Category Archives: Issue 78 (June 2023)

Bits & Pieces

Geoff Fletcher and his TC8365

There have been some previous reports in TTT 2 of Geoff’s TC restoration.

Geoff had a serious set-back when a radiator shell he sent to a plating company (which better remain nameless) was completely ruined. Geoff was devastated and for a while all work on the restoration was paused. Over to Geoff………………….

“Back on that restoration again, I picked up my now expertly repaired and chromed grill from Allmetalpolishing-Classic of Hull, what a job he has made of that damaged grill of mine (severely damaged by a previous chrome plating company). He’s a real nice guy to deal with and I would be very happy to recommend his services to anybody. I had thought it was unrepairable but this guy did is best and made an excellent job of it, one or two tiny blemishes but considering how bad it was it’s a great finish. I picked it up just over a week ago and I have included a couple of photos with the grill fitted, with a section of bonnet is laid on just to check the fit. I did take a couple photos minus bonnet section but the ones with bonnet in place came out better than the ones without. I should be able to make steady progress now and will update you has I proceed.”

Allmetalpolishing of Kingston-upon-Hull is run by ‘Polish Pete’

“Little and Large” or is it “Large and Little”?

Carl Grady sent me this picture of his 1930 Model A Ford Coupe and his TA. The TA is TA1795, which Carl has decided to sell (he may have sold it by now). Here’s a larger picture of the TA.

If that’s a Triumph Herald Coupe in the background, I haven’t seen one in ages.

Carl can be contacted at gradycm60(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)].

More cars For Sale

I bought this 1947 TC in 1984 in a semi derelict/dismantled condition. Stripped it completely to the bare chassis which was dimensionally checked, shot blasted and painted. The body tub was stripped of all metal paneling, all rotten wood was replaced, retaining as much original wood as possible. Preservative treated & re skimmed in aluminium including the doors. The four wings, scuttle top, bonnet, petrol tank & front apron are original steel having undergone much refurbishment.

The interior is dark blue leather (collingburn) with black duck hood, side screens and full length tonneau cover (individual, matching bucket seats fitted).

The car was re licensed, MOT’d & put back on the road in May 2003 (the first time since 1963). Has original registration number.

Specification: Chassis, Running Gear

Springs: Front, New, fitted with two extra top leaves (ie. Lowering the front by approx ½“) No 2 leaves thicker. Polybushed rear shackles. Bushed front eye.

Rear: Retempered and set, No. 2 leaf thicker, locating washers either side of the front silent blocks, rear shackles polybushed.

Shocks: Telescopic front & rear 1950’s conversion kit.

Back Axle: ‘Phil Marino USA’, tapered, keyed, threaded high tensile half shafts, hubs taper bored & keyed to suit, sealed bearings, machined & shimmed bearing carriers, bearing locking rings incorporating oil seals (ie. Dry rear brakes) diff ratio 4.2:1 Hypoid, all taper roller bearings.

Front Axle: Straightened, all angles jig checked. New kingpins & bushes, shimmed thrust washers, stub axles inserted with new high tensile shafts. Hub bearings opposed taper rollers, pre-loaded with shimmed spacers.

Steering; Datsun type 140/141, re circulating ball, solid shaft steering box and column, panhard rod/hydraulic steering damper, heavy duty rod end track rods. Rod end anti tramp bars fitted.

Brakes: Front double leading shoe (TD/F/YB) with cooling air scoops and exit holes, front & rear Datsun (240/260 Z) Aluminium finned drums, Goodrich high pressure hoses. MGB remote servo and hydraulic brake light switch.

Wheels: 15” x 5.5J centre laced, 60 spoke fitted with 15” x 185 radial tyres. Powder coated silver.

Engine: Wolseley 4/44 XPAW (round water hole), block number 30029, over bored plus 140” giving 1380 cc, pistons solid skirt, 3 ring ‘aerolite’ USA. Dip stick repositioned as TC. Lip seals front & back.

Crank: Late type (forging number 168557) mains .010” journals .010”, glacier shells, end float .004”. High tensile con rod bolts, Allen cap head small end clamp bolts. All Loctite sealed.

Fly Wheel: Lightweight, windowed, steel, ‘spider’ 120 tooth ring. Allen cap head bolts, wired.

Clutch: 7½ inch diaphragm, ¾ inch diameter clutch operating shaft. Ball bearing clutch release.

Camshaft: Crane part number 340-0010, three quarter grind, adjustable timing sprocket set at 105 degrees. New bucket type followers, standard size (STD) new bearings.

Head: Laystall aluminium (dated 1953), large valve, bronze guides, short springs, aluminium spacer, metro guide top oil seals, 32mm chamber capacity, 10.4:1 compression ratio (block pocketed to clear), ported & balanced.

Induction/Exhaust: Derrington 4 into 2 into 1 extractor, incorporating inlet, 2 x 1½ inch SU/s, heat shield, spacers, K & N cone filters with stub stacks, air scoop intake on bonnet side, straight through large bore exhaust.

Lubrication: Large capacity 10 ½ pint TF sump, central pick up, baffled front/back, side/side with oil temp take off. Late type, horizontal combined oil pump/filter with auto priming, fitted with thermostatically controlled oil cooler adapter, taking a disposable oil filter cannister, Oil cooler radiator under the front apron, large, 20 P.S.I. oil warning light to dashboard.

Balancing: Con rods, end to end, pistons & crank separately, crank, fly wheel, clutch, sprocket, pulley & dog all balanced as a unit & marked.

Distributor: Electronic, negative earth, coil to suit, advance curve to suit camshaft/engine specification (calibrated/engineered by H&H).

Cooling:  New water pump, XPAW Pulley, plastic multi blade fan, expansion tank pressurised at 4 P.S.I. Smiths re circulating type interior heater fitted.

Gearbox: Ford type 9 five speed, all syncro having uprated first gear ratio of 2.89 (3.65) also heavy duty layshaft/laygear, large roller modification giving overall ratios of 2.89, 1.97, 1.37, 1.00, 0.82. Drain plug added.

Additional: Battery re located to rear (as TA/B), master cut off switch fitted, new wiring loom, everything independently earthed, high level brake/rear lights & flashing indicators, air horns, reversing light, rear fog light, brake light behind the spare wheel, all period Lucas 494. Matching 7” period Lucas fog and ‘flame thrower’ spotlights. Anti-run on valve, aluminium rocker box. Luggage rack. Solid state negative earth FACET petrol pump. ‘Filter King’ pressure regulator set at 2.5 P.S.I. Sat Nav/Mobile phone charger socket. Hi Torque Starter Motor.  90 BHP   CRUISE AT 70/75 MPH at just under 4000 RPM.

The car is located in West Yorkshire.

