Category Archives: Issue 65 (April 2021)

Classic Engines, Modern Fuel – Helping Children in Tanzania

When I was writing my book, Classic Engines, Modern Fuel, I realised how privileged I had been in having a good education. Although I trained as a physicist, the way I had been taught gave me the skills to run the XPAG tests at Manchester University. It was this realisation that made me want to use the royalties from the book sales to help with children’s education to give them the best possible start in life.

This was my next project. One lady in particular has made everything possible. I cannot thank Rachel enough. She is a carer, working in the UK and is from Kideleko in Tanzania. She still has contacts and family there.

Rachel made contact through her family with the teachers in the village to find out what the children needed. It was humbling to be told; pencils, pens, rubbers, pencil sharpeners and books to write in. They had to buy these themselves and many families could not afford them.

Rachel sent me pictures of the children, including one showing exercise books lying on the ground.  I realised, even if we sent what they asked for, the children would have nowhere to put them. They would also need book bags.

Rachel told me there were two schools with about 850 infant children. This is when the scale of the project hit me. Before she retired, my wife was a head teacher at an Infant school and had contacts with educational suppliers. They were willing to help. My budget was sufficient to buy the pencils, pens, etc. Unfortunately, the bags at £6.00 each would have been far too expensive; unless a lot of people had bought my book.

The answer was to get the bags made in Tanzania. For this to happen, a book bag was designed by one of my friends and we arranged for Rachel’s family to buy two sewing machines in Tanzania. Yes, these are new machines (pictured below) and no, they are not electrically operated. Treadle machines are a lot more reliable when the electricity supply may go off! Over Christmas, Rachel went back to Tanzania, purchased the material in Dar es Salaam and arranged for the 850 book bags to be made.

As for the goods from England, these proved to be amazingly heavy. The problem was how to ship them to Tanzania. Rachel helped again. She put me in touch with KC Global Links Ltd, a shipping agent, who kindly agreed to send everything at no cost. All we had to do was to take everything to Tilbury docks. Quite an experience dodging the lorries and containers. After two months at sea, all arrived safely in Dar es Salaam in time for Rachel to collect them. (pictured below: goods on arrival in Tanzania).

The “great handout” happened at the start of January when the children went back to school.

It is even more humbling to see the effort taken by Rachel, the education authority, teachers and helpers. A major event, speeches, rows of people giving out the bags, pencils, etc. and lines of children collecting their things. The photographs give some idea of the scale.

If you have bought a copy of Classic Engines, Modern Fuel ( you have directly contributed to these children’s education. Thank you.

What about the next project? There are two more schools in the area. Hopefully more book sales will provide the funds. Alternatively, if you want to help, you can make a contribution using PayPal (

Paul Ireland

Five pictures of the “great handout”.

Who knows how they will develop over the coming years? Could there be a doctor, a scientist, an engineer, amongst them? One thing is certain, they now have the “tools” to help with their education ….. “tools”, which most of us take for granted.

Bits and Pieces

Expansion core plugs

These were featured in the previous issue. Michael Bangs mikebangs(at) has a couple spare if you care to contact him [please substitute @ for (at)]. 18.00 GBP each, inclusive of UK postage.

TD/TF rear springs (again)

I have received my new rear springs for my TF and I’m very pleased with them.

I obtained them from Jones Springs in Darlaston, West Midlands (in the ‘Black Country’ – see article on SDF, earlier in this issue). Contact details are Tel: 0121 568 7575. Kevin is the man to speak to – a very helpful chap.

I supplied him with my old (correct) spring clips, plus the polyurethane angle pads, plus the Nylatron interleaf pads and the springs came back with all these fitted.

Chris Rainey, who lives reasonably close to me is also pleased with the springs he obtained from Jones Springs for his TD MK II.

A brief note about the Nylatron interleaf pads: as far as I know, I am the sole supplier of these. However, I don’t abuse my monopoly position as I only make 20p on each one. I buy them for 1.87 GBP each and sell them for 2.07 each. To buy them at this price I buy 500 at a time. I have a couple of hundred left and when I buy the next batch, they will probably have increased in price. I sent some of these Nylatron interleaf pads (plus polyurethane spring ‘saddles’, angle pads and bushes) to Jim Smith in the US and he kindly sent me a picture of the rear of his TD, having fitted the items.

Fitting my rear springs was quite a challenge. It wasn’t that the job was difficult, but lying on the floor in a cold garage was not a pleasant experience.

The worst part of the job was trying to insert the shackle pin through the back of the chassis mounting point and through the ‘eye’ of the spring. I tried one afternoon, but my fingers were so cold that I gave up. Determined not to be beaten, I had another try the next morning and succeeded. I found that the job was made easier by inserting a ‘slave’ bolt through the front of the chassis mounting, which lined the ‘eye’ up with the hole in the chassis mounting point. This pic shows the task in hand just before I lined everything up:

TC Sidescreen Trim

Keith Newitt has picked up a tip from a Facebook post concerning an alternative source for this trim. It is Triumph Herald body side, available from Rimmer Bros.

Not cheap, but the product is stainless and Keith says that it is a very good match.

Shock absorber overhaul

When I removed my rear shock absorbers, I found that the link arm bushes needed to be replaced (they shouldn’t have needed replacement on a restored car, but that’s the story of my life!). As I write this, the ‘shockers’ have been sent to Raj Patel.

I know that there are other specialists in shock absorber overhaul, but I know that Raj does a good job, so I prefer to use his services.

For the record, the specialists that I know of are:

Raj Patel         39a Avenue Road Extension, LEICESTER LE2 3EP Telephone 0116 244 8103.

Vintage & classic Shock Absorbers Ltd    203 Sanderstead Road SOUTH CROYDON CR2 OPN Telephone 020 8651 5347

Stevson Motors Ltd Unit 1, 2A Harrow Road, Selly Oak, BIRMINGHAM B29 7DN Telephone 0121 4721702

Brake Lining material

Mention was made of DS3920 brake lining material in Steve Priston’s article on twin leading shoe brakes for his TC in Issue 64 of TTT 2. I think that use of this material would result in a braking improvement without a TLS conversion, although a TLS conversion with DS3920 would give optimum braking performance.

I asked about this material when I visited Friction Services Ltd, who are located just 2 miles from me.

Friction Services told me that they don’t currently have any DS3920 material and they can’t say when they will get some more in stock. The reason for this is that the company who used to import it from Peru – yes Peru! – went bankrupt, owing the Peruvian company money. Another importer has taken over, but the exporter, ‘once bitten twice shy’, now demands payment up front. It is ordered in bulk (say 6 months’ supply) and apparently takes quite a time to reach our shores.

