Category Archives: Issue 34 (February 2016)

The Editor

Welcome to the first issue of 2016!

It seems hard to believe that we are entering our seventh year of publication of ‘Totally T-Type 2’! I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed every minute of putting the last 34 issues together and I’m continually buoyed up by the appreciative comments which come in from time to time.

It’s good to have a TB on the front cover – this one is owned by Xavier Philippe Bouchenot. Xavier has owned TB0448 since 2004 and has covered several thousand miles in the car, touring extensively throughout England, France, Luxembourg and Germany. Originally registered as ETD 181 (a Lancashire County Council registration) the car had a series of UK owners before Xavier bought it and took it over to France. He is particularly keen to learn of any pre-1967 history of his TB. If you can help please contact him at xbouchenot(at) {please substitute @ for (at)}.

The MG Spares Day at Stoneleigh (full title ‘The Carole Nash International MG and TRIUMPH Spares Day’ is approaching rather rapidly and before we know it the date of 21st February will be upon us. The Editor and Webmaster will be in attendance at our usual pitch which we share with Brian Rainbow (‘TA Brian’). It’s in Hall 1 and is directly opposite Barry Walker’s stand. Look out for the TTT 2 banner. For more information on the show go to

Mention of Brian reminds me that I overlooked in the last issue to publicly thank him for putting us in touch with our current printers which has enabled us to reduce costs and to offer at least one free issue to our ‘hard’ copy subscribers – and we might even be able to stretch this to two.

Mention was made in the last issue of the TTT 2 Index of Articles which is currently in preparation. Progress has been slower than hoped for, but it will be available in printed form at Stoneleigh (now that should concentrate the mind!). It will then be available as a web page.

I am hoping to get out and about to more events this year. The first will be the MG Octagon Car Club’s ‘Founder’s Weekend’ which is being held from 13th to 16th May and based on the Moore Place Hotel, Aspley Guise Village, Bedfordshire. The event is being organised by John and Sandra Vinnell Sandra.vinnell(at) {Please substitute @ for (at)}. Support is building.

One event which may appeal to drivers who like to travel on the Continent is ‘The MG Spring Meeting in the Dolomites’ which is being held from Thursday 19th May to Sunday 22nd May. Full details are at

An event which I keep promising to attend is ‘Pre-War Prescott’ organised by the Vintage Minor Register. This year the event is being held on 16th July and full details can be found on their website

Even if you can’t attend, do have a look at their website as there are some fabulous action ‘shots’ of the cars at last year’s event.

Later in the year is the TTT 2 Tour of the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley which is being held from 26th to 29th August and is based at Bells Hotel in Coleford, Forest of Dean. Such is the popularity of these TTT 2 Tours that they invariably get booked up a year in advance. Although our allocation of rooms in the hotel is fully booked we are running a reserve list as, from experience, there are sometimes cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances. If you wish to go on the reserve list please contact the editor via the website contact form or at his e-mail address jj(at) {please substitute @ for (at)} or phone 0117 986 4224.

Having looked closely at the likely Tour finances it looks as though we are going to have to increase the entry fee this year to £40 per car. However, there will be a reduction of £10 for those attending without a passenger. Entry forms are scheduled to be sent as e-mail attachments by the end of January/middle of February.

Later in this issue you will see an advertisement for a new publication entitled Skinner’s Union – A History of the Skinner Family and the S.U. Company. The book has been written by TTT 2 member and TC owner, Mike Harvey and is published by the S.U. Carburetter Company, better known to some of you as Burlen Services of Spitfire House, SALISBURY, Wiltshire.

The book is a veritable mine of information about all things S.U. and runs to 311 pages. Mike has asked me to write a review of the book and I feel honored to be asked. As I have only just received my copy, the review will be included in the next issue of TTT 2.

2015 was a good year for the Totally T-Type 2 magazine and the website. We are now just shy of 4,000 ‘subscribers’, who have registered with us to receive an automated e-mail, whenever a new issue of TTT 2 is uploaded to the website. Of this number just over 2,800 owners have registered for membership; membership costs nothing. The Facebook page has been particularly successful with currently 1,494 ‘likes’.

Donations in 2015 came to £549.57 (we turned the ‘donations’ button off part way through the year). We spent a total of £440.10 on a new logo design and a banner display to incorporate this design.

We are confident that we can hold our heads above water for the foreseeable future.


DISCLAIMER BY THE EDITOR Totally T-Type 2 is produced totally on a voluntary basis and is available on the website 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.

Douglas Bader’s MG TA – GPC 671

Douglas Bader pictured here c. 1940 when he was a Squadron Leader. He was later promoted to Group Captain and was knighted.

He hardly needs any introduction such were his exploits as a WW2 Fighter Pilot. His TA was supplied new and may well have been modified to cater for his disability.

MG TA, chassis no.TA1753, was built at Abingdon on 28th September 1937 and was fitted with engine number MPJG 2010. It was sold to Douglas Robert Stewart Bader and was first registered in his name as GPC 671 at 134 West Kensington Court, LONDON W14 on 14th January 1938.

The source document for these details is the original buff log book (R.F. 60) which came up for auction at Cheffins Auctioneers, Cambridge on 26th January 2006 with an estimate of £200 – £300.

