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Classic Cars and Coffee January 21

Classic Cars and Coffee January 21

MG K3:

This months event attracted a very diverse range of classic and vintage cars. By far the most impressive was this vintage MG K3, circa 1933. The still pics don’t really capture how magnificent this classic is. It was a show stopper. The crowd stopped and watched in wonder as this thing rumbled through the crowd, its driver in search of a place to park and display its magnificence.  It is extremely rare, being 1 of only 31 ever built, and 1 of only 25 known remaining cars. What the pics do capture I hope is how beautifully this beast has been restored and presented for viewing. It was immaculate everywhere you look.

History of the K3:

MG K3 Magnette, 1933, United Kingdom, 1087cc 6-Cylinder Overhead Cam, Supercharged, 120BHP@6500RPM, Chassis No K3003.

The K3 had a wo-year production run during which time 31 were built and only 5 or six are still unaccounted for. It was MG’s only supercharged six-cylinder and arguably the most powerful product from Abington.

The K1 was announced in October 1932 with the suggestion that there would be a sports K2 and a supercharged K3 to follow. That the K3 took the form it did rather than the projected catalogue drawing is largely due to Earl Howe who wanted to compete in the great Mille Miglia in 1933 in a British car and was prepared to pay the expenses for so doing.

By 11 March, three “production” K3’s had been built and these were shipped out to Genoa for the Mille Miglia together with the refurbished No. 2 which was to be used as a practice hack. There production K3’s were chassis K3001, to be driven by Earl Howe and Hugh Hamilton, K3002 to be driven by Sir Henrey Birkin and Bernard Rubin, and K3003 to be driven by Captain George Eyston and Count “Johnny” Lurani.

K3003, the Eyston/Lurani car finished first, despite an appalling lubrication system to the supercharger which caused oiling to the spark plugs to such an extent they they had to change them approximately 150 times during the race. By coming first and second, the K3’s won the team prize for the 1100cc class and also created a class record.

According to Barre Lyndon, writing in “The Autocar” of 2nd March 1934, Eyston’s car (3003) was then used by the factory for demonstrations and “fast errands” and stood by while other K3’s were readied for the forthcoming Irish Tourist Trophy Race. When news came that Nuvolari wanted a wheel for the T.T, Eyston suggested offering him a Magnette. “There was no machine available except the now worn looking Number One (Eystons Mille Liflia Car) but there was a fine history behind the car and it might respond in the hands of a fine driver”. The car had a rather skimpy body installed and it was in this form that Nuvolari drove it in the T.T. Nuvolari had obviously seen how well the cars went in the Millie Miglia but it was probably Whitney Straight’s victory in the Pescara against the Maserati’s that convinced him of the K3’s suitability for the TT.

Nuvolari went on to win the TT of 1934 driving K3003 after a sterling race long battle with Hugh Hamilton in an MG J4. Nuvolari’s average speed was 78.65 mph.

The K3 was purchased by Peter Briggs in the United Kingdom in February 1984 for display ath the York Motor Museum.


Accompanying the magnificent MG K3 Magnette and dwarfed by it was this MGB GT. Somewhere in its history it had a 3.5lt Rover V8 shoehorned into it. The V8 is coupled to the original overdrive box. The current owner didn’t know a lot about its history other than it was a local shop was paid to perform the conversion. In fact, the previous owner had two cars converted. There was a second roadster with the same transplant. The current owner of the GT and his brother bought the roadster.










MGB GT Teal Blue Project Part 7 Sound Deadening and Heat Insulation.

MGB GT Teal Blue Project Part 7 Sound Deadening and Heat Insulation.

I’ve never driven the GT so I have no idea if sound deeding is even needed. My goal for the GT is to be my daily driver up to retirement and beyond. Therefore, I plan to use it for quite a few years so its imperative to have a comfortable car to service my requirements.

What to consider:

My main goal is to be able to have normal conversations. In other words, I don’t want to be competing with road and car noises. I do have some hearing loss and I have personally found many modern cars have enough road noise to restrict a regular conversation.

Additionally, there is a consideration for acoustics and audio systems. Ten years ago that very likely would have mattered. Not so now. Modern technology presents alternative options for audio. My young adult children for example want to use Bluetooth to connect their own gadgets wherever they go. Likewise, I’m doing the same more and more.

Some of the portable and rechargeable Bluetooth speakers available put out a pretty decent sound. Also, over the last year, I’ve tended to use personal Bluetooth headsets with great quality audio throughout the day. Importantly, this allows me to connect with a growing amount of audible content on my own device and that gives access to multiple sources. For example, audiobooks, music, streams of content that I learn from throughout most days, news, on-line study lectures, and my phone calls are picked up automatically. Fantastic.