Due to uncertainty of supply, Friction Services now source an alternative material from Germany. It is Bremskerl 5300 and its technical specification can be viewed at:

Friction Services offer a brake and clutch relining service and I know that some Triple-M restorers use them. Their website is at:

Thin steel gaskets for tappet chest cover

Issue 64 (February 2021) gave an update on the sourcing of these gaskets. It stated that an order had been placed for 10. In the event, there was a flurry of interest, so we increased the order to 20.

At the same time, we needed to source 40 nitrile bonded cork gaskets to go with the thin steel gaskets. These have now been paid for and received. The photo shows the arrangement (the cork gasket is fitted to both sides of the steel gasket).

The steel gasket is 1.2mm thick and each cork gasket is 1mm thick.

We have had to pay for a ‘one off’ thin steel gasket to check fit against a tappet chest cover before ordering the balance (which inflated the unit cost). We have also had to pay for a tooling cost for the cork gaskets. Despite this, we have managed to keep the cost down to £12.50 for one thin steel gasket and two nitrile bonded cork gaskets. Postage is additional at cost.

By the time you read this, all those who have expressed an interest will have been contacted and some might even have received their gaskets.

If there is sufficient future demand, we will consider another order.

A ‘thank you’ to Paul Ireland, both for his article Keeping Oil in an XPAG in Issue 63, which has sparked the practical follow up, and for sourcing both types of gaskets. JOHN JAMES jj(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

The South African variant

No, nothing to do with Covid 19! It’s the title of an article that will appear in the Octagon Bulletin (might have just appeared by the time you read this). Huw Davies, owner of a TD built by the Motor Assemblies Durban (MAD) – hence MAD TDs – has been discussing with fellow MAD TD owner, Royston Goodman, the possibility of setting up a database specifically for this model. This would hopefully be done ‘under the umbrella’ of the MG Octagon Car Club.

The initiative is a follow on from Huw’s article in Issue 60 (June 2020) of TTT 2. The aim is to provide more insight into the MAD built TDs and to reach out to any owner of MAD MG TDs, so that details of his or her car can be included in the database. Huw’s contact details are: titan2018(at) [please substitute @ for (at)]. 

Little helper!

This python, 5 feet in length, has decided to help Alan Taylor in Bonny Hills, New South Wales with his TA. No mice in the shed now!

Shackle pins – rear upper for TC

I have a few of these for sale. They are good quality pins made from EN19T. Price is £8 for two (you’d be hard pressed to buy one at this price!). jj(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

Also available (free of charge – you just pay the UK postage of £3.20) an oil filter element for late TD, and TF/YB (Octagon part number SBE018)….. and the clear out continues ….two TD/TF front/rear Classic Gold brand brake hoses, unused and still in their boxes. £5 each, plus £1.50 UK postage.

Unusual top profile of a piston

Mark Nobes sent me this close up of the top profile of a piston he removed from his XPAG block. His TD has come over from the US and after just over an18 month restoration, I’ve recently obtained an age-related registration number for him. He also sent me this photo of an additional panel under the dash.

Of slight concern is the closeness to the gearstick, but Mark thinks there will be enough clearance.  He’s stripped and reworked the faces of two original Smiths’ gauges to be two tone, using Ford crystal green to match as closely as possible the original gauge colour for the top panels. The left-hand gauge is a voltmeter.  The one on the right is the fuel gauge, which is connected up to an LSK hydrostatic fuel sender on the tank as per Declan Burns’ article in Issue 61 (August 2020) of TTT 2.  He’s yet to calibrate it, but that should be straightforward.  The fuel low level sender and light set up has been left in place so that it still works as per original. Middle switch between the gauges is for indicators – the turn handle has a light in the centre which flashes when the indicators are on.

Switches on the dash on the left are for fog-lights (F) front and rear, and a heater fan (H).  The fog- light switch is two position and links to the front and rear fogs respectively and also to the two extra panel lights between the horn switch and the oil pressure gauge. 

Mark has also sourced some neat little indicators and installed them on the apron bolts.

You can also see the Wipac-style matching rear fog and reversing light that Mark found, the latter being switched directly off the gearbox as per yet another TTT-2 article!  Front indicators are incorporated in the torpedo lights using ‘switchback’ bulbs rather than the normal conversion sold by Stafford Vehicle Components.

Stainless Steel Petrol Tanks

These are manufactured by Steve Gilbert in the UK sjgilbert(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)]. Steve’s work is definitely ‘The Gold Standard’ in anything metalwork. I can vouch for this as he made my J2 body with new wings and running boards. This tank is on John Cockrem’s TC in ‘OZ’.

Lost and Found

KKD 600 (TC9581)

KKD 600, as owned by Chris Clay in the 1960s and later by John Chalkley from 2012.

The penultimate paragraph of the editorial in Issue 17 (April 2013) contained the following request:

Simon Clay has contacted me about TC9581 (KKD 600) which was his father’s first car while he was a midshipman in the Royal Navy at Dartmouth College in the early 60s. Simon would dearly like to talk to the present owner. If s/he reads this please e-mail me via the website contact form.

Almost eight years later (on 25th January), I received an e-mail from John Chalkley, the current owner (since August 2012) of KKD 600. John said that he had only just seen Simon’s request whilst reading earlier issues of TTT 2 and hoped that he was not too late to make contact with his dad.

Your editor quickly brought the two together and it wasn’t long before the two started to exchange stories. By way of an initial introduction, Chris (Simon’s dad), said that he acquired KKD 600 just before his 21st birthday in 1966 when he was a Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, undergoing training at Dartmouth Naval College. The car was bought for him in Sheffield for £90. He didn’t have much money but spent what he had on getting the car re-sprayed red and a renewed hood and side screens.

KKD600 was the start of Chris’ love affair with classic cars. He now has a very nice Healey 3000.

Looking back on his ownership of TC9581 all those years ago, it is somewhat fortuitous that the car has survived (if you read on).

During his time at Dartmouth Naval college the car was the envy of many of the Sub Lieutenants, including some of the Aussie Sub-Lieutenants, for its – how shall I put it – yes ……. drawing power of the opposite sex. After a night out in a Dartmouth disco with friends, Chris was driving a pretty young girl home to Salcombe from Dartmouth and took a bend too fast while over correcting for the loose steering and braking pull. The car slid into a Devon wall, bounced off and rolled over. Thankfully neither driver or passenger was hurt, but the TC was. Chris managed to turn the car over and got it back to the college where he spent several weeks trying to repair it himself.

Unfortunately, the hit on the back left side had bent a part of the chassis and that was beyond his capability. So, reluctantly the car was sold to a scrap dealer for £50. Thank goodness the scrap dealer saw more in the car than scrap metal or spare parts, but Chris doesn’t know where it went from there.

Parting with the car in these circumstances broke Chris’ heart, so you can imagine how delighted he was when his son, Simon looked up KKD 600 on Google and discovered her alive and well and looking beautiful in her new green livery.

