Category Archives: Issue 71 (April 2022)

How many TAs are on the road in the UK?

Since the February issue, some more cars which are known to DVLA have been ‘discovered’.

The front cover shows TA1593 (ENU193) and ‘Lost & Found’ records TA2668 (DRK 889) – both cars are taxed. ‘Lost & Found’ also records TA1697 (YSU 797) as ‘Untaxed’.

Roger Muir has come up with a few more cars from those owned by Octagon members. TA 0675 (EML 386) and TA xxxx (BBL 634) are both taxed.  TA xxxx (AMO 866) and TA xxxx (YS 9976) are both shown as ‘Untaxed’. TAxxxx (BDF 402) is on SORN.                       

A late entry is TA3237 (GNU 610) and is taxed.

Continuing with our focus on TAs, Stewart Penfound, TA/B/C Registrar for the MGCC T Register, has a list of the following TA registration numbers which are known to DVLA, but for which he doesn’t have a chassis number. We hope to solve at least some of the mysteries by publishing this list. If you can help, Stewart can be reached at stewart.penfound(at)btinternet.com [Please substitute @ for (at)]

Registration No.          DVLA status    Date of last V5

275 XUT                      Untaxed          21 July 2009

414 XUK                     Untaxed           17 Jan  2008

509 XUT                      Untaxed           20 Aug  2009

852 YUA                     Taxed              17 July  2012

AAS 491                      Taxed              18 July 2012

ACX 350                     Untaxed           26 March 02

AKG 926                     Untaxed           16 June 1998

ARX 225                     Untaxed           30 Oct   2021

ATH 456                      Taxed              15 Aug  2012

ATR 432                      Untaxed          17 Feb  1992

BAM 711                     Untaxed           28 Sept 2015

BBL 634                      Taxed              27 Sept 2018

BDF 402                      SORN              21 Dec  2015

BG 5615                      Untaxed           17 Dec  2007

BGA 525                     Untaxed           01 July  2002

CNX 327                     Taxed              09 Feb  2015

DGX 134                     Untaxed          (not stated)

DHA 405                     Taxed              02 April 2020

DKE 888                     Untaxed           09  March 05

DYK 509                     Untaxed           18 Nov  2015

EEV 41                        Untaxed           21 Feb  1984

ENN 907                     Untaxed           22 Nov  1983

EOP 24                       Untaxed           04 Oct  2005

EPO 793                     Taxed              15 Aug  2020

ESM 149                     Untaxed           23 July  1999

EYX 236                      Untaxed           26 May 1994

FKD 788                      SORN              23 Aug 2016

FKF 703                      Taxed              06 Sept 2019

FZ 1835                       Untaxed           16 July  1997

GPA 781                     Untaxed           11 Sept 2001

GPK 562                     Taxed              27 Oct  2017

JB 9448                       Untaxed           30 Nov 1992

MG 5622                      SORN              11 Sept 2012

NJ 9776                      Taxed              28 Jan   2010

VSJ 117                      Untaxed           14 July  2000

XAS 639                      SORN              04 Nov 2013

XSU 506                     Untaxed           01 Oct 2007

XVV 212                      Untaxed           28 Nov 2017

YS 9976                      Untaxed           14 Oct 1981

YXG 158                     Taxed              16 Jun 2020

Referring back to the previous issue (Number 70, February 2022), the total number of TAs known to DVLA was given as 597, of which 315 (52.8%) were taxed, 221 (37.0%) were either untaxed or not taxed for on the road use, and 61 (10.2%) were on SORN.

The total number of TAs known to DVLA has now increased by 45 to 642, of which 329 (51.2%) are taxed, 248 (38.7%) are either untaxed or not taxed for on the road use, and 65 (10.1%) are on SORN.

When I set out along this road back in August/September 2021, I said that I’d be disappointed with a total of less than 300 and ecstatic if the total exceeded 350.

Well, I’m very pleased with the outcome and there might still be a trickle of new ‘finds’.

What I consider to have been the most pleasing outcome of the exercise is that Stewart Penfound has been able to update his records, so they are now more accurate and complete than they have ever been. Of course, the ongoing challenge is to keep abreast of future changes, but the cooperation between the T Register of the MGCC, the MG Octagon Car Club and the MG ‘T’ Society is set to continue, not only for TAs, but for all T-Types.

From now on I don’t intend to publish any new information, but I’ll be happy to pass on any new information to Stewart.

Alternatively, you can contact him direct at: stewart.penfound(at)btinternet.com [Please substitute @ for (at)]

It’s possible that Roger Muir, Editor of the MG Octagon Car Club Bulletin, may uncover some new ‘finds’ when he publishes a lengthy list of registration numbers in the March Bulletin. This will appear as this issue of TTT 2 is (hopefully) away at the Printers.

Roger has been very helpful, both to Stewart and myself in notifying TAs not previously known by Stewart, which are owned by Octagon members.

Now to start a similar exercise for TF1500s known to the DVLA!

Life is never dull!

Lost and Found

TA1991 (CTE 506)Sometimes it takes a few years to find a ‘LOST’ but it is pleasing to be able to report that the present owner of this car has recently been in touch with Jonny Leitner. Jonny’s request for information on the car once owned by his dad was included in Issue 51 (December 2018).

TA2668 (DRK 889) – Michael Hennessy, who used to own this car in the 1970s, contacted me because he noticed that it was not shown in the list of TAs published in Issue 70 (February 2021), but shows up from a DVLA search as taxed until August 2022. The car was shown in T Register records as being in the US (hence it was not picked up as a UK car) but obviously was ‘repatriated’, possibly in 2013 (the last V5C date) and is now painted maroon. Just goes to show how difficult it is to keep track of owners.

