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Book Review

There are certain books, without which the enjoyment of the Y will not be complete. Also included is a list of other books featuring the Y Type which can also be obtained from bookshops.

Books on the Y Type

Lawson

Y Type Saloons and Tourers - John Lawson ISBN 0-947981-31-4.  Sadly this book is now out of print.   However, it is the policy of the Register to buy copies whenever they become available in good second hand condition to resell them to owners.  This book is 128 pages with many interesting photographs and facts in it.  It is a very easy read, and although in the author's own acknowledgement now superseded by Let there be Ys and its Supplement (see above), it is nonetheless worth having a copy of and is essential reading for a Y Owner.

 

This book is also now available on CD together with Part One of C.A.N. May's book Wheelspin Abroad (see Lawson and May) on YZ Publications.

Let there be Ys

Let there be Ys - David Lawrence ISBN 0-620-21832-0. The definitive book on Ys covering Y, YT and YB.   Extensively researched 290 pages of text, diagrams and pictures.  In hardback, this book is the culmination of many years research and is excellent value.  Essential reading for a Y Owner.  Sadly we have now sold the entire stock of this excellent book.

 

This book, together with all the Supplements, is also now available on CD on YZ Publications.

Let there be Ys Supplement

Supplement to Let there be Ys - David Lawrence.  Following on from the publication of his earlier work, David has now published a short supplement.  This book is 16 pages with updates, clarifications, and more detail especially on YTs.  In no way invalidating his earlier work, the supplement is an excellent complimentary book in itself.  Essential reading for a Y Owner.

 

This Supplement, together with all the other Supplements and the book, is also now available on CD on YZ Publications.

Brooklands

MG Y-Type & Magnette ZA / ZB - Brooklands Books ISBN 1-85520-347-2. A compilation of 39 reprinted articles from contemporary magazine reviews (21 of which are Y Type, and 18 are ZA/ZB Magnette) from May 1947 to February 1991.  It is always interesting to see just how well the Motoring Press of the time wrote about the car.  The reports are not only technical, but also feature some in a "travelogue" style.

Includes, amongst other articles, an article on "Buying an MG Y Type" and what to look for.

MG Y-Type & Magnette ZA / ZB - Brooklands Books ISBN 978-185520-86-29.  A compilation of 51 reprinted articles from contemporary magazine reviews (29 of which are Y Type, and 22 are ZA/ZB Magnette) from May 1947 to July 2007. As with the previous publication, it is always interesting to see just how well the Motoring Press of the time wrote about the car.  The reports are not only technical, but also feature some in a "travelogue" style.

Includes, amongst other articles, an article on "Buying an MG Y Type" and what to look for.

Recently (late 2009) re-released.

Rallying in a Works MG

Rallying in a Works MG - Len Shaw ISBN 0-9519423-4-4. A hugely entertaining read written by Len Shaw shortly before his death in 1999, the book is one man's personal reminiscences in a light-hearted manner of a very enjoyable youth.  Len enjoyed his Y Type so much that, although he drove Magnettes and Morris Minors, nothing eclipsed his joy of driving a Y.  Indeed he still owned and drove one, right up to he died!  His enjoyment is infectious and I could not put the book down until I had finished it.  Essential reading for a Y Owner.

Currently out of print.

MG Britain's Favourite Sports Car - Malcolm Green ISBN no1-85960-420 X. This book contains a 10 page chapter covering the YA, YT and YB in some detail for a "general" book covering all MG models.  There are also some very good pictures.  The whole book is a very good read.

The MG - F Wilson McComb.  A potted history of the MG Car Company and its car production from the beginnings of the company. Brief details of models from 'Old No.1' through to the production of the MGR V8 are given. There is little detail on each actual model and very limited information on the Y type. The book contains 32 pages and the format is A5.  The author joined the MG car company in 1959 and was the founding editor of 'Safety Fast'.

Data Sheets and Other Publications
All Currently available from the MG Car Club

Y Sheet 1 - Steering Column Electrics - J Murray.  Ever wondered about the horn, indicator turn switch and the contact slip-rings?  This data sheet will  demystify it for you.

