November 2018’s Classic TF Registrar’s Report

Catch up on all the news in the world of Classic TF, including an awesome story from John Chadban about the restoration of his TF1250, in Michael Hough’s latest Classic TF registrar’s report.

Classic TF Registrar’s Report

December, 2018

In this final Classic TF Registrar’s report for Opposite Lock for 2018 I want to provide a very quick overall report on the Classic TF turnout for our 2018 MG Car Club Concours and Display Day on the 21st of October, 2018, and publish a report written by one of our long-standing classic TF owners – John Chadban.

After taking part in events in his Classic TF for several years, in 2018 he decided to seriously upgrade his car. As a consequence of his work, TF061 took first place in the Show and Shine Category. It is a well-deserved win, and I hope you enjoy the story.

Well done John and thanks so much for sharing your own story about the work you did to deserve this great outcome!

MG Car Club 2018 Concours & Display Day

2018 MG Car Club Sydney Concours d’Elegance & Display Day

I would like to start with a big ‘Thank you!’ to those Classic TF owners who turned out after a very miserable Saturday featuring heavy rain and a very gloomy forecast for Sunday. In the past we have seen up to fourteen Classic TFs at the annual display day, but with this very threatening and unpleasant weather I was very pleased that seven of these lovely little classic sports cars turned out for the day. My sincere thanks to all who made the effort!

The full list of results was published by editor Ros in last Month’s Opposite Lock. Our two category winners were Robert Smith with his Classic TF1500, which won the Concours category, and John Chadban’s TF1250, which won the Show and Shine category.

Congratulations to both owners and thanks for the fine turnout of cars. I’ve included some photos of the seven cars that took part in the show, and I will cover each car more fully in the early editions of Opposite Lock 2019.

Chadban TF Restoration

A Classic TF Owner’s Story: Upgrading TF 061 for its Successful Show and Shine Win

Thanks to John Chadban

It may well have been when I was driving home from Sportsparts on 03/05/18 with my new crankhandle on the seat beside me that I decided to do some real work on my TF before the MGCC Concours & Display Day on 21/10/18. Bought in 1966, when it was advertised as an ‘early restoration’, it was probably time to do something about a few areas on the car that were showing her age. She had never been off the road or out of registration in the 22 years of my ownership.

I originally intended to do a mostly rear-end restoration involving the fuel tank, its straps & ends, spare wheel holder, rear splash guard and mudguards as well as the two bonnet halves and two aluminium grills from the front end. On Saturday 26/05/18, I removed and isolated these pieces. Starting on Monday 28/05/18, I renewed friendships and forged new ones with people like Mr. Brice Smith at Sportsparts, Eli Wright, my master motorcycle mechanic (and fabricator of metal parts), metal polisher and stripper Dave (Custom Polish, Penrith), a spray painter and panel beater (who on 30/05/19 was very keen to do the job in my green acrylic), Nepean Boltmaster, Spillers, Bunnings, Bursons, Clark Rubber, U Haul Penrith, Old Auto Rubber Penrith, Black Needle Penrith, Jim Wainwrite (M&W Motor Trimmer, Penrith), Uticolour, SU Midel & Auto West Paint Supplies (perfect paint matchers, Penrith) and Nepean Classic Muscle & Kustom Cars, Penrith.

Chadban TF Restoration

The biggest project of my life had begun being managed. Nuts, bolts, washers, rubber, chroming, polishing, new parts, refurbing old parts, putting in parts ‘lost’ in the earlier resto, painting and piping, as well as the appropriate tools. On 31/05/18, the isolated parts were in the hands of the painter. By Saturday 09/06/18, however, I had reassessed the project and taken into account the other blemishes on the car and tore it all down.

This left only the tub on a rolling chassis and labelled boxes of nuts, bolts, screws, washers, lights and number plates absolutely everywhere. The remaining parts went to the painters on 12/06/18 and by Friday 22/06/18 I had the finished piping in my hands. The seats had been repaired and sent off to be dyed, which took only six days.

