Category Archives: Issue 60 (June 2020)

Lost & Found

Quite a bumper crop for this issue!

TC (LLE 489)

The following interesting account has been supplied by former Rolls-Royce apprentice Robert Lyell.

“A warm Sunday afternoon in 1956 at a car park in Crewe, but not just any car park, because this one belongs to the Motor Car Division of Rolls-Royce Limited and has been closed, so the company’s car club can hold a driving test competition for its members.

The objective is to negotiate a course marked out by metal drums as quickly as possible without displacing the ball from the bonnet mounted dish; when it did roll out the driver had to stop and wait until his passenger had retrieved it. A test of swift progress made as smoothly as possible, a valuable skill when driving a Rolls-Royce.

Roger Hurn, as an apprentice, competes in his MG TC; when I asked his permission to reproduce the photograph and if he remembered any other details, he replied:

What an interesting email from you. It quite perked me up on a rather gloomy day in lockdown. My TC story is as follows.

I bought my car from a London dealer for £375 in 1956 and sold it, I think, to Neville Gatty who was a contemporary at the [apprentice] hostel in 1958, when I left RR. I loved it dearly and wish I had it now.

The registration was LLE 489.

The event was held in the car park as you rightly surmise.

My passenger was the late Cedric Brown, a good pal.

I think that the photographer was Martin Bourne.

I don’t mind you using my name at all. I remain very proud of my RR background.”

Roger enjoyed a distinguished career in the car industry, becoming Chairman of Smiths Industries and receiving his knighthood in 1996.

Of course, not all apprentices drove an M.G., the more common mode of transport being an Austin 7; this Nippy is competing at the same event with the passenger adopting the same ready to retrieve stance.

I was fortunate to follow in their footsteps 13 years later, when the company still set great store by its apprenticeships and an active car club. My transport was also an MG TC.

Ed’s note:

‘The Hostel’ referred to in Roger Hurn’s reply was the company accommodation provided for Rolls-Royce car division apprentices.

If Roger’s recollection of selling the car to Neville Gatty is correct, it is going to be very difficult to trace LLE 489 as (if I have researched the correct Neville Gatty) he died last year in Preston aged 79.

LLE 489 does not show up when using the DVLA enquiry search facility.

TA (ETG 309)

Does anybody know the chassis number of this TA? TG is an old Glamorganshire (South Wales) registration mark. Unfortunately, all their records have been destroyed. The registration mark does not show up using the DVLA enquiry search facility.

TC (HLP 582)

Chris Batty has this picture of his uncle’s M.G. which he owned in the 1950s and was thought to be a TC. The registration mark comes up from a DVLA enquiry search facility, which confirms that it is a 1946 TC and is taxed and on the road. Chris thinks that the present owner might be interested in a copy of the photo and some details of his uncle, who sadly died in 2018.

Chrisbatty(at)  [please substitute @ for (at)]

TD28446 (OKD 425)

Terry French is trying to piece together the history of his TD, which he has owned since 1966/67. He has tried DVLA, but of course, they won’t give out names of previous owners (Data Protection).

The car was first registered to the Liverpool Carriage Company (KD is an old Liverpool registration) on 3rd July 1953.

The second owner was a gentleman who lived on The Wirral and kept it for about 3 years.

The car then moved down south and was acquired by the owner of a garage/filling station in Poole, Dorset. It remained in the family, passing through the hands of his first and second sons until Terry purchased it in late 1966/early 1967.

Over 50 years of ownership has seen the car totally rebuilt with a body-off restoration.

Terry is also trying to trace Michael Slynn, an old friend of his when he lived in the West Midlands. Mick lived in Kinver, near Stourbridge and they were members of the Octagon Car Club between 1969 and 1971, both owning TDs. Mick’s TD sported the registration mark DVA 5, which no longer comes up on the DVLA search facility. This registration mark was on TD25186, which presumably has another registration number now.

Terry can be contacted at:

frencha34(at)  [please substitute @ for (at)].

Guarantee plate (TF9639)

The following has been received from Rob Dunsterville:

“Back in 1973 a friend called Clive Bendun put his TF into a lock-up before going to Europe for an extended work/holiday.  It was maroon in colour and running.

To avoid it being stolen and sold he removed the ID plate and tool box cover and handed them to me for safe keeping.  

He has never reclaimed them and I am not sure if the TF is still in Oz or exported.

Obviously, I’d like to reunite these parts with the car if I could find it.  Enquiries with MGCC centres in Oz hasn’t produced a result.

The numbers are HDE23 9639 and XPEG 3493.”

robertanddenny(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

TC9733 where are you?

Ian George is trying to trace his TC. The above picture of the car was taken when in his ownership with registration number 95-596. The car was sold at Shannon’s Auction in Victoria, Australia in 2013 when it had the registration MG 1948 (next picture). Nothing has been heard of the car since.

Ian’s contact details are: iangeorge2011(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].


Bob Little would very much like to discover the whereabouts of his old TC, which he purchased in October 1969 as a ‘basket case’ from a lady in Odenton, Maryland.

We are all familiar with the term ‘barn find’ but this was a ‘find’ with a difference, for it had been left on the street in Washington, DC, having been hit by a snow plow (plough), ending up being unceremoniously plowed into a snow bank.

When Bob started the dis-assembly at the home of his in-laws, there were numerous injection needles and various other items of interest scattered about the interior. The pic below shows the car before dis-assembly.

The next pic was taken circa 1970 following what Bob describes as a first round of ‘refreshment’ of the car. The car is parked in front of Bob’s townhome in Columbia, Maryland. The paint job is ‘rattle can yellow’.

Note the UK plate KTA 454E. which Bob says was a duplicate of the original registration. However, this would not have been the original 1945 registration.

The second round of ‘refreshment’ was in fact a full body-off rebuild carried out in the basement of Bob’s townhouse.

Numerous parts were replaced, including several pieces of rotted wood, used as a template for new ash wood made at the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland. Body parts were sent to a paint shop and finished in British Racing Green.

No work was required on the engine as it was a Factory replacement and had covered little mileage since.

In June 1971 Bob drove the car up to Connecticut without incident. He recalls it ran perfectly up the New Jersey Turnpike, thru New York, across the George Washington Bridge. He was proud of his refit, his first full MG restoration at 26 years of age.

The car was sold to Peter Granahan in Granby, Connecticut around 1973. He enjoyed the car for three or four years and sold it to a gentleman in North Carolina.

That was about 1980 and was the last he knew of TC 0278. The picture below is taken from the T-Database (we do not keep owners’ details) and is how the car looks now.

Hopefully if the present owner sees this, he or she will get in touch with Bob at uep(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

KNA 494 (TC8208), AFL 972 (TD9712), MRK 713 (TF – Chassis number not known)

Chris Keevill, who is the Early MG Society’s (EMGS) Newsletter editor, has enquired again as to where his family’s old T-Types (all of which come up when using the DVLA search enquiry facility) are now.