Y Sheet 2 - Fitting A Heat Shield - J Murray.  With modern high octane fuels passing over the exhaust, there is a tendency for fuel to vaporise before it gets into the cylinders!  Fitting a heat shield will avoid those problems and this data sheet will tell you how to do it.

Y Sheet 3 - Fitting Flashers - J Murray.  Modern drivers would not expect to look for semaphore signals so this is a modern improvement that you can make to your Y in the interests of Safety Fast!

Y Sheet 4 - Flashing indicators with semaphores - D Pelham / P Barrow.  Many Y owners would like to retain the originality of semaphore trafficators with the modern convenience and safety features of flashing indicators.  This datasheet should be read in conjunction with Y Sheet 1 Steering Column Electrics, Y Sheet 3 - Flashing Indicators and Y Sheet 8 Trafficator Semaphore Arms.

Y Sheet 5 - The Pedal Box Assembly - N Cairns.  A common problem with Ys is the pedal shaft.  This data sheet deals with all of these aspects.

Y Sheet 6 - Y-Type Service Data - N Cairns.  A reprint from the Supplement to The Motor Trader June 1948 covering servicing a Y Type.

Y Sheet 7 - The Jackall System - N Cairns.  The Jackall system is demystified in this data sheet.

Y Sheet 8 - Trafficator Semaphore Arms - N Cairns.  A repair and maintenance guide for Lucas SF40 and SF80 semaphore arms.

Y Sheet 9 - Fitting An Alternator - N Cairns.  How to fit an alternator and change the polarity of your car.

Jackall Service Manual - Smiths Industries.  A faithful high quality reproduction of an original Smiths Jackall Manual taken from an original.  This is a "must have" if you are interested in the functioning of, or wanting to attempt an overhaul of your Jackall system.

The first 500 miles on your new MG 1¼ Litre (series "Y") - A faithful, high quality, full colour digital reproduction complete with all fold out pages from the original.  This booklet was given to all owners of a new MG Y and contained vital information on how to look after your new car.  Click here for a look inside.

Lucas Electrical Equipment YT - Joseph Lucas Ltd.  Gives details of Lucas Electrical components fitted to the YT. It has photographs and Lucas part nos.  A stunning full colour reproduction of the original.

Lucas Electrical Equipment Y Saloon - Joseph Lucas Ltd.  Gives details of Lucas Electrical components fitted to the Y. It has photographs and Lucas part nos.  A stunning full colour reproduction of the original.

Lucas Screenjet Manual - Joseph Lucas Ltd.  If you want to fit washers to your Y type - shows you how to do it using that big glass jam jar (was a period accessory).

Rewiring Your Y-Type - D Ransome.  Shows the route taken by the wiring loom. Very useful if you removed the loom two years ago during restoration and have forgotten where it goes! Also gives colour codes for YB wiring.

Data Sheet  Quick check over sheet giving ignition and valve timing details, plug and distributor gaps, oil & tyre pressures etc. Also gives same info. for S,V,W models.

Trafficators - Practical Classics.  Reprinted from Practical Classics. Shows how they work and what to do if they don't.

YB Repair Times and Schedules - The MG Car Company Ltd.  Fascinating 12 page booklet produced by the M.G. Car Company for M.G. dealers and distributors. It shows the time allowed for carrying out all manner of mechanical repairs on YBs and TDs. Good fun if you do it all yourself - you can compare your work rate with that of the professionals.

Lubrication & Maintenance Schedule - Duckhams NOL Oil.  Copy (on card) of an original Duckhams card for recording servicing details etc. Shows recommended mileage for servicing and details of work required at each service.

Enjoying The M.G. Y Type - Green / Lawson.  A compilation of 8 articles originally published in Enjoying MG magazine, including a very interesting picture tour of the Abingdon Factory following an MG Y down the production line.  Well worth having for that article alone, it includes colour and black and white photographs of high quality reproduction.

Alternate Parts Listing - Lawson.  Ever wondered what else shared the same parts as your Y Type?  Worried about asking at an Autojumble for a part for an MG Y knowing that the price will double as soon as the seller knows you want it for an MG Y?  This is the data sheet for you.

Living with the XPAG- N Cairns.  The booklet is in A4 format and contains some 60 pages discussing the XPAG engine and its ancillaries in some detail. It contains useful information - even to those who know the engine well. It is full of practical advice and explains how the different engine systems work with clarity. As the writer says, "it will help the owner look after the engine and keep it running sweet".