The log book actually sold for £850 plus buyer’s premium of 22.5%!

Several ‘changes of ownership’, which were actually changes of address as Bader moved from RAF Station to RAF Station are recorded in the log book with the last (the 5th change) in Bader’s name being date stamped 23rd May 1941 when he was stationed at RAF Tangmere in West Sussex.

The 6th change is date stamped 19th April 1945. The entry in the name box is difficult to read but could be ‘c/o’ (care of) with just an address ‘Red Wells, Ascot, Berks’.

Having established via the Royal Mail postcode database that ‘Red Wells’ is the first line of an address in London Road, ASCOT, Berkshire I wrote to the owner who was extremely helpful in providing the following information:

On first moving into the property over 40 years ago he and his wife were told many times by the ‘locals’, including the postman, that Douglas Bader used to live there. Another source of the information was the local church, St Michaels. However up until now there has never been any known documentation to conclusively prove the Bader connection.

This has now been substantiated by an entry in the deeds of ‘Red Wells’ which shows that in 1945 the property was in the ownership of Lt Col Arthur Addison. He had a stepdaughter called Olive Bader, wife of Douglas Bader. So Bader lived there with his wife in 1945 (post mid-April 1945).

Note: Bader left Colditz on 16th April 1945 when the castle was relieved by the Americans.

It is not known how long Bader lived at Red Wells but he may have moved to nearby Sunninghill, as according to his biography Reach for the Sky he lived there in a ‘cottage’.

An interesting snippet is to be found here at the BBC History site. The BBC ran a project WW2 People’s War from June 2003 to January 2006 with the aim of collecting the memories of people who had lived and fought during World War Two on a website; to quote from the website, “these would form the basis of a digital archive which would serve as a learning resource for future generations”.

One of the contributions came from a gentleman who said he started as an apprentice at White’s of Camberley in 1944. He remembers Bader bringing his MG in for servicing (this would have been later in 1945). Apparently this chap had the job of ‘servicing’ Bader’s new legs.

For those who are familiar with the geography of the area, Camberley is not a million miles from Ascot/Sunninghill and probably White’s was the nearest dealership around at the time.

Returning to the entries in the log book, the seventh (and last) entry is virtually impossible to de-cipher and unlike all the previous entries it is not date stamped. The first line of the address appears to be “RAF” but the rest is not legible and the signature does not look as though it is Bader’s.

This is possibly when the car changed hands but unfortunately we may never know, for we are totally in the dark regarding the history of GPC 671 for the 21 year period 1945 to 1966 until the emergence of a continuation log book. The circumstances surrounding the existence of this continuation log book are described later in this article.

The car was all but forgotten (if indeed it had ever been remembered!) but the auction of the original buff log book in 2006 changed all that.

The November 2005 edition of Totally T-Type carried the forthcoming auction of the log book as a News item and the then Editor (a Mr John James) commented at the end of the News item “All we need to do now is to find the car!”

Imagine the current Totally-Type 2 Editor’s surprise when at a joint MGCC/Octagon Car Club ‘natter’ in the spring of 2006, Richard Iles from Chippenham, Wiltshire came up to him and said “I used to own that car”.

Unfortunately, whilst in Richard’s ownership the car was involved in an accident in 1967 on the Upper Bristol Road in Bath. A Ford Cortina came straight out of a side turning and hit the MG amidships, extensively damaging it.

The body literally fell to bits and the chassis was badly damaged. Remember that this was the 1960s when the cars were not viewed in the same light as they are nowadays, so the decision was taken to dismantle the car.

The engine had already been swopped out prior to the accident as it leaked like a sieve and with a weak cylinder block it was only good for spares (ancillaries) and was sold. A replacement engine had been fitted from another TA owned by Richard which he had purchased from a Mr Pratten, a timber merchant, whose flourishing concern is still around to this day.

The chassis, apart from being banana shaped was seriously corroded at the rear with acid leakage from the twin 6-volt batteries not exactly helping to keep the metal in pristine condition. In fact, such was the condition that the rear end of the chassis was held together by pieces of Dexion.

Nowadays a decision might well be taken to refurbish the chassis (especially given the pedigree) but this was the 1960s! Additionally, it was not known at the time that this was the ex-Douglas Bader TA as this only came to light with the emergence of the original buff log book in Bader’s name.

The chassis was therefore hacksawed into manageable pieces for transportation by Richard’s brother, Timon and taken to George Flower’s scrap yard in Chippenham. The yard covered a vast area in the town and since closure has been redeveloped for housing.

Sadly that’s where the chassis of Douglas Bader’s TA ended up – a rather ignominious end, but perhaps some of the better metal on it ended up as rivets?

However, all is not lost because several bits of the car have survived with Richard Iles and the Editor has been along to take some photographs, which are reproduced at the end of this article.

Also reproduced, along with the original log book, is a scanned copy of the continuation log book showing Richard as the last owner.

First though, here are some period photos of the car which Richard has recently found. He also has a receipt for the purchase of GPC 671 from Pilot Officer Michael Leigh of RAF Rudloe Manor.