Then there’s the heat generated from the gearbox tunnel and the exhaust system. Importantly, living in a hot climate I want to install an AC system so it’s important to insulate for heat in the GT.

Sound Deadening:

Researching which product will best meet my goals at a cost-effective price presents many options. Regarding sounddedening, there are primarily 2 sound-deadening materials commonly used. Firstly, foam products absorb sound. Secondly, a tar-based Butyl product when stuck to the surface acts to reduce sound-related vibration being transferred through the flat metal body panels. For the GT I primarily used Butyl.

Additionally, I used a 15mm heat rated foam underlay on the floors and front bulkhead.

Heat shield:

There was already a fibreglass based heat shield over the front portion of the gearbox tunnel. The remainder of the tunnel was covered with the Butyl sound deadener. Finally, overall the tunnel and the front bulkhead, I added a 10mm peel and stick foam-based heat shield from Clark Rubber, Australia.


Use an alcohol-based product to clean the surface first. Secondly, the right tools make applying the Butyl product much easier. When ordering, also order the roller wheel to work it onto all the surfaces. Additionally, besides the rounded wooden handle on the back of the roller tool, I improvised some tools at home to work corners and around obstructions. For example, a potato peeler with the cutting part taken out is excellent for getting in sharp corners and edges. Thirdly, use the alfoil tape on all the seams and finish off all the edges to prevent moister and cutting your fingers in the future.

Finally,  it’s important not to leave air pockets under the Butyl sheets.  Moister can get trapped which can lead to rust in the future. Not a good scenario. I cut around some floor cavities so as not to leave air pockets. These spots can be maintained with a regime of regularly dressing with rust prevention. For example, I use lanolin-based rust prevention as part of my regular maintenance, once a year I’ll lift the mats and brush it into these seams, cavities and crevasses.


Overall, there is quite a lot of sound deadening and heat shield product throughout the car. Do some research on what is available, how it works, and where to use it. Additionally, understand your goals and budget to decide on the way to progress your project.

Happy MG trails…..

MGB GT Teal Blue Project Part 6 Boot Carpet.

MGB GT Teal Blue Project Part 6 Boot Carpet.

After this job was completed I started to notice that many pics of GT’s online had an untidy boot space.  It seems logical to me to tidy it up. Therefore, this is how I tidied up the boot space on the GT project.

I chose a budget-friendly car carpet in neutral grey tones from a local supplier. Additionally, as the plan is to do quite a few of the interior carpet pieces myself, I thought it prudent to learn some trimming tricks and tips. Quite a few tutorials later I realised I would also need to shop for some decent tools before making a start.

How to:

There are some tips to get a clean fitting finish. A centre line in the boot was marked on some low tac tape as a reference point. Additionally, a centre line was marked on the backside of the carpet with a suitable marker. Checked multiple times, the measurements were transferred to the carpet. Being my 1st attempt I cut roughly 5mm over the lines to stay on the safe side.  I anticipate my skills improving the more I do this.

The ribs in the boot floor were also measured and marked on the carpet as reference points. I found with more reference points to check it’s easier to get the curved lines marked out on the carpet. I used a compass to mark out circles. Importantly, regularly put the carpet piece in and out of the boot making cuts to check the centre lines and reference points. This keeps you on track.

Moulding Carpet:

To mold carpet in internal corners or contours, spray the area with warm water from a spray bottle. Then, shape and form it with your fist or wooden handle as you place weights to hold the carpet in place. Finally, I left it overnight to help it retain its shape. This process of spaying with hot water, moulding, the use of weights and leaving it overnight works.


With the reference points, I was able to get a neat curved line at the back. Additionally, that 5mm left on my 1st cuts were slowly trimmed, regularly putting it in the boot and checking the centre lines and reference points. Importantly, I used this method to get a clean cut around the fuel filler hose as well.

Happy with my handy work, I contemplated how to finish it off neatly around the shelf towards the front. I simply chose to use some flat aluminium strips screwed down with stainless steel screws. This works well because it secures the carpet in the boot and as a finishing trim it looks good and makes the job look neat. Also, it can easily be lifted up to clean or vacuum, and it can easily be taken out to return the car to the original equipment.


The nut inside the wheel clamp point on the boot floor had worked loose. The repair was going to be necessary for it to work properly. With the surfaces prepared and the wheel retainer screwed into the nut, a piece of 2 pack weld putty from the local hardware was properly kneaded then worked into the hole where the nut locates. Secondly, the clamp was screwed down to force the nut up and hold it in position while the putty set. Thirdly, with the nut properly located, some more weld putty was moulded over and around the clamp fitting. The wheel retainer works properly now and keeps the spare wheel safely clamped down.

Happy MG trails….