Living with the MG One and a Quarter Litre 'Y' Series - N Cairns.  A very readable 50+ page booklet in A4 format that is full of interesting information. It does not purport to be a manual of any kind but simply offers sensible advice on how to keep your Y type on the road and running well. Even a section on what is expected of  your Y type for its MOT test.

The Gearbox fitted to the XPAG - N Cairns.  This booklet contains a brief outline of gearbox development and offers a useful fault finding section on the XPAG gearbox. Some of the text is a little technical (which, given the subject matter is hardly surprising),  but is written with the 'layman' in mind".

Renewing the Headlining, on your Y Type - J Murray.  This is a spiral bound book of 25 pages containing 40+ diagrams and photographs giving comprehensive instructions on all aspects of installing a new headlining.  It includes details of all the woodwork required in preparation for the job as well as details of material and sizes together with method of fitting the new lining.

Reprinted Manuals and Handbooks
All
Currently available from the MG Octagon Car Club

The following are Workshop Manuals and Handbooks (Operations Manuals) reprinted and distributed by the MG Octagon Car Club.  All of these have been carefully copied from the originals and rebound in modern materials.  A copy of these are essential reference material, either in the garage or lounge, ... or both!  For current prices click on the link above - prices shown are for MG Octagon Car Club members only and exclude carriage and VAT (where applicable): non-members can still obtain these manuals and handbooks, prices on application to the MG Octagon Car Club.  You can email them from here.

 

YA Manual - B0070.  Reprinted from an original Workshop Manual, 'the purpose of this Maintenance Manual and Instruction Book is to provide the necessary  information to simplify the task of those responsible for the maintenance and repair of the MG One and a Quarter Litre, Series "Y" according to the Foreword! Covers General Instructions, Lubrication, Engine, Clutch, Gearbox, Propeller Shaft, Rear Axle, Fuel System, Cooling System, Jackall Hydraulic System, Hydraulic Braking System, Chassis, Electrical and Ignition Equipment, Body, Wheels and Tyres, General Instructions on the fitting of Oil Seals, and Special Tools. It also includes a supplement for the MG YT.

Currently available from the MG Octagon Car Club.

YB Manual - B0075.  Reprinted from an original Workshop Manual, 'the purpose of this Maintenance Manual and Instruction Book is to provide the necessary  information to simplify the task of those responsible for the maintenance and repair of the MG One and a Quarter Litre, Series "YB" according to the Foreword! Covers General Instructions, Lubrication, Engine, Clutch, Gearbox, Propeller Shaft, Rear Axle, Fuel System, Cooling System, Jackall Hydraulic System, Hydraulic Braking System, Chassis, Electrical and Ignition Equipment, Body, Wheels and Tyres, General Instructions on the fitting of Oil Seals, and Special Tools.

Currently available from the MG Octagon Car Club.

YA Parts List - B0155 (Softback), B0157 (Hardback).  Reprinted from an original Illustrated List of Service Parts for the MG Series Y, this book includes original equipment MG part numbers and quantities for many parts together with some 14 exploded diagrams of major components for the YA and YT only.

Currently available from the MG Octagon Car Club.

YB Parts List - B0160.  Reprinted from an original Illustrated List of Service Parts for the MG Series YB, this book includes original equipment MG part numbers and quantities for many parts together with some 14 exploded diagrams of major components for the YB only.

Currently available from the MG Octagon Car Club.

YA Handbook - B0185.  Reprinted from an original owners handbook, this book explains the operation of various aspects of the car and also includes many practical points on maintenance that can readily be undertaken by an owner without access to especially specialist tooling or facilities.  This book covers both the YA and the YT.

Currently available from the MG Octagon Car Club.

YB Handbook - B0190.  Reprinted from an original owners handbook, this book explains the operation of various aspects of the car and also includes many practical points on maintenance that can readily be undertaken by an owner without access to especially specialist tooling or facilities.  This book covers the YB only.

Currently available from the MG Octagon Car Club.

Other books with sections on the Y Type

Unlike the earlier section of books where there is a substantial section on Ys, these books also have a small section on Y Types, but are mainly books of a general information type and are available from other book sellers.

