Updates to the Early MGTD

Yes, there is more being done to the early MGTD.  We have added the wire wheel conversion, and yes, that is a super-charger.  We believe that this will be the only TD on the west coast set up this way.  This is going to be fun to drive.  Oh by the way, we upgraded it to front disc brakes as well.





TR 6 Gets a new Life

We have been fortunate to be asked to restore a TR 6.  The car was in pretty good shape to start with, but the owner wants it in “like new” condition.  We are doing the usual, new paint, interior, suspension, brakes, top and so on, but there will be some upgrades, performance rebuild on the engine, 5 speed transmission and others.

Here are a few pictures so far-



TR 2

We were given the challenge to finish a restoration on a very nice TR 2.  The painting and the interior were completed but we found a few complications with some of the systems in the car.  Here are a few photos that show what we found.



A very Early MGTD Gets Some Upgrades

Here is another example of a grandfather grandson project that turns out to be a great success.  This MGTD started out as a basket case, many years ago.  As a grandfather / grandson project they started to restore the car.  Please realize that the age groups of these two men are leaning more towards the senior division, but nevertheless, it was a bold and rewarding undertaking.  Though the car had been completely gone through, and the restoration complete, before the car came to us, there are some finishing touches they want to get done to the car.

The “upgrade list” includes a five speed transmission conversion, a super charger, and converting to chrome wire wheels.  There are other items such as refinishing the dash, seat heaters, and converting to an alternator that will also be done.  I will try to keep the pictures updated.  Here are a few to start.



This Years Open House and Queen’s Rally

This is a reminder that this Saturday, May 10th, is our Open House and Queen’s Rally.

Things get started at 9:00am, we have treats and coffee.  Everybody gets to look at all the cars, and the shop is open to see what we’ve been working on.  At 10:00am, all the cars for the Queen’s Rally are entered and we have a drivers/navigators meeting.  The rally starts at 10:30am.  Depending on how many entrants, we will have one or two heats.  The rally takes about thirty minutes, and is very simple and easy to do.

There will be sandwiches and beverages for all after the rally.  Also, there will be special interest displays on hand.  The event will conclude at noon and you can enjoy the rest of the day.

We look forward to seeing you there.



Project Sprite Underway

One of our customers is undertaking the task of rebuilding his Sprite.  He worked hard to get the car stripped, the parts cleaned and has started to rebuilding process.  We were called in to help with the body and paint, as well as some front and rear suspension work.

Here are some pictures to bring you up to date-

There is more activity going on.  The customer has created a website so you can watch the changes happen.

Here is the link:

Enjoy the ride!!!


Answer to a Nagging Problem – Battery Tenders

As one of our customers told me, over the phone, as he sat in a parking lot waiting for the tow truck, “it’s an old British car, it has problems”.  Well, I guess I have to agree somewhat; but we are trying hard to make them more dependable wherever we can.

One of the bigger issues during the winter months, is keeping the battery charged.  Even though it is the 21st century, battery technology for your car isn’t much past where it was in the sixties.  It seems like if you don’t start the car regularly, the battery loses it’s charge.  Many of you have installed a battery disconnect switch, and that really does help the situation.  However, we have found a very inexpensive and cost effective way to keep your battery fresh and ready to go when you are.

A company called “Deltran makes a product called a “Battery Tender”.  This consists of a power pack that plugs into your wall outlet, and cables to attach to your battery.

They give you the option to attach it permanently, or you can use the conventional clamps.  No matter how you hook it up, we have learned from experience that you need to have it easily accessible, in plain sight,  and basically you have to trip over the cable before you pull the car out of the garage, or you will constantly be testing the “quick disconnect” feature of the cable plug.

This is one of the most advanced units of it’s type.  It has reverse polarity protection, for you early car owners that are still positive ground; it is small and light weight and it switches automatically from charging to float maintenance.  What this means, is that while you are not driving the car, the Tender cycles the battery constantly so that it keeps the battery in top shape, and always ready to go.

In 2013, we are trying to help those of you who read the Blog, and are friends of British Auto Works.  One of the ways we are doing this, is to offer products, such as the Battery Tender, to you at a special price.  In this case, you can buy the Deltran Battery Tender Junior, (as shown is the above photo), for $29.95.  To purchase the battery tender, visit our website at  You’ll see the product right there on our home page.

Thank you for your support of British Cars.

Enjoy the ride!!!


What we won’t do for a Delivery

Those of you who are local, know that the last several days around here have been really cold.  We haven’t had any rain or snow, but it has been really cold.  Well even this cold can’t stop Stan from delivering a car to the customer.  Here’s a shot of Stan getting ready to go, and what it was like for the road conditions.

By the way, he reports that the defrosters on a Bugeye suck in sub-freezing weather.

Enjoy the ride!!!


A Surprise for his Dad

Awhile back a customer came in and said he had a chrome bumper MGB he wanted restored.  The car had been his Dad’s, and he had bought in new off the lot.  As the common story goes, it had been driven a lot in the early years, but as life caught up with Dad, the car got less and less attention.  My first impression was that our customer had gotten the car from his Dad and wanted to get it up and running.  After a long and detailed estimate of what it was going to take, we started on the car.

This was a complete restoration.   The body was actually in pretty good shape, it had been in a garage the entire time, and it was mainly the dust, dirt and cobwebs we had to deal with.

The biggest task was that he wanted to change the color to black.   This is by far the most difficult color to paint and not show imperfections in the finish.  However difficult that painting might have been, the final look was awesome.   Then, to make the car look even better, it was decided to have the interior be tan leather with a black canvas top and tonneau.

The great part about this story is that when the car was finished, our customer had always intended to give the car back to his Dad so he could enjoy the car even more now.  We were surprised to find out that our customer had only ridden in the car a few times as a small boy, and that when he got in it to deliver it to Dad, it was the first time he had ever driven the car.  It’s our opinion, and it is a little biased, that the car is far better today than it was when it rolled off the dealer’s lot the first time.

So if you are driving around Salem and see this great looking MGB, be sure to honk and wave.  Know that the driver is reliving some of the great times from years gone by, and that he has a really nice and loving son that helps keep the dream alive and continues to enjoy the ride!!!


Another Common Fix

When you get down to a fame off restoration, you find all sorts of issues that you could easily overlook with a lesser scale restoration.  The most common is frame rust and bent frames.  All of you Triumph owner know very well the potential for damage that comes with a tub / chassis type car.  That is not to say that the same problem do not exist with the later MG’s that are of the uni-body design.  The reality is that with the tub off the frame and you can strip all the grease and dirt away,  you can get a really good look at the remaining structure.

No matter how you can view the chassis, there are critical things to look for.  The most important of which is beds or kinks in the frame rails, or parts of the frame rail that has been repaired or welded.  Though it is not the end of the world, a bent frame creates an unsafe condition for the operation of the car.  If you find repairs that have been made by a previous owner, be sure to examine them closely and if there are questions, take the frame to a professional and have it checked out.

Another common issue is rust.  Here are some pictures of a rusted frame which we made repairs to and got it ready for powder coating.

You need to cut out the rust portion, expose the rust in the frame.  Clean the remaining rusted metal as good as possible.  Treat the metal with a good rust killer.









Cut a patch panel and stitch weld the panel into place.  From here, you grind the welds, smooth everything up and send the frame off to powder coat.

The frame is a significant part of the car.  Any major repairs need to be reviewed by a professional.  Minor repairs can be done in your garage, but if you have questions, do not hesitate to get professional advice.

Enjoy the ride!!!

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