Ady has been taking apart the engine to try and understand the root cause of the engine troubles on our lovely 1960 MGA. He’s found
We are saddened by the news that friend and client of Bridge Classic Cars, Mike Colyer has sadly passed away. We had been working on his beloved 1960 MG A and had recently sent it back to him. We are happy that Mike got to enjoy his MG A before he passed.
His very special MG A was his first car which he bought in 1970. After going through a handful of other owners, the car found its way back to Mike who decided to restore it with us. We have many happy memories with Mike, including his touching poem and reaction when he first picked up his MG A from us, fondly addressing the team and telling them ‘You’re worth your weight in gold.”
Our condolences go out to his family and loved ones.
Our 1960 MG A’s owner got in touch to tell us that it’s his classic’s 60th birthday, marking 60 years since it was first registered. Happy birthday MG A!
After engine rebuild, our MG was taken to the owners boat for a day out with his grandchildren, both had a ride in the MG, all happy.
Lots has been happening behind the scenes with our MGA, much of which has happened at our outsourced partners such as Scholar.
Pouring fluid into the combustion chamber of the cylinder head to determine the pressure ratio of the engine. We’ve had the head refaced, so this confirms that the compression ratio is still okay. The results of the test showed that the combustion chamber is functioning correctly.
Ady has been rebuilding the engine.
Ady and James have made the baffle for the engine sump which will stop oil surge whilst the engine is running.
The engine head has also been recently painted.
We’ve also ordered a collection of new components to be fitted into the engine.
Richard Kimberley from Manningtree sent us back the cylinder head which has been welded to replace part of the ring that had corroded. He lined up the gasket to determine how much needed to be welded. We will now be lap in the valves before sending it off to Scholar to be refaced.
Our 1960 MGA engine has been cleaned and ready to be rebuilt. The crankshaft, conrods and engine block has been sent off to Scholar who has told us that the crankshaft needs to be totally replaced. The photos below show the extent of the wear on the bearings. The conrods also need to be resized, the bearings need tuning into the conrods and the camshaft bearings need to be fitted by Scholar as well as being honed and cleaned.
Ady has been taking apart the engine to try and understand the root cause of the engine troubles on our lovely 1960 MGA. He’s found that the bearings in the big end journal were so worn they were loose and therefore able to be moved around. The video below clearly displays the issue:
The photos seen below show the following:
Ady has continued working on our 1960 MGA buy removing the cylinder head in his endeavour to fix the issue with the engine.
We received our lovely 1960 MGA back today for some major rectification works. This will now be in our care whilst we make some changes to the work we’d previously carried out on this lovely classic. This car was originally restored by us however it has suffered a series of engine troubles since it left our workshops. We have already had to remove the engine as it suffered a broken piston skirt that we deemed to be a manufacturing fault. At this time we changed the seals again to try and alleviate the annoying drops of oil being left on Mikes garage floor. We thought we had succeeded.
Because of Mike experiencing another side issue of dropping oil pressure he made the decision to have us fit an oil cooler. This is rare to see on British MGA’s. Although his car originally had one and we decided it was not required.
Mike then had talks with a third party who advised he fitted a thermostatically controlled oil cooler. This type of oil cooler is usually fitted to racing engines that are likely to be performing in hotter temperatures and going through lots of quick gear changes.
When we arranged the date for the fitting of the oil cooler Mike took her on a 20 mile plus journey but unfortunately experienced what seems to of been a catastrophic failure as can be heard from the audio clip.
Oil coolers can be placed in many positions within a car’s body to maximise their cooling efficiency. With oil running through predominantly the engine block, the steering system and a turbocharger in turbocharged vehicles, oil can very quickly gain heat, especially during vigorous driving.
Ady has spent today removing the engine from the MGA so as to understand what needs to be added or changed. We need to correct the mistakes we’ve made on this project. Customer satisfaction and perfection are our top priority as our main aim is to make our clients happy. If a car isn’t functioning correctly after it leaves our workshop, we always aim to correct these issues as part of its warranty with us.
Ady removing the engine as he continues to diagnose the origin of the issues.
If you’d like to follow this project, you can find it on the Current Projects page under ‘Remedial On Our Troubled 1960 MGA’.
