Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG TD TF 1500 - Frame up restoration time?

I'm just wondering how long it took people here to do a complete, frame up restoration. I've been pecking away at one project or another and keep coming up against the fact that I know sooner or later, I'm going to have to get down to stripping Lily Christine IV down and starting from scratch.
So how long? I'm sure many took many years... who holds the record for the shortest FUR? (look, new acronym :))
Geoffrey M Baker

Eight years on the TD, three on the TF.

D. Sander

And the TF:

D. Sander

8 Months... But I spent at least an hour a day after work and all day over the weekends... I didn't do the paint and bodywork, but did everything else... so it depends on how motivated your body man is... if they are going to drag out the job, it's going to take longer... I was thirty something at the time, I missed a couple of things that I had to go back on...

The amount of work wasn't as much as Dave Sanders, I didn't have to replace any wood. I also had the advantage of having most of the parts I needed for the restoration, my father had been collecting the parts for over 20 years.

About two days after it was finished, we took it to GOF 73 in Nova Scotia and won first place in the TD class.


Blair Weiss

A couple of years ago I sold a TC that was loosely assemble to show that everything was with the package. The car needed most everything including all the body tub wood. The new owner had a full time job as a farmer but he was familiar with fabrication (he had in the past built an airplane from scratch). At any rate the car was finished 8 months later and looked and drove very well. He, of course, did all the work himself including the painting.
On the other hand I have a J2 that I "started" in 1973 but got sidetracked with many other projects and it still awaits assembly.
Cheers, Hugh
H.D. Pite

Hugh, get to work! :)
Geoffrey M Baker

1.5 years
efh Haskell

5 months. Body was good as far as no wood repair. Farmed out paint and engine. Worked about 1-1/2 hours a day doing what needed doing. Had a good wire wheel, and degreasers. invested in a sandblast cabinet.
C.R. Tyrell

3 years originally but I have still been at it for 42 years :-)
Christopher Couper

About 3 years on this one.

MG LaVerne

About 9 months on this one. Recently retired and it was a full time job.

MG LaVerne

Two and 1/2 years and I did my own paint and body work. Lots of wood repair and panel replacement due to rust. It took longer than normal because I wanted to build a "100 point" show car. It ended up being an AACA Senior Grand National award winner. Would I build another 100 point car again? No way. The work was rewarding and I learned a lot about the car and how it was made. It cost a lot of money (what's new) in spite of the fact that I did all of the work myself (2400 hours). The next one will be done on a more practical basis with a great "driver" car in mind. I have the car but I have to come to grips with spending lots of time to restore it when it is a decent driver right now with a 20 foot paint job. Maybe I'll just drive it and not restore it. Might be the best idea after all. Might be yours too.

Mark Strang

The metal on the green hornet looks to be quite good. This is what my TF looked like three years ago. I only had to replace the battery box for metal, and some warped and cracked body timbers. No rot. The battery box corrosion was caused by a leaky battery.
D. Sander

1-1/2 years on a TF 1500 in the 80s. However, I was single and just starting out at the time. The owner and I worked together, and every weekend session I would take a component home to rebuild/repair in the evenings after work. My TD took about 2 years with job and family responsibilities. House and yard were really neglected. George
George Butz

Like this David?

MG LaVerne

Looks like the winner so far is CR Tyrell with 5 months. Hugh Pite, on the other hand is about to set a record for longest restoration ever :)

I don't know when or if I'll ever get to it, but I just can't bear the thought of painting my TD (and she needs it) without first tearing it down and cleaning it all up.

And with each new project I find more and more solid rusted metal and bolts which tells me it's probably time...

5 months is pretty good CR, I doubt I could do it in that time. Even though my engine really doesn't need much (I think knock on wood).

Geoffrey M Baker

6 years for me so far and still have the engine and upholstery to go plus several parts still need chroming. I hope to be finished within the next 2 years.
Rich (TD 3983) Taylor

I think I will hold the record for the longest ever restoration - 44 years and still counting. I have documents showing my car went to Naylor Brothers for a complete rebuild on 13 February 1970. A new body was fitted and the engine rebult by Mangoletsi. However, the wings, doors, interior, electrics, bright work etc. were never fitted due to the death of the owner in a motor cycle accident. The car was eventually returned to the owner's widow and her sons tinkered with it until I bought it last year. It is now almost ready for paint. Fortunately she registered it in her name so I have the original log book and subsequent registration documents.

Jan T
J Targosz

I think Hugh is restoring an old Bentley. Saw a picture of it and in it's original form, it looks pretty nice. PJ
Paul S Jennings

I have been on my TD for 47 years now.
But in three spurts of activity.
Initial diss-assembly when I lived in Florida 1965 to 1970.

The nothing for many years. Moved to Massachusetts, Kits grew up, son had hockey, daughter had horses, House needed work, a lot of it.
Moved to PA nothing,Kids again but a brand new house. Moved to Wisconsin in 1981. Son got interested. I had restored a 47 Willis Jeep for him, just for practice.
Finished DE-construction. Rebuilt suspension and motor.
Moved to NJ in 1987, welded in the inner fender wells because my son kept bugging me. (Should not have done that). Again the house needed a lot of work.
3 baths, a kitchen, wallpaper and paint 7 rooms, new furnace, new roof and on and on and on.
Finally I retired in 2007.
I finally started back in earnest about 2010.
Next year should do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jim B.

