MG T Car Subgroup Meeting

Posted by on May 2, 2012 with 0 Comments

TD Engine

So we met at Jim Pesta’s shop on Wednesday for the 2nd meeting of the T Car sub group.  Well it was definitely different from Sorrento’s.  Instead of the piano playing in the background and some old world Italian classics for dinner, we had pizza and took apart an engine!  I know for me, this kind of thing get’s the grease monkey in me excited!

Specifically we were working on Joe Pott’s 1954 MG TF project.  Joe has decided to make some repairs and take the opportunity to rewire the car and rework the engine compartment.  The process was instigated because he had an odd noise coming from the car.  I think we all have been there!  The concern was that there needed to be a complete redo of the engine.

Joe on his own with some guidance from Jim was able to remove the fenders, grill and hood of his TF which allowed for the relatively easy removal of the engine from the compartment.  The good news was that most of the noise seems to have come from the Clutch Plate.  It would seem that some one couldn’t understand the directions printed on the part.  One side says clearly it is to face the engine… well, it wasn’t.  But since the Crew was there, we decided to check the bearings.  Neat little process.  We now know it envolves using some thread like clay that you smash down in the race way and measure how wide it ‘smushes’.  These British cars have a very technical language.  All things considered we hope to see Joe back on the road soon!

Checking out the clutch plate

We are still looking to find folks with T Cars that want to get out and enjoy them.  If you have one that is running, sitting, or in pieces we want to get you on the road with us!


Filed Under: Member Cars, MGTD

1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500, “Colonel Mustard” Rides Again

Posted by on March 26, 2012 with 0 Comments

I came across “The Colonel” on a craig’s list hunt for a project car, just after I sold my first LBC, a 77 MGB with a Chevrolet 151 stovebolt engine, which after getting it running, I found drove like a GO-cart with an anvil strapped to the front.

The Gentleman I purchased it from was dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and was finding it hard to get at all the oily bits, and decided to let the car go before it rusted away.

The car had a very nice appearance, but did not run at all, so I was a bit hesitant to jump on it, as I knew relatively nothing about these cars. I contacted Jim Steputis, another member of the club, and asked if he would look it over for me and he gladly accepted the task.

On a rainy Thursday afternoon, we made the trek to Sabina, Ohio where the car had been parked for a couple of years. We met the cars owner, and I let him know what my plans were for finding a “project car”.

I told him that I needed to get something affordable, as I knew I would want to personally restore as much as my time, knowledge and experience would allow, and that my intentions were to try and bring his car back to it’s former glory. This must have pulled at his heart-strings, as he was willing to drop the price significantly, to allow me to purchase it and stay within my budget. Money was exchanged, plans were made, and I was soon to be the next caretaker in the little Spitfires’ history.

After having the car transported to West Chester on a flatbed, that fateful day came. I changed all the fluids, bought a new battery, and checked the basic electrical connections that would allow the car to run. I took a deep breath, fire extinguisher in hand, and turned the key.

The engine turned over and ……No Joy.

I was at least happy with that result, but then began to think about why it may not start. After a few minutes, I looked at the car and realized I didn’t put gas in it. I grabbed the gas can and slowly poured a little petrol into the tank. I checked for leaks and all looked good.

I took another deep breath, turned the key and to my amazement it started right up.

I quickly jumped into the car, for my first attempt at a drive. I went around the block twice, with no troubles, and pulled back into the garage with a huge smile on my face.

The car had many small issues, as you would expect, but it ran. I then began the long and expensive task of ordering parts and replacing one Saturday’s worth of parts at a time for the next five months.

Today I am proud to say that the car runs very well, and is pure joy to drive. The old British cars are so visceral, unlike today’s cars, you really feel like you are part of the driving experience. With A lot of help from club members, and especially Jason Webster. who has a Morris Minor, and is now a new club member, I am sure I will enjoy caring for this car, for many years to come.