Hopefully, better luck this time – the details follow:

The first is a green 1954 TF1250, registration mark MRK 713, chassis number unknown, which belonged to his mother. It is taxed and on the road. Here’s the pic (it was black when the pic was taken):

The second is a cream TD, registration mark AFL 972, chassis number TD9712. No pic for this one, but again, it is taxed and on the road.

The third is a TC which belonged to Chris’ brother.

KNA 494 is a maroon TC, chassis number TC8208, shown from a DVLA enquiry as ‘Not taxed for road use.’ The pic was taken pre-1958.

Chris can be contacted at earlymgs(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

TF9209 (484 HYK)

In the previous issue, Jan Mazgaj was asking about TF2385. Barrie Jones, TF Registrar for the T Register noticed the TF1500 badges on the side of the bonnet in the picture that Jan sent, so realized that 484 HYK could not be TF2385 (a TF1250). It is in fact TF9209, last known in Kent.

The chassis number 2385 quoted by Jan is in fact the T Register number for TF9209!

Jan recalls that he was living in Ramsgate, Kent when he sold the car, so “last known in Kent” stacks up. However, 484 HYK does not come up when using the DVLA search enquiry facility.

CKD TCs sent to Ireland in 1946 (Chassis numbers 1752 to 1787)

In the previous issue, Chris Ferneyhough who owns TC1768, one of 36 CKD (Completely Knocked Down and supplied as a kit) TCs sent to Ireland in 1946 was asking if anybody knew who assembled these kits. Simon Johnston came up with the answer as follows:

“The MG assembler in Ireland from 1938 to the mid 1950s was Booth Brothers Ltd., in Dublin. Booth Brothers merged with W.F. Poole Ltd., the Morris Commercials assemblers, around 1954/55 forming Booth Poole Ltd. who continued assembling a variety of BMC cars until 1971.

Thank you, Simon!


……..and to close – as we are in ‘lockdown’ in the UK, no doubt like many other countries in the world, we have not been able to participate in the annual ‘Drive it Day’ organised by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, which traditionally takes place at the end of April. This was a tremendous disappointment to Melanie Howe, so she thought she would organise her own ‘Drive Nowhere Day’ for her Sprite and husband, Kev’s TA.

Over to Mel…….

“I checked Kev had all the essentials….face mask, toilet roll, anti back hand gel, Dettol, plain flour and with that we were off… route map or tulip diagrams needed this year ….

Just a trip up the field to where I had placed the Union Jack bunting and blanket.

All too soon our trip was over…..excitement over for another year !!!”

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“If you want a snow sled, you can’t have a TC!”

(Jack Woolridge has owned TC5044 for 58 years).

“My MG story began with the International Geophysical Year expedition in 1957-58. The “Snowmobile” was perfected for use in the Arctic. By the winter of 1960-1961 the machines had come to Clearfield, Pa.

My father’s brothers bought four of them for use at the family camp. I decided we needed one too. I was twelve years old and I pestered my father to purchase one. He finally announced that I would be driving in a few years and I would not be driving his Cadillac. He said he had planned to get me an older British car called M.G. Dad was in Burma and India during WW2 and had been exposed to the British autos. He then said that if I wanted the snow sled he would get it, but there would be no M.G. This was a difficult decision for a young person. I got through the winter riding my uncle’s sleds.

As spring came, I told dad that we better start looking for an M.G. There was an MG TD owned by Jack Poole in Clearfield. It was not for sale but dad arranged that we could look at it. Dad put a wanted ad in Antique Auto and Cars & Parts. We looked at several cars but they did not suit dad. He got a call from William S. Jackson who had grown up in Clearfield, and was the editor of Antique Automobile and he had two M.G.s for sale. We went over to Lewisburg, Pa. the next day and he purchased one. He sent a coal truck the following Monday to bring it home. The 1948 MG-TC # 5044 cost $760.00 in August of 1962. The snow sleds cost $1,200.00. I still have the car and all the sleds are long gone.

TC5044 being delivered by coal truck back in 1962. This photo was taken by 13 year-old Jack.

This little car was my only transportation for four years. The M.G. was a basic machine and was not very well made. I learned to repair every part of the car. Many mechanics helped fix the things that I messed up.

I developed a passion and appreciation for all things mechanical. It was an important part of my education. Bill Jackson had given me a catalog for Moss Motors in California. I knew it inside out. There were many photos of MG people and autos on the back cover. My friends and I speculated as to what was happening in the mystical place called California. I had to call Alan Moss many times and he was always encouraging, very accommodating to my many questions.

The little car sustained major damage when the Grice Antique Auto Museum collapsed in the winter of 1997. I finally gathered the parts and made the time and put it back together in 2007.

The car was purchased new by a fellow named George L. Sterner from York, Pa. I recently found out that he raced the car at the first road races at Watkins Glen, N.Y. in 1948, 1949, and 1950. The engine rebuild exposed the .120 overbore pistons, the milled cylinder head and the induction ports were siamesed. I went to school in York and went to see Mr. Sterner. He gave me many spare parts and briefly discussed his racing. The first photo below was taken on the original road course at Watkins in 2007 and the second ‘shot’ shows the car as she is today.”

Jack Woolridge

TC5044 just waiting to be driven.

MAD about T-Types? The Motor Assemblies Durban (MAD) built MG TDs

Firstly, my thanks to John James for such an excellent publication. Secondly, and given the current virus situation and the inability to use my MG TD, I thought it about time that I contributed to that excellent publication. Way back in 2018 I was looking for a replacement classic car, having sold my previous XJ-S in order to facilitate the building of a garage and driveway. My thoughts led me to an MGA or a Frogeye Sprite, but then looking at the various sites I suddenly realised that a T-Type would be within budget, albeit one requiring work. Well, I found one and one that was slightly unique in that it was a CKD assembled in Durban in 1950 and having spent its early life in what was then Rhodesia. This is where the fun began.

As a TD requiring work, I was perhaps fortunate that the car was complete and far from a basket case, but the car had been unused for many years. Indeed, reviewing the history, it was last used in anger way back in the late 1960s when it resided in Rhodesia – the history showed that it had been dismantled when in Rhodesia before being exported to South Africa and then sold to a new owner who planned to rebuild it as a hobby. The car was therefore purchased as requiring recommissioning and in February 2019 I set out to get the car ready for use. I can write many interesting articles about the fun (?) I had when stripping the car and the multitude of problems I found (gearbox, engine, body frame, etc.). However, this is not the time nor the place. What I would like to discuss, or find out more about, is the Motor Assemblies Durban or MAD built MG TDs – thanks to Mike Johnson from Cape Town MG Club for passing on the apt MAD acronym.

I must be honest, one of the attractions of this particular TD was the fact that it was a CKD car and the plate that identified the car as the 127th of the 345 built by Motor Assemblies Durban (see image later in this article). I did do some research and found the following interesting site Also, from an earlier edition of Totally T-Type 2.