As previously mentioned, John Chalkley, who now owns the car, has written what he knows about its history and this is worthy of an article in its own right. Over to John……………

“Registration KKD 600 is a Liverpool (B) allocated number and is consistent with the original date

[ _KD Jul 1949 – Jul 1950] Chassis: TC9581. Original engine: XPAG 10355 is not fitted.

Prior to 1965 no history is known other than being in the possession of a Navy Sub-Lieutenant living in Southampton. For an unknown period between 1965 and 1992, it is believed TC9581 was in Rhodesia. An application for a first licence for a motor vehicle and declaration for registration was made in Apr-1992, this may have been when TC9581 returned to the UK. At this time TC 9581 was reallocated registration KKD 600. The car was in Cornwall during this period. Littlecote House near Newbury, then owned by Peter de Savery was opened to the public during the period Apr 1993 to 1996. The house had a classic car museum, it is believed TC9581 was in the museum at some time during this period, although there is little evidence to back this up. In 2006, the car was sold to its next owner in Evesham.

I acquired TC9581 in August 2012 from a well-known vintage MG dealer. During the period 2006 to 2011, the car was subject to a chassis up restoration and the colour changed from red to green. It may have been during this work that the engine was replaced. During the restoration, the chassis was refurbished although there is no evidence of repair. Front and rear axles appear to be original as is the Bishop cam steering box. Brake drums and back plates are new and the hydraulic system is filled with DOT5 silicone fluid. The car came with what appeared to be its original steering wheel. The tub is all new wood and the body panels are mainly original with a small amount of filler in places. The engine does not bear its original engine number plate. In period, MG engine castings were identified by date code marks cast into the block. The code is 9 K 1 denoting 9th October 1951, confirming it is not the original. At the time of writing the actual engine number is unknown. All other evidence confirms it is a correct XPAG engine.

Whilst the body and chassis had been restored to a good standard, less could be said about the mechanicals. First task was to give the engine a tune up, so the carburettors were stripped and refurbished. A heat shield was fitted to prevent the common problem of vaporisation of the fuel in the float chambers. The front end of the exhaust pipe was wrapped in heat resistant tape also. This shielded the exhaust pipe below the carburettors.

At this point it was discovered that there was no exhaust manifold gasket fitted. With this completed and the timing checked and reset it left the engine running sweetly.

Although running nicely, some smoke was noticed coming from the exhaust. Being blue in colour, oil was suspected as the cause, possibly valve stem oil seals. So, the head was stripped, only to confirm the diagnosis. At this point it was decided to do a lead-free conversion, so the head was taken to a specialist, where the head was cleaned and crack tested, skimmed and had hardened valve seats fitted with bronze valve guides and the ports opened and smoothed for better breathing.

Next challenge came following an MOT failure. The main problems being excess play in the steering and movement in the near side king pin. First thought with the excess steering play was to fit a steering play control adaptor. This replaced the top plate of the bishop cam steering box and provided spring pressure on the top of the sector shaft keeping the peg against the worm. This ‘fix’ proved of little effect and the entire column and box was removed for future refurbishment and a replacement VW steering box fitted. This has greatly improved the driveability of the car.

The play in the king pin turned out to be in the axle rather than the bushes. The king pin is held rigid in the axle with a cotter pin and the steering knuckle pivots on bushes upper and lower. The axle was removed and sent to a machine shop to have the axle eye bored out, sleeved and reamed to suit the new king pin.

Next up item turned out to be the most major item during my ownership and again occurred as a result of an MOT. I drove the car to an MG specialist and left it for them to test. As they tried to drive the car into the test bay the clutch failed. Examination revealed that the bell housing had cracked around the clutch shaft pivot. The solution was to remove the engine and weld repair the bell housing and fit a new clutch complete.

With the engine out, it was discovered that the plate bolted to the front of the engine carrying the engine mounts was also cracked and needed welding. At the same time the core plugs were changed for brass items, the oil pick up pipe was cleaned and the engine given a nice new coat of paint. All reassembled and a new MOT issued.

Other minor items requiring attention have been fitting a new water pump, changing the rear axle pinion oil seal for a lip seal type in place of the original scroll ring, fixing a loose rear hub nut and renewing two of the car’s 4.50 x 19 Dunlop pattern tyres.

One of the first journeys after the engine and clutch work was to Silverstone Classic and the car proved a delight to drive. Even now, having been in the garage since September 2019 and restricted due to some nasty virus apparently, TC9581 starts ‘on the button’ and has been out a couple of times on local runs.

Other outings have been with The Datchworth Classic Car Club informal runs and the car is a regular at Classics on the Common in Harpenden, which attracts around 1500 cars, Classics in the Walled Garden at Luton Hoo, the St Albans Steam Fair and the Capel Manor car show at the horticultural college near Enfield.

The car has been to other car shows locally at Tewin village and Woolmer Green and further afield at Old Warden Airfield in Bedfordshire and Matching Green in Essex all on nice days.

TC9581 also received an award for being Runner Up, Best in Show in 2016 at my local Woolmer Green show.

In common with all cars of this age, there is a list of tasks still waiting to be attended to, including refurbishment of the original Bishop cam steering box, removing the castor angle wedges from the front axle to improve straight line stability, replacing the front springs, renovating the small clock located at the 6 o’clock position on the tachometer dial and possibly a new dynamo. The list never gets shorter.

Ed’s note: KKD 600 at the Woolmer Green show in 2016, where it was runner up, Best in Show.

It’s truly amazing that a request made in my April 2013 editorial has, after all this time, brought together the current and a previous owner of KKD 600. Not only that, but it has resulted in much of the history of the car being revealed, from nearly ending up under the scrapyard crusher, to possibly spending time in Rhodesia and coming back to seemingly have a rest as part of an exhibit in a classic car museum, to having a chassis up restoration by the present owner.

However, much of the history of KKD600 is still missing, so owner, John Chalkley, would be pleased to hear from anybody who might be able to help in filling in the gaps.  jhnchlkly(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)].

KVO 850 (TC10229)

Stuart Batstone contacted me on behalf of a friend of his (Julian Lewis). Julian’s uncle, Roy Fagg, now 86 years young, used to own this TC.

Roy was at Sheffield University in the period 1954 to 57. He then worked in the steel industry based in Sheffield until 1960 when he moved to London. From 1957 until the London move, he travelled around steel plants in KVO 850 which he bought in 1957 and sold just before the move to London – apparently, he then bought a Standard 10!  

Julian sent me a couple of photos of KVO on a trip to Scotland complete with tennis racket sticking out at the back. (Looks like he took everything except the kitchen sink! Ed.)

Roy was curious to know if KVO had survived, so Julian ‘googled’ the registration number and the following photo was found.

With the help of the Graham Brown, we managed to trace the car. It turned out that all three of us (Graham, me and Keith Tansey (the owner) attended a T Register Autumn Tour centered on Buxton, Derbyshire in 2004. I contacted Keith and told him of Julian’s interest on his uncle’s behalf. Keith was very pleased to help with the history of his TC.

