|Posted on September 21, 2012 at 5:20 AM|
We've just returned from another manic weekend at the circuit-des-Remparts in Angouleme and I must say I enjoyed every minute of it. The weather was glorious and there were two really strong grids of interesting pre-war cars. It was a real struggle for me to be ready in time but "Big Red" as she's become known was worth the wait and looked every bit the part in the pitlane:
As it transpired it was a weekend of highs and lows for several people with only 4 of the circa 20 pre-war cars making it all the way to the end and sadly my car wasn't amongst them - she decided to split an oil pipe in the first session. Luckily no damage was done and she'll be stronger for it, her new owner is looking forward to using her for hill climbs and sprints and I'm sure he won't be disappointed - she goes very well indeed.
It was also nice to see one of our Q-Type kits on the track in the form of Josh Longbottom's blue MG TA / Q-Type car. Josh did well in his first outing in a pre-war car (talk about in at the deep end!) and looked good value for 3rd until a fueling issue halted his race (although it was also the car's first use in anger). One thing I quickly learned was that racing can be as frustrating as it can be good but the highs justify the lows! I'm sure he'll be a force in years to come one both he and the car have had time to settle in to the idea. Here they are pictured with my son Luke before leaving the pits.
With "Big Red" completed I will be turning my focus back to car sales in the coming months and am looking forward to another busy year. I hope to be taking my own TB to Angouleme 2013, now there's just the small issue of putting it back together..
|Posted on July 15, 2012 at 11:50 AM|
It's depressing outside and so I've found myself locked in the garage. There's a lot going on at the moment as I am assembling two kits for clients and have mean greenie nearing completion (although it may not be green!) and big red hoping to make it's first outing at Angouleme in September.
With regard to the kits, I often feel that people don't know the full extend of what we get up to. We often supply parts to complete a build and have access to a bewildering number of parts from all manner of suppliers - from Pork Pie lights to stoneguards, wing clamps to footplates so if you are in the midst of building yourself a special please feel free to get in touch. Here's a kit we're just finishing for a client in America before it went to the paintshop.
You'll see we've made a custom front manifold and fitted a Wade blower for the client underneath. This car has an XPAG engine to which we have attached a pre-selector gearbox with the MMM style slow running knobs present and correct. I am looking forward to seeing it built.
|Posted on May 7, 2012 at 4:20 PM|
By the time I managed to put this car up for sale there was already a gentleman waiting outside my front door wanting to buy it, must be worthy of a mention on the blog then! So nice to see a fully restored MG TC done to such a high standard and I am pleased that it has gone to a gentleman with an engineering background who can keep her on song. I must also say that it is nice to sell a car to a local gent, as I have been spending a lot of time on the road recently.
The new owner was able to confirm to me that the car was, as suspected, another University Motors supplied example - that's two in a row now! Actually, in a strange coincidence it transpired that he knew one of the former keepers listed on the Buff log book, another local man. Quite strange given that I had fetched the car from Northern Ireland. Maybe it is a small world after all. The cars for sale page is looking a bit lean at the moment with all attention being focused on "Mean Greenie" and "Big Red", I will post some photographs of the progress on "Mean Greenie" shortly. It's been quite a transformation with the engine and gearbox now sitting neatly in the car. That said "Big Red" has been the real change and I can now unveil the new body design for the first time. Love to hear your thoughts.
|Posted on April 17, 2012 at 4:55 PM|
Now sold, this 1948 MG TC which had been subject to a lengthy and expensive bare chassis rebuild. Required paint, trim & wiring to complete. A beautiful project for someone to take on, with much of the hard work already done. All panels had been repaired and fitted and the car also benefitted from a new body tub and chrome work. The gauges and,engine had been rebuilt, the car had new tyres..the list went on and on. Well over £10,000 must have been spent by the time it reached us meaning all that was left to do was to choose the colour & trim (well, almost!). A lovely genuine UK car, sold with V5 and original registration. I hope we can find more like her.
|Posted on April 17, 2012 at 3:40 PM|
Mean greanie has had the chassis checked, straightened and repaired where necessary and as you can see is looking a lot better for it. I have had everything repainted to ensure a top quality finish. I have also fitted new leaf springs. The braking system is being overhauled with new wheel cylinders and a new master cylinder, the shoes have gone away to be relined. The steering arms and the front axle have been chromed, I am taking my time to make sure everything is right on this car. Both the engine and gearbox have been fully rebuilt with the engine being balanced, gas flowed and converted for unleaded fuel. With any luck they should be sitting in the car within a couple of weeks. I am planning to fit a four speed gearbox and have sourced a long ratio differential to ensure the car is suitable for high speed cruising. Once the supercharger is bolted on it won't take much imagination.
The new bodywork for big red is well under way, the tub is sitting well and I have worked out the necessary modifications to fit the custom front valance, cowling and bespoke aluminium radiator. This has extended to altering the chassis in several places! Whilst it may look similar to one of our normal bodies in the photograph, it is a very different beast in the flesh - longer, narrower and ironically meaner than the "mean greanie". I am planning a garish paint job, a marmite car if you like but I am sure you'll love it not hate it. More details soon.