  • CKD TDs supplied to South Africa:

Clausager, in his book Original MG T Series records that 345 CKD (Completely Knocked Down TDs – essentially kits of parts) were supplied to South Africa, most of them in 1950. I have had recent correspondence with Pierre van Hell in South Africa about his TD (TD 1328). The Production Records list chassis numbers 1328 to 1337 as CKD cars (probably produced around April 1950 – exact date not given in the Production Records) and Pierre confirms that his TD was built by Motor Assemblies in Durban and that it was the 31st TD built by this company.

Whilst interesting, the detail relating the TD was scant and left me with more questions than answers. What were those questions? First and foremost, what actually is inferred by CKD? If you do a little research this can cover a whole host of sins from a fully built car being disassembled before shipping (correctly referred to as SKD or semi-knocked down), but can also be extended to include vehicles that are only partially assembled i.e. vehicles without key components or systems as these would be locally sourced or indeed cars that were never assembled, but only ever a kit of parts. Second, what was the local content for the MAD TDs? Thirdly, what adaptations to the assembly were introduced – due to limitations or differences in practice at the local assembly plant? Why did I have these particular questions? Well one reason is given below.

Reading the book by Clausager ‘Original MG T Series’ the location of the three plates (chassis/engine, body type/number and patent) for the TD is given as:

Chassis/Engine – front face LHS tool box
Patent Plate – above Chassis/Engine plate on front face tool box
Body Type/Number – bulkhead to LHS of toolbox Made in England – LH end of tool box (only export cars assembled Abingdon)

Example of an Abingdon built MGTD showing the location of the various plates.

Having removed the plates (and a plate with the MAD build number) I was about to replace as indicated by Clausager – my plates were all located on the bulkhead to the LHS of the tool box prior to removal. However, I could find no locating holes in the locations indicated by Clausager and no evidence of any holes having been filled. As opposed to drilling new holes in the bulkhead I thought some further investigation was required and what I found was interesting. With thanks to Mike Johnson and Tim Wilkinson, both owners of MAD built TDs, who sent me the following details:

Tim Wilkinson (TD1580) – UK

  • I also don’t have the initial history of my TD. When I acquired it in the late 1960s the car was supercharged and the colour scheme had already been changed to red with biscuit upholstery (the original colours were visible underneath). I believe it had been raced in the Johannesburg area. Another difference in my CKD car is that the engine was originally painted grey, which I think is a colour inherited from the TC. After an initial restoration in Cape Town I brought the car with me to the UK in 1973. I subsequently took it to Arizona where I was working for five years, and then back to the UK where I did another respray and refurbishment. We are currently in St Albans. There was also a significant amount of extra chroming which was probably in vogue at the time.
  • The Motor Assemblies ID plate on my car came with a painted infill, which I’ve tried to keep intact. Others may possibly have been removed during refurbishments over the years?
  • For the record, my TD was built in Durban, South Africa by a company called Motor Assemblies. It has a normal engine number. The Abingdon body type/number plate was left blank. Instead it has an extra Motor Assemblies plate giving the number TD 51.
  • I don’t know in what form exactly the CKD kits were shipped, but local content could have included at least paint, glass, tyres, batteries and interior trim. Tom Lange concludes that the engines were shipped separately and I agree. My car was originally a pale blue green colour (maybe Almond Green) with dark green (Apple Green?) interior trim which I don’t think was an Abingdon combination. You can find more information on Motor Assemblies on the web.

Mike Johnson (TD1736) – Chair MG Club Cape Town

  • I have attached photos of our car which I bought in 1963 at the age of 18.  It was laid up for 30 years during this time but now back in regular use in its distinctive Clipper Blue colour.  Fran and I went on honeymoon in it 48 years ago and although I have a MGA as well, the TD remains our favourite – obviously.  To brag, our TD and Martin Davies’ TD appeared very briefly in the first episode of the BBC series the “The Crown” which was partly filmed here in Cape Town.
  • Believe all the MAD cars had the brass plates on the left-hand side of the fire-wall as per the attached photo from my car.  As I recall, most MAD TDs I have looked at were the same.  My car has chassis number 1736 and engine number XPAG 2237 stamped on the respective plates but no body number. 
  • It was often mentioned to me over the years that with CKD cars the individual components were crated separately i.e. assembled engines in one, gearboxes in another, chassis, body parts and so on.  This I have heard from people who were involved in the motor trade.  I know from my own days at sea in the Merchant Marine, before containers came onto the scene, crates destined for assembly plants were usually in differing weights and sizes perhaps indicating different contents.

Further investigation revealed that indeed it appears that most MAD built TDs have plates on the bulkhead to the LHS of the tool box as indicated by Mike (only one car has them located as indicated by Clausager and this was an early car No. 51) and that the body type/number plate is unstamped. I have so far located 11 of the MAD built TDs and all these verify the above (with the one exception noted) and representative images are shown below in support of the above. The following images show my car (No. 127) and Mike Johnson’s (No. 67).

My CKD MAD assembled MG TD showing a close up of the plates. Note the unstamped body type/no. plate.

Above: My CKD MAD assembled MG TD showing the location of the plates Below: Mike Johnson’s.

Close up of the plate of Mike Johnson’s CKD MAD assembled MG TD (No.67).

It would be interesting to know how the plates were married up to the vehicle. I am assuming that this happened at Abingdon at final assembly as pictures of tubs for dispatch from Coventry to Abingdon show no locating holes for any of the plates. If the plates were indeed in a different location and the body plate was unstamped, then what would this indicate? Would it have been more likely that the car was never built up at Abingdon (or only partially built)?   Another interesting fact is that the engine numbers are stamped differently to the chassis numbers – done locally and at a different date. The indication is that the engines were shipped in batches and then allocated to the car at the assembly plant (top photo is a MAD assembled TD; bottom is an Abingdon built TD). This would support the fact that the CKD kits supplied to MAD were indeed not complete cars, but only partial cars.

An example showing the different stamping for the engine no. for the MAD assembled MGTD.

From a search on the Internet, the following was mentioned by Tom Lange in relation to MAD assembled TDs and engine numbers:

“The Production Records show one interesting thing: while TA cars listed as CKD had engine numbers supplied when dispatched, not a single TC, TD or TF CKD car has an engine number given in the record. I believe this makes clear that those cars were shipped without engines (to avoid taxes), and that batches of engines were kept separate. Only when the cars were finally destination-assembled would an engine be selected from the supplies, inserted into a chassis, and the engine number stamped onto the Guarantee plate.”

If anyone reading this can help me further with my investigations into the MAD built TDs then let me know (via the editor) Please note that these are only my thoughts and based upon the information I have obtained. I am quite happy to be corrected based upon further information being made available.

Final thought – ‘You do not have to be mad to own a TD, but you can own a MAD TD.’

Bits and Pieces

A Conundrum

The following from Paul Ireland:

“I have been discussing the issue of the petrol height in the jets of the SU carbs. One point was raised: what about hills?

On consideration, I am amazed our cars are able to drive up any hills at all!