Classic Car and Coffee Event December 2020

Classic Car and Coffee Event December 2020

I heard about this local Cars and Coffee event that happens monthly on the UWA campus in Perth, Western Australia. Some pretty awesome cars get dusted off for the event. While there were some pretty desirable exotic, classic and rare cars, it was the everyday cars that were around in my younger days that most appealed to me. My favourite was a Sunbeam Tiger, a standard and unmolested original car driven to and from the event by a lady and her young daughter. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pics. My next favourite was the red Cortina 2 door GT. A couple of AH Sprites in really nice restored condition came in at 3rd. The Mini Moke is Supercharged, pretty cool. The MGA was very tidy, nicely restored. And ya gotta love the Big Healy’s. A lovely old Jag and a couple of VW’s for good measure.













MGB GT Teal Blue Project Part 5 Fitting Door

MGB GT Teal Blue Project Part 5 Fitting Door

When I inherited this car the driver door would not close and open properly. The GT has had a rough life and the drivers door had seen abuse of some kind. Closer inspection revealed the door had been messed around with a lot and still wasn’t right, however, I didn’t know how to adjust a door. Importantly, learning how to do this job taught me that a casual approach to adjusting doors and panels will quickly turn into a humbling experience. It is definitely a job to understand properly to have any hope of getting it right unless you get lucky.


  • A Posi Drive No.4 for the hinge screws.
  • Some Alan key bolts to replace these. I took the old screws with me to a local fasteners store who supplied what I needed.
  • Low tack masking tape.
  • Be prepared to make or improvise for some shims.
  • A lot of research and patients.
  • Rivets and rivet gun.
  • Impact driver.
  • 2 decks of playing cards.
  • Low tac masking tape.
  • Straight edge.
  • Feeler gauges.

Remove Hinges:

The driver door hinges were worn making my early attempts to adjust the door futile. The first job then is to get them out for inspection. There’s a lot of good tutorials online on how to do this or follow the workshop manual.  An impact hammer can help loosen rusted posi screws. Besides the 4 posi screws on the front of the hinge, behind the hinge is a bolt that extends through the A-pillar. The nuts are located in the space behind the splash panel in the front wheel arch. The space between the front quarter panel and the frame is tight to get an arm and socket in there. Additionally, the nuts might be very tight after 50 odd years, give them a generous soaking in a multi-purpose penetrant.


New hinges are available but expensive. Second-hand hinges purchased online might just yield the same problem of worn pins. With an angle grinder, a punch and a hammer, I was able to liberate the pins from the hinges. Yep, definitely worn. I visited a few small local engineering workshops till I found someone willing to fabricate new pins for me. When they were ready to be picked up I was informed the price was a carton of beer. Great, I like the currency.

One of the little rubber bumper stops in the hinge was worn and perished, the other was missing. I tracked replacements online, they were very cheap, only a few dollars. In due course, they were riveted on the hinge using a little stainless steel washer for the rivet to grip onto.

Door Alignment:

I found a very good tutorial on how to approach fitting doors. Importantly, following this procedure will get the job done. The number one most important thing is to familiarize yourself with the way it all works. This actually takes attempting to adjust the door and failing at it several times. Failure leads to research, a better understanding of the process, and eventually success. (Life hack tip included at no extra cost.)

Ok, so after being humbled a few times I was now ready to follow a procedure. Who would have known the skills of a panel beater are technical, they work to specifications and tolerances. For instance, if panels and welding and such is not done to specifications, aligning doors and panels is made difficult.

1. The original posi screws can be used to start the adjusting process.  If you decided to purchase replacements they can be swapped out later. Alternatively, the new screws can be used first. As a starting point, semi-tighten the hinges in the A-pillar as high and as far outboard as possible. Leave the nut behind the splash panels for now.

2. Semi-tighten the door to the hinge arms. A second person or a milk crate offer good support to the door. Remove the striker plate from the B pillar.

3. Protect the paint from the door and front fender from fouling each other when adjusting the door. Run some low tac masking tape along the leading edge of the door and back edge of the front panel. Close the door slowly and check the door and panels don’t kiss.

4. As a starting point, place 2 stacks of 30 playing cards each on the door sill. One each towards the A and B pillars. You will add and take away cards from these packs adjusting the height and gap. Additionally, note the number of cards for future reference.

5. Adjust the fore and aft position to get even gaps to the front and rear fenders.

6. Using your eye and a straight edge, adjust the height. Add or take away playing cards and keep evaluating. Repeat till you’re satisfied with the gaps all around the door.

7. When you think you have it, tighten the hinge and door screws.

8. Remove the playing cards and check the door again slowly. At the B pillar, the door may drop slightly. Estimate how many playing cards to add, close the door, loosen the hinge, open the door slightly to add the cards, tighten the hinge again and evaluate. Repeat till you think you’ve got it.

9. Take note of the number of playing cards at each end.

So the height and gap are ultimately locked in, now to the next phase.