The first three photos were taken on holiday in Gwithian, Cornwall. Richard drove there in GPC 671 accompanied by his mate, David Speak, in the Sprite. The two of them can be seen sitting on the veranda of the holiday chalet in the third photo.

The colour photo shows GPC 671 parked outside Vale Court in Colerne, Wiltshire in August 1967.

This property was once owned by Arnold Hagenbach who made a fortune by developing the Arndale Centres with his friend, Sam Chippendale.

Above: Original log book in Bader’s name. Below: Continuation logbook showing last owner as Richard Iles (click image below for bigger view).

Two views of all that is left of the rear nearside quarter of Bader’s MG TA.

The offside bonnet side of Bader’s car showing the damage inflicted (most of the damage was further back as the Ford Cortina hit the car amidships as the MG was making a right turn).

One of the number plates from Bader’s MG TA which is hung on the garage wall.

The steering wheel from Bader’s MG TA.

Above: the radiator surround and spare wheel tripod from Bader’s MG TA Below: the radiator.

A selection of parts, which includes the hood frame.

Bishop Cam steering box from GPC 671.

The engine which was in the car at the time of the crash. As explained earlier in the text, this engine came out of Mr Pratten’s TA (TA0470) and is numbered MPJG 738. TA0470, originally registered as BDF 323 will be restored one day.

So, there you have it folks, that’s the story of GPC 671 from Richard Iles’ brief period of ownership. There is surely at least one more continuation log book covering the period circa 1945 to 1966. I have tried, so far without success, to get in touch with Alan Ivor Tucker, the first named owner in Richard’s continuation log book. There is always the possibility that he might recall the name of the previous owner, albeit we are now fifty years down the track.

As regards locating the bits of the Bader MG TA which have survived this has been a difficult assignment. All the bits are on the same site with the easy to find ones in a triple-garage which is relatively tidy. However the harder to find ones are ‘buried’ in a former slaughter house amongst years of accumulated bric-a-brac and there is every chance that more will be revealed. One item which will not be found is the chassis – that’s accounted for as destroyed and scrapped. JOHN JAMES

XPAG Engine For Sale

Ron Ward is a time-served toolmaker at Standard Motor Company and has spent his working life in the machine tool industry worldwide. He has owned a much modified ’47 TC (90BHP un-supercharged) for 30 years and a 1963 Mini Cooper S ‘look alike’ (100BHP) for 40 years. He builds four or five XPAG engines per year, generally to the specification below.

One such engine is nearing completion at the time of typing this advert and should be ready when this issue ‘hits the streets’.


1350 cc (i.e. +100). New three ring solid skirt pistons, Allen caphead pinch bolts, late crank no. 168557 (see TCs Forever page 129) at .010/010 (crack tested), new shells, lightened flywheel, 8” clutch, all balanced. Lip seals front and rear (using Speedi Sleeve)

New billet steel fast road camshaft, vernier timing sprocket set at 109 degrees, new bearings, oil grooved cam followers, combined horizontal oil pump/filter.

Cylinder head stage II, unleaded, large valve, Metro stem seals, bronze guides, ported by (George Edney/XPAG Eng.)

Engine can be supplied with either TC or TD/F/Y type front engine mounting plate. Contact Ron at 01422 823649 (or for e-mail address, please contact the Editor via the TTT 2 contact form).

Price 4,000 GBP including part exchanging existing engine.

Vacuum Distributor in a TA

The Metro, Lucas 59 D 4 distributor in position

The advantages of vacuum advance distributors are well known and I have struggled to work out how to modify the standard TA distributor, eventually giving up. However John Saunders’ article in the May Octagon Bulletin rejuvenated my efforts, this time using a modern distributor.

I scrounged a Metro A + Points Distributor (Lucas model 59D4). The advantage of this type is its neat vacuum unit and a wide flange to which a clamp can locate.

The standard drive dog is replaced with the drive gear. I reused the roll pin which is too long and needs filing flush to miss the camshaft gear. There was not enough clearance to reuse the thrust washer so I left it out. I also ran some Loctite 290 into the joint to stop any gear wobble.

The photo shows two mounting clamps, one using a pop rivet to hold the jubilee clip to its tab. The other, the tab folds over the jubilee clip, a piece of rubber locating it. Both work fine as there is no need for great force to hold the distributor still. Just nip up the clip. Make a new short tab bolt.

Showing mounting clamps in position

The vacuum take off is via a hole (1mm ish) drilled through the air cleaner mounting bolt and into the inlet manifold. This needs to seal from leaks so I used some soft washers and goo. I drilled the head of the bolt (3/16 diameter and 3/16 deep ish) and glued a small metal tube for the take off pipe.

Showing the vacuum take off point

Distributors come with various centrifugal and vacuum advance curves; I need to do more research on these. However in the meantime I have set my TA to 5 degrees btdc, vacuum disconnected, at 700 rpm, strobe. The vacuum adds more tick over advance up to about 20 degrees (about 20 inch on my vacuum gauge).

John Saunders has done much work on the subject, which gives us valuable information.

Ed’s note: This article was sent to me by David Heath. The next is also penned by David.

