KKD 600 (TC9581)
KKD 600, as owned by Chris Clay in the 1960s and later by John Chalkley from 2012.
The penultimate paragraph of the editorial in Issue 17 (April 2013) contained the following request:
Simon Clay has contacted me about TC9581 (KKD 600) which was his father’s first car while he was a midshipman in the Royal Navy at Dartmouth College in the early 60s. Simon would dearly like to talk to the present owner. If s/he reads this please e-mail me via the website contact form.
Almost eight years later (on 25th January), I received an e-mail from John Chalkley, the current owner (since August 2012) of KKD 600. John said that he had only just seen Simon’s request whilst reading earlier issues of TTT 2 and hoped that he was not too late to make contact with his dad.
Your editor quickly brought the two together and it wasn’t long before the two started to exchange stories. By way of an initial introduction, Chris (Simon’s dad), said that he acquired KKD 600 just before his 21st birthday in 1966 when he was a Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, undergoing training at Dartmouth Naval College. The car was bought for him in Sheffield for £90. He didn’t have much money but spent what he had on getting the car re-sprayed red and a renewed hood and side screens.
KKD600 was the start of Chris’ love affair with classic cars. He now has a very nice Healey 3000.
Looking back on his ownership of TC9581 all those years ago, it is somewhat fortuitous that the car has survived (if you read on).
During his time at Dartmouth Naval college the car was the envy of many of the Sub Lieutenants, including some of the Aussie Sub-Lieutenants, for its – how shall I put it – yes ……. drawing power of the opposite sex. After a night out in a Dartmouth disco with friends, Chris was driving a pretty young girl home to Salcombe from Dartmouth and took a bend too fast while over correcting for the loose steering and braking pull. The car slid into a Devon wall, bounced off and rolled over. Thankfully neither driver or passenger was hurt, but the TC was. Chris managed to turn the car over and got it back to the college where he spent several weeks trying to repair it himself.
Unfortunately, the hit on the back left side had bent a part of the chassis and that was beyond his capability. So, reluctantly the car was sold to a scrap dealer for £50. Thank goodness the scrap dealer saw more in the car than scrap metal or spare parts, but Chris doesn’t know where it went from there.
Parting with the car in these circumstances broke Chris’ heart, so you can imagine how delighted he was when his son, Simon looked up KKD 600 on Google and discovered her alive and well and looking beautiful in her new green livery.
As previously mentioned, John Chalkley, who now owns the car, has written what he knows about its history and this is worthy of an article in its own right. Over to John……………
“Registration KKD 600 is a Liverpool (B) allocated number and is consistent with the original date[ _KD Jul 1949 – Jul 1950] Chassis: TC9581. Original engine: XPAG 10355 is not fitted.
Prior to 1965 no history is known other than being in the possession of a Navy Sub-Lieutenant living in Southampton. For an unknown period between 1965 and 1992, it is believed TC9581 was in Rhodesia. An application for a first licence for a motor vehicle and declaration for registration was made in Apr-1992, this may have been when TC9581 returned to the UK. At this time TC 9581 was reallocated registration KKD 600. The car was in Cornwall during this period. Littlecote House near Newbury, then owned by Peter de Savery was opened to the public during the period Apr 1993 to 1996. The house had a classic car museum, it is believed TC9581 was in the museum at some time during this period, although there is little evidence to back this up. In 2006, the car was sold to its next owner in Evesham.
I acquired TC9581 in August 2012 from a well-known vintage MG dealer. During the period 2006 to 2011, the car was subject to a chassis up restoration and the colour changed from red to green. It may have been during this work that the engine was replaced. During the restoration, the chassis was refurbished although there is no evidence of repair. Front and rear axles appear to be original as is the Bishop cam steering box. Brake drums and back plates are new and the hydraulic system is filled with DOT5 silicone fluid. The car came with what appeared to be its original steering wheel. The tub is all new wood and the body panels are mainly original with a small amount of filler in places. The engine does not bear its original engine number plate. In period, MG engine castings were identified by date code marks cast into the block. The code is 9 K 1 denoting 9th October 1951, confirming it is not the original. At the time of writing the actual engine number is unknown. All other evidence confirms it is a correct XPAG engine.