If you are interested in purchasing either of these cars upon completion please drop me a line, I don't take deposits on work in progress but have always operated on a gentlemanly first come first serve policy. If you want first refusal it is yours but the cars will be built to our specification and be ready when they are ready. That is run in, tested, MOT'd, on a V5 - READY! Mean Greanie should be finished by mid July and big red will make her first outing this year at Angouleme.
|Posted on February 17, 2012 at 10:30 AM|
As I've previously suggested I am planning to build two cars this year, I can now offer a few more details on what's in store and when I expect they'll be ready. The blog will as ever feature photographs during the builds and I hope that you'll find it interesting seeing how they go together. Now then;
With there being a number of MG "Q Type" specials for sale at the moment I felt it was time for me to mix it up a bit. The first of the cars that I am building will feature a new body design based loosely on the MG R-Type but adapted for the T-Type chassis. There will be a cowled in radiator and it will look every bit the part as a pre-war race car. She will be painted in a blood red with a biscuit interior, the long bonnet alluding to the power inside. That said I intend for this car to be useable on the road, it's such a shame when they are condemned to decorating people's garages for 360 days of the year. It'll be the ultimate cafe racer, 1500cc steel engine, five speed box, race tyres and several MMM style modifications. All the bells and whistles a man could want for.
The other car I intend to build this year will be more akin to what you'd expect to see leaving my garage. It will be based upon the Q-Type body work kit which I sell but with several modifications to it, many of which have been requested by my clients in the past and help to set the cars apart from the crowd. Supercharged as always but this time with a more tame 1350 engine. I've designed the car to have space for enough luggage for a long weekend or even a jaunt across Europe making it a delightfully usable tourer despite the mean looks.
Two very different cars then and a good year in prospect. I hope you enjoy reading about their progress.
|Posted on February 17, 2012 at 8:35 AM|
Now sold: One of the rarest of the pre-war MGs and in my opinion one of the best too! I'm sure the new owner will have a lot of fun driving this car, he certainly gave it a vigorous test drive, making the most of the rare Shorrock supercharger.
This was a good example which belonged to a good friend of ours for a number of years. Very correct in terms of detail and will a good patina, lots of old invoices and the original University Motors badge were all present along with a buff log book back to 1958.
|Posted on January 6, 2012 at 7:40 AM|
A very happy new year to you all, my thanks for all of the support over the previous year and I am truely looking forward to a busy 2012. Purists beware, you're in for a scare with a few TA / Q-Type builds to be completed this year and I am also working upon a new special for Angouleme.
There will be several new items appearing in my web store this year, including pressed, brass, T-Series radiator shells, headlamp stone guards and several more. The first new item to announce, available this month are these lovely speedo and rev counter jauges. They are 5" jauges, the speedo is driven by a smiths square drive and the rev counter is electronic and available for 4, 6 and 8 cylinder engines. Photos below;
£275 for the Rev Counter and £305 for the Speedometer, both including VAT. Other designs are possible so please ask if there is something you have in mind.
|Posted on December 2, 2011 at 11:15 PM|
With Christmas fast approaching it seems like 2011 has flown by. As many of you will know I have spent the majority of the year focussing upon building a new house. It was something I'd always wanted to do and as the saying goes, if you want something done right - do it yourself. With the project now coming to an end I will be able to once again devote my full attention to MGs and next year should be off to a great start with details of two new Q-Type builds, a lovely MG TB for sale and the prospect of a couple of Cecil Kimber's first creations in my garage.
|Posted on September 30, 2011 at 5:30 AM|
Angouleme. It's always a hectic trip, pleasure you inflict upon yourself I suppose, and this year was no different.
As I previously mentioned, I took Freddie Yhap's old MG TA down for the race this year. It had been standing some time and so it was necessary to replace the old copper head gasket and install a new set of brake shoes (safety fast and all that). I do wonder, though, whether the typically ridiculous amounts of oil leaking from the differential might have somewhat hampered the brakes' effectiveness (how's that for a racing driver excuse). Whilst I'm on the topic of excuses, I will also say that my tyres left a little to be desired and must have been approaching their late teens (I'll forget to mention that they did, in their defence, begin life as 15" Dunlop race rubbers which are in no way in keeping).
I opted to take the citroen, whilst my son Luke went with Peter Greenaway in the van taking mine and Peter's cars. I did have to wonder whether leaving my car relatively unattended with Peter (who is always a favourite for the podium) was a wise move but it seemed to arrive in one piece and as far as I could tell the rotor arm and half shafts remained in place (see; car pranks 101) and my charriot was running well.
It was a weekend of mixed weather and qualifying saw a heavy bout of showers to compound the cruelty of it taking place at 8.30am on the Sunday morning. This left my aged tyres utterly out at sea (you have no idea how literally) and despite the car feeling like it had plenty of grunt I struggled to translate this to a result and would line up on the grid in sixth place.
Thankfully things improved through the day and by the time of the race the clouds had subsided and it was time for those Dunlops to shine. Rather than do my best Murray Walker impression, I will let the video below speak for itself.
Although I'll understand if you have better ways to spend half an hour.. I finished third despite a couple of minor blips, one being a disagreement with a barrier another a racing incident (sure that's how Lewis Hamilton would see it) with my old MG TB (of all the cars). I had a great time despite the prolonged periods behind the safety car, in truth I'm sure I wasn't the only one grateful for the enforced mechanical sympathy and relative relaxation as there were a few smoking brakes, exhausts, even drivers after the race.
My congratulations of course go to Charles Reynolds in his Morgan super sport and Stuart Dean in the well known Dick Jacobs MG YB special who both pipped me to the post finishing first and second respectively. If the organisers will have me back I'm sure I'll be there again, to have another go and am already looking forward to Angouleme 2012.