Modifying the Metro Lucas 59 D4 distributor advance curve to suit the TA engine

The advantage of this more modern unit is that it has a Vacuum Advance facility which may prove useful with modern fuel. After fitting it I then needed to modify the advance curve to suit the TA engine. To do this I altered the “maximum stop” and “rate of advance”. Previous experience gave me settings that I have used to evaluate the results.

Firstly the car goes much better; the engine feels more responsive. What really indicates to me “improved fuel burning” is the condition of the exhaust valves.

An advantage of the MPJG engine is that having removed the spark plugs and by turning the engine on the handle, the exhaust valves can be seen through the plug holes.

Their condition has improved greatly. Before, they looked like they were struggling against incomplete combustion.

David’s exhaust downpipe temperature sensor.

Another indication of the more complete combustion is the exhaust temperature. Sometime ago I installed an exhaust down pipe temperature sensor (see photo).

Using the temperature as a guide, an optimum timing could be arrived at. This time I drove at 2500 rpm, about 43 mph, several times along a test route (level road about 2 miles long) and recorded the temperature with and without the vacuum advance connected. The temperature of the pipe was about 410 degrees C with the additional advance and about 35 degrees C greater without. Lower exhaust temperatures mean lower under bonnet temperatures, cooler carburettors and less vapour lock but most importantly indicates more complete combustion before the exhaust valve opens.

At speeds of 30/40 mph the inlet manifold vacuum is allowing the vacuum advance unit to apply probably 10-20 degrees additional advance (crank). Conversely any engine running 10-20 degrees “late” will be inefficient, run too hot and burn out exhaust valves and seats.

To modify the distributor:-

With the distributor on the bench in a soft vice, first remove the points’ plate by removing the 2 screws and wire grommet. Lift the plate, noting the peg which locates through the vacuum advance rod. When re-assembling it may be better to loosen the vacuum unit’s screws for extra wriggle room (can be quite a fiddle).

Next remove the 2 advance springs. These are quite thick and difficult to pop off.

Lifting out the cam requires a puller, I made one (see photo). Holding the cam in is a small nylon O ring. Centre dot the top of the shaft for the puller point to locate.

David’s home made puller and the “maximum stop” (arrowed).

The photo also shows the “maximum stop” (arrow) where a small amount of filing will increase the movement. The plate will have a number stamped on it: 8 or 12 for example – this is the distributor factory maximum degrees. File the stop to achieve 16 degrees (32 crank). Use a protractor stuck onto the cam top with blue tack to measure the angle of movement. I replaced the 2 springs with some much lighter which I think came from the Moss spring packet.

Spring dimensions mm

  1. Wire 0.75 o/s length 17 o/s diameter 5.3 coils 7
  1. Wire 0.6 o/s length 16.5 o/s diameter 4.94 coils 6

The cam fits over a nylon guide ring which only goes one way around. Check that the cam moves its full 16 degrees before putting the springs on and the O ring.

Checking the advance curve with engine running is helped by the use of an adjustable strobe lamp. Some experimentation with different springs may be necessary, a tedious job. I initially set my idle at 10 degrees/700, vacuum disconnected (connected 28 degrees) since reset to 5 degrees.

The attached graph shows 4 curves:-

A is a typical Metro A+ high compression 9/10cr curve.

B is typical standard T type.

C is John Saunders’ curve. You may have seen John’s article of modifying a type 25 distributor to fit an XPAG in the May Octagon Bulletin. 8.8 cr.

D My curve, ahead of the others to compensate for modern fuel in a low cr MPJG engine 6.6 cr.

I also changed the vacuum unit to help with the slower burning in the low cr TA, from a typical Metro unit 54424167, 3/9/8 to a 54425067, 3/13/12. The last number 12 is the maximum vacuum advance of the unit (x 2 for crank ie 24).

The Metro unit would probably be fine.

At 30 -40mph the vacuum from the inlet manifold is approximately 10-15 inches giving an additional 15-20 degrees advance on top of the 25-30 centrifugal. This is substantially ahead of the standard advance.

My testing has shown me the advantages of vacuum advance. If to protect my engine I have to fit a different distributor…..then I have to!


I run a number 2 carburettor needle. This is a little richer than the AC which I always felt the TA needed.

I use Redex lead replacement additive even though I have hardened exhaust seats.

The tests use standard 95/5% ethanol pump fuel.

As yet there has been no time for fuel consumption tests.

The graphs are known as “wide open throttle” i.e. the correct timing when there is no vacuum available. The vacuum advance is in addition to this and continues to vary as the throttle is changed in response to load. When plotting yours, disconnect the vacuum pipe and plug it on the inlet manifold side.

I am experimenting with idle timing between 5 and 10 degrees (no vacuum) 23-28 with. This moves my graph start point between 5 and 10 degrees. I need to do more testing but with winter here things are on slow.

So far I have limited my testing to about 3000 rpm, my normal maximum.

David Heath

TC10178 – saved from sitting on bricks since 1967 in a Sheffield lock up garage (Part 4)

In the June 2015 issue of TTT 2 I mentioned that Norman Verona had contacted me to say that he had found the TTT 2 website and that he had registered his newly acquired TC on the T-Database. He promised that he would send regular updates of a total restoration which he intended carrying out himself. The first update was published in the August 2015 issue of TTT 2, the second in the October 2015 issue, and the third in the December 2015 issue. This is Norman’s fourth update and takes us up to the stage where he now has finished his engine rebuild.