Whilst the body and chassis had been restored to a good standard, less could be said about the mechanicals. First task was to give the engine a tune up, so the carburettors were stripped and refurbished. A heat shield was fitted to prevent the common problem of vaporisation of the fuel in the float chambers. The front end of the exhaust pipe was wrapped in heat resistant tape also. This shielded the exhaust pipe below the carburettors.
At this point it was discovered that there was no exhaust manifold gasket fitted. With this completed and the timing checked and reset it left the engine running sweetly.
Although running nicely, some smoke was noticed coming from the exhaust. Being blue in colour, oil was suspected as the cause, possibly valve stem oil seals. So, the head was stripped, only to confirm the diagnosis. At this point it was decided to do a lead-free conversion, so the head was taken to a specialist, where the head was cleaned and crack tested, skimmed and had hardened valve seats fitted with bronze valve guides and the ports opened and smoothed for better breathing.
Next challenge came following an MOT failure. The main problems being excess play in the steering and movement in the near side king pin. First thought with the excess steering play was to fit a steering play control adaptor. This replaced the top plate of the bishop cam steering box and provided spring pressure on the top of the sector shaft keeping the peg against the worm. This ‘fix’ proved of little effect and the entire column and box was removed for future refurbishment and a replacement VW steering box fitted. This has greatly improved the driveability of the car.
The play in the king pin turned out to be in the axle rather than the bushes. The king pin is held rigid in the axle with a cotter pin and the steering knuckle pivots on bushes upper and lower. The axle was removed and sent to a machine shop to have the axle eye bored out, sleeved and reamed to suit the new king pin.
Next up item turned out to be the most major item during my ownership and again occurred as a result of an MOT. I drove the car to an MG specialist and left it for them to test. As they tried to drive the car into the test bay the clutch failed. Examination revealed that the bell housing had cracked around the clutch shaft pivot. The solution was to remove the engine and weld repair the bell housing and fit a new clutch complete.
With the engine out, it was discovered that the plate bolted to the front of the engine carrying the engine mounts was also cracked and needed welding. At the same time the core plugs were changed for brass items, the oil pick up pipe was cleaned and the engine given a nice new coat of paint. All reassembled and a new MOT issued.
Other minor items requiring attention have been fitting a new water pump, changing the rear axle pinion oil seal for a lip seal type in place of the original scroll ring, fixing a loose rear hub nut and renewing two of the car’s 4.50 x 19 Dunlop pattern tyres.
One of the first journeys after the engine and clutch work was to Silverstone Classic and the car proved a delight to drive. Even now, having been in the garage since September 2019 and restricted due to some nasty virus apparently, TC9581 starts ‘on the button’ and has been out a couple of times on local runs.
Other outings have been with The Datchworth Classic Car Club informal runs and the car is a regular at Classics on the Common in Harpenden, which attracts around 1500 cars, Classics in the Walled Garden at Luton Hoo, the St Albans Steam Fair and the Capel Manor car show at the horticultural college near Enfield.
The car has been to other car shows locally at Tewin village and Woolmer Green and further afield at Old Warden Airfield in Bedfordshire and Matching Green in Essex all on nice days.
TC9581 also received an award for being Runner Up, Best in Show in 2016 at my local Woolmer Green show.
In common with all cars of this age, there is a list of tasks still waiting to be attended to, including refurbishment of the original Bishop cam steering box, removing the castor angle wedges from the front axle to improve straight line stability, replacing the front springs, renovating the small clock located at the 6 o’clock position on the tachometer dial and possibly a new dynamo. The list never gets shorter.
Ed’s note: KKD 600 at the Woolmer Green show in 2016, where it was runner up, Best in Show.
It’s truly amazing that a request made in my April 2013 editorial has, after all this time, brought together the current and a previous owner of KKD 600. Not only that, but it has resulted in much of the history of the car being revealed, from nearly ending up under the scrapyard crusher, to possibly spending time in Rhodesia and coming back to seemingly have a rest as part of an exhibit in a classic car museum, to having a chassis up restoration by the present owner.