Keith got in touch with Julian and confirmed that Roy Fagg was included in his list of previous owners, which he had copied from the original buff log book. The early owners of the car all had addresses in the Sheffield area, with the earliest dating from 1955, owned by a lady, who drove the TC from 1955 to 1957. She sold the car to Julian’s uncle (Roy Fagg), who, as Julian told me, used the car quite extensively from 1957 to 1960, travelling to steel plants. The next owner, also in Sheffield, kept the car from 1960 to 1970, until a Chesterfield College friend of Keith’s bought it. His friend did some work on the bodywork, but a few months later his parents bought him a brand-new Triumph GT6 for his birthday so he lost interest in the TC.

Keith had wanted a TC for quite a while and bought the car from his friend for £120 in August 1970. He’s been fortunate to be able to keep his TC ever since.

When Keith’s friend bought the car, it was brush painted black but he had it sprayed damask red as the picture of Keith with his new purchase, taken in 1971 near Rugby, Warwickshire, shows.

Keith has since returned the colour to green (not quite the original green) and beige interior rather than green original. He still has some bills for work on the engine in 1961 by Beckitt & Garner in Sheffield for reboring & regrinding the crankshaft for £16.6s. and new camshaft for £7.8s.6d.

The engine was not rebuilt again until 2007, mainly due to valve gear wear and rebored due to slight bore wear.

The car was off the road from 1985 to 2000 due to clutch and gearbox problems which took a while to sort it due mainly to family commitments. Apart   from that, it has been on the road for a majority of the rest of the time. The last time the car was driven was last October just before the lockdown.

There are a few photographs at events that have been attended which can be seen on which is the local classic car club of which Keith has been Secretary since 2007.

KVO 850 at Malestroit, Brittany, France in 2003.

DKT 634

This TA, which used to belong to Kevin Morrison, was mentioned in the previous issue. Kevin, who is now in Malta, has found a photograph of his old car. It was taken in 1973 whilst on a car rally in Sussex. He sold the car for £1,500 at the Beaulieu Autojumble in 1974 to raise funds for a deposit on a house.

He can’t remember the chassis number of this ex-Kent police car, but DKT 635 (TA1183) is a VA engined ex-Kent police car.

Kevin thinks that his car still exists, having been exported to Germany in the late 1980s.

Any leads to me, please at jj(at) [substitute @ for(at)].

EKD 635 (TA2640)

 A photo of this car, racing at Brand’s Hatch was included in Issue 61 (August 2020). Stewart Penfound tells me that the last recorded owner was in York, back in 1988. The date of the last V5C issued was 2012, which indicates it might have changed hands then. If you can help, Charles Warner charles(at) [substitute @ for (at)] would like to hear from you.

KPF 908 (TC 1139)

Andy Kirk would very much like to know the whereabouts of his old TC. Here’s the story of his ownership:

“Having sold my daily driver TA (EOL 857), I was able to buy my first TC on 27 July 1966 for £135.  It had been built on 19 July 1946 so was just twenty years old back then.  The original engine was XPAG/1787, but the one fitted when I bought it was XPAG/3295.  As can be seen from the photo, the car had a green interior (including green Rexine-covered dashboard) when I acquired it, suggesting that it was a black (or green) bodied car originally.  The car had lost its original external driving mirror, its Altette horn and FT27 fog lamp, but gained a pair of (rather elegant, I thought) chromed horns and chromed radiator slats.  It was also fitted with the Lucas type 471 rear lights.

The interior had a Bluemels Brooklands steering wheel with the brown mottled rim, and a Jaeger water temperature gauge located to the right of the rev counter – and joy of joy, it had working green instrument lighting which, back in the sixties, made for dramatic night driving!

Again, the TC was my daily driver, and over two years of ownership I covered a total of 15,000 miles – a lovely car, and it seemed pretty nippy after the TA.  Sold for £145 on 5 June 1968 to a lady from Moseley, Birmingham.

I had registered the car with the MGCC T Register, and it was allocated register number 1450 by the then Register Secretary, Ron Gammons.  The car still appears on the T Register website, and I suspect it still retains the information I provided back in 1966, albeit updated with information I sent in September 2017.  I’d be delighted to know where it is now and to have details of its more recent past history.  I would also be happy to provide copies of various papers, photos, etc from the late sixties to the current owner if he or she is interested.”

Andy can be contacted at adkirk1215(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

Ed’s note: KPF 908 does not come up from a search of the DVLA enquiry facility. That’s not to say that it isn’t still around somewhere waiting to be discovered as a ‘barn find’.

As Andy mentioned his TA (EOL 857), I checked that out as well and got the same result.

594 AMX  (TF 3616)

Another request from Andy for information about the TF1250 he used to own:

“I’d always aspired to own a TF, so as soon as the TC had been sold, I bought 594 AMX on 30 May 1968 for £295 – more than double the TC sale price!  I must have been saving hard.  It was bought from Raymond Charles William Lamb who lived then in the Ryton-on-Dunsmore area in Warwickshire.

It was a 1250cc TF, chassis number TF 3616, built 26 February 1954, and the original engine was XPAG/TF/33656; when I owned it, the engine number was XPAG/99177.  The factory production record gives the car number as HDB16/3616.  In Clausager’s book, Factory Original MG T-Series, he notes that the third letter (the B above) indicates the original paint colour: B was for grey, or later light grey (Birch Grey).  The car was completely standard as far as I was aware, although it had been resprayed in Jaguar metallic maroon paint; the interior was tan/light brown, but I thought then that black would look more sophisticated.  Out with the Nuagane leather restorer (black) for the seats, door panels, etc, and my then girlfriend (now wife) covered the dashboard with black leatherette, made a new black leather gaiter for the gear stick, and cut and fitted new black carpets throughout – job done! 

The TF, again as my daily driver, covered about 21,000 miles in my ownership of two years two months.  The car was eventually sold for £440 to Allan G Simkins on 5 August 1970 via an advert in the August 1970 issue of Motor Sport.

Again, I registered the car with the T Register, and it was allocated number 1806.  I’m pleased to say that the car still appears on the Register website, and a colour photograph shows the car now with gleaming cream paintwork and red interior, so it’s been restored and is definitely still out there somewhere!  I would be delighted to know of its current whereabouts and recent history, and would be happy to forward copies of photos and other papers of the car in the late sixties if the present owner is interested.

PS: a little trivia.  In Paddy Willmer’s book, MG T Series in Detail, there is a black and white photo on page 128 of a privately entered TF on the 1954 Alpine Rally; the registration is 551 AMX, so it might have been built the same week as 594 AMX.”

Ed’s note: 594 AMX comes up from a search of the DVLA enquiry facility. The date of the last V5C issued is 22nd August 2013, so it looks as though it might have changed hands then.


