Quite a bumper crop for this issue!
TC (LLE 489)
The following interesting account has been supplied by former Rolls-Royce apprentice Robert Lyell.
“A warm Sunday afternoon in 1956 at a car park in Crewe, but not just any car park, because this one belongs to the Motor Car Division of Rolls-Royce Limited and has been closed, so the company’s car club can hold a driving test competition for its members.
The objective is to negotiate a course marked out by metal drums as quickly as possible without displacing the ball from the bonnet mounted dish; when it did roll out the driver had to stop and wait until his passenger had retrieved it. A test of swift progress made as smoothly as possible, a valuable skill when driving a Rolls-Royce.
Roger Hurn, as an apprentice, competes in his MG TC; when I asked his permission to reproduce the photograph and if he remembered any other details, he replied:
“What an interesting email from you. It quite perked me up on a rather gloomy day in lockdown. My TC story is as follows.
I bought my car from a London dealer for £375 in 1956 and sold it, I think, to Neville Gatty who was a contemporary at the [apprentice] hostel in 1958, when I left RR. I loved it dearly and wish I had it now.
The registration was LLE 489.
The event was held in the car park as you rightly surmise.
My passenger was the late Cedric Brown, a good pal.
I think that the photographer was Martin Bourne.
I don’t mind you using my name at all. I remain very proud of my RR background.”
Roger enjoyed a distinguished career in the car industry, becoming Chairman of Smiths Industries and receiving his knighthood in 1996.
Of course, not all apprentices drove an M.G., the more common mode of transport being an Austin 7; this Nippy is competing at the same event with the passenger adopting the same ready to retrieve stance.
I was fortunate to follow in their footsteps 13 years later, when the company still set great store by its apprenticeships and an active car club. My transport was also an MG TC.
‘The Hostel’ referred to in Roger Hurn’s reply was the company accommodation provided for Rolls-Royce car division apprentices.
If Roger’s recollection of selling the car to Neville Gatty is correct, it is going to be very difficult to trace LLE 489 as (if I have researched the correct Neville Gatty) he died last year in Preston aged 79.
LLE 489 does not show up when using the DVLA enquiry search facility.
TA (ETG 309)
Does anybody know the chassis number of this TA? TG is an old Glamorganshire (South Wales) registration mark. Unfortunately, all their records have been destroyed. The registration mark does not show up using the DVLA enquiry search facility.
TC (HLP 582)
Chris Batty has this picture of his uncle’s M.G. which he owned in the 1950s and was thought to be a TC. The registration mark comes up from a DVLA enquiry search facility, which confirms that it is a 1946 TC and is taxed and on the road. Chris thinks that the present owner might be interested in a copy of the photo and some details of his uncle, who sadly died in 2018.
Chrisbatty(at)lestercast.co.uk [please substitute @ for (at)]
TD28446 (OKD 425)
Terry French is trying to piece together the history of his TD, which he has owned since 1966/67. He has tried DVLA, but of course, they won’t give out names of previous owners (Data Protection).
The car was first registered to the Liverpool Carriage Company (KD is an old Liverpool registration) on 3rd July 1953.
The second owner was a gentleman who lived on The Wirral and kept it for about 3 years.
The car then moved down south and was acquired by the owner of a garage/filling station in Poole, Dorset. It remained in the family, passing through the hands of his first and second sons until Terry purchased it in late 1966/early 1967.
Over 50 years of ownership has seen the car totally rebuilt with a body-off restoration.
Terry is also trying to trace Michael Slynn, an old friend of his when he lived in the West Midlands. Mick lived in Kinver, near Stourbridge and they were members of the Octagon Car Club between 1969 and 1971, both owning TDs. Mick’s TD sported the registration mark DVA 5, which no longer comes up on the DVLA search facility. This registration mark was on TD25186, which presumably has another registration number now.
Terry can be contacted at:
Guarantee plate (TF9639)
The following has been received from Rob Dunsterville:
“Back in 1973 a friend called Clive Bendun put his TF into a lock-up before going to Europe for an extended work/holiday. It was maroon in colour and running.
To avoid it being stolen and sold he removed the ID plate and tool box cover and handed them to me for safe keeping.
He has never reclaimed them and I am not sure if the TF is still in Oz or exported.
Obviously, I’d like to reunite these parts with the car if I could find it. Enquiries with MGCC centres in Oz hasn’t produced a result.
The numbers are HDE23 9639 and XPEG 3493.”
TC9733 where are you?
Ian George is trying to trace his TC. The above picture of the car was taken when in his ownership with registration number 95-596. The car was sold at Shannon’s Auction in Victoria, Australia in 2013 when it had the registration MG 1948 (next picture). Nothing has been heard of the car since.