If the present owner reads this, I’d be grateful if s/he will contact me at jj(at)ttypes.org [Please substitute @ for (at)].

TA???? (FK 8127)

David Britton has been in touch to say that he owned FK 8127 from about 1966 to 1976. It was his regular use vehicle. He confesses that his  renovation/maintenance work was probably not up to standard in those days, due partly to lack of funds and partly to the difficulty of getting parts in the ‘60s.

He added that before he bought the car it had been fitted with a special oil coil, twin 1.5 inch SUs and a low ratio crown wheel and pinion and that it could reach 100mph without difficulty!

Any information please to the Editor at above jj address.

A Tale of ‘Little John’

Having been born almost within sight of Nottingham Castle, and brought up on a rural property some fourteen miles to the north, it is no wonder that my family was under the spell of Robin Hood.

And so it came to pass that my father, Bill Shipside, an MG dealer himself, purchased a new MG TD regd. MTO 68 in 1950 for my brother Ken to rally and race.  I was a mere seven-year-old, about to be dispatched to that ‘great institution’ – an English boarding school!  So, I was not a witness to much of what follows.

 Dad was in charge of the preparation, tuning and lightening of this car, but was foiled by too low an axle ratio.  It was soon realised that the only way to purchase a higher ratio differential was to buy the latest TD.  MTO 68 was put back to standard with a new engine [the crankshaft and bearings had been damaged], and was replaced by LVO 2. This new TD was stripped of its body and wings. enabling Dad to build a lightweight racing body with cycle guards.  Sadly, I was away at school as this was happening, but the outcome was that success came their way in club racing at various tracks including one I did attend at Silverstone.  As a winner LVO 2 was always referred to as ‘Little John’.

LVO 2 (“Little John”) in racing trim’.

When the excitement and fun of racing waned, Dad had another idea……to keep the chassis and running gear and build a closed aluminium body on it. A coachbuilding firm at Loughborough was responsible for this work, Dad and my sister having done the original design.  I remember that he thoroughly enjoyed the result, proudly showing it to all and sundry.  The following photo shows it outside the factory at Cowley in May 1955.  It was ahead of its time and could be described as a forerunner of the MGB ‘GT’.  Dad enjoyed it for the next ten years or so.

Two views of the rebuilt LVO 2. The first shows it outside the factory at Cowley in 1955.

After his death in 1967 I was asked if I wanted the car, an offer I turned down as I had already taken ownership of the family car, a Tickford bodied MG WA.  I then found a buyer for ‘Little John’, who lived in the Sheffield area.  I have long since forgotten his name.

I would love to know if this car still exists.  It is my hope that someone knows of it and can put me in touch with the owner.

 [Please note that ‘Little John’ is mentioned in Anders Clausager’s  book, “Factory Original MG T-Series” in the chapter headed “Specials”].                                                                         

Peter Shipside of Goolwa, South Australia                                                                                        

Email pshipside(at)gmail.com Please substitute @ for (at)]

Editor’s Note: It’s interesting to relate how Peter came to contact me with the story of LVO 2. As readers will know, I have been advertising my remaining copies of Anders Clausager’s book, Factory Original MG T-Series. I sent one of the last few copies toTF1500 owner, Don Walker in South Australia. Having perused the book, Don read about LVO 2 and the reference to T. W. (Bill) Shipside and told me that Peter, son of Bill, also a TF1500 owner, lives a few streets away in Goolwa Beach. He said that Peter, who had often mentioned the Morris business in Nottingham formerly owned by TW and the TD Special (LVO 2) might be persuaded to write an article.

Thank you, Don and Peter!

TF5873 (NWX 184)

As a further example of the gap between a car appearing in either ‘Lost and Found’ or ‘Bits and Pieces’ and a follow up query, Miss Sarah Bell recently saw from a trawl through the website, a reference to NWX 184. A picture of the car (different to the one shown above) had appeared in Issue 55 (August 2019). The car belonged to her father and she was keen to hear of its whereabouts.

I was able to put her in touch with Mike Webb, who confirmed that he purchased the car as a dismantled project from a dealer in Leeds some 3 years ago. The car was sold to the dealer by Sarah’s sister following their father’s death.

I was pleased to be able to re-unite Sarah with the car in its restored condition and I thank Mike for taking the time to contact Sarah and for sending her the above photo.

TA1643 (CTC 681)

One-time owner of this car, Rick Buckley has lost track of it and would like to know where it is.

rick.buckley(at)btopenworld.com [please substitute @ for (at)].

 Rick discovered it in a lock-up garage in 2003.

TA1643 in bits, about to be transported from the lock-up garage.

TA1643 is an ex-Lancashire Police car and Rick has followed its progress since he sold it to a fellow-enthusiast in 2014.

TA1643 in loosely assembled state after having been removed from the lock-up.

The next picture was taken in 2015 by Rick’s fellow-enthusiast when the car was nearly complete and fitted with an XPAG engine.

Since then, the car was featured with numerous photos in a 7-page article written by Malcolm Green in Enjoying MG September 2017

It next appeared in the Safety Fast classifieds in January 2020 and at some point, more recently, it was sold by Robin Lawton the classic car dealer. It was spotted by Rick’s son, displayed on Robin’s website in the ‘Cars Sold’ section.

Hopefully, the person who purchased CTC 681 might see this and will get in touch with Rick.

TA1697 (YSU 797)

Colin Jones is seeking information on the current whereabouts and ownership of this TA which he sold back in 1997.

The car shows up from a DVLA search as ‘Untaxed Tax due 1 July 2001’ and the date of the last V5C is given as 3 February 1997, which looks like the date Colin sold the car.

