Pre-war19361940 Post-war19451946 Restoration19851992 Pre-nosejob2006 Now

The Purchase

In 1985 I had already been a member of the MG Car Club Holland for 11 years. In those years I visited a lot of MG events in Holland as well as abroad with my MG MGB.
During these events, also the respected ones like Silverstone and Hausach, I saw many of the most beautiful MG’s. During those years I also restored my MGB in such a way that she was a concourse-winner. My attention was now directed to the beautiful classic cars, particularly those of the mark MG. I realised that the Vintage types were unsuitable for me because they are too delicate for me. The speed, the brakes and the cooling are insufficient for my demands. The choice was easy to make. It must be a T Type. But which one? A TA, TB, TC, TD or a TF?
After some orientation I decided. It must be a TB.
I told a friend in England, who has a body shop, that I was looking for a MG TB. He has rather good connections with local restorers. And yes, he calls to say that someone wants to sell his MG. The previous owner has partially dismantled the car and he did not have any possibility to restore the car. On my question as to what kind of MG it was my friend said something like MG Ward. I answered that I never had heard about such a MG and he should send me some documentation of the car.
He sent me a copy at the Autocar of 1946 in which the car described in detail. It shows that it is a one off by Park Ward Coachbuilders built on a MG TA.
Because the seller does not want to advertise the car or bring her to an auction the price for such a car is rather reasonable. Yes, this is the car I have been waiting for.


Because I don’t want to miss this sale I depart to England with some loose money to look for the car and maybe to buy her.
On the Harwich quay my friend was already waiting with a special towing truck and the seller of the car. It seems that the TA never has been collected from the former owner and so still stands in the middle of England.
On the arrival with this former owner I was really flabbergasted. On a large estate there were a lot of the most exclusive classic cars like Rolls Royce’s, a prototype Aston Martin, an MGA with MGA 1 as number-plate etc. rusting in the mud and some sheds. This former owner had sold the TA to get some financial room to restore a classic Bentley. The main house you only can reach by a long lane with mud-holes. So each car is fitted with mud tires. Why make tartan roads?
There she was the MG TA PW Dhc for the first time since 26 years washed and in the fresh air. Because the body is of aluminium she appears, with the exception of some dents, tears and some later alterations in a rather reasonable state. Also the woodwork and the chassis are well conserved. Technically she is a disaster. Beside the chassis parts all the technical parts have been removed. Also the interior is missing a lot of parts. I thought “the chassis and the body are of a good quality and the missing parts I can get somewhere’.
In an instant I know it: she is so beautiful, this is what I dreamed of.
During the loading on to the towing truck I have some time to look for the removed parts in the barn. You must not think that those parts where neatly in boxes or so. No there was a huge mountain, 3 meter wide and 2 meter high, full with parts from the most exotic cars. With the help of this former owner I found the most important parts (like some body-parts, some interior gadgets the steering-parts) in this mountain. Much time to dig was not available because the driver wanted to be at home before midnight.


The Restoration begins

In England I had some trouble in rejecting offers for a total restoration for 10,000 pound. I realized that I could not get the quality I wanted for that amount. To have the car done against an hour-rate, which is normal in Holland, I could not consider. So this meant a Do It Yourself job. I had decided to do the job to the highest possible standard of quality. So every bolt and nut had to be removed. The same day (arrival date and customs) I brought the TA to the body shop of my neighbor. This company would spray the TA when it was completely restored, but first everything had to be taken apart.

On Saturdays and Sundays I was able to use the bodyshop of my neighbour. There I was free to make as much noise as I wanted to with the most advanced tools and without people who would get angry about the dust I made. With those tools it was easy to deal with the rusted bolts and nuts. In England I had bought some Whitworth spanners. But none of the nuts, which had been tight for 50 years, would come loose. Beside that they had used a lot of square nuts on which no spanner fit. To use creeping oil or Coca Cola to loosen them took too much time, so that is the reason I used those modern tools. Also it was possible to buy all new nuts and bolts.

I was very glad that the quality of the woodwork and the chassis proved to be perfect.

Everything I took off of the car I put in small plastic bags. On each bag (nearly 150) I wrote down the description of the part and the place where I found it. And finally she stood there in the shop, a naked chassis and all parts in boxes; a really awful sight.




