Common Mistakes and Misconceptions
In this section I attempt to deal with those items that commonly appear on MGTF's that really aren't supposed to be on an original car. Not that there is anything wrong with accessories, my car has a number of them, but to make sure that we have a starting point on what was original to the car. You can then decide if you like a particular change to suit your personality, life-style, or aesthetics.
- Black Interior
- In the past black interiors were much more prevalent on restored cars. This was because of the lack of high quality interior kits from the parts suppliers and a general acceptance of black interiors on current production sports cars. The truth is that MGTF's were not offered with black interiors originally.
- Black Top and Tonneau Covers
- Original Tops and Tonneaus were tan canvas. Black vinyl is a common mistake.
- Vinyl Tops (Hoods)
- Vinyl was not available when the MGTF was produced. The hoods and tonneau covers were made out of a canvas like material, always in tan. Today the most popular top material is a softer, more water proof cotton material. Stick with the tan cover for originality although it is offered in other colors as well.
- Trimmed Carpeting
- The carpeting on the Original MGTF was not trimmed. The same is true with putting carpeting back behind the seat. This was not done originally. When I show the car I pull it out. It then makes a great display mat for your tools, manuals, and other MG related stuff.
- Full Tonneau Cover
- Everyone has one. It makes perfect sense and the factory should have provided one. It may be that in England you either had the hood up or you were top down. Interestingly the original half tonneau cover had a slot in it that accommodated the rear side curtains. This was to allow motoring with the side curtains in place but the hood down. Sort of like those folks who drive modern convertibles with the top down, windows up, and the heater going full blast.
- Exterior Piping Color
- Here is one of the most often made mistakes. Some of it is due to the fact that the piping available from most parts houses is limited. The cars always had the color of the piping match the exterior color. It was not painted afterward. You may need to have some custom made to match your car color. Don't forget to make the front splash piping a size smaller than the rest of the body piping.
- Non XPAG/XPEG Engines
- Quite simply the answer is NO. To be original you must sport the correct engine type. You can even identify if your engine is correct by cross matching the engine serial number on the block and ID tag with the builders plate on the firewall.
- During the heyday of the TF people were always trying to get it to go faster. Some even resorted to swapping out the engine. More than one article was written to tell you how to replace the weak little 4 cylinder engine with a V-8. Another popular engine swap was to use a Volvo engine. I would say if you want this type of performance you should one of the reproduction MGTF's available. Save the original car for the purists.
- By the way. Having an original type of engine in your MGTF is generally a prerequisite to membership in most MG car clubs and organizations.
- Chrome Door Hinges and Door Checks
- The door hinges were painted the body color. It is easiest to paint the door with the hinges in place and then secure this assemble to the body bucket when dry. The door checks were either black or more likely the body color. Since the door checks get rubbed a lot on opening and closing the doors, many like to plate these. They also do not show much so this is very acceptable in my opinion.
- Missing Door Checks
- Many times I see cars restored without the door checks. This is not only incorrect but very dangerous to the door. If the door is allowed unchecked freedom it can easily open into the rear fender and cause serious damage to both the door and fender.
- Brass ID Plates
- While the ID plates were made of brass, this was not the standard finish. They were all nickel plated. See the finishes pages for details.
- MG Car Company Threshold Plates
- These look cool but they were not original to the MGTF, but were for the MGTA. The TF had plain threshold plates.
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