We’ve welcomed back this lovely 1960 MG A for a service. We originally restored this stunning classic and were delighted to hear how happy Mike is with his beloved motor when he dropped it off with us this morning.
We’ve begun by draining the oil out of the engine to replace it as this is advised to do either once a year or every 6000 miles. This is important to do as when the oil has circulated around the engine numerous times, it can collect metal pollutants and lose its effectiveness.
This morning we took a walk around the workshop to take a peak at how our engineers are getting on with the current projects.
The Nissan Patrol is almost ready to be set free on adventures again. Pete has given it a general ‘health check’ and service to ensure its exploration spirit is still intact.
The last stage on the Nissan is to ‘blacken’ the underside to protect it from rust and erosion, which is all the more important for adventurous vehicles like this Patrol!
Tamas has been working hard on the latest refurbishments to the MGB which has recently included a new radiator as the old one had developed some rust and holes.
The thermostat has also been refurbished along with its housing and the grill. Tamas has also installed new reversing lights as well.
The Rosytle wheels are currently in the hands of our paint specialist Darren who’s just finished applying the first layer of paint to neaten them up.
The Red MGA has had a seasonal refurbishment with a heater being added to accommodate for the cold months approaching!
Paul tells us that “the car originally never had a heater in, so the parts have been shipped in from America.”
Its not uncommon to see our classic cars fitted with modern creature comforts such as heaters and radios.
Scott has been working on fitting the doors, making sure the latches catch and shut efficiently.
Darren has also been working on the Peugeot, painting the engine bay. This needed two sets of paint, one for the inner parts and a separate colour for the outer parts to match the body of the car.
The Jensen is still in the trimming shop where Brian is installing the leather padding that sits just above the windscreen. This piece followed the original design but still had to be cut and made by hand.
Brian tells us ‘It’s quite a fiddly job to fit this panel’.
We can’t wait to see the Jensen completed with its smart new leather from our trim experts.
Our classic car electrician Adam has been working on tidying up the Amphicar’s wires and installing a second pump to ensure enough water is removed from within the vehicle. This means a custom made pump bracket will have to be designed and fitted when the second pump is installed.
Our engineer Anthony is currently applying a filler to the engine bay to smooth out any bumps.
A keen eye for detail from Anthony is needed to ensure that the Mercedes doesn’t leave the fabrication bay with any imperfections.
We had a walkabout this workshop this afternoon to see what everyone’s up to.
One of our classic car technicians Pete has the 1996 Nissan Patrol up on the ramp. “I’m working on the front disc brakes” he explains “the inner seal on the hub has gone.”
Pete’s lined up the front-wheel-drive axel, marking out exactly where each component goes, so it can go back together the exact same way.
The seats on our 1972 MGB Roadster are back from Kath in our in-house trim shop. Tamas is now fitting the seats back into car. “I’m also removing the wheels ready to go into paint” Tamas tells us “as well as refitting the luggage rack back onto the boot”.
Another MG also in the workshop, is our stunning 1960 MGA. Keen to modify the car, her owner is opting for heating to be installed. Some classics would have these modern ‘essentials’ as optional extras back in the day.
“We had to order the heater box from America” our expert Paul explains. “We’re also doing some minor improvements on the gearbox and pistons.” Paul’s also added another mirror that the customer’s asked for. Along with changing the rubber trim around the boot and bonnet from grey to black.
Classic car technician Scott’s continued fitting various bits and pieces onto our 1957 grey Jensen 541R. “I’ve been making the cable ends for the grill flap mechanism” he tells us. The front grill on the 541R opens to act as a cooling aid for the engine. The driver controls this mechanism from the front seat.
Scott’s also fitted the new windscreen washer system this week. Including new washer bottle, pipework and washer jet system.
Our impressive 1967 Jaguar E-Type Race Car has reached a milestone moment today! Our Director Gordon and workshop manager John got her engine roaring and even got flames firing out the exhausts!
This is a very exciting moment here at Bridge. After quite an exhaustive restoration, it’s a beautiful thing to finally have a car up and running again.
Gordon even managed a quick test drive round the car park!
