FOR SALE: 1950 MG TD
This car is a pristine, restored unit. More information on the listing page.
One of my favorite stories about mileage is the one where the owner was sure that a 1957 car had 2,500 miles on it, original. I asked him how that could be and he explained that the car had been raced when it was new and had subsequently been disassembled and remained that way for many years until it was restored. The car had gone through a messy divorce and ended up with a house trailer dealer.
The car was a beautifully restored example. While inspecting the car I located a label with the name of the restorer. I gave him a call. Yes he did remember the car, he had restored several vehicles for the same owner. The owner had one instruction that was unusual, all the cars he did had to have the odometer set to 1956. This was the year he got his driving license.
Many actions can lead to errors in mileage showing on the odometer. Many people drive while the drive cable is broken. Occasionally you will see a vehicle where the service dealer affixes a label to the left “B” post indicating an odometer change (I see this on Rolls-Royce cars in particular). This really is the rule, but it is rarely followed. Often odometers are set to zero when the car is restored, or the engine is rebuilt. One of the most well known odometer tampering cases was of the major dealer in Toronto who wanted to improve its used car values, amazingly they did not lose their franchise. I once had a case where my RR client accused me of using his car for my personal transport. He reported me to the Ontario Consumer Protection dept. who sent an investigator to interview us. It turned out that the mechanic who had the car before I did had mistakenly transposed numbers on his work order which appeared to make it look like I had put all sorts of mileage on the car while it was in my care.
LIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons
Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.
It was 1991 and had just spent 6 years in the restoration business restoring the most beautiful classics in the Toronto area. I was driving along North Queen by the auto wreckers when I saw a white MGB parked against their fence. I stopped and checked it out. The first thing I noticed was how straight the panels were and no corrosion. I had a friend in the trade who did engine swaps for them. He arranged to borrow the car for a pre-purchase inspection
We discovered that mechanically it was in good shape, body wise it had had front nose damage that had been poorly repaired. The paint on the hood had a line in it where they had blown it in, they didn’t even bother to paint the whole hood. The panels in front of the radiator were missing.
I arranged to buy the car for $3,500, the mechanic did about $500 of work and I drove it to New York City and back on vacation.
Just after I bought the car and I was driving it downtown Toronto, someone approached me on the street to ask me if I wanted to buy their recently wrecked car. I think I paid $500 for it and I placed it with my mechanic and we split the income from selling parts and he took the engine for a project he was working on. The car turned out to be very reliable.
It had one regular problem, every year when I took it out of storage, I would get it to the top of the driveway and it would quit, the fuel pump needed attention. I was told to use a hammer and hit the fuel pump a couple of times to wake it up, it always worked.
A remarkable aspect of the car was that it still had two six volt batteries, it had never been converted to one twelve volt unit. I think I had those batteries for most of the 15yrs I had the car. Eventually, reluctantly, I converted to a Honda Civic twelve volt which just fitted into the space of one six volt holder.
In the years I had the car I did three major updates. I was at an MG club meet when I had a chance to buy two used leather seat covers, which I did. I gave them to John Kokal, interior trim artist, to install, plus Wilton carpeting. Rebuilding the driver’s seat was one of the best improvements I ever made along with changing the gear box to overdrive. A Stayfast convertible roof was next.
I drove it uneventfully for years. One thing I noticed was that on the highway, because it was white and relatively low, trucks tended to not see me in their right side mirrors. My son drove the car away when leaving his wedding. Towards the end of my period of owning it, I had a chance to have the body redone and the colour changed to BRG (British Racing Green) at the local body shop school. They did a great job and it transformed the car.
After the colour change many more people asked me about it than they had before. After 15yrs, I got bored. I even bought a license plate, 2B NOT2B, because I couldn’t make up my mind about keeping the car. I sold it for good money to a nice home, I then bought a four seat convertible, a 328Ci BMW, my logic was this way I could get my two grandchildren in the back. If they have been in the car 12 times in twelve years, I’d be surprised.
Bramhall Classic Auto went online in 1997. In 2017 we celebrated our 20th year online. We were an early adopter of the Internet and have accumulated a lot of experience selling classic cars online and around the world since 1997.
Contact us to discuss buying, selling, pre-purchase inspections, classic car appraisals and more. Put our expertise and professionalism to work for you.
We also have an excellent list of Classic Car Shows that only contains car shows that are local to our area: Ontario Canada.