Today’s the day our newly refurbished chassis reunites with the freshly painted ‘Clipper blue’ body shell of our 1949 MG YT. We’ll now loosely fit
Wikipedia In 1948 several (currently believed to be 9) “YA” Types (consisting of chassis, engines and some body parts) were imported into Switzerland and given
Due to the rarity of our 1949 MGYT the wiring loom as been specially manufactured, for us, by Autosparks. It was an 8 week lead time but due to forward planning it arrived within our time scale. Forward planning reduces the risk of set backs, doesn’t always work this well but on this occasion it has!
Autosparks are the world leading supplier’s of classic car wiring looms. There are lots of wiring looms suppliers online but from previous experience they all seem to use Autosparks as their supplier so we choose to buy direct from source and deal directly with the manufacturer.
We started back on the MGYT today, with Dave’s first job being to to install the new wiring loom.
Back in November 2016 our 1949 MGY Tourer arrived with us from Cyprus. As you can see, the engine wasn’t quite right upon arrival.
If you were to remove the sheeting and pull out the white perspex boxes off the front and back seats you’ll find a 1949 MGYT engine…
…and if you look under the bonnet you’ll also see that we seem to be missing an engine.
So one of our first tasks was to rebuild the engine. In order to do this we needed to establish what parts, if any, were missing from the white boxes.
We called upon our good friend and one of the UK’s leading MG engine builders George Edny to help source and rebuild the components on our engine.
We have now carried out a full and extensive rebuild; including work to the front pulley, ring gear, water pump, oil filters, rocker caps, plugs, bearings and brackets. The exhaust has also been blasted and sprayed, the gearbox has been totally rebuilt, along with the carbs, inlet manifold, dynamo and starter motor.
The engine is now back in our Ipswich workshops ready for work to commence once again next week.
We’ve been debating over the issue of whether to polish and re-chrome the dash of our 1949 MGYT. There was no question on whether to recover the leather as this was very much needed but the metalwork was debatable. It looked tired but were we about to open doors to more issues if we start to re-chrome the intricate shapes.
The centre piece has been painted brown at some time in it’s life so this could have been tidied up simply by re-painting.
We made the decision to remove the metalwork from the dash and do the job right. This means the edging strips and centre plate will now be re-chromed and polished so they can be fitted looking just as beautiful as the rest of the car.
Not all occasions require the chrome to be re-polished but we felt this was one occasion that deserved the treatment.
With the hood removed from the car we are planning to repair the areas that require attention. When this work is carried out we’ll clean up the entire frame to remove all grit, dirt and grime that has built up over the years before finishing in a beige.
The final few sections of the bright-work have now gone off to be chromed at Wyatt Polishing in Thetford
The front grille has been completely stripped back to individual sections. This is best way to achieve the ultimate results. If someone tells you they can re-chrome something like this as one piece be very cautious. It will be very difficult to polish in between the individual sections with it in one piece. It can be done but it will not give you the best results.
Templates have been drawn up to ensure that each section goes back in the correct place.
Here we have the separate components all as individual pieces.
We get asked this a lot, is it best to buy new or re-chrome original parts? Let’s look at the facts:
Who is the supplier of the new products? Are they a reputable company and do they specialise in your particular vehicle? I guess the last part isn’t crucial but it is something we consider when working on our projects at Bridge Classic Cars. The way to look at it, if you find a company that has been trading for many years and they specialise in a particular make or group of vehicles then it’s certainly more reassuring that the chrome they supply will fit. At the end of the day, it’s all about reputation, if you are good at what you do then you get known for being.
With new, more often than not the parts are produced of a lesser quality material. Because we live in a world of tight budgets products have to be produced cheaper, this way they can be sold more competitively.
People are often put off by the ‘Chinese’ market but it’s no longer the case that something made in China is no good, it is. If you are sold into the idea that a product produced in Germany is better than one from China then unfortunately you may be missing out on a great product.
Buying new is often the cheaper alternative to re-chroming the existing products and this is really important. If the part is small and considered less significant then buying new is totally the way to go. Why waste money on the most expensive option?
To sum up, buying new is fantastic, everything is shiny and perfect and with modern tooling it is safe to say that it will most likely fit how it should. There is however one key thing to consider…
…it isn’t original.
Original is great, it has a story. The car came with it on, it belongs on the car, therefore, if it can be refurbished then it should remain.
Having said that, it can often be the most expensive option so you do need to sit down and really assess the importance of original against cost.
Secondly, do you have a good chromer and polisher? There is an art to rechroming so do ensure the company you use are good and that you’ve seen their work. We use a company in Thetford, Wyatt Polishing, they are fantastic and have been doing it for many years. They undertake all kinds of metal restoration on classic, custom cars and bikes. Basically anything that needs plating they can provide a triple service which involves copper, nickel and chrome. They offer a repair service for damaged items such as rusty and holed car bumpers, damaged trims, badly pitted mazak can repaired before plating.
Here at Bridge Classic Cars, we do not limit our options. We consider both options on every occasion. Some parts are nearly impossible to get hold of which therefore means our only option is to repair. Other’s are so much cheaper to replace with new so it makes sense to do it that way. There really is no right or wrong answer to this question.