Please contact Ron Ward 07790 458386.

1947 TC (ex-Len Goff)

This is TC 2870 located in Northamptonshire. Details from Melanie at melmoss61(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)].

Difficulty in getting hydraulic pressure when bleeding brakes.

Having renewed the master cylinder and all the wheel cylinders on my TF, I was having difficulty with getting pressure to remain at the brake pedal. I could pump the pedal and get pressure at the pedal, but the pressure didn’t last. Having stopped pumping and got acceptable pressure, when I came to pump again, the pressure was gone until I started pumping again.

My friendly ‘old fashioned’ garage man came to my rescue with a device he calls ‘the dead man’.

The idea is that you pump the pedal and get some pressure and then you position one end of the ‘dead man’ against the pedal and wedge the bar of the ‘dead man’ against the driver’s seat and leave it in position overnight. The next picture should help to illustrate this.

Still not clear? This short video might help:

Just to explain my use of the term ‘old fashioned’ as it applies to my garage man (Phil). As regards technical knowledge he is far from ‘old fashioned’ and could give some of these ‘whiz-kids’ a good run for their money. For example, he has made it his business to understand modern car wiring systems. He will always go the extra mile to sort out any car problem and nothing defeats him. A true legend!


The pistons and connecting rods can be withdrawn from below, after dropping the sump. The first series of engines, up to and including engine number MPJG 696, were fitted with pistons having four rings, the two upper rings being plain compression rings, the third a slotted scraper ring, and the bottom a stepped ring located by a peg: take care when re-fitting this type of piston that the bottom ring does not ride on the peg.

Later engines are fitted with pistons carrying two compression rings and a slotted oil scraper. The clearance of the first type of piston should be .004 in. below the top rings, at 90 deg. to the gudgeon pin. The later pistons require a clearance of .0024 in. Take care on reassembling either type that the gudgeon-pin clamping bolt is on the offside of the engine – otherwise oil-spray hole drilled in the upper half of the big-end bearing will not register correctly to ensure lubrication of the cylinder bores.

The big-ends cannot be taken up, re-metalled rods are obtainable from the factory and can be bolted up without hand fitting.

Beehive springs

These little ‘critters’ were featured in Issue 63.

They fit between the rear brake shoes and the backplate on the TF (and, I think, the later TD) to stop lateral movement. They are a devil’s own job to fit, but I managed to fit three of the four when renewing the brake cylinders on my TF.

The fourth one utterly defeated me and I had to call on Phil (garage man) to fit it for me.

I previously thought that I had found the solution to fit these springs (see below) but it turned out to be ineffective.

Steel gaskets (and nitrile bonded cork gaskets) for the tappet chest side plate.

In the APRIL issue, I said the following:

I think we have probably now satisfied the demand for this ‘mod’ which was introduced by Paul Ireland back in December 2020. I have only 4 kits left, so if you need a set, please be quick. I have studiously wrapped and sent out dozens and dozens and I could do with a rest…what’s rest?

How hopelessly wrong could I have been! Following publication of the April issue, the orders started rolling in. Unsure as to whether the momentum would continue, I ordered another 20 kits (20 steel plates and 40 nitrile bonded cork gaskets). Within a couple of days of ordering I quickly realized that 20 kits would not be sufficient, so I increased the order to 30 kits. I think the suppliers (the steel from Norfolk and the nitrile bonded cork from Sheffield) must think I am slightly mad!

Well, all those kits are now sold and there is a waiting list, which at the time of writing this (31st May) numbers 12 people. I now need to decide on how many more kits to order and it is a balancing act between satisfying demand and not having them left on my hands.

On balance, I will take the plunge and order another 30 kits. If you would like a set, please send an email to jj(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)] and I will let you have payment options.

The bad news is that both suppliers have increased prices (just like everything else in the UK) and I had to charge £14.00 (up from £12.50) [which is barely enough] for the last order. I cannot envisage the price increasing again in such a short time span.

Good old Postman Pat has also increased his prices (up from £3.35 to £3.49) but the ‘Small Parcel’ up to 2kg weight is an important item for Royal Mail in the fiercely contested parcels market, so I guess they have pegged the increase to the minimum.

Having told you the bad news, the good news is that whilst I am still waiting for a couple of payments, it looks as though I’ll be able to send Paul Ireland £130 from the sale of the last lot of kits towards his project to help with children’s education in a couple of schools in Tanzania.

DVDs ‘Supercharging the XPAG’ and ‘Getting the most from your XPAG/XPEG’ (PAL VERSION)

I’d like to sell these two DVDs. They are new, having never been opened. The ‘Supercharging the XPAG’ DVD is by Steve Baker from a presentation he delivered at the MGCC ‘Rebuild’ event back in 2013. The ‘Getting the most from your XPAG/XPEG’ DVD is by George Edney from a presentation he delivered at the same event.

I am asking £3 for each DVD (which is half price), plus £1 UK postage, total £4 for each one. If you buy the two, you can have them both for £5 plus £2 UK postage, total £7.

Contact details are as for the tappet side plate kits.

DVD ‘Inside the Octagon 2’

This DVD (in PAL version) is lightly used, and plays perfectly. It relates the story of the MG Car Company from post-war up to the closure of the Factory in 1980. Includes interviews with key personnel. Running time is approx. 88 minutes in colour and black and white. £5 inclusive of UK postage. Contact details are as for the tappet side plate kits.

The GWT9A or 11 or 13 battery from Lucas.

The following has been received from PeterPichler:

“Many of the BMC cars of the ’50s employed the GWT9A or 11 or 13 battery from Lucas. 

I would very much like to converse with someone in the UK, that is familiar with this class of Lucas battery. 

Here in Canada, there is now absolutely no one that actually used this battery at one time and frankly, there probably are less than a dozen people in the USA that could conduct a technical discussion about this battery. 

There is a dearth of published documentation from Lucas on this topic, surprisingly – very much unlike Lucas!

My interest in this matter is for purposes of being able to reproduce this battery, under Lucas trademark licensing, to the best of my ability. 

If you are able to provide me some contacts in the UK, or even in any of the former British colonies, that may start the ball rolling, I would very dearly appreciate such feedback.” peter(at)

[Please substitute @ for (at)].

MG TC Heat Shield

The following notes were written some time ago by Barrie Jones of the MGCC T Register:

“Due to the different characteristics of modern fuel, many classic MG TCs suffer from hot restart problems because:

  • The float chambers are located too close to the exhaust manifold, and
  • The float chambers need to be shielded from the heat radiated by the manifold

I have therefore designed this heat shield kit specifically for the MG TC.

My heat shield is made from 0.9mm thick polished stainless steel, accurately cut with a laser. It is then folded to align closely with the exhaust manifold.

