Not Another Super 7, But a MGTC Hybrid!

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i have been on a kick lately about trying to capture what i think i might have built in the way of a street rod if i were a teenager in England, countryside probably, and had mostly english mechanicals to work with but with a bit of a wannabe yank streak from reading the hot rod magazines of the day, the day being sometime in post-Beatle times, 65 or 66 or so.

i had one other attempt at this sort of theme lately, with a rebadged Austin Seven (http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=45137&hl=dixi), but that one sort of got too too yank especially when i used the american style wheels and the moon tank hanging out front, it looked sorta like a miniature deuce roadster but too much so for what i was thinking.

at one time i built a 1/32 slot car from a MGTD body i picked up somewhere, removed the front fender which were separate pieces, lowered it down and thought it looked pretty kool:

slotcar5.jpg

so i was looking through my kit collection such as it is and came across this old monogram chestnut kit of the MGTC that i had, and not only that i also had a metal version of the same kit. worthless trash in the metal version but i put it aside in case i thought there might be some pieces in there that would look better in metal than plastic. heres a pic of the box of the plastic version, note the box art sure to turn off anyone with any real enthusiasm but hiding a very nicely detailed kit complete with a sweet little 1200 four banger (edit: might have only been 900 or so cc now that i think about it) and SU carb setup along with an exquisitely detailed dashboard among other features:

mgtcboxtop.jpg

and nearby i noticed an old standby, the Tamiya Lotus Seven so loved in many corners of this forum, including yours truly. tons of kool details for these kind of projects so onto the pile it went.

lotusboxtop.jpg

ideas started running through my head and pretty after some parts box scrounging for some appropriate wheels (really the heart of something like this, i considered Jaguar D-type wheels before going with the pure Lotus theme) front and rear i sat down and started mocking stuff up.

more to follow...

Edited by jbwelda

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my original concept was including the Lotus Coventry Climax motor with two weber carbs and turned aluminum air cleaners, cutting off the wings (fenders to the yanks) in front and the running boards, lowering down the front end with a tube or beam axle ala hot rod style, probably try to fab up some kind of mounts for a halibrand quick change rear end (my all time favorite), with some wheels that fairly screamed British. i started making up a Z-ed kickup for the back of the frame but then i noticed that the Lotus rear suspension arms looked like they might fit. they didnt just fit, they worked perfectly with the rear axle centering right where it should and even the bracket out the back that on the Lotus holds the spare tire will serve well to support the rear mounted fuel tank that the MG uses.

Now understand that i owned an MGTF for a few decades and i always liked the looks of that car. i did not especially like the looks of the predecessor MGTD or the car it derived its dorkiness from, the MGTC...that being the very car i was using as a base here. but shed the big ole wheels and skinny tires and ditch the external front fenders and you start to have something...though to my eye it sits up too straight whereas the beauty of the swan song of the T series, the TF, sloped rearward in the grille, headlamp profile and cowl area making it look like it was going 100 mph when it was standing still, which in my case it often was. total chick magnet but i digress. so what i am getting at is thinking i want this car to look a whole lot more like a Super Seven (one of the all time great cars in my opinion) than like a MGTC.

so all this is pretty much in the back of my mind as i start figuring out what to do next. but from what i can see so far, it looks like things are going to fall into place pretty easy.

a picture speaks a thousand words or something like that:

here is basically what i have in mind:

niceprofilerightside.jpg

rightfrontnice.jpg

without the front fenders, the car takes on a whole new look. and i am kicking the front axle forward about a scale 6", which really does something visually to the staid TC look. Norm at Reps and Mins was nice enough to cast me up two cycle front fenders from his killer Triumph Bonneville (motorcycle) that i am going to hopefully use. they look even more kool since they are 1/25 and this MG is 1/24 so they barely cover the very small front tires and hug the circumference of the tire great...if i can just get them to mount that way.

here you can see a bunch of parts in the early stages included the freshly trimmed off wings:

wingscutoffoverallview.jpg

heres a shot to give you an idea how it was to begin with: long frame running all the way to rear of car and providing support for fuel tank:

framealignmentonfloorpa.jpg

and how about that! Lotus Seven active rear end bars fit right in there and look totally realistic! now this thing with go around corners!

lotus7rearsuspensionwil.jpg

and to jump ahead a little bit, heres what that mess will look like a little further along:

rearsuspensionandtires.jpg

more to come...

