Category Archives: Issue 52 (February 2019)

The Editor

Welcome to Issue 52, February 2019.

I’m starting this editorial on Boxing Day, having decided to get away from all the ‘rubbish’ on television.

The issue of what will become of our cars in years to come crops up from time to time. In the 1960s when they were changing hands on a regular basis I seem to recall that you could buy a very nice TC for 300 GBP. I can certainly remember drooling over Exchange & Mart adverts at the time.

Looking at some inflation statistics recently, I see that 100 GBP in 1963 would be equivalent to purchasing power of just over 2,000 GBP in 2018. So, if you bought a TC all those years ago and still have it, you would be doing rather well. But, it’s not all about money ….or, so I keep telling Mrs J.

Continuing ‘the not all about money’ theme, I don’t think most of today’s youngsters would want to own one of our cars, even if it was bought for them. However, we have to hope that in their more mature years they remember dad’s or mum’s (or grandad’s or grandma’s) MG and decide that they would like to own one. In this way (well, it seems to have been the case up to now) our T-Types pass from one generation to the next.

In the meantime, let’s not worry too much about the future and let’s continue to enjoy driving and tinkering with our cars for as long as we can!

2019 sees the 50th anniversary of the founding of the MG Octagon Car Club and the 80th anniversary of the introduction of the TB. The Octagon will be holding a celebration dinner on Saturday evening 27th April at the Arden Hotel and Leisure Club, Coventry Road, Bickenhill, SOLIHULL B92 0EH. This venue is very close to the NEC and the M6/M42 motorways. If you are a MGOCC member (lots of readers of this publication are) and would like further details, including preferential rates for an overnight stay, please send an e-mail to the office at admin(‘at’)

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

‘MG TB 80’ which celebrates 80 years since the production of all the TB models in 1939 is also being held from 10th to 13th May and runs alongside the Founder’s Weekend. This event is based at The Bird In Hand, a 17th century Cotswold Inn, near Witney. Mike Inglehearn or Jeff Townsend will be pleased to let you have further details jeff.townsend(at) / mingle54(at) {please substitute @ for (at) in each address.

Moving forward to August the TTT 2 Tour of mid-Wales is being held, based at the Metropole Hotel & Spa in Llandrindod Wells.

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

The Classic Outback Trial Tour (10,000 km) run by the Endurance Rally Club of Australia was held from 8th August to 4th September. Dr Peter Zernial and Michele Salvaneschi competed in Peter’s TC. Make time (at least 30 minutes) to watch the video:


Just enough space to feature Chris Bennett’s TF and camper trailer. Pic taken on the trip to the MG National in Tasmania last Easter. Chris did the restoration in 2015/17 and built the camper in 2017. He installed a Ford Sierra T9 5 speed from Hi-Gear and coil over rear shock absorbers. He says that the TF is now a pleasure to drive and can cruise along at 90 kph with the camper in tow. It only weighs about 350kgs.


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.

Introducing TC4985

Many T-series owners have been custodians of one or more MGs for many years. For me it was a case of wanting to be a TC owner for many years. During the summer, following my first year at university, I worked so as to save up to buy a car. There were a number to TCs advertised that were within my budget, but my father talked me out of looking at TCs! He was probably right on two fronts. Firstly, if I’d gone to view one, I would have wanted a TC even more and secondly, a TC would not really have been practical to take all my ‘stuff’ backwards and forwards between Hertfordshire and Lancaster. So, I ended up with a Ford Prefect. Not just any old Ford, but a ten year old 107E; the rounded body of the 100E, but with the overhead valve engine and four-speed gearbox of the Anglia 105E.

This photo is not my car, but mine was also this two-tone blue. It served me well for a number of years, carrying my flat-mates ’stuff’ up and down to Lancaster as well.

Once again, practicalities of cash (or the lack of it), marriage, setting up home, children and the renovation of a stone cottage in North Wales (we were living in Cheshire at the time), prevented me returning to the idea of owning a TC. For a number of years, we did run a Morris 1000 Traveller and a Mk I Triumph Spitfire (both over ten years old), but the time needed to keep them both on the road, with both used every day, took too much time. But then, when our children had left home, I bought a second-hand MGF, which I went on to use daily for 12 years. It was the only thing that kept me sane on my daily commute, having the roof down whenever possible.

Then came retirement and just 46 years after first wanting a TC I was in a position to own one, with just enough cash to buy it, perhaps enough time to maintain it and a wife who, somewhat reluctantly, agreed to let me get one. My aim was to find a car that I could drive and ‘tinker with’; in other words, one that had already been restored. I didn’t have the money, the time or the skills to do a restoration, as much as I would like to try. I looked at several cars that were either too expensive, too restored or needing too much work. By ’too restored’ I’m referring to a car that had been restored in the US and was too shiny, in a red that didn’t look right and was in a carpeted garage!

I’d seen a 1948 TC advertised on the Octagon Club web site, but it was a little further away than I really wanted to travel. However, after speaking to the owner I persuaded my wife to have a day out in that direction and we saw TC4985.

It was sequoia cream with green upholstery. After crawling over it, with my limited and theoretical knowledge of TCs, and being taken for a drive in it, I was hooked, just as my father knew I would be all those years before. So, in June 2015 I bought a TC. I toyed with the idea of driving TC4985 the 125 miles home to West Sussex, but decided to arrange to go with a local vehicle transporter to collect it. This was just as well, since after driving the car ten miles the brakes locked on!

When I bought TC4985 I knew that originally, in March 1948, it had been exported to the USA (prior to the introduction of the EXU model in December) and had been brought back to the UK in 1990. From the receipts I knew that someone in East Sussex had done quite a lot of restoration on the car. Later I discovered that the car had been advertised as “an ideal restoration project”. In fact, it had no seats or floor and from the photo you can see that it had a significant amount of surface rust on the body panels.

When I spoke to the first UK owner, he said that by the time he had finished working on the car he had put on some weight and could no longer get behind the wheel! So, he sold it. It seems that subsequently he has lost weight and the week before I spoke to him, he had bought a TA!

Although the second UK owner replaced the wiring harness and had the dampers rebuilt, most of the work he did on the car was cosmetic. He removed the underseal that had been applied by the previous owner, removed the wing mirrors, had the body resprayed, changed the headlights and some instruments to TC versions and fitted a new hood. Judging by the other contents of his four-car garage, he enjoyed ‘improving’ classic cars and then selling them on.

Following a little research, I was able to track down one of the US owners of TC4985, a British ex-pat living in Connecticut. He had bought the car as a collection of bits after the previous owner gave up on a restoration. However, apart from a couple of photographs he had no records of prior and post owners or of dates. His one statement was that he wished he had never sold the car! The only other US contact I found was the ‘dealer’ who had sold it back to the UK. Since he was more of a ‘wheeler dealer’ he also had no records.