Chris Runnels

Filed Under: Member Cars

MG TD named Rosie

Posted by on January 2, 2012 with 0 Comments

So this is our 1952 MG TD.  Her name is Rosie.  She came to me many years ago now.  I got her from a woman here in Cincinnati

MG TD 1952

MG TD 1952

who had been the car’s second owner.  She had gotten the car when she was in nursing school in California.  A young man she knew really wanted to surf in Hawai, so he sold her the car for plane tickets.  She drove this car the whole time she was in school and brought it with her to Cincinnati after she was married.  She decided to sell Rosie when the kids just got too old.  (I think she just wasn’t ready to see them driving her first love.)

So Rosie was named for her rosy red grill and rims.  I guess at some point that was a standard color scheme (although I have yet to see it).  Today however she sports the almost required standard British Racing Green vestment through out including her once rosy grill.  We may have to giving her namesake back one day.  The standard steal rims are gray with the chrome moons sporting her MG moniker.  She has the tan duck cloth top and side curtains.

You can find us most days zipping around the west side of Cincinnati.  Although it isn’t uncommon to see us in it every where else if the weather is clear.  Oh don’t get me wrong, I will drive her in the rain as sure as I am standing here.  We are not a trailer queen family.  As a matter of fact, this was our carriage for our trip to Gattlinburg Tennessee after our nuptuals in 2009.  Never let it be said you can’t drive an old Brit car.  You just have to get rid of Mr. Lucas’s contributions.

MG TD 1952

MG TD 1952

And some of that has been done.  Mr. Lucas’s full pump was off the car when I got it.  And at a price of over $300 to put old unreliable back in, I have chosen to pass on Rosie’s downgrade.  She does have a spin on oil filter added some years back when I though it best for drivablity (it is hard to find filter media in an Autozone these days).  Other than that, she is outfitted with the same Abingdon adornments she came with some 60 years ago.

Rosie will always have a place in our garage and our hearts as the spunky English beauty she is.

Filed Under: Member Cars

Morris Mini

Posted by on January 2, 2012 with 0 Comments
Morris Mini 1974

Morris Mini 1974

Eloise is her name. She is a proper mini car according Leonard Lord. He was the head of BMC and spearheaded the design of the Mini.  We purchased her for my wife in 2010 after meeting her at the British Car Club’s Car Show.  It was almost magic I tell ya.  We saw her across a crowded field of beautiful British cars, glistening in the sun.

We had taken our 1952 MG TD on our honeymoon and my wife was amazed how simple cars used to be.  We had a pully come loose and after a quick pull off to the side of the road, it was fixed.  After that, she was in love with the simplicity of the old cars.

Eloise was the perfect car for my wife.  Bright Yellow is her favorite color.  Small and quick like her.  a better match could not have been made.  And she drove the wheels off of it that first fall.  Now I probably drive it more, but only because the questions about her don’t bother me.  I love to talk about our cute little runabout, and don’t mind the occasional impromptu photo shoot.  To me it comes with the territory.

  • Yes, she really does get 40 something miles to the gallon.
  • Yes this is what the new ones are based on.
  • No you don’t pull a string or pull it backwards first to get it to go…

And really we have not had to do much with her.  We have had to work the brakes out a bit.  We are probably going to put the extra lights on the front that many of the Mini’s have.  I have some new locks and door handles to put in too.  And I took the stupid radio out.  I can’t see having a radio in a car that is already that loud.  But really for my wife and I, motoring to an from some where in her is a time when we get to talk and enjoy.  Those life moments don’t need an artificial sound track.

Morris Mini 1974

Morris Mini 1974

This year it looks like she will be joining us down at the Cavalcade of Customs.  We really don’t show her.  She is pretty as a picture to us, but we actually drive her almost daily.  So we have some cleaning up on her for the judges I guess.  My friend is getting me some old school ’70’s shag carpet to put under her when she is on display.  She may be a proper lady, but she still can get funky!

We wouldn’t trade her for the world.  As a matter of fact, when the time comes and we can, the station wagon is in our future.  Well, atleast that’s what I keep telling myself and asking my wife about.

Filed Under: Member Cars