Tommy Lyngborn, who edits MGCC Sweden’s magazine MG Bulletinen kindly offered me this article to reprint in TTT 2. It originally appeared in the MG Bulletinen in 2018 and was written by Susanna Press, daughter of the late Gunnar Press. Tommy supplied the pictures.
“Mr Google has made a translation” says Tommy and your editor has done his best to interpret in one or two places where it appears that the meaning has been “lost” in the translation.
“In the autumn of 1954, my father, Gunnar Press, replaced his Triumph 1800 Roadster with this MG TC, model year 1947. He then became the fourth owner of the car. The first one I think was Harald Johnsson and eventually the car ended up with Lennart Sundin. Among other things, Lennart co-founded Stockholm’s MG Club in the fifties.
Dad took a practical and realistic approach to things with no illusions or pretentions, and so it was with his car. His motto was that the car was for use and not to be renovated unnecessarily. Many times, he even complained that he had to repaint the top of the hood after all the washing and polishing had worn through the paint over the years. Otherwise, the paintwork is completely original like everything else, from the worn upholstery to the not completely clean engine. The slightly odd paintwork, with black as the base and Regency Red as the decorative color along the body sides and on the ribs in the grill, is actually original even though it was not added at the factory. TC no. 2851 is one of three TC cars that were already repainted as new by Förenade Bil in Malmö (which had the agency for MG at the time) with sides and rear in Regency Red – probably to make them easier to sell. Of the three cars, this is the only one that has its original paintwork left – insofar as there is something left of it. If you look at the upper edge of the door on the driver’s side, you see how the elbow has first worn through the burgundy, then the black and finally the primer.
The bare paintwork underneath has oxidized a little, but as Dad said: “You wear it off with your arm if you drive a lot”.
Nice original upholstery, which has obviously done a few kilometers’’!
Driving a lot is something that Gunnar did with the TC during the first years; the car was used as an all-the-year-round car and was driven daily from the home in Bromma to the workplace inside Banérgatan in Stockholm. According to dad, the car went almost by itself on Strandvägen. During all the years Dad had the car, it is probably only a few summers that it has not been used. In the late 1960s, Mum and Dad drove through Europe. Wherever they went, people applauded. They felt like kings! At the border between Italy and France, they were stopped by a Customs official. He told them to stop the car. They did not understand a word of what he said, he disappeared but came back after a while. He had just been inside and picked up the camera.
They also had time for a trip through the Swiss Alps for summer skiing. Of course, they took the rental skis with them in the car. The journey went on narrow serpentine roads. It went, although it was a bit worrying considering the brake shoes.
In 1974, they took the car and went in one go the 900 kilometers up to Gammelstad.
Once the crankshaft was broken, but otherwise everything on the car has worked all the time. Wonderful is the story of when the petrol pump broke down on the way to Norrtälje and dad managed to fix it with a toothpick. It worked so well that he forgot to fix it permanently and drove around with a toothpick in the pump for several months.
Riding in the MG with dad was the best thing there was. To be transported to school in the TC – hard to beat! How proud I felt! I remember once when my father would drive me to Dalarö, how urgent we were to catch the ferry to Ornö. I had never been driven so fast before, or for that matter after, in the TC. There we were up in 110-120 kph. Then it went away. But we he!
Dad passed away in October 2016. Selling the car was of course unthinkable – never! – it’s part of dad.
Only Dad drove the car (mum had to get her own MGA), and few things have felt as cohesive as dad and his MG. So it was not without a certain tremor that I would sit behind the wheel for the first time. Luckily, I got both help and pep from Christer Ekermann and Anders Fredén before the first tour. The car was surprisingly easy to manoeuvre and if you just concentrate and bite together, you get the TC to keep up with today’s traffic rhythm.
How wonderful it is to take a ride with the TC! Each time we go out, we say: “Oh how well it goes”. Although it is clear, sometimes it does not work at all. During my first summer of 2017 with the TC, the petrol pump definitely stopped on the Traneberg Bridge. Uphill. In rush hour traffic. It was a tow truck the last bit home to Bromma.
This summer we have traveled many miles together, me and the TC. Freshly lubricated with new oil in the gearbox, rear axle and engine, it goes so well, so well. It is pure joy to ride in the TC, and I know how happy Dad would be that the car has been used so often.
Above: Susanna driving Gunnar’s TC. Below: Susanna driving, with her mum, who drives an MGA, as passenger. The transfer, forward of the door handle is a MGCC transfer, which was sent as a separate picture, but has not been reproduced.
Ed’s note: I have not used all of the pictures that were in the original article from the MG Bulletinen and I have not laid out the article as it appeared in the Bulletinen, but I hope that Susanna will forgive me for this, due in part to my lack of IT skills – you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! …certainly not this old dog!