Chadban TF Restoration

On 30/06/18 I took the degreased and freshly painted rolling chassis to my new best friends, Sir Norman & Lady Carolynne (recently knighted by me for their above ‘n beyondness) at Nepean Classic Muscle & Kustom Cars, to initially have a (new) brake booster fitted and ultimately two wheels and a master cylinder replaced.

Then came a whirlwind of carby refurbishment and reinstallation, side curtain plastic replacement, painting of nuts and bolts, air cleaners, bonnet catches, number plate backing plates, engine steadies and stays.

Chrome plating was always an issue, time wise and in terms of quality and price. It was often cheaper to buy new than wait for chrome.

Chadban TF Restoration

I brought the chassis home on 13/07/18, repairing a bent front engine mount and adding the missing engine steady rubbers as well as performing more restoration of parts.

Despite several phone calls and visits to the painter with no visible results, I went in again on 10/08/18 to be met with an apology and an inability to do any further prep or paint on any of my parts! Too much insurance work to do first apparently. Over ten weeks paint work was basically lost, when realistically it should have been finished, literally weeks ago.

I went straight in to see Sir Norman & Lady Carolynne and pleaded my case, explaining my dilemma and my self-imposed deadline of on-show on 21/10/18. Although they were already busy, by 13/08/18 I had a preparer and painter (see, new best friends and really nice people.) I took some of the parts from the former painter to Sir Norman and then the rest home.

Chadban TF Restoration

I fitted the doors on their new hinges to the tub and dismantled them again when I was happy with the gaps. I organised more paint and took more parts in to Norman. From my other best friend on this project, Bruce Smith, I organised a continuous drip feed of parts that I needed, without him missing a beat! On 12/09/18 I took the rolling chassis in to Nepean and had all of my painted pats back home by 29/09/18!

Now the fun started, getting all of my boxes of old, new, refurbed, polished, painted and chromed pieces, empty and back into one car with nothing left over. Despite some minor headaches, stress, many late nights and with the help of a friend and MG restorer on several occasions, Don Cabban, with the fitting of a threshold plate at 11:50PM on Saturday 20/10/18, the job was done!

Sound easy? Did I mention that I was working and on the road five or sometimes six days a week (admittedly part time) at the same time?

I drove the TF for the first time in many months on Saturday afternoon, 20/10/18. I went to Nepean Classic to have a final buff & preen. The brakes were amazing, the tightness of having everything screwed or bolted into place properly, extraordinary.

The finished article? She is simply shiny, beautiful and superb. Incidentally, MG TF061 was placed first in the Show & Shine class on Sunday 21/10/18.

2018 MG Car Club Sydney Concours Display Day


I learned a lot, particularly about TF originality, and I increased my MG-inspired toolkit markedly. I liaised with a great range of suppliers and met some terrific people along the way. My friends are just that.

In my humble opinion, it would be (and actually is?) extremely difficult to assemble and disassemble an MG TF on your own.

I could easily work out how much the project cost, but I didn’t and I won’t because it doesn’t really matter. I had the budget to do it and the end result is worth every dollar it may have cost.

I officially retired myself from the workforce on 05/11/18, which will allow me to enjoy TF061 more, like many MGCC members do. It should also give me time to restore the three (or is it four?) vintage and classic motorcycles waiting in the wings.

John Chadban.

Thanks for quickly writing and sending this article and photos John, and our congratulations again on accepting the challenges of upgrading the condition and presentation on this lovely little classic sports car. Thanks mate!

To all club members and readers, I wish each of you a safe and happy festive season and trouble- free motoring.

Finally, as this is probably long-standing Opposite Lock editor Ros’ last magazine:

TO ROS: Our sincere thanks for the great standard of club magazine you have consistently produced across your years of editing. Enjoy a well-deserved rest!

Happy motoring!


Michael Hough
Classic TF Registrar

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