This car, a North American export, was once part owned by Terry Sanders. It was part won by him in a poker game when he was at Louisiana State University….he raced it once, then in1960 traded it in on a MGA coupe. It might just still be around somewhere!

Found – a TC from long term ownership

“This TC has chassis number TC 8100, so a late TC built on 7th March 1949. It has registration HZ 2808, a Tyrone NI car and came across the Irish Sea in 1956.

The TC had been owned by Adrian Johnson who lived near Harrogate since 1962 and who had bought it from a G K Lyke another Yorkshireman from Bradford. Adrian died in the Autumn of 2020.

A partial renovation had taken place but stalled some years before. It was probable that the previous owner had also bought a donor car as many components were in duplicate, some in triplicate. The rolling chassis was largely complete including the fitting of a supercharger. The body tub however had been left in the open and even the most optimistic restorer could not have resurrected it. Perhaps the intention was to build a special or Q type replica.

I now have the rolling chassis and other parts in my workshop and will start a restoration shortly. Many of the duplicate parts are available to purchase”.

Geoff Broad

Ed’s note: The duplicate parts mentioned by Geoff were advertised on the MG T Society website in January/February and most have been sold.

GRA 920 (TB0544)

Brian Chapman, who owned this car 1959/1960, when he was stationed in the RAF at Abingdon contacted me to ask if I knew if the car has survived. He sold the TB to provide cash for his wife’s to be engagement ring.

Brian added that he has many happy memories of the car, which was green with a red interior and he remembers buying a new hood for it. Newly married life involved downsizing to a Lambretta scooter!

Brian didn’t have a picture of the car when it was in his ownership – the picture shown is from Philipp Will in Germany, who bought the TB from a gentleman near Edinburgh in 2018. The car has had eleven previous owners.

Philipp is doing a total restoration down to the last nut and bolt.

HAA 308 (TC7981)

A request for information on the whereabouts of this car was included in Issue 63 (December 2020). Liz Moore who was enquiring about her late father’s TC, had her hopes raised after I contacted Stewart Penfound of the T Register, who knew the owner’s details. Stewart wrote to the owner, telling him of Liz’s interest, but sadly, the owner has so far failed to respond.

I’m afraid that it’s a case of ‘so near yet so far’ for Liz, who would be interested in buying the car.

DDH 900 (TA0943)

Information about this car was included in the previous issue of TTT 2. The owner of DDH 900 has been traced through the MG Octagon Car Club. The car is currently being totally restored by Paul Myatt, Classic Car Consultant.

UMG 889 (TD20664)

Roger Cadogan would love to track down his old TD. It was was bought in Torquay and the picture was taken soon after a move to Stourport-on- Severn in late ’69 or early ’70, showing Roger with bobble hat and driving gloves.  This was after a part rebuild following engine destruction at Silverstone at the May ’69 meeting.  When these pictures were taken it had been fitted with a Mk.22 Cabin blower that Roger bought as NOS!  The Moto-Lita wheel might provide a small clue or jog a memory. Roger, can be contacted at rogercadogan(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

EUJ 924 (TC6667)

Chris Sayers is looking for any information on his dad’s old TC racer. It was extensively raced in the ‘80s and ‘90s in the MGCC T Type championship. The car was sold in 2008 to a buyer who can’t now be traced. chrissayers77(at) [please substitute @ for (at)].

JUM 427 (TC0918) – The search goes on

Peter Richmond is redoubling his efforts in trying to contact the present owner of his late father’s car. First featured in Lost & Found in Issue 57, December 2019, it again appeared in Issue 58, February 2020, when Peter sent in a period photo. Following this, the car was featured again in Issue 59, April 2020; this time a photo of the car as it is now, was included since it had been sent to Peter by a friend of the current owner. Sadly, the trail has gone cold as the current owner has not been in touch. Peter has recently come across some more pictures of the car from back in its heyday (one of which is included above, showing the car and his mother’s scooter), also some documents, including a petrol ration book and a letter from someone who wrote to his dad in the late sixties, who was the owner at that time. He would willingly share this history of the car with the present owner, if only he would get in touch. Peter’s contact details are: pfrguitar(at) [please substitute @ for (at)]

Rebushing Luvax-Girling Shock Absorbers

have refurbished several sets of Luvax-Girling shock absorbers in the past, but always the difficult part for me has been replacing the rubber bushes in the lever arm and link eyes without damaging them.  I know some people claim to be able to accomplish this using nothing more than a bench vice, but I have found that either the bush is damaged in the process or it ends up being displaced axially in the eye rather than just emerging from each end of the eye as it should.  To complicate matters further, there seems to be two different styles of bush on offer from the usual spares suppliers; one that looks like a section of rubber hose of an appropriate length and diameter to fit the eye, or another doughnut style bush, which at first sight appears to be too large in diameter and much too short in length.  It is easy to dismiss this latter style and assume it can’t possibly be right.  An example of each of the two types of bush available is shown in Fig 1.

Fig.1 – showing the two types of link arm bushes available.

Moss offers a set of tools to aid re-bushing but they claim only around an 80% success rate when using them to fit the bushes.  They suggest buying extra bushes to compensate.  At around £6 a bush that’s great if you are selling them, not so great if you are buying them. In fairness to Moss, the tools they offer go a long way to aid the re-bushing process but at the best part of £100 for the set they are eye-wateringly expensive.  The problem with the Moss tools is not the tools themselves, but with the accompanying instructions.

Fig. 2 Girling booklet G94

Recently, I came across “Booklet No G94, Technical Information, Construction, Operation and Service Instructions for Girling Hydraulic Dampers” advertised on everyone’s favourite auction site1 which is shown below in Fig 2.  At less than the cost of a bush it was a ‘must have’ for me and it certainly did not disappoint. It has no publication date that I can find but I would guess it was printed in the 1950s.  Surprisingly, the copy I bought is still in pristine condition.  It includes a description of the various types of Girling shock absorber as they evolved, but more importantly, it includes an illustrated section detailing exactly how Girling intended the bushes, which they referred to as ‘bearings’, should be fitted to their PR6 and other shock absorbers.  (PR stands for Pressure Recuperation, incidentally).

It describes the necessary tools which it says were made available back in the day “strictly to Girling agents only”.  It also provides a useful insight into the techniques used to accomplish the job which I have never seen described elsewhere.  The first piece of useful information to be gleaned from the booklet, which was worth the purchase price on its own, was to confirm that the doughnut shaped replacement bushes are actually the correct shape and the ones to buy 2.

Having seen the illustrations in the booklet, I set about copying the set of three simple tools which are described as (1) a guide funnel, (2) a base block, and (3) a guide pin.  They are intended to be used with what Girling refer to as a “press or pressure tool”.  A drill press works well for me.  I assume the original tools described by Girling were machined from steel but I made my set of tools from acetal.  Acetal is a type of hard plastic readily available in bar form and very easy to machine to a fine finish.  It was also something I had to hand.  If you are unable to make these tools yourself anyone with a lathe or a local jobbing machine shop would be able to make them for you, probably for much less than the tools currently available from Moss.  The dimensions are important but not critical, so they do not call for close tolerance machining.