The highly polished surface is not just decorative, it reflects the heat radiated by the exhaust manifold (unlike some other heat shields that are faced with asbestos and absorb the heat).

To move the float chambers further from the manifold, this kit includes a pair of 12mm thick spacers made from alloy and machine-cut using water jet technology. These spacers are fitted before the heat shield. They move the air intake manifold away from the air filter by about 12mm, but the original sliding joint and jubilee clip should accommodate this.

You will find that the original 4 bolts holding the filter assembly to the carburetters are too short. I have had reports that you should use 2 bolts and 2 studs. Fortunately, the threads are compatible with modern metric bolts (10 x 1.5mm metric). You will also require a total of 6 standard carburetter gaskets to fit this kit.

This kit will also fit the MG TD so long as you are not using the original air filter and inlet trumpet.”

When Barrie stopped supplying these kits, he sent me some shields and spacers and I have since ordered new stock. The shields I have had produced are exactly the same, but I could not get the alloy spacers made to an acceptable price, so they are now made from steel.

The price of the shields is £16 and the spacers are £5 each, so total is £26 plus £3.49 postage. You will need to source your own fixings and carburetter gaskets.

The kit will not fit if the engine has been moved forward. [jj(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)]

PS: Here’s another pic of the heat shield:

Lost & Found

TA2279  (JMP 25)

Lloyd Yates is enquiring about this car which his father used to own. It comes up from the DVLA search facility, but is on SORN. The date of the last V5C is March 2005.

The only pictures that Lloyd has ever seen of the car were on calendars; one of the front of the car and one of the rear. These somehow turned up at his father’s work address by complete coincidence. Lloyd sent me a photo, but I am wary of reproducing it because it is from todo coleccion I did email them for permission to reproduce, but I didn’t receive a reply.

If anyone has information as to its whereabouts, Lloyd at charliesgsi(at) would be pleased to hear from you. [Please substitute @ for (at)].

TB0615 (JP 4737)

The following from Peter Jennings, who sent these two delightful photos, the first from the 50s or 60s.

“I would be really interested in hearing if anybody has any early history of MG TB 0615 – JP 4737.  It was completed after war started in October 1939, but not registered until 17 April 1941.  I purchased her 15 July 2021 from a friend (Henry Brookes), who had owned her since 2010, having passed through Terry Bone’s hands briefly.  Between 1955 and 2010 she was owned by Arthur Godfrey Palmer who lived initially in Wednesbury, Staffs, then in Ettingshall Park, Wolverhampton.

There is a Bradburn and Wedge Wolverhampton plate on the dash – but I think (from the JP registration and the length of the phone number) it probably came from HH Timberlake in Wigan.

I would love to hear anything from its pre 2010 history, even better its pre-1955.”

Peter can be contacted at: [Please substitute @ for (at)].

TF1500s MSG 495 and RKA 553

Charles Penny sent me this pic of a pair of TF1500s. MSG 495 is TF9220 and has recently been put back on the road by Charles. RKA 553 is not known about. When the photo was taken, Charles says that it was owned by a Mr Jeremy Bright. The car is currently on SORN and its last road fund licence was due on 1st July 2006. The last V5C is recorded as 28th September 2009.

Any ‘leads’ to the editor, please via the website contact form.

TF8799 (KM0 836)

Ian Eva is enquiring about this car. KMO 836 used to belong to his late father-in-law, who needed to sell it to get married.

I asked Barrie Jones, TF registrar for the MGCC T Register if he had any history of TF8799 and indeed he does. The car was one of three Factory team cars (the other two being TF8798 and TF8800) that won awards in the Circuit of Ireland April 1955 (2nd in class) and team prize 1/2/3 in Scottish Rally, June 1955.

KMO 836 comes up from the DVLA search facility as ‘Taxed’ with a last V5C date of 27th October 2020, which indicates a recent change of owner.

Ian is hoping that the new owner will see this and will get in touch with him at: ianeva01(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)].

MG TD (MGX 520)

David Frost is looking for early information on his 1951 TD. It is a RHD export model, but he doesn’t know the country to which it was exported. He has information on the car from 1975 when it was registered in the UK. davefrost51(at) [Please substitute @ for (at)]

TA2494 (FNU 90)

Rick Eckersley is hoping that the current owner of FNU 90 will see this item and get in touch via the editor. The car belonged to his father, who has sadly passed away, but Rick has many happy memories of spending time with his dad in the TA.  FNU 90 is on the road with a last V5C recorded date of 13th April 2012. It has been rebuilt from boxes of bits and sports 16 inch wheels with a supercharged XPAG engine.

Any ‘leads’ to the editor, please via the website contact form.


By Robert Henry- Gloucestershire – UK 1951 MG TD

RAF Fairford is in Gloucestershire, a joint UK / US base since WW2 as it has a very long runway used for Bombers. They also hold an Air Tattoo with Air Forces from all over the world attending. I have seen the Stealth Bombers and ‘Blackbird’ there, but my wife had a better view of it at home when it flew straight over the chimneys! 

Fairford is also the home of the Fairford Classic Car Club.

We visited the Vulcan at Wellesbourne in Warwickshire back in 2014 as Fairford Car Club (‘any make’ and if raining, mature members just bring the Euro box!)  We learnt a lot about Vulcan XM655 and visited the cockpit which is quite cramped considering the hours they spent in there and the difficulty of getting out in a hurry.  My wife, Gill even pressed the big RED button, fortunately it is not connected to anything serious now.

Line-up of cars from the Fairford Classic Car Club parked below the Vulcan.

I remember being told that the air brakes were so good, it was rare for them ever to be used fully. With that huge wing area and no armament, it can out turn the best fighters!

On an exercise in Australia, it had to land undetected at an airfield, so they deployed all the ‘toys’ (including some that are not supposed to be used) and blanked out the whole radio system for miles. On being summoned to explain his actions, the captain simply said “that is the object of the exercise and proves it works as my plane is on the ground and no one knew it was coming”.  It makes an awesome noise when ‘giving it the beans’ low down.

The Vulcan achieved notoriety back in the 1960s for its simulated attacks on the US to test the nation’s air defences. Perhaps we’ll not venture too far down that path!

The other pictures are with the RAF display team at Kemble. It was a nice day out there (The Red Arrows were based at Kemble for a while). They had invited all the media to promote ‘Best of British’ air day back in 2012 and wanted some cars too, so I was asked to take the MG.

The RAF Display Team at Kemble.

Unfortunately, the weather was a bit rough so the RAF Hawk did a close display and even on a tight turn over the runway it was disappearing from view. The Kemble photo also shows the wing walkers who could not take off from Rendcomb (World War 1 airfield) so came by car!  Carol Vorderman who was still learning to fly in 2012, also there to promote the air day, plus a chap came with his Meerkats and a Hawk (bird variety). Meerkats are really vicious, not quite as portrayed in the adverts.