Around the end of October I started on the engine rebuild. I had to get new pistons, as when the pistons were washed, deep scores at the crown were seen. They also had 2 pistons with broken rings, probably due to broken pistons.

The camshaft had seized in the block. Actually I think the oil on the bearings had dried out leaving a varnish which had stuck the shaft to the bearing. Lots of plus gas and 3 in 1 oil sorted it.

Seized camshaft bearing being soaked in ‘Plus Gas’ and ‘3 in 1’ oil.

Cleaned con-rods. I spent ages trying to clean a shadow.

Not sure what these numbers, stamped in the sump face of the block mean. Could be a manufacture date; 35th week of 1949? Anyone know?

The first piston, covered in graphite and ready to be put in.

And in!

I fitted the modified rear seal as supplied by Moss (not Moss Bros, they do suits)

Took time and the instructions are very long winded. However it wasn’t difficult.

 I wonder if it will be oil tight?

The Moss oil seal conversion now fitted.

The bottom end buttoned up.

I couldn’t remember tightening the front plate bolt behind the camshaft timing wheel. So, I took the front cover off, undid the camshaft bolt holding the wheel to the cam and levered it forward enough to get a spanner behind. It was tight! Then I looked with the torch and saw I had my spanner on the camshaft holding plate bolt, so tried the front plate bolt, which was, indeed, loose. Duly tightened and feeling very smug I refitted the cam timing wheel and the front plate and carried on.

I fitted the pick up to the sump then started on the valve gear. I built the rockers on the new shaft and then fitted the head. Pulled the head down and fitted the rocker shaft, side cover on and then the sump.

After refitting the oil pump which also entailed removing the rusty ball and spring and fitting new ones, I took the engine off the bench.

The water pump and thermostat housing came next. Then I dropped one of the small cheese headed screws that hold the water elbow to the thermo housing. I spent 5 minutes looking for it then tried “sweeping” the floor with a magnet. OK, I know when to give up, so I called Lynne to find it. As I was showing her the other screw, she was stooping to pick up the “lost” one.

So, tonight the engine is almost complete and painted. I’ll touch it up tomorrow; painting the bits I missed and then clean the overpainting off the bits that shouldn’t have painted (rocker cover and brass unions). I have to clean the oil pipe union bolts then fit all the oil pipes. Then I’ll fit the manifolds, carbs, starter and dynamo.

Bought myself a present, two key fobs in the correct colour. The other fob is from the MG Club De France, nice isn’t it?

Getting there! The valve gear bit me in bum later on.

Nearly there, the fun is about to start.

The gearbox being stripped. My balls were fiddly but got it sorted. Balls? The balls and springs in the synchro hub which popped out and are very fiddly to get back in.

The rest of the internals. Anyone know how this lot goes back together?

Now the fun starts. I should have learned a lesson by now. I get very tired and my back aches a lot at the end of the working day, about 1700. I refitted the valve gear last thing at night and got it wrong. I put the spacers on top of the pillars instead of in between. This is the result:

All four were fractured. New ones are on the way from Roger Furneaux.

Whilst waiting for the new pillars I did the crackle black paint on the wiper motor.

I’d had a problem with the first attempt, My paint didn’t crackle. I was advised by TABC members that the surfaces needed to be hot. So I heated it all under 2000 w of arc lights. Still didn’t look right, I then turned the lights off thinking I’d have to get a different paint and lo and behold as it cooled it crackled. I’ve since painted the centre nut of the horn with chrome affect paint.

I finished the gearbox and painted the case.

All nice and shiny.

At this point I filled the sump and the filter and primed the pump. I’ve read some pretty drastic methods to prime TC pumps but all I did was to fill the pump with a pump type oil can through the hole for the pipe to the filter. I then “bleed” the system along each joint. However I couldn’t get oil coming from the splash holes in the rockers. I walked round to the filter side and noticed the top union to the head had broken. NTG sent one out and it arrived a few days later.

I fitted the new bolt, bled the union and had oil coming out but still no oil to the rockers. I had a suspicion and emailed Roger Furneaux to confirm. Yes the rocker shaft must be the correct way round as there’s only one oil hole. I took the shaft apart and turned it round, rebuilt it and refitted.

Still no oil but I then noticed that oil was seeping out the ends. I sheepishly retrieved the end plugs from the original shaft and hey presto, oil at the rockers.

It’s oil, it’s beautiful, it’s wonderful, it’s marvellous, I’m beginning to break into song.

I started to overhaul the fuel pump. The pump had a lot of sediment in the chamber. I blew it out and as it wouldn’t blow out I scraped it and then tapped it on the vice…

and ……………….!

Oops, I broke it. A new electronic one is now lying on the floor waiting to be fitted.

So, we’ll leave this month’s entry with a picture of the fully assembled engine and gearbox.

We are now up to the 16th November (this is only my way of knowing where to start with next months). Next month I’ll explain what I’ve done with the hood and side screens.