Consider an extreme example a 1:4 hill. (say ~25o slope). This affects the carburettors in two ways.

  1. The weight of the suction piston is not acting directly downwards. For a fixed weight piston this reduces its weight from 240gm to 232gm. This means that for a given airflow, the piston is floating higher, the pressure difference between the choke and atmospheric is less and the carburettor is delivering a weaker mixture. Carburettors with lighter pistons and springs are still affected but to a lesser extent.
  2. The centre of the float chamber is 60mm from the centre of the jet. On the front carburettor the float chamber is 14mm (about ½”) higher than its horizontal position. Similarly, the rear float chamber is 14mm lower. Even with the fuel level 3/8” below the top of the jet (when horizontal), the front carb will flood. In the rear carb the fuel level will be 7/8” of an inch below the jet, which coupled with the reduced pressure difference in the choke means it will probably not deliver any petrol at all!

Clearly this is not the case as I used to drive my TC up a 1:4 hill quite regularly when I was young on the way back from seeing my girlfriend (now my wife).

An interesting dilemma.”

‘Drive a TC and you never know where it will lead’

This is TC0663 filming “Darling Buds of May” July 1990 – David Jason in his usual sweet talking guise.

Owner, Martin Franklin, who still has the car, recalls that it was ‘a nice little earner’ which paid for an 8:37 crown wheel and pinion from Roger Furneaux, or possibly new rear hubs and tapered half shafts.

T-Type seat back spring interiors

Wade Spring Company in Nottingham are predominantly a furniture spring company, but they also have patterns for TA, TC and TD. If you go to their website and look under ‘Transport Solutions’ and then sub heading ‘Vintage Car Seating’ you will find that they cater for several models.

My thanks to Brian Slater for this information.

TD/TF – Jacking up the rear of the car

The Operation Manual tells you to place the screw type jack under the rear spring, close to the axle.

Always a risky business, I feel – so I use a small block of wood with a hole drilled in it. It fits snuggly between the ‘jaws’ (is that the correct terminology?) of the jack and the U-bolt nuts and registers with the nut from the centre bolt that goes through the spring leaves. It just feels that little bit more secure, but of course, it’s still important to place supports under the axle.

Fitting an anti-roll bar to an MG TD

The following was received from Dieter Wagner:

“It is really a good idea to fit such an improvement to an MG TD. If the bar is fitted as delivered by Moss the legs of the bar go over the tie rods and the angle of the rods will be about 45 degrees. That means the effect of the bar is only at 50%. If you want to gain the full benefit of the bar (100%) it must sit horizontally. For that you must shorten the vertical links. It is very important that the length of the links is not longer than 20mm. Otherwise the bar contacts the steering linkage in extreme driving situations, such as full steering lock and very uneven road conditions. This is easy to check when the car is lifted up under the chassis and the steering is turned all the way to the end lock. The pics show how I configured my TD.”

Extended mirror bracket

Laurent Castel (TD south of France) e-mailed to say that he was grateful to receive the April issue of TTT 2 to read during the ‘lockdown’, which set his mind thinking what could he contribute for the June issue. The following, which he originally wrote for the MG car forum is the result.

Originally, the side rear view mirror was on the front wing. It is found not easy to adjust and offer a narrow view angle. Nowadays we are more used to fit side mirrors on the windscreen pillars. One can drill and tap the pillars but I know many of us won’t do such non return changes. It is also common practice to use the slotted hole of the windscreen post to fit the mirror, but it prevents folding the windscreen down. It also often interferes with the side screen when opening the door.

I designed this special bracket that uses the existing holes and screws, not foul the side screen and allow to change the windscreen position. Built in 2mm thick stainless-steel sheet that once thoroughly polished shines like chrome. (dimensions in the drawing are in mm).

Remove the washer from the original fitting of the pivot and replace by the bracket.

It is also possible to bend a little bit the upper end to clear the pillar from the mirror. The small thickness of the bracket does not prevent the door to close with the side screen.

1977 was a good year for wine corks! Picture from Alan Taylor, New South Wales (TA1939).

TB/TC Heatshields (John James)

I have just three of these left in stock which were supplied to me by Barrie Jones. They are made from stainless steel and are priced at £16, plus postage. Barrie has moved away from Cornwall, so has lost his manufacturing contact, and there will be no more. When they are gone, they are gone!

To fit this shield to the TB/TC you will also need the aluminium spacers (1/2” thick) shown in the photo (at £6.50 per spacer) and extra gaskets. This in turn will require longer exhaust manifold bolts (not supplied).

From the manifold, the sequence is:

Gasket, spacer, gasket, heat shield, gasket, carburetter.

The shield will not fit if you have a 5-speed conversion with the engine moved forward.

Some questions have been asked about the use of aluminium for the spacers. Here is Barrie’s explanation of the theory behind his design:

“The main problem with modern fuel seems to be the Ethanol content. This apparently slows down the burn so that the partially-burnt fuel continues to burn after it has been ejected from the engine. This raises the temperature of the exhaust manifold, and the radiated heat could boil the fuel in the float chambers.

The TC/TD float chambers are very close to the exhaust manifold, so:

1) The polished stainless steel reflects the heat away from the float chambers.

2) The spacers move the float chambers further away from the exhaust manifold, reducing the effects of radiation even more.

There is a secondary problem.  When Ethanol vaporizes as it exits the jets of the SU carbs, this has a refrigerant effect.  On a cold, damp morning it could cause any water vapour in the air to freeze, blocking the jets with ice.  This happens in aircraft.  Pilots are taught that icing-up of a carburetter can happen with air temperatures as high as 20°C (68°F).  So, by making the spacers from alloy I am trying to get MORE heat to the carb body whilst I am trying to get LESS heat to the carb float chambers.”

I don’t get much feedback from owners who have fitted these shields but here’s one:

…….” It has really done the trick.  I went for the first long run of the season today.  No overheating or trouble re-starting – Excellent!”

Here’s a couple of pictures of a shield supplied in January to Martin Wollacott:

To order, please send an e-mail to me jj(at) [please substitute @ for (at)] or write to 85 Bath Road, Keynsham, BRISTOL BS31 1SR or telephone 0117 986 4224. UK postage is 3.10 GBP.

Back to the Metal

Much of our restoration work is about rust and paint removal. There have been some recent advances in how to achieve this, giving a number of new possibilities. In this article we’ll see some of those options using blasting techniques. A further article will cover more labour-intensive methods.

Due to the hazards encountered in the nature of this type of work, it is essential to wear protective equipment when using these methods and associated machinery!


One of the most widely known methods, it removes paint and corrosion quickly and easily. Sand is available in various grain sizes and types, depending on the job in hand, from simple surface cleaning, through to heavy rust removal applications.

Sand’s benefits are it is cheap as a ‘blast media’, it is available widely and many DIY shot blasting guns can use it as well as other granular media if the nozzle size allows.

