The front cover shows my son, Steve and his wife, Magda on their wedding day back in September. Steve helps me with the technical bits on the magazine and website and without him there would be neither.
To non-MG folk I refer to my TF1500 as ‘my modern M.G.’ – this usually results in a look of incredulity, until I add that my other car is a 1933 model.
I have had more than my fair share of problems with the car (bought as a totally restored car), but these are gradually being ironed out. I have learnt the hard way that if you want anything done on the car, to do it oneself and not to trust what has been done by someone else.
The purists will not like my choice of a Sierra 5-speed gearbox and a 4.3 MGA axle, but they give the car very ‘long legs’ with which it has plenty of power to cope.
I’m very fortunate to be able to call on Barrie Jones, Technical Specialist for the TD & TF models for the MGCC ‘T’ Register and Roy Miller Technical Specialist for the TF model for the Octagon Car Club.
I have two copies of this book on offer for £25 each, plus UK postage of £3.20. The price on the inside cover of the jacket is £40.
The book contains 160 pages and has more than 340 illustrations. It provides a detailed guide, in words and pictures, to correct factory specification and equipment of all models of the MG T-Series cars from TA to TF1500, including the TA Tickford drophead coupe.
Obtainable from John James jj(at)ttypes.org [please substitute @ for (at)]. Payment can be accepted by PayPal to paypal(at)ttypes.org or bank transfer (email for details) or by cheque payable to The MG ‘T’ Society Ltd and sent to 85 Bath Road, Keynsham BRISTOL BS31 1SR.
The book can be sent outside of the UK, but postage rates are very high (particularly to the US), so it is best to email for a quote.
I’ll close this Issue with a couple of quotes from the legendary Bill Thomson, extracted from letters between him and Björn-Eric Lindh from Sweden (there was no email in those far off days of the 1960s….).
This one was by way of an apology from Bill for getting behind with his correspondence… “I am so sorry and do apologise – you know that I think that giving service to MG owners, wherever they may be, is almost the first thing in my life.”
“I have just bought a 1250 TF and doing a bit to it, and also bought for the grand sum of £2 a very dodgy M-type with a genuine back and a four-speed ‘box with alloy front housing. It’s not all there (perhaps I am not also for buying it), but maybe might be able to make something of it.”
Drive safely – I hope to be back with Issue 70 in 2022.
Now for something different! member, Peter Hutchinson from Pennsylvania, USA sent me the following a couple of months ago….
As everything “T” aficionados, we also appreciate everything M.G. A recent sale at the Owl’s Head Museum, Maine, USA brought M.G. cars into the limelight. A 1932 M.G. F1 Magna Stiles Special Threesome, one of the rarest MGs, sold for $236,500.00 (204,000.00 EUR), (175,000 GBP), (AU$320,000).
Stiles of London made 30 of these custom aluminum Stiles Special Threesome bodies for the 1932 F1 Magna chassis. The body was designed by Frederick Stiles who was the British Concessionaire and Racing Team Manager for Alfa Romeo between 1927 and 1931. James Young was the coachbuilder. There are only five known survivors and this one is the only one in North America.
English anaesthetist, Dr Frankis Evans (1900-1974) bought the car as a birthday present for his wife in May 1932. The M.G. was discovered in a barn over 30 years ago and through extensive research the car was restored to near original condition. The car was painted the original ocean-blue metallic with beige trim color as found on the body and in the Stiles Company original sales brochure. Brooklands Engineering Works, Stratford, Connecticut, rebuilt the original 6-cylinder OHC 1271cc Wolseley engine. The interior was restored to the original brown rexine with beige carpet material. All gauges are original to the car and rebuilt with the exception of the oil pressure gauge. An original, correct Maltese Cross oil gauge was found and restored, completing the instrument cluster to full originality. Every body panel, with the exception of the hood sides and rear fenders, is original to the car. The rear fenders were hand-crafted from patterns from the original design. In short, every aspect of this vehicle was taken apart, inspected, repaired, and/or restored as needed. The Stiles M.G. is included in automotive historian Tom Cotter’s book “The Cobra In The Barn”.
Given its historical documentation, authenticity and quality of restoration, this particular Stiles Special is considered by many to be the finest, most award winning, and surviving example in the world. Following restoration, this MG has been invited to some of the most prestigious concours shows in America, winning numerous prizes.
2014: AACA’s S.F Edge Trophy
2015: Amelia Island
2015: Arizona Concours
2018: Greenwich Concours Best in class
2017: Boston Cup Best in Class
2019: Ault Park Concours (Cincinnati) Best in Class
Thank you, Owls Head Museum, Maine, for the opportunity to see this unique and beautiful piece of rolling M.G. history.
Ed’s note: I have never seen any make of car ‘in the flesh’ with a ‘rumble seat’ (American English) ‘dicky’ (dickie, dickey) seat (British English). It is also called a ‘mother-in-law’ seat. I imagine that it must be pretty unnerving, sitting in one of these!
The October issue set out the ‘ground rules’ for this exercise. It went on to analyse the first 750 TA chassis numbers (excluding chassis numbers belonging to non-UK cars) which are, according to the MGCC ‘T’ Register’s database, listed as being in the UK. This issue analyses the next 1000 chassis numbers.
There were a few errors in the October listings, which are probably best dealt with straight away.
Chassis number 0358 appeared in two listings but should only have appeared in one. This has been corrected.
Chassis number 0889 was incorrectly shown as 0809 (typing error by the editor).
Chassis number 0264 was incorrectly shown as NOT known to DVLA. The reason for this is that the Registrar was not advised of the sale of this car to The Netherlands, so it was still included as a UK car.
Chassis number 0646 (ACX 350) needs to be added to the list – not previously known about, but is now, thanks to Roger Muir, editor of the Octagon Bulletin.
Regarding the ‘Untaxed’ and ‘Not taxed for road use’ categories, Mike Inglehearn came to my rescue and sent me the following explanation, which saved me the task of writing to DVLA:
“I have just had a quick look at the latest TTT2, I was told by DVLA that the difference between “Untaxed” and “Not taxed for road use” is that “Untaxed” is for cars that have been on the road since SORN came into force (31st January 1998) but (for whom) after the tax last expired it was not renewed or put on SORN.