If you visit you can read about showers, massage chairs, JCB digging trenches, new furniture and a lot more about a TC.

Restoration report on a MG Special 1951

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).

The initiator and designer of the car body was almost certainly Christian Odendahl, racing driver and MG dealer before and after the war. Odendahl was racing MGs at that time and he appears to have placed the order for the manufacture of the body to coach builder Fritz Hennefahrt Co. located in Bad Cannstatt a suburb of Stuttgart, Southern Germany.

Stuttgart is one of the major car industry centres of Germany and is probably better known to most readers as the home of such names as Gottlieb Daimler, Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Bosch.

The book “Aus Liebe zum Sportwagen” written by Hagen Nyncke and Halwart Schrader explains that MG importer Woodhouse asked Hennefahrt to build a copy of the TD body on a rolling chassis supplied by Abingdon due to the shortage of steel after WW II.

The finished cars were distributed among the handful of German MG dealers. Most, if not all were sold to GI’s who took them back to the USA.

The Hennefahrt MG used one of the first three TD MK II left hand drive chassis frames produced by Abingdon. These were as follows:

TD/C3670 EXL Engine no. XPAG/TD/LHX 3578

TD/C3671 EXL Engine no. XPAG/TD/LHX 3517

TD/C3672 EXL Engine no. XPAG/TD/LHX 2272

Two of these are said to have gone to Germany of which TD/C3671 was one.

The date of production of the above three chassis was 05/10/50, 06/10/50 and 06/10/50 respectively.

The Hennefahrt car was equipped with a more powerful engine of 72 BHP. The tuning of the TD MKII engine from 57 BHP to 72 BHP was possibly done already at Abingdon works and the original first German registration papers of the car dated 05 May 1951 (reproduced below – click image to zoom in) actually showed 72 BHP rating (shown as 72 PS). Andrex shock absorbers were installed (as they were on the MK II model) which improved handling.

During the period from 1951 to 1956 while the car was owned by racing driver Odendahl of Cologne, more modifications were done to the front body line with a view to giving it a more modern look. This included modifications to the bonnet, head lights, radiator shell and slats and bumper bars. Additionally, the car was equipped with single seats and a newly designed two sectional chrome plated steel frame to hold the wind screens.

The registration document showing the change of ownership from Christain Odendahl to Manfred Schnabel in Frankfurt in March 1956.

The car was on the road for an estimated total period of 10-12 years only. From its first owner at Cologne (Odendahl) it changed to the second owner in Frankfurt and was later registered at Augsburg near Munich / Bavaria until the early 1960s.

At this point in time it ‘disappeared’ and it was feared that it had been scrapped. However, approximately 40 years later in 2003 when the widow of the last owner asked some workmen to dismantle a utility shed in the garden, the car was discovered amongst a heap of scrap and in the company of a wide range of collected metal items such as agricultural tractors, juke boxes, casino slot machines, etc.

As one would expect, the condition of the car which had been sitting in the shed for such a period of time was very sad. The colour of the bodywork at that time was turquoise / green. The rear wings had dropped off, so did the doors when one tried to open them and all the other remaining parts were in a similarly poor state. The front right hand side showed signs of damage caused by an accident.

Fortunately, the car was mostly complete with all the essential mechanical and electrical parts still in place.

Three views of TD/C3671 as found in the shed.

Following the discovery of TD/C3671 a classic car dealer from the North of Germany acquired the MG. The car was given a quick reassembly job and a touch of paint covering the worst looking spots.

In 2006 the car then found a new owner in Bavaria / Southern Germany. This person was prepared to invest in the restoration of the MG and he contracted a panel beater company for the body work. The company started to make jigs for the front and rear wings, and started to fabricate new doors. The various layers of paint on the body shell were removed by hand and without the use of sand blasting.

Part way through the job of restoring the sheet metalwork and after 450 contract man hours the owner ran out of money and he decided to stop all work. No restoration work had been done to the mechanical and electrical parts, but all was still completely there. In addition a spare cylinder head was available. An original hood and a second double lined (winter time) hood were of no use anymore but offered a basis for a reproduction.

The Hennefahrt MG was now partly dismantled and semi restored and offered for sale on the internet. Potentially interested parties were scared of hidden surprises with the potential risk of unexpected possible extra efforts and cost incurred to complete the restoration. For a long time no buyer was found and the car ended up to be stored outdoors under a tarpaulin in front of a home in the Bavarian countryside.

By coincidence Rainer Kuehner discovered the Hennefahrt MG and in 2013 he became the proud new owner. Rainer, being a professional restorer running a car body and paint shop. was game enough to tackle the job of finishing the restoration project.

Interestingly enough, more than 60 years after the car was first put on the road in the town of Stuttgart and after a tricky tour of different parts of Germany, it now returned to the Southern part of the country again. Rainer’s home at Moeckmuehl is a small country town located only about 40 km from Stuttgart.

The car was still mostly complete with all its essential parts intact and with only some minor bits missing. The boot was filled with left over, or not as yet used, sheet metal pieces which were partially fabricated and at various stages of completion; some of rather questionable ‘fit for purpose’.

