Tuesday, February 18, 2020


(Posted on FB 1/26/20)

PROJECT 51: Do-Over. When I bought the MG I envisioned just "fixing it up" by correcting the things I knew to be wrong with it, having it repainted, and finishing its reassembly after the previous owner's stalled restoration. I then planned to just have fun driving it. A couple things have changed, since then.
Those of you who have been following these posts (Thank you, by the way!) know that there are a LOT more things that needed to be corrected than I ever guessed.
Second, when I began researching the history of the MGTD model, I found that there were far fewer of them ever built than I expected. In the five years of its production (1949-1953) there were only 29,664 TDs built. Of those, 23,488 were left-hand drive units sold in North-American, with only 9,901 of them built in 1951. That would make it a relatively rare car if all of them still survived. But one of the MG club sites estimates that as few as 25% of those original numbers are still out there and drivable. That makes my car one of possibly only 2,500 to have made it through its 69 years.
So, what started out as a "driver-quality fix-up" has now become a full body-off restoration. Where simply painting the engine and transmission parts "red" was acceptable at first, I now want them to be the factory-correct red, which is much darker than the engine enamel I had on the shelf. So, I've spent the past couple of days repainting ten or so smaller parts and brackets, the oil pump, the timing chain cover, and the entire transmission.
You can see from the before and after pictures how any MG aficionado would have recoiled in horror when I opened my "bonnet" to let him see my work.
My plan to have fun with it when I'm done has not changed, however. This is still going to be a driver!

Red, but not the right red.

Correct MG engine-red.

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