183 FFM — MG YA
Now The Y Evans Special
This car also featured in MG Enthusiast magazine, February 2009 and is reprinted here.
Chassis — Y 5112 (apparently built in early 1950)
Body — when bought in 1977 — MG 1456/1551 (the MG Car Club records have this body as having been fitted to Y 1761 Reg. JYT 757 — can anyone throw any light on when a change might have been made)
Engine XPAG/SC/14841 (subsequently changed for a gold seal replacement)
Previous owners are recorded in the replacement log book as:
This photo was given to me by the previous owner so the actual date is unknown. I bought the car on a whim for £50, on the basis that I remember driving one back in the 1960`s with some affection but felt it was not worth restoring economically at that time and could either be rebuilt as a special or sold for spares. My story of the build can be seen in the article written for MG Enthusiast magazine — click here for the Reprinted Article page, or here to go directly to the article itself.
From the outset not only did I intend to carry out most of the work myself, I also tried to do the work in a way that it might have been done fifty years ago using as many original parts as possible to provide some degree of pedigree. I hope the result is sympathetic to that end.
DETAILS OF THE BUILD
The car was completely stripped – every (and I mean every) nut, bolt and clip was disassembled and stored in boxes waiting for the day or inspiration, not to mention time, to arrive. When this finally occurred the chassis was cleaned up and painted first in red–lead.
Building the body was more of a challenge as I had never attempted to do anything like that before. The mounting points were fairly obvious but starting with a rough plan (well sketch really) did not help much; the boat tail rear end with vertical formers along with the bulkhead were made up largely out of marine ply and loosely attached to the chassis then I steamed 2" x 1" ash strips to fit round joining the two halves together (and the chassis outriggers were trimmed down to fit inside what is a narrow body). A new dash board etc. were added and the whole was then covered in wood laminate to give it a firm base for the glass fibre covering resulting in a remarkably sturdy structure.
The old steering wheel can be seen in this picture but it was decidedly too large for the space so a more modern smaller one was bought to replace it.
Once the body was completed ready for fitting it was obvious that there was no space whatever for the throttle pedal so some surgery was necessary as it would have been impossible to move the brake pedal.
The bulkhead is now far shallower (and slightly narrower) than original leaving no space for the battery so a separate compartment was added below the rear parcel shelf, although this does result in a long lead to the starter. Fitting out was otherwise rather simpler; air horns, mounted on the bulkhead, were felt sensible to provide a proper warning in case of poor or otherwise failing brakes (although having bedded in, they work surprisingly well with the lighter body). The rear lights are perhaps not where one might have chosen to site them; on reading the MOT regulations it appears there is no maximum or minimum, height, or indeed width for them to be apart, so long as they are equidistant from the centre (odd really, if they were too close together one might imagine approaching the rear of a motor cycle at night) but I think we have achieved a satisfactory compromise.
The engine was removed again to be re—built and tuned after getting the car MOT`d and on the road again after so many years. As a Gold Seal engine it had been sleeved back to standard so my re—bore was to the minimum of + 0.020"; the fast road camshaft was added and all bearings / bushes replaced. The head was still stamped "std" so we knew exactly how much to shave off to get the compression up to 9.3 :1 once the larger valves had been fitted and the combustion chambers ground out and polished. Twin 1.5" SU`s were added on a combined inlet and extractor exhaust and mated to a stainless TD exhaust system.
At the time of writing the car has only covered a few hundred miles (largely due to poor weather) but is performing well.
OWNER Martin Evans, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire