Restoration of TD Hennefahrt – update – 2020

The car, as found in a shed in 2003 in Bavaria and as she is now, in the hands of Rainer Kuehner in Moeckmuehl, near Stuttgart, Germany. It is chassis number TD/C3671 EXL Engine no. XPAG/TD/LHX 3517.

The history of the car, a TD MK II Special and possibly the only one of the custom-built bodies made under German post war production which survived in Europe (some may be in the US), was told in Issue 34 (February 2016).

Briefly, the initiator and designer of the car body was almost certainly Christian Odendahl, racing driver and M.G. dealer before and after the war. Odendahl was racing M.G.s at that time and he appears to have placed the order for the manufacture of the body to coach builder Fritz Hennefahrt Co. located in Bad Cannstatt a suburb of Stuttgart, Southern Germany.

Odendahl of Cologne, owned the car from 1951 to 1956, during which time he carried out a number of modifications to the body line with the objective of giving it a more modern look. He sold the car in 1956 to Manfred Schnabel and it went to Frankfurt. It was later registered at Augsburg near Munich / Bavaria until the early 1960s.

At this point in time it ‘disappeared’ and it was feared that it had been scrapped.  However, approximately 40 years later in 2003 when the widow of the last owner asked some workmen to dismantle a utility shed in the garden, the car was discovered amongst a heap of scrap and in the company of a wide range of collected metal items such as agricultural tractors, juke boxes, casino slot machines, etc.

Following the discovery of the M.G. a classic car dealer from the North of Germany acquired it. The car was given a quick reassembly job and a touch of paint to cover up the worst looking spots.

In 2006 it then found a new owner in Bavaria / Southern Germany. This person was prepared to invest in the restoration of the MG and he contracted a panel beating company for the body work. The company started to make jigs for the front and rear wings, and started to fabricate new doors. Part way through the job of restoring the sheet metalwork and after 450 contract man hours, the owner ran out of money and decided to stop all work. No mechanical and electrical restoration work had been done, but all was still intact.

The Hennefahrt MG was now partly dismantled and semi restored and offered for sale on the internet. Potentially interested parties were wary of the cost of completing the restoration (it was, after all, a ‘one off’) and for a long time, no buyer was found. The car suffered the indignity of being stored outdoors under a tarpaulin in front of a home in the Bavarian countryside.

By coincidence, Rainer Kuehner discovered the Hennefahrt MG and in 2013 he became the proud new owner. Being a professional restorer running a car body and paint shop, he was game enough to tackle the job of finishing the restoration project.

With most of the engine/transmission and mechanical work having been completed, Rainer’s activities have been concentrated mainly on the body shell and paint work.  One question which had to be answered was, what was the original colour? After removing several layers of old blue and red paint, he discovered the original colour – a kind of silver grey. The best match he found is a paint spec going by the name of Silverstone Silver.

In preparation, two coats of epoxy primer were followed by a filler coat and then a base coat of Silverstone Silver and finally a clear coat.

The main jobs now outstanding are overhauling the electrics with the installation of a new TD wiring loom, installing the windscreen, finishing of the seat assemblies and leather covers, trim plus various odd jobs and many small finishing details which have to be attended to.   

Rainer hopes that by the end of the year he will be able to fill the TD Hennerfahrt with fluids, fire it up and be ready to tune it up and do his first run.

The timescale for completion has slipped, but don’t forget that he has a business to run!

Article written with help from Rainer Kuehner and Georg Rahm.