At Kemble they took the publicity pics after lunch, it’s a bit nerve racking parking your car within feet of an expensive plane.

The De Havilland Rapide at Kemble.

As it was Friday all the media went home quickly despite being offered a ride in the De Havilland Dragon Rapide from Coventry, so I got a free ride. Take off was interesting as once pointed into the wind it nearly took off without moving. What a beautiful aircraft, very Rolls Royce inside.  By the time I got home they had sent the link to the publicity shots, so a good day all round.

Kemble used to be RAF Kemble and is now privately owned and very busy.  I went there (it will never be Cotswold Airport [as it is now called], to me) recently for a coffee at AV8 to see what was going on. The huge bulk of aircraft that were there a few years ago (during Covid British Airways took all their 747’s out of service and the very last one landed at Kemble) are mainly gone, but there is now properly displayed the last BA 747 which is used for events.

Years ago, I did go to ASI (Air Salvage International at Kemble) for a tour of their dismantling facility, it was fascinating. The business was started years ago by one man and his dog when he saw a market for bits, the first being a training company that wanted a door and frame supplied; unable to get one, he bought a whole aircraft, and it the just grew as a business.

Everything is logged and most parts are sold on, the relatively valueless part is the fuselage which takes about 3 hours to crush into a pile of scrap. Quite a few narrow-bodied fuselages are used as themed venues as they can be transported by road, the wide-bodied ones are too expensive as they have to be sectioned for transport and re-assembled later.

Air Salvage International at Kemble (an aeroplane ‘scrapyard’!)

Ed’s note: The Red Arrows moved to RAF Kemble (now known as Cotswold Airport) in 1966 after RAF Fairford, where they were previously based, became the place of choice for the British Aircraft Corporation to run test flights for the Concorde Supersonic Airliner. They left Kemble in 1983 to move to RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire and then to RAF Waddington, also in Lincolnshire.

My oil pump dilemma in TC 0461.

by Donald Walker, Goolwa Beach South Australia.

I bought TC 0461 a few years ago as a project, my aim was to have it ready for my 80th birthday, now at the time of writing (30th April) only a month away (June 2023).

Basically, the car was in pieces but mostly all there. The motor I was told had been rebuilt by a reputable engine rebuilder in Melbourne. After a lot of body work the time came to start the motor, firstly remove the plugs and turn it over with the battery, result… oil pressure. OK, the car for a start had the later TF type oil pump and filter fitted. So, prime the pump and filter, photo 1, still no oil pressure.

Photo 1

Having previously converted an early XPAG to later TF type pump I knew there was a procedure to carry out, remove the pressure relief valve in the block being the first task, photos 3, 4 and 5.

Photo 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

Now I had presumed this had all been carried out so I didn’t suspect anything amiss, first mistake. Next, I connected a garden sprayer with a couple of litres of oil in it to the oil gallery where the pipe for the oil gauge connects, photo 2, and pumped away, at least oil was available to the bearings etc.

Photo 2

Still no oil pressure.

So off with the oil pump.

First task was to find out how the early and late systems differ, result? There are two different pump bodies and three different end plates, and more importantly, two different oil flow lines to the oil gallery.

Photo 6 shows the late body with two different end plates, note the three holes on the right on the body, two for bolts and the third, in the middle, for oil to flow through the system. The left end plate as you can see doesn’t have the corresponding hole so no oil can flow, this is how it was found, photo 1. Replacing this with the correct end plate, right in photo 6, finally gave me oil pressure, now 60lb at idle. It’s easy writing this but it took me many weeks to work it all out, with a lot of help from various MG online forums.

Photo 6

Cleaning the magnetic Smith odometer (Part 2)

Ed’s note: Before we proceed to Part 2, Mike Leadbeater commented on Part 1 of the article as follows:

Thanks for the excellent advice. My TD’s speedo, as well as being a mile (sorry) out of calibration due to fitting a Ford ‘box and 4.55 axle ratio, has a greatly oscillating arm. The mechanism, having done 74k miles, is greatly worn. I have detected a lot of end float, maybe 2mm or so, in the aluminium cup, due, I believe, to wear on the outer cup spindle bearing which is basically a pointed needle. As the cup floats back and forth, the torque it receives from the rotating magnet will vary, causing this wavering.

Do you agree?

I am considering making a repair of this bearing, which looks fiddly.

Another issue is the new cable, acting I guess as an Archimedean Screw, brings oil up from the gearbox, which then clogs the magnet and cup, causing excess drag and making the arm to wildly fluctuate.

Any suggestions on how to cure this problem?

Laurent replied as follows:

For sure, end float of 2mm is way too big. You’re right. It is impossible to have a constant magnetic coupling. You first have to fix this. There is a slotted screw just behind the dial, close to the needle shaft. You can adjust the end play with this screw. See figure 17 of Anthony’s paper. Not sure it will be enough. Best solution to prevent oil from the cable is to fit Doug Pelton’s mod for speedo pinion Also described in TTT2 N°1. You can also fit a speedo gearbox suited for your rear end ratio.

Now to Part 2…….

After the delicate operation about speedometer and odometer separation described in the last article, we will now see the odometer unit. Not as fragile, but many small parts are involved in the odometer wheels.


Remove the pin that fixes the reset command shaft to the gear. Mine is only a lock wire. Slide the entire command shaft with its end plate toward the trip wheels, releasing the gear and the return spring.

Both wheels assemblies are similar. On figure 1, spot on the hole on the yoke of the trip wheels, close to the gear. By pushing the tip of the locking clip through that hole you can unlock the clip and extract it.

Figure 1

That clip locks the shaft of the wheel assembly. Now you can extract the shaft either way but before, take pictures, take notes.

Figure 2

Here is what you get (main odometer)

Figure 3

How does it work? See the picture with all the elements on the table. The ratchet wheel (on the right), and all the brass washers are keyed to the shaft. The number wheels have no key and are thus free to move around the shaft. But they are pressed against the brass washers by the end spring (on the left). So, when the ratchet wheel is rotated by the pawl, the brass washers are driven and then rotate the number wheels. All the number wheels?  No. Each number wheel is maintained in its position by a U spring located on the casing. So, the brass washers rotate but the number wheels don’t.  All?  No. When a number wheel displays a 9 it unlocks its left-hand side neighbour by pushing the corresponding U spring down. All other wheels are maintained in their position whilst the shaft rotate 1/10th of a turn. The wheel showing 9 will show 0 and the left-hand side wheel will increase its display by one. The U spring is then released and all wheels are locked once again. The rightmost wheel is never locked. Ingenious system, isn’t it? You also guess that pushing down the desired U spring with a small screwdriver allows to position manually one wheel to any number.

