. Because of the high compression, larger capacity engine, TC/9507 is fitted with a high torque starter motor and the electric starter switch that is required to operate the starter solenoid is mounted to the steering column bracket and the existing bracket clearance hole in the wiring cover allows for easy access.

61 CHASSIS

TC/9507 chassis before restoration in January 1997 and during restoration in December 1997.

KEEPING THE OIL IN

The over bored XPEG engine, which is now out to over 1600 cc, is fitted with lip seals front and rear and is oil leak free.

88 CLEAN AIR

The 1.5” SUs are fitted with K&N pancake type air cleaners when using the alloy bonnet and because of the clearance requirements a special fabricated alloy air cleaner manifold, modelled on the original TA type is used when the full bonnet is fitted.

TC/9507 air cleaner for larger 1.5” SUs and only used when the full bonnet is fitted.

115 The INTERIOR TRIM is from Collingburn (UK).

119 The WEATHER EQUIPMENT is again from Collingburn and the rear of the hood is fitted using press studs to allow for quick and easy removal for competition events.

121 ELECTRICS

The instruments were restored by John Marks’ Vintage Restorations (UK).

Dash board was supplied by Whitworth shop (USA) Centre Panel was restored by Whitworth shop (USA) Horn/Dip Switch was restored by Whitworth shop (USA)’

122 FUEL WARNING LIGHT is now used as the direction indicator telltale light.

The FWL is replaced by a much more accurate manually operated Rabone #1380 Folding boxwood 36” rule marked up with fuel level graduations.

Refer http://www.mg-tabc.org/library/TC-fuel-dipstick.htm

123 IGNITION/LIGHT SWITCH was restored by Whitworth shop (USA)

126 DISTRIBUTOR the original Lucas distributor has been replaced by a modern Bosch unit.

127 LIGHTING

Front

The period Lucas 700 headlights are fitted

with high performance halogen globes

from Classic and Vintage Globes (AU).

The front parking lamps are fitted with

direction indicators.

Rear

The two D tail/stop lights are both fitted with LED inserts that were sourced from Shade Tree Motors (USA).

The black bodied direction indicators are originally from a Triumph Daytona motor cycle and are mounted using existing holes in the chassis. The lenses were sanded back to remove the raised lettering and painted with special black lens spray so they blend in to the rear of the TC unlike others that are all ‘shiny amber and chrome’.

These indicator lights are easily sourced from a range of suppliers, just google “SHIN YO Indicator DUC STYLE”

134 & 135 RESTORATIONS

The following pics show TC/9507 body, sand blasted by Cyclone Tracy, before restoration January 1997 and as it is today after restoration in 1997-1998.

The most significant and cost effective change that I have made to TC/9507 is the addition of a foot brace for the left leg. It is simple, cheap to make, easy to install and is quickly removable if required. There is no more sliding around on the slippery shiny leather bench seat using the steering wheel and your elbow over the door for location during cornering. Remember seat belts, if fitted, are a restraint and not a ‘location device’.

Fit a foot brace and I guarantee you will increase your driving pleasure and your lap and hill climb times will improve.

TC/9507 foot brace for the left leg.

To install the foot brace you simply wind down the threaded rod, that is used to clamp the battery in position, through the battery box floor. You are then provided with an upper fastening location to bolt on the foot brace while the lower end is simple screwed into the floorboard as close as possible to the gearbox cover. The foot brace is made from folded 20mm wide steel bar.

If you are a serious driver or competitor you can add an addition heel brace for the right foot. This can be easily bolted through the floorboard in a position that suits you best under the accelerator pedal.

Other ‘must haves’ are a fire extinguisher (1 kg powder type), this is easily located on the floor in front of the passenger seat and a battery isolator switch.

The TC is a wonderful car and every one is an individual. Please follow Mike’s REAR ENDwords “get in your TC and drive it, as far, as fast and as often as you can”

You can email me at info(at)snowtyres.com.au {please substitute @ for (at)} if I can help with anything further.


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