Robert Browne tells the story of TD 0267 in his own words…….
“In 1949 Peter Robbins went to Lanes, the MG distributors in Melbourne, Australia to buy a TC. He was told they were no more but the TD model was on its way by ship. Peter ordered one but had to take whatever colour was available. As it turned out TDs 0267 and 0268 were Clipper Blue.
I have some photos of Peter and his new TD. He was also told his was to be the first TD to arrive in Australia.
In 1991 while I was restoring a MGA 1500 and as it took shape my wife said why didn’t you buy a real MG. So I started looking out for a T-Type.
TD 0267 was found in Sydney and I purchased it and started the restoration. As you can see, ‘basket cases’ don’t come much worse! It obviously had had a hard life since Peter parted company with it. Including a number of colour changes.
As I had done courses in panel beating, spray painting and trimming, work started.
First the body work, which included my having to replace approx 50mm of the wired edges of both front mudguards along the full length of them as rust had corroded the wired edge and the reinforcement away.
Wood framing was replaced with Tasmanian Oak.
After getting the body all straightened up and before painting I then made all the seat bases, and interior woodwork ready to trim.
I then made the seats using Howe leather which is supposed to be a good leather for our Australian climate. The other interior trim using matching vinyl.
I then proceeded to make the Hood and Tonneau out of Haars Stayfast material.
When that was all done and the panel fit was checked it was then disassembled and sent to my painter friend who painted it for me. The dangers of modern paint were a consideration of mine to not spray it myself without a spray booth.
I might add that all panels were file finished with very little body filler used.
As you can see BRG was chosen as a lot of the panels had green on them but after talking to Peter Robbins’ daughter she said the original colour was light blue [obviously Clipper Blue.] Too late, I had already committed to BRG!
I had a small machine shop do all necessary machining on the engine and then I put it back together as well as all other mechanicals.
Then came the good part of reassembling the whole car. Each bit you put back on gets closer to the finished article. While this process was going on I was constantly referring to the Totally T-Type web pages for information that would be invaluable to my restoration.
As I am not getting any younger this will be my last restoration after doing an MGA 1500, a 1969 MGB Mk11 roadster and then a 1969 MGBGT.
Unfortunately, Peter Robbins passed away before I finished the car but I forwarded on some early photos of my restoration to him and his family early in the piece and he was so pleased to witness it seeing the light of day again.”
Robert Browne nanapabrowne(at)gmail.com
Balgownie NSW 2519 Australia.
Ed’s note: I thought I would include a few more pictures to show the quality of the restoration.
Robert Browne, pictured above, sorting out his dash wiring.
Ed’s further note: It’s not often that we see period photographs of the cars when they were new. This one could so easily have been lost forever; it looks as though we have Robert’s wife to thank for suggesting “why didn’t you buy a real MG!”