Grit guns available from outlets like Machine Mart, can often handle a range of media types and sizes, some have renewable tips and a range of tip sizes for different weights of media; for instance, for use on fine sand.

Sand and Grit can be obtained in a variety of milled grain sizes, which also helps determine the ‘ferocity’ and cleaning power of the media. Generally speaking, the bigger the grain size, the more it will remove at around 90 psi.

Avoid sand with stones included as it will need sieving out as the larger particles will block the gun. Some ‘Builder’s type’ sands containing these inclusions are cheaper and not intended for sandblasting (just for mixing into concrete) so they will need sieving before use. The labour costs involved using a non-specific blasting sand might be more than the extra paid for a consistent grain sized sand only media, besides having to unclog the gun when a stray bit of stone frequently gets in the gun feed pipe and stops the work.

Sand can often be reused after filtering through a gauze or sieve, a 90psi air pressure is mostly used to distribute it from the grit gun towards the surface to be cleaned. Don’t linger over one spot too long with the blast as the sand can heat and harden metal sheet, making it brittle and liable to crack. Sandblasting will erode wood away.

The dust and blowback from the surface from sandblasting is a hazard and a filter mask must be worn to avoid Silicosis. Goggles must also be worn to prevent debris entering the eyes. Protective head shields can be purchased to help in avoiding these hazards.

Sand is quite acidic so ferrous (Iron and Steel) surfaces must be treated to prevent re-corrosion occurring, as soon as possible after cleaning. Sand is a hazard to mechanical parts and should not be used on engine blocks etc. Blasted sand can be released from the cast iron skin of engine parts and migrate out into the engine oil and internal parts in time, with obviously disastrous results later on.

Sand grades range from soft sand (sand pit type), silver sand (soft and good for aluminium casting cleaning) to sharp sand (visible quartz granules of a sugar grain’s size). Sharp sand will work effectively and is commonly used as a ‘one size fits all blast media’ by many sand blasters as it does the job of rust removal well.

Another use for sandblasting is for etching on to glass. The glass can be masked and sand can be used to etch the glass surface to make decorative patterns. A small grain sand at a lower pressure, is best for this purpose so that you get a ‘frosted glass look’. A great idea for making decorative panels for household interiors and as found in the old Victorian pubs on interior glass panels between seating booths!

Note: Some Pressure Washers have Sand Blasting feed attachments which sand can be fed into for blast cleaning, remember that these machines often kick out enormous pressure at the nozzle, this can likely damage panels etc not to mention embed sand into the metal surface, so it might be prudent to avoid using these  sorts of devices on your car parts at all costs!

Metal Grit media:

Along the same lines as sand, are granular metal media types. Aluminium Oxide which you may know from abrasive discs and papers, is like granular sand media, available in various grades of grain size. This media can be filtered and reused and is quite robust.

Iron Sinter grit media derived from casting slag is milled to a variety of ‘grain’ sizes and provides a hard media for blast cleaning. The picture shows 20, 36 and 60 grades. Copper Sinter is produced along the same lines.

Metal grit media types are harder than sand, but can be filtered and reused. Mostly, these present the same hazards to the person and to mechanical parts as with sand, so these media types are generally only suitable where non mechanical assemblies are involved.

The hazards from material blow-back and dust from cleaned surfaces is also an issue, as is wearing adequate eye and skin protection. We’ve all probably chanced it in the past, but operator safety isn’t something you skimp.

If you are stripping mechanical parts right down, these media might be possible to use, but I would recommend a non-hazardous media like Soda or alternatively, chemical dipping, to be sure that the refurbished parts don’t cause further expensive issues from unwelcome inclusions!

If using Sinter on mechanical parts, be prepared to fully disassemble afterwards, to remove all traces of abrasive material!

Bead blasting:

Results from use of various media types

(results from left to right: untreated; plastic beads/walnut shells; glass beads; aluminium oxide).

Glass beads are one of the types used in this situation as an alternative to sinter grit on metals, but are not as commonly used nowadays. Plastic Media beads came into use in the 1990s, the advantage is that the media doesn’t damage wood or rubber but will take paint off and are reusable.

The only possible drawback is if plastic bead debris gets into a mechanical assembly and block an oil way for example. The plastic beads can be reused until they disintegrate, Glass tends to shatter depending on the pressure used and the hardness of the material it is used on.

‘Soft’ Media types –

Using a milled Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking powder) grain, larger than used in cooking, the Soda cleans off corrosion.

Soda blasting is a new method of corrosion and paint removal to the market. It doesn’t harm wood (see pic), rubber mouldings or glass and leaves a light powdered coating on bare metal, which should be paint coated within a week to prevent further corrosion.

The soda does need a specific blasting gun which is different from a sand, grit or sinter gun. It is a ‘one use only’ material as it disintegrates on removal of the corrosion or paint layers. It creates quite a bit of dust and an extraction system is preferable.

Media made from Walnut shells is used to polish aluminium parts and is re-usable until it disintegrates.

Larger scale blasting:

If you are going to do any amount of media blasting, a cabinet is worthwhile. It contains the media, the crud and the dust from going over anything in your workshop, including your power tools. It reduces the hazard from flying debris too. A knock-down temporary booth can be made, which can be quickly assembled up for your jobs.

Working on batches of items is a good way to work, you can do a lot at one go. This is worthwhile if you have a lot to do, but safety precautions are a must even for a small job. Remember this stuff removes paint! It can damage skin and eyes too.

Another alternative to blasting is chemical dipping. Ideal for a boxed chassis, the stripped-down part is dunked into a tank and the chemicals dissolve old paint and rust to leave a shiny surface. The parts are then flushed with clean water, air dried and can be zinc dipped or epoxy coating dipped. When dry, they can be repainted.

Chemical processing is expensive, a chassis is about £450 just to strip, but it does make life easy.

Castor angle measurement – TC

Robert Lyell has kindly sent me an article on castor angle measurement; this is reproduced in the next few pages. However, I thought it would first be worth reminding readers of Eric Worpe’s writing on the subject of castor angle and self-centering, which was covered in Issue 20 of TTT 2 as part of the series of articles on TC steering. This follows:

The castor angle is made up from two components. The beam axle has an inherent castor angle of 3 degrees. (see Table 1) this is augmented by the slope of the front springs, which for the TA and TB was also 3 degrees.

However, when the rear trunnions were exchanged for shackles on the TC, it resulted in an increased spring slope of 5 degrees, giving a total of 8 degrees, as opposed to 6 degrees for the TA and TB. Subsequently, wedges of 2.5 degrees were offered to reduce the total castor angle of the TC to 5.5 degrees. (see Table 1 and the illustration at Figure 1)

Table 1

Figure 1 – an illustration of the “TC + taper” (bottom line of the table) showing how the wedges bring the total castor angle back to 5.5 degrees i.e. 5 degrees spring slope plus 3 degrees castor on axle less 2.5 degrees axle wedge.

