Dispatch 61 – Winter 2018

NEWS AND VIEWS

It’s approaching that time of year again! Bill and I wish you a Delightful Christmas and plenty of happy motoring in 2019.

Turns out the hill-climbing D in the black and white picture in the last issue is in fact DR 9629! This is D0342 which has been in Canada a good few years now and owned by Zaven Darakjian – see Dispatches 13 and 49. Mike Dalby found his notes from when he met a previous owner of the car – Wally Stephens. Wally is pictured in the car in ‘Safety Fast’ for November 1967, visiting MGCC Abingdon shortly after finishing the restoration of the car.

The next event of interest to us is on February 10th 2019, and is the annual MG (and Triumph now) Spares/Show day at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire. D Owners and other Triple M’ers gather round or near the Triple M Register stand at 12 midday for half hour or so. There was a very good turnout last year so hope to see some of you there.

Two other dates have been announced for next year to; these are MG Live! At Silverstone on the 15th and 16th June – although this may be subject to final confirmation and, PreWar Prescott which is on July 20th followed by the Cotswold Run on the 21st.

One car hoping to be at PreWar Prescott next year from France, is Vincent Dransart’s D0456 seen here and in the next section, nearing completion.

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INTERIORS

Someone asked me about upholstery details a few weeks ago which coincided with me finding some interesting pictures whilst looking for something else! Knowing a few others are in the middle or starting their interiors I thought it worth including them here.

These are of Bill’s D0253 and were taken in 2009 and we showed the completed pictures in Dispatch 24. Another very recent shot has come from Vincent Dransart’s virtually complete D0456 and shows the carpet detail.

Interesting to note the use of the ‘footwells’ in this car – these are worth including in the 7’2” wheelbase cars but are difficult in the 7’ cars as the space between front and back seats is that much smaller so are usually boarded over by the main floorboard. More pictures of interest on this topic were included in Dispatch 39 and show Gerry Annetts then nearly completed D0489.

BITS & PIECES

Firstly, an interesting piece now available for an item that can really make a difference to a rebuild. This is a brand new face for the Smiths PN speedo standard on D Types. Nothing spoils an instrument panel more than a faded speedo face and for those rebuilding theirs there is now a new one available.

These are laser cut aluminium and screen printed numbers as original and made by Austin Reproduction Parts Ltd (see www.austinrepro.com). They are obviously Austin specialists but have a couple of other items of interest to us.
Not cheap at £35 each, which includes UK postage, but the quality is absolutely first class.

By the way anyone contemplating a rebuild of their PN speedo should look back at Dispatch 50, early 2016.

An item that rarely turns up is the brass plate off the side of the rocker cover. As you may be aware these were originally chromed with red infill lettering but most Triple M cars have them just as polished brass as the chrome has long been worn off! I’ve acquired one which has remnants of the chrome left and needs a good polish up but otherwise good.

It cost me £40 and happy to sell it on for the same; returnable if you don’t like it.

Now a few reminders; we are still trying to discover if a windscreen side support is indeed off an MG or not.

This picture first appeared in Dispatch 56 and its been on the Triple M Register website Technical Information forum but so far to no avail – any ideas anyone?

Also we asked in Dispatch 59 if anyone had a Moss ‘Silent Third’ gearbox remote change going spare? And finally, has anyone a usable D/J1/F1 fuel tank they wish to sell?

And now for some Christmas reading!

RACING D’s

Not often I refer to D Types in the same breath as ‘racing’ but some interesting recent developments and some interesting past history are worth including here. I’ve mention D’s in Competition before (Dispatch 55) based on the research done by the late Mike Hawke and this covers predominately entries in ‘trials’ which were the common competitive events in the pre-war and immediate post war eras for ‘ordinary’ sports cars.

As most of you will know there was no proper racing circuit in Britain other than Brooklands, which had closed for the war, until Silverstone opened from a converted airfield in about 1947/8.

However probably our earliest ‘racing’ D was Ken Sheffield’s D0312 mentioned and pictured way back in Dispatch 5. It has a very light weight body and in our fourth issue a report in ‘Safety Fast’, for September 1965, was quoted which covered the June Oulton Park race meeting of that year in which Ken scored victory in a five-lap handicap race at an average speed of 60 m.p.h.! Ken has had other successes, notably in VSCC races, and in 2012, on another visit to him, I took these pictures of the car, and some of his trophies!

What prompted this whole article however, stemmed from sorting my collection of some 50 years of colour slides and discovering this one from June 1976 at the MGCC Silverstone meeting that year.

This is an EX120 lookalike made by the late Nigel Musselwhite between 1972 and 1974 – the year of its first outing at MGCC Silverstone that year. History officinardos amongst you will know that the C and D Types were developed from the EX120 – all sharing virtually the same chassis. Nigel wrote a piece for the Triple M Year Book 1988/9 titled ‘Replication!’ and gave details the building of this car on an un-numbered D chassis and using some confirmed, actual engine parts from the original EX120. Nigel raced the car for a couple more years quite successfully.

He then sold the car in 1977 and eventually had his original special body back – this was subsequently put on D0460 by Alan Grassam and that car is still alive and well and has been in Sweden for many years.

The un-numbered chassis and engine was rebodied by others, and from the picture, much closer to the original EX120, and eventually arrived at the Nasu Museum in Japan where it has been for some years.

The story of EX120 is well told in ‘The Works MGs’ by Mike Allison and Peter Browning and there are also two good pictures of it in John Thornley’s ‘Maintaining the Breed’.

In very much more recent times Chris Edmundson’s supercharged D0442, rebuilt to ‘C’ spec., has been seen at various competitions over the last couple of years and is seen here in action at VSCC Cadwell, back in July of this year, with this superb picture by ace photographer Colin Murrell.

For 2019 Onno Konemann in Holland promises to make an appearance at the Triple M meeting at Brands Hatch with his D0495 now nearing completion.

This picture was taken about a month ago; so, a few bits to finish but we look forward to seeing the car in action!

And finally, after achieving 100 mph with EX120 the factory were keen to reach 120mph and EX127 was built to achieve this! Not relevant here to go into the details of EX127 but interesting to note that a picture was released by the works of a model of EX127 on the bonnet of a D Type – shown here:

Unfortunately, we don’t have the chassis number as our records don’t show which D the registration number JB 660 was put on, but it does not appear to have survived. I wonder where the model is?!

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