MG TC "Midget" roadster - chassis number TC/9477 - Rebuild 4

The car has 16" wheels, a size which was available in the 1940s as a competition option for the TA and TC. However 16" wheels permit only a limited choice of tyre. Cross-ply tyres in suitable sizes of 5.25-16 or 5.50-16 are available from Dunlop and other makers, and these are quite suitable - the 6.00-16 size looks far too large for a TC. I ran 5.25-16 on my last Aussie road-going TC in Melbourne in the 1960s.

Radial-ply tyres in 16" sizes to suit a TC are hard to find. Most of those on the market in UK are for van or truck use and so are 8-ply and thus unsuitable. TC racer, Richard Townley, in Melbourne, informed me of suitable Falken 175-16 tyres, but these are not imported into the UK. I was able to buy these from the Kurashiki branch of James Tyres in Japan, and carried them home over two business trips as checked luggage.

For the Ford pumpkin, I chose a 4.9 CWP to allow easy cruising in 5th and good acceleration in 4th. I also have a spare pumpkin and new 4.44 CWP set, and may try this at a later stage. Setting up the new 4.9 CWP in the pumpkin casing was done by Bernie at Competition Transmissions in Hertfordshire. I supplied him the new CWP, plus new tapered rollers, seal, etc for this work. The new CWP was run in for about 100 miles, using Castrol B373, before the oil was changed to 90W/140 fully synthetic.

To give the correct speedometer reading, I had Speedograph Richfield make me a step-up box to fit onto the Ford gearbox. This company also supplied a matching drive cable in the style of the original.

The 16-inch wheels suit a cycle-wing TC. Keeping the tyres in proportion, and avoiding those massive 6.00 x 16 is important. At right, Ford Escort English pumpkin in the TC casing, with new propellor shaft.

Spare wheel carrier needed spacers between the alloy wheel hub and the triangular support, to accommodate the wider tyre and wheel. A sheet steel plate under the alloy hub has a slot to locate the pin that keeps the MG badge upright.