However, much of the history of KKD600 is still missing, so owner, John Chalkley, would be pleased to hear from anybody who might be able to help in filling in the gaps. jhnchlkly(at)gmail.com [Please substitute @ for (at)].
KVO 850 (TC10229)
Stuart Batstone contacted me on behalf of a friend of his (Julian Lewis). Julian’s uncle, Roy Fagg, now 86 years young, used to own this TC.
Roy was at Sheffield University in the period 1954 to 57. He then worked in the steel industry based in Sheffield until 1960 when he moved to London. From 1957 until the London move, he travelled around steel plants in KVO 850 which he bought in 1957 and sold just before the move to London – apparently, he then bought a Standard 10!
Julian sent me a couple of photos of KVO on a trip to Scotland complete with tennis racket sticking out at the back. (Looks like he took everything except the kitchen sink! Ed.)
Roy was curious to know if KVO had survived, so Julian ‘googled’ the registration number and the following photo was found.
With the help of the Graham Brown, we managed to trace the car. It turned out that all three of us (Graham, me and Keith Tansey (the owner) attended a T Register Autumn Tour centered on Buxton, Derbyshire in 2004. I contacted Keith and told him of Julian’s interest on his uncle’s behalf. Keith was very pleased to help with the history of his TC.
Keith got in touch with Julian and confirmed that Roy Fagg was included in his list of previous owners, which he had copied from the original buff log book. The early owners of the car all had addresses in the Sheffield area, with the earliest dating from 1955, owned by a lady, who drove the TC from 1955 to 1957. She sold the car to Julian’s uncle (Roy Fagg), who, as Julian told me, used the car quite extensively from 1957 to 1960, travelling to steel plants. The next owner, also in Sheffield, kept the car from 1960 to 1970, until a Chesterfield College friend of Keith’s bought it. His friend did some work on the bodywork, but a few months later his parents bought him a brand-new Triumph GT6 for his birthday so he lost interest in the TC.
Keith had wanted a TC for quite a while and bought the car from his friend for £120 in August 1970. He’s been fortunate to be able to keep his TC ever since.
When Keith’s friend bought the car, it was brush painted black but he had it sprayed damask red as the picture of Keith with his new purchase, taken in 1971 near Rugby, Warwickshire, shows.
Keith has since returned the colour to green (not quite the original green) and beige interior rather than green original. He still has some bills for work on the engine in 1961 by Beckitt & Garner in Sheffield for reboring & regrinding the crankshaft for £16.6s. and new camshaft for £7.8s.6d.
The engine was not rebuilt again until 2007, mainly due to valve gear wear and rebored due to slight bore wear.
The car was off the road from 1985 to 2000 due to clutch and gearbox problems which took a while to sort it due mainly to family commitments. Apart from that, it has been on the road for a majority of the rest of the time. The last time the car was driven was last October just before the lockdown.
There are a few photographs at events that have been attended which can be seen on www.ambervalleyclassiccarclub.co.uk which is the local classic car club of which Keith has been Secretary since 2007.
KVO 850 at Malestroit, Brittany, France in 2003.
This TA, which used to belong to Kevin Morrison, was mentioned in the previous issue. Kevin, who is now in Malta, has found a photograph of his old car. It was taken in 1973 whilst on a car rally in Sussex. He sold the car for £1,500 at the Beaulieu Autojumble in 1974 to raise funds for a deposit on a house.
He can’t remember the chassis number of this ex-Kent police car, but DKT 635 (TA1183) is a VA engined ex-Kent police car.
Kevin thinks that his car still exists, having been exported to Germany in the late 1980s.
Any leads to me, please at jj(at)ttypes.org [substitute @ for(at)].
EKD 635 (TA2640)
A photo of this car, racing at Brand’s Hatch was included in Issue 61 (August 2020). Stewart Penfound tells me that the last recorded owner was in York, back in 1988. The date of the last V5C issued was 2012, which indicates it might have changed hands then. If you can help, Charles Warner charles(at)quinkywholesaleplants.co.uk [substitute @ for (at)] would like to hear from you.