Edited by jbwelda

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Posted · Report post

This should be interesting, I like the idea

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with the rear suspension under control so to speak, i started thinking about the front suspension and some of the other details...now i wanted the front end down in the weeds if possible and there wasnt much on the stock suspension i wanted to keep although i was going to keep the molded-to-the-frame friction shocks. i started looking in the parts box and i came across a partial revell parts pack of roadster speed equipment and there was a nice chrome beam axle with kool azz chrome brake backing plates so i set that aside. it fit in perfectly and looked to provide the proper drop. but then a few days later i happened to run across another white plastic front axle of the proper size with molded on shocks and a nice mounting bracket. it fit nicely too after some trimming and drilling and stuff so i transferred the backing plates to it. the problem with it was it was detailed on the front side but not on the back...that is to say for example the front of the shocks were round but they were just flat on the back side. i fabbed up some messy looking stuff for the back of the shocks which i will be sure to come to regret but hey i was lazy! they look a little better now and i dont really want to make this car my career! :D

heres an early shot of the unpainted axle posed on a mount on the frame:

shockmountsrightsidefro.jpg

and a later shot of the axle near finished hanging from the front of the frame, though i have now added further lowering blocks of about another 2" to the frame:

axlehangingonframefinis.jpg

more prep: fitting the motor to the frame:

motorfittinginframe.jpg

random pieces:

lotus7componentslaidout.jpg

the interior is nearly finished:

interiorinsidebarebody.jpg

and just this past week in got some paint on the body, a couple of problems but overall a good start:

bodygoodcolorandpaintla.jpg

bodyandhoodgoodcolor.jpg

problem area: paint crackled on rear fender! :angry: but shouldnt be too bad to polish out or at most do a spray touch up.

rearfenderpaintcrackle.jpg

oh yeah, that metal version of this kit? looked through it and pulled out the fuel tank. looks very crude out of the box but after a couple of hours polishing time (not really, probably 30 min max) it starts to look pretty serviceable.

polishedfueltank2.jpg

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Posted (edited) · Report post

What shade of green did you use?, it looks like British racing green

Edited by martinfan5

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Posted · Report post

Of course, William...

That TC would be cool with the V860 from a Revell Kurtis midget up front! Oh yeah, and it would likely have become a "flying potato chip" of a car in the bargain.

Art

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as i mentioned above i plan on trimming the radiator shell a bit, slanting down the hood line and also lean the radiator shell back a little to give it a more flowing look.

anticipating that the motor with air cleaners would not fit under the hood, i trimmed the side pieces off and left just the hood (bonnet) top in place. however i set aside the side panels which have really nicely molded louvers and a kool little speed tumor on one side and i have been attempting to worry out the back of the louvers to open them up. this is highly time intensive so i have only gotten one side started but its gradually come around to where i am breaking through to the outside i have eaten down the panel to where its almost scale thickness. it remains to be seen whether i will actually use these parts and if i do tilt the front end back they will have to be modified even more but for right now its a little side project.

insidelouversalmostthro.jpg

insidelouversalmostthro.jpg

its amazing what one can get done after a couple months off!

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Posted · Report post

thats an excellent suggestion with the flathead from the midget kits!

i havent glued down the lotus motor yet!

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Posted · Report post

awsome !! def. following this one !!

and if i ever see a kit like this i will buy it imidiatly , the fenderless front gave me such cool idea's !!!!!!

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Posted · Report post

That is coming along nicely!