The body had been primed by the Bavarian company and was now mostly in grey colour. The threshold plate showed traces of what might have been the original paint. Quite possibly the original colour of the Hennefahrt MG was silver grey.

The body being removed from the chassis.

Having acquired the car the first step was now to dismantle it and the body was lifted off the frame. The entire sheet metal body was dipped in an acid / caustic bath to remove all rust.

Body having now emerged from the dipping process

Next it was given a first primer coat followed by sanding. The accident damage in front was repaired and cosmetic correction to small dents done which had been ignored by previous panel work. Various front and rear quarter panels were made up and replaced.

The doors had a straight panel section inserted at the lower part which had to be cut out again. A rounded panel was fabricated and inserted to maintain the contour of the flowing body line.

Subsequently a second primer coat (green colour) was applied to the parts finished.

The engine overhaul work was done by Wanner Parts Service near Offenburg / Southern Germany. Prior to sending the engine block to Franz Wanner the starter motor, dynamo, oil filter, water pump and other outside mounted items were removed.

The cylinder block had a re-bore with new oversize pistons installed, and the crankshaft was reground with all new bearings fitted. The original crankshaft seal to clutch housing was replaced with a Simmering type oil seal including a fabricated seal housing flange. The cylinder head was planed and the valve seats were reground.

After the engine block had been closed up again it was spray painted in the original red colour.

The carburettors were in a very poor condition and were in need of a complete overhaul. After disassembly the housings were glass bead blasted. The jets, fittings, moving parts and linkage were replaced as necessary.

The gear box and differential gear were overhauled using all new bearings and new replacement parts where necessary. A new prop shaft was provided.

Both front and back axles were sand blasted and spray painted with two component epoxy resin primer. Aluminum parts were glass bead blasted.

After sand blasting the exhaust pipe and muffler parts the material of the assembly was considered to be of sufficient integrity to be coated with temperature resistant paint and then hopefully will be suitable for reinstallation. Time will tell.

Another area which still requires major attention are the Andrex shock absorbers. On both the left and right unit the lever had been welded to the spline shaft, when the splines were worn or damaged. So far it has not been possible to source any replacement parts for these Andrex units and Rainer is still looking for an alternative solution. A local machine shop is possibly available to fabricate a spline shaft.

Rainer Kuehner, the proud owner – lucky man!

The radiator was given to a specialised company for reconditioning. The radiator shell and slats appear to be MGA, however the dimensions are different. It is not known whether it is possibly a prototype or custom made unit from England.

The starter and dynamo will need to be sent away for overhaul by a local shop. All dashboard instruments are present and will need to be reconditioned by a specialised company.

The planned schedule is to have the body work finished by spring of 2016, followed by installation of new wiring and completing the electrical system. The brake system has to be put into operation. At this moment the engine and gear box have been put into place only. More engine ancillaries have to be re-assembled and engine re-commissioning is to be done.

(Report compiled by Georg Rahm with light editing by John James).

Lost and Found

Another ‘bumper crop’ for this issue!

Ralph Scarfogliero is looking to part with his TD. It is the earliest TD (TD0256) known in North America and is RHD. Ralph bought the car in 2011 in California. Obviously not a North American export, he’s curious to know its early history.

Since the photo was taken Ralph has sourced the correct wheels and had the front shock absorbers rebuilt. As part of an intended restoration he’s now removed the body but due to a change of plan he’s looking for somebody else to finish the job.

Contact details are: phone 201-206-1389 USA or e-mail ralph(at) {please substitute @ for (at)}.

TF1984, registration mark TDH 152

Ian McCulloch bought his TF, TF1984, registration mark TDH 152, in October 2013 from Barry Walker. It was originally black with a biscuit interior but it underwent a rebuild in the mid eighties when it had a bare metal re-spray to its current ivory with red interior. Shortly after, it featured prominently in the book ‘MG TF–Super Profile’ by Jonathan Edwards.

Since then the MOT certificates show a mileage of under 1000 miles per year but there is a blank in history until the previous owner to Ian, a Mr Bull of Leamington Spa. He indicated that the car had been in somebody’s collection before that. The car has all matching numbers and a Heritage Certificate issued in 1997 to a Mr D A Nobbs.

Ian can be contacted at ianmcc(at) {please substitute @ for (at)}.

TD27417, registration mark RAF 197

John Price used to own this car and has several photographs, copies of which he would like to pass on to the current owner. John would also be delighted to see his old car again.

A DVLA enquiry reveals that the car is not taxed as at 1997, so it is presumably sitting in a garage, or a barn somewhere. John can be contacted on charliey12(at) {please substitute @ for (at)}.

TD0399, registration mark 78 BLH

Chris Fuller has owned TD0399 since 1978 having purchased it from Aercrete Mobiles, Hastings back then. It’s an early 1950 car and he’s keen to learn of the car’s history. Contact details are chrisfuller480(at) {please substitute @ for (at)}.

TC2345, registration mark DHH 242

David Taylor used to own this TC in the 1960s and would like to get in touch with the present owner. The one but last owner, who lived in West Knoyle (Wilts). died a couple of years ago and his widow sold the car through an intermediary. She thought it went to the Cambridgeshire area (Ely?) but she wasn’t sure. David can be contacted at: daviid.taylor(at) {please substitute @ for (at)}.