“Not Taxed for road use” is for vehicles that are on the DVLA system, but (for whom) the tax expired before SORN was introduced, so are not taxed and are not required to have a SORN declaration. In other words, both are untaxed, but whereas NTFRU is ok, “Untaxed” vehicles should either be taxed or have a SORN declaration.”
As a follow on from the ‘Lost & Found’ feature and the comments of mine regarding the loss of TF5400’s original registration number, this exercise has so far revealed the following:
TA0383 was originally registered DUB 45, but this is now on a 2017 Mercedes Benz.
Likewise, TA0969 (DLY 100) – now on a 2016 Land Rover.
Likewise, TA1490 (GML 66) – now on a 2008 Mercedes Benz.
Likewise, TA1605 (FFC 3) – now on a 2014 Porsche.
Likewise, TA1698 (JT 8014) – now on an AUDI.
Comment has been made at the large number of cars shown with a 1141cc engine. Whilst this is unlikely to be correct, I can only go on what is recorded by the DVLA. What follows are details in respect of chassis numbers and their corresponding registration number for UK cars known to the DVLA from where we finished up in the previous issue up to and including TA2000.
The foregoing completes the listing of all known chassis numbers with their corresponding registration number from Stewart Penfound’s database, which can be identified from the DVLA enquiry facility. This completes ‘Part 2’ of the exercise i.e. chassis numbers TA1001 to 2000. The February TTT 2 will take in the remaining chassis numbers (TA2001 to TA3253).
Correction to ‘Part 1’ Due to the additional TA having been notified and added to the list (TA0646 – ACX 350 – Untaxed) the number and the percentages have been revised. The number of TAs listed in ‘Part 1’ was 157. It is now 158, of which 87 are Taxed (stays the same), 58 are Untaxed or Not Taxed for road use (plus 1), and13 are on SORN (stays the same). Percentage Taxed decreases slightly (was 55.4%, now 55.1%).
Analysis of ‘Part 2’ numbers The corresponding numbers for ‘Part 2’ which can be extracted from the listings in this issue of TTT 2 are as follows:
Of the 164 TAs listed:
86 are Taxed (52.5% of the total)
55 are Untaxed or Not taxed for road use (33.5%)
23 are on SORN (14.0%)
Adding the above 86 to the 87 shown as ‘Taxed’ in ‘Part 1’ we now have a total of 173 cars on the road so far.
In Issue 68 (October) I said that predicting the end result for the number of TAs in the UK which are taxed and on the road is fraught with difficulty as there are a number of variables. I went on to say that I’d be disappointed with a total figure of less than 300. On the basis of current evidence it looks as though I may well be disappointed, but there is still plenty of data to analyse, so fingers crossed!
The listing of cars by chassis number and registration number NOT known to DVLA which follows, will help Stewart with his records if owners come forward to confirm that their car is still in existence. The records in respect of some of these cars date right back to the 1980s (and in some cases, even before) and there is the possibility that some may have been scrapped or exported.
TAs with chassis numbers in the 1001 to 2000 range NOT known to DVLA
Chassis number Registration number
TA1065 CPX 137
TA1079 JT 6607
TA1091 TSU 533
TA1117 FA 6684
TA1119 BNM 274
TA1132 BTF 78
TA1137 BTF 73
TA1138 BTF 71
TA1140 BTF 74
TA 1146 CLV 697
TA1158 DKT 630
TA1159 DKT 629
TA1161 DKC 76
TA1178 DKT 632
TA1182 J 9375
TA1184 DKT 626
TA1185 DKT 636
TA1186 DKT 627
TA1187 DKT 628
TA1223 DOE 887
TA1233 AMO 341
TA1252 EUM 284
TA1253 BBM 993
TA1256 AUN 550
TA1280 DAF 999
TA1283 AUK 123
TA1285 HSU 131
TA1325 EWS 586
TA1327 FK 8127
TA1338 CAD 982
TA1340 DAR 124
TA1361 FZ 1879
TA1400 GJO 279
TA1402 MG 5978
TA1437 CTB 408
TA1447 CDF 400
TA1458 CTB 406
TA1462 CTB 404
TA1476 BNM 169
TA1478 BWN 568
TA1486 ABT 578
TA1487 KS 7700
TA1489 DPO 612
TA1491 CTB 403
TA1509 AMO 341
TA1525 DTW 554
TA1537 DLJ 4
TA1542 AOW 581
TA1544 DTT 721
TA1551 EGH 421
TA1578 CTC 671
TA1596 CTC 673
TA1619 DVR 697
TA1640 CTC 683
TA1642 CTC 684
TA1647 CTC 685
TA1649 CTC 678
TA1684 BGB 322
TA1690 FGY 184
TA1730 CYD 816
TA1736 EHA 887
TA1781 KOT 400
TA1911 PX 7296
TA1913 WG 6772
TA1921 CTE 501
TA1922 CTE 503
TA1930 CTE 504
TA1936 CTE 508
TA1968 BBT 100
TA1972 SM 8528
TA1976 EXL 714
TA1984 ENO 243
TA1992 CTE 507
Please send any information regarding either of the lists to me (John James) jj(at)ttypes.org [please substitute @ for (at)]. I will pass any received on to Stewart Penfound.
The February 2022 issue will see the completion of this exercise as it will analyse the remaining chassis numbers (Chassis TA2001 to TA3253) and then will bring everything together to arrive at a final total of TAs on the road in the UK.
As I was preparing this article, I received a lengthy list of TA chassis numbers and their corresponding registration numbers from TA owner Roger Muir. Roger is the editor of the Octagon Car Club Bulletin. As increasingly seems to be the case nowadays, time was not on my side to go through the list, but I will have done so by the time the February 2022 TTT 2 is published. On the basis of a quick scan through, it looks as there might be a few ‘new’ TAs not known to Stewart and the ‘T Register.
When the TA exercise is completed, I intend to have a go at the TF1500s.