His contact details are cjjp76(at)gmail.com [Please substitute @ for (at)]

1947 MG TC Registration Number LPE 647

Ian MacKay is enquiring on behalf of a friend, who owned this car in the ‘60s. It doesn’t show up on DVLA. Any leads to the editor, please.

1947 MG TC Registration Number DRV 61

Oliver Richardson is seeking information about this car. It is shown on DVLA as ‘Not taxed for on road use’. Any leads to the editor, please.

PA0630 (AWU 235)

It is unusual to include a Triple-M car in ‘Lost and Found’, but a request recently appeared on the website from Sophie Wedd. Sophie is trying to trace the PA once owned by her mother. She doesn’t have a photo, but has sent the bill of sale. The good news is that the car probably exists as it comes up from a DVLA search as ‘Untaxed Tax due 1 April 2007. Date of last V5C is 22 March 2005. The Triple-M Register knows of the car, but doesn’t have current ownership details.

The bill of sale dates from 1954 and the vendor was Hallens Motor Engineers in Cambridge.

Any leads to the editor, please.

Bits & Pieces

Nineteen inch Radials for the MG TC: Bridgestone Ecopia 500 series – 155/70/19R

Following publication of this article in the February issue, there has been quite a bit of interest shown. The most frequently asked question is whether inner tubes are necessary with this tyre and the answer is ‘Yes’. Michael Sherrell, who sent in the article, points out that if tubes are not fitted, some air would escape through the spoke ends. He also commented “What has surprised me most is a dramatic change in straight ahead stability. The softer ride is welcome too.”

Roger Bateman showed the article to a friend who has spent many years in a senior position in the classic car tyre business who commented:

“As this radial tyre was designed for continuous road use and is a true 19” tyre and not a metric equivalent, there would seem to be no reason not to use it for the MG TC.  Of course, the dimensions will be different as a radial tyre is, at best, only about 80% aspect compared to a crossply. So, gearing, ground clearance, wheel arch gap etc will be impacted, but you might see an improvement in braking performance and certainly wet weather grip. The other thing is aesthetics; it will look different, but hey, people put truck tyres on E Types!”

Roger says that he looks forward to reports from other users of these tyres.

Guarantee Plates for TC2653 and TC6942

Oliver Richardson (Triple-M specialist) has the guarantee plate for TC2653. The car is not known to the MGCC ‘T’ Register, but may well be out there somewhere. Hopefully, this might help find the owner. If so, would sh/he please contact me at: jj(at)ttypes.org  [please substitute @ for (at)]. Tom Lange, who runs MGT Repair in Bar Harbor, ME 04609 in the US has the guarantee plate for TC6942. The ‘T’ Register records the car as being in the US.  Tom’s website is MGTRepair.net

Overhaul of Starter Motors and Dynamos

I have just had the starter motors for my J2 and TF1500 overhauled by Chris Wallis in Chellaston, Derby.

Overhauled starter motors J2 on the left and TF1500 on the right.

Turnaround time was good and the charges fair. Chris can be relied upon to do a good job and has years of experience behind him.

He has done work for owners in mainland Europe, but that was pre-Brexit and things are that much more difficult now.

Chris Wallis, 39 School Lane, Chellaston, DERBY DE73 6TF clwallis39(at)hotmail.co.uk [substitute @ for (at)].

Tool trays for the TA

The tool trays on David Wilkinson’s TA were in poor condition, so he made a couple of moulds and cast some new ones using liquid silicone.

The trays have ply wood on the bottom, just like the originals and have been painted black.

As David has the moulds, he can make more trays if anybody requires them. As the silicone rubber liquid is very expensive, he needs to charge £100 for the two trays plus postage. Contact details are:

wilkinsondavidandjudith(at)gmail.com [Please substitute @ for (at)].

XPAG Cylinder block detail

Paul Busby sent me the following two pictures. The first is of an old scrap block that was missing its main caps which Paul decided to bore out as a pre-preparatory run before linering his early banana block. You can see the additional horizontal stiffening ribs not present in round hole blocks. Must have been a pain for the pattern makers?

The second is of a scan of his banana block to get some dimensions for parts he has in mind to make. 

TF Thermostats and Radiator Caps

I have been in touch with Barrie Jones, of the ‘T’ Register of the MGCC about these items.

Regarding thermostats, whilst an illustration of the original bellows type is shown in the TD/TF workshop manual on Page A34, I hadn’t previously seen a picture.

Barrie has sent me one (below), which he had in his spares box, alongside a non-bellows replacement.

Following a question from a TF owner, which I couldn’t answer, I asked Barrie to explain the different applications of the three available temperature ‘stats’ (74, 82, and 88). Here’s the explanation….

“The temperature gauge was calibrated with 85C as the mid-point (normal) and the standard thermostat was 82 degrees.

In cold climates an 88 degree ‘stat’ could be fitted, whereas in hot climates the 74 degree gave a bit more leeway if you were stuck in a traffic jam.”

On radiator caps, Barrie pointed out that the TF is unique amongst the T-series models in having a pressurised cooling system. It originally used a LONG 4psi rad cap which raised the boiling point of plain water above 100C. If you also added 50% antifreeze, the coolant would cope with 112C before boiling.

Of the two caps available (4psi and 7psi) care needs to be exercised if choosing the latter. The water pump has a carbon gland that is likely to leak and fail if subjected to higher pressure than it was designed to take. Barrie suggests that you might get away with a 7psi cap with a new Racemettle pump, but not with the original pump.

Self-assembly garage kits

A warning to UK readers from Matt Sanders about these kits.

Picture taken before the UK storms of the third week in February.

Matt’s warning is as follows:

“Just a quick note to warn readers about self-assembly garage kits; there are some on the market that are not meeting current UKCA standards, I purchased one which was mis-sold as being strong, as you can see from the picture it is not!

