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So what did the original tools really look like?

Part 1 - by Jeremy Havard
click here for Part 2   click here for Service Tools

So rare is the chance these days to get a peek at what the original tools actually looked like.  Be it myth, hard proof or just plain hot air, everyone's got their idea of what the kits had in them, what they had stamped on them, the toolbags they came in, etc.  The biggest mistake being to absolutely trust the manufacturers inventory photo's in the handbook or your local MG buffs opinion.

So what is the real deal?  The fact is that MG had a number of tool suppliers, and when they ran out of one batch, they started on another.  They even changed brands then went back to the original when they eventually got stock.

The result is that these days we get all sorts of opinions, many of them right, many of them totally off the planet!  We have heard many heated arguments where people take a strong standpoint because they have "hard evidence" in the form of "the original kit as supplied" when cursory inspection reveals some of the contents may in fact also consist of the odd Ford tool slipped into Dad's MG toolkit in 1972.

Well, we are not here to judge, nor put our heads on the block, but just to help you make the right decision about purchasing either our repro's or correct originals (if you are lucky enough to come across them at an Autojumble or car show).

The original Y type kit above.
Our kit (numbers don't correspond).

So in this new update to our specialist MG site, we have tried our best to get our hands on some 'undisputed' originals.  One of our customers in Sydney, Australia came to us to sort out the few missing items from his early YA tool kit.  His father in law had kept this car in absolutely complete condition including the kit.  He even had the original invoice with each tiny item thankfully inventoried by the dealers clerk.

So we shot the kit from every angle and it turned out that this mini time-capsule was to dish up some big surprises for us too!

So here are the contents of this kit presented alongside a couple of pictures of other tools we know are the real McCoy.  This is intended to end some arguments, but no doubt it will start some too, but after all, heated debate is part of what it's all about, so no fighting in the club house please!

These tube spanners and Tommy bar
 are the real TC/YA/YT tube spanners.
The real tappet and cylinder head
spanner from the kit.


Note that the cylinder head spanner, as with our repro, does not have the coveted "MG Badge" much blathered about by armchair pundits. The tappet spanner is marked "SK 11182" as far as we could make out.

....now on with some more wise comments from us:

This is a very very early YA, so we can't say that all had exactly the same kit contents.  For example, the early tool bag changed to the one we supply for both Y and TC (the majority being the black canvas bag we supply).

A quick note about the black canvas tool bag.  The majority of TC and YA/B tool bags were of this type.  A strange fact is that, even though they were made in the same workshop, by, we assume. working class British people who probably pub-lunched in Abingdon together, the leather strap on the TC kit was mounted on the left hand side whilst the YA/YT/YB strap (and these different model cars were made directly alongside each other) were mounted on the right hand side.  Left-handed sewing person on the Y type sewing shift maybe? Too many pints at lunch time?  Who knows?

Incidently, the much later 1950's early 60's MG Magnette tool roll was identical in pattern, but it was made out of a different material (black latex with a hessian inner).

It is reletively safe to say that this kit would have been identical to a 1947 TC.  This is evidenced by this early YA toolbag being made from off-cuts from the TC hood material from the rear window cut out and this really backs up the legend.

There are so many different types of Tecalemit grease guns that it is worth showing a couple of different views of the one supplied for both TC and YA (YB grease gun was different. Just proving the point)

tools1gif tools2gif
Here's a close up of the nozzle too:
and one of the top (the top has been covered in chalk to highlight the lettering - it is normally black!)

For the record, this is what a YB grease gun looks like:

There are many arguments about what various items should be.  Well here are a couple more originals, including the pliers, the original King Dick shifting spanner and the Dunlop tyre irons too, complete with markings outlined with white chalk.

tools7 tools8 tools9

 And what of the smaller items?  This includes the bits that are sometimes stolen from you by people you probably know and trust at MG meets and concours judging ceremonies.

Here we show the original distributor feeler gauge and adjustment tool plus the brake bleeder spanner and 0.19" tappet feeler gauge, all identical to what we supply.

tools10 tools11

and the hammer? Just when you thought you were the only person who was right, this is what a genuine one looks like:

tools12gif tools113gif

And onto the debate about the legs on the tyre pump and the colour of the rubber tube?  Here's some very good, very professional photo's taken to confirm just what they looked like: this one is the base showing the legs (complete with kink).

....and this of the top of the tube, taken
after the photographer had been drinking

Anyhow, we hope the above information will give you a clearer view on what is what.  As time goes by, we will continue to grace this page with more of the latest technology shown above.

For more info please go to http://members.optushome.com.au/inpoint

Footnote by David Pelham.
Also a part of the original tool kit is this Lockheed tin for the brake bleeding kit.  The tin lid actually more off white than yellow (the yellow tins are more commonly available) for the Y type.  This has, again, been evidenced by the extraction of some tins from genuine, unmolested tool kits from cars with single or few owners and the history is verifiable.


Reproduction Brake Bleeder tins and tubes, and tyre pumps.
Reproduction brake bleeder tins, complete with tube, are available from Bill Tracy by clicking on the link here or in the Links page.  Here is a photograph of the tin - they are very good reproductions. They are slightly different to the one shown above, but nonetheless, will fill a gap in the tool kit.


Bill can also supply reproduction tyre pumps too.