When I bought TC4985 it had 148 miles on the odometer, indicative of the fact that neither of the two UK owners of the car had driven it very far. But now that it is being driven (just over 3,000 miles in the last 3 years) problems are starting to show. Some problems are more of a nuisance, such as the new double duck hood being too tight, stopping the frame from opening fully; some are due to errors in the re-build, such as the steering knuckles being on the wrong sides, and some are due to age, for example, cracks in the spindles. So far, the more major jobs that I have done are:

  • Replaced brake master cylinder
  • Removed bracket beneath radiator; cleaned and painted it
  • Replaced engine mounts
  • Replaced handbrake cables
  • Swapped steering knuckles, which were on the wrong sides
  • Replaced cracked spindles on stub axles
  • Replaced rubber bushes on front spring shackles and rear springs
  • Replaced bushes in distributor to stop oil getting into the cap
  • Replaced near side rear hub and half shaft and fitted nuts with seals to both sides
  • Removed cylinder head, replaced valve stem oil seals (one was broken), cleaned and ground valves
  • Replaced seals (and missing parts) in front carburetter

And then there were the maintenance-type jobs:

  • Got trip meter to work
  • Fixed petrol leak from sender unit in tank
  • Made and fitted electronic indicator flasher unit
  • Cleaned out wiper motor and made new gaskets
  • Crack tested drop arm
  • Inspected differential and fitted new main gasket to stop oil leak
  • Cleaned and painted underside of tunnel and prop shaft
  • Relined rear brake shoes
  • Fitted missing pedals draught excluder
  • Waterproofed hood that leaks through the stitching

I may have spent more time working on the car than I had intended, but it has allowed me to take TC4985 on the annual South Downs Run, organised by the West Sussex MG Owners Club, and on many of the Sussex Wanderers monthly MG runs, sharing the former event with about 200 other MG owners and the latter with 20 to 30 other MGs each month. I’ve spent more time working on TC4985 than I had expected and my wife complains that I take all the space in the garage too often. However, driving my TC makes me feel 19 years old again!

Dr David James

Clipper blue 1948 TC with beige vellum interior assembled and painted by Ron Bauer of Port Perry, Ontario, Canada using a 1/16th scale Minicraft Model Kit. Ron is pleased with the result.

Manchester XPAG Tests Part 11 – Ethanol blended Petrol


A great deal has been written about petrol that contains ethanol (alcohol) by experts such as Barrie Jones of the TF register, some authors suggesting it may cause serious problems in older cars.

In the UK, 95 octane and some premium brand fuels can contain up to 5% ethanol blended into the petrol. This is referred to as E5. In Europe and other parts of the world, petrol with 10% ethanol (E10) and greater concentrations are sold. These are often marked on the pump as E10, E15, etc. Unfortunately, in the UK it is virtually impossible to tell if the petrol you are putting into your tank contains ethanol and, if so, at what concentration.

Adding ethanol to petrol is not new. Cleveland Discol was introduced in 1928 and was sold until 1968, claiming to “contribute to a brilliant performance and better mileage because it keeps the engines cooler and cleaner”, “the perfect cold-weather fuel”. However, it is not known what percentage ethanol Cleveland Discol contained, making it difficult to compare with modern fuels. The good news, however, is that 40 years of use in what are now today’s classic cars did not appear to cause major failures of their fuel systems.

While this article is not a definitive description of the issues of using ethanol blended petrol, it provides practical observations on the severity of some of the problems to allay some fears, but also to raise others.

Why add Ethanol to Petrol?

It has been suggested that the initiative to add ethanol to petrol was driven by Governments trying to reduce a country’s dependence on imported fuel. This may or may not be true. One fact is true; adding ethanol does reduce carbon emissions and pollution. Firstly, the carbon in the ethanol comes from renewable sources, it is a by-product of the sugar industry and, as the tests at Manchester showed, it burns better than non-blended petrol, producing less pollution. There is also a financial benefit for petrol companies, as the cost of producing ethanol is around 13% lower than petrol and it is not subject to UK fuel duty (which is currently 57.95p per litre plus VAT).

Ethanol is also an octane booster, reducing the need for other octane boosters such as methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) and ferrocene that are now being added petrol. These, in turn, replaced tetraethyl lead (TEL) that was used inleaded petrol before it was banned. Some brands of super grade fuels sold in the UK use ethanol to boost their octane rating.

If you are using an ethanol blended fuel, it is important NOT to try to remove the ethanol as this will reduce its octane rating.

Why is Octane rating Important?

During the engine’s compression stroke the air / petrol vapour mixture is heated and, especially if there are incandescent carbon deposits in the cylinder, the mixture can auto-ignite before the spark plug has fired. This causes a phenomenon called pinking or knocking when the engine makes a sound like a pebble being shaken about in an empty tin. Pinking can cause serious damage to an engine.

A fuel’s octane rating is a measure of how resistant the petrol is to auto ignition. The higher the octane number the less likely it is to auto ignite and cause pinking.

The only problem is that there are two similar measures; Research Octane Number (RON) and Motor Octane Number (MOM). RON is determined by running the fuel in a test engine with a variable compression ratio and is the measure widely used in Europe. MOM is determined at 900 rpm engine speed instead of the 600 rpm for RON. Usually, MOM numbers are around 6 – 10 points lower than RON which means 89 MOM is approximately the same as 95 RON. (MOM is commonly used in America and Canada).

How can you check if a Petrol contains Ethanol?

It is relatively easy to determine if a fuel contains ethanol, BUT you must be VERY CAREFUL. Petrol vapour is highly flammable so care should be taken to ensure there are no naked flames, sources of sparks or similar anywhere near to where you test the fuel.

The test is based on one of the problems with ethanol blended petrol, the fact that when water is present, the ethanol will be sucked out of the petrol and into the water, increasing the volume of the water.

To perform the test, add some food colourant to a small quantity of water and pour it into a small bottle, such as a drinking water bottle. Place the bottle on a flat surface and put a mark at the top of the water. Fill the bottle to the top with the petrol you want to test. Put the lid on and shake. After the mixture has settled and the coloured water has dropped to the bottom, look at where the level of the water is. If it is above the line, the volume of the water has increased, proving that the petrol did contain ethanol.

The next picture demonstrates this extremely effectively.

The two bottles in the picture were filled to the same level with red / brown dyed water, the petrol on the left does not contain ethanol and the one on the right does. The difference in height of the water is easy to see.

(Note there is nothing at the bottom of the bottle, this is just an effect of the light on the indentation).

When you have finished the test, remember to dispose of the petrol and water responsibly – do not just pour it down the drain!

What are the Problems with Ethanol?

There are four potential problems with ethanol blended petrol:

  1. It rots non-metallic components such as rubber hoses, seals, diaphragms and plastic floats.
  2. It contains oxygen which weakens the mixture.
  3. It is corrosive to metallic components such as the steel petrol tank and aluminium float chambers.
  4. It absorbs water and can create a separate acidic layer underneath the petrol.

The effect and seriousness of these problems is discussed in the following sections.

Rots Rubber hoses, Seals, Diaphragms, etc.