Figure 4

Figure 5

On this picture, you can see the set of U springs that maintain the wheels unless the previous wheel shows a 9.

Figure 6

On this picture, you can see the unlock tooth of the wheel that progressively pushes down the U spring to unlock the next wheel when it displays a 9. The wheel of this picture is special. This is the first wheel of the main odometer which corresponds to 1/10th of a mile. Actually, it is a flat disc wheel that does not show any number but just rotates so as to unlock the mile wheel once per turn. The main odometer as the trip odometer accounts for 1/10th miles but the wheel of the main is just a flat disc.

Now you can clean everything. Be very cautious when cleaning the numbers. I would even advise to not clean them unless they are very dirty. Remove any old grease gunk and dust on the sides of the number wheels where they rub with the brass washers.


Insert all parts one by one on the shaft as you put it back into the yoke. There is a recess on one end of the shaft. This is for the locking clip. It should be oriented towards the ratchet wheel. Start with the spring for the main and with the ratchet wheel for the trip odometer. Smear a thin film of grease between each wheel and each washer.

Don’t forget grease on both sides of the ratchet wheel.

There are many parts so many ways of assembling the wrong way. The document of Anthony Rhodes available on the web shows a diagram of the assembly. Unfortunately, it does not match my odometer. More than this, the wheels do not appear correctly centred in the windows of the dial. I suppose that assembly can be different depending of the windows of the dial showing the number wheels. This is related to the odometer model.

Here is what I found on mine. This works, but seems quite strange. Look also at your pictures and your notes.

Isn’t a cup washer missing next to the spring of the trip odometer?

Isn’t a keyed brass washer missing between the 1/10M disk wheel and the spring for the main odometer?

Isn’t a keyed brass washer missing between the steel washer and the leftmost number wheel of the trip odometer?

When all wheels and washers are inserted, the shaft is protruding on both sides of the yoke. You can now insert the locking clip. With a small screw driver you can splay the tab of the clip that pinches the ratchet wheel. Finally, check that the locking tab of the clip is in the hole of the yoke as shown in Figure 1.

When both, trip and main are reassembled, it’s time to position the pawls on the ratchet wheels and to attach the springs. They can be a nightmare to install. Once more, beware those tiny springs that tend to jump out of the instrument. Work on a wide table covered with a white sheet of paper. I prefer to first attach them to the yoke and then to the pawl.

This ends this series of articles about the clever mechanism designed by Smith. Install the instrument on your car and enjoy. Enjoy but test, check and make measurement for accuracy as I will come back for calibration tips.

Ed’s note:

The calibration article is scheduled to appear in the August issue of TTT 2.

Gear Lubricants

by Eric Worpe

This article first appeared in the Octagon Bulletin. Eric has since looked at it again and has updated it.

If you’re not confused about the various types of transmission oils available, then you may not have understood the problem. This may seem a provocative aphorism, but it could just be the case.

One of the great advancements of gear teeth design was a tooth profile that enabled gear teeth to roll over each other and still maintain constant velocity. This design reduced friction as it eliminated any sliding action at the narrow points where the teeth make contact.

Many early cars started off with straight-cut gears in the gearbox and bevel gears in the back axle, if you were lucky. However, the limited knowledge in material science necessitated a hefty approach to construction if failure was to be avoided, resulting in low tooth contact pressures and modest demands on lubrication as power outputs were equally modest.

However, although straight cut gears are efficient, they are also noisy due to the interrupted progression from one tooth to the next. The quest for quietness and a higher rating capacity led to helically cut gears such as the spiral bevel gears found in differentials. These overcame the interrupted tooth engagement problem by enabling at least two teeth to be meshed at any one time, directly increasing the strength of the gears. This consideration and the improvements in metallurgy, resulted in both smaller gearboxes and crown wheels & pinions, placing even greater demands on the film strengths of lubricating oils at the tooth contact points.

Helically cut gear teeth and spiral bevel gears are less efficient partly due to the degree of “sliding” that is inherent in helically meshing teeth and consequently generate more heat at the tooth contact areas. This situation combined with increasing tooth contact pressures from rising power levels and the diminishing size of gears, could result in the breakdown of the oil film in the contact area. One surprising effect from an oil film breakdown is the potential transient “micro-welding” together of the contact surfaces; such areas show up as pitting or spalling and can result in failure of the hardened teeth surface.

Film strength additives were introduced to resist rupture of the oil film, whilst high pressure additives prevented welding together of mating surfaces should the oil film break down. ZDDP (zincdialkyldithiophosphate) has become well known as a film strength additive, whilst high pressure additives do seem to have some notoriety. High pressure additives work by forming a thin film on the mating surfaces due to the intense local frictional heat produced as the gear teeth mesh together. One of these additives is based on sulphur, and has the characteristic smell associated with cat’s pee. Esso used to call their transmission oils EXPEE. I wonder if the wag who thought that one up “blew” his career.

Sulphur reacts with steel at high temperatures to form a tough film of iron sulphide, which prevents welding and scuffing taking place. However, sulphur is rather corrosive, so substances such as sulphurised fatty oils are preferred. High pressure additives are of two types, active and mild. The active types contain compounds of sulphur or chlorine and should be avoided when brasses or some bronzes are present, because in the presence of water they tend to form sulphurous and hydrochloric acids, which attack any zinc alloy. Other, less aggressive additives are often based on compounds of phosphorous or metallic soaps.

Initially, transmission oils for helical cut and spiral bevel automobile gears were known as High Pressure oils, such as Castrol HI-Press; both the levels and aggressiveness of the additives were modest and thus suitable for use with “yellow metals” such as bushes, selector forks and the synchromesh cones machined from brass or bronze.

Spiral bevel pinion teeth used in the differential are heavily loaded, particularly the high ratios above 4:1. A variant on spiral bevel gears called hypoid was introduced in 1926 by the Gleason Company in the USA. The centre line of the pinion was offset and this gave increased strength to the pinion’s teeth, owing to its greater tooth contact length; however, it also increased the sliding component in addition to the normal helical meshing of the teeth. This placed even higher demands on the transmission oil and increased levels of additives were used to cope with the higher tooth contact temperatures. To help differentiate from previous high pressure oils, these oils were called EP for Extreme Pressure and due to the more aggressive additives, any “yellow” metal components containing zinc had to be avoided.

So initially, we had Hi-Press oils for gearboxes and spiral bevel differentials and EP oils for Hypoid differentials. Such a simple system was then confused by labelling all these gear oils as EP. Differentiating between the oils was partly left to the description on the container, e.g., Castrol Manual EP80W or Castrol Differential EPX80W/90, Shell Spirax 140EP (not for hypoid axles) or Comma Hypoy EP90 gear oil. Additionally, all gear oils should also be specified using the American Petroleum Industry (API) GL (gear lubricant) ratings.

