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Tinkerbell The T Series

Tinkerbell The T Series

My quest for a classic T series MG began well over 40 years ago when a neighbor of mine owned an MG TD, and a Jaguar XKE. I was impressed with the MG and was able to ride in it several times. I decided at a young age that someday I would own one. (Actually I have searched for over 40 years.) I finally found what I wanted. A black MG TF restored. What I really ended up with was a cosmetically restored MG that needed major work.

The motor had been rebuilt, the frame powder coated, transmission replaced, and the brakes partially rebuilt. The paint was OK but needed work, gauges were basically useless and the interior was well in need of replacement. Not bad for a 63 year old car.

With lots of work ahead of me I decided to name it Tinkerbell knowing over the next few years I would be tinkering with it quite a bit. I replaced the suspension, rack and pinion steering system, as well as new springs, bushings, tie rod ends and lower shafts etc. Motor needed a new generator and tachometer drive, plus carburetor rebuilds, choke/starter cables as well as numerous nuts bolts and screws (of various sizes of course). The list seemed to go on and on and never ending but my quest was to get Tinkerbell back in shape. It took a lot of sweat and scrapes and working upside down, sideways, and on my back on the floor in the garage on ‘Tink’. However, working methodically on one mechanical section at a time made the rebuilding worth it .Once all the mechanicals were completed it was time to put the icing on the cake and redo the beat up interior.

 

As a teenager I grew up building hot rods, and spent a little time at an automotive upholstery shop watching a craftsman design, sew, and install his work. At times I even got to help him (thank goodness). With this background, taking on my own upholstery work would be a rewarding and challenging endeaver. I searched several sites and found Sports and Classics for an upholstery kit to install. Yep, working in confined spaces, leather and vinyl proved to be a real challenge (age thing ya know). I had to rebuild the beat up the seats which required some welding and a lot of woodworking to at least to get a good start. Several months passed by working slowly and methodically on the upholstery. However when I was finally through, it looked great and was a rewarding do it yourself project.

As the caretaker of this classic auto, I probably will be working on Tinkerbell for quite some time. As many classic car owners know – there is always something that needs to be worked on, corrected, or fixed. At this point, Tinkerbell is finally drivable and my wife is always asking “can I go for a ride “? (sound familiar?). I’ve had a lot of fun doing all the work myself and having my son and future caretaker watching and learning from the old school methods of working on simple classic hand built automobiles.

As I finish this, memories of my old childhood neighbor and riding in his classic TD still linger in my mind, and darned if I didn’t spot another thing to work on. Oh well!

– George and ‘Tink’

Best Driving Days this Autumn

Brand new set of Panasports installed just in time for the open Autumn road

Though Fall marks the end of the summer it’s just the beginning of some of the best driving days of the year. The cooler weather, winding roads with views of changing leaves and the sound of the whipping wind on the open road.

This past summer you tinkered tirelessly making sure she’s running at an optimal level. Or you may have spent hours agonizing over colors and materials for a new interior and even longer installing it for a perfect professional fit. Don’t forget to make time to enjoy the effort and attention to detail you have given her. Better yet, enjoy it with friends or a loved one!

So, maybe it’s a quick drive in the morning before work, or a leisurely weekend outing on your favorite back roads. Your car will soon get some well deserved rest in the coming winter months, so for these next few weeks get in as much driving time as you can!

And if by chance your lovey vehicle is still a work in progress, this is your opportunity to make some headway. We can’t wait to see what our customer achive!

  • Roadside Find of a ’74 AMC Gremlin
  • Roadside Find of a ’74 AMC Gremlin
  • Roadside Find of a ’74 AMC Gremlin
  • Roadside Find of a ’74 AMC Gremlin
  • Roadside Find of a ’74 AMC Gremlin
  • Roadside Find of a ’74 AMC Gremlin
  • Roadside Find of a ’74 AMC Gremlin
  • Roadside Find of a ’74 AMC Gremlin
  • Roadside Find of a ’74 AMC Gremlin
  • Roadside Find of a ’74 AMC Gremlin
  • Roadside Find of a ’74 AMC Gremlin
  • Roadside Find of a ’74 AMC Gremlin
  • Roadside Find of a ’74 AMC Gremlin

Roadside Find of a ’74 AMC Gremlin

While Sports & Classics is mainly focused on classic British sports cars, we certainly don’t discriminate. As we have said before, all cars have a story, and not just the British ones! We recently received the following story from our customer, Marc, a British car enthusiast and owner of Classic Technologies. To our surprise, Marc sent us a story, not of his Triumph TR6, but of his 1974 AMC Gremlin!

February 1, 2016, Marc was running some errands during his lunch break. While cutting through his neighborhood he noticed that a detached garage was being torn down at one of the houses. Parked on the side of the road was a filthy old car. As he got closer, he realized the car was an AMC Gremlin.

After finishing the rest of his errands, Marc quickly returned to the car to investigate. Upon further inspection it was clear the car had been sitting in that garage for a long time. It was caked with dust, but not rust.  Being that it was all original, and having just 48k miles on the clock, it begged the question, “Is it for sale?” Marc asked, “Yes, we’ll take anything for it” said the owner.

It was clear they needed the car out of there as soon as possible. Marc ran to the nearest ATM and returned with $300 cash, and the deal was done. This whole time Marc was wondering what he was going to tell his wife, as he had two other classics cars, one not even finished yet. Despite all that, he felt he could not wait as he might miss out on this deal. He would be right, too, as later that day they were offered $1,000 for the car, but Marc returned with a flatbed and they honored his deal.