The guide funnel is designed to accept an uncompressed bush at one end then tapers through its short length to compress the doughnut bush so that it emerges at the other end of the funnel small enough in diameter to enter the eye of the lever arm or link.  It has a counter bore on the bottom face of the funnel to register with the outside diameter of the eye.  The Girling’s version of the funnel shown in the booklet has additional machining to the outside diameter but as far as I can see this has no useful purpose apart from possibly making it easier to handle with greasy fingers.

The base block is simply a cylinder used to support the eye while the new bush is inserted into it, but crucially it has shoulder on the top face of the block to act as a stop.  This determines how far the bush is pushed into the eye.  The base block also has a hole through it large enough to allow the guide pin to pass through and can be used upside down to support the link eye during the next operation as the pin is inserted into the new bush.  

The guide pin is simply a short, tapered pin which is used as a pilot to ease the flat end of the link or the pin into the bush once it has been installed in the link or lever arm eye.  My interpretation of the set of tools is shown in Fig 3.

Fig. 3 – Bush insertion tools.

With these simple tools together and a press the booklet then describes their use as follows: 

Fig. 4

To fit a new bush.

The eye must be clean, free from grease and any debris remaining from the old bush.  This is most easily done today with a cylindrical wire brush of around 25mm diameter in a cordless drill.  The eye is then placed on the base block with the end into which the next component (in this case the pin) is to be inserted resting on the block.  (Note the direction that the pin is inserted differs for the front and rear shock absorbers.)  The guide funnel is then placed on top of the eye located by the counter bore.  This is illustrated in the booklet and is shown in Fig 4 (shown as Fig. 20 in the book illustration).

To aid the insertion process Girling specified the outside of the new bush should be “dampened with benzene, or petrol or paraffin if benzene is not available”, then “with a quick action” the bush is forced through the funnel into the eye until it comes to rest on the shoulder of the base block.  I found Paraffin works well for me, providing the minimal amount of short-lived lubrication to enable the bush to be inserted easily into the eye.  Washing up liquid, or any sort of grease, especially silicone grease, should be avoided as it will remain in situ forever and the bush would simply be pushed out of the eye again when attempting the next stage of the assembly process. 

Fig. 5

To Fit the Pin to the Re-bushed eye.

With the bush in the eye the next step is to fit the pin.  (Note that the bush will not at this stage be at mid position in the eye, but will become centralised as the pin is inserted.) This is done by holding the pin in the press and using the guide pin as a pilot which together are pushed into the eye whist it is supported on the inverted base block. Just the tip of the guide pin should be lubricated with a tiny amount of rubber grease or something similar.  A quick action is again specified to accomplish the task.  As the guide pin is pushed through the bush by the pin it drops into the hole in the base block. This is illustrated in the booklet and is shown in Fig 5. (shown as Fig. 21 in the book illustration).

To Fit the Link to the Lever Eye

With the pin now in the link pin eye the next step is to fit a new bush to the lever arm eye.  This is carried out in exactly the same manner as the new bush was inserted into the link eye.  Then the end of the link is ready to be inserted into the lever arm eye.  Here the booklet recommends fixing the link to the base of the press with its bent section pointing upwards as shown in Fig 6.  This is topped with the guide pin, again with just the tip lubricated with rubber grease.  Then the lever arm is pressed down onto the link.  This is a cumbersome operation now as you need to support the weight of the complete shock absorber in one hand whilst operating the press with the other.  A second pair of hands might be useful at this stage.

Fig. 6

Having made a set of tools and followed the instructions described by Girling it is possible to re-bush a set of shock absorbers with a 100% success rate.


1 Copies of the Girling Booklet may still be available from redtriangleautoservices eBay Shop.

2 Replacement bushes and pins are available from MG Octagon Car Club Part Numbers SAX090 and SAX090D respectively.

Ed’s note: Thank you Peter Cole for a most enlightening article.

Period advertisement

SDF – Smethwick Drop Forgings

Just like today’s car industry, Abingdon, as an assembly plant, would have been totally reliant upon its suppliers. Many of those who today are referred to as tier one can be easily identified, such as Lucas for everything electrical, Dunlop for tyres and Triplex for glass. Less visible are the tier two suppliers feeding, for example, castings, forgings and pressings into the next stage of the process; but one which can be identified is Smethwick Drop Forgings because they clearly identified their work with their initials within an oval.

Floated in 1936, following liquidation of the Bean Car Company, of which they formed a part, they employed 1000 workers during the war under the Ministry of Supply. At the end of war work they quickly transitioned to small component automotive work, specialising in connecting rods.

So far, I have identified the steering box drop arm and the hub steering arms.

Their distinctive logo is always followed by a number which identifies the pair of dies used, presumably for traceability. Mine are both 1; a second pair 2 would only have been made to increase production, unlikely, or when the first ones were worn out. Returning to connecting rods, there is no indication that they forged the ones in my early TC engine, but did the ones I have taken from a Wolseley 4/44.

They were absorbed into GKN in 1963, transferred to United Engineering Steels in 1986 and continued to forge components until four years ago when sadly they joined an ever-growing list of traditional Black Country firms that closed their doors.

Ed’s note: Thanks to Bob Lyell for an informative little article.

For the benefit of our overseas readers, ‘The Black Country’ is an area, west of Birmingham, England, which rose to prominence during the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Its factories emitted vast amounts of pollution, hence the name ‘The Black Country’.

A TD(?), the DVLA and a tale of woe

(or to mis-quote the Bard, TD or not TD?)

As John James will confirm, I had drooled over owning a T-type for many years.  The usual obstacles of family, work and limited finances, had reduced MG ownership to the more affordable MGBs and latterly modern MGTFs.  Family circumstances had seen us move from Brixham in Devon to Oswestry in Shropshire; (yes, I know people usually go the other way in retirement, but I was doing what I was told!).  Whilst dealing with the logistics of the move, a friend of mine in France, persuaded me to part with the 2005 MGTF.  So, we arrived in Shropshire without a MG for the first time in many years.

The new abode boasted a garage but the daily driver – big Volvo estate – wouldn’t fit.  Also, the dear lady wife, who WILL be obeyed, wanted a utility area and a new kitchen.  The kitchen upgrade was fair enough but, she had designs on the garage!!  Lockdown arrived and plenty of time for DIY occurred.  A new kitchen and then creation of a utility area in a portion of the garage was constructed.  The utility area in the garage was carefully designed to leave exactly enough space for a T-type – funny how that happened?