Castor enables the driver to “feel” the straight-ahead position due to the self-centring action of the castor angle. Fig. 2 shows how the pivot centre line of the wheel intersects the tyre’s footprint ahead of the centre of contact.

Although the castor steering feature is similar to a castor wheel fitted to a trolley, where the wheel’s centre trails behind the pivot axis, an alternative explanation is more suited to the specific geometry of a car.

Figure 2 – showing the self-centring effect.

Turning the wheel about the pivot axis results in an edge of the tyre lifting up the wheel (see Figure 3); this can be illustrated by holding a tin can in the hand and holding one’s arm vertically with the can resting on a table. Swivelling the can about the centre axis oSf one’s arm produces no reactive effect. However, inclining one’s arm to the vertical and swivelling the can should cause one edge of the can to lift.

The weight of the car brings about a “reset” effect, forcing the wheel to return to its lowest (straight ahead) base level. Thus, the castor return action is mainly a function of the castor angle, weight of car and width of tyre.

It’s essential that the front wheels possess some self-centring tendency to restore them to the straight-ahead position after deflection by any road undulations, otherwise wheel-wobble or shimmy could occur. Too much castor produces hard steering, whereas too little causes wander.

Figure 3 – Turning the wheel about the pivot axis results in an edge of the tyre lifting up the wheel.

Robert Lyell’s article follows…………

Castor angle measurement – TC……….Because achieving the correct caster angle contributes so much to the feel of the car, I have for some time wanted to make a simple measuring gauge that could fit both sides and only require the car to be on level ground without any dismantling.

Staying at home was the catalyst and I have made one, but simple it is not. Anyway, I am pleased to share my design in case anyone else is inspired to make a copy or improve on it.

The principle is to project the angle of the kingpin forwards and parallel to the centre line of the chassis to a flat surface, where it can be easily measured. This is achieved by two arms of exactly the same length locating on the outside diameter of the short king pin protrusion at the bottom and the central ¼ BSF tapped hole at the top. Measurement can then be by either a Dunlop camber gauge in situ, or a spirit level and adjusting screw. With the screw locked in place the gauge can be removed to the bench and its protrusion measured with a Vernier.

Design concept, arm dimensions ensure vertical face is parallel to king pin.

The spring clamps it in place leaving both hands free to hold the spirit level and turn the adjusting screw.

Shown in place, wheel on full lock.

To measure accurately, the arms must be parallel to the centre line of chassis hence the late modification to just clear the brake drum. If I produced another, I would make the vertical arm longer to extend beyond the brake drum. The kingpin inclination requires the short ‘wing’ extensions at the bottom in order to take a vertical reading.

Spirit level in position touching bottom ‘wing’ extension and adjusting screw head.

Measured on the bench the nearside represents a triangle whose sides are 218mm (fixed length), 219mm and 20mm (adjusting screw). By using a piece of freely available software or a scientific calculator the acute angle is calculated at 5.2 degrees against a specification of 5.5 with taper plates on the axle (see Eric Worpe’s Table 1). The offside adjusting screw measured 21mm which calculates 5.5 degrees.

Introduction of E10 Petrol as the standard for fuel across the UK

As I write this article in early April a consultation exercise was launched by Her Majesty’s Government on 4th March about its proposal to introduce E10. The six-week consultation period was due to end on 18th April and the results may be out by the time this issue is published. With the unrelenting pressure on governments to be seen to be taking steps to act as a result of climate emergency declarations, there can be little doubt that the proposal will go ahead, hence the editor’s choice to omit the word ‘proposal’ in the title of this article.

Typically, fuel companies currently blend petrol with up to 5% bioethanol and diesel with 7% biodiesel. The Government has a target to ensure that 9.75% of all transport fuels must come from renewable sources by the end of this year under its “Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation”. It believes that a move to standardising E10 fuel will be equivalent to taking 350,000 cars off the road each year. The Department for Transport estimates that this may cut CO2 emissions for transport by 750,000 tonnes per year.

It looks as though the introduction of E10 in the UK may be challenging as it has been reported that the only domestic refinery for the additive has closed and the environmental costs of shipping additives from other parts of the world would negate the environmental benefit.

The harmful side effects of ethanol on fuel systems are well catalogued, but is it such a monster that it has been portrayed as? Read this article from Paul Ireland.

E10 – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The UK Government is planning to introduce petrol containing 10% ethanol (alcohol) next year. This is referred to as E10. Most of what has been written on this subject does not tell the whole story, focusing on the potential damage this fuel can cause. This article aims to allay owners’ fears, especially for those with classic vehicles.

It is based on research performed at Manchester University using an engine designed in the late 1930s. For anybody wanting to find out the full story, the results and recommendations have been published in a very readable book, Classic Engines, Modern Fuel – The Problems, the Solutions.

Question – why add ethanol to petrol in the first place? Government policy to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles is the reason. The carbon in the ethanol comes from renewable sources. It is a by-product of the sugar industry. When running on E10 a petrol engine still emits the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere. However, only 90% of it comes from fossil fuel. E10 effectively reduces the carbon load by 10%.

Adding ethanol to petrol is not new. Cleveland Discol was introduced in 1928 and sold until 1968. The good news is, after 40 years of use in what are now today’s classic cars, Discol did not appear to cause serious problems.

The Good

Modern petrol is both physically and chemically different from classic petrol. Physical differences include a lower boiling point. Chemical differences include the addition of ethanol. Both of these alter the way a classic engine runs on modern fuel.

The Manchester tests showed modern fuel increases the severity of a phenomena called Cyclic Variability, making it worse at the RPM and throttle settings used when driving in normal traffic.

All petrol engines suffer from Cyclic Variability. It reduces power output and increases petrol consumption. Worst still, it can cause serious damage, burning valves and pistons and destroying the big end bearings. A high level of Cyclic Variability is very damaging for an engine. Modern petrol makes this level worse. The rankings of the fuels tested at Manchester are shown on the diagram. Three of the top six best performing fuels contained ethanol (shown in orange), the other three (shown in grey) were specialist fuels. Fuels without ethanol (shown in blue) ranked poorly. The test engine ran considerably better on the petrol containing ethanol as these reduced the level of Cyclic Variability.

E10 ranked 3rd best, scoring twice as many points as non-blended fuels.

The good news is that E10 promises to reduce potentially very expensive damage to an engine. A positive fact other articles do not make clear.

The Bad

A great deal has been written about the damage ethanol can cause to fuel system components. It rots older non-metallic components such as rubber hoses, seals, diaphragms and plastic floats. Also, it contains oxygen which weakens the mixture. E10 makes these problems worse.

Rotting hoses can be a serious problem, especially if they go undetected. Petrol leaks around the engine is the last thing you want. Petrol is highly flammable and leaks are a serious fire risk. Age, as well as ethanol, causes hoses to rot. In any case, it is worth replacing old hoses, etc. Ethanol proof replacements are now available for most vehicles.

This problem is not as bad as it would first appear. Fitting replacement hoses, etc., is a lot cheaper than rebuilding an engine!