High Pressure oils suitable for gearboxes and spiral bevel gears are designated as GL-4, whilst Extreme Pressure oils for Hypoid gears are GL-5. For Hypoid gears exposed to very heavy duty, the use of an API GL-5, 75W-140 oil may be needed as opposed to the normal GL-5, 80W/90. Halfords manage to label their own brand fairly sensibly and offer “Gear oil EP80W/90 GL-4” or “Differential oil EP80W/90 GL-5”, “differential” in this case being the more common hypoid.

To simplify lubrication of some cars, just one type of oil, e.g., Millers Hypoid 90 may be specified for not only the hypoid differential, but the gearbox and steering box as well, despite the helical gears in gearboxes not needing oils to GL-5 specs. Some gearboxes are even supposed to be able to run on engine oils that contain high levels of ZDDP; this may seem strange, but API viscosity ratings for gear oils are not directly comparable with those for engine oils, A 75W/90 gear oil has an equivalent viscosity to a 10W/40 engine oil. Any deterioration from using unsuitable lubrication is not likely to be apparent until it’s too late, as only a close inspection of the gear teeth would reveal developing problems. So, beware of the line “I’ve been using “XXX” for yonks, and it’s fine”.

To sum up, early bulky straight cut gears with low tooth contact pressures were adequately protected by oils with minimum levels of additives, such as those designated GL-1 to 2. The introduction of helically cut gears and improved materials resulted in designs with higher tooth contact pressures, which in industry are protected by oils with API ratings from GL-2 to GL-5. For automobile oils, GL-4 and GL-5 gear oils seem to be universally available. GL-4 is suitable for most gearboxes and spiral bevel differentials and has modest levels of high-pressure additives, which do not attack “yellow” metals. GL-5 oil is suitable for hypoid gears, where extreme pressure additives are needed, and should not be allowed in contact with “yellow metals” unless the specifications say otherwise.

Other brands are available.

The Dick Jacobs MG TA Special: and a 40 year odyssey of sorts!

Do you ever have those bizarre coincidences of events and places that make you wonder how they could possibly occur? Then here’s one or two you might like. 

My daily commute now takes me through the Herefordshire village of Pembridge where I drive past a pub called the Red Lion. In 1983, this location was sort of a footnote in the part of a book I was reading, entitled ‘An MG experience’ – written by the MG enthusiast and racer Dick Jacobs. The bit I was most interested in was the section of the book about the Dick Jacobs MG TA Special raced up until 1950.

The Red Lion in Pembridge (to the right of picture).

Working in London back then, I would avidly read this book on my train journey for the information concerning the creation and development of his supercharged MG TA special he built for the post war 1100cc formula racing around 1946 as part of the ‘voiturette’ type formula. The book was full of great information on the car’s development.

This class of grand prix racing was almost a continuation of the pre-war formula, seeing mostly pre-war racing cars continuing where they left off in 1939, with drivers such as Bob Gerard and Prince Bira competing in these smaller-engined cars.

Dick Jacobs piloting the TA Special in the Goodwood 1949 race.

In the bleak just post-war years, Dick Jacobs obtained an MG TA chassis with the registration number CS 7695 which then gained a very light aluminium body, without the usual distinctive twin humped scuttle top panel of the pre-war TA or the just post war TC.

The Jacobs TA special had a Morris 1100cc engine installed onto a TC gearbox, this Morris engine being basically an 1100cc version of the MG TB XPAG 1939 engine. This Morris engine was fitted to the just pre-war 1938 Morris 10/4 Series 2 cars (and later on, up to 1947 Morris 10/4s), an engine that was also widely used by the War Department in WW2, which is where this TA’s engine came from as war surplus.

With a set of Wolseley 12” Hydraulic brakes, telescopic front dampers and an elderly supercharger fitted, the car was steadily developed and improved, being tested in various speed trials and on circuit racing. In those days, petrol was still rationed and often of variable quality of around only 74 octane rating, perhaps 80 octane if you were lucky. At this time the ‘Pool Petrol’ a blend of what was available at the pumps then, was often much lower rated than today’s 95 octane. (Which is why a fast road cam in your XPAG engine on 95 octane today will help your car go better as it returns more power!). During racing, Dick found that the low octane fuel caused performance problems and particularly head gasket failures. Fitting a solid copper head gasket went someway to sorting the failure problem out as did including additives into the fuel to pep it up.

With 500 x 19” wire wheels on the rear axle and 17” wheels on the front to save weight and the car being finished in a dark Racing Green’ cellulose paint finish including the radiator shell, the car was easily identifiable on the track; as was Dick Jacobs, wearing an ex-RAF leather flying helmet and dark blue cotton overalls, a far cry from the Nomex overalls and full-face crash helmets of today! The good old days we might muse.

Dick Jacobs in his MG TA – a fantastic photograph.

The Dick Jacobs car heralded the last years of what we might call the ‘classic-looking MG car’, with upright radiator shell and separate wings. In 1953, the new competition regulations outlawed cycle wings and cars had to be fitted with enclosed wings or bodywork. The MG TD fortunately was able to compete (Dick Jacobs then with MG factory support after his own efforts, was measurably responsible for MG resuming active racing involvement again).

Dick Jacobs was able to race at the Isle of Man in 1949 with the TA, although it was outclassed by the ‘pedigree’ cars like the ERA, Simca and other pre-war purpose-built racing cars, it did have the effect of generating interest for MG to resume racing officially.

A particularly good sales point too, as many of the then Abingdon 2-seaters were being exported, mostly to the USA. With Britain needing US Dollars currency, MG were in a great position all round to benefit from this market. Even though early in 1949, Dick Jacobs was then a ‘privateer’ without official factory support, the potential was obvious.

Dick Jacobs racing the supercharged MG TA Special.
The outside ‘straight through’ exhaust must have sounded glorious!

This brief era of racing was very much a golden era to look back on today, an era of ‘privateers’ racing their own cars, often at their own expense or if they were lucky, having a patron behind them with the finance to assist the progress. This was an era when you could often borrow tools from the next-door pit during a race and it was, as the late Bill Boddy would say – ‘all terribly carefree’. (Another interesting coincidence being that Bill Boddy moved to Wales and lived about 20 miles from my location).

The Press interview – Dick Jacobs at the Manx race 1949

The ultimate test for the Jacobs Special would be the 1949 British Empire Manx race on the Isle of Man, I recently found a cine film of this race on YouTube with the second section of the film in colour, rare for this time and you can see the colours of the cars quite clearly. We are fortunate that this rare piece of history exists for us to enjoy. Dick Jacobs raced as car no 39 in this race and put up a spirited performance as you can see from the footage. If you can find this film it is well worth watching.

