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MG MGA - classic car restoration

On channel 5 tonight is a programme about classic car restoration, which may be interesting. 8 p.m.
Nigel Munford


What a load of rubbish, could hardly bear to watch. A couple of shady characters doing a quick job on a car with bits bought for a fiver under the arches. Pity I was quite looking forward to it.Puts genuine restorers in a bad light.

B Bridgens

A totally dumbed down programme based on 5 sec sound bites of emotional outbursts from egocentric people. The programme had very little to do with genuine restoration.
It illustrates the fear that producers have of treating any subject seriously so they take refuge in what they think are 'entertaining personalities'.
J H Cole

enginer. Channel 5 and quality programming do not usually go together and they have maintained the tradition.

Trouble is they will now have left an impression that an E-type can be restored for
Malcolm Asquith

I agree, the restoration was dumbed down so much that it looked like a complete bodge, which it wasn't. The engine "only needed the cylinders cleaned out and a worn piston repaired" - what does that even mean? In their attempt to create "drama" and entertain those who are not interested in the subject they produced a junk program.
N McGurk

I was astounded at the "panel beating" footage, it looked more like they were "panel denting" with a view to make the filler stick better.

It looked as if they used 6000 worth of body filler to smooth out the dents!

Colyn Firth

Not impressed with the programme either - fake arguments to make it "more interesting". I went to see an MGA that had been restored in the same way - respray, new chrome and leather - totally a rust bucket underneath!
Cam Cunningham

The unrestored E type looked a Bargain.. To me the body looked good and somebody had just Rattle canned red paint over the car in places it would not normally be rusty just for effect. Valued at 30,000 maybe but try selling it for that.

Bring back Wreck rescue , that was much better.
R Mcknight

They are 'doing' a Porsche 911 next week!
J Bray

It's on again tonight at 7pm if you want to repeat the agony.

Steve Gyles

I use to enjoy the "pimp my ride" series. Whilst the cars were often not my thing, the workmanship was inspiring. Alas the opposite appears to be true with this new series.

The winner of that E Type would need half again as a starting point....

I live in the east end and no one speaks like that anymore either !!!

Lets hope the production team read some of the comments from the classic car communities and the script writers begin to earn their wage.

I bet those 911 boys will have a thing or to if they make a mess of the next one. As a former 1973 911 owner I know full well the bills Porsche can inflict.


Mark Hester

On again tonight.
Steve Gyles

That was even worse! A very fleeting glimpse of some horrible damaged steel and enormous amounts of filler. I will have to talk to my friend who is big into Porsches and the associated forums to see what those guys thought!

At least they explained how a rotor arm works, spinning at the same speed as the engine and contacting the distributor cap...

I shouldn't watch it knowing it will annoy me, but at least I can laugh at the figures!
N McGurk


I wondered what the commentator was referring to when he commented that Porsche had a brilliant and unique piece of mechanics on the engine. Then the engineer holds up the distributor cap and rotor!! I don't know anything about Porsche engines. Are they 2-strokes? I also picked up on the point that the rotor ran at engine RPM.

You never know, I may become an expert. I entered the competition to win it!!!!!!

Steve Gyles

Unfortunately, our club was persuaded to get involved when the programme about restoring an MGB, which I think is being broadcast next week. We were asked to get together with another MG club in Surrey, where they filmed us taking part in a few driving skills games. The day didn't go well - and having seen the Jag restoration I have a sense of foreboding that if they do show us - they'll probably make all look like a bunch of right idiots!. I agree with the comments about the first programme, absolutely dire, with lots of silly contrived arguments and 'storming out' of the garage. Must have been a good restoration though for £6k!!!
D J Hill

Ford Mustang tonight!

Steve Gyles

They even managed to ruin a Mustang, why put a rear spoiler and black graphics on it, and no mention of the exclusive electric clock that they paid extra for on the doner car.
J Bray

Unbelievable! That is unbelievable that the producers can imagine anyone would believe a word of it!