In the trim shop our interior experts Kath and Brian are making great progress on our 1960 Black Jensen 541R. The back seats, front seats and centre console all now in position.
Rosie the dog even came to say hello!
Our car electrician Adam has been working on the 1965 Amphicar’s wiring. “I’ve been tidying up the engine bay wiring” Adam explains. “All the engine accessories and wiring wasn’t waterproof. Which for an Amphicar- is pretty important!”
Interestingly, the Amphicar’s engine is in the boot, much like boat engines are. Whereas under the bonnet, is where the fuel tank and storage space is.
Our engine expert Ady’s is getting ready to put the engine back in our 1972 Peugeot 504.
He’s also done some engine work on the 1953 Ford Taunus Transit Van. “It was running a bit rough. So, I’ve done a few engine tweaks and am hoping to do an oil and filter change next.”
Last but certainly not least, our body shop expert Anthony has been working on our 1987 Mercedes 500SL. “We need to get the underseal off the metal shell” explains Anthony. “It’s really tough to remove so we use a method of literally burning it off, it’s almost like melting it.”
Phew! What a busy week we’re having here at the workshop. As we fast approach the weekend I think everyone earned a well deserved break. Well done Bridge Class Cars team!
With cold weather approaching, Paul, one of our master classic car technicians was asked by the owner of this majestic MGA to fit a heater box. We elected to import a period correct Smiths heater box from the US. Paul has had to adapt the bracket between the heater unit and the fan motor to perfectly fit the engine bay of our MGA.
After the full engine rebuild, Ady has now installed the engine back into the vehicle. A weak casting caused one of the piston skirts to break. Unfortunately this required a full engine rebuild.
It’s a bitter sweet feeling when we say our final goodbye’s to a classic that’s been with us for a full restoration. Our gorgeous 1960 MG A has been with us for over a year, so we’ve got pretty used to seeing this beautiful car every day.
We’ve completed many an MG restoration over the years, but none quite tugged on our heartstrings quite like this one. Not least because of how beautiful the car is itself, but the owner Mike too, who’s won us over with the love he holds for this very special piece of history.
Mike is clearly besotted with his MGA, and rightly so. We too couldn’t help but swoon over the pictures of the MGA from back in her prime in the 70’s. “I was driven in this MGA on my wedding day, by my best man” Mike told us, “so it holds a very special place in my heart”.
After years searching for his beloved MG A, Mike eventually tracked her down. She’d spent 26 years stored in a barn, and although we could all see her potential, a lot of work needed to be done.
Mike had met the Bridge Classic Cars team years before, so knew we were the ones he wanted to bring his precious MGA back to life. We started work on the MGA by stripping the car bare and removing the engine to complete a full engine rebuild.
With the engine parts restored, any parts that couldn’t be restored replaced and a fresh coat of paint on the engine block, the engine was then fully reassembled and looked a treat.
The car’s shell was treated to a good rub down and primed, ahead of going into our specialist paint shop here at Bridge Classic Cars. With so much nostalgia attached to this car, Mike decided to keep her in the original signal red he knew and loved.
The MGA had a lot of mechanical and electrical work to have done to get her into full working order. Restoration work was carried out by Bridge Classic Car’s specialists technicians on the dashboard, suspension, gearbox and brakes.
It was then time for the Bridge Classic Cars specialist trim shop to work their magic on the cars interior. For a full interior restoration the MG A was given newly upholstered chairs, flooring, door and boot panels.
Not forgetting the MGA’s iconic soft top, which was also treated to a custom made roof by Bridge’s specialist trim shop team. All in-keeping with the original design of the car, but with a black roof, as per Mikes request.
With the final finishing touches added to this stunning car, including chrome bumpers, wing badges, a new windscreen and a spare tyre cover, the 1960 MG A was really starting to look like herself again.
As the entire car was undergoing a full restoration, most members of the Bridge Classic Cars family play a part in putting this beauty back together again. We are so chuffed with the final result – as is Mike!
Mike came to collect his pride and joy and was overwhelmed with the special memories this classic car brings back to him.
Mike marked the occasion with a special poem, written especially for us at Bridge Classic Cars.
From a barn to a palace – Bridge Classics.