Ian’s contact details are: iangeorge2011(at)gmail.com [please substitute @ for (at)].
Bob Little would very much like to discover the whereabouts of his old TC, which he purchased in October 1969 as a ‘basket case’ from a lady in Odenton, Maryland.
We are all familiar with the term ‘barn find’ but this was a ‘find’ with a difference, for it had been left on the street in Washington, DC, having been hit by a snow plow (plough), ending up being unceremoniously plowed into a snow bank.
When Bob started the dis-assembly at the home of his in-laws, there were numerous injection needles and various other items of interest scattered about the interior. The pic below shows the car before dis-assembly.
The next pic was taken circa 1970 following what Bob describes as a first round of ‘refreshment’ of the car. The car is parked in front of Bob’s townhome in Columbia, Maryland. The paint job is ‘rattle can yellow’.
Note the UK plate KTA 454E. which Bob says was a duplicate of the original registration. However, this would not have been the original 1945 registration.
The second round of ‘refreshment’ was in fact a full body-off rebuild carried out in the basement of Bob’s townhouse.
Numerous parts were replaced, including several pieces of rotted wood, used as a template for new ash wood made at the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland. Body parts were sent to a paint shop and finished in British Racing Green.
No work was required on the engine as it was a Factory replacement and had covered little mileage since.
In June 1971 Bob drove the car up to Connecticut without incident. He recalls it ran perfectly up the New Jersey Turnpike, thru New York, across the George Washington Bridge. He was proud of his refit, his first full MG restoration at 26 years of age.
The car was sold to Peter Granahan in Granby, Connecticut around 1973. He enjoyed the car for three or four years and sold it to a gentleman in North Carolina.
That was about 1980 and was the last he knew of TC 0278. The picture below is taken from the T-Database (we do not keep owners’ details) and is how the car looks now.
KNA 494 (TC8208), AFL 972 (TD9712), MRK 713 (TF – Chassis number not known)
Chris Keevill, who is the Early MG Society’s (EMGS) Newsletter editor, has enquired again as to where his family’s old T-Types (all of which come up when using the DVLA search enquiry facility) are now.
Hopefully, better luck this time – the details follow:
The first is a green 1954 TF1250, registration mark MRK 713, chassis number unknown, which belonged to his mother. It is taxed and on the road. Here’s the pic (it was black when the pic was taken):
The second is a cream TD, registration mark AFL 972, chassis number TD9712. No pic for this one, but again, it is taxed and on the road.
The third is a TC which belonged to Chris’ brother.
KNA 494 is a maroon TC, chassis number TC8208, shown from a DVLA enquiry as ‘Not taxed for road use.’ The pic was taken pre-1958.
Chris can be contacted at earlymgs(at)icloud.com [please substitute @ for (at)].
TF9209 (484 HYK)
In the previous issue, Jan Mazgaj was asking about TF2385. Barrie Jones, TF Registrar for the T Register noticed the TF1500 badges on the side of the bonnet in the picture that Jan sent, so realized that 484 HYK could not be TF2385 (a TF1250). It is in fact TF9209, last known in Kent.
The chassis number 2385 quoted by Jan is in fact the T Register number for TF9209!
Jan recalls that he was living in Ramsgate, Kent when he sold the car, so “last known in Kent” stacks up. However, 484 HYK does not come up when using the DVLA search enquiry facility.
CKD TCs sent to Ireland in 1946 (Chassis numbers 1752 to 1787)
In the previous issue, Chris Ferneyhough who owns TC1768, one of 36 CKD (Completely Knocked Down and supplied as a kit) TCs sent to Ireland in 1946 was asking if anybody knew who assembled these kits. Simon Johnston came up with the answer as follows:
“The MG assembler in Ireland from 1938 to the mid 1950s was Booth Brothers Ltd., in Dublin. Booth Brothers merged with W.F. Poole Ltd., the Morris Commercials assemblers, around 1954/55 forming Booth Poole Ltd. who continued assembling a variety of BMC cars until 1971.
Thank you, Simon!
……..and to close – as we are in ‘lockdown’ in the UK, no doubt like many other countries in the world, we have not been able to participate in the annual ‘Drive it Day’ organised by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, which traditionally takes place at the end of April. This was a tremendous disappointment to Melanie Howe, so she thought she would organise her own ‘Drive Nowhere Day’ for her Sprite and husband, Kev’s TA.
Over to Mel…….
“I checked Kev had all the essentials….face mask, toilet roll, anti back hand gel, Dettol, plain flour and with that we were off…..no route map or tulip diagrams needed this year ….
Just a trip up the field to where I had placed the Union Jack bunting and blanket.
All too soon our trip was over…..excitement over for another year !!!”