KPF 908 (TC 1139)
Andy Kirk would very much like to know the whereabouts of his old TC. Here’s the story of his ownership:
“Having sold my daily driver TA (EOL 857), I was able to buy my first TC on 27 July 1966 for £135. It had been built on 19 July 1946 so was just twenty years old back then. The original engine was XPAG/1787, but the one fitted when I bought it was XPAG/3295. As can be seen from the photo, the car had a green interior (including green Rexine-covered dashboard) when I acquired it, suggesting that it was a black (or green) bodied car originally. The car had lost its original external driving mirror, its Altette horn and FT27 fog lamp, but gained a pair of (rather elegant, I thought) chromed horns and chromed radiator slats. It was also fitted with the Lucas type 471 rear lights.
The interior had a Bluemels Brooklands steering wheel with the brown mottled rim, and a Jaeger water temperature gauge located to the right of the rev counter – and joy of joy, it had working green instrument lighting which, back in the sixties, made for dramatic night driving!
Again, the TC was my daily driver, and over two years of ownership I covered a total of 15,000 miles – a lovely car, and it seemed pretty nippy after the TA. Sold for £145 on 5 June 1968 to a lady from Moseley, Birmingham.
I had registered the car with the MGCC T Register, and it was allocated register number 1450 by the then Register Secretary, Ron Gammons. The car still appears on the T Register website, and I suspect it still retains the information I provided back in 1966, albeit updated with information I sent in September 2017. I’d be delighted to know where it is now and to have details of its more recent past history. I would also be happy to provide copies of various papers, photos, etc from the late sixties to the current owner if he or she is interested.”
Andy can be contacted at adkirk1215(at)gmail.com [please substitute @ for (at)].
Ed’s note: KPF 908 does not come up from a search of the DVLA enquiry facility. That’s not to say that it isn’t still around somewhere waiting to be discovered as a ‘barn find’.
As Andy mentioned his TA (EOL 857), I checked that out as well and got the same result.
594 AMX (TF 3616)
Another request from Andy for information about the TF1250 he used to own:
“I’d always aspired to own a TF, so as soon as the TC had been sold, I bought 594 AMX on 30 May 1968 for £295 – more than double the TC sale price! I must have been saving hard. It was bought from Raymond Charles William Lamb who lived then in the Ryton-on-Dunsmore area in Warwickshire.
It was a 1250cc TF, chassis number TF 3616, built 26 February 1954, and the original engine was XPAG/TF/33656; when I owned it, the engine number was XPAG/99177. The factory production record gives the car number as HDB16/3616. In Clausager’s book, Factory Original MG T-Series, he notes that the third letter (the B above) indicates the original paint colour: B was for grey, or later light grey (Birch Grey). The car was completely standard as far as I was aware, although it had been resprayed in Jaguar metallic maroon paint; the interior was tan/light brown, but I thought then that black would look more sophisticated. Out with the Nuagane leather restorer (black) for the seats, door panels, etc, and my then girlfriend (now wife) covered the dashboard with black leatherette, made a new black leather gaiter for the gear stick, and cut and fitted new black carpets throughout – job done!
The TF, again as my daily driver, covered about 21,000 miles in my ownership of two years two months. The car was eventually sold for £440 to Allan G Simkins on 5 August 1970 via an advert in the August 1970 issue of Motor Sport.
Again, I registered the car with the T Register, and it was allocated number 1806. I’m pleased to say that the car still appears on the Register website, and a colour photograph shows the car now with gleaming cream paintwork and red interior, so it’s been restored and is definitely still out there somewhere! I would be delighted to know of its current whereabouts and recent history, and would be happy to forward copies of photos and other papers of the car in the late sixties if the present owner is interested.
PS: a little trivia. In Paddy Willmer’s book, MG T Series in Detail, there is a black and white photo on page 128 of a privately entered TF on the 1954 Alpine Rally; the registration is 551 AMX, so it might have been built the same week as 594 AMX.”
Ed’s note: 594 AMX comes up from a search of the DVLA enquiry facility. The date of the last V5C issued is 22nd August 2013, so it looks as though it might have changed hands then.