It is now upside down and inside out in the picture. The company is being very obstructive and refuses to issue a refund and I have got Trading Standards onto the case after doing some research myself on the construction and materials aspects of these buildings.

For information, any metal building construction kit sold after 2015 must be CE marked or post 2021, show the new UKCA mark which replaces the CE mark.

Basically, these marks prove that the components in the product and the built kit is specified to a level of strength and performance and meets approved regulations.

Those not complying are being illegally sold.

There are some good products out there that meet the requirements, this wasn’t one of them!”

Max Verstappen in a TB?

Bob Lyell was sent this picture of Max Verstappen being paraded around the circuit before the start of the last Grand Prix in Dubai. Apparently in, (well almost in), a TB.

Mirror Resilvering

This is one for readers in the US, sent to me by Peter Hutchinson. Pete says:

“I bought a resilvering kit from Angel Gilding at https://angelgilding.com/re-silvering-old-mirrors/

They explained precisely how to bring a mirror back and I was able to restore several mirrors with the kit.  Easy and kind of fun, too.”

Fitting flashers along with LED bulbs (Comment on Ian Thomson’s article in Issue 70 (February 2022).

Walter Prechsl has commented that he is in full agreement with the modification on the torpedo lights (the 1130 conversion set, at the front) but for the D-lights he has another solution, since, with two bulb holders, there is little space in the D-housings.

Please see his photos below with COD-LED elements stuck and wired on a Pertinax board.

Walter says that if anybody wants more information, he is happy to be contacted at: walter(at)MG-passion.de [Please substitute @ for (at)]

Ed’s note: I contacted Ian and relayed Walter’s comments about his (Ian’s) D-light arrangement. Rather than me attempt to paraphrase I’ve published Ian’s response verbatim:

“Walter is right John and his way is arguably better than mine. The problem with my way of doing things is that two “bulbs”, or four light “units”, as I have done, is that space is at a premium and I am surprised that it is even possible.  This, unfortunately, creates a disadvantage, which I failed to mention, in that the bulbs are possibly just too near to the lenses to give an even spread of light across the whole of the glass. Walter’s method probably places the light elements far enough from the lens to avoid this.  I even modified my own front inserts to set the light slightly further back in the enclosures when I noticed it.  Perhaps I should have mentioned it.  Unfortunately, Walter’s method uses LED arrays which ask, I feel, just that little too much of the maker and cannot be easily replaced with an “off the shelf” bulb unit when it fails.  I think I made it clear in the piece that these were things which I was trying to avoid but maybe use will prove Walter’s method to be the best.”

Ethanoo !!!

No, not another diatribe on E10.   To me it’s even more worrying!  Let me explain.  The lady in doors who will be obeyed, suggested a new lawn mower.  For her to operate it needed certain essential parameters:- must be self-propelled, must have electric start and be fairly easy to control, i.e. not a great big solid cast iron lump.

So, M.G. not to my knowledge having made such a lawn mower, I was forced to look elsewhere.  After some deliberation I, sorry “we” decided on a suitable machine.  To save the firm’s blushes I will not name them – but think “spiders”.  This was supposedly a new model to their range and manufactured in the UK.  It fitted all the necessary specifications and appeared satisfactory to the Memsahib.  The new machine was duly delivered and after careful study of the manual was assembled by yours truly.  Now for the test drive.  This is where things get tricky.  Page 11 of the manual stated that ethanol fuel must NOT be used in the mower?????   Surely, since this was supposedly a “new” to the market machine it should be able to use ethanol fuel?

A quick call to the manufacturer really worried me.  I related the information contained in the manual to the lady from the Technical Department that it should not be used with ethanol fuel and that surely a modern engine ought to be able to do so.  The reply was and I quote…

“It means leaded fuel sir.  Ethanol is leaded petrol!!!!!!”

I tried to gently explain the difference and that to my knowledge “leaded” petrol had not been available in the UK for some years and that ethanol petrol was from 1st September the standard fuel sold at the pumps. I was asked to hold and was duly passed on to the Technical Manager.   Same story, ethanol is leaded petrol sir.  I asked if he drove a petrol car,  (desperately hoping it wasn’t an EV), when he said yes, I asked what fuel he used at the garage when he filled up.  He said regular petrol.  When I pointed out about E5 and E10 he said he knew nothing about that and insisted ethanol was leaded petrol.  A further discussion regarding changes to fuel availability in the UK from 1st September proved fruitless.

I ended the call – after all, I was paying – and tried a different tack.  I rang the agents who had supplied the mower and relayed the conversation to them.  They said they would get back to me.  To give them their due, they did!  They hadn’t got any further with the manufacturer either.  Indeed, they were as confused as I was.  The guy rang me back the following day and said that a lot of mower manufacturers used engines in their “new” models that had in fact been in production for some time and indeed could not run on ethanol fuel for any length of time without damage.  Their suggestion to customers was to use the mower then drain the fuel until the next time of use.  On no account to leave fuel in the mower over the winter.

Luckily, we T Typers, know that Esso supreme plus is – at least for the moment ethanol free and expensive as it is; that’s what my mower gets.  Actually, I pinch it out of the TD.  For some reason I did not feel inclined to pass this information on to the manufacturer.  But there we have it, folks.  Ethanol is most definitely “leaded petrol”!!

Reminiscences of owning an MG TC

I have owned my 1949 MG TC since 1967 – buying it with help from my mother when I was only 16, before I even had a driving licence. The seller, a maths teacher at school wanted £100. When my father saw the car, it was in such a poor state he managed to negotiate a price of £60. This does not sound a lot now, but remember a new Mini only cost £497. A Mini now costs £16,605 which means in today’s terms, my “clapped out” TC cost nearly £2,000.

