- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on ‘outdated’ agencies
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
OUT OF THE PAST: MG made quintessential sports car
When Bill Demarest first saw the 1952 MG TD, it was a Maryland barn — in pieces.
MG produced the popular TD model from Nov. 10, 1949, until Aug. 17, 1953. Mr. Demarest’s blue one left the factory in England destined for sale in the United States.
Over the next 29 years, the 12-foot-1-inch-long sports car had several owners and accumulated 93,000 miles. At that point its owner decided to restore the MG. He got as far as dismantling most of the vehicle when he discovered that cars come apart easier than they go back together. He lost interest and that’s where Mr. Demarest entered the picture.
When Mr. Demarest first saw the dismantled MG, he could envision what it could be. In early spring of 1981 he returned with a tow bar and bought the car. Boxes of parts and pieces were loaded into the car for the trip to Mr. Demarest’s Vienna home.
The cylinder head had been removed, allowing Mr. Demarest to look down into the 76-cubic-inch, four-cylinder overhead-valve engine. There, on the top edge of one of the pistons was stamped the word “FRONT.”
Of course, that edge was installed toward the rear.
It was then that Mr. Demarest pulled the engine from the car and proceeded to take the car completely apart, down to the last nut and bolt. When it went back together, he wanted to be certain that everything would be as it should be.
During the next 12 years Mr. Demarest scoured the country — and beyond — for needed parts. “I had the body tub reskinned,” he says. “All of the wear items were replaced, as well as all the bearings and seals,” he reports.
He says most of the restoration work was accomplished in the basement. His wife, Donna, was thrilled.
Mr. Demarest wanted this restoration to be as authentic as possible but he drew the line when he learned that the original color had been blue. “It had to be Coventry red,” he says and it is.
He found evidence in the car that at one time it had been owned by a Virginia Beach woman.
The original standard disc wheels were replaced with flashier 60-spoke wire wheels and a new Lecarra wood-rimmed steering wheel on a telescopic column improves the appearance of the cockpit. The dashboard is covered with a walnut veneer.
A pair of very desirable “King of the Road” headlamps were on the MG but the buckets housing the lights had been dented by years of carelessly dropping the 21-louvered engine hood on them. New ones are unattainable, Mr. Demarest reports, so he set about to repair his.
The solution he found was melting lead wheel-balancing weights and shaping the lead to fill the holes and dents to match the outside contours of the lamps. With that tedious task completed, he sent the headlamps off to be replated with chrome. The original candlepower of the headlamps is augmented by a pair of “Lucas Flamethrowers.”
The bucket seats and door panels are covered in biscuit-colored leather. A matching convertible top is stretched over the top rails and bows. With the top raised, the MG stands at 4 feet, 5 inches. When lowered, the top is covered by a boot of the same fabric, secured by 10 snaps.
About the Author
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Activists encourage Obama to circumvent Congress, use more executive authority
- Obama: Nelson Mandela now 'belongs to the ages'
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- Increase in battlefield deaths linked to new rules of engagement in Afghanistan
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
John Wood illustrates a new American politics, and the path to get there.
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
White House pets gone wild!