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Beautiful lines with the fenders removed. The idea of an MG TC hot rod is really cool too. Where did those wheels come from?

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Posted · Report post

I like it! :) Looks like someone converted an MG into a track racer. Bicycle style fenders on the front would look wicked on this.

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thanks for all the comments folks, let me address some of the questions:

indeed the paint is tamiya british green over tamiya olive green, with the olive green left on the undercarriage and all non-top surfaces as a sort of DP40 primer look.

the wheels, well all four are resin wheels i had in my stash, i dont really recall where they came from as i buy wheels i like as i see them and then throw them into a box for later use. the rear wobbly web wheels are one piece resin including the tire and there are a couple problems like the outer edge of the wheels are chipped but i left it like that...run hard and put away wet. the fronts are some minilite style wheels that i cut apart and reassembled so they are very narrow.

bicycle fenders on the front wheels is essentially what i am going to attempt; as i mentioned above i am going to use the triumph bonneville front fender X2 and as they are 1/25 and the car 1/24 they will look like bicycle fenders.

thanks again for the comments and for looking...will update as appropriate, was hoping to have this done for NNL West 2 weeks from now but homie dont play that game...

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here is where its at for now, and a good view of what i am trying for:

additional 2" scale drop of the front axle courtesy of those little white lowering blocks:

frontendonloweringblock.jpg

and a couple of views of the body stance and wheels and tires:

frontrightnice.jpg

rightreart.jpg

rightrear2.jpg

thanks for looking and all comments welcome; if you have built something similar or this same MG kit a different way feel free to post some pics!

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<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote" data-time="1359870471" data-cid="870521" data-author="jbwelda"><p>i have been on a kick lately about trying to capture what i think i might have built in the way of a street rod if i were a teenager in England, countryside probably, and had mostly english mechanicals to work with but with a bit of a wannabe yank streak from reading the hot rod magazines of the day, the day being sometime in post-Beatle times, 65 or 66 or so. </p></blockquote><br />

I grew up as a teenager in England in the late '50's and early '60's before emigrating to Canada in 1966. I can relate to your image of a young boy/man, reading American Hot Rod magazines and dreaming of building a high powered machine such as this in the mid '60's. However, drag strips were not really established in England back then.... and WW2 airfields had been converted into private flying clubs, so a car like this could really only be used for cruising the narrow country lanes and impressing the local pub patrons. (Try getting "friendly" with a date in that cramped, uncomfortable cockpit!)

After the war, Britain was in a terrible state, both economically and physically. As a "middle class" kid I, like many others of my generation, dreamed of being able to live the "American dream"........ but money, facilities and access to all the parts, made that just about impossible. Father's were struggling to support their families and there was very little extra money, if any, to spend on vehicles like this. Those upper class individuals with higher incomes usually showed off their new Jaguars, Austin Healy's, Aston Martin's, etc. rather than embark on a project vehicle. Most teenagers couldn't afford to put insurance and "road tax" on anything with four wheels, so instead chose to ride motorbikes and scooters. Families bought "combinations" (motor bike and sidecar), for the same reason. One of the main reasons I came to Canada, was so that I could indulge myself in the "American" style car culture.... not available in Britain with all it's over regulated rules and restrictions, etc.

Unfortunately ... and I say this with the best intentions...... I don't believe your basic premise is very realistic... and to my mind, this would more likely have been a North American style build. Did you know by the way, I believe that more MG TC's were shipped to the States than were sold in England? (Correct me on this if I'm wrong.) And I believe that Caroll Shelby won his first race (Riverside?) in a friend's MG TC.

