I run a one man band restoration shop speciallising in MG T-Series cars.
Over the years I have done a great deal of work on these vehicles
ranging from inflating the tyres to complete restorations. Many owners
of vehicles are unfortunately still living in the days of the late '80s
when prices were going potty thanks to speculation rather than
appreciation. This car is, as you rightly say, a TOTAL restoration
project. From a commercial point of view it makes little sense to have
it done professionally unless you have a car which has some special
meaning to you, as the final bill will, in all probability far exceed
the market value of a TD in today's market. It therefore falls to the
handy enthusiast to do the work himself, and not to consider his labour
as a charge. Even so, many thousands of dollars would have to be spent
on this vehicle to bring it up to a good safe driving standard.
Unfortunately, even careful inspection of the wooden frame from the
outside will not always reveal the true horror story taking place
beneath the metal skins. To rebuild a body tub is an extremely
difficult thing to do for the amateur, involving tricky compound curves
and mortise and tenon joints having to be cut in ash, a wood which is
glass hard. An after market body tub will cost in the region of $4500
depending upon who supplies it. The instrument panel as shown in your
photographs is obviously an amateur's replacement based on the TC panel,
to judge by the position of the tach and speedo. The missing item in
the tach you mentioned is the clock. They are like hen's teeth, and
could run up to $350 to replace it. I could go on.
Suffice it to say that the car is only worth what someone is willing to
pay bearing in mind the costs of getting it together and driving it. I
bought one in somewhat similar condition a year or so ago for $500. (See
Thoroughbred and Classic Cars mag., October 1996 issue, the Discovered
column). As the one you have talked about has got it's instruments I
would be prepared to offer $1000, but I would like the seller to pay
some part of the transportation costs back to Pennsylvania!
Geoff Love, The English Connection