Found – TC2287

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

As found, still displaying its Sept 1976 tax disc.

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

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

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

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

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

Remanufacturing date?

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Lyell

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