This is really for Tommy so I hope he gets to read it. I love the story/info on Tommy’s 1952 MG TD - I really wanted one! It was also the year I was born. So, what did I do when it came time for me to buy my first car? I bought the first used British car I could find - a 1956 MGA!!! It was fire engine red, soft top & drop in sliding Plexiglas window, just what a 17 year old needed! If you know this car it’s really sleek, no external door handles so you have to slide the NON locking window aside, reach in and grab the pull cord inside the door opening and pull the door open. When you go to start it the key only works the fuel pump (which I didn’t learn until it stopped ticking one day) so you turn the key, pull the choke out then pull on the starter cable. I bought it from the son of a local large landscaper. He wasn’t around when I went to look at it but one of his dad’s salesmen was. He showed me the car and receipts for HUNDREDS of dollars worth of repairs. This should have sent any sensible individual running away but I had my rose colored (or fire engine red) glasses on that day and it was ONLY $650!!!
So I bought the stupid thing and drove it through the winter of 1970, sometimes down to -10 F, and into the spring of 1971. It always started (until the fuel pump wiring failed one day) and always ran UNTIL it started clunking badly and threw/broke a rod. I got one of my buddy’s to help tow me home with a rope around the bumper and we drug/pushed it into the garage. We put it up on jack stands, crawled under it and I started laughing my a** off – it really wasn’t funny but what can you do? One of the rods had broken and then proceeded to swing around in the engine and ripped right through the oil pan.
We continued to investigate the rest of the motor and to my surprise there had already been another hole in the upper part of the block, behind the oil filter, hidden by a piece of greasy CARDBOARD that the previous owner must have installed to keep oil from leaking out of the engine from a previous similar breakdown (see mountain of old repair receipts). Well that was really the end of my MG driving. It sat in the garage for a few years until I finally realized I would never get around to fixing it, so I sold it to a local foreign car rebuilder for the same $650 I originally spent. End of story.
Tommy, does that now make us “brothers under DA HOOD?”
P.S. I went back to riding my 175 Yamaha motorcycle until I bought my next car – a 1966 VW Canadian notchback! There are a few good stories there too.