ISBN 1 85915 051 9 MG The Untold Story by David Knowles covers the story of MG from the inside from the begining through to 1995. The MG Y Type is covered on pages 41 - 45.

Published in 1952, this booklet includes prices for all British cars together with specifications and also includes the MG Y.

Floyd Clymer published a series of books on British Cars. This is his catalog from 1949 to 1950 and includes a picture and picture of the MG 1 1/4 Litre Saloon and the MG 1 1/4 Litre Tourer. Copies of these are fairly common on eBay. This is the Third Edition. The first edition looks similar but is simply titled British Cars of 1949.

Written by Peter Chambers and published by PC Publication, the MG section typically focuses on the MG TD but mention of the MG 1 1/4 Litre Saloon is made in passing and by way of a picture too.

ABC of British Cars 1948 - Ian Allen.

This book contains four pages on the MG TC and the MG Y. Originally published by Ian Allen Publishing, this book is no longer in print but can be obtained from several second hand book sellers in the UK and sometimes via eBay

 

The 1947 edition did not contain any reference to the MG One and a Quarter Litre Y Type.

ABC of British Cars 1949 - Ian Allen.

This book also contains a four page spread on the MG TC and the MG Y. Additionally in the 1949 edition the MG Y/T is also covered. Originally published by Ian Allen Publishing, this book is no longer in print but can be obtained from several second hand book sellers in the UK and sometimes via eBay.

ABC of British Cars 1952 - Ian Allen.

This book has a paragraph on the MG TD and a picture with only one sentence given over to the MG Y/YB as it was the cross over year. Originally published by Ian Allen Publishing, this book is no longer in print but can be obtained from several second hand book sellers in the UK and sometimes via eBay.

ABC of British Cars 1953 - Ian Allen.

This book contains one page snippet on the MG TD and the MG YB. Originally published by Ian Allen Publishing, this book is no longer in print but can be obtained from several second hand book sellers in the UK and sometimes via eBay.

The 1954 edition did not include the MG Y but had been updated to show the MG Magnette Series ZA.

British Motor Cars - John T Speed.

This book contains two pages on the MG TD and the MG YB. Originally published by G T Foulis & Co, this book is no longer in print but can be obtained from several second hand book sellers in the UK.

Schweizer Automobile - Dieter Günther, Rob de la Rive Box, and Max Stoop ISBN 3-9802766-2-7.

This book is written in Swiss-German and covers many of the many specialist coach builder companies in Switzerland. The section on Reinbolt and Christé specifically mentions the work they did on their MG Y chassis with pictures.

Car - The Definitive Visual History of the Automobile - Dorling Kindersley ISBN 978-0-7566-7167-9.

"Tracing the history of the automobile, from the first prototypes to the super cars of today, Car covers the technological developments and manufacture of cars, the cultural backdrop against which the various models arose, and the enduring impact the car has had on society as an object of curiosity, symbol of luxury, and item of necessity."

"The most lavishly illustrated treatment of the subject on the market, featuring the most noteworthy cars of each decade in beautifully photographed catalogs, Car is truly an international view of the automobile through time, with histories of the men and machines that created brands which are now household names."

~ review from DK Books website.

MG Saloons and Coupes - Richard Knudson ISBN 1-58388-144-1.  Covering only saloon cars and coupes, this book is a collection of photographs and includes 7 photographs of the Y Type YA and YB.

Moss's MG Memories and The Other Moss - Al Moss ISBN no ISBN, and 978-1-60458-221-5 respectively.  Two other books that include the MG Y are Al Moss's new books.  The Other Moss includes some pictures of his (former) Y at events and recalls it being filled with Styrofoam pellets as a prank!  Moss's MG Memories includes a 4 page section on Ys, and a short section on the Carrozzeria Castagna Special Bodied Y - see Interesting Ys for more details.

Both books can be obtained from Al's website here.

Standard Catalog of Imported Cars 1946-1990 - James M Flamming ISBN 087341-158-7.  This book is a US printed book covering a vast number of cars.  It has a complete section on MG and within that there is a data section on Ys and YTs and another section on YBs with a picture of a YB.

