When I bought my TC about four years ago, I found a curious item tucked away behind the driver’s seat. It was a short piece of what looked like plastic water pipe, of the overflow variety. Attached to one end of the plastic tube was a length of stiffish wire ending in a metal hook. With lots of other things to think about following my return to T-Type ownership (having sold my TA some 30 years prior), I didn’t pay it much attention. However, having learned the hard way that one never throws away anything associated with an MG, I left it behind the driver’s seat.
A few weeks later I had reason to take the car back to the garage from where I had bought it. The mechanic asked whether I had thrown away the plastic tube. On retrieving it from behind the seat, he surprised me by using it to support the bonnet whilst he worked on the faulty control box!!
Since then, I’ve found it invaluable. It supports the open bonnet safely allowing a greater degree of access than with the bonnet merely folded and importantly, ensures that the paintwork isn’t marked by repeatedly folding the bonnet back on itself.
The device is simplicity itself to make. Mine is a piece of plastic tube around three quarters of an inch (19mm) diameter and one foot eight and a half inches (520 mm) long with a groove cut in one end. A length of stiff wire measuring three feet five inches (1041mm) is attached through the non-grooved end of the tube and culminates, at its end, in a metal hook.
To use the device, sit the groove of the tube on the centre lip of the open bonnet whilst the other end goes over the locating hook of the rear Amal bonnet catch. Next, slip the hook on the end of the wire into the rear Amal chassis lug and gently let the device take the strain. Simplicity itself but a most ingenious invention
N.B. One could use string in place of wire but I think that stiff wire facilitates easier positioning and releasing of the hook on the chassis lug. What is important is that the groove at the base of the tube is sufficient to allow it to sit securely on the bonnet centre lip. I don’t think that the dimensions are in any way critical – my device is very Heath Robinson!! (see below for explanation of ‘HR’).
It may well be, of course that I’m advocating something that all the world knows about, in which case forgive my ignorance!!
Steve Ashworth (TC3448)
William Heath Robinson (1872 – 1944) was an English cartoonist and illustrator, best-known for the complicated and outlandish inventions he portrayed, which has resulted in his name entering the English language.
Now, this is really going to get confusing as Steve has sent me some photos of the hood (as well as the bonnet!) he had made at Pickerings of Bradford , West Yorkshire Tel: 01274 7240000 http://www.aspickering.co.uk
Pickerings have been around for over 60 years so presumably would have ‘cut their teeth on our cars.
Steve says that the work (supplying a bespoke hood and sidescreens) is of the highest standard and he would recommend them wholeheartedly. They rebuilt the sidescreen frames and cleaned and repainted both, them and the hood-bow, prior to fitting. His only caveat is to ensure that the exposed nuts on the insides of the rear sidescreen frames need covering, otherwise they cause damage to body paintwork. He placed a blob of silicon sealant over each nut and they’re fine now.
Another recommendation for upholstery and hoods is PJM Motors of Marker Drayton, Shropshire. Tel: 01630 652873. Their website address is http://www.pjm-motors.co.uk/mgb_trim.html
David Lewis found the company most obliging when he called in on them on unrelated business and picked out the hide for the upholstery. Seats and trim arrived shortly thereafter, resplendent in their magnificence. He later ordered a full tonneau cover from the same source, with special features to retain original appearance (despite there having been no full tonneau cover originally).