Working as a labourer for my father, we stripped, repaired and made the TC roadworthy. With no money left, nothing was done to the clapped-out engine. I brush painted the body work with coach paint. I am sure you can imagine how proud I felt rolling up at my halls of residence for my second year at University in an M.G. sports car.

It is hard to imagine now, but when the TC was built it really was a supercar. Even in the 1970s it outperformed many other cars on the road. Having one at university really was a status symbol, regardless of its condition.

I have two memories of how good the TC’s performance was.

The first involved a rather hair-raising trip for my passenger. With so few students owning cars, whenever we went anywhere, those who had cars were “pressed” into action. On this trip we were driving from Manchester to Buxton, following the very drivable route through Whaley Bridge. I was at the front in my TC, a friend with 4 up following in his 1500 cc, 59 BHP, 3 speed, 1.1 ton Volvo Amazon. (BTW: my friends Volvo did not look like the red car in the picture. It had more rust on it).

On that day it was raining and misty. Through my rather opaque rear window I could see the Volvo right up behind me; in my view, too close for comfort. As we got onto the derestricted roads, I accelerated. To my horror, the Volvo was still ‘glued to my rear’. Under these circumstances, what would you expect a 20 year-old student with an MG ‘super car’ to do? Yes, I went faster and faster trying to shake off the Volvo. All to no avail.

When we got to Whaley Bridge, I stopped at the re-arranged rendezvous, and leapt out of my car with the intention of giving my friend a few “choice” words about following too close in wet conditions. However, there was no Volvo parked behind me, nor did it arrive for another 15 minutes. All that had been following me so closely was an autumn leaf stuck to my rear window!

When my friend eventually arrived, he said “you rather shot off, didn’t you?” When I told him about the leaf all he sarcastically said was “Oh yes, I believe you!” Despite this we are still friends. To make matters worse, I had to apologise to my rather white looking passenger. Travelling at speed in an old M.G. over wet Pennine roads with their accompanying drops and occasional “twitches” from the back-end was too much for him – an experience made worse by the warning screwed onto the dash next to the grab handle. It stated “Persons travelling in this vehicle do so at their own risk” and was on the car when I bought it. He did not accompany me as a passenger again!

Not only was a TC much faster, the balance of the car is superb.

The second memory of the TC’s good performance in handling terms dates from the time when I decided a course on the skid pan at the bus depot in Manchester would be a good experience. When I got there my TC joined a line-up of other cars. A Morris Oxford, Ford Anglia (the one with the sloping back window), Hillman Minx and 10 or so similar cars. All traditional rear wheel drive. Only the Mini stood out. Needless to say, all the cars were on cross ply tyres.

The skid pan was a small looking section of smooth, wetted tarmac in the middle of the cobbled bus parking area. As I was leaving, I found the cobbles gave less grip than the skid pan, but that is a different story. On the skid pan was a line of cones marking out a sharp corner.

The instructor told us that it was important we experienced what it was like to be in a skidding vehicle. To this end, he said, he would go with each one of us in turn and we should drive around the marked-out corner at 10mph. No more! He told us that as we were going around the corner, he would pull on the hand-brake. Looking at the Mini he said, I hope I can get this to skid.

First on was the Morris Oxford. It completed a fine pirouette. Considerably more than 360 degrees, as did all the other cars. Even the Mini achieved nearly a full 360 degrees. When my turn came, I approached the corner at 10MPH and on came the handbrake. The problem was the TC did not spin. It just turned the corner and slid sideways. “Humm”, said the instructor “that was no good.” Try it again at 15MPH. This time we managed just over a 90 degree rotation and slid quite a long way sideways. “Ok”, he said, “one more time, go as fast as you can before you get to the corner. It’s important to get the car to spin around.”

By taking a decent run at it, I managed to get up to 25MPH before hitting the sharp corner. This time the instructor managed a 180 degree rotation so we ended up facing the way we had come. However, we had now skidded off the skid pan and half way across the yard!

The reason for the TC’s impeccable handling is because the chassis is so well balanced. With the driver and passenger in the car, the centre of gravity is just behind the centre of the wheel base. As a result, there is very little force to cause it to rotate. When it skids, the back wheels go, soon followed by the front. The car slides sideways rather than skidding around. At the time, the only other cars with such well-balanced chassis were the mid-engined Ferraris and one that was often referred to as the “Bread Van”, the Lotus Europa (the yellow car in the picture).

The MG TC really was a super car of its era!

Paul Ireland

Thank you to Martin Franklin, who sent me this some time ago. Coincidentally, the day I imported this to TTT 2 I had spent a frustrating hour trying to fit new brake shoes to my J2. The shoes have fiddly little springs front and back and three hands are needed – no amount of cursing helps……!

TF and Y Series replacement clocks

The TF clock is a totally different design than the TC/TD, as it has extended concentric shafts which go through the speedo. The actual clock dial is an integral part of the speedo face. This proved to be a challenge indeed. Nobody has successfully built replacement working clocks for the TF or the Y-series that I am aware of. Fig. 1 shows how the clock is designed. A laser cut metal mounting plate which matches the hole pattern of the clock mounting screws has two locating pins that centres the stepping motor. The concentric shafts are made flexible to minimize friction as stepper motors are low torque motors.

The TF speedo must be removed from the dashboard in order to fit the clock. It also requires removal of the glass and the retaining bezel, as the hands can only be positioned from the front of the speedo. The clock comes with a spare pair of hands.

The clock uses the same driving circuit as the TC and TD clocks.

A sponge rubber seal that goes between speedo glass and retaining ring is also included in the clock kit.