JA Benjamin

4 years, 1 month, 22 days from start to finish. First year I was still working; retired the next 3 years. As most of you are already aware I have documented this 4 year restoration effort on my blog:

However, are these restoration projects ever really finished. Not in my experience, now 6+ years since initial purchase. But, still enjoying (most of the time) every minute of it.

John Brickell

OK so this is for me the "kick yourself in the butt" thread.
I bought my TD 4 years ago.
Spent a lot of time and money fixing "things".
After struggling in the dark garage for 2 years I installed a couple of great 7' fluorescent lights.
After three years of deprivation I finally got an air compressor.
Now after more than 4 years of crawling around the garage floor I am installing a lift.

Yes, yes, yes I should have done it all on day one.

Mort 50 TD

6 months from purchase on my TD. That was 40 years ago and it is time for the body and interior to be done again. Since I am now retired , I don't expect it to take three months but that will depend on the time it will take for chroming
Bruce Cunha

Like many other respondents I am fairly recently retired and spend time most days restoring my TF. I believe this gives me both physical and mental exercise. The restoration is now nearing completion and I am worried about what I will do with my time. I have friends who are happy to take a walk each day or visit the library or play bowls. One couple have bought a flat close to their daughter so they can spend three month stretches close to her. They are on the second floor and don't even have a garage! I now wish I had undertaken a "running restoration" rather than a frame off rebuild. This would have allowed me spread the work over several years whilst still being able to drive the car. I may get the painter to put on an extra thick coat since I can see me polishing through to the primer!

Jan T
J Targosz

Over 40 years and married only 37 years. Bought 53TD (complete with minor panel damage and motor in parts) in 1974 and started panel beating course.
In '75 I moved to tropics (Darwin) and TD sat under tarp on trailer for 3 or 4 monsoon seasons - no storage facilities available due to '74 cyclone 'Tracy'.
In 1980s I bought new timber kit, a 4/44 (for TD related parts) - got body back together but then young family came along and TD put aside.
In 2000s Car club I belonged to obtained use of old warehouse, so I stored and did some work on TD there.
2011, retired and spent time working on TD in club facilities. (I was suppose to complete TD restoration before our moved to current residence or the TD was sold - it wasn't)
2013, wife retired and we moved. Since then we have been travelling the world, volunteering, seeing family (g/child), and doing small jobs on TD.
I hope to spend a lot more time in 2015 working on the TD.
S Duncan

Okay, Lazarus' turn. Found each other down in Alexandria VA in September, 1988. History lesson at First run, other than on the end of a towbar, was in summer of 1995. FYI, 'the53' took seven years from towbar to driveaway. Bud
Bud Krueger

2 years here, bud did not need to do the motor or frame wood, just everything else. that included my doing the body prep, painting, interior, top, side curtains, new floor boards, new seat frames, and all other electrical and mechanicals.
L Rutt

10 years
Rich King TD 8732

This has to be the best thread ever! Well done Geoff for opening up such a wonderful can of worms. The common thread (no pun intended) seems to be that we all start out with great vigour, often while still single; wives/partners/significant others encourage, but kids and houses get in the way for approximately 20 years;jobs also create havoc for the same 20 years plus another 5 or more;not to mention mortgages, at least for most of us;then in our 50's or more, we see a crack of daylight and, to mix the metaphor, a little window of opportunity;we hurl ourselves at the window, only to find that we've taken on a bit more than we can chew, and have to slow down, farm out jobs, and generally take a lot longer than we'd hoped, to reach the point that we had set out to reach, some 40 years earlier.I can't think of any other hobby that offers so much mental and physical stimulation, for so many years. How lucky we amateur restorers are!John.
J P Hall

Been 4.5 years on mine and another to go! HOPFULLY!! PJ
Paul S Jennings

I would agree with JP, no other hobby has kept my interest going like this one. When I'm not actively fixing something broken I'm mentally turning over "Which project to take on next?"... and dreaming of winning the lottery and REALLY getting to work on Lily Christine IV... :)
Geoffrey M Baker

About 5 years each for both my MGA and TF TF at start

David Werblow


David Werblow

My TD was disassembled for restoration in the early 70's. I bought it as a basket case in the late 80's. It included many parts bought by the previous owner from Moss. I'm still using some of those parts.

Since I bought the car my father rebuilt the tub (he is a hobbyist woodworker) with the Moss kit that came with the car. I powdercoated and assembled all the chassis bits and brakes, rebuilt the engine, rebuilt the transmission (mid 90's at one of John Twist's seminars) did a little bit of bodywork (which now needs redoing). Car is not far away from being painted, which I've decided if I attempt to do myself it will take another 20 years. I expect that will be done next year.

So, altogether, that's about 43 years and counting.
David Littlefield

This thread was discussed between 25/11/2014 and 03/12/2014

MG TD TF 1500 index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG TD TF 1500 BBS is active now.