Early in August I was made aware of a TD for sale at a price just within my limited budget.  The wife, who had sat in Mike Inglehearn’s TD at the 2019 Circuit des Remparts in Angouleme, France and declared that it was more comfortable than the 1954 TF I had been loaned – who am I to argue when she’s giving the green light to a TD? – eased the lock on the purse strings and TD8205 was mine.

The car was delivered 12th August and as far as I was concerned was beautiful.  About two weeks later the new V5C arrived.  It had my correct name and address but as for the car details…..well, basically it was a MG, type unknown and green in colour.  First registered in January 1953 and built in July 1953 – no that’s not a typo – and wait for it…..had a 2600cc engine!  The DVLA website also showed the MOT expired January 21st 2021.

Since the car was all original with engine and chassis numbers matching factory production records, that cubic capacity was a puzzle.  No trace of the January 2021 MOT could be found either.  The records that came with the car had a current MOT that expired Sept 2020.  MG production records showed the car being built 12th June 1951 not 1953.  For the purists among us – yes, I’m an “anorak” too – the car had the early type chronometric instruments and a single oil pressure gauge typical of TDs built before October 1951.  With such a low chassis number and an engine number original to the car of 7777, this clearly couldn’t be a 1953 car.  The number on the front dumb iron also matched the chassis plate.

A call to the DVLA followed and a chat with a very helpful lady, who listened carefully to my tale of woe.  When she checked the details on file, she expressed surprise that the vehicle had been registered with so little detail when imported back from New Hampshire USA.  When I queried the difference between the registration and build dates, I was told that they always use 1st January when the registration date is unknown.  I pointed out that this was seven months before the car was built according to their records and surely couldn’t be accurate.  I was advised to collate as much information as possible to evidence what I had told her, plus photos of the car, chassis plate and engine plate.  Then came the crunch – fill in the section of the V5C to state when I had changed the engine!!  Impasse was reached.  As much as I told her the engine had not been changed, she became more insistent that it must have been or else her records would show otherwise.  When I pointed out that this was another error along with the others that the DVLA had on record, the air became very frosty indeed. Polite, but frosty. (I have to say that on all occasions when I spoke to the DVLA they were polite throughout).  They would correct the errors I claimed but only with positive evidence such as that from the manufacturer.  End of call!  Well, how to get evidence from the manufacturer that they fitted a 1250cc engine when they don’t exist anymore? – (sob).

So, after some banging of head against the garage wall – I’ve since repaired the cracks in the brickwork! – brainwave, speak to John James!  In his usual calm manner John took it all in his stride.  He’s clearly used to wading through treacle and punching porridge!  He provided me with the necessary records and an official letter proving the details.  So, all information and photos, together with the incorrect V5C was sent off to the DVLA 18th September 2020.

Now I’m aware that things aren’t as “normal” as they might be and the DVLA are asking people to be patient.  But two months later – nothing.  So, another polite call to DVLA and another very nice lady told me the matter was in hand.  It hadn’t been dealt with yet because of limited staff due to Covid.  Give it another 3 weeks and just keep an eye on the DVLA Vehicle Check website.

To be polite I left it until 1st December.  This time I was told they had no record of my paperwork at DVLA and I would have to resubmit.  Also, since I had lost the V5C, (protests that I hadn’t lost the V5C – they had! –  fell on deaf ears), I would have to pay £25 to obtain a replacement.  Once I had the replacement, I could go through the whole process again.  I pointed out that the replacement V5C they would send was going to be wrong and surely there must be some way of dealing with the problem without them sending out another incorrect V5C.  OK, so I made the mistake of linking logic and common sense with a government department).  I was told I could fill in a form V62, stating that I had lost the V5C (!!!!) and send it together with all the copies of the paperwork and photos – plus the £25 fee and they would investigate.  It would take another 6 – 8 weeks!!

After I got my blood pressure under control – I didn’t want to repair the garage wall again – I discovered that the Royal Mail has a facility for delivering mail to people who claim they didn’t get it.  Not just recorded delivery but next day guaranteed and tracked.  Amazingly, the details on the DVLA website were updated within 3 working days after receipt of the re-sent data!  Within a week I had a new V5C which clearly showed all the correct details – except it wasn’t a TD???  Two days later a letter arrived from the DVLA which stated that as none of the information I had supplied quoted the DVLA/SMMT code – whatever that is? – they could not amend the model description.  Therefore, it remains only as a MG. To quote the letter – The model can’t be changed unless the manufacturer (not the original dealer), (sic), agrees with the description I had given.  Please ask the manufacturer to supply this information together with the correct codes.  Then I can resubmit the data and go through the whole process again!

At this point I finally lost the will to live!  After some thought however, I have decided not to bother.  I’m very happy that I have a very rare unknown MG.  So, according to figures there were 29,664 TDs produced.  Perhaps that should be amended to 29,663 and 1 unknown.

As for the TD?  Well, she has kept me sane during Covid-19 lockdown.  New solid state fuel pump, (from previous experience I hate SU pumps with a passion), with auto shutdown in the event of an accident, new fuel lines and filters, carburettor overhaul, fitting modern indicators, (she who WILL be obeyed didn’t like sticking her arm out into oncoming traffic when turning right – TD8205 is still LHD).

A complete brake overhaul was carried out, as well as fitting out the garage with all the necessary tools and spares that a T-type requires.  Swivel pin rubbers were also changed as they looked a bit past their best.  TD8205 was then taken for a new MOT.  She passed with flying colours and no advisories!  My new neighbours are becoming used to me tinkering with the TD – I have told them that T-type ownership is a work in progress – Colin next door is convinced that I go under the car for a snooze.  Let’s hope that 2021 allows us to get some club events and International Rallies organised.

My grateful thanks to John James for the supply of information and letters, pleasant chats on the telephone and an outstanding magazine.

John Murray.

John Murray’s ‘extremely rare unknown MG’.

Editor’s comment

In the last issue I commented on the seemingly inefficient system of vehicle licensing, prior to it being centralized with the establishment of the DVLA. I added “that one is almost grateful that the DVLA was established – but no, hold your horses! – based on my experience of many dealings with this organisation, I hesitate to endorse this sentiment!”

Dealing with the DVLA on behalf of the MG Octagon Car Club is extremely challenging. One can write and wait, and wait, and wait for a reply. Use of the Royal Mail ‘Signed For’ service is now obligatory to prove they’ve got it!

Matters came to a head when a file went missing, which they claimed to have sent back to an Octagon member in Malvern in 2020. Of course, it wasn’t their fault!

They have, until the recent past, been sending applications back to the applicant for the slightest of errors, which could be resolved over the phone, or by e-mail by me.  In an attempt to stop this nonsense, I asked applicants to sign a statement authorizing me to deal with any queries. Did they take any notice of this? – of course not!

After one particularly frosty exchange of correspondence when I said ……..

I am not going to accept this and will now go through the complaints procedure – not that it will do much good as the pyramid always supports itself. However, at least I will have the opportunity of telling your Chief Executive what a dreadful, incompetent and unhelpful organisation she heads up.

