The Editor

Tour of Rutland

I’ve just returned from the TTT 2 Tour of Rutland. The weather was kind to us once we were there and judging from feedback received, everyone enjoyed the weekend. Participants particularly liked the informality of the Tour.

We were very pleased to be joined by Dan Nightingale and James Greig of Love Productions, who chose our Tour to film some of the action for a programme they are making for Channel 4 TV. The photo below shows Ron Benson being interviewed at Barnsdale Gardens, where we had all the cars parked around the perimeter of a field which had been reserved for us.

Tour of Isle of Wight

Planning for next year’s Tour which is being held on the Isle of Wight has now started. We have just had to bring the Tour forward a week. The new dates are 29/30/31 August and 01 September. The reason for this is because, unbeknown to us when we originally set the previous dates, there is a music festival (‘The Bestival’) being held at the same time and the thousands who attend pack the ferries. I have e-mailed the 29 prospective participants who have expressed an interest in the Tour. If you have previously expressed an interest but didn’t receive an e-mail from me, please get in touch straight away. Our allocation of accommodation is 5 single rooms (which have almost certainly all been taken) and 34 double/twin rooms (of which only around 10 remain).

The ‘MG & Riley Parts Dept 1952 Raleigh Low Gravity Cyclemaster Roundsman’.

Some readers may have seen this item which has been for sale on eBay for around £6,000. From a quick scan through the auction lists when the Factory contents were sold off there is apparently no mention of a Cyclemaster. Would be purchasers should verify the provenance of what is being offered for sale by asking the vendor to provide an original Factory photo of the Cyclemaster so that it can be compared with what is being claimed as “cosmetically original”.

Ethanol blend quotas in trouble?

The US Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 sharply increased how much ethanol that fuel companies must blend into petrol each year. However, the law was passed just before the financial crisis and the shift towards more fuel efficient cars. The result is that the mathematics just do not work since the requirements of the Act can only be met if the fuel companies were to increase the ethanol content in petrol beyond 10%. But in most cases they have refused to go beyond 10%, citing potential damage to engines.

Bollezeele 2014

Some readers will be aware of the wonderful few days experienced for the past 3 years at the Hostellerie Saint-Louis in Bollezeele, France Bollezeele is a small village about 14 miles outside Dunkerque. The location is also convenient for Calais, some 25 miles, and for people travelling from the North via Belgium or Holland.

TTT 2 subscribers Peter Cole and Gillian Smith have organised these trips for the past three years and have been asked, and agreed, to organise another in 2014. The hotel has only 25 rooms and the aim is to fill all rooms.

As in previous years, this will be a purely social event without any road books or pre arranged meets. Just come along and enjoy the freedom to do your own thing in an area with plenty to suit most people. Not forgetting the wonderful food and wine at the hotel.

Negotiations with the hotel are currently in hand. The proposal for 2014 is to arrive on Tuesday 20th May in time for a welcome reception and dinner then leave on Friday 23rd May after Breakfast. The price per room (2 people) for the 3 days Dinner, Bed and Breakfast package is expected to be in the region of 400 to 472 Euros depending on room choice (Single occupancy rates are available).

Initially please email or send an expression of interest to Peter and Gillian by 30 November 2013. If you wish to discuss anything, please feel free to phone them on either of the numbers below:

Peter Cole and Gillian Smith peter.cole11(at) {substitute @ for (at)} 01420 85434; 07800950333 10 Princess Drive, Alton, Hants. GU34 1QS





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6 thoughts on “The Editor

  1. Philip Dadd says:

    A question for John.
    I am doiung a major engine rebuild on my MPJG (TA)
    What clour is the engine block?
    The gearbox has never been stripped and is Norfolk Green.
    Is this the correct colour for a TA Engine?
    The egine still has white metal bearings and I wish to convert to Slippers. I have been told that those from an MGB or 1964 Dtsun (Nissan) Bluebird will fit.
    Can this be confirmed?

    • JOHN JAMES says:


      I think you will find that the engine block on the TA was red. Clausager in his book ‘Original MG T Series’ (available from the T-Shop) describes the colour as ‘a bright red almost orangey colour’. The spare gearbox I have (which I’m fairly sure is an unmolested ‘box) tends to bear this out, albeit the paint has faded over the years. Incidentally, the markings on the gearbox (the side that I can get at) are the Qualcast logo, then underneath this logo the number 19045, then underneath this number, the number 2.

      As for fitting shell bearings, it may be possible to do this but I am not aware of anybody who has done this with a standard crank and rods. Bill Davis has done this with a Phoenix crank and rods using MGB shells but please note the problems he encountered.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Phil and others,

      The Phoenix crank and rod set that I installed only uses MGB shell bearings with the rods.

      The main journals are standard TA size and they run in the original type poured babbitt shells.

      We would all be interested if you find shell bearings being used for either rod or main application and hope you will share that information with us.

      Bill Davis – TA2190

  2. Brian Rainbow says:

    Philip, I agree with John, the majority of MPJG engines that I have seen have always been painted red, I have 4 old blocks in my garage all red and one MPJM block painted green. Likewise with gearboxes, all the TA boxes I have (and have seen) have been painted red. I have a Morris 10 Series III box that is painted green. The external box is the same as a TA gearbox, but the gears and selectors are different.
    Best wishes, Brian TA2551

    • Tom Wilson says:

      Brian, John, and all – I need to go back and find it, but in my recent research I read a bit that said all the special balanced and competition engines were painted green, while regular production engines were red. At least that’s how I remember it, but the gist was special engines were painted a different color, and the “special” work was done at MG after the engine arrived from Engines Branch.
      Anyone else have notes on this?

  3. Neil Pope says:

    I am intrigued by the recent comments regarding TA engine colour. My engine (MPJG 2493) was definitely green when I stripped it and cleaning has now removed that. My first impression was that it had been repainted and I couldn’t find any evidence of red anywhere except for the gearbox. I am now wondering if in the interests of originality, that I should paint the engine green?
    Also, I have raised the question of torque values for the MPJG in the current MGOCC bulletin, in relation to main bearing studs, big and little ends etc as there seems to be little published information. I would welcome all opinions on this. Finally, if I use nyloc nuts on the aforementioned studs will they be affected by the engine heat?
    Many thanks.

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