1951 MG YA Saloon Restoration
MG’s first post-war saloon featured a modified Morris bodyshell on a new stiff box section chassis. It featured independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering (the design of which carried on basically unchanged until the last MGB in 1980) and thus had very good handling and road holding. A very elegant and stylish sporting saloon in the best Britsh tradition.
We restored this example from very rusty but pretty much complete condition. Here, the chassis has been shotblasted, primed and repaired. It sits on our jig ready to be used as the support for the body rebuild stage. Afterwards it will be spray painted gloss black.
The bodyshell was completely stripped and shotblasted. Here new sills are being made and fitted. Panel availability for this sort of classic car (where relatively few are restored) is not good and we made most of the new panels ourselves. The boot area and inner wings always seem to suffer from rust quite badly as they trap the water in the seals and wing piping. The shotblaster is superb at revealing what is real metal and what isn’t.
Here the rear of the body is nearing completion. The panels are trial fitted with hinges and catches to ensure all works well - it’s better to do this now rather than after the spraying.
Spraying the body in the owner’s chosen shade of British Racing Green. All the removable panels are sprayed separately - there are 17 of them, including the sunroof panel. They are assembled later with wing piping etc. The body is mounted on a spray trolley so the underside can be painted to give a ‘just like new’ appearance underneath as well as on top. After much restoration and assembly work on the mechanical and electrical systems, the trim and the brightwork, the great moment comes for the first test drive up and down the workshop entrance area. Leaving the bonnet off allows better access to diagnose any teething troubles - there were actually very few...
The final hand-over. After test running and an MOT pass, we all gathered in the sunshine to say goodbye to a lovely car. The owner stands next to his ‘pride and joy’. No, we didn’t forget to take the trade plates off prior to departure!