Having said all that.... don't get me wrong. This is an excellent build and I'm enjoying every new posting. You craftsmanship is great and it's a fascinating project. Keep it going

Tony

Edited by GTMust

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oh yeah, i forgot to mention one thing: i was also Prince Charles in this vision. so that took care of a lot of those problems! :P

nice background, thanks for throwing that in, and yeah the lotus rear suspension and only running a lotus 1+ liter motor, this thing wouldnt really be for the drags, more like as you say bombing around the countryside or trying to pick up birds at the pub. to go to their place. norweigan wood and all that. actually as you rightly point out, this thing wouldnt be around at all most likely. or it might be cobbled together by some total clockwork orange types or even road warrior nuts to drive around doing their thing. i am trying to keep it kinda "prole" and imagine that someone with connections could come up with the parts for it for a reasonable price. i remember back in the 60s here in the states anyway, a TD went dirt cheap though more exotic stuff like Lotus motors brought more serious change.

i am planning a third car, this time with either an E type jaguar motor, probably using the monogram kit for it, or perhaps the twin cam motor from tamiyas jaguar Mk II sedans. that would fill up the engine compartment a bit better than this little lotus motor does.

thanks again for the comments about time and place. it certainly helps set the scene for a car like this even when i am taking liberties with reality here and there.

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Posted · Report post

I'm liking this one a lot!

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I'm enjoying this too. It's nice to see other people have Seven issues...

It's great to have a back story to build to. Fantasy? Inspiration? Whatever, for me it provides some structure and direction. FWIW, I have seen more bizarre creations in real life.

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Posted · Report post

Outstanding concept and execution!

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rightreart.jpg

rightrear2.jpg

Bill, looking at this rear view I can't help but think how cool this would look with the rear fenders bobbed to just behind the bodywork... I'm guessing that it's probably something you don't want to consider doing on this build but it might be something to think about for the next one!

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i thought about bobbing the rear fenders, but then thought about how those peaks are really part of the identifying characteristics of all the T series cars, so i left them as is. my first inclination was to bob them though so we are thinking on the same wavelength!

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Posted · Report post

thats a great start jb

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That is turning out very nice!

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ok so one problem from the beginning has been that while its not too apparent with the big fenders in the front obscuring the view, with those gone its apparent that the hood slopes up way too much on its way to the radiator shell, because the shell is too tall and upright in comparison to the hood line on the body proper. that was the way TC's looked but i dont want it to be the way this TC looks. heres what i mean:

grilleandbonnetstock.jpg

oh noooooooo....

so i messed around a bit and decided it might look better with the radiator shell shortened and the bonnet pointing down toward the front a bit more:

grilleandbonnettarget.jpg

yeah a bit better, so grab the razor saw, some masking tape, a shot of anesthetic to steady the hands, and something like this happens:

loweredandleanedgrille.jpg

looking much better, heres a view of the other side:

loweredandleanedgrille2.jpg

unfortunately i kinda hacked up the sides getting it to fit into the area it needs to go into since the shell itself had a decreasing width as it went down to its bottom and i had to relieve the sides and did so too much before i really figured out what had to be done. so i am currently rebuilding the lower sides of the shell to fill in gaps i cut and ended up not needing. i figured i lowered the shell some 6 scale inches and tilted it rearward at the top about 10 degrees making it look much racier but not so much the lines of the bonnet look funny next to it.

also unfortunately it has occurred to me i will not be able to use the bonnet sides as i had hoped...for one thing this opening the louvers is really turning out to be a pain (though one side is about done and looking very kool) but the biggest problem is the Weber carbs and air cleaners hanging out one side. i think the car looked much better with the side panels on and i was going to glue them to the body section to leave the top part to be removable to access the motor (ala MGTF) but i am now thinking better of that idea.

bunch more has been done and the body is ready for a touch up shot of paint on the bad spot right rear fender. heres a shot of a pose session the other night...motor is now mounted in place, fuel hose routed and secured and a lot of fitting and checking clearances done.

laidoutfromleftfront.jpg

laidoutfromleft.jpg

laidoutfromleftrear.jpg

as always comments or criticism cheerfully accepted and thanks for looking!

Edited by jbwelda

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Excellent work on the new hood line! It takes more modeling nerve than I've got to do as much cutting and fitting as your doing with the parts in paint! Hat's off to you!

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