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MG TD TF 1500 - after market parts

i am looking at a 1952 td. it has been restored. some of the restoration includes the use of aftermarket parts including the radiator and grill. does the use of these aftermarket parts render the car as not original or is this acceptable for what one would consider an original mg td. thank you for any advice.
ma schwefel

Interesting question... The value of restored/unrestored T cars can be pretty strange... We all watch ebay and see some low quality cars go for high prices and some really nice cars go low.
I think it has become fairly accepted that replacement parts are used for lots of restorations... Most are pretty close to stock, just the quality of steel, chrome, etc. isn't as good. Kept polished and protected however, they still look stock.
I suppose a complete, original restoration (all chrome parts rechromed, etc) will give a higher return on investment... but the restored car with 'new' parts will still be as fun to drive....
gblawson - TD#27667

Would it even be possible to fully restore a T with original parts? Even if you could find new old stock, would you want to drive a car with factory break parts, hoses or wiring (I know some of you do have original wiring)
BEC Cunha

I am in favor of replacements that increase quality and reliability of the car. I think there can be several criteria for this, but mine are:

- the "feel" of the car must be the same, especially when driving it - so I would not want Weber carburettors substituting the original SU's
- substitutions should be as invisible as possible: so I advocate Grose jets instead of the silly needle, a solid-state regulator instead of the old-fashioned relays, you can't see any of that
- no modification should make it difficult to retrofit the original parts; I have a Kenlowe electrical fan, but putting back the original one on the water pump can be done in an instant
- I don't mind adding instruments on the dashboard as long as they are older than the car: I have a 1936 Tapley that measures acceleration, and I find it useful as well as pretty.

I am sure other people may have better or more exhaustive criteria.

Denis
1950 TD
Denis L Baggi

how do you feel about a steering wheel and a radiator.
ma schwefel

I have a wooden steering wheel and love it. I also have the original wheel if I need it for some reason.

I guess it's what you want the car for. If you want to win concours events you will be penalised for non original parts. If you want a smart driver it's up to you to do what you want with it.

Cheers,

Paul.
Paul van Gool

This is a very personal preference thing. Fortunately, MG people are not like the ultra-Corvette restorers where everything must be absolutley perfect. A TD won best of show(?) at a GOF a couple years ago with aftermarket bumpers (not shaped just right), all repro "posi-drive" screw heads, etc. Drove me crazy, but still won it all. You have to spend a great deal of time and $ to track down the original parts and have rechromed, etc. As mentioned above, the chrome on some of the repro stuff is just junk. As time has gone on, fewer people seem to know or care what was really original. The shape of the repro grill shells (not the slats) is markedly different from the original, but very few would notice. For my personal restoration, I have have been collecting original parts/correct phillips-headed screws/etc. from various club members, ebay, and other restorers. Definitely takes time, and costs to rechrome, etc. To me a car restored with restored original parts would be worth a fair amount more, but others (and the market) may not care. Seems you have done research- Clausger's "Origianl MG-T series" and books like that are helpful. If you could post some pictures of it for the "board members" to go over, we could really check it out (some of our ebay reviews are brutal if needed!) George
George Butz

ma (why don't you let us have your name?),

Many original parts are simply not available - like the steering wheel. The after-market one, just doesn't look like the original - similar, but not the same colour.

As for the grill shell, I find it hard to believe that someone was able to get an after-market one. There were a few NOS floating around. As far as I know, Andy King is the only supplier of new TD shells, and they are dreadfully dear and you still have to get it plated yourself. TD grill slats are available, but again, those that I have seen don't have the contour of the originals.

I bought my TF brand new in 1954, and it's totally original in appearance but I'm going to have to break down and paint it pretty soon - also interior. The exhaust system has been brazed/welded many times, and it too is original. However, its on its 4th engine + pertronix, and 4th set of tires, and I have the 4.3 cwp , etc. It looks original, but really isn't inside.

Where does one draw the line?

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qu
Gordon A. Clark

Just an aside to the various engine/fuses/wiring changes... I bought a repro 'owner's manual' and keep it with the car...on the last two pages I have added any mods, or wiring changes... someday, someone will want to know where that heater wire connects to, or what gear ratio the rear end is....
gblawson - TD#27667

Whether repo parts or original does not seem to make much difference in the market. It seems that you can put many thousands of dollars into our cars, but you wont get it back out. the value of the cars is not there at this time. You can easily get over 30-40 grand into one of these when rebuilding them. If you buy a car with the hope of turning a profit after restoration, I would go with another type of car.These cars are still at a value that a hobbyist can build one, enjoy it and drive it but you wont make much if anything by restoring and trying to sell for a profit.. I know plenty of folks, including me that have more into the car than they are selling for. There are some good prices being paid at some auctions but I dont think they are indicative of what the cars are really worth. just my two cents worth.
TRM Maine

Gord, the "repro" shells came out in the mid-70s and were available until a few years ago. There are many, many cars with them running around Gerry Gougen (deceased founder of Abingdon Spares) told me the supplier that made them thought they would sell well, but it took years instead. I think the public at large is finding out about some of the overseas product quality that we have been dealing with for years with our repro parts. George
George Butz

Ma, Not knowing the price of the car it's tough call.
I can't immagine a restored car using 100% all original parts. The reconditioning costs of each item would be outrageously expensive. Personally I would not worry about a grill and steering wheel. I would consider these cosmetic items that can be replaced at a later date if desired. What I would look for is matching numbers, and electrical and structural integrity. Both frame and body tub wood.
Also not to be overlooked is the bolting on the suspension. Have the proper hardened bolts been used where needed? I have seen some shiny nuts and bolts in these areas that are not quite up to snuff. (the engineer in me coming out)
The GOF is in Cape May N.J. at the Grand Hotel Sept. 20th-23rd. Might be worth the trip to go look at and talk to some MG folks.
And, interesting enough, I happen to have an original
TD radiator grill slat assembly.(no shell)
I have no idea what it's worth.

Dan H.
Dan Hanson

Dan is of course right about 100% original parts- this would be totally impossible. All mechanical parts, wiring, wood, interior, and about everything else has been a reproduction of some type for many, many years. A few things (chrome headlight trim rings) have been "reproduced" by Lucas on the original tooling. A few true NOS originals pop up on ebay from time to time (everything from bumper overriders, front end parts, and even not long ago square tail light assemblies). As Dan also says, something like a steering wheel could be changed at any time. Things like the instruments/dash/air cleaner/carbs/ etc. should be right, as they cost a lot. Body tub rebuild quality (door gaps/spacing, etc) is totally critical- no way to fix if not done well. George
George Butz

This thread was discussed between 18/08/2007 and 20/08/2007

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