NEWS AND VIEWS
Another milestone reached – our ‘diamond’ edition! Neither Bill or me thought about how long ‘Dispatch’ or the D Group might last back in 2003 when we started but here we are still going in 2018! I still get queries and questions about D Types every week from near and very far!
Silverstone enjoyed unusually warm/sunny weather back in June and the change to individual Register and Area marquees rather than one big Club one was welcomed by some and not by others; a fifty-fifty split I think. Unfortunately, attendances in all the older MG fraternities continues to fall – and the traders for those models don’t attend either – and what happened to the Autojumble this year? However, the Triple M Register marquee was pretty busy throughout the weekend and D0464 was on display the whole time and attracted some interest. Seen here at the back of the marquee, excuse the K3 in the foreground!
Amongst the few D owners I met were Mike Goodwin all the way from Florida who owns the oldest surviving D – D0252. Good to meet up at last, he had been threatening to come for years!
Yet another sunny weekend was enjoyed at PreWar Prescott in July an ideal venue on a summer’s day and a real garden party atmosphere. We didn’t have our usual spot in the paddock with our smaller marquee but had the larger one and shared it with the family autojumble so I was suitably chastised by those who spent time looking for us! Some 5 or 6 D owners attended but apart from Gerry Annetts and me they were all in other cars!
The event is organised by Ian Grace under the auspices of the Vintage Minor Register and next year’s date has already been fixed: see the PreWar Prescott website for details!
We were well represented in the Triple M Register Border Reivers Raid 2 early this year. Our picture shows Mike and Jean Jakeman in D0427 being flagged away with an appropriate flag on day 1! Unfortunately. this was received just too late for our June edition.
Always pleased to see old black and white pictures and Mike Dalby (M Type fame) kindly sent me this picture of a cutting showing a D Type in 1946.
It is during the Plymouth Motor Club’s ‘200’ that year climbing Simms Hill in that area. Sadly, we can’t quite make out the registration number to identify the car, but investigations continue; but if anyone has any information we would be pleased to hear from you.
Always on the look-out for D items I found this post card on ebay in Germany of all places.
This is of course D0298, famous for the jig saw (see Dispatch 34), and other items. I contacted Bob Holmes who owned the car then and he hadn’t seen a postcard before but remembered the location as a house in Abridge in Essex taken in 1972.
I shall pass the card on to the current owner!
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT
Much confusion arises with the ‘official’ title of the D Type in that it is referred to as: ‘The 8/33 MG Midget Sports Series D Long Chassis’. The ‘Long Chassis’ is simply as opposed to the ‘Short Chassis’ which is the M Type.
When the M Type first appeared in 1929 it was known simply as the ‘Midget’; it had a wheel base of just 6 feet 6 inches. It was indeed a ‘midget’ when compared with the comparatively very large ‘vintage’ MGs also in production at that time, the 18/80s.
When production of the D Type began in 1931, with a seven foot wheelbase, it was known as the ‘Long Chassis Midget’ and the M thereafter became known as the ‘Short Chassis Midget’.
As in the picture it is interesting to note the change on the cover of the works manuals for the M from just ‘Midget’ to ‘Midget Short Chassis’ after production began on the long chassis Midget – the D Type.
Also interesting is the fact that the letters ‘M’ and ‘D’ were not referred to – neither model’s manuals mention it – they were simply the short and long chassis Midgets. The C Type was The Montlhery Midget. Reference to a ‘letter’ designation didn’t become popular, or indeed necessary, until the arrival of further ‘Midgets’ – the J’s and P’s.
Somewhat to add to the confusion the D Type, after the first 100 cars had been produced, had its chassis length increased to 7 foot 2 inches as a result of changes needed to strengthen the chassis and bodywork. However, either way, the D is still ‘the long chassis’ Midget whatever its chassis length and the M is ‘the short chassis’ Midget! I once saw a manual for sale on Ebay referred to as a “short Chassis D Type” it was of course a later M manual!
In recent years I have started dropping the ‘long chassis’ designation as the cars are now just ‘D Types’ but no doubt some confusion will continue!
YET MORE ON GEARBOXES!
Following on our coverage of four speed boxes in D Types Sam Christie asked me the question ‘had any D owners tried or fitted a Morris Minor synchromesh gearbox?’
I replied that I didn’t know and to be honest, I had never heard of a synchromesh box for the Minor! He sent this picture of one (now in Norbert Welter’s M Type in Luxembourg).
It is fitted with Wolseley Hornet Special remote control and looks as though it would take a standard J2 one too. The handbrake attachments could easily be removed and/or the back plate changed to a D one.
The code number for the synchro box is 110; the non-synchro 74 (standard J2 4 speed box is 72) all stamped on the case in front of the remote control as can just be seen in this picture.
Sam has also compared the ratios between the different boxes; but we’ll leave that for another time! But has anyone out there got one of these synchromesh boxes?
Sadly, Julia passed away on 16th August. A dear friend and fellow enthusiast she and Digby were keen followers of the D Group and their D0377 was well used.
We shall miss her. Our sincere condolences to Digby and all the family.