Clock + driving module
Price 85 Euros

Declan Burns
Liedberger Weg 6A
40547 Düsseldorf
Germany
declan underscore burns at web dot de

A rare axle fracture on my MG TC 0976

In the previous issue, Chris Parkhurst recounted how he had the same problem. Fortunately, Chris discovered the weakness before going out on the road – Manfred wasn’t so lucky…..

“It was a nice summer evening in June 2010 and I was just starting the engine to move forward at a green traffic light, when suddenly, with a loud bang, the left backside sagged downwards and stopped.

Obviously, my surprised face at this situation amused the already watching passers-by, but fortunately some people, who couldn’t watch this agony helped to lift the car at the rear and pushed it to the side of the road.

First everyone skillfully examined the car, and soon it was obvious that the axle was ripped off and that I would not be able to continue my journey.

After a break in a nearby Ice-cream café the service car arrived and took us home, luckily only a few miles.

Manfred’s TC on the tow-truck – note the rear nearside wheel jammed tight under the wing.

But what had happened?

The perforated connecting element had ripped of between the leaf spring bracket and the axle tube (see red lines in picture). Because of this the car sagged down so far that the back wheel rested on the upper side of the rear wing. The wheel was blocked and the car could not roll anymore.”

Another ‘pic’ of the damage – leaf spring has dropped due to the fracture.

(Having returned home and assessed the damage, Manfred continues the story) …………

“So, I demounted the rear axle and welded new and more solid panels on both sides of it to be sure. While I was working on this problem, I noticed that it must have been an old fracture, which had developed continuously.  You could see corrosion on the surface of the fracture.

Also, the original weld seam had been executed very sparingly, maybe they had to save money on this part of the production back in 1946? Only in the book TCs Forever I could find a similar accident, seems like they had the same issue.”

More substantial plates have been welded in and a recurrence is now extremely unlikely.

(Having completed the welding, Manfred turned his attention to the rebound hoops – ‘catch brackets’ as he calls them…………)

“In the process of reassembling everything I asked myself why the catch bracket caught neither the axle nor hindered the blocking of the back wheel- since this is what it is supposed to do.

Actually, the catch bracket is 4cm too long (see above picture, more than 7cm) so it is not able to catch the rear axle before the back wheel blocks in the rear wing! Which guy measured this?

If the axle fracture had happened at higher speed, it would have been a really dangerous situation!

I could not bear thinking about this and for a while I did not want to drive the car any more.

Hence, I shortened both catch brackets to about 4cm (see above pic) so that in normal condition a gap of approximately 7.5 cm is still maintained, this is about the space which the wheel still has in the wheel arch.

Maybe I should have shortened the brackets by another 1 cm, however they should now fulfill their task in a case of emergency and catch the axle.

Then it would still be possible to hobble home, though considerately lowered and without suspension…and maybe this would prevent an accident with serious consequences as well.”

Manfred Brausem (Germany)

Ed’s note: David Heath has suggested U-bolts. The axle is 2 1/8inch dia and the bolts would have to be about 9 inches long, thread, either original or modern with nylock nuts? 

BUCKET SEATS for an MG T-TYPE                                                                         

by Stanley Daamen, Netherlands, (member # 1508).

When the restoration of my MG TC was completed in 1980, I restored it to its original state as it was once delivered by the MG Abingdon factory in 1947. The only extra accessories at the time were a set of Brooklands Racing screens because I loved them when the windshield of my TC was folded down. Since this five-year restoration, I have won many national and international concourses with my MG. In 1990 I was even presented with the prize from Jean Kimber Cook, the daughter of MG Car Company founder Cecil Kimber. She was then present in the Netherlands during an international MGCC event and had brought ‘Old Number One’, the car built in 1924 to her father’s instructions for use on the 1925 Land’s End Trial.  This of course offered an ideal opportunity to take a picture with this unique MG together with my own TC.

Stanley’s TC3392 with ‘Old Number One’ (1990)

But during long holiday trips through the French or Italian Alps, I started to get annoyed by the fact that the TC XPAG engine was not very powerful, and that the seats were not very comfortable either. On the winding mountain roads, you shifted from side to side for hours and I could still hold on to the steering wheel, but my wife almost pulled the grab handle off the dashboard. I had already made a self-built center armrest for a number of years after a design from an old American MG folder (pictured below); this part was marketed as an accessory in the late 1940s. This modification already offered more support on winding roads and it also offered some extra storage space because the lid could be opened with a hinge.

Ed’s note: For the benefit of readers who subscribe to a printed copy and may have difficulty in reading the text of the advertisement, it reads as follows:

This beautifully upholstered center armrest provides support for driver and passenger. Instantly mounted in place, or detached, it is finished in a dull black to harmonize with all interiors. The hinged top opens to reveal a spacious, fabric lined glove compartment. A chromium plated positive closing ash receiver is mounted within easy reach on the front of the unit. Made solely for use on the TC model MG.

Stanley’s central armrest (minus the chromium plated positive closing ash receiver!). This was made and fitted before the acquisition of the bucket seats.

Personally, I have always been a fan of time period accessories and adjustments. But my opinion is that a TC should always look like a TC, because this model is super beautiful. I will never mount cycle wings and a rollbar on my TC, these are too striking accessories.

Around the year 2000 I started to change a number of things on my MG to make it faster, safer and more comfortable. The engine was tuned to a stage 2 level with 1½” SU carburettors. An improved profile camshaft was mounted together with bigger valves, and an extractor manifold system from Peter Edney. I also improved the steering by applying Michael Sherrell’s idea from the book TCs Forever. I fitted new Alfin Brake Drums, and the lighting was greatly improved with Lucas Tripod lenses and Halogen lamps.

