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’