Harvey Gurney is seeking information about this TC on behalf of his father, who is in his mid-80s. His dad owned the car in the 1950s and still talks about his time with it, including rebuilding the floor, the engine and a spraying job. That’s Harvey’s mother in the picture, 18 years young, a week after marrying his dad.
If you can help, Harvey is at harvey.gurney(at)talk21.com please substitute @ for (at).
EPD 926(TA – Chassis number not known)
Gill Holdsworth would like to track down EPD 926, which she says was a red 1936 TA. It was rebuilt by her father and her grandfather (that’s her grandfather in the picture). She believes that the car was bought by a Helmut Hellmun from Bassum, near Bremen, Germany. If you can help, Gill is at gill.holdsworth2(at)gmail.com [Please substitute @ for (at)]. Here’s another picture of the car….
TA3239 (EUR 243)
Scott Peters would very much like to get in contact with the current owners of his dad’s TA. Scott sent me a very old pic of the car when it was at a charity event at the Severn Valley Railway, but he’s found another pic (the one shown above) when it was at the Wolverhampton Steam Fair and Transport Rally in June 2001. His dad has passed away but the car holds very special memories for Scott and he would love to see it again. If you can help, Scott is at scottpeters506(at)hotmail.com[Please substitute @ for (at)].
TC1936 (KRA 114) A former owner of this car is seeking its whereabouts. He says it was first registered either in Blackpool or North Wales. nhowarth(at)btconnect.com [Please substitute @ for (at)].
TA1542 (AOW 581) Jeff van den Broek owned this car when he was at university in 1966. It was painted blue and he bought it for £70.Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a photo.
If you can help, please contact the editor via the website contact form.
TA2776 (MG 6249)
Simon Johnston has been in touch to say that he has an old log book for this car (a TA Tickford). He’s not sure how he came to have it, but he would like to send it to the present owner if s/he can be traced. Stewart Penfound, TA/B/C Registrar of the MGCC ‘T’ Register knew about the car from a photo in Safety Fast! back in 1985, but didn’t know the chassis number (now he does!).
The car does not show up from the DVLA search facility so the odds are that it has not survived, but you never know. If you can help, please contact the editor.
CVB 452 (TA – Chassis number not known)
This photo was posted on the Triple-M forum by Tim Phelps on behalf of a friend’s mother, who used to own the car. Apparently, the lady’s husband insisted that she sell it as the doors kept flying open!
You can’t see them from the photo, but the car has twin spares. If you can help, please contact the editor.
Whilst we are about it does anybody know anything about CVB 453? Unsurprisingly, this is also a TA (chassis number not known). There is a picture of this car in the concours line-up at the 1989 Beltring Premier concours and Autumn Gathering in the February 1990 Safety Fast! CVB 453 shows up on the DVLA search facility as ‘Untaxed’ since January 2009 with the last V5C recorded as 21st December 2004. CVB 452 doesn’t show up.
TF8330 (KWM 320)
This car was pictured in the previous issue with (at the time) chassis number not known. Both Barrie Jones (TF Registrar for the ‘T’ Register) and Roy Miller (a previous Historian for the Register) contacted me with the chassis number. Barrie pointed out that the record he holds for the car is a very old one, dating back to the formation of the Register.
Roy took the opportunity to ask if I could post a request for details of his first TF1500, details of which follow.
LKU 261 (TF1500 – Chassis number not known)
This car was Roy’s first TF1500 that he owned from 1960 to 1963. It was red/red with disc wheels (most Home Market TF models were supplied with disc wheels, whilst wire wheels mostly went on export cars). It was sold by Hoffman Motors of Canal Street, Bradford and first registered on 25th March 1955. The West Yorkshire Archive Records in Wakefield, hold the motor taxation records of the former Bradford City Council Licensing Authority but unfortunately, do not show the chassis number. By a process of eliminating the known and identified factory painted red cars it could be one of about 10 cars built before 25 March. It does not show up from the DVLA search facility, but last known record by DVLA was June 1974 in Ely, Cambridgeshire. At a guess, it could have been exported by a returning serviceman, who knows?
If you can help, Roy can be contacted at: roymill(at)waitrose.com [Please substitute @ for at)].
TB0623 (JPH 6)
Following publication of the list of known (to DVLA) TBs in the UK in Issue 61 (August 2020), Martin Vanags left the following comment against the article on the website: I have a beautiful large photo of TB0623 Index number JPH 6 which was taken in Swansea in the winter of 1962. If the current owner would like a copy can he please contact me by email.
I subsequently contacted Martin and gave him the owner’s address as he said he would like a copy.
I’m not sure what happened, but there appears to have been a breakdown in communication as Martin has not heard back from the owner.
Martin has removed the copyright and given permission for the photograph to be included in TTT 2. He also sent the following details about the photograph:
This photo was taken in December 1962/January 1963 in Uplands Crescent, Swansea when Wales had its big freeze.
The photo was taken by the late Romans Erins, a Latvian professional photographer who had settled in Swansea after the war and the founder of Three Star Photo.
The original photo is quite large ..from memory it’s about 12 x 8 inches but can’t be sure of exact size without going back to Swansea and digging it out.
TC0924 (KPF 195)
There has been a recent enquiry about this car. A couple of requests for information were included in Issues 53 and 55, but nothing so far. If you can help, please contact the editor.
TC1518 (currently without a registration mark)
Darryl Mitchell is seeking the history of his TC. It was acquired by his dad in packing crates in 1980 in South Africa. Darryl reckons that judging by the numerous pictures he has of the contents of the packing crates all those years ago (one of which is shown below), there were parts from two TCs as some parts were left over from the rebuild of a friend’s TC (Peter Daly). Darryl’s TC was finished in 1994.
Having recently arrived in the UK with his cars TC1518 and an Austin Healey 3000 pictured below, he is keen to try and trace the TC’s history. Applications for an age-related registration mark for each car are currently with the DVLA.
TF5400 (APB 532A)
As you’ll note, this car has a modern (1962) registration number. It is not entirely clear how this came about.
One possible explanation is that, according to MGCC ‘T’ Register registrar for the TF model (Barrie Jones), the car spent some time in France. If so, on its return to the UK the original number could have been reclaimed.