Ethanol blended petrol removes the plasticisers from the rubber and plastic components used in fuel systems, causing them to become brittle and crack. Old braided fuel hoses which have lasted for many years have been known to fail within weeks of being subjected to ethanol blended fuel.

Most MG owners are fortunate to have an electric fuel pump which makes it very easy to detect most leaks in the fuel system.

When you come to start the car from cold, switch on the ignition and before you start the engine, just listen to the petrol pump. Normally an electric pump will click for up to 15 seconds or so as it replaces fuel lost by vaporisation from the carburettors and pressurises the system. This clicking should gradually slow and stop. If it doesn’t, you may have a leak in the fuel system or a problem with the petrol pump, leaking needle valves in the float chambers, or a faulty float. In any case, this should be investigated.

Note that if you are trying to restart a hot engine, then a continued clicking may be due to petrol vapour in the fuel pump or hoses.

Is this tendency to rot hoses, seals, etc. a real problem? Probably not. These components are relatively cheap and easy to replace with ethanol tolerant parts and in the older cars they would probably need to be replaced anyway due to their age.

However, it is important that owners are aware of this problem and keep a regular watch for any petrol leaks, especially if the fuel hoses are hidden inside a metal braiding. If your car is fitted with an electric fuel pump, make a habit of listening to the clicking.


Pure petrol is a mixture of Hydrocarbons – it contains only carbon and hydrogen atoms. Hence, 1 litre (1000 ml) of petrol contains 1000 ml of hydrogen and carbon atoms. However, ethanol contains 35% oxygen atoms by weight, so 1 litre of E10 (with 10% ethanol) will only contain 965 ml of hydrogen and carbon atoms.

In effect, we are being “short changed”. All else being equal, a car that returns 30 mpg will only give 28.9 mpg when running on E10. However, as we found at Manchester, the XPAG engine ran more efficiently on ethanol blended fuels and it is quite possible E10 will give a better mpg despite containing less hydrocarbons.

The replacement of hydrocarbons by oxygen has a second effect called enleanment. Carburettors deliver a precisely measured volume of fuel to a given volume of air. The ideal is called the Stoichiometric ratio with 14.7 parts of air to 1 part of petrol. With this ratio there are exactly the correct number of oxygen atoms to combine with the hydrogen and carbon atoms when they burn to produce water and carbon dioxide. Adding ethanol to the petrol has a double effect. Not only does E10 reduce the number of hydrocarbons by 3.5%, it also increases the amount of oxygen in the mixture by a similaramount. This has the effect of weakening the mixture.

Most carburettors are set slightly rich as standard, and the tests at Manchester showed they will cope with E5 without any adjustment. If E10 is used, they should be adjusted to make the mixture slightly richer. With the older SU carburettors this corresponds to screwing the adjusting nut DOWN by ½ to 1 flat on the adjusting nut. On the HIF type the adjusting screw should be turned 1/8 to ¼ of a turn clockwise.

At higher concentrations of ethanol, SU carburettors will require slightly richer metering needles. Weber carburettors and mechanical fuel injection systems will need larger jets and possibly different emulsion tubes. Modern computerised fuel injection systems should adjust the mixture automatically.

Enleanment does not appear to cause any practical problems with 10% or less ethanol added to the petrol.

Corrosive to Metallic Components

Corrosion of metals is a complex process however, it can be caused by two different processes:

  • Oxidation – where oxygen combines with the molecules on the surface of the metal to create a metal oxide. This is most common when an acid comes into contact with a metal.

  • Galvanic corrosion – occurs when two dissimilar, electrically connected metals are immersed in a liquid which is able to conduct electricity. This acts like a battery and as current flows, the positive anode corrodes. Galvanic corrosion is often the cause of electrical problems in classic cars where dissimilar metals in the connectors build up an insulating layer of metal oxide.

Ethanol blended petrol causes both oxidation and galvanic corrosion to metals.

Additives are available on the market that have been tested by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) who found their recommended additives reduced the severity of oxidation. However, some grades of petrol claim they already contain such additives.

Fuel systems are made from a range of different, electrically connected metals such as brass, copper, steel and aluminium. As a result, you get galvanic corrosion when using ethanol blended petrol.

The test I ran over one winter clearly demonstrates this.

The picture shows the same piece of abraded aluminium sheet before the tests (left hand picture) and after spending 3 months immersed in E10 while electrically connected to a similar sized sheet of mild steel (right hand picture).

The black dots on the right hand picture are galvanic corrosion pits.

Although I did not test the combination of stainless steel / aluminium, electrical test suggests this combination will cause a higher level of galvanic corrosion than mild steel / aluminium shown above. Other metal combinations such as brass / aluminium or brass / steel, appear to be far less affected.

I have not tested the effectiveness of the additives in protecting against galvanic corrosion. However, voltage measurements across a mild steel / aluminium cell containing E10 treated with additives showed an increase in voltage, suggesting the use of additives may make the galvanic corrosion worse.

While ethanol blended petrol does cause galvanic corrosion, its effects appear to be relative minor compared to the effect of water absorption. It will probably not create any practical problems.

Water Absorption

Ethanol blended fuel absorbs water


from the atmosphere. If the critical concentration of water is reached, the ethanol / water mix will separate from the petrol and form a layer underneath the petrol, just as shown in the test bottles shown previously. In practice, it is unlikely you will experience this problem unless the fuel you used was nearly saturated, or your car has been stored in a damp environment for a long time.

What is a more serious threat is the ingress of water in liquid form. The fuel systems of classic MGs are far from waterproof. The filler cap is located where rain can easily get in and the float chambers have ticklers on them that can also allow water in.

It only requires one droplet of rain to enter a tank of ethanol blended petrol to cause a far greater problem. The droplet will not mix with thepetrol. It will fall to the bottom of the tank where it will absorb ethanol. This droplet could also get pumped into float chamber. Water containing ethanol is highly corrosive and, if the car is not being used, it will sit in the same place, corroding the base of the fuel tank or float chamber.

This is something I have tested by mixing ethanol blended petrol with water then storing a piece of mild steel and a section of aluminium float chamber in that water.

I am sure you can imagine how shocked I was when I opened the storage container used to hold the test samples for 6 months. Yes, they are still in there hidden by the rusty water!

The before and after pictures below show the piece of mild steel and a section of a float chamber used for this test. The degree of corrosion of both the steel and aluminium is extreme and it is hard to believe these are the same pieces of metal taken only 6 months apart.



The problem also shows itself in real life. This picture shows similar corrosion inside one of my float chambers, probably caused by water getting in through the tickler pin when driving in the wet.

You can see the dark line about 12 o’clock on the bottom of the chamber caused by the corrosion.

When I first looked into the float chamber, there was what looked like a worm, sitting underneath the petrol at that point. This was almost certainly a small quantity of water.