Don't mention the Marx Brothers - Eric Lister ISBN 086332 115 1.  The subject of this book is actually Sidney James Perelman who was scriptwriter to the Marx Brothers, however, "Sid" did own and run an MG YT (See Interesting Ys).  This book, and the author's involvement with "Sid" begins and ironically ends with the MG YT.  Besides being an eminently funny book with many amusing anecdotes in, it does contain some unique photographs of "Sid"'s MG YT on expedition from Paris to Peking in 1978.  Fellow travellers with "Sid" were the author and the famous MG collector and restorer Sid Beer!

Don't tread on me - The selected letters of S J Perelman - Prudence Crowther ISBN 0-670-81759-7.  As with the book above (Don't mention the Marx Brothers) the subject of this book is again Sidney James Perelman, scriptwriter to the Marx Brothers.  As stated above, "Sid" did own and run an MG YT (See Interesting Ys) and this book, besides many references in various letters about the MG YT, also has a unique photograph of "Sid" driving the car, taken in 1957.

MG Saloon Cars

MG Saloon Cars - Anders Ditlev Clausager ISBN 1-901432-06-8.  As one would expect, from the pen of Anders Clausager, a very detailed review of MG Saloon Cars from the 1920s to the 1970s.   Although only one chapter is on Y Types it is, nonetheless, 25 pages of very interesting reading and contains many interesting facts and photographs.

Tuning and Maintenance of MGs - Philip Smith - ISBN - No ISBN as this book predates the ISBN system, published by G.T. Foulis and Co. Every MG owner, although he may already know his engine thoroughly, will gain further knowledge from this book. It is not specific to the Y Type but covers, in some depth, the tuning and maintenance of the XPAG engine.  Second hand copies are frequently available through reputable second hand book dealers, or eBay.

The MG Workshop Manual Complete Tuning and Maintenance for all Models from "M" Type to "T.F.1500" - W. E. Blower ISBN - Originally no ISBN as this book predates the ISBN system, originally published by Motor Racing Publications' in 1952, however it has been reprintedby Robert Bentley, Inc., Publishers and has the ISBN 0-8376-0117-7. Every MG owner, although he may already know his engine thoroughly, will gain further knowledge from this book. It is not specific to the Y Type but covers, in some depth, the tuning and maintenance of the XPAG engine.

MG 1945 - 1964 Photo Archive - David A Knowles - ISBN 1-882256-52-2.  With eight photographs from the pre-war MG "Ten" prototype to the Zagato bodied Y special.  The closest this comes to a photograph of a production Y is a YT though.  Still makes interesting reading though for all that, and there are other MGs (mainly sports cars) in it.

"Wheelspin" Abroad - Charles A. N. May ISBN - No ISBN as this book predates the ISBN system, published by G.T. Foulis and Co. This book is no longer commercially available, but from time to time copies become available through second hand sellers on eBay, and there are usually a few copies to be had via Amazon.co.uk too. The publisher was G T Foulis & Co, now owned by Haynes Publishing.

This  book is in a similar vein to Rallying a Works MG (see above) and in Part One the author recounts the difficulties firstly getting hold of an MG YA in 1948, and then racing it along with two friends, J. A. E. ("Terry") Heath and Geoffrey Mansell in the II Rallye Automovel Internacional Lisboa (Estoril) 1948.  This is a great story and makes gripping and easy reading as well as being very funny!  There is also a forward to this section by no lesser person than John W Thornley.  The book also includes several great photos of their YA, registration licence plate ENT 261, I wonder where it is now (the car is not listed at the UK DVLA)?

Part One is also now available on CD together with John Lawson's book (see Lawson and May) on YZ Publications.

Essential MG - Graham Robson ISBN 0-7603-2003-9. A good "coffee-table" book, with 2 full chapters on the Y and YT respectively making it a good read and worthwhile addition to the book case.

MG Sports Cars - Malcolm Green ISBN 1-85833-606-6. A good "coffee-table" book, with a fairly good length of footage on the Y and YT compared to most books covering the entire marque. There are also a couple of lovely photographs of Ys being assembled at Abingdon from Malcolm Green's personal extensive collection.  (The full collection, and indeed entire assembly process of a Y are reproduced in one of Malcolm Green's articles contained in the sheet above entitled Enjoying The M.G. Y Type.)