The blasting

The body putty on the aluminum body was split everywhere. The painter at the body shop didn’t trust the old material under the modern lacquer, so all the old paint and filler had to come off. Grinding by hand and even with machines would have taken too much time, so I decided to have the car blasted by a professional firm.I asked a club member who worked with Fokker (aircraft builders) how they handled their aluminum parts. He told me that the preferred method was blasting with water with glass beads in it, and I found a firm, which could do that. The chassis, the body and the big parts I loaded into a big truck. On the way to the blasting-firm I stopped at my parents’ place to show them my car for the first time. That was not such a good idea because they were really shocked by the terrible state of the rusty parts in the truck, and they knew how much this pile of rust had cost.



Rebuilding the chassis

The chassis and the axles were sprayed, after welding some small spots, with a special two component black lacquer. This lacquer is also used for those iron gas pipes, which go under ground. The Paint Company gave a 10-year warranty on it, so that was good enough for me.

The chassis looked small enough for me to do at home. With my wife’s Mazda 323 I collected the chassis from the body shop. I found that if I leaned the chassis on the dashboard, I could just sit with a friend between the two rails. At the rear at least 2 meters were outside the car, but it was a dark evening and no policemen were out. In the living room I made some space, and I put some hardboard about with tape on the wooden floor.

The chassis was placed here, on stands. In this way I could easily work on the car. Nicely heated and nearer to house was not possible. Also it was possible to look at the TV at the same time when a good program was on.

I asked a friend to buy all new wearing parts, rubbers, bolts and nuts, bearings and a cable-tree from England. That bill really was a shock. You could buy a nice second hand car for that sum. I hadn't looked for the cheapest way to get the parts so I had to bleed the first time. Going to England by myself and collecting the faxed order and paying with discount (through the body shop of a friend) resulted in at least a 40% saving over my first ordering method.

The hydraulic shock absorbers pumps were leaking because of a rather amateurish soldering. A friend of mine wanted to repair them but unfortunately the bit of the lathe got stuck in the pump. It was a terrible Job to make a new one. For the shock absorbers I needed new wooden friction discs. From England they twice sent me the wrong size. So I took an oak table leg and made new ones on a wood lathe for a fraction of the cost. When the car was finished I discovered that oak was wrong; you have to use special oily wood for this. Later, I found the right ones at an M.G. event.

The springs were rather luxuriously packed in leather covers, each fixed with 8 straps. I thought these covers were completely worn out because when I took them off, all the straps broke. Just before I ordered new covers, I cleaned them with special leather grease. What a surprise! They are beautiful now. Even the copper nameplates look smart after the polishing. Only the 40 straps (including 8 spare ones) had to be renewed. 

As soon as I finished the chassis I moved to another town. The complete chassis had to be removed from the old house. Passing through the sliding door was rather easy, but leaving the garden gave more problems. The purchaser of the house had also bought the trees in it but unfortunately I had to remove one. After I had removed the tree the chassis could pass with the help of seven neighbors. 




Rebuilding the Engine

The seller of the car told me that he would bring me the engine parts before I left for Holland. What do you expect when somebody tells you this? I had expected a complete engine. He brought me two big chests with engine parts. It was too late to check all these parts. At home when I inventoried the parts it appeared to be bad luck. A lot of the parts were duplicated but worse, a lot of the parts were missing.

To order the missing parts with a specialized firm is a way to get the parts, hut when you need half an engine, it is rather expensive. I put the parts back into the chests and took them to a known T Type specialist. I asked him to make an offer for a total rebuild of the engine. When I heard their price, I loaded all the stuff in the car again because I thought. I could do it cheaper by myself. In the end, when I had finished the engine, my cost was the same as the offer by the specialist. Why do it yourself? 
How would I find the missing parts? By buying a scrap-engine I thought. On my calls to England they told me that all those engines were on the continent now. An advertisement in the Dutch MG magazines brought just one telephone call. A scrap engine for the price of a nice second hand car. I had to buy it because I had no choice.

After moving I did not have the facility anymore to work on the car. In the beginning I tried to work in a garage 10 km from my house but the work didn’t progress. Because the restoration came to a stop in this way I wanted to have some work done by a specialist. I can’t pay the official rates of such a specialist so I had to find a cheaper solution. In the year that I had owned the car, I had met a few people who had retired early and didn’t have any hobby.

Unfortunately, none of them had the ability to work on the car. But they gave me an idea: I put a big advertisement in the newspaper in which I asked for pensioned (ship-) engineers to come out from behind the geraniums and work on my car. Maybe because I was too enthusiastic and made the advertisement to big, it was placed with the business ads and nobody answered. At my work I spoke about this ad with a colleague. He became enthusiastic and said, "My father-in-law will retire soon and is looking for a hobby, this is what he likes. I will ask him"

So this was the way I met PIET. Yes, he is a person who deserves capitals. Piet, had worked his whole life with engines. He wanted to do the job and his terms were great. Immediately I carried around 200 kilos of metal into his cellar, and he began. In his whole life he had never had such a strict boss. Everything had to be original, and as perfect as if the engine was being fitted to a racing car.