After that I ordered the new MG K3 style bucket seats in England by the Company Compound Curvatures from Nottingham. They produce, among other things, the replica body components for a MG K3 replica or a Q type. The owner, Ray Pettet also made for me a special air inlet that I designed myself. Because I had mounted ram pipes on the larger carburettors, the front carburetor hit the bonnet side and this didn’t give good airflow. I applied this streamlined air inlet to a spare right-hand bonnet side that I still had in stock. The whole thing looks very good after spraying, especially because the stainless steel mesh is of the same type that is now in front of the radiator. While driving you get extra pressure on the carburettors, which in turn produces extra horsepower.

Above: Close-up view of the air intake on Stanley’s TC. Below: The air intake shown on the car.

But now back to the bucket seats; some adjustments are needed to adjust the seating comfort to your personal taste.

The bucket seats fitted to Stanley’s TC prior to being upholstered.

Here are a few tips if you want to mount these bucket seats in your MG T-Type. You actually only buy the steel frame; the bucket seats still need to be upholstered. I did notice that the backrest is a bit too straight when the chair with the slide is flat on the bottom. Personally, I like to sit slightly back with the backrest. This has been adapted again by installing long hardwood wedges between the seats and the slides. This will raise them about 1½” higher at the front. It also gives you more support for the thighs. However, it also has a disadvantage in that the space between the steering wheel and your thighs becomes a bit smaller…… but by mounting a 15.5″ Brooklands steering wheel this problem is also solved.

The seats are also very narrow, but they are only available in one size, so I made them slightly wider with the help of a jack. Then I tested the seat height and comfort with various types of foam rubber. After this they were covered with leather by my favorite upholsterer in South Limburg. This company has been making new upholstery and convertible tops for decades, especially for MG club members. Most of the new types of leather he uses are actually too smooth in texture, which is nice in a modern car, but not in a classic MG. Fortunately, he still had a roll of original Connolly leather in stock in beige and enough to upholster the seats. The shade of beige matched the piping of the dashboard and the side panels perfectly. After a few months, my bucket seats were ready and having mounted them in my TC, I made the first test drives. I immediately noticed a great improvement in seating comfort.

The seat cushion has been made removable, which makes it easy when it needs to be cleaned. But due to the disappearance of the original backrest, the possibility to mount the tonneau rail on which the tonneau cover is mounted also disappeared. To overcome this, I initially clamped a loose round bar behind the seats between the body, but this was not a good solution because it quickly came loose. Also, during braking, loose luggage parts fell forward because the backrest which normally would have prevented this was no longer there.

I then cut a flat plywood sheet to size to serve as a plate to shield the luggage compartment. It fits exactly between the wheel arches. However, about 1 inch of space should be left at the top of both sides for the hood frame when folded down. This plate was then covered with black carpet fabric and secured at the bottom with two corner profiles. The top can be attached with the original seat adjustors. The tonneau rail can also be mounted on this. This adjustment has provided my wife and me with extra seating comfort for many years during long holiday trips in the south of Europe. I did, however, keep the original TC bench seats I once bought from Mike Collingburn in England in my storage room. So, if I ever sell my TC the next owner can rebuild it back to the original factory specification.

A good example of a ‘hairpin’ bend on an Italian mountain pass.

Ed’s note: K3 style bucket seats (designed by Steve) are available from Steve Baker in burgundy, green and tan/brown leather.

The following details have been lifted from Steve’s website https://www.stevebakermg.co.uk

These seats are slightly wider than they might have been in the 30s, reflecting the changing shape of the modern enthusiast.

They measure approximately 41cm wide, 49cm from the front to the rear of the squab 60cm tall and 59cm deep from front to back (as the rear leans at a slight angle).

These seats are made to order and lead times can vary depending on our trimmer’s workload, please contact us for more details and colour samples.

TC2851: a well-used and much-loved car from Sweden

Tommy Lyngborn, who edits MGCC Sweden’s magazine MG Bulletinen kindly offered me this article to reprint in TTT 2. It originally appeared in the MG Bulletinen in 2018 and was written by Susanna Press, daughter of the late Gunnar Press. Tommy supplied the pictures.

Mr Google has made a translation” says Tommy and your editor has done his best to interpret in one or two places where it appears that the meaning has been “lost” in the translation.

“In the autumn of 1954, my father, Gunnar Press, replaced his Triumph 1800 Roadster with this MG TC, model year 1947. He then became the fourth owner of the car. The first one I think was Harald Johnsson and eventually the car ended up with Lennart Sundin. Among other things, Lennart co-founded Stockholm’s MG Club in the fifties.

Dad took a practical and realistic approach to things with no illusions or pretentions, and so it was with his car. His motto was that the car was for use and not to be renovated unnecessarily. Many times, he even complained that he had to repaint the top of the hood after all the washing and polishing had worn through the paint over the years. Otherwise, the paintwork is completely original like everything else, from the worn upholstery to the not completely clean engine. The slightly odd paintwork, with black as the base and Regency Red as the decorative color along the body sides and on the ribs in the grill, is actually original even though it was not added at the factory. TC no. 2851 is one of three TC cars that were already repainted as new by Förenade Bil in Malmö (which had the agency for MG at the time) with sides and rear in Regency Red – probably to make them easier to sell. Of the three cars, this is the only one that has its original paintwork left – insofar as there is something left of it. If you look at the upper edge of the door on the driver’s side, you see how the elbow has first worn through the burgundy, then the black and finally the primer.

The bare paintwork underneath has oxidized a little, but as Dad said: “You wear it off with your arm if you drive a lot”.

Nice original upholstery, which has obviously done a few kilometers’’!

