YT 3477 - rebuilding
Hello all MG Y type enthusiasts
As promised (and better late than never) some
information and images regarding YT 3477, which currently resides, as it has
since 1968, near Grafton Australia. This is on the north coast of NSW, a rural
city of about 17,000 folk.
I acquired the
car on January the first, 2001, from Harry and Doris, a couple who bought it in
1951, at which time it was already laid up with cylinder head woes.
Harry tells me
that, at that time, the car was the property of a Ceylonese or Indian doctor,
possibly a personal import, and already finished in black with a red interior
and a blackish salt and pepper hood. Material remnants still are present to
confirm this hood material type and colour. Doris, Harry’s wife, drove the car
both for pleasure and as family transport from 1951 till 1967, when they moved
to a job near Grafton, and in 1968 the car was dismantled for an engine rebuild.
Fate intervened, and Harry was not able to complete the task and so the car sat
in a partly closed shed till 1993, when he asked me to inspect and comment about
the feasibility of restoring the vehicle.
As soon as I saw
the car I was concerned about stabilising the deterioration process, lifted it
off the dirt floor and fish oiled the vehicle inside and out. Some parts were
stored in a better environment, however the rats and moist air both took a heavy
toll on the trim work and on the hood fabric.
engineer, had cared for the engine parts, and vitally had kept every part
removed in tins and jars. Other than a few bolts, screws etc. the only part
actually missing is the base of the rear seat. It is thought that a visitor took
it to a nearby riverbank as a cushion, and it was never returned.
Minor dents and
surface rust were the main concern as far as the body was concerned, but much
more came to light during the dismantling process…..
YT 3477 on the trailer
Lashed down for the journey
The finished chassis
The body goes on ...
Close up of the engine
unrestored photos show, the car looked basically complete, and quite sound with only minimal body damage. Unfortunately, the 30 odd
years of damp had taken their toll on the structural
box sections under both door openings, and upon
removal of the running boards I was presented with quite a challenge, the replacement of sills and reinforcements on both sides. Also needing replacement were, boot floor, most
of the tool box area, rear seat pans, and numerous
patches along the rear mudguard attachment lines on both sides.
was removed from the chassis, and mounted on a purpose built steel box section trolley using all the original mounts. In hindsight, I would advise welding or bolting a brace between the door pillars, both
along and across the car, as well as diagonally from
dash mounting plates to door hinge mount on B pillar.
This will keep the tub square and the door openings at
trolley puts the tub about 18 inches higher than normal, and this is a great height to work at, as well as affording good access under the body
for floor area repairs.
Boyle Smash Repairs, in my
home town arranged for the blast removal of the old
paint and rust, using Ilmanite, a fine grit medium.
was immediately etch primed, and with the body on trolley at John's workshop, I began the repair process with his expert guidance. As
I could only work there as his other work schedule
allowed, I was able to also work at home on the
chassis and drive train.
chassis was brushed, scraped and sandblasted to bare metal, and the build-up commenced.
All brake components were re-sleeved in stainless, and fitted with local overhaul kits. Hoses were remanufactured in a nearby
town, and the same supplier relined the shoes and
machined the drums. All suspension rubbers and bushes
were locally sourced components.
Right hand side view
Gearbox and exhaust pipe
The body fitting process went
smoothly, at the panel shop, with the assistance of a couple of hanger-ons, and
the car went home for interior fit out and awaiting the mudguards (fenders) bonnet etc.
I already had the
trimmer/upholsterer guy, Peter Gebhardt, working hard doing the seats and
I made a press, similar to a
tennis racquet press, to form the depressions in the foot well panels to clear
around the accelerator pedal, and used Hidem binding sourced from Woolies for
authentic appearance. All of the vertical trim panels in the car are made from
3.2mm marine grade ply wood, ensuring a weather resistant base for the
The car is trimmed in beige, with
red Hidem, as per the 1948 show model advertised in Motor Magazine in November
'48, a brochure of which is presented in the reprints section of the Y website.
I know David Lawrence questions the veracity of reports of vehicles in this
trim, however I have owned open cars with dark seats and will never own another
due to our hot prevailing climatic conditions. The same logic guided the choice
of roofing fabric, it is trimmed in a light tan (close in colour to the tan
fabric often present on T and Y tourer cars) marine grade tonneau vinyl as the
heat and dust from dirt roads destro fabric roofs quickly in my district.
I had a local exhaust maker
recreate the original style muffler and pipe-work in a combination of two grades
of stainless steel (one accepts bending better but does not polish as brightly),
the system is a work of art and should outlast me!
Wiring was straight forward, I
teach this skill to apprentice Auto Electricians, and all instruments were
replaced as found in the original dashboard, untouched, guaranteed, since 1951.
Again this is at odds with the conclusions presented by David Lawrence, however
there are sufficient other authentic anomalies on this vehicle to justify
retaining the as found layout rather than modifying to suit the contents of
David's superb reference work.
I presented the car for inspection
for road registration on the22nd of December, 2002, less than 2 years from
acquiring it, and received the number plate YMG 122. I have since fitted
personal series plates, they cost $186 Australian here - YMG 49T.
The car is great fun to drive, won
a trophy at its first rally, and cruises nicely at 50 mph. Good fuel economy -
27 mpg (imp).
Harry and Dolly were both
delighted with the restoration results, sadly they have both passed away in the
last four months.
Obviously, there were many hurdles
to overcome in the restoration process, and I cannot commend enough the
assistance given by people accessing the Y bulletin board, nearly every hiccup
was addressed promptly and accurately by some kind enthusiast/s somewhere. If
there is interest, I will attempt to describe some of the problems encountered
and my solutions, in a later text.
I f anyone would like further
photo details, please enquire and I will assist where I am able.
Geoff Meller and