Once the water settles at the bottom of the petrol tank or float chambers, it will sit there, absorbing ethanol from the petrol and corroding the metal. Not only is the degree of corrosion seen in this case far greater than the galvanic corrosion reported before, the problem will occur regardless of the concentration of ethanol. In other words, while the degree of galvanic corrosion increases with ethanol concentration, corrosion from water which has absorbed ethanol will be just as bad with E5 or petrol with lower ethanol concentrations.

Unfortunately, the additives sold to protect fuel systems against ethanol give no benefit. While they will mix with the petrol, they will not mix with the ethanol / water mixture.

The problems caused by water getting into the petrol system are not new. Even with petrol that does not contain ethanol, any water that gets into the fuel system will sink to the bottom of the tank or float chambers and cause corrosion, particularly to steel petrol tanks. Ethanol blended petrol just makes the water more corrosive.

I believe this is poses the greatest threat of using ethanol blended petrol.

Hot restart problem

It is worth mentioning what is known as the Hot Restart Problem. This describes the problem where, once stopped, a hot engine will not restart and is caused by the petrol boiling in the carburettor.

As ethanol has a relatively low boiling point of 78.4°C, some people have suggested it may make the Hot Restart Problem worse. The tests at Manchester showed this definitely NOT to be the case. By 75°C, 43% of a branded 95 octane petrol without ethanol had evaporated, while only 35% of a super grade petrol with ethanol had evaporated. The petrol with the ethanol was LESS volatile than the un-blended 95 octane petrol. However, the reduction in volatility may be due to the fact the less volatile petrol was a super grade blend rather than the effects of ethanol. Certainly, many classic car owners have reported their cars run better on super grade petrol then normal 95 octane.

The tests also showed that ethanol blended petrol burned more efficiently than non-blended petrol. For a given load, the exhaust gas temperatures will be lower when using ethanol blended petrol, creating less heat under the bonnet, reducing temperatures and the effects of petrol vaporisation.

Ethanol blended petrol appears to reduce the severity of the hot restart problem, not make it worse.


The only practical solution to avoid the problems caused by ethanol blended petrol is to use a fuel known to be ethanol free, such as Sunoco Optima 98, a specialist storage petrol. While this cannot be bought at a filling station, it can be ordered direct from the Anglo American Oil Company via their web shop ( or by telephone on 01929 551557. Be aware, the law limits the amount of petrol that can be stored in a garage, or anywhere within six metres of a dwelling, to 30 litres. Sunoco Optima 98 is approximately twice the price of pump fuel, however, its long shelf lifetime and excellent combustion properties, make it an option worth considering for low mileage vehicles.

If you are using pump fuels, you do not know if they are ethanol blended or not. The composition of a particular brand or grade may change day on day. For example, two samples of branded 95 octane petrol bought in Manchester at the same filling station within days of each other were different. One sample contained ethanol, the other did not.

Great care should be taken to avoid getting water (e.g. rain water) into either the petrol tank or carburettor float chambers. Perhaps it is worth draining the petrol tank and float chambers once a year and allow them to dry to ensure no water / ethanol mix remains.

Possibly the most satisfactory solution is demonstrated by modern practice. For the tests at Manchester, I was sent drums of petrol and replacement parts for modern carburettors. In both cases they were coated to prevent corrosive damage. Coatings protect against both oxidation and galvanic corrosion.

Perhaps the most satisfactory solution is to slosh coat the inside of the petrol tank with an ethanol proof paint. Unfortunately, I have not found any similar products that can be used to coat the inside of the float chambers. Suggestions would be most welcome.


While there are issues, it appears that ethanol blended petrol is not the “baddie” that some people fear.

As far as I am aware, there are two practical problems owners need to be aware of; rotting petrol hoses and seals and, more serious, the severe corrosive effects of any water that may get into the petrol. On the positive, the tests at Manchester showed the engine ran better on ethanol blended petrol.

The first problem is something that can occur in older vehicles, as age as well as ethanol causes degradation of fuel hoses, etc. The second, water in the petrol, can be avoided with care. Slosh coating fuel tanks will significantly reduce this risk.

Be aware, stainless tanks may not be the answer. Stainless steel can be attacked by acid such as the water ethanol mix and it may cause more severe galvanic corrosion to any aluminium parts, such as the tank petrol level sender. It may be worth getting replacement stainless tanks slosh coated as well.

I believe ethanol blended petrol is here to stay and over time, concentrations of ethanol will rise. I hope this article will reduce owner’s worries and help them be better prepared for this when this happens.

Paul Ireland

MG T Series Racing in Australia

The Patterson Brydon MG TC Special, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit

This article is penned to highlight the significance of the T Series MG in the history of motor racing in Australia……… Yes, that’s right…. there were only ever ‘T series’ MG Midgets – they were never officially ‘T type’ Midgets. The only ‘Types’ were the engines, Type XPAG and Type XPEG. The early T series, the pre-war TA & TB and the post war TC, have been the most successful MGs in Australian motor racing. They have been entered in the most events and they have won the most events, especially in the 10-year period from 1946 to 1956. All these racing Ts were developed and modified for racing locally in Australia. The MG TC introduced a new era into Australian motor racing. The TC was a rapid little road car, reasonably priced and readily available; strong enough mechanically to stand up to the demands of motor racing, and the competition-orientated MG factory assisted owners with tuning information and made special parts to increase the performance of their cars. To put the TC’s importance into perspective, of the 1900 or so TCs that were imported into Australia, around 300, that’s 15% of these TCs actually circuit raced in the various states of Australia up to the end of the 1950s. There were 4300 TCs sold in the UK, and if you use the Australian percentage, the circuit racing figure for the UK would be more than 650……..Of course this did not happen but it helps to illustrate the TC’s significance! During the late 1940s and early 50s, the T series MGs were becoming a de facto “Australian Formula Two”, starting as stripped body cars and then developing into alloy bodied supercharged specials. In the 23 years of the Australian Grand Prix, from 1938 to 1961, a total of 77 Ts were entered (52 TCs) for 2 first, 5 second and 3 third AGP places.

Bathurst, under 1500cc Handicap race, Easter 1950. There were 16 TCs in the event. Won by Bill Patterson, #22, Patterson MG TC Special

Bill Patterson, #22, Patterson MG TC Special, 1st under 1500cc Handicap race, Bathurst, Easter 1950

Patterson Brydon MG TC Special, Historic Racing demonstration event at Melbourne AGP circuit, Albert Park Patterson Brydon MG TC Special in the Australian Grand Prix Further reading: The official 50-race history of the AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX An Autobiography – Phil Irving The Patterson Brydon MG TC Special was entered in the Australian Grand Prix five times.

1950 Nuriootpa SA Bill Patterson

1952 Bathurst NSW Curley Brydon

1953 Albert Park VIC Curley Brydon

1954 Southport QLD Curley Brydon

1960 Lowood QLD Keith Russell

The 1953 Albert Park AGP was very significant for Australian motor sport as it was the first AGP conducted to the FIA International Sporting Code under the FIA Formula Libre regulations. The car’s outstanding race was the 1953 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, when Brydon finished second to Doug Whiteford’s Type 26C Lago Talbot (Chassis No. 110007) In fact, Brydon may well have been placed first in the event as Phil Irving describes on page 436 of his book “An Autobiography” Doug Whiteford, who won the 1952 Australian Grand Prix at Bathurst in the Lago Talbot, was lucky to repeat the performance because, although he crossed the line first, he was not immediately declared the winner, through an unofficial report that he had been helped by a bystander to get the Talbot onto the course after over-shooting a corner. Not having the use of a telephone, the Marshall on the corner concerned wrote out a report to be delivered to the Clerk of Course, who did not receive it until long after the race had ended. Doug, who knew the rule book by heartwas aware that the official report of the incident had not been lodged within the stipulated half-hour after the race finish, and shrewdly claimed that it was ultra vires and could not form the basis of a protest. This view being upheld by the stewards, Doug was awarded his third A.G.P., but it was not a very popular victory.”Ultra vires’ is a Latin phrase that translates to “beyond the powers.” This means that someone is acting beyond the scope of the authority or power that is granted to him by law, contract, or agreement. The magazine Wheels described Brydon’s race in these terms:“Brydon took second place after an unhurried drive behind the dicing leaders. Not thrashing the car, he picked up places as others fell out and showed that anyone with a good car can run a high place over a long distance if he prepares it correctly.” Curley Brydon, Patterson Brydon MG TC Special, 2nd outright, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park 1953

Patterson Brydon MG TC Special race entries at Bathurst.

Further reading: BATHURST – John Medley Patterson Brydon MG TC Special has completed more than 260 racing laps (about 1600 km) at the Mount Panorama Bathurst race circuit where it was entered 16 times in the 21 Bathurst race meetings that were held between 1950 and 1962, the most ever for any MG race car.

Easter 1950 Bill Patterson

October 1950 Bill Patterson

Easter 1951 Curley Brydon

October 1951 Curley Brydon

AGP 1952 Curley Brydon

Easter 1954 Curley Brydon

Easter 1955 John Roche

October 1955 Peter Lowe

Easter 1956 John Martin

October 1956 John Martin

October 1957 Greg Hunt

October 1959 Keith Russell

Easter 1960 Keith Russell

October 1960 Keith Russell

October 1961 Keith Russell

Easter 1962 Keith Russell Easter 1973 Mike Kable

Specifications and history of the Patterson Brydon MG TC Special

Further reading: Australia Motor Sports, November 1950 issue

Australian Motor Racing Yearbook #11 1981/82

The official 50-race history of the AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

Historic Racing Cars in Australia – John Blanden

OPTIMISM – Great Aussie special racing cars – Dick Willis The Patterson MG TC Special was built during the latter part of 1948, for Bill Patterson by Reg Nutt and Doug Whiteford. The racing body was designed and built by Bob Baker. Nominally a two-seater, the near side of the cockpit is normally covered by a half tonneau. It was painted green and was panelled in light gauge aluminium over a welded frame of light angle iron. The panels were attached with quick release Dzus fasteners. The highly developed engine of the special was fully balanced, fitted with larger valves, and later with special connecting rods that featured fully floating gudgeons, special fabricated extractor exhaust system and a Marshall supercharger. The ignition was provided by a Scintilla Vertex NV4 magneto and the fuel was fed to the carburettor by air pressure in the tank, by using a hand pump in the cockpit. The special pressurised cooling system used a modified Ford V8 radiator core. The shock absorbers were changed to a driver controlled adjustable Andre Hydro Telecontrol system; Monaro cooling fins were fitted to the brake drums along with cable torque stays to steady the front axle under braking loads. Four back axle ratios were available to suit various circuits, 4.2, 4.5, 4.875 & 5.125 with 19 inch wheels.

The steering wheel was changed to a Bluemels Brooklands type and the dash board has full and complete instrumentation.

The TC was road registered by Bill Patterson as MG 000. Bob Baker installed the discarded square rigger body on a new rolling-chassis and sold this car to Eric Barrow. (Reg. No. NA 114) The original TC chassis number is not recorded. The Patterson Special was advertised in AMS Feb 1950 and was sold to Adam Howey “Curley” Brydon. The car was further developed by Brydon and the former motor cycle wizard, Tom “the Prof” Jemison, using the supercharged engine from Brydon’s stripped black TC. It was also fitted with 16 inch wheels with 5.00 front tyres and 5.50, 6.00 or 6.50 tyres on the back. Curley Brydon ran the car at the 1952 Australian Grand Prix at Bathurst but retired on lap 28 (of 38 laps) with a split fuel tank. Brydon and his TC were both damaged during the last race of the day at the January 1953 meeting at Gnoo-Blass, Brydon injured with a broken arm and the TC with significant body and chassis damage. As a result of this incident the damaged chassis was replaced by the chassis from TC/4134. Brydon’s major results with the car being 2nd in the ‘Redex’ 100 mile race at Bathurst at Easter 1951 and 2nd in the 200 mile 1953 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park. The special was later fitted with a non-supercharged engine and was entered as a back- up vehicle by Brydon for the 1954 Australian Grand Prix at Southport but did not start in the event. Brydon sold the car to John Roche later in 1954.

Bill Patterson, first owner of the Patterson Brydon MG TC Special

Further reading: Wheels, October 1954 issue Gerald William ”Bill” Patterson commenced his racing career with a P Type MG and then a road going MG TC which was one of the first TCs to arrive in Melbourne after the war. This stripped TC (Reg. No. HX 500) was tuned by Reg Nutt and raced at Point Cook, Ballarat, Lobethal, Fishermans Bend, Nowra and Bathurst. Its last event was the 1948 Australian Grand Prix at Point Cook where the TC retired from the event with overheating.

 The car was sold and it was replaced with another TC which was then supercharged, fitted with a lightweight streamlined alloy body and developed as the Patterson MG TC Special. The special made its first competition appearance at the Rob Roy hill climb in January 1949. Bill Patterson sold the car to Curley Brydon in February 1950.

Bill Patterson (far right) #19, stripped body racing MG TC, HX 500, Lobethal Races, South Australia, January 1948 Patterson MG TC Special first event, Rob Roy Hill Climb, January 1949 Bill Patterson, Patterson MG TC Special, Nuriootpa Races, South Australia, April 1949

Bill Patterson, Patterson MG TC Special, Rob Roy Hill Climb 1950

In 1957 Patterson was to co-drive with Lex Davison to win the Australian Grand Prix at Caversham WA in Ferrari Type 500/625 (Chassis No. 5) and in 1961 he went on to win the CAMS Gold Star, Australian Driver’s Championship, in Cooper Type 51 Climax (Chassis No. F2/5/57). Curley Brydon, second owner of the Patterson Brydon MG TC Special Further reading: Modern Motor, July 1955 issue – #extract from Modern Motor

THE ARMIDALE SCHOOL – * extract from TAS magazine

Adam Howie “Curley” Brydon was born 14.04.1921 at Armidale in Northern NSW and enlisted as an 18 year old in the Royal Australian Air Force on 04.09.1939, the day after war was declared by Australia. His service number was 578. He was promoted to Squadron Leader, Australia’s youngest, in August 1943 at the age of 22. Brydon was awarded the DFC and bar when flying Hudson Bombers and Kitty Hawks in New Guinea and the Pacific. He later transferred, with the rank of Lieutenant, to Royal Australian Navy Volunteer Reserve, and then ‘on loan’ to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, flying Supermarine Seafires (navalised Spitfire) on aircraft carriers HMS INDEFATIGABLE and later HMS IMPLACABLE. Brydon’s D.F.C. Citation reads: “He has convincingly demonstrated his eagerness under all conditions to destroy the enemy by individual attacks with complete disregard for his own safety. Squadron Leader has at all times displayed outstanding courage and coolness and intrepid leadership has proven a source of inspiration to all pilots of the squadron. He has completed 470 hours of operational flying and has taken part in 138 sorties, including 52 strikes.” Brydon was discharged from the RAN on July 18 1946.

Squadron Leader A.H.Brydon, DFC and Bar, New Guinea

After his war service he sold cars through his Brydon Motors business and was a partner in the entertainment promoter Pacific Stars Pty Ltd that was formed “to present in Australia top stage and screen stars from USA and other countries. The company handled the Australian tour of Spike Jones and his City Slickers.” Curley Brydon married Sydney mannequin Lois Stevens in June 1954 and was later to set up Diners Club in Australia. He joined News Limited newspaper group in the 1960s to work with his good friend Rupert Murdoch and was appointed the General Manager of the Herald and Weekly Times in Melbourne. Later he became General Manager and a Director of News Limited in Sydney and a Director of Australian Newsprint Mills Tasman Pulp and Paper group. In total he was a senior executive with News Limited for more than 20 years and became Vice-President (Operations) of the New York Post. Curley Brydon died aged 65 on 22nd September 1986. * extract from TAS magazine “He also raced cars with verve, courage and skills which saw him outclass more experienced and better equipped rivals. He sailed in Blue Water Classics”

Curley Brydon’s racing MG #1

Curley Brydon successfully raced a stripped body MG TC from 1947 to 1950 and later the ex-Patterson MG TC Special from 1950 to 1954. Results with this TC: 3rd in “NSW 100 mile race” Nowra, June 1947 3rd in “NSW 100 mile race” Bathurst, Easter 1948 2nd in “NSW 100 mile race” Bathurst, Easter 1949 3rd in “Australian Grand Prix” Leyburn, September 1949 (handicap placing) Curley Brydon’s racing MG #1 – Australian Motor Sports, 1950 Curley Brydon’s racing MG #2 – Australian Motor Sports, February 1950

Curley Brydon’s racing MG #2

Brydon purchased the Patterson MG TC Special from Bill Patterson after it was advertised in Australian Motor Sports in February 1950. The car was further developed by Brydon and the former motorcycle wizard, Tom “The Prof” Jemison. It was then raced on 16 inch wheels with 5.00 front tyres and 5.50, 6.00 or 6.50 tyres on the back. Brydon’s outstanding race results in this car were his second placing in the 100 mile ‘Redex’ 100 mile race at Bathurst at Easter 1951 and second to Doug Whitford’s Type 26C Lago Talbot (Chassis No. 110007) in the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park on the 21st of November 1953. The Patterson Brydon MG TC Special was later fitted with a non-supercharged engine and was entered as a back up vehicle by Brydon for the 1954 Australian Grand Prix at Southport but did not start this car in the event. Brydon however was to finish 2nd in this AGP driving his MG #3 Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park. 1953

#26 Curley Brydon, Patterson Brydon MG TC Special 2nd placing, #42 John Nind, MG TB Special, 16th placing.

Curley Brydon’s racing MG #3

Further reading: Australia Motor Sports, June/July 1955 issue BATHURST – John Medley

The chassis of this MG TA/TC Special was from the MG TA Special which was driven by Alan Tomlinson to win the 1939 Australian Grand Prix at Lobethal in South Australia.

A new lightweight single seat body had been built for it by Alec Mildren and the supercharged engine from the Patterson Brydon MG TC Special was fitted. The TA chassis provided superior handling and steering control mainly because it was fitted with a special steering arm on the original steering box that was also extensively modified by using a unique ‘fore and aft’ mounting and the bronze trunnions that located spring ends.

 Brydon was placed second with this car at the 1954 Australian Grand Prix at Southport in Queensland and went on to his famous win in the Bathurst 100 mile race at Easter 1955.

Curley Brydon’s racing MG #3 – Image – BATHURST – John Medley

Patterson Brydon MG TC Special Owners

For 70 years this exceptional MG has had a very successful racing history at many circuits around Australia.

1948-50 Bill Patterson VIC Supercharged 1250 cc 19 inch wheels 1950-54 Curley Brydon NSW Supercharged 1250 cc. 16 inch wheels

1954-56 John Roche NSW 1.5” SU carbs 1250 cc. 16 inch wheels

1956-58 Johnny Martin NSW 1.5” SU carbs 1466 cc. 16 inch wheels

1958-66 Keith Russell NSW 1.5” SU carbs 1466 cc. 16 inch wheels

1966-75 Peter Savage NSW 1.5” SU carbs 1466 cc. 16 inch wheels 1975-00 Ray Murray NSW 1.5” SU carbs 1366 cc. 16 inch wheels

2000- Richard Townley VIC Supercharged 1366 cc. 16 inch wheels

Patterson Brydon MG TC Special today

Further reading: Historic Racing Cars in Australia – John Blanden


The Patterson Brydon MG TC Special is still in original condition and, through the series of owners, has remained wonderfully intact without any extensive alterations or modifications. This is how John Blanden describe the car in his book Historic Racing Cars in AustraliaIn July 2000 the car again changed hand with Richard Townley of Melbourne taking possession. A restoration was commenced immediately with the intention of again having it fitted with a supercharger. The car was stripped and rebuilt following which it made its return to the circuits at Sandown in October 2000, followed by the Orange reunion, Rob Roy hill climb in November and Phillip Island in February 2001. More recently it has been at Wakefield Park, Geelong sprints, Calder and Winton. The car remains with Richard in 2004 and he uses it at every opportunity – it is usually recognised as one of the best presented cars at any meeting.”

From “Optimism – GREAT AUSSIE SPECIAL RACING CARS” book by Dick Willis

Is this the most raced car in Australian motor racing history?”……… ……..”The present owner, Richard Townley bought the car in 2000, embarking on a full rebuild in which the supercharger was refitted, the car emerging from the rebuild in absolutely pristine condition, attracting favourable attention whenever it appears which is at every possible opportunity. In 2007 at the HSRCA Wakefield Park MG feature it was deservedly awarded a trophy for the best and most historical MG special present.” I raced the Patterson Brydon MG TC Special at more than 50 race meetings since 2000 but I have now retired from driving in competition events.

Patterson Brydon MG TC Special, Chassis number TC/4134, was issued with CAMS Vehicle Log Book (No. N1542) on 21/11/1969.

On 18.01.2001 this was updated to CAMS Historic Log Book No. H1072 and CAMS Historic Car Certificate of Description No. L.042.04.08. An application is currently being processed through CAMS for FIA-HTP Historic Technical Passport to certify the Patterson Brydon MG TC Special to be eligible to compete at Appendix K, Period (E) 1/1/1947 to 31/12/1961 (from 1/1/1946 for Grand Prix and Formula 3 cars and up to 31/12/1960 for single-seat and two-seat racing cars) in historic race events in UK, Europe and USA. Patterson Brydon MG TC Special ran in the historic race car demonstration event at 2017 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park and was displayed in October at the 2018 Motorclassica, the Australian International Concours d’Elegance & Classic Motor Show, at the Exhibition Building in Melbourne. If I can supply any further information please email me at [email protected] Pics below show the Patterson Brydon MG TC Special at Motorclassica, Melbourne, 2018 Above and Below: Patterson Brydon MG TC Special – article in Australian Motor Sports, November 1950. (click for bigger) Ed’s note: A most interesting article from Richard Townley and what fabulous pictures of the Patterson Brydon MG TC Special at Motorclassica, Melbourne, 2018! I wish I had more space to show larger pictures! You might recall that Richard penned the article about his TC (TC9507) which graced the front cover of Issue 48. He’s a lucky chap to be owning both TC9507 and the Patterson Brydon MG TC. Above and Below: Curley Brydon’s racing MG #3 – article in Australian Motor Sports, June/July 1955’ (click for bigger) The front cover shows the Patterson Brydon MG TC Special, Lb racing at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. The image is by courtesy of the website If you follow the link to “HISTORIC RACING” on this wonderful site of photographer Steve Duggan, you will find more than 120,000 images of historic racing in Australia going back to 2002.

Lost and Found

It’s always a pleasure to get a result from an enquiry in ‘Lost & Found’. At the beginning of November, Miss Laura Bowen contacted me about a TC, registration mark LMM 922, which was owned by her father in the 1950s. I recognized the number straight away as it had featured in ‘Lost & Found’ in Issue 37. Just as a reminder, here’s a picture of LMM 922 (TC7445) as it appeared in Issue 37. I promised Laura that I would contact the owner, Pat Howe, so that they could exchange details. She was most grateful as it was soon to be her father’s 90th birthday and it would be a nice surprise to be able to tell him that his old TC, which took him and his bride on honeymoon in the 1950s is alive and well. Pat duly got in touch and sent Laura a photo of the car taken in 1967 at his parents’ house when he was ‘knee high to a grasshopper’! Laura reciprocated and sent a couple of photos of the car when it was in her dad’s ownership, one of which is reproduced below. Meanwhile, Laura had been busy preparing for her dad’s birthday party and had sourced a red TC from Franklin Mint which would sit on top of a cake she had made (picture below). LMM 922 (TC7445) in the 1950s – note the radio aerial – all ‘mod cons’! The birthday cake Laura made for her dad (David) with cake decoration ‘LMM 922’. As David’s birthday was approaching (it was on 25th November) Pat had a word with LMM 922 and asked the TC to send the following birthday card to David: Hi David, Congratulations on the 90th birthday, I celebrate my own 70th birthday later this year! It has been a long time since we were last together, and I still remember the honeymoon in the South of France. I thought as this is such a special year for both of us that it would be a good idea if I was to tell you what I have been up to since the 1950s. I was bought by a couple called John & Ruth Howe in the 1950s, this may well have been who you sold me to? John was born in County Clare in Ireland, so every year I would take them from East London to Ireland for 2-3 weeks in the summer. Before ferries had doors in them, this meant me being driven onto a net and put in the hold by a crane. One year I got to fly as they were doing an experiment with taking cars by Bristol Superfreighter transport aircraft. However, the view was rubbish as there were no windows in my part of the aircraft! In 1965, my current owner turned up. Ruth had gone into hospital, John drove me to pick her up and the 3 of them came home! Below is a picture of Pat with me in 1967. Ed’s note: The picture referred to is the second picture in this article. In 1969, Ruth’s mum wanted to visit John’s mum. As you know 4 into me wasn’t going to go, so he bought a 1965 Rover 2000, and I was driven into the garage covered with a sheet, carpet and other detritus and went into hibernation. John promised me to Pat for his driving test, 21st birthday, wedding car etc but none of these happened, despite Pat’s best endeavours. It was only when Pat was in the process of buying an MG SA that John finally relented to allow my rescue from solitary confinement! The rescue mission involved being trailered to the Scottish Highlands where we all now live, lots of people waved during the journey and it was great to be back on the road again. He bought lots of new parts, leads, points, distributor cap, plugs etc. and fitted them. I refused to start! He started removing all the new parts and only after he had replaced all my original parts did I start and ticked over like a Swiss watch. (you have to be firm with these youngsters to show them who’s in charge, don’t you?) He has had my dashboard veneered which although not original, I think it looks classy. I have had all my interior refurbished and he is currently working on my brakes. If he could write he would send his apologies on behalf of us both for not being with you on your big day but I have made him promise to keep in touch with Laura so we can arrange something in the future. So, I hope you have enjoyed my story. I would love to hear from you and exchange some copies of photos. Pat has 2 sets of twins all of which are desperate for me to be back on the road so they can go in me, and with the older twins being 17 this year, I might yet be taking someone through their driving test, not bad for a 69 year old! So enough of me rattling on, this is your big day not mine. Please pass on my regards to everyone, oh and don’t eat too much cake or you won’t fit in me when I come down! Ed’s further note: The following pictures show the front and back of the birthday card that Pat sent David. As can be seen, Pat is making an excellent job of re-furbishing LMM 922 and here’s hoping that it won’t now be too long before his TC hits the road again after all those years in the wilderness. Happy Birthday David 90 Years Young Best Wishes LMM 922 KXM 47 – TC/EXU/9019 This car has been in the same ownership since 1973. Information is being sought regarding any details of owners prior to 1973. The body colour was originally green and as an EXU model it would have been exported. It was built on 20th June 1949 and comes up on a DVLA enquiry as being registered in November 1949. So, did it go out to North America only to come back pretty quickly, or did it go out at all? Any information would be gratefully received by the Editor for passing on to the owner – jj(at) {please substitute @ for (at)}.

ESP 559 – TC0916

Does anybody know if this car, driven by the late Tom Christie, is still around? It does not show up with a DVLA enquiry. jj(at) {please substitute @ for (at)}. EMJ 735 – TC2134 Stuart Steele owned this car in 1966 when he was 18 years old “those were the days!” he reminisces. At the time he recalls that the car was British Racing Green (probably Shires Green) and he paid £140 for it. He also sold it for £ 140! He would like to contact the current owner and talk about the car.

TC2134 went over to the US with its emigrating owner and as the picture below shows, it has been nicely restored.

Stuart can be contacted atsteelebfc(at) {please substitute @ for (at)}. HGN 72 – TA3019

HGN 72 featured in the previous issue. Here’s another picture to compare it with the one below.

Here’s how it looks now, having been restored in the US by Tom Metcalf of Safety Fast Restorations.

Dave Furze, who owned the car from 1965 to 1968, spending a year renovating it when he was a teenager, would love to hear from the current owner. Dave can be contacted at davefurze(at) {please substitute @ for (at)}.

DOC 21 – TB???

I just love these old photos! This TB may not have survived (I wonder if the pedal car has?). Any leads, please, to jj(at) {please substitute @ for (at)}.

FVB 515 – TC2530

Peter Tipping owned this TC from 1961 – 63 when it was black. The DVLA enquiry facility indicates that this car still exists and is now green. Peter says “being still an MG nut (MGA, MGF, MG3) it would just be nice to see how this particular old lady is doing.” His contact details are:

pntipping(at) {please substitute @ for (at)}.

Bits and Pieces

Firstly, a couple of updates on items previously published. Dave’s Doughnuts have been ‘selling like hotcakes’ (see note below), or perhaps I should say ‘like hot doughnuts’?

Note: Selling like hotcakes. While the word “hotcake” dates back to the late 17th century and ”pancake” first appears in England around 1400, this phrase, with the figurative meaning “to be in great demand,” didn’t appear until around 1840 and there’s no evidence of a great hotcake demand that might have led to its creation.

Dave has asked me to publish the following:

“I developed the Doughnuts to reduce the clunk click from my worn rear TA hubs.

The hub/spline design no doubt is very technical and I am no expert to criticize. However, when I broke a half shaft, I replaced both with new hubs and with new wheels; guess what?…… they still clunked! If there is clearance to allow the wheel to be fitted/removed, then there must be the opportunity for rotational movement. If we grease the splines to stop wear and we grease the spinner cone, then the only friction surface to stop rotation is the inner cone. This is shiny metal of small area and of small radial distance.

The Doughnut has advantages, large radial diameter, large surface area and ‘pegs’ in the form of brake drum nuts and wheel spoke nipples. Being made of foam rubber, there will be a little ‘give’ that will be unable to resist maximum acceleration and braking torque. However, most of the time the Doughnut provides additional resistance to rotation, assisting the hard-pressed inner cone. The result – instead of the continual clicking as you drive along, all becomes quiet.

At £12 a pair from JJ and new hubs somewhat more !!! what’s not to like?

By the way, when fitted they don’t show. Don’t forget to clean & dry the surfaces.”

Coping with Incontinence

The drip trays/catch tanks/’nappy buckets’ are available from Bryan Purves, who is sending them all over the world.

Kuno Fjeldmark in Denmark contacted me to say how pleased he is with the quality of the product, which he confirms can be recommended.

Fitting a Vacuum Advance to a TA

Here is an update from David Heath:

“Since my article on fitting Vacuum Advance to a TA, things have moved on. [issue 34, Feb 2016]

1, We now have the results of Paul Ireland’s Manchester tests [published in TTT]

2, I have raised my compression ratio to about 7:1 by shaving off about 1mm from the head i.e. standard 3.38in/85.8mm to 3.33in/84.6mm cylinder

head height.

My centrifugal advance curve is fairly straight – 10deg at 1000, 20deg at 2000, 30deg at 3000 [no vac].

The vacuum pod is a 3/9/8 which gives a modest advance, about standard Metro and a Manchester suggested 15deg [crank]. With the vacuum connected, 15 deg will be added to the idle figure, thus a strobe reading of 20 –25 deg is normal. This is working fine, as the car moves off the vacuum advance sorts itself out.

The Manchester curve provides another alternative. John Saunders’ article [Dec TTT 2] shows his curves. These look good for the MPJG also, although XPAG derived.

The vacuum pulsing Paul Ireland mentions in his article, I suffer from too. I use a plastic petrol filter canister, approximate size of a large egg, looks odd but works. This must have a hard case to stop it pulsing too.

Engines are different, yours may prefer a variation from the above. I use standard 95 fuel, Manchester gives more choices. Fuel changes, summer to winter, country to country, so it’s difficult to make recommendations.”

Regulator repair

Graham Murrell has been in touch to advise that he has had his regulator rebuilt by Ribblesdale Auto Electrics Units Ltd, Deepdale Mill Street, PRESTON, Lancs PR1 5BY Tel: 01772 796047.

Email: units(‘at’)

Their charge (no pun intended) was £55.00 plus packing postage and VAT which totalled £78.00. Graham thought this was very reasonable.

Reclaiming registration marks

I continue to be busy doing this work for the MG Octagon Car Club (age-related applications are also dealt with).

The DVLA has excelled in dealing with two recent applications in record time…….7 days!

The first was for HNL 363, shown below in pre and post restoration ‘shots’.

The second was for MPG 349, the ex-Betty Haig TC, which has come back from the US and is pictured below, being taken for a run in the English countryside.

Here’s another picture of MPG 349 with Roger Farmer driving and Doug Nixon as passenger. Roger has recently published the biography of Betty Haig, Betty Haig – A life behind the wheel. The bookwas mentioned in December’s TTT 2 editorial and is available from Roger direct at agricola1(at) – please substitute @ for (at). The price is £35 inclusive of postage to a UK address. Overseas buyers are very welcome but will be subject to further postal charges.

Restoration services

The services of Finishing Touch bodyshop, which is within an hour’s drive from me (taking the scenic route through the Chew valley) has featured before in these columns.

The proprietor, Adrian Moore, has just completed work on TC4155 (MG 7379), which having been off the road for several years, came to him as a rolling chassis and some bits. The body was sourced from Andrew Denton and was then skinned and wings and panel work repaired before painting and handing it back to the owner for finishing.

This is the third TC that I know of which has passed through Adrian’s ‘shop’ and he is currently finishing a PA and a J2. The J2 was a referral from me; I was asked by the owner if I could recommend somebody reliable, who would not charge him a ‘king’s ransom’ to finish his car, and I had no hesitation in recommending Adrian. The J2 was fired up recently, much to the owner’s delight!

Have a look at:

If you page down a few cars, you’ll see me in CXV 671 arriving on one frosty morning in November!

From ‘basket case ’to’ ‘pride of place’.

Andrew Pearce bought this TA basket case just over a year ago (September 2017). It was an aborted restoration stretching back 25 to 30 years and, like so many, just sat there going nowhere which he thinks is tragic.

Whereas his previous two 1930’s MG restorations took 3 to 4 years each he was determined that this one was going to be quick– and quick it was as he drove it for the first time on 3rd October.

If you like these TA chassis/Q type bodies, here’s a couple of others for you……

And finally.. another ‘shot’ of Chris Bennett’s TF and trailer to go with the photo that is shown in the editorial.

Hagerty Insurance