This is a 1948 MG TC. Quite old fashioned in its styling, with not a hint of the streamlined curves that were coming out of the US. Nevertheless, it has a certain sporty charisma. One can imagine popping on one’s boater, and zipping off with your best girl (perhaps a good sort like Honeysuckle Weeks’ character Samantha from the British Drama Foyle’s War) through England’s hedgerowed country lanes for a picnic of boiled eggs and ham and cress sandwiches, with lashings of ginger beer and cups of tea, definitely by a Romanesque folly near a lake on Lady Winterstone’s estate in Derbyshire. Tally-ho, what!
My good friend Peter, a talented watch and clockmaker, who previously worked for TAG Heuer before setting up his own watch and clock repair and restoration practice, swapped a rather handsome 1830s English longcase clock for the collection of rusty rubble pictured below.
While Peter is a talented gentleman, and you could easily imagine him knocking about in the 18th or 19th century inventing Chronometers with John Harrison or cheering politely at meetings of the Royal Society, my level is somewhat different. You have perhaps heard the phrase ‘talented amateur’. Let me assure you that does not describe my level of skill in watch and clock making. Let’s just say, I’m keen, and Peter is imparting what lessons he can.
Car restoration, while it shares some of the same mechanical requirements as watch and clock restoration, perhaps does not require the same level of finesse. So I should hopefully prove an able assistant, while at the same time documenting this project.
Cups of tea and entertainment will be provided by Romy, Peter’s wife and an actual musical prodigy. Hailing from Czechoslovakia, she has perfect pitch and plays the violin with remarkable precision. However, rather than entertaining us with a concerto, I’m sure it will be her amusing stories that will distract us when we are up against the implacability of rust.
And if we are very luck, my partner Olga my provide us with sandwiches. She is a prodigy with sandwiches. Literally.
So from the assortment of rusty rubble pictured above, with some additional parts and a lot of elbow and axle grease, we will eventually get to something akin to the top picture. Peter has previously restored a classic E Type Jaguar from a similar collection of parts, so if you have doubts, watch this space to view the MG TC’s progress.