10. The leading edge of the door is controlled by the front hinges. Supposedly, the door is proud of the fender a bit, remember you mounted the hinges as far outboard as they could go. Back off the hinge mounting screws a bit, close the door, now press the forward edge into the car until it’s flush with the fender. Carefully open the door, and tighten up the hinges. Repeat until it is satisfactory. Do each hinge separately, ideally, get the top of the door flush by adjusting the top hinge first, and the bottom of the door with the bottom hinge.

Note: If the car has had panel work done in the past, it’s possible the available adjustments won’t get the door to where it needs to be. This is where you need to get creative with shims and alternative methods to get it right.

Example 1: the door may not come out to the fender, even with the hinge adjusted as far outboard as it will go. The fix is to measure the adjustment needed using a straight-edge and feeler gauges, and then make a shim up out of sheet metal just a bit thicker than needed. The shim needs to be roughly the size/length of the portion of the hinge arm that’s inside the door, with holes to allow the hinge/door bolts to pass through. The shim then goes between the outside face of the hinge arm and the door – effectively moving the door farther outside of the hinge position.

Example 2: The first time I finished following these steps, there was a 30mm + gap between the driver’s door frame and the top of the window glass while wound up. It clearly wasn’t going to seal against the door rubber properly when closed and needed to be done again. Additionally, the bottom of the door didn’t come out to the sill although the hinge was as far outboard as it would go.

My solution required two steps. Firstly, I fabricated a shim for the bottom hinge to push the bottom out and at the same time tilt the top in. Secondly, I checked and made adjustments at the bottom of the window rails inside the door, effectively pushing the bottom of the glass out that tilted the top of the glass in. These two steps combined to bring the top of the glass closer to the frame by about 10 mm, now it will seal properly with the door rubber. On my car, there is evidence of previous repairs or damage to either the sill, door, front fender, or all 3.

Example 3: What if the hinge is mounted as far inboard as possible and the door is still proud of the fender. Using the straight edge and feeler gauges again, measure the gap. This is the amount of material that has to be removed from the hinge arm. There’s plenty of thickness on the hinges to accommodate this creative fix.

Importantly, decisions need to be made about what is tolerable based on the goals of the project. For example, my car is not going to be a showpiece, my goal is to refurbish and work with what I have. I was satisfied with this second attempt even though the bottom of the trailing edge of the door still sits slightly inboard of the sill. It is a vast improvement from what I started with. However, decisions made about panel gap and alignment on a comprehensive restoration project are going to be very different to my project.

Striker plate:

11. Finally, mount the striker plate loosely to the B pillar. It moves backwards/forwards (horizontal), up/down (vertical), and rotates a little. Note, partway through this phase I realised the striker plate needed to be shimmed out just a bit so it would align with the door latch cleanly. Follow these steps. Firstly, line it up vertically by slowly closing the door with your eyes at latch level, moving the striker plate up/down and rotating it so that the bottom of the latch on the door just clears the striker plate, and the latch engages the striker cleanly. Tighten the screws. Evaluate and repeat as needed. That aligns the striker plate vertically, up/down.

12. Secondly, now align the striker plate horizontally in/out from the centerline of the car so that the trailing edge of the door is flush with the rear quarter panel. On the B pillar, using low tack masking tape, put a strip just above and below the plate vertically, and 2 strips on horizontal top and bottom. With a fine point marker, put reference marks on the tape so that the horizontal in/out movement of the plate can be made even while maintaining the vertical up/down position (you don’t want to change the vertical position of the plate, since you’ve got that set, and you don’t want to rotate the plate either). Close the door, evaluate the trailing edge of the door with the rear quarter panel for ‘flushness’. Ideally, measure it if you’re close with a straight edge and feeler gauges. Now open the door, loosen the striker plate screws a bit, and move the plate in or out the corresponding amount. I did this by eye with incremental adjustments of the striker plate using my reference marks to maintain the vertical position of the plate. Tighten up the screws, close the door, and reevaluate. Repeat as necessary.

You’re finished:

If you are going to replace the posi drive screws with alternatives, now they can be swapped out one at a time.

When the job is done, tighten up the hinge bolts inside the splash panel. After that, it’s an opportunity to clean up and apply anti-corrosion treatment before putting the splash panels back on.

If the doors are not coming off again, you’re done. YIPPEE. However, if the doors need to come off for whatever reason, for panel and paint for example, follow this step. Drill 2 locating holes of 3mm into the striker plate and hinges. Corresponding size pieces of rod in the holes then become locating pins for when the doors go back on.

This trick works for boot and bonnet hinges as well. Finally, it is best to do the adjustments before the panel and paint. All that messing around after painting will mess it up, not good!

Happy door and panel trails 🙂