Note the Supercharger! The car looks superbly proportioned.

‘Sounds like an ERA’ Dick commented.

Dick Jacobs in the 1949 Empire Trophy Race.

Although the TA Special showed a lot of promise, the basis of the car was outdated compared to the then current TD. As a result, in 1950, Dick Jacobs developed a new car. MG donated a TD chassis that gained an MG YA rear axle and 16” disc wheels; with the TD’s rear chassis being modified to house coil rear springs.

Looking very much like the Frazer Nash of that era from the front, with a very stylish streamlined look, the car had the additional benefit of independent front suspension over the TA’s front beam axle, something that the MG YA would have had in 1939 production had WW2 not started and production given over to support the war effort.

The TA that had done so much for Dick Jacobs and bringing MG back into racing, was sold in 1950. When I read that in the book I wondered where it had gone forever and whether it indeed existed anymore, or whether like many older cars from that time had been scrapped due to the 1960 MOT regulations, which saw many serviceable and repairable cars needlessly scrapped. How ironic that we now enjoy MOT–free status on our old cars!

SHK 7 the MG TD chassis-based car.

I thought that when I read that last bit on the TA being sold that it would be a footnote and the car would not be seen again. However, if we take a brief detour, continuing on in the Dick Jacobs book, we will come full circle back to the famous TA.

The Dick Jacobs MGA at Le Mans 1955.

With the success of SHK 7, a new development was also afoot to replace the TD, which was the MGA, although this was delayed due to the new Austin Healey launch and the stopgap MG TF became the last of the ‘traditional’ looking MG cars. Dick Jacobs meanwhile drove factory MG TD Mk2s and then the new MGA. He had seen the prototype MGA built on a TD chassis at the Abingdon works. The following year, Dick would be one of the MGA team drivers in the fateful1955 Le Mans race.

This race will be remembered for the major incident in which a Mercedes car crashed into the crowd, causing many fatalities. Dick Jacobs crashed into the remains of the accident debris and was very badly injured, the crash effectively curtailing his competition days as a driver and nearly cost him his life.

Post 1955, Dick Jacobs then became involved in a team based in Herefordshire which was racing the new Gerald Palmer designed MG ZA, a car that had taken over in production from the MG YA and YB and was the first modern looking MG saloon. Compared to the Y types, the ZA was totally new and futuristic, sharing the BMC ‘B’ series engine which modified would finally end up in the MGB until the end of production in 1980.

Like the MGA, the ZA heralded the future look of MG cars onwards and immediately made the recent TD and TF look old. The ZA and MGA cars being the logical development of the just pre-war MG cars and with the demise of the 1953/55 TF, the old order had changed in the new post WW2 world. However, the MG YA front suspension, designed in 1939, remained almost unchanged until the end of MGB production in 1980, serving the TD, TF, MGA and the MGB – which shows how much ahead of the game MG was back then.

The ZA team that I had read about back in 1983 had been brought together in the small Herefordshire village of Pembridge at the Red Lion pub; located on the A44 main road. The Red Lion still remains open as an operational pub.

It was here that the Landlord, Harold Rumsey, a member of the Herefordshire Motor Club, put together a team to race the then current MG ZA saloon cars. Enlisting the help of Dick Jacobs as manager who visited the Red Lion, a team was formed. The team enjoyed success and Dick Jacobs then went on to manage the BMC factory supplied early closed MG Midget and MGB coupe racing cars.

The ‘Red Lion’ team with Harold Rumsey 2nd left and Dick Jacobs 3rd left.

For Dick Jacobs, the end of the road came literally with the M11 – his Mill garage where the famous Jacobs cars had been developed was compulsorily purchased to make way for the M11 motorway. However, the old TA he presided over hasn’t gone away.

Early in this century with the advent of the internet, I started seeing if there was any reference to the old Jacobs TA and although I had one lead on it, this contact didn’t go anywhere. It was only in about 2017 that out of curiosity I started looking for some old pictures of the car again and struck gold.

The Jacobs car had been purchased in the 1960s and stripped for restoration, however, the owner for various reasons had not restored the car and it remained unrestored as such, until around 2010 when it was finally restored.

I managed to contact the owner who had owned the car for all those years and it is fantastic that it has survived and is still usable. Now that is a car I would love to own and drive!

The Dick Jacobs TA as it is today.

Going back to my own story, it seemed that history would repeat itself.

By 1983, I had been involved with MG Specials for only a few years and the desire was to build a replica of some sort, of that Dick Jacobs car. A 1930 MG Special I had briefly driven had unfortunately been sold and I wondered if I would ever see it again. I also wondered back then did the Dick Jacobs TA still exist, or had it like many others in the 60s and later been lost or scrapped?

About twenty years later in 2000, having relocated to the England /Wales borders area I remembered when driving through Pembridge the Red Lion pub from the Jacobs book – how bizarre to be in that very street and still involved with MG Specials. I had no idea back in 1983 I would end up local to that area, or still be even today enjoying these cars.

Even more bizarre was a 2021 eBay purchase of an MG writing case that Dick Jacobs had used around 1956, about the time when he co-managed an MG racing team at that pub with the then landlord Harold Rumsey. I managed to secure that item! More bizarrely, a month ago another similar writing case turned up!

The Dick Jacobs writing case still has the 1956 calendar in place along with his Mill Garage letter headed paper and envelopes. Likely used at the time he was involved with the MG ZA Magnette racing team based in Pembridge…and then another one recently came to light!

Going back to the early 80s and by 1985 I had managed to locate the elusive 1930 car I had first driven in 1981, purchased it and less engine and gearbox it was mine for about £3500. I still have it. The previous owner told me that it had pre-war history. It had been apparently rebuilt from a saloon in the early 1930s perhaps due to fire damage.

My 1930 MG Special – I have photos of it going back to 1958

An engine and gearbox was found that the late Peter Gregory had to hand; it had come out of an MG F-type Magna used in the’1100cc’ post war racing formula Dick Jacobs had raced in and turned out to be an XPJM engine, being basically the same Morris unit as the Jacobs car engine. It was duly shoehorned in and run for a few years until the oil pressure was getting low and it was taken out for a rebuild. Even needing an overhaul, it did manage to generate 6000rpm up the Test Hill at Brooklands in 1990 at the reunion.

A very close fit!

A house move came along and the car was put into store for about a decade and then overhauled. It is presently having a cylinder head overhaul after a rocker pedestal failed.

Ed’s note: Much of this article by Matt Sanders and almost all of the pictures is based on Dick Jacobs’ book “An MG experience”. The book was published by Transport Bookman Publications and I sought and have been given permission to reproduce the images from the book by Clive Stroud, Director, to whom I am most grateful.