Driving a lot is something that Gunnar did with the TC during the first years; the car was used as an all-the-year-round car and was driven daily from the home in Bromma to the workplace inside Banérgatan in Stockholm. According to dad, the car went almost by itself on Strandvägen. During all the years Dad had the car, it is probably only a few summers that it has not been used. In the late 1960s, Mum and Dad drove through Europe. Wherever they went, people applauded. They felt like kings! At the border between Italy and France, they were stopped by a Customs official. He told them to stop the car. They did not understand a word of what he said, he disappeared but came back after a while. He had just been inside and picked up the camera.
They also had time for a trip through the Swiss Alps for summer skiing. Of course, they took the rental skis with them in the car. The journey went on narrow serpentine roads. It went, although it was a bit worrying considering the brake shoes.

In 1974, they took the car and went in one go the 900 kilometers up to Gammelstad.

Once the crankshaft was broken, but otherwise everything on the car has worked all the time. Wonderful is the story of when the petrol pump broke down on the way to Norrtälje and dad managed to fix it with a toothpick. It worked so well that he forgot to fix it permanently and drove around with a toothpick in the pump for several months.

Riding in the MG with dad was the best thing there was. To be transported to school in the TC – hard to beat! How proud I felt! I remember once when my father would drive me to Dalarö, how urgent we were to catch the ferry to Ornö. I had never been driven so fast before, or for that matter after, in the TC. There we were up in 110-120 kph. Then it went away. But we he!

Dad passed away in October 2016. Selling the car was of course unthinkable – never! – it’s part of dad.
Only Dad drove the car (mum had to get her own MGA), and few things have felt as cohesive as dad and his MG. So it was not without a certain tremor that I would sit behind the wheel for the first time. Luckily, I got both help and pep from Christer Ekermann and Anders Fredén before the first tour. The car was surprisingly easy to manoeuvre and if you just concentrate and bite together, you get the TC to keep up with today’s traffic rhythm.

How wonderful it is to take a ride with the TC! Each time we go out, we say: “Oh how well it goes”. Although it is clear, sometimes it does not work at all. During my first summer of 2017 with the TC, the petrol pump definitely stopped on the Traneberg Bridge. Uphill. In rush hour traffic. It was a tow truck the last bit home to Bromma.

This summer we have traveled many miles together, me and the TC. Freshly lubricated with new oil in the gearbox, rear axle and engine, it goes so well, so well. It is pure joy to ride in the TC, and I know how happy Dad would be that the car has been used so often.

Above: Susanna driving Gunnar’s TC. Below: Susanna driving, with her mum, who drives an MGA, as passenger. The transfer, forward of the door handle is a MGCC transfer, which was sent as a separate picture, but has not been reproduced.

Ed’s note: I have not used all of the pictures that were in the original article from the MG Bulletinen and I have not laid out the article as it appeared in the Bulletinen, but I hope that Susanna will forgive me for this, due in part to my lack of IT skills – you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! …certainly not this old dog!

Fitting a modern high output heater to a TC

As regular readers may know, I am rebuilding TC 10030 to be as usable as possible.  From the outset I decided to fit a heater, in the hope that I might be more inclined to use the car when low temperatures would probably dictate otherwise.  The car came to me with a hood frame and some decrepit side screens, so I have invested in some new coverings; again, in the belief that together with a heater, the miserable British weather will be less of a disincentive.

The decision as to what type of heater – and where to put it – was virtually made for me.  While I could have gone down the traditional route of fitting an Arnolt or Smiths ‘vintage’ type under the dash, I chose to get a modern high output heater (supplied by Car Builder Solutions) and mount it discretely in the tool box.  As the measurements were a perfect fit – and seeing as the floor of the box had rotted through anyway – it seemed logical to use what was left as a housing for the heater.

Two views of the heater supplied by Car Builder Solutions.

Above: heater positioned in toolbox Below: underside of heater through ‘floor’ of toolbox.

Showing pipework connections from heater.

Having positioned the heater, I sourced enough of the correct rubber hose to connect it to the cooling system. I carefully researched the topic and studied the many different approaches to routing.  One of the difficulties, it seemed to me, was making a neat job of it – so I devised a route that concealed as much pipe work as possible.  I decided the ‘take-off’ would be at the back of the cylinder head and by a stroke of good fortune, Declan Burns (Germany) has produced a stainless steel plate with a heater outlet (see pic) that easily replaced the original steel cover.

From the cylinder head ‘take-off’, a short length of copper tubing – incorporating a service valve – passes through a grommeted hole in the bulkhead to be joined by a length of rubber hose that terminates at a vertical section of copper pipe that passes – via a driver operated service valve – through a grommeted hole in the former tool box where it is connected to the heater inlet.

The return flow is via another short length of copper tubing, connected to a rubber hose, which I have taken down the corner of the scuttle where it is secured by home-made stainless-steel clips as shown in the photo. The hose leaves the cabin at the floor where it passes inside the off-side chassis rail until it emerges by the radiator. At this point it is connected to the bottom hose via another service valve.

Other systems utilise the by-pass pipe but I see no benefit from it… 

1) With the original type of ‘bellows’ thermostat the bypass is blocked when the thermostat opens. 

2) With a modern wax stat type thermostat, the opening is greatly reduced and only really operational before the thermostat fully opens, so probably not enough flow for the heater.

The heater came with a three-position fan speed.  I have added a fuse and earthed it positive ground. 

Finally, the controller switch will replace the slow running adjuster on the switch panel but use the original knurled knob.

 The car has yet to be finished but I am hopeful that (with the up-rated water pump) the heater will work O.K… but should it not be a success, I have made no changes that cannot easily be reversed if need be.  

Ray White (member # 879)