50 years of MGB and others
The inside of this model was particularly cosy and well appointed for that age , but unfortunately that style did create a number of problems for me when it came to restoration and retaining a resembulance to the original assembly, when you consider the number of times it had been submerged in dirty river flood water.This photo is from a different car that seems to have enjoyed a much less severe life experience, but it gives one an idea of what is involved to revive such an example of early classics
After the MG-PB Coupe was finished, registered and in use I discovered three Wolesley Hornet Specials that were housed in an old leanto garage that was sheduled for immediate demolition to make way for a new access road. The next few days were spent felling trees and clearing shrubbery in order to gain access to the garage doors which had become totally overgrown in the period since the end of WW2 . The original owner had failed to return from hostilities in North Africa during the war,his parents managed to come up with just one log-book (reg / title)but that did not really matter because storage had created rather severe damage to the cars and I only succeeded in recovering one by cannibulizing the others. The end result was not quite what I had anticipated ,considering that this was basically a copy of the PB with 2 extra cylinders
The most interesting of the three turned out to be a "Pendine Special" built by Jenson motor bodies in West Bromwich for Patrick Motors B'ham to commemorate the series of land speed records that had occured on Pendine Sands in North Wales around the early 1930's period. This was supposed to be a super-tuned version intended for sporting events but by the time it came into my possession in the late 50's the car gave the impression that it was more of a "Hooray "Henrys poseur car , all show and little go type of vehicle. In reflection it is not surprizing that WR Morris decided to drop Wolesley sports cars and concentrate on developement of MG range of cars,incorporating many of Wolseleys design patents and OHC engine ideas.I spent quite a time trying to come too terms with this design but ultimately gave up in favour of the Riley 12 .Kestrel series engine which seemed much more exciting
Nothing to do with MG but while I was playing about with the MG-PB other sports cars came my way such as the Singer 9 Le-Mans Special which when it was released represented serious competition to the MG. It was fitted with a very clever SOH camshaft engine of about 948cc and was very well engineered in all other respects, unfortunately shortly after its introduction the factory team cars sustained fractured steering arms in a motor race,( Isle of Man TT I believe). the resulting bad publicity seriously affected sales and when public confidence could not be restored the model simply ceased production. A bigger 1-5 litre version was also made but few were sold .The cars were well engineered and the defect was easily rectified but bad news travels fast. Picture :- Le-MANS under repair (1958/9)
Great posts here. I adore the PB Airline Coupe. In fact I have a soft spot for all aerodynamic cars of the '30s. The PB was one of the more elegant compact cars of the period. It remimds me of a scaled down version of the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Sixth Series Coupe by Figoni.
lets move on ?
In the begining there a wreck like this :- MGA Coupe.
Sorry about the fail ! this photo/ imaging system really suck's! I will try again.With luck you should see :- MGA Coupe 1500Mk1 Wreck
The next stage was to seperate all the parts and begin the laborious task of derusting, cleaning, treating each individual component, many of which required prepping for welding and remetal working to repair accident damage and attend to corrosion which in this case was quite severe,anyone contemplating restoration of old MG sports cars needs to have extensive welding experience and access to both oxy-gas & mig equip't .This model has mainly bolt on panels ,secured by loads of captive nuts which take for ever to restore ,a real test of your patience and very time consuming.
Of course the same steps are required for the chassis and running gear . The frame was stripped ,blasted and repaired with pre-cut metal repair sections obtained from (Moss & co) but if you prefer it is possible to cut your own from sheet stock ( If you need the sense of achievement ). We took the opportunity to strengthen the rails by boxing them on the open side to improve the rigidity and cope with the extra power that was being installed later. One of the problems with MGA chassis stems from their use of wood panels in the floors, because the wood tends to hold water the mounting becomes severely rusted through and require carefully rewelding with a set of new members. This operation is quite intricate and best left to an expert welder .