……It was suggested that I forward applications with a covering form V997 used by Dealers/Fleet Companies. This would ensure (I was told) that papers would always come back to me. Well, it has taken some time, but I think we are getting there.

Found – TC2287

I first heard about this particular TC 4 years ago and met the owner; but whilst he was happy to talk about his car and its history, I couldn’t persuade him to let me see it or reveal its location. Eventually, circumstances changed and to my surprise I was invited to view it on 16th September last year. After the garage door padlock yielded to an angle grinder, it saw daylight for the first time in many years and I bought it.

As found, still displaying its Sept 1976 tax disc.

Intrigued to discover just what I had bought I stripped it as quickly as reasonable care would allow.

First the good news; the windscreen glass was an original dated last quarter of 1946. The dynamo June 1941 6 41 as in picture, but what were Lucas doing manufacturing it during wartime or did they just pick up the wrong date stamp? The starter motor June 1946, but more interestingly a spare one which looks identical is stamped 2.9 where the date should be and is 6 volt. The wiper motor December 1944. There was most of a toolkit; a Shelley jack, a very good fuel tank (suspect accident replacement) and a full set of instruments, including clock. The last 2 digits of the chassis number are pencilled on the back of what must therefore be the original dashboard.

ERY 627 is on the DVLA system as ‘Not Taxed for Road Use’ and its history, as described by the previous owner, is supported by the V5, old style continuation log book and hand written notes in the instruction manual. Registered in Leicester on 18 March 1947, my first record is June 1954 when it was purchased by a doctor in Stoke-on-Trent. The next owner, who lived in Crewe, purchased it in August 1956 and he eventually part exchanged it in 1965 with a car sales garage in Crewe that is still in business today. The last owner saw it, but he was too late, as it had already been purchased as a surprise present for someone’s girlfriend who drove it once and promptly sent him back to get her something more modern (I wonder what became of that relationship!). So, second time around he bought it and ran it until 1976 when he took it off the road, locking it away in the garage where I found it.

The bad news: no real surprises, a chassis slightly twisted from a rear impact, very rotten ash frame, snapped gearbox rear casting, badly repaired engine front bearer plate and the usual poor 70’s repairs using pop rivets, fibreglass, filler and coach bolts with square nuts. I am not at all critical because at least it saved such cars from the scrap yard.

The interesting bits: the handbook is an export edition; the steering wheel has a beige rim and the service exchange engine shows original Turquoise Blue paint (see picture below). Was this a factory finish like the later BMC gold seal? The service exchange plate shows a +.040 rebore confirmed by measurement with graded pistons, their individual dimensions stamped on each crown and repeated on the sump flange and perhaps the stamping on the top deck of the block is the date when the work was carried out.

Remanufacturing date?

The engine block casting number is the early 24142, the casting date code is 18 E 5, which to my understanding decodes as 18 May 1945 and 77 is stamped adjacent to the rear core plug. If correct that makes it one of the first TC blocks built as original engine number ??77 and subsequently reused for service exchange.

The axle number is heavily stamped as 2899, I have seen this type of identification before and wonder its significance.

3 months and many hours later it now looks as in the picture below. Chassis chemically stripped, de-rusted and primed by Ribble Technology, 2 Brierley Street, Preston PR2 2 AU   Phone: 01772 202227.

Ash frame by Andrew Denton 57 Main Road, Drax, SELBY YO8 8NT

Completion will see it revert to its original black paint but with champagne leather and in the style of a period cafe racer.

Bob Lyell

Ed’s note: Bob needed a door hinge, (driver’s side top) so he put an advert on the MG ‘T’ SOCIETY website. Within a couple of days, Uwe Harlos from Wolfschlugen, Baden-Württemberg, south west Germany made contact to say he has one. Such is the power of the Internet and the reach of the MG ‘T’ Society website!

The Editor

Welcome to Issue 65, April 2021!

We are still counting the cost of the Covid 19 pandemic, both in terms of human lives lost and damage to the economy. As I sit here typing away in my ‘office’ in the small spare bedroom, I never cease to be amazed at the number of empty buses that go up and down the road in which I live. As we are on a main bus route between the cities of Bristol and Bath, we are well served with bus transport and I reckon that upwards of 70 double decker buses pass my door every weekday, including one service that runs right through the early hours.

At best, there are often no more than one or two passengers on each bus and I can’t help thinking what a terrible waste of resources this is. So, in the years to come (hopefully I’ve got a few more!) when all this is behind us, one of my abiding memories of the pandemic will be of all those empty buses.

Fortunately, the pandemic doesn’t seem to have affected the birds and from the start of this week (I’m typing this on 27th February) they have started singing just before first light; it’s as though they’ve woken up from the dreary winter months and are looking to make a fresh start. They cheer me up no end!

It seems that the gradual relaxation of restrictions recently announced by the Government for England (the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland make separate decisions) will enable us to participate in some events by early summer. I’m looking forward to joining the Octagon Car Club contingent at Pre-war Prescott on 17th July.

The front cover picture is of Andrew Baker’s TA. The picture was taken on 12th February on a nice sunny day. The next day when this picture was taken there was snow on the Isle of Man!

The Department for Transport has recently announced the result of their consultation exercise on the introduction of E10 fuel. The result is that the Department will legislate to introduce E10 petrol as the standard 95-octane petrol grade by 1 September 2021. This will include a requirement for  higher-octane 97+ ‘Super’ grades to remain E5 “to provide protection for owners of older vehicles.”

I have to try to keep a straight face when conveying the following information to you …………..The GOV.UK website has a page entitled Check if your vehicle can run on E10 petrol. Before you go to the drop-down menu to find your car manufacturer, there is a stern warning This only applies to petrol vehicles. Diesel and electric vehicles cannot use E10 petrol. When you arrive at MG in the list of manufacturers, you are informed There is no compatibility information available for older MG’s up to 2005 when the company ceased trading. It is therefore recommended to use E5 petrol.

Royston Goodman, Octagon Car Club Regional Coordinator – Central and Southern Scotland, has drawn my attention to a change in the MOT Tester’s Manual with regard to headlights. Previous wording sates that if existing halogen units have been converted to be used with HID (high intensity discharge) bulbs, the car must fail the test. The revised wording adds after HID “or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs.”

The ‘scammers’ have reappeared on the scene again – I thought we had got rid of them. One Tina Laurence is using a couple of different email addresses, so beware!

I’ve recently joined the M.G. T Type Owners and Restorers Club Inc. (TTORC), Australia. Their bimonthly magazine contains really good feature articles and lots of technical articles – there’s always something new to learn about T-Types!

The last article in this issue is an update from Paul Ireland on progress with his Tanzania schools’ project – Helping Children in Tanzania -, using the royalties from his book Classic Engines, Modern Fuel. There is also a video which is good to watch.