From a palace to a crown.
The crown fits an Austin Princess,
But who now wears the crown?
1960 to 2020 – the story goes,
The crown was replaced by an octagon (no less!)
In which the immortal letters MG are found,
And in 60 long years,
She faithfully conveyed seven proud owners-
With assorted histories of lives lived and journeys made.
And where is she now?
Why back with me my lads and lassies,
My very first car!
Oh, what a star.
Come back from afar.
Thank you all, at Bridge Classic Cars’
We all wish Mike many more joyous road trips in his beautiful 1960 MG A, it’s been an absolute pleasure for us to restore. Happy driving Mike!
Racing on the 300 circuit, the MG Car Club had all of its Championships in attendance, including the history-rich Cockshoot Cup. There’s a brilliant weekend to be had at this MG specific event, where guests can get up close to many a historic MG race car as well as watching them race too.
We’re big fans of the MG here at Bridge Classic Cars and have worked on many over the years.
One of our favourites was our 1947 MG TC we did a lot of restoration work on, you can read more about the project here.
Another favourite of ours was this gorgeous 1960 MG A. She came to us for a full restoration including paint, engine, interior and body work. Her owner was so chuffed with the restoration he’d written a poem especially for the occasion. You can read about all the work we did on this stunning MG A here.
We’ve even featured an MG in Bridge Classic Car Competitions. Our 1964 MBG Roadster was our first ever prize. Lucky winner Graham Haigh has since been enjoying his new Roadster throughout the summer.
With our 1960 MGA nearing completion on it’s restoration journey with us it was time for the final photo shoot.
We wanted a nautical theme for our shoot as the owner has a keen interest in boats and with so many beautiful spot in and around Woodbridge we needed no further reason to get down to the water.
George, the Harbour Master at Ramsholt kindly allowed us access to this wonderful spot just outside the iconic The Ramsholt Arms Pub. Thank you so much for your hospitality and we hope Mike loves his photos just as much as he’ll love his car.
With our restoration really complete, the MGA’s owner, Mike came to give his car a test drive. It’s safe to say we think Mike is rather pleased with his beautiful, restored MGA.
Paul has now fitted the seatbelts and will continue test driving the car to ensure she is running perfectly before it returns to Mike.
The MGA seats are now fitted. Paul has repaired the seat rails and fitted both seats. The rails were angled in slightly which caused issues sliding them back and forth. They are now perfectly aligned for our seats to move correctly.
The windscreen has also now been installed into the car with handles in place. Paul has installed the door seals and chrome end caps.
Great work Paul, our 1960 MGA is looking absolutely marvellous now.
We’re nearing the end of this beautiful car’s restoration, we cannot wait to see the finished article now.
Kath and Brian have been working on our 1960 MGA interior. They firstly fitted the metal hood frame to the car.
Then Kath has covered the front header rail in fabric and stapled and glued into place.
Once the header rail was in place, Kath and Brian fitted the main hood cover over. They inserted the metal bar into the rear section, ready to clip onto the car. They then pulled the cover over and attached to the header rail ensuring that the tension was perfect before fully securing.
Kath then made some flange covers to cover up the copper ‘O’ ring.
She then finished off the soft top roof with final trim sewing and securing the header rail.
Next up, Kath and Brian marked out where the fixings attach to the hood, then fitted the roof to the car from the rear.
They then adjusted the front corners of the soft top and completed the job by fitting the front end cover.
Superb work, Kath and Brian. The attention to detail and craftsmanship in this hood is absolutely superb!
Brian has added a few additional touches to our MGA interior. He’s fitted edge trim around the wheel hole and added strengthened metal bars to the door cards.
We’ve also now fitted the seat runners to the seat frame.
Brian and Kath have continued working on our gorgeous 1960 MGA interior restoration.
They’ve glued and fitted the rear wheel arch carpets and fitted the rear bulkhead carpet, making sure to perfectly cut around the gearbox tunnel.
They then fitted the armrest, cutting around the handbrake lever. The gearstick surround carpet and the gearbox fennel carpet were then fitted. The black is beautifully offset by red piping to match the MGA’s exterior colour. The interior is really starting to come together as this restoration approaches completion.
The wheel arch panels have been fitted while the front door pockets were screwed into place.
The drivers footwell carpet required a 30mm hole for the front driver mat cap. Kath has sewn in a grommet to allow the carpet to be secured to the floor of the car. It’s in the little details that ensure the overall presentation of this car is excellent.
Moving down the rear of the car the boot is now complete. Kath and Brian made a bespoke great wheel cover and boot board.
Wonderful work, team!
Paul has handed the MGA over to Kath and Brian in the trim shop to begin the interior fit.
They’ve made light work getting all the panels fitted into the car. Even pre-cut kits still seem some adjustments to fit perfectly. We will update this blog when the interior fit is complete. Great start, Brian and Kath!
Mike Colyer has shared some wonderful photos of his MGA in it’s prime. We’re well underway restoring this wonderful classic. Soon it will be ready for many more photoshoots, looking just as good if not better than when it first rolled off the production line in 1960. We love seeing photos like this, do keep sending in images of your pride and joy.
More archived images sent through to us from Mike, owner of our 1960 MGA.
MDJ 783 MGA 1588CC MRK 1
HISTORY AND OWNERSHIP
I bought this beauty as my first car on 17th June 1970, from a friend who in 1975 bought it back from me.
In 1980, as my best man, he drove me to my wedding in it.
Subsequently, around 1985, he gave the car to his wife as part of their divorce settlement.
This lady happened to be a childhood friend (Les) from the age of 12 and in 2019 I tracked the car down to her new address in Shropshire, where it had lain in a barn for 28 years.
As a member of Porsche Club GB, in March 2019 I attended an Open Day at Bridge Classic Cars, Woodbridge, Suffolk. I was highly impressed with their operation and discussed the possibilities of restoring the MGA. Resulting from this, I contacted Les and bought it back from her at the agreed price.
The original intention was to re-commission the car to roadworthiness. HOWEVER, as the inspection and dismantlement progressed, the only option was to be a total restoration. As the owner of Bridge Classic put it, my car was: “A perfect example of hidden secrets”!
At the time of writing, the car is 80% finished to Concours condition.
First Registered to McLean & Appleton Ltd Motor Dealers. St Helens. Lancs. 01/07/1960
1st Owner: David Longshaw, Hale. Cheshire. 12/01/1961
2nd Owner: John Wainwright, Stalybridge. Cheshire. 16/01/1962
3rd Owner: M.E.J. Clements, Burton upon Trent. 30/12/1966
4th Owner: M.C. Colyer, Burton upon Trent. 17/06/1970
5th Owner: M.E.J. Clements, Burton upon Trent. 1975
6th Owner: Mrs. Leslie McLurg, Newport. Shropshire. 1985
7th Owner: M.C. Colyer, Barford. Norfolk. 12/07/2019
Michael C. Colyer 06/04/2020
Paul has recently fitted the wing badges and engine fan into the car.
Our MGA restoration continues as the soft-top is being stripped down. The metal components will be sandblasted and painted, while the fabric components will be re-upholstered in our trim shop.
Paul, Bob and Kath have all been making great progress on our beautiful 1960 MGA. Kath has now completed re-trimming the seats and dash surrounds. Bob has wired up the dash and instruments and Paul has fitted splash guards, full stainless steel exhaust and a new radiator fan and wiring. We’ve also got most parts assembled for the new heater unit.
The next stages will be to assemble and fit the heater unit and fit the new windscreen, complete with fresh chromework.
Our 1960 MGA is really taking shape now. Having recently had new chrome bumpers fitted by Paul, our MG edges nearer to completion.
Chris has now painted the MGA’s wheel arch lining ready for Paul to fit up to the car now.
Bob, Bridge Classic Cars’ wiring wizard has been working on wiring up the dash and instrumentation of our 1960 MGA. He’s connected the wiring loom from the engine bay, through the bulkhead and back into the vehicles cockpit.
Great work, Bob!
Is your classic vehicle in need of auto electrical assistance? Get in touch with our workshop today on 01473 742038.
Kath has been working on our lovely MGA restoration. She’s prepared the seats to be sandblasted and painted. Once this is done the seats can then be re-upholstered to the original specification.