The other problem, that ethanol contains oxygen, is something to be aware of. This causes an engine tuned to run on normal petrol to run weak. Insufficient petrol enters the cylinder. Like Cyclic Variability, weak running can cause serious damage to an engine.

The good news is that variable jet carburettors such as SU and Stromberg only need minor adjustments to offset the effects of E10. Unfortunately, these adjustments are harder with fixed jet carburettors such as Weber and Zenith. These may need new jets or emulsion tubes.

Modern electronic fuel injection systems are able to adjust by themselves.

One interesting result of the Manchester tests was that petrol containing ethanol increased the engine’s power output. This is because it reduces the degree of the damaging Cyclic Variability. As a result, classic engines running on E10 will possibly deliver more MPG, not less, as some authors have suggested.

The bottom line is that E10 does cause some problems. As long as owners are aware, addressing them is neither difficult nor expensive.

The Ugly

The ugly face of ethanol blended petrol is its ability to dissolve metal. The picture that follows shows two samples. One a piece of steel, the other part of an aluminium float chamber. These were stored in water that had come in contact with ethanol blended petrol. Even after only 4 months, the level of corrosion is severe. When water comes into contact with ethanol blended petrol it draws the ethanol out of the petrol, making the water acidic. It is this acid that attacks the metal components. This problem is as serious with current petrol blends as it will be with E10. All it needs is a single drop of rainwater getting into the fuel system.

Is this something to worry about? Not really. As long as you are very careful not to get any water into your petrol system; something easier said than done, especially with older cars or motor bikes where the filling cap is on the top of the tank. Petrol filling caps or tickler pins in the carburettors can let in water. Especially if driving in heavy rain.

Unfortunately, inhibitors sold to protect against ethanol will not help in this situation. Classic Engines, Modern Fuel – The Problems, the Solutions describes some ways of avoiding this problem.


E10 is not as bad as some people make out. Older engines run better on ethanol blended petrol, reducing the expensive damage Cyclic Variability can cause. While there are some issues, they can be addressed with care and low cost solutions.

Perhaps the forthcoming introduction of E10 is not so bad after all.

The following is a link to the website that Paul has created, where you read reviews of the book and purchase a copy, register and log in to compare advance curves, and participate in the bulletin board.

Introduction of E10 (continued)…….(back to the Editor).

I should have pointed out, when referring to the consultation exercise, that the Department for Transport recognises the issue of vehicle compatibility with the introduction of E10. The relevant extracts from the consultation paper are as follows:

“……Currently around 95% of petrol cars used in the UK can use E10, but around 700,000 are not warranted by their manufacturers to use E10. This number is expected to decrease as vehicles come to the end of their life. However, some classic and cherished vehicles that are not advised to use E10 will remain in use.

The prolonged use of E10 fuel in those older and classic vehicles not under manufacturer warranty can cause corrosion of some rubbers and alloys used in the engine and fuel systems. For those vehicles, the Department remains committed to ensuring that E5 is retained as a protection grade, if E10 is introduced.”

However, if I cast my mind back to the widespread introduction of unleaded petrol, it didn’t take long for the leaded variety to disappear from the forecourts. Against this background, will the petrol companies be willing to support the miniscule demand for E5?

A couple of examples of the harmful effects of E5 were sent to me by Roland Crisp, owner of TC5951. Here’s what Roland said in a recent e-mail to me:

“Not only do I enjoy my TC, I am also the owner of several Classic English and Japanese motorcycles.

Due to a house move 18 months ago and until recently no garage, I was forced to lay-up the bikes.

I have enclosed a photo of two petrol taps with integral filters, or what remains of the filters. In the photo, the one on the left is plastic and as you can see, the filter gauze is missing and the other tap had a copper filter which has almost totally disappeared.

Both were eaten away by the fuel, despite an additive that was supposed to protect them from the effects of ethanol in E5 petrol.

The knock-on problem was that the residue from the chemical reaction with the plastic or copper ended up blocking jets in the carburettors, and in some case, blocking the taps themselves.

When I drained the tank that had had the copper-filter the fuel was emerald green, very pretty but I think I now know where some of the copper went.

So, be warned, your pride and joy can be affected in the same way. So perhaps, as I have done in the present Covid-19 lockdown, it is prudent to drain the fuel?

I understand that in most parts of Great Britain, but not all, Esso Synergie does not yet have ethanol added to it, so that may be the way to go?

Looking forward to E10 fuel next year!”

Ed’s note: Paul Ireland puts this down to an ingress of water.

The two petrol taps referred to in the text.

The petrol which was drained from the tank with (what was left of) the copper filter.

Editor’s further note: Roland’s mention of Esso and Paul’s reference to Cleveland Discol prompted me to look up some historical facts. I’m old enough to remember Cleveland Discol being sold on the forecourts, but what I didn’t know is that the Cleveland filling stations were re-branded as Esso in 1973.

Cleveland Petroleum Products was established at Trafford Park, Manchester and Preston in 1920. In 1934 the company was given the rights to use the trademark Discol in exchange for an undertaking to buy the alcohol needed from The Distillers Company. The latter was a public company formed in 1877 by a combination of six Scotch whiskey distilleries. It grew and grew, being acquired by Guinness in 1986; then in 1987 coming under the umbrella (with Arthur Bell and Sons) of United Distillers (both owned by Guinness) and finally, in 1997, coming under Diageo.

The current state of the market in the UK for our cars

Above, from left to right: TA2073; TB0252; TC10215; TD27532; TF6029.

The short article by the editor in Issue 58 made me think about just what are the factors that influence the values of our cars.

So here are my thoughts and to avoid beginning each paragraph with “in my opinion”, or “I believe”, may I preface the entire article that way. These are just my personal theories with which I am sure readers will concur or disagree; either way I find it an interesting subject and one that is rarely explored.

As the purchase of any T-Series car is an indulgence, wanted but not needed, its value should be a function of the two free market forces of supply and demand, but with four overriding influencers which I will describe at the end.


Should be considered in three distinctly separate categories, concours, tidy and barn find. The concours car at over £30,000 represents the smallest volume of the three because whilst they do occasionally come up for sale they will often have already been purchased in a poorer condition for restoration to this standard. The owner having chosen this route will most likely keep and enjoy it.

The tidy car at £20,000-£25,000 represents the largest volume; most likely it is for sale because the owner has either stopped driving altogether or is no longer comfortable behind the wheel of a T-Type in today’s traffic. Occasionally tidy cars are quickly back on the market again, the purchase regretted when the reality of wet weather and no heater does not match the dream of blue skies and 1940s traffic volumes.

The barn find rarely is a surprise discovery, but more likely a car taken off the road by its owner many years ago because of a major issue, or it was purchased with the intention of restoration. After many years the reality of the task dawns as the enthusiasm wanes, perhaps “I will get around to it one day” extends the process until finally something triggers the sale. It is easy to think that there are no more left, yet they keep appearing and will continue to do so.