This is our 1949 MG YT chrome, we have purchased some parts new but the majority has gone over to the platers to be refurbished ready to be refitted.
Today, we welcomed back to our Ipswich workshops our 1949 MG YT from the paint shop.
She is now completely transformed from white back to the original colour of Clipper Blue.
As a temporary fix, the panels were loosely fitted whilst in transit.
We’ll now mount the body back onto the chassis, lining up every angle and securing it into position as a permanent fixture. The body will be laid on top of a body to chassis fitting kit and all new wing piping will be fitted.
Once everything is securing fitted, the rebuild process can commence.
Our 1949 MG YT has now been completed in our paint shop so will return to our Deben Road workshops in preparation for the rebuild.
As we speak, John and Asa are across town with the truck and trailer return to bring her back.
The first job will be to secure the body shell to the chassis with the correct spacing’s. Everything is loosely fitted right now so it is down to the team to ensure it is safe and secure with all of the relevant checks taking place.
Today’s the day our newly refurbished chassis reunites with the freshly painted ‘Clipper blue’ body shell of our 1949 MG YT.
We’ll now loosely fit the body panels and start to rebuild. Once we are in a position where we are happy to tighten the panels we’ll proceed to do so.
We’ve had just received confirmation from George Edny, internationally renowned MG engine specialist, that our engine will be complete and back with us for the end of February which is great news as it means will are on time for our schedule.
Lauren has been busy behind the scenes sorting through, cleaning and refurbishing all of the components ready for the refit. We like to be ahead of the game when it comes to sorting and refurbishing. It’s very easy to sit back and think that you have plenty of time but the sooner it can get done the better. Not only can you wrap everything up reassured that the job has been done but it gives you time to repair and replace any components that need doing.
We have even decided to sympathetically refurbish the bumper badges. Ordinarily these owuld be kept original but with such a drastic change to the overal appearance of our MGYT we felt it was best to fresh up the badges. Here we have the freshly painted AA badge, in original AA Yellow.
A huge difference to how it came to us.
Our 1949 MG YT arrived to us from Cyprus looking like this:
Last week we revealed the car looking fresh in it’s new Clipper Blue body.
Now we can reveal a full series of images of the body shell, the panels and the wheels all finished in Clipper Blue.
The next stage for us at Bridge Classic Cars is to fit the body shell back onto the chassis. Once this has been married up accurately the refit process will commence.
One of the biggest and most exciting transformations to any car is a full ‘colour change’ body respray.
At the back end of 2016 we revealed our exciting plans to change our 1949 MGYT from it’s current colour of white back to it’s original colour of Clipper Blue.
Whoever had change this beautiful machine from blue to white had done an incredible job of it. Whilst stripping the car we couldn’t help but question it’s history as we were struggling to find any signs at all that this car was originally blue. A credit to the previous paint shop
…on November 11th 2016 ‘We Found Blue’
Now, after a full strip down of every single removable item and a few months in the paint shop we had our first glimpse today of the new Clipper Blue look.
With only 2 more panels to paint it will soon be time to refit back to the chassis.
The MGYT radiator has now returned to our workshops having been refurbished and re-commissioned at Sheldrake & Wells.
Sheldrake & Wells Ltd are based in Ipswich and are now the only radiator specialist in Suffolk that undertake the repair and reconditioning of car, commercial and industrial radiators.
We’ve been working alongside Sheldrake & Wells for a number of years on the restoration of our radiators, they do an absolutely fantastic job, every time.
Now that our 1949 MG YT has been transported to our Ipswich paint shop it’s time to start the preparation work ready for the new Clipper Blue finish. The arches have been removed as they require a bit of remedial work where it has had a dink in it’s time. Nothing too scary to repair.
As the car was originally finished in Clipper Blue this is a complete respray which means every single inch of this body (everything that is currently white) will be changed back to blue. This is not just ‘what you see’, it is everything!
The MG YT dials have been packaged up and sent for refurbishing by world renowned restorers Speedograph Richfield Ltd.
Within a couple days we’ll touch base with them, by which time they would have fully assessed the extent of work that will need to be carried out.
They are the experts in this field, we have trusted Speedograph Richfield Ltd with the majority of our major dial restorations for some time.
It is truly amazing how they can bring these dials back to life.
We have now received a call from Speedograph, the dials have arrived and the promising news is that they are happy to carry out a full restoration on almost all of the dials. A full restoration involves the following:
Now that the car is in the paint shop it gives us a bit of time to assess the chrome.
Unlike a lot of classic cars, MG parts are readily available which makes the MG’s not only an affordable classic but also a lovely classic to work on, especially if you like to do bits and pieces yourself at home.
Unfortunately for our beautiful MG YT this isn’t quite a simple. A lot of the parts on this vehicle are very rare so it is not as easy to source new.
With all of our projects we assess whether it is more cost effective to source new chrome work or re-chrome the existing.
As with everything, there are always for’s and against’s to consider; are brand new parts made with good quality materials, have they been batch produced on a tight budget, is the original tooling used to produce the parts, will they fit as well as originals? All things you need to consider before making a decision.
