An MG 'Y' Special
The B rear axle needed the spring saddles re positioning to suit the spring centers, although because of the Y having narrow leaf springs a Panhard rod was originally fitted. With the under slung chassis came the problem of me wanting tubular shock absorbers, I gladly retained the Panhard rod for the advantage of keeping things well aligned. With new shock towers fabricated they were welded onto the chassis to triangulate and stiffen the roll bar extending out of the body. I shortened the drive shaft by about eight inches.
Because the chassis was rigid and not subjected to the twisting of a channel section unit such as a Morgan or MG TC, I took advantage of being able to make a rigid body as apposed to an Ash framed one that needs to flex. A frame of 3/4 square section tube was welded up with one inch flat over the wheel arches. The door frames were made with tube and 18 gauge sheet for hinge points. At this time I opted for a little more safety and welded in a 2inch tubular hoop to the chassis that would stop the body de forming in case of a roll, the cowl would also bolt to it and help rigidity. Using 22 gauge satin coat sheet steel I then formed the body tub panels and welded them on.
Many of the pre-war MG's had a free standing firewall between the driver and engine compartment, this was a feature I wanted to retain, it would make maintenance on the finished vehicle easier as all the plumbing and wiring was very accessible. The only snag was using of an MG B pedal box, positioned in the required place it virtually hung in mid air, brackets between the cowl and firewall solved the problem and one more strut between the firewall and the chassis further forward triangulated the whole item. The B brake master cylinder was a split front/rear system that was quite desirable, not to mention the clutch and accelerator pedal were also contained in one unit.
I wanted the bonnet in aluminum in an attempt to save some weight, but to continue with the 'old' theme I thought a double line of rivets securing the centre hinge would look good, a good friend with experience in aircraft construction helped me there. Another good friend helped me with the louvers on the bonnet sides. After a morning on our knees using the end of his bench as a press, devout was not a word we used. The curve on the bonnet tops was eventually achieved using a fence post and a length of plastic sewer pipe, some very basic engineering won out over any high-tech solutions.
Tubes and brackets were made up to carry the front wings and headlamps. The rear wings were trailer fenders, but narrowed and boxed at the rear along with an aesthetic 'flair' to continue the theme. The baffled fuel tank with a two gallon reserve was built with 'stone guards' on each side, again, for that old look.
Finally I have to say that one of the reasons for building a special is to drive it as well as look at it. The power to weight ratio is very good, even if the MG B unit is low in power by today's standards, the torque is great. Handling is good but an ongoing challenge, I deliberately left off the front sway bar until I experienced the handling, now I know it needs one. That makes just one more item to add to the list of winter projects.