Another possible explanation is that the car may have originally started out in life with a distinctive registration number e.g. CKB 6, or an MG registration number and the owner at the time might have sold it to a company dealing in registration plates. I know of such a case involving a J2 and the owner of this 1933 car ended up with an ‘A’ suffix. In order to obtain a registration number more in keeping with the age of the car, the owner had to buy a number from a registration plates dealer.
I know that this is very much a ‘long shot’, but if the car went abroad, we could get the original number back… if only we knew it! If anybody out there can help, would they please contact the Editor.
I’ve recently received the front number plate for my J2 which I ordered from Tippers in St Austell, Cornwall. I have the back one – it’s the original – but I remember, going back 56 years ago as a 19 year-old youth, that I thought that a self-adhesive registration on the front apron looked “cool” (was the expression “cool” used in those days?), so I discarded the original front number plate. It must be out there somewhere, and could be in the loft at any one of three previous addresses.
Anyhow, the prospects of finding it after all these years is zero, so I’ve had to buy a replacement.
Tippers was established in 1932 and claims to be the only remaining manufacturer to use the original equipment and techniques to make fully authentic registration plates for classic, vintage and veteran vehicles.
I received an enquiry from New Zealand asking for the paint code of Huw Davies’ car (this was the car in the article Finding and buying a cheap T-Type, what possibly could go wrong? in the August issue of TTT 2). The paint code used was RAL1015 light ivory. It was the closest that Huw could find to match the colour of the car when he acquired it. It was ‘off the shelf’ i. e. it did not need mixing.
This is an interesting piece of kit sent in by Steve Tayler in Alberta. TC9903, whose blasted and freshly painted chassis awaiting the start of restoration is shown in the picture, was a Home Market car imported into Canada from Terry Bone about 44 years ago. The UK registration number was HGB 508 (Glasgow). It was purchased as a restored car but was a bit rough, although quite useable. Steve has owned it for 42 years and is just now embarking on a complete restoration. It has sat by patiently waiting while he restored his other cars and bikes. Other cars are a ’51 TD and a ’53 TF.
Another Home Market TC under restoration, an early 1946 car, originally registered MG 6950, is in the US with Joel Stager.
It has taken Joel more years than he would have liked to get to this point, but earning a living and kids have been real constraints. The good news is that there has been lots of progress since retirement.
Two Airline Coupes – the first, PA0286 and the second last, TA0355
Col Schiller in Queensland kindly sent me some photos of his two Airline Coupes.
Many TTT 2 readers will be familiar with TA0355 (MG 4952) as it was featured in Issue 13 (August 2012).
Col says that both cars will fit on his truck – here’s how!
Petrol leaking from the fuel cap on tight right hand turns
The following has been received from Lionel Uden:
“At a recent club meet I mentioned the annoying problem of petrol leaking out of the fuel cap when taking a tight right-hand turn. Even with only half filling the tank it still occurred.
One member (Simon) said he had no problem. He had fitted his fuel cap with a circular cork washer. Another member (Clive) had fitted a neoprene washer to his and had no problems even with a full tank.
I decided to try both. First up, Simon’s solution – a cork washer. It improved things but not 100%. Clive then sent me a neoprene washer which he had obtained from a friend.
With a new cork annulus fitted, bingo!
Later I met ‘the friend’ (David), who told me where he gets them from;-
T & P supplies. eBay. You can order whatever size to want. The washer I fitted is 5mm thick, 50mm outside diameter and a 4mm hole.
IMPORTANT! Don’t forget to punch a couple of holes in the washer, otherwise you will create a vacuum in the tank. The least of your problems will be the engine will stall through fuel starvation.
Worse could be a damaged fuel pump.
I punched 4 holes in the one I fitted and all is well. Just to prove the point I filled right up to the neck then took the car for a spin to include several hard right handers. Not a drop escaped. The reflection in the tank demonstrates it is full almost to the brim.
This solution is a lot simpler than fitting pipes.”
Ed’s note: Lionel kindly sent me five (5) neoprene washers. I’ve kept one for myself, so four (4) are available. If you would like one, send me an e-mail to jj(at)ttypes.org [please substitute @ for (at)]. There’s no charge (if sent within UK).
XPAG Front Seal (Graphited Rope Seal)
Further to Eric Worpe’s article in Issue 67 (August 2021) he’s reconfirmed that the size needed is 8mm squared or 64 square mm.
Some calculations as follows:
“The actual space for the packing is 55.5 square mm so that results in a reasonable compression of the gland packing when in situ.
The maths works out at:-
Width of gland housing = 9.25mm
Diameter of gland housing = 48mm
Diameter of pulley contact surface = 36mm.
This results in gland packing height of (48 – 36)/2 =6mm.
Gland packing height X width = 6mm X 9.25mm = 55.5 square mm.
The typical maximum velocity is around 30 metres per second for graphited packing.
Engine revs at 6,000 rpm = 100 revs per second.
Diameter of running surface is 36mm, so circumference is 3.147 X 36mm = 113.3mm.
113.3 mm = 0.1133 metres.
Thus, velocity of running surface is 0.1133 X 100 =11.33 metres per second at 6,000 rpm.
As the total length of the packing is about 130mm, some 15 lengths could be obtained from 2 metres.
This works out at about £0.85 each packing, so a nominal £1 per total length.”
Since Eric’s supplier reference I have obtained a 2- metre length of the graphited rope seal and can supply this for £2 inclusive of postage within the UK. Fourteen lengths are available (one length is already spoken for). Please contact me at the same e-mail address as given for the petrol cap neoprene washers.
The 2-metre length of graphited rope seal.
XPAG Front Seal (modern lip type rotational shaft seal)
There were some typo errors in Paul Busby’s article (Issue 67 – August 2021).
Paul has notified the following corrections:
The eccentricity tolerance on shaft diameter (out of round) is 40 microns not 4; similarly the surface speed should read 20 M/sec, not 2 M/sec a typo error with ‘0;s .. The shaft diameter tolerance (undersize) is -170 microns about 0.007″ for a 36mm dia shaft.