Matt mentions that he managed to contact the owner of the Dick Jacobs TA and I have subsequently been in touch with him having copied him Matt’s draft to me.

He has commented as follows:

“A very interesting article, although there are items in it with which my information does not fully agree. Like Matt, the majority of my information came from An MG Experience in which there are many views of CS 7695. I actually bought the car in 1965 as a road going special. The seller told me it had been built for the speed runs on Brighton front. He was unaware of who the modifier had been. I used it for about 2.5 years as my only transport which included 2 trips to Newquay and Bude in Cornwall. My friend and I loaded the car with a tent and gear for 2 weeks each time and set off travelling mainly overnight, we arrived in Bude car park at 5.00 a.m. of which I have a photo. Of course, we had problems, a breakage of both handbrake cables, the collapse of a main oil pipe joint etc.

The car was then stored in an open shed with a tarpaulin front where it was gradually stripped down for a re-build. Back in 1970 I got married and the car moved to a shed in many pieces, the chassis living on a pile of builder’s scrap in the garden.

In September 2011 I was made redundant and received an enquiry from Australia about the car and that was when I first found out about the car’s history as noted in Dick’s book. It also kick-started the rebuild, the majority of which was done by me.

The main item that I was helped with was shot blasting of the chassis together with its straightening and a small amount of welding. I also bought a newly rebuilt and tuned XPAG engine Using some of my parts like the sump.

The car was put on the road in 2013 and after various adjustments etc., has been used ever since.

I have driven it via MG Live at Silverstone to my daughter’s house (near Chobham), John O’groats, Morecombe, Goodwood, South Wales etc with very few problems.

The original green I painted it was colour matched to the hinged side of the doors but has recently been re-painted in a much darker shade. I do not know which is more correct and would be pleased to hear ideas, thoughts etc., from any interested people.”

In a follow up email the present owner said:

“If you happen to have Safety Fast vol. 58 no. 12 December 2014 there is a 4-page spread I wrote for it, might be of interest.”

Unfortunately, I was unable to source a copy of this article. One final comment from your editor is that it never ceases to amaze me how our cars come to be saved; all the more so with this one, as it is of great historical significance.


The Editor

Welcome to Issue 78, June 2023.

I regret to say that after this issue and the next (Issue 79, August 2023) there will be no more issues of ‘Totally T-Type 2’ as after much thought, I’ve decided to hang up my hat and retire.

When I started to prepare the April issue, I needed to advise my printed copy subscribers of the rate for the 2023/2024 magazines (the subscription year runs from June to the following April). I thought about it long and hard and came to the conclusion that it would not be fair to ask for subscriptions through to April 2024 when I could not guarantee being able to produce the next six issues. Technically, a part-year subscription is due, but I’m not going to ask for this, so subscribers, please take it as a ‘thank you’ for your loyal support.

I must also give a big ‘thank you’ to all those who have sent donations for TTT 2 and the website; they have helped with email distribution expenses.

Suitable copy has been hard to come by of late and is a constant source of worry, which at my age is not something I want. As I recently mentioned to somebody, I am ‘chief cook and bottle washer’… there is nobody else, except for Steve, my son, to whom I’m eternally grateful for dealing with the IT involved in sending the mag to print, publishing it and maintaining the website. Steve has a demanding job in IT as well as a busy life outside of work and the time needed to publish each issue can sometimes be difficult for him to find.

I am also very grateful to those who have sent copy on more than one occasion for TTT 2 and some names spring immediately to mind – Eric Worpe, Paul Ireland, Peter Cole, Steve Priston and Bob Lyell – to name but a few.

Just recently I seem to have received as much, or more, good copy from mainland Europe (Stanley Daamen and Laurent Castel) and from Australia and the US, as I have received from the UK.

Looking back over my amateur writing ‘career’, I see that I wrote the T-Type and Triple-M notes for Safety Fast! in the 1990s, was editor of the Octagon Bulletin from 1998 to 2002, introduced ‘Totally T-Type’ for the T Register of the MG Car Club in 2004, remaining as editor until 2010, and then introduced ‘Totally T-Type 2’ which started in August 2010. I hope I have ‘served my time’.

I am not intending to disappear entirely from the scene and I have promised Brian Rainbow that I will write at least one article for the Octagon Bulletin every month. I am also hoping to write the occasional article for the MG Owners Club Enjoying MG.

The website will remain in place for posterity as a permanent archive of all 79 issues, but with member services such as cars for sale/spares being removed. The company limited by guarantee, The MG ‘T’ Society, will be wound up by October 2023.

If you didn’t go to The MG Centenary event at Gaydon on 27th May, you missed a real treat. I know from feedback that the attendees were impressed with the organisation of the day and with the fabulous display of timeline cars. Steve and I did our bit to raise money for the event’s charities by offering redundant stock in exchange for a donation to charity. At £1 a time (some gave more) we raised a total of £158. A very nice ‘Old Speckled Hen’ glass was bought by a gentleman from Mexico.

To those Triple-M owners who I asked to display their cars in the timeline, I say a big ‘thank you’. It was asking a lot of you to arrive early on the day and I know that some of you travelled a good distance in a pre-war car, but you made it, and made the day for the spectators.

I was really pleased to renew acquaintances with Patrick Michel and Christiane from Martin-Église in Normandy and with Dieter Wagner from Neu Anspach in Germany. I was also delighted to meet for the first time Anita Kelly Walsh and her husband, John from Co. Galway, Ireland. I have corresponded with Anita about the history of her TF which featured on the front cover of Issue 72 (June 2022).

I must not forget to mention Laurent Castel from Cugnaux in southwestern France who I knew was coming to Gaydon. Laurent, who speaks and writes very good English, has provided the articles on cleaning the magnetic Smiths speedometer and odometer. The odometer article can be found later in this issue. An article on calibrating the speedometer will appear in the next issue.

Pre-War Prescott is approaching fast (15th July) and when I last looked, the entry list stood at nearly 180 cars. I will surely get there one day (last year the TF overheated in traffic in Cheltenham – now all sorted), but sadly not this year. I really need to ‘knuckle down’ to remove the engine and gearbox from the J2 to get the oil leak between the back of the block and the rear main housing fixed.

Barry Foster, who has more experience than most with Triple-M engines and who is also the MGCC Triple-M Historian, has diagnosed the problem for me. He’s told me that the Factory knew about this, caused by the chassis flexing. The way to fix it is to use a thin copper gasket to replace the existing (composite?) gasket and apply ‘Wellseal’ jointing compound. Following discussion of the problem with him, what should turn up in the post a few days later was a thin copper gasket. Thank you, Barry!