So, in conclusion the market is not supply constrained except perhaps for the concourse example.


Why do people buy old cars, particularly T Types? There are many reasons.

  • To add to their collection, yes, but it must be in concours condition.
  • As a simple financial investment, yes for Bentley and Aston Martin, but a T-Type is not sufficiently exotic.
  • “Because I always wanted one”, which starts at that impressionable age when we were 10-15 years old, but it is not until age 55-60 that we have the time, space and money to realise that ambition, the 45-year rule. Today the values of the BMC Mini, Ford Escort and Capri continue to climb but a T-Type is now too old to benefit from being a childhood ambition.
  • To be able to drive something different, as our choice of daily car becomes ever more similar and boring, it creates demand for a different experience, such as a series 1 Land Rover but it has to be reliable, troublesome is not an attribute of different.
  • To make a (tax free) profit from its restoration, sadly the numbers do not add up. Spending £20,000 (ignoring your own labour) on restoring a barn find which has already cost £10,000 might realise £30,000.
  • As a hobby project without regard to cost. Yes, and the Ideal customer would be a retired engineer.

So, in conclusion I can identify demand for concours and barn find, but not much for a tidy car.

Four additional factors

Which I will call Brand, film star, racing and legislation.

  • Never underestimate the importance of Brand value, which is why VW purchased Bentley and likewise BMW, Mini. A strong brand supports used values, early Porsche 911 cars continue to rocket in price because 50 years later demand is strong for the latest 911 model. Similarly, Series 1 Land Rover values are positively influenced by the launch of the new Defender. For this purpose, I consider MG to be an extinct brand, like the Saab 96 and Hillman Imp, good cars but their values are well behind the equivalent Ford and Mini.
  • Film star: we like to be associated with film greats, the Minis in the Italian Job, Steve McQueen’s Ford Mustang in Bullitt, 007 driving and sometimes destroying his Aston Martin, people even remember Dustin Hoffman’s Alfa Spider in the Graduate. Unfortunately, there is no similar fame for the T-Type.
  • Racing: like Brand the influence of historic racing in general and the Goodwood Revival meeting in particular has had a big influence on the values of eligible cars, either for actual racing or just capturing the imagination of the spectators. Sadly, unlike the E Type Jaguar or Lotus Cortina, our T- Types are not catered for.
  • Legislation: at the moment this is a positive, with zero cost Vehicle Excise Duty, no vehicle testing requirement (MOT) and permission to enter the Ultra Low Emission Zone (in London – but other provincial authorities are catching up – e.g. Bath and Bristol). However, our cars now being categorised as Vehicles of Historic Interest opens up the opportunity for environmental legislation to restrict their use in the future, which would have a negative impact.

So, a pre-1969 Mini Cooper ticks 3 boxes, strong brand, Italian Job film star and the coolest way to arrive at Goodwood to watch them race. That’s why demand is strong and prices keep increasing.


I place them as follows in order of desirability:

TB, Vintage feel and rare
TC, Vintage feel
TF1500, last of the line
TA, Vintage feel but fragile engine

I have owned my own TC for 5 years, the first 3 were spent restoring it and the last 2 driving and showing it and as I enjoy the car and have no plans to sell, its value is of course academic.

Editor’s comments: A thought provoking article from Robert Lyell, which is sure to stimulate debate.

The TD owner might well feel aggrieved at the model’s position at the foot of the list, but in reality, desirability is closely aligned to demand (or is it the other way around, says he thinking aloud?)

The TB is way out in front, not only because of its rarity, but also because of its eligibility for the Mille Miglia, which attracts well-heeled buyers from mainland Europe……further depleting the stock available for the home market.

Of course, there will always be exceptions within the models themselves. For example, a home market TF1500 will, all things being equal, be more desirable (and therefore be more in demand) than a ‘repatriated’ export TF1500. The MK II TD will have a premium over the TD.

Whatever model of T-Type you own, I’m sure you think the world of it. Please get out and about in your car (when circumstances allow) which is one way of helping to raise the ‘demand factor’.

Robert Lyell

The Editor

Welcome to Issue 60, June 2020.

The world has changed – will it ever be the same again?

Readers must have been more than a little confused about the opening lines in the Editorial in the previous issue. I said that I was writing it well in advance because my son Steve, (referred to as ‘the organ grinder’) who does the clever finishing bits on the magazine and uploads it to the website, because I, (referred to as ‘the monkey’) can’t do this, was off to the US on holiday.

In the event, the magazine was very late in coming out because Steve fell ill just two days before he was due to fly. He had a pretty bad dose of something, because he had difficulty in breathing – which he has never experienced before – and a persistent cough. Sounds like the dreaded virus, but we will probably never know, unless they test all 68 million of us Brits, which seems unlikely.

When all this is over (will it ever be over?) there are plenty of learning points for the UK Government. One, which is dear to my heart, is the absolute need to have a decent manufacturing base to provide a measure of self-sufficiency and to pay down debt. With a National Debt of eye-watering proportions there are shades of Sir Stafford Cripps’ post-war slogan ‘Export or Die!’

The front cover shows Ruedi Spycher’s TC0304 in Switzerland with his wife, Christine, standing alongside. Ruedi bought the car in a breaker’s yard in 1965 – thank goodness it was saved! The car is supercharged (picture below) with an original (21.07.1947) Marshall J75.

Whilst on the subject of early TCs, a friend of mine is looking for one. Condition is unimportant, but it must have matching numbers and a log book and preferably be unmolested. If you can help, please get in touch jj(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

An alert to those of you who use the Spares for Sale/Wanted and Cars for Sale/Wanted sections of the website; the ‘scammers’ have been active again. ‘Maxwell Criddle’ and ‘Ray Nash’ both sent pictures of a TD in response to a TB ‘Wanted’ advertisement (probably the same person). Another who has come to notice is ‘Paul Prebois’.

Peter Hehir has recently been in contact with news of a ‘new kid on the block’ in the form of the M.G. T Type Owners & Restorers Club Inc. Australia. The Club has blossomed from the initial germ of an idea arising out of a discussion between Peter and Rob Grantham last December, to 116 members in a few short weeks and is growing daily. Included in the 116 are 10 members in North America. Subs are a modest $13 AUD.

The focus is on hosted restoration events for members, from a grease and oil change to stripping a gearbox! The club is totally preoccupied with the ‘hands on’ acquisition of skill and the passing on of knowledge. It doesn’t have runs, just ‘happenings’.

Full members are accepted as young as 13, as long as they own an early 1955 M.G., prior to the ‘A’, or even just a chassis. A bi-monthly magazine is produced which is totally focused on restoration. For more details, please contact Peter Hehir at: pjbm(at) [please substitute@ for (at)].

Just enough room left to advise those of you who have opted for the printed copy of TTT 2 that I have to increase the subscriptions because the magazine is not paying its way. Subs are due now as follows:

UK 18 GBP; EU 22 GBP; Rest of World 28 GBP.

Stay safe and well!


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