Once the car arrived home, Marc quickly began cleaning it up as much as he could before his wife saw it. Luckily, she didn’t give him too much grief for the car considering the price and his good track record of finishing projects.
While the Gremlin is by no means a super desirable car, this one was like a time capsule and Marc felt it deserved a stock restoration. He began rebuilding the engine with all new rings, bearings, seals, fuel and water pumps, along with a rebuilt head and carburetor. His two sons helped him assemble the engine and finished it off with a fresh coat of blue paint.

After he addressed a few rust spots under the battery tray, he decided to give the engine compartment a re-spray before dropping the rebuilt engine in. Once the was engine in, Marc poured a few gallons of gas into the tank and turned the key, but it didn’t start. When going through the fuel system Marc noticed the fuel filter was clogged and the gas tank was rusted. Unfortunately, replacement Gremlin gas tanks aren’t available so he had to improvise and repair the original gas tank himself. Once that was taken care of and the Gremlin finally started, the radiator began leaking and needed to be replaced.

After all the time it took to get the Gremlin running and driving properly, Marc felt that to not have a nice paint job 

 

would have been a waste of all his effort. First he attempted to paint the car in his driveway, but when that didn’t turn

 out to his liking, he pushed it into his garage and tried again. This time the paint came out great and after putting on 

the original decals, it really surpassed Marc’s expectations.

Throughout this whole project, Marc was concerned about investing too much time and money in to a Gremlin, but after seeing how much joy it brought to him and his whole family, it all felt worthwhile. The car even caught the eye of a film producer who ended up using the Gremlin and Marc’s TR6 in their film! Going to a car show, you’ll probably see a number of Porsches, Ferraris, Camaros and so on, but a Gremlin!  That is something different.  And that’s exactly what Marc was looking for. 

  • Bugeye Vintage Racer Project – The Search for Parts
  • Bugeye Vintage Racer Project – The Search for Parts
  • Bugeye Vintage Racer Project – The Search for Parts
  • Bugeye Vintage Racer Project – The Search for Parts
  • Bugeye Vintage Racer Project – The Search for Parts
  • Bugeye Vintage Racer Project – The Search for Parts
  • Bugeye Vintage Racer Project – The Search for Parts
  • Bugeye Vintage Racer Project – The Search for Parts
  • Bugeye Vintage Racer Project – The Search for Parts

Bugeye Vintage Racer Project – The Search for Parts

Anyone who has acquired a dissembled project car would be very familiar with the scavenger hunt through boxes of parts that came along with it.  This can be both an exciting and daunting task, and it is the current stage of our Bugeye Vintage Racer Project

So far, we have pulled the car out of storage and started gathering and looking through the boxes of parts.

The history behind this Bugeye is quite unknown at the moment, but we did find some interesting parts including the half tonneau cover, original Raydyot racing mirrors, and super rare Donald Healey competition intake and exhaust manifolds. We believe a lot of the components that we found with the car were purchased directly through the Donald Healey Competition Department which was located on Long Island, New York, in the 1960’s. 

The engine we will be using is a late 1275 that came out of England, but we also plan on eventually rebuilding the original 948 that came with the car. 

The car has an array of competition gauges on the dashboard, but one peculiar thing we found was the 9,000 RPM tachometer. It appears the gauge has been modified (originally a 7,000 rpm tachometer) and hand painted to 9,000 RPM’s.

Considering a stock 948’s redline is around 5,500, this must have had fully balanced internals and a good amount of headwork in order to rev so high.   

We still have a number of boxes to look through, so stay tuned as we keep you updated with the revival of this vintage racer. Who knows what else we might find!

 

 

 

 

 

1960 Austin Healey Bugeye Vintage Racer Project

The team at Sports & Classics will be resurrecting an original 1960 Austin Healey Sprite Vintage Racecar. This car hasn’t been run in over 35 years. It’s about time this little Bugeye racer is made street legal and see’s the open road!

Stay tuned for more updates as we will be going through the car, replacing worn out components with only period correct original and performance parts wherever possible. This will definitely be a fun little project and we hope to see you at an upcoming local event.

“Lucky Lady” The story of Karen’s 1963 Austin Healey BJ7

 

At Sports & Classics, we know what it’s like to go through the struggles of a car restoration, and sometimes finding the inspiration to push on can be hard. But to us, cars are more than just a way of transportation. And much like people, every car has a story.

Here is the story our customer Karen sent us of her 1963 Austin Healey BJ7 that she likes to call “Lucky Lady”

It was April of 1971, using bribe money given by her mother for not smoking cigarettes, Karen purchased her first car, a 1963 Austin Healey 3000. She and her brother drove the car home with the exhaust system tied up with a rope. This Healey was definitely in need of some help. Luckily, aside from the usual rust spots, the body was straight with no accident damage.

Over the next four months, Karen and her brother quickly restored the car with a fresh paint job, engine rebuild, and new interior, just in time to take the car back to college for her senior year.

After two flat tires and having to drive through the night to combat the September heat, Karen’s Healey made it all the way from DC to her school in Texas with no serious issues. Karen enjoyed driving Lucky Lady, virtually trouble free during her last year at College.

Before the Restoration Began!

In January of 1973, the unimaginable happened. Karen’s precious Healey was nearly totaled in a traffic accident after a driver had crossed over into her lane and smashed the front end of Lucky Lady.

Lucky Lady was tucked away and sat untouched for the next 40 years until Karen decided it was finally time to get her back on the road.

 

Karen had an extensive restoration performed, making Lucky Lady look and drive better than ever. Originality was important to Karen, using as many new old stock and original parts as she could get her hands on,

The Lucky Lady – The Finished Product!

such as the shroud, hood, front fenders and grill with surround.The icing on the cake was when Karen’s Healey was accepted into the Atlanta Concours d’Elegance.

We’re not sure who the Lucky Lady really is, Karen or her BJ7!

Have an inspirational story or project you would like to share with us? Send us an email, we’d love to hear it! 

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