Three weeks and thirteen thousand dollars.....
N McGurk

Apparently in the MGB programme it turns out hey had to buy a complete new shell as their car was beyond repair.

Somehow they failed to mention such an important detail.

Channel 5 have withdrawn this episode from the play again option the others are still available
J Bray

I found it strange last night that they had the car down to a bare chassis, then put everything back on, including the engine and brand new wheels before sending it to be painted!


Steve Gyles

<<Apparently in the MGB programme it turns out hey had to buy a complete new shell as their car was beyond repair. >>

They actually used (at least) two MGBs.

The wreck that they started off with was a late model with plastic dashboard and the brake servo combined with the dual-circuit master cylinder.

The finished car had the earlier dash, clocks, indicator/wiper stalks and a remote servo on the other side of the engine bay.
Dave O'Neill2

I asked Ch 5 some questions, twice! And both times they never answered the direct question which. Below is my second query and their response;

Me "I previously made a comment about this programme and the response did not address the points i made about the true cost of restoring the cars unless the guys actually doing the job (not the two who do nothing) were not paid.

The programme on the MGB was particularly misleading. Very little footage of body restoration was shown and now i am told that the body shell was replaced as it was beyond repair. Why was this not mentioned on the show? Why hide this fact?"

Here is Ch 5's second fudge reply;
"During the production of the episode featuring the MGB transmitted on 8th October the mechanics in London discovered some serious problems with the vehicle midway through its restoration and they felt it might not be entirely safe to drive.

Their original plan was to buy a new chassis, which is a common way that people restore MGBs and build on top of that. However, the producers wanted to continue to use second hands parts so they bought another car and used its chassis, transferring much of the first MGB to that, right down to door-handles, and windows. The cost of the new car was factored into the overall cost of the restoration."

C Manley

1950s Cadillac tonight. One for those across the pond to pick up on Piston Heads during the week. I am sure they would enjoy sharing this disastrous series of programmes with us!

Steve Gyles

A few years ago, on the Discovery channel, there was a programme 'A MG is Born' where a MGB was restored. It was a bit cheesy, and 'shouty' but the presenter, Mark Evans, was quite likable, and they did show proper restoration work.
The whole series is on You Tube.
Nigel Munford

It's a Mini Cooper tonight.
Steve Gyles

The series is being aired on this side of the big pond as well, although we're a few weeks behind. I believe they're showing the MGB episode tonight. I've seen portions of the previous two episodes (Jaguar E-type and Porsche 911). It sure seems like the producers are more interested in arguing and shouting than car restoration.
Andy Bounsall

2,600 parts and labour and finished in seven days week! It's taking the bulls**t to a whole new level.

On the other hand I might take a few cars there for restoration. Welding a complete floor pan including sills and boot floor, rear valence, corners and front wings, bare metal respray, new subframe, full new interior, new wheels tyres and all new brightwork for less than 3 grand and done in a week!

N McGurk

The Top Gear, James Bond car special made much better viewing this evening.
J Bray

I gave up on watching the Mini programme last night as soon as they set fire to it when welding and the yelling at each other started - I found the James Bond cars programme more entertaining too Steve.
Cam Cunningham

I kept watching just for the amusement. It beats me how they always seem to do a 'complete' restoration except for the engine bays. Last night was the same. A disaster under the bonnet.

Steve Gyles

An afterthought. They rebadged a basic Mini 1000 as a Mini Cooper, saying it would add value. Surely that must be illegal, presenting it to be something it is not. The Cooper organisation still exists I believe. I wonder what their reaction is.

Steve Gyles

Just watched the MGB episode. What a load of crap. There's no way they could've turned the original rust bucket into that finished product in 2 weeks and a total of $4000 in parts AND LABOUR. Ridiculous.
Andy Bounsall

This thread was discussed between 24/09/2012 and 30/10/2012

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