This car, a North American export, was once part owned by Terry Sanders. It was part won by him in a poker game when he was at Louisiana State University….he raced it once, then in1960 traded it in on a MGA coupe. It might just still be around somewhere!
Found – a TC from long term ownership
“This TC has chassis number TC 8100, so a late TC built on 7th March 1949. It has registration HZ 2808, a Tyrone NI car and came across the Irish Sea in 1956.
The TC had been owned by Adrian Johnson who lived near Harrogate since 1962 and who had bought it from a G K Lyke another Yorkshireman from Bradford. Adrian died in the Autumn of 2020.
A partial renovation had taken place but stalled some years before. It was probable that the previous owner had also bought a donor car as many components were in duplicate, some in triplicate. The rolling chassis was largely complete including the fitting of a supercharger. The body tub however had been left in the open and even the most optimistic restorer could not have resurrected it. Perhaps the intention was to build a special or Q type replica.
I now have the rolling chassis and other parts in my workshop and will start a restoration shortly. Many of the duplicate parts are available to purchase”.
Ed’s note: The duplicate parts mentioned by Geoff were advertised on the MG T Society website in January/February and most have been sold.
GRA 920 (TB0544)
Brian Chapman, who owned this car 1959/1960, when he was stationed in the RAF at Abingdon contacted me to ask if I knew if the car has survived. He sold the TB to provide cash for his wife’s to be engagement ring.
Brian added that he has many happy memories of the car, which was green with a red interior and he remembers buying a new hood for it. Newly married life involved downsizing to a Lambretta scooter!
Brian didn’t have a picture of the car when it was in his ownership – the picture shown is from Philipp Will in Germany, who bought the TB from a gentleman near Edinburgh in 2018. The car has had eleven previous owners.
Philipp is doing a total restoration down to the last nut and bolt.
HAA 308 (TC7981)
A request for information on the whereabouts of this car was included in Issue 63 (December 2020). Liz Moore who was enquiring about her late father’s TC, had her hopes raised after I contacted Stewart Penfound of the T Register, who knew the owner’s details. Stewart wrote to the owner, telling him of Liz’s interest, but sadly, the owner has so far failed to respond.
I’m afraid that it’s a case of ‘so near yet so far’ for Liz, who would be interested in buying the car.
DDH 900 (TA0943)
Information about this car was included in the previous issue of TTT 2. The owner of DDH 900 has been traced through the MG Octagon Car Club. The car is currently being totally restored by Paul Myatt, Classic Car Consultant.
UMG 889 (TD20664)
Roger Cadogan would love to track down his old TD. It was was bought in Torquay and the picture was taken soon after a move to Stourport-on- Severn in late ’69 or early ’70, showing Roger with bobble hat and driving gloves. This was after a part rebuild following engine destruction at Silverstone at the May ’69 meeting. When these pictures were taken it had been fitted with a Mk.22 Cabin blower that Roger bought as NOS! The Moto-Lita wheel might provide a small clue or jog a memory. Roger, can be contacted at rogercadogan(at)talktalk.net [please substitute @ for (at)].
EUJ 924 (TC6667)
Chris Sayers is looking for any information on his dad’s old TC racer. It was extensively raced in the ‘80s and ‘90s in the MGCC T Type championship. The car was sold in 2008 to a buyer who can’t now be traced. chrissayers77(at)gmail.com [please substitute @ for (at)].
JUM 427 (TC0918) – The search goes on
Peter Richmond is redoubling his efforts in trying to contact the present owner of his late father’s car. First featured in Lost & Found in Issue 57, December 2019, it again appeared in Issue 58, February 2020, when Peter sent in a period photo. Following this, the car was featured again in Issue 59, April 2020; this time a photo of the car as it is now, was included since it had been sent to Peter by a friend of the current owner. Sadly, the trail has gone cold as the current owner has not been in touch. Peter has recently come across some more pictures of the car from back in its heyday (one of which is included above, showing the car and his mother’s scooter), also some documents, including a petrol ration book and a letter from someone who wrote to his dad in the late sixties, who was the owner at that time. He would willingly share this history of the car with the present owner, if only he would get in touch. Peter’s contact details are: pfrguitar(at)gmail.com [please substitute @ for (at)]