TC1690 (From Zimbabwe to South Africa)

After some 2 years of negotiation and red tape Bruce Dixon has finally managed to rescue a TC from Zimbabwe and bring it back to South Africa. Says Bruce; “Importing cars to South Africa is not for the faint-hearted!”

The car had been standing in a shed at a truck yard near Harari airport for some 30 years and needed some serious cleaning. Bruce soaked the cylinders over night with a light oil and filled the carbs (Solex) with petrol, also flushing the cooling system, before cranking the engine with the plugs out. Amazingly it started up and the oil pressure was good. Generally all the electrics, horn, lights, map lights are working so the next stage is get the car registered in SA and start a rolling restoration.

The logistics of loading and unloading the TC are interesting, as the following pictures show:

Above: With no access to forklift facilities, the TC was first pushed off a ramp onto a small flatbed truck, ready for the next ‘level’. Below: The TC was then ‘transferred’ from the truck, onto a super link articulated lorry, which is shown in the next picture.

All loaded, sheeted down and ready to leave with a Twin Cam MGA (ooh!) to keep the TC company.

As if this wasn’t enough of an occasion, the departure was on the same day as the visit of the Chinese President. The road from the airport to Harari was lined with flag bearers and praise singers, not to mention security – what a wonderful send off for two MGs!

Safe arrival in South Africa with better off-loading facilities.

TC2921, registration mark thought to have been SMT 74.

Jack Emmott is seeking information on a TC that he bought in April 1967. It is chassis number TC2921. Jack thinks that the registration plate was SMT 74. However, he is not sure if the plate belongs to this TC because the car has been in many pieces and stored in many places since 1967. It is one of five which he bought and exported to the US to be restored. This ended up being “the parts car”. Life interfered with getting it back on the road. Now retired, he has built a new tub and most of the mechanicals are done so it should be out of the shop this spring.

TC2456, registration mark HSU 307

Roger Bateman is seeking information on the history of his car, TC2456, UK registration number HSU 307. It was in South Africa until 1987 and was registered DND 787T there. He has found out a lot about the UK owners, but nothing about when it was in South Africa. Can anybody help? rogerbateman(at) {please substitute @ for (at)}.

EP 9176 – 1946 MG TC

Richard Hinton is hoping that we’ll have the same success in tracing this TC for a friend of his as we did in finding his old TC (GWS 490) in Maryland, USA where it has resided untouched for 43 years.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a chassis number for this car but it will surely have been well known in the 1960s when it was owned by Wendy Atkinson, as she was then.

Wendy was a West End Musical actress as well as appearing in TV comedy series and an advertising and fashion photo model. She was also the face of Tio Pepe of advertising posters.

This photo was taken in Surrey in 1960……………

…..with her faithful Boxer dog who loved travelling in the TC and guarded it, sitting on the passenger seat, wherever she left it.

She really loved the car, was so sorry to lose it and really wonders if it has survived and its story over the last 56 years. It was dark red in colour then and she thinks it was a 1946 model. This would tie in with the age of the registration mark, since EP, being an ex-Montgomeryshire registration was issued by this Licensing Authority from December 1903 right up to November 1947.

Wendy went on to be a highly successful lady racing driver throughout the 1970s and 80s beating a lot of very good men in the process in various saloon cars and for many years a works driver in Rotary Mazdas in particular. She was the ‘real deal’; better known perhaps to racing enthusiasts as Wendy Markey.

Bits and Pieces

Very little room in this issue – just enough space for an update on Declan Burns’ offerings:

TD/TF Rack gaiters

Declan has put the rack gaiters on hold at the moment. The quality of the test samples was excellent but he would like to have an increased inner diameter.

Rocker cover rubber seal

The XPAG/XPEG rocker cover rubber seal is available and the price is 17.99 Euro + 6.50 Euro uninsured postage.

Side cover rubber seal

Quite a while has been spent in getting the XPAG/XPEG side cover to fit properly. They have been made and tried in 2mm, 3mm and 4mm thicknesses, but it has been found that the 2mm version is by far the easiest to fit due to the orientation of the distributor.

The 4mm is on Declan’s car and it was a struggle to fit it. One of the main issues with the side cover seals, even the cork originals, is that once the sleeve nuts are installed they push the seal along the studs towards the engine centre line. The diameter of the stud holes on the seal has since been modified to prevent this happening.

The photo below is the first prototype seal being fitted on Declan’s car. The production seal can be centred using the sleeved nuts and the application of some sealant ensures the seal is centred correctly and not distorted when the sleeved nuts are inserted and torqued up. The 3mm seal has also been found to be slightly too thick.

Price is 15.90 Euro.

King pin dust caps for TD/TF/MGA

The king pin dust caps have been optimized and are also available and they are a nice snug fit. The price has to be 3 Euro each as the manufacturing is not automated and each piece must be physically removed from the mould.

MGA/MGB rocker cover and the A-series rocker cover and tappet chest seals are also available.

Any enquiries for the improved rubber parts should be sent to Declan’s friend, Hans Dieter Gollus at the following email address: [email protected]