Since the article, there have been a couple of enquiries about doing the machining to accommodate the seal. As you will appreciate from the following comments by Paul Busby in answer to one of the enquirers, it is not a cost-effective job for the home mechanic:
As for tool and pilot for cutting timing cover/sump for lip oil seal, this would be rather expensive and not justifiable for the average T type man one-off job, as specially made and ground tooling. I am willing to provide the service to cut the timing cover/ sump and provide the special scroll seal I use (while you wait) but would need the block complete with crank/sump/timing cover all assembled and torqued up. Cost for service including seal £60. Could even do the job on site if local or if owner is prepared to cover travel expenses Hope that helps? If overseas we have a problem, as the cutting tool and pilot is bespoke specially made and cost is in the order of £300. Seals are £20, plenty of these as had to buy a min quantity to get them.
Thin steel gaskets for tappet chest cover
Mention was made of these in the February, April, August and October issues of TTT 2.
An initial order for 20 steel gaskets and 40 nitrile bonded cork gaskets was originally placed. This was followed up by another 10 and 20, which all sold. Following Paul Ireland’s article Keeping Oil in an XPAG in Issue 63 which was recently reprinted in the Octagon Bulletin, there was yet more demand and another 10 and 20 were ordered and quickly sold. As there still seems to be demand, another 10 and 20 have been ordered and should be available when this issue appears.
Just to re-cap, the cost of one thin steel gasket and two nitrile bonded cork gaskets is £12.50 plus £3.20 postage.
To order, please contact me at the same e-mail address as given for the petrol cap neoprene washers. This is likely to be the last batch.
MATCHBOX MMMs & T-TYPES
Stanley Daamen sent me some interesting details about a Triple-M event held in Hurwenen, The Netherlands, from 13-15 August this year.
To make the ‘Matchbox’ pictures a structure was erected like you see in the picture below:
The car was then driven in and parked.
Then, with the wonders of technology, attendees were given a ‘Matchbox’ picture of their car, as per a couple of examples below:
Stanley first contacted me last December when he sent me this very nice Christmas card with Christmas Greetings from him and his wife, Ellen.
His TC is TC3392, which left Abingdon on 25th August 1947. The car was found in a poor state of repair in 1974 in Germany, close to the Dutch border. Stanley completed a total restoration by 1979, including making his own ash frame.
Here’s what the car looked like, as found:
Here’s a picture taken during one of the first test drives in 1980. Stanley recalls “It was a happy moment that the horse posed so beautifully for my TC, 1 HP against 54 HP.”
The red TA parked in the ‘Matchbox structure’ belongs to Stanley’s friend, Maurice Estourgie. It is TA0264, an early car. Maurice bought TA0264 in 2014 in the UK. It was previously registered JK 6000 when it was here.
Staying in The Netherlands, this is TC8204 belonging to Bart and Marjoleen Sanders. The car has travelled around a bit, having been in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Ohio, USA and then with its present custodians.
Bart tells me that “Our summer holiday 2021 took us from the French Alps around Albertville, to the Italian, Swiss Alps around Domodossola and back. On own wheels, around 3400 km round trip.”
TB/TC Gearbox Synchromesh
This article by Eric Worpe appeared in Issue 67 (August 2021). Hugh Pite found the article interesting and asked Eric if the synchro’s would still work if an actual Acme thread was cut instead of a series of circular grooves (which he envisaged would be somewhat easier when using a taper attachment set at 7 deg). He also asked if a high strength retainer Loctite was used on assembly and sought confirmation that the procedure was started using thick-walled tubing.
In reply, Eric thought that a series of grooves would work, but one would still need the axial furrows to drain the oil away. He confirmed that a high strength retainer Loctite was used on assembly as well as a 2 thou interference fit.
On the thick-walled tubing question, Eric said that bronze tubing is continuously cast in a wide range of sizes and wall thicknesses, so it’s possible to minimise wastage. His only concern was whether he should have used phosphor bronze or the ubiquitous SAE 660 bronze which is free cutting due to its lead content. Grinding the cutter tool was the trickiest part, even using a tool cutter/grinder.
TC battery cover clip position
According to Paul Busby, with the change in ribbing depth (flutes) on a TC bulkhead also came a change in battery cover clip position by 1/4″.
Early deep rib cars have the clip closer to the edge than later shallow rib cars. Paul only found this out by sending Bob Lyell one of his battery covers from a late TC. It clearly did not fit his early deep rib TC. Worth noting when anybody is searching for parts.
An alternative fixing method for Type 160 mirror
Brian Burrow says that a fellow owner likes his attachment of modern (ex-Moss?) mirrors, drilled and threaded into the solid brass windscreen bearers.
16” Wheels for the TB/TC – optional equipment.
Eric Worpe drew my attention to the availability of 16” wheels for the TB/TC from Abingdon. They were listed under Nuffield Exports M.G. Technical Literature L8 (June 1949) which was a supercharging leaflet. Mike Card mentioned this to Eric.
There must have been an equivalent Home Market publication.
Talking of supercharging, this is TC4472, one of a small number of TC race cars built in South Australia in the late 1940s. This one was built for David Harvey by Tony Ohlmeyer.
Tony was the MG guru in Adelaide who introduced John Gillett, (who sent me the picture) to MGs when John was still at school. Tony’s formula was short chassis, very light aluminium body with rounded tail (à la K3!) finned vented brakes, track rod axle restraints and air pressure fuel supply.
Engine is 1340cc with a belt driven J100 Marshall supercharger. Top speed with current axle ratio is 110mph, 1/4 mile 14.6sec. Weighs about 530kg.
John says it is great to drive; it’s agile and predictable ……but, aerodynamics are against it.
He has owned and raced TC4472 for many years. It has been entered again for the Sandown Historic races in Melbourne 5-7 November, one of the regular Aussie historic race meetings. The car ran at the Australian Grand Prix events in 1950 at Nuriootpa (2nd, David Harvey) and Albert Park in 1953 (Jack O’Dea) and was subsequently owned in 1954 by Jack Brabham early in his career. In Australia it runs in the Class L(b) for historic race cars.
Leaf springs are a simple and strong solution to mounting axles on vehicles and have been in use since medieval times. The benefits are that they both provide springing and locate the axle without the need for complex linkages. Unfortunately, they suffer from two problems.
Firstly, trying to locate an axle with a spring is not the ideal solution. It allows the axle to move. The semi-elliptic leaf springs fitted to MGs are poor under torsion i.e. when the car is braking or accelerating. The springs adopt an S shape allowing the axle to twist. This is made worse in the older T Types where the centre of the wheel is offset from the mounting point on the spring increasing the leverage. This generates an increased torsional force, causing the spring to flex to a greater degree. Coupled with the offset of the centre of the wheel, causes significant forwards and backwards movement of the wheel. Not ideal.
Secondly, although more rigid under sideways force, leaf springs also allow some movement, made worse on those cars fitted with rubber mounted shackles. The result is that the axles can also move sideways relative to the body when cornering. If you are considering servicing your leaf springs, and you have a TB or TC, why not replace the rubber bushes with polyurethane ones? These better locate the axle and will not perish. They are available from NTG or the Octagon Car Club.
In practice, this movement is only of academic interest as the solid axles keep the tyres firmly planted on the road. The only “negative” effect of this movement of the axles relative to the chassis is that slightly disconnected feeling from the road you have when driving a T type compared to a modern car. This is what adds to its character.
A more serious problem and really the reason for this article; as the axle moves up and down, the different leaves of the spring slide over each other. Unless they are lubricated, they rust, wear and squeak, becoming stiffer and less springy. The problem is that greasing them attracts road dirt, which increases wear. In addition, water can wash out the grease which means the springs should be regularly cleaned and re-greased. A maintenance headache.
The “posher” of the early 1900’s cars had leather jackets fitted to their springs, or they were carefully bound with rope. When I rebuilt my TC 12 years ago, I used a cheaper and simpler solution, Denso tape and self-adhesive insulating tape. After some 20,000 miles, some of it in very wet conditions, I decided I needed to re-grease and re-bind my springs. So how had they faired?
The picture shows the rear spring after the leaves
had been split. Other than slight rusting on the ends of the longer leaves, you can still see the original lithium grease on the leaves. Not bad after 12 years and no maintenance. How is it done? Firstly, unbolt the axles from the springs then clean and re-grease them. This time I used Penrite Graphite grease. Either prise the leaves apart and work the grease in between the leaves. I used my compressor blow gun to help.
Alternatively, split the springs as shown above with my rear springs. Remember if you split the springs to reassemble them in the correct orientation and be careful to locate the dimple on the middle of the spring when you put them back together. When you refit the axles make sure they go back in their original position by measuring from a fixed point on the chassis.
Bind the front and rear part of the spring separately with Denso tape (or as some suppliers call it Spring Binding Tape tape), starting at the back and working towards the front with a ½ width overlap of each wrap. Do not wrap the springs too tightly. Finally work back over the bound spring, squeezing the tape with your hand to ensure all the bindings are stuck together.
1. Front spring greased
2. Denso tape on front spring
3. Self-adhesive insulating tape on front spring
Denso tape is a greasy, semi sticky waterproof tape that seals in the grease and still allows the leaves of the springs to move. My TC needed two rolls of Denso tape. The most efficient way is to use one roll per side as the front and rear springs are different lengths.
Unfortunately, the Denso tape on its own is rather unsightly and not sufficiently robust to survive the rigours of road use. Next comes the self-adhesive insulating tape, again binding the springs in two halves and working from the back to the front with a ¼ width overlap. If you have never come across self-adhesive tape before, do not worry that it is not in the slightest bit sticky. It does stick to itself. Slightly stretch the tape to encourage it to form a closed, rubber like binding. Only remove the backing from one wrap after the tape has been positioned and as with the Denso tape, work back over the bound spring, squeezing the tape. With both tapes ensure you get as close to the ends of the spring as possible. Three rolls of self-adhesive insulating tape were sufficient for my car.
The final result, an acceptable looking, waterproof, cover on your springs and no more maintenance worries for many years to come. What are the downsides? Once completed, none that I have experienced, the only problems are while you are doing the work. The black graphite grease gets everywhere and is difficult to wipe off, you are likely to get as much grease on you and your tools as on the springs. The Denso tape is soft and covers your hands with a sticky “goo”. I suggest you ensure you have an adequate supply of rubber or similar gloves, at least two pairs per spring, and plenty of wipes. I also keep a bottle of white spirit handy to soak the wipes as this helps to remove the grease and stickiness.
The Wilcot (Parent) Company was bought by Wefco Gaiters www.wefco-gaiters.com who operate from Yatton, 15 miles south west of Bristol.
I spoke to a most helpful lady who told me that the proprietors of The Wilcot (Parent) Co. Ltd were quite elderly and were wanting to retire. She and her husband bought the business from them. The website has a measurement form which is downloadable. She was obviously very enthusiastic about her work and confirmed that she has supplied leather gaiters to Vintage M.G.s. in the past. I find it heartening to learn that with so many sources of spares and services drying up, this particular service lives on.
Paul Ireland sent me this picture of his broken leaf spring – it reminded me that I had one go in exactly the same place. NTG to the rescue as they had them in stock.
If Paul had bought his TC springs from Bill Thomson in 1964……
“Front spring, complete with all needed bushes and rubber parts” Part number 99546 £2.12/- (two pounds, twelve shillings) £2.60, or $3.50, or €3. or AU$4.70.
Rear spring, complete with all rubber bushes for rear end of spring” Part number 99561 £4 (four pounds) or $5.40 or €4.70, or AU$7.30.
Amounts have been rounded up or down, as appropriate.
These descriptions were in a typed list sent to Bill by Björn-Eric Lindh from Sweden for Bill to insert prices, prior to a “raiding party” from Sweden coming over to England to collect.