The MG File Model by Model - Eric Dymock ISBN 0-9534142-3-X. A cleverly put together book with a succinct data summary page and a good photograph page on each of the YA, the YT, Coachbuilt Y Types, and the YB.

The Collection - The Post-War Models - Richard Monk ISBN 1-85260-516-2.  Another good "coffee-table" book covering all the Post War MG models (see also the prequel book The Collection - The Pre-War Models, also by Richard Monk ISBN 1-85260-496-4). These were also published as monthly extracts in the MG Owners Club magazine Enjoying MG. Entries consist of a full page of written text, a double page spread main photograph and a montage page of smaller photographs with a model data summary.

The Classic MG - Richard Aspden ISBN 0-86124-109-6. Not a book to go particularly out of one's way for as far as Y Types are concerned, but does have some photographs of the Y Type. You would be forgiven for missing the reference though as this book concentrates mainly on the racing side of MG. The author did not even credit the owner of the Y featured in the photographs!  The usual overlooked story. Makes a quite good read otherwise.

Great Marques MG - Chris Harvey and John Blunsden ISBN not given but was published in 1983 by Octopus Books Limited. Another "coffee-table" book, but with good coverage of the Y Type, including the YT.

Magic of the Marque - Mike Allison ISBN no. 0-901564-82-6. This book traces the history of M.G. covering all models up to the MGB. Lots of photographs contained within, many of which are historical. Useful Appendices at the back giving technical data on all models as well as build and sales figures. Not too much on the Y type, but of  general interest to the M.G. enthusiast.

The MG Story ...from first to last -  BL were clearly focusing on the sporting side of the history. However, there is a two-page spread on the YT that make it worth having on the bookshelf.  This booklet is now very rare - even Gaydon do not have a copy in their archives, hence why it features on our Collectibles page too.

MG - A video by Castle Home Video  of 55 minutes in length and featuring an MG YT for approximately 5 minutes.  Castle Home Video's reference is CHV2331 website is www.sanctuaryrecordsgroup.co.uk and the bar code on the back of the video is 5 038456 523311.

MG The Book of the car - another good "coffee table book from the pen of Andres Ditlev Clausager, ISBN 0 8317 5850-3 with two pages on the MG Y, however, no photographs sadly.  This book may be out of print, but occasionally surfaces at car boot sales and on eBay.

Illustrated MG Buyer's Guide - by John Heiling, ISBN 0 7603 0290-1.  Although there are only 4 pages and 4 photographs, none of which are particularly useful from the point of view of a buyer's guide, the book does have at least one factory publicity photograph previously unseen by me (webmaster).  The small section on Y Type restoration is reasonably useful as a first stab before looking at one of the more useful magazine reprints featured on this site.

an MG experience - by Dick Jacobs, ISBN 0 85184 013 2.  An interesting book charting the racing career of one of the privateers turned professional race team managers.  This book includes a chapter on the race car special Dick built on a YA chassis, and two chapters covering his time in racing a YB.  In the 82 photos in this book I spotted 6 Ys - did I miss any?  Book is now out of print and only available through second hand dealers and eBay.  Compulsive reading written in an easy going, fast moving pace with good humour.  An enjoyable read.

The MG Story - by Joseph H Wherry, ISBN N/A, Library of Congress 67-15769.  A compilation history of MG cars to 1967 (date of publication) including 3 photographs (black and white) of Y saloons.  Despite the author having owned a Y saloon, the section on Ys contains some rather glaring errors of memory namely the statements that "the instruments were grouped into two large octagonal frames, one being the tachometer," and that when just having discussed the YB and YT engines, and having said that the YB had twin carburettors too, the statement is made that "both models had hardwood frames".  Overall though, the book is quite complementary about the Y.  The book is now well out of print and would only be available from second hand book stores.  It's publication predates the introduction of the ISBN numbering system.

MG 1911 to 1978 - by Peter Filby, ISBN 0 85429 229 2.  Covering MG cars almost up to the fateful 'Black Monday', the book has about 2 pages of text on Y Types with 5 photographs in black and white, some of which are rare factory press photographs (6 if you include the back cover).  The book concentrates more on the racing and sports cars. Passes the time though and the photographs are interesting.