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Modern Petrol and Classic Cars - the Manchester XPAG Tests

Paul Ireland – Personal Profile

Paul IrelandWhen boughtPaul was born in the early 1950’s and bought his first car, a 1949 MG TC for £60 in 1967. With the help of his father, the body was removed and suspension, wheels, steering and brakes refurbished and rewired with a home-made loom. New wood in the sills and a brush coat of paint made the car roadworthy. With no money to rebuild the engine, Paul rattled and burned oil around Manchester University in his TC. In the early 1970’s student cars were a rarity and owning a classic MG, no matter what condition, was a real status symbol.

Passo del BerninaWith a PhD in experimental Nuclear Physics, Paul is the black sheep of the family, both grandfathers, his father and two sons are proper engineers. However, this experience has allowed him to take a more academic approach to the problems he has running his TC on modern fuel and enabled him to gain a better understanding of the problems for the benefit of all.

After his chassis up restoration in 2003, Paul has shown his TC and used it for tours and longer trips, and for testing different fuel mixes.

Introduction to the project

Part 1 Volatility

Part 2 Suck Bang Squeeze Blow

Part 3 Carburettors

Part 4 The Problems with Modern Fuel (1)

Part 5 The Problems with Modern Fuel (2)

Part 6 Solutions, Choice of Petrol

Part 7 Keeping things cool

Part 8 Solutions, Tuning Distributor

Part 9 Fuel and Tuning - Carburettors

Part 10 Solutions Fitting a vacuum advance

Part 11 Ethanol Blended Petrol

Part 12 Conclusion


If you have found this article interesting, why not buy the book “Classic Engines Modern Fuel, the problems, the solutions”? This outlines the issues of using modern fuel in our classic cars. There is a chapter on ethanol blended petrol which describes one very serious problem, previously unpublished. All proceeds from the book are being used to support the education of under-privileged primary aged children in Tanzania. You can find a video of this work, details of the book and how to make a donation here.