Dispatch 58 – Spring 2018

NEWS AND VIEWS

As I write there are signs of spring already – let’s hope we have some good motoring weather in 2018. There was a good turnout of Triple M’ers at Stoneleigh back in February; the Register stand was surrounded by midday – including no less than seven D owners! Someone commented to that there seemed to be a few more pre-war items about than in recent years; but always a good meeting point anyway.

Facebook watchers may have noticed this picture of D0493 and F1183. This was kindly posted on my Facebook page by Barrie Dean with the caption ‘D0493 meets big brother F1183’.
I re-posted on the D Type page with the comment – ‘should that be big sister?!’ Barrie took the picture in the early eighties after his restoration of the F Type. Incidentally F1183 is the car pictured on the cover of Richard Monk’s book ‘The MG Collection – the Pre-War Models’.

The next MG event is MG Era Day at Brooklands on 1st April followed closely by Drive it Day on 22nd April. MG Silverstone is confirmed as 2nd and 3rd of June and don’t forget Pre-War Prescott on July 21st – entries are already being accepted.

Always nice to see a period black and white picture – I wonder how many of you who take the VSCC Bulletin noticed this one in their Winter edition before Christmas? It was taken in 1963 and wrongly captioned as J1. Well we were, with the help of fellow Registrar Cat Spoelstra, able to tell them it was D0476 alive and well in The Netherlands – see the recent picture alongside – owned by Jan Van Der Werf.

Now first the bad news – the D mentioned as having been found in the last Dispatch, PO 5028, apparently doesn’t exist after all; seems the Museum has paper work for 3 Triple M cars but only 2 actual cars to go with them! What we thought in the pictures was the D turns out to be a J1! Still we now know it was D0333 and we shall open a file with all the information and paperwork – you never know! However, next the good news…

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AND STILL THEY TURN UP

Passed on to me before Christmas by Jeremy Hawke was news of another D which has come to light – this is D0431 and owned for just over a year now by Doug Woollard who has recently started on dismantling ready to begin restoration! Apparently, it had been under a tarpaulin for some 20 years and I must say the pictures remind me of ‘The Garden D’ although not in such a bad state as that was.

Looks like Doug has a couple of useful helpers there and those 12 inch brake drums look interesting – as does the remote gear change in the cockpit. We await further details with interest!

HILL CLIMBING IN A D

No, not a stance on proclaiming the D as a competition hill climber more a question of the D climbing hills! John Emmett has kindly penned the following treatise on the subject for some spring reading:

A metric horsepower is pretty well the same as the imperial unit and is enough power to lift a load of 75kg at a steady speed of one metre per second. Now an MG D Midget with a light driver and little fuel will weigh about 700kg, so 25 HP at the wheels should theoretically be enough to lift it all straight upwards at 2.2 metres per second. Going larger in the triple-M scale doesn’t give you much more performance, because except for the racing models the increasing weights meant that the HP to weight ratios of later models virtually followed these figures. Indeed, if we take the 27HP published flywheel figure, the power to weight ratio comes out at 39HP per tonne. This value was not doubled by a production MG until the Twin-cam MGA came along in 1958, and that in turn was only just exceeded by the MGB V8 and the 1995 MG F.

Transferring our theoretical D Midget performance to a 1 in 4 hill (say the last third of the Brooklands test hill), and allowing 20% of your HP for the rolling and air resistance, you should be able to maintain a steady 2 metres per second of vertical speed which equates to 8 metres per second speed up the hill (18mph). Now, it is probably no coincidence that this speed in first gear corresponds to the peak engine power at 4500rpm. Indeed, it seems likely that first gear was (and is today) chosen to just climb such a 1 in 4 hill. Whether or not you could start off with four adults on board is another matter, but running light up a 1 in 8 hill should enable second gear to be used up to 36mph.

Today, we hardly notice this hillclimbing ability in a modern car, partly because important roads have been regraded and those “Low Gear Now” signs have gone, but mainly because once you get power to weight ratios around 100HP per tonne, you can climb a 1 in 6 hill at 60mph, which is the typical speed limit. More importantly, brakes that can deal with 70mph emergency stops can usually deal with going down hills without any outward sign of fading.

Most of the famous “testing” hills like the A39 at Porlock still exist, even if softened and widened today. A double chevron on an OS map represents 1 in 5 or worse, and a single chevron 1 in 7 or worse. A GPS recording App on your phone will enable you to analyse the scary bits when you eventually get to the Pub, and many of these health/sports apps will record your heart rate as well.

Here is a UK and Irish road discussion forum; https://www.sabre-roads.org.uk

And here is one of those (free) health/sports Apps.

BITS & PIECES

Bit like a country bus – you wait ages to see one and then all of a sudden two come along at once! I have managed to get two original D Manuals literally from opposite ends of the world; both in very good condition complete with the original pull outs for the wiring diagram and lubrication chart.
I have added the two costs together and divided by two – so £90 each plus postage. First come first served but only to registered D owners please. As always from me money back if not delighted!

TRIPLE M REGISTER AND IDENTIFICATION

As most of you are aware the Triple M Register of the MGCC maintain a register of all OHC pre-war MGs. With approaching nearly 4000 cars to manage the decision was taken a year or so ago to split the job of Registrar between several people as it had become too much for one! Needless to say, perhaps, I am responsible for Ds and J1s!

Also, the Register has a new database and we are keen to get this up to date and keep it up to date.
One of its aims is to have a photographic record of the identity of every car. This falls into 3 types, in order of preference:

1) The stamping of the chassis number on the front left knuckle. I attach a picture of D0311 stamping to show what we are looking for. I appreciate this will need the front apron removed and possibly some ‘cleaning’!

2) The guarantee plate on the firewall. Again, I attach a picture of D0311. Also appreciated is that many plates were renewed but if we have a picture we will know it is a new one.

3) The stamping on the bonnet hinge. This is on the inside of the hinge at the radiator end. Again, a picture of D0311. (incidentally, the letters after the number, in this case BK, is a code for the colour of the original finish and this was Black on D0311). Many cars don’t have their original bonnets for one reason or another and those with special or racing bodies certainly don’t, so exclude this if it applies to your car.

I have noted that we are missing virtually three quarters of surviving D Types identification chassis number stamping and I list those missing here: 258, 259, 273, 274, 278, 289, 291, 295, 298, 301, 304, 308, 312, 319, 321, 326, 329, 332, 334, 337, 338, 349, 351, 353, 354, 357, 364, 366, 377, 381, 382, 393, 424, 454, 460, 469, 474, 476, 477, 478, 480, 489, 490, 491, 493, 494, 500.

An up to date picture or your car in whatever state would be appreciated to – some of those on file are very old and some missing altogether – check our D Group Website to see what we have of your car! Thank you to all those who responded to my first request back in Dispatch 54 for the chassis stamping picture.

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