As a team of individuals with years of experience, between us, we’ve seen it all. We have a good idea of when to buy new and when to re chrome.
Even those with a keen eye for detail would think our 1949 MG Y Tourer started it’s life in white…but believe it or not she was originally Clipping Blue (BMC Code: BU14, ICI Code: 0146 or 3300).
A credit to it’s former restorer this car shows almost no signs of the original blue colour.
We were starting to become a little nervous; the owner’s told us of the blue colour, all of the paperwork suggests it was blue, even looking back through the history, the signs all say she was blue but we could see very little physical evidence of this on the vehicle.
We have now completed the huge task of stripping her and just as we thought we’d covered every angle we removed a bracket. That one bracket told the full story!
Lauren has been hard at work over the last couple of days, stripping our 1949 MGYT of all the removable components.
As this is a complete rebuild project the entire car is to be stripped. The engine was already out of the vehicle which saved us a lot of time but all we have left to do now is a few wires under the bonnet, the bonnet itself as well as the two doors.
All interior, exterior, hood and hood frame is now off the vehicle and stored away safely ready to be assessed for cleaning, repairing or replacing.
The next big job will be to remove the shell from the chassis so it can be prepared and re-sprayed.
As we’ve mentioned a lot throughout our projects, when undertaking any restoration work be sure to take lots of photos. What you think you might remember you may forget. Having photographs is a fantastic way of referring back to how it once was.
Work on our 1949 MG Y Tourer was not scheduled to begin until the beginning of next year but Lauren has managed to squeeze in a couple of days this week to get started on stripping the car. Everything on this vehicle is to removed as it is a complete ‘nut and bolt’ restoration.
The car started it’s life in blue and whoever changed the colour of her has done a remarkable job, every inch of this vehicle suggests it started it’s life a white car…a real credit to it’s previous owner!
As Lauren will tell you, some cars are a nightmare to strip, some of these rusty bolts just don’t want to be loosened. Others are a dream to strip, this being one of them…so far anyway!!
At the end of day one
We’ve managed to spare a few hours this afternoon to have our 1949 MG Y Tourer up on the ramp for the full appraisal.
From first impressions Asa has reported good news. The hot climate has helped preserve the underneath which is very promising. Every exterior panel needs work but this is to be expected. Nothing is too daunting and everything is achievable.
Once the full appraisal is complete we’ll report back on our findings and then discuss the next phase of the restoration project.
This morning we welcomed the newest addition to the Bridge Classic Cars family.
Our 1949 MG YT (T is for Tourer) has been owned by the same family from new and has spent it’s entire life over in Cyprus.
The only information we were originally given was “The vehicle has been in the family since new. The vehicle which is cream in colour has been used as a family car. The engine requires a rebore and is out of the car at the present moment. The upholstery and soft top was renovated in Lincoln Green leather just over 7 years ago”
Now in the hands of its proud new owner, Mr MacDonald has been on the look out for some time for an MG Y so when this came available on eBay he was determined to get his hands on it.
She docked in Felixstowe last week from Cyprus and has just arrived with us here in our Ipswich workshop for a full appraisal ready for the full restoration to commence.
Even Mike, owner of NTG (one of the UK’s largest suppliers of MG parts) was excited to see this car, as soon as we told him of the history. He paid us a special visit this morning to have a good look over her, even before we had chance to get her inside!
She’ll soon be brought through our workshops for a full appraisal but even though she may look a little sorry for herself right now I think it is safe to say this is a fantastic little find for Mr MacDonald.
In 1948 several (currently believed to be 9) “YA” Types (consisting of chassis, engines and some body parts) were imported into Switzerland and given cabriolet bodywork by various coachbuilders, such as Reinbolt & Christé. The idea of the open four-seat tourer had been popular before the war, and in theory there was still a market. As a result a “TC” specification of the XPAG engine was married to a pressed-steel open body with fully folding hood and coach-built doors.
A production tourer, the MG “YT”, was launched at the Motor Show in 1948. It was available for export only in both right- and left-hand-drive models. Only 877 of these cars were produced when production ceased in 1950—it was not the success that MG had hoped for, and indeed other British manufacturers were also having problems selling open-tourer versions of their saloons.
The “YT” Tourer did not benefit from ‘displayed’ woodwork but had the same standard of seat trim. It did have more instrumentation, in that there was a tachometer (or rev counter) in front of the driver, the speedometer was positioned in front of the passenger with a central bank of subsidiary dials in the centre, giving a similar sporting appearance to the TC with a “double scuttle” dash.
A childhood dream for Mr MacDonald to own one of the 877 that were produced.
This incredible MG Y Type is due to leave Cyprus this Friday and after a few weeks at sea she’ll be arriving in Felixstowe before being delivered directly to our Ipswich workshops for assessment.
At Bridge Classic Cars we offer anything that your classic car desires.
We’ll give this wonderful little MG a fully check over and along with it’s new owner, we’ll decide on the best course of action to get her up and running.
In no time at all she’ll be out and about for all to see and enjoy.