Rebuild In More Detail

Only the switches, temperature/oil pressure gauge and horn button were salvageable from the dashboard.


Cockpit was in a sorry state, having been in a Barn in San Diego for 22 Years.


Cylinder head was in the boot.  Testing revealed it was cracked and had to be replaced.


First day into the stripdown - Boxing Day 1996.


Removal of the gearbox tunnelling revealed a rodent nest.


Dismantling properly underway.  Evidence of the original Old English White paint underneath the red.  The body and chassis were both sound with only light surface corrosion.


Within a week it is all apart.  The rebuild starts from here!  The chassis frame was straight.  In hindsight I should have sent it away to be shot blasted.  Instead it was a case of the wire brush.


Chassis preparation for painting. I used a one coat chassis black.


March 1997.  3 months in to the rebuild.  I had the engine rebored and the crankshaft reground.  Other than that I did all engine assembly.  I had to buy a new reconditioned unleaded cylinder head.  The gear box and rear axle looked in good condition.  I just cleaned the externals and fitted new oils seals.


Framework built to carry body, allowing movement past rolling chassis.  Despite its light weight appearance, the frame was very strong.  It allowed me to keep the TC alongside although it got a bit dusty at times.


Body undergoing inspection prior to shot blasting.  The bonnet, doors and boot are aluminium skinned, so were stripped manually.  The tie rods across the door opening reduce the stress on the door sills and retain the accurate dimensions for door alignment.


Main body shell shot blasted and about to be etch primed.  I timed the blasting so that I could take the body tub straight to my body refinishing evening class, reducing time to a minimum for the tub to oxidise.


June 1997. Etch primed.  Now for repair work and panel alignment checks. The car had been rolled while racing in the 60s in California.  I was told the driver died.  Signs of damage were evident to the rear decking and the scuttle.  In hindsight I wish I had replaced these panels rather than fill the beaten out damage.  That is now a job for the next rebuild.


August 1997.  All the panels undercoated and ready for the top coat.  I went to body refinishing evening classes at the local college.  This gave me access to good spraying equipment and spray ovens. It is important to have a tolerant wife/partner during these rebuilds as a lot of space is required!


Finished body tub at the paint shop.  I was not confident with my own spraying ability for the top coat, so it was done at a professional body shop.  The owner had previously monitored the quality of my preparatory work before he was prepared to put his name to the top coat.


September 1997.  Beginning to look like an MGA now.


Wiring next.  The rest of the rebuild was a steady slog of attaching mainly new parts.  Door alignment was one of the tricky bits.  I made new floorboards using the old as patterns. I rebuilt the seats using a kit supplied by Bob West.


And the fuel tank.  Just a case of bolting everything back on now!


Six months later it's all done.  On the road for 1 May 1998.  Rebuild took 16 months.



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