As you will gather from the text, Paul Ireland has been hosting Zoom technical seminars for the TR Register (the reference to ‘TR Action’ is the magazine of the [Triumph] TR Register, which is published eight times a year). Paul has been hosting these seminars as an adjunct to his incredibly successful book ‘Classic Engines, Modern Fuel’. The article which follows was written by Mike Boling of the Essex Group of the TR Register, and I am grateful to the Register forpermission to reprint it in TTT 2.
Many regular readers of TR Action will be aware of the excellent book by Dr Paul Ireland entitled Classic Engines, Modern Fuel. Paul has recently hosted exceptionally informative Zoom technical seminars on this subject specifically for TR Register Members.
There are many factors why our classic engines may not like modern fuels (all explained in easily understood detail in the book and during the seminars) and the potential damage that modern petrol may do to fuel delivery systems. One of the problems with ethanol-blended petrol is its ability to absorb water and the corrosion problems the oxygen rich ethanol & water combo can cause. The most likely route for water to get into your fuel system is condensation inside a near empty tank, rain during filling or exceptionally, from the forecourt tanks. The problem of water in underground tanks has been with us for ever and, although modern storage tanks are much less likely to be affected, the potential still exists and when it gets into a tank it will eventually result in “phase separation”. Water, water absorbed fuel with gasoline on top. (Most petrol sites these days do have electronic water-level detection in the tank…Ed)
Replacing fuel lines, gaskets, diaphragms, seals etc. etc. with ethanol-proof components is relatively straightforward and inexpensive but, when it comes to petrol tank corrosion that’s a whole different ball game. During periods of inactivity, the ethanol contaminated element of the petrol will settle at the bottom of your tank (and carburettor bowls) and start to corrode the metal. Tank seams are especially vulnerable as those who have experienced the “smelly boot syndrome” will attest!
Fortunately, there is an easy way to find out if you have water contamination in your petrol tank. Splash out a mere £12 on a tube of “Kolor Kut” water finding paste available from Amazon (other brands and vendors exist). This product has the consistency of toothpaste and is a beige-golden colour. Coat the bottom 20mm of a clean bamboo cane with the paste and carefully probe down to the base of your tank. Withdraw the cane and if the paste has turned bright red, you have water contaminating your tank. The colour change occurs within seconds so long immersion is not needed or recommended.
If you have tested positive, the only solution is to drain the tank and thoroughly dry it out, note that some fuel or water will be below the bottom outlet pipe. If you have to go this route, please remember that you are working with a potential bomb and take every possible precaution against detonation. Only work in the open air, not in your shed or garage and be aware that the slightest spark may prove disastrous! The empty tank will contain explosive vapours so remain vigilant.
There are products on the market with which you can coat the inside of tanks to make them “ethanol proof”. I know several people who have tried a variety of these, all with disappointing results so be careful and do your research before you part with your pennies.
Mike Boling, Essex Group
Editor’s Note: In the introduction to Mike Boling’s short article, I referred to Paul Ireland’s “incredibly successful book”. It has sold 2,000 copies worldwide and is currently in reprint – better order your copy from Veloce Publishing now! All royalties from the book go towards helping children’s education in Tanzania and an article about this was included in Issue 65 (April 2021) of TTT 2. To buy a copy of Paul’s book, please go to https://classicenginesmodernfuel.org.uk/
From pretending to drive TF8418 as a 6 year-old, Simon Robinson now drives it for real over 50 years later.
My dad first fell in love with the TF shape after seeing his lecturer turn up at university in a brand new black one in 1954. He bought 36 EMG in 1960 from a posh gentleman in Oxford who had bought it as a fad, used it for a few months, then stored it for a few years in one of the barns on his country estate.
A few years after buying it, my dad proposed to my mum and it was used as their wedding car. Then kids came along. My parents used to put my brother in a crib across the back but soon realised the car was too small and dangerous for a 2nd baby and a 2 year-old. So just before I was born, my dad rested it up in the garage with seemingly no plan whatsoever for it. By then my mum had a Mini and my dad had his dad’s old Morris Minor.
My first memories of my dad’s MGTF are of me, at 6 years old, and my brother 8, helping my dad dismantle it. Like I knew what I was doing at the time! But in my head, I was chief mechanic. I was already car mad even at that age.
The ‘dismantlers’ at work. Not readily apparent from this picture size, but on ‘blowing it up’ it looks as though the ‘chief mechanic’ is removing a wing mirror.
I had some incredible virtual road trips in our MG. From 6 years old to around 14 years old my parents knew exactly where to find me ……………sitting in the car as it gathered dust in the garage, partially dismantled, pretending to drive it. I sometimes had the roof up, and sometimes down; the pretend journeys I had in that car over my early years were amazing. And it never broke down on me once nor did I get caught in the rain with the roof down and I never had an accident. Although I do remember getting a few imaginary speeding fines, but only on those occasions when the police were able to catch me.
At 16 years old, and during my college years training to be a motor mechanic, I took the engine and gearbox out, lifted the tub off and sanded down and primed and prepared the chassis. I’m not sure why. I guess I hoped my enthusiasm for getting the MG back on the road would rub off on dad. I convinced my dad to buy a new tub and wiring loom and my brother borrowed the Scout Club’s transit van and we picked up a brand-new tub from Brown and Gammons. We had no plans for the car, but I knew at some point it would be back on the road if we kept badgering dad about it. However, by the time I was 25, my kids started appearing and other priorities, such is life, got in the way, and it remained in dad’s garage, even more dismantled than before.
As the years went on, my dad had a couple of failed attempts at giving it to various garages to tinker with and start the rebuild. However, there was no real enthusiasm from dad, or the garages, and whilst some of the bodywork did progress, the years dragged on and on.
Eventually my dad retired and I was nearing 40 years old. Unbeknown to me, my dad approached Brown and Gammons who offered to try to sell it as a project. When he mentioned this to my partner, she quite assertively told him he’d lose a son if he did.
I’m not sure whether this prompted action or it was just a case of him realising that if he didn’t do something with it soon, the expertise which this country should still be very proud of, would eventually get so scarce it would be financially impossibly to justify any more work on it, let alone finding someone to do the work.
So he eventually commissioned a garage to take on the project…..and finish it….. some 45 years after its last drive.
Dad wanted as much of the original car kept. He did not want a concourse example. He wanted a car that was good enough to enjoy but not too good that we were too scared to drive it.
Having been off the road for most of its 65 years it has a genuine 24,000 miles on the speedo and is a genuine 2 owner car, my dad having had it for 60 of those. And, other than the usual rusty wings etc and age related rather than use related areas, was in amazing condition. The garage inspected the engine and refurbished the head with an unleaded conversion. It had new wings, bumpers, petrol tank and wheels/tyres (all replaced due to the economics or replacing over refurbishing). They installed the wiring loom dad had bought 20 years previously, popped in a new clutch and a refurbished gearbox.
When preparing it for paint, the garage also realised the original colour was green. For some reason the gentleman who originally bought it didn’t like the original colour so it had been resprayed cream in its first few years. Dad decided to put it back to the original green, however, decided it needed to be a slightly modern version and decided on a metallic Aston Martin green. It was also fitted with a new complementing beige interior and hood instead of the original black.
He then, eventually, took delivery of it back to his house in 2015, where he then covered it over with a tarpaulin and ignored it for most of the next few years, getting it out very occasionally on a very hot summer’s day. I finally proposed to my partner of 23 years in 2018 after dad said I could use it at the wedding.
Having inspected the car, we realised it wasn’t faring very well under a tarpaulin on dad’s drive and the new hood was beginning to go mouldy and the wheels had minor surface rust.
So, I finally prised the keys from my dad and it finally came home with me……I finally got to drive the car of my childhood dreams……. My bucket list car……
And I now drive the car fairly regularly. It pulls remarkably strongly, keeps up and slows down enough to make it great around modern traffic. It’s got a 4.875 rear diff (which I guess is a standard ratio) so it will sit at 55mph reasonably comfortably and will get up to 70mph – as long as it’s not for long – and the car puts a grin on my face wherever I go.
I love taking my fiancé out for drives in the country just like my mum and dad would have done 55 years ago…. before I came in to the world. My mum has since passed so never got to see it back on the road (or us married) but the car gets admiring looks wherever it goes. And it’s not without its own charm, leaving the usual hints of MG wherever we go (i. e. a small pool of oil under the front and rear of the sump where I cannot seem to get the seals to fit properly!).
But I feel like I’m transported back to being 6 years old every time I drive it. Yet this time, I can actually drive to the beach with the roof down for real. And as for using the car for the wedding – well – Covid hit, so May 2020 was delayed till 2021 and then delayed again….. So here’s hoping for 2022!
I am normally a placid individual, but when I have dealings with DVLA (which, unfortunately, I have to from time to time) I become a different person. My latest ‘brush’ with this monolithic organisation concerned my (unsuccessful) request to speak to the named individual who had turned down an age-related registration number application I had made on behalf of an Octagon Car Club member. Before we go any further, I thought I would check the description ‘monolithic’ – go to Google and type in ‘monolithic’ – out comes the following:
I won’t bore you with the minutiae, but I have also expressed concern that the Agency returns papers, which often contain important documents, in the ordinary mail. These have been known to have become lost in the post….and of course, it’s never their fault – it’s you who is saddled with the chore of trying to reconstruct the file!
My faith in humanity was restored when later that day I had occasion to phone the Liverpool and Victoria insurance company about the renewal notices on my VW Polo and my Kia Picanto. The lady I spoke to was working from home, but she had all my details at the press of a button, and was able to resolve my queries and offer a lower renewal premium. Job done!
I think it was John Murray (who, by the way, had similar cause to savour the delights of DVLA) who said that one of the great things about owning a T-Type is that there is always something to do. I couldn’t agree more, John, as I have just taken the radiator out of the TF and have also removed the cylinder head. It’s amazing what you find whilst doing these jobs. I’d like to know who ‘rounded’ the exhaust manifold nuts by using the wrong sized spanner, or socket – or if they were already ‘rounded’, it would have helped to have used some new nuts on re-fitting.
While the cylinder head is away, I’m going to take my exhaust manifold to Zircotec in Abingdon https://www.zircotec.com Here’s what Barrie Jones said about Zircotec: “I have just had the manifold shot blasted and coated with a ceramic finish by a company called Zircotec. They claim that it is also a thermal coating that should lower the under-bonnet temperature. It wasn’t cheap at about £200 plus VAT but they have certainly done a fine job.” (Please see picture of ‘Zircotec’d’ manifold).
The bad news is that Barrie wrote this in February 2012, so goodness knows what the cost will be now. However, the good news is that a trip to Abingdon will enable me to call on Pete Neal (Kimber House Archivist). I haven’t been to see Pete for a couple of years due to the Covid restrictions, so it will be good to catch up.
One task I have to do every month is to email members whose membership technically ceases that month to tell them that their membership has been renewed for another year (unless, of course they do not wish to continue). It is a task which I invariably put off and then I have to apologise for being late with the notification. A few months’ ago, I used the expression “forever chasing my tail” which prompted an Aussie (I think) reader to send me an appropriate cartoon. Sadly. I have lost his email, so if he reads this, I would appreciate him re-sending me the cartoon.
The International MG and Triumph spares day is being held on 23rd January 2022 at the Telford International Centre. This event was to have taken place earlier this year but was postponed due to Covid. We, along with several others, really miss the spares days held at Stoneleigh and we will not be attending this event.
Mike Morrow has been in touch recently to tell me about an epic journey across Australia which put the stamina of his TC to the test – it didn’t disappoint, as he relates here:
“I put my TC 7937 to the test at the end of May this year as a long-distance tourer. My wife and I drove from Ballarat in Victoria to Perth and back to attend the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the TC Owners Cub of WA. Dealing with border closures as Covid 19 rampaged across the country was the most difficult part of the 16-day trip. 6770 kilometres, and not a reason at any time to lift the bonnet except to check the oil. Even then we used only one litre!” As we are in the closing stages of this year, 2022 will soon be upon us and the Centenary of M.G. in 2023 will seem so much nearer. It’s quite scary as there is so much to do regarding event planning. I am hoping that it will be possible in the next issue to sketch out plans for the Centenary celebration.
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