By mounting of a New Improved Profile camshaft the flywheel could be reduced by half the weight. For the technical readers: everything was hardened, weighed, balanced and polished afterwards. When the engine was put together, it was sprayed in red lacquer and with the polished copper oil pipes it looked like a beautiful piece of sculpture when displayed in the living room.

The gearbox had been checked and luckily seemed to have been revised before, as had been the radiator.

Piet, at first, did not want to see the whole restoration before him at once, so I had to ask him if he wanted to mount the engine in the chassis. He said, "Bring the chassis, and I will put the engine in it."

Because his quality and conditions were beyond discussion the chassis was brought there quickly. In case he wanted to go on with the restoration, I brought the body as well. Piet found that his private car had to stay outside as the chassis and the body had to go into his garage. Finally, I was called by Piet, after an endless delivery of parts, and he told me that the rolling chassis was ready. What a thrill! After three years and a lot of trouble, the engine was running, the gearbox shifts gear. What an experience. Driving, sitting on a chest in the driveway was possible. Such a moment you never forget. Shutting off the engine was like a punishment.




Rebuilding The Body

Putting the body back on the chassis is the next job. Piet thought he could manage this as well. Afterwards I think that he didn’t realize the amount of work it would be. For nearly three years he was continually busy with the car (sometimes until 2 0’ clock in the morning). His wife told me he enjoyed the work very much so that made me feel less guilty.

When I took the body off the chassis all kinds of shims fell on the ground. Some of these shims were more than 1 centimeter thick. Sadly I didn’t write down the thickness and the placement of these. So putting the body back on the chassis was not an easy job. A rather endless fitting and alignment had to be done. This was only a temporary fitting because to paint the car, the body would have to come off again. Did I hear a slight protest from Piet?
I engaged an aluminum-specialist to fix the indicator units (made around 1950): they had to be covered, dents repaired and splits welded.

Finally the whole car was put together again. Although she was still in her terrible colored primer paint, she looked like a car again. With the chair in it I could even drive it a little ways. Splendid!

With a coachbuilder in Holland I had waited for more than a year to get the body done (straightened and filled). In the golden years of the classic car (1988/1989) he couldn’t find any time for me. My former neighbor (the one with the body shop) didn’t want to do the job in the first place because he says his business is not suitable for such a job. Because of my desperation in the end he finally agreed to do the job between his other Jobs. In September 1989 I brought the car to his place. I agreed that the car would be sprayed in March of 1990. He made it, but with the help of his retired father. This old body worker had the feeling to align the body perfectly, and he had experience with the aluminum body-work. My neighbor nearly had a trauma about this hammering and plastering which went on for months (and I got the bill).

The colors of the car must be chosen and I wanted them to match the original colors as closely as possible. But which dark blue and light blue colors exactly? From 4000 colors I chose the dark blue color. The body was then sprayed in this color. Beautiful. Then I went to the paint factory to have them show me six light blue colors. With one color I went to the body shop and had one door sprayed. It didn’t look perfect, so back again to have another color mixed. After spraying the other door I found this color OK. The next day the car was ready in the combination of the exact colors that I had in mind.

Piet, as a master of the internals of the M.G., had helped the body shop in all those months because he has to take the body off and rebuild certain body parts during the straightening and filling. At the end of March 1990, I brought the car back to Piet’s place so he could continue. The permanent mounting of the body on the chassis was next. After this he began a rather endless mounting of the body parts such as windows, hinges, locks, grill, lamps etc. Nothing fit the way it should and endless fiddling was needed. I didn’t hear from Piet for sometime, and his wife didn’t see him very much during this period.


The Interior

You must realise that there is a car with just bare metal and a bunch of wiring at the place of the dashboard in the interior.
Lucky for me the original doorpanels and chairs were not lost so they can be a good example for the new leatherwork. Pictures of the interior, taken just after Mr. Ward finished the car, which I found in the book The Immortal T Series and the magazine Autocar, helped me to restore the dashboard. When I bought the car the dashboard was just a bare sheet of metal. A few instruments and switches I found under the dash were deteriorated by the damp and look rather bad.
With a specialised firm in the UK I had the regular MG instruments revised. The 2 pressure indicators of the hydraulic shockabsorbers are also restorated by this firm. The dials they have been partly painted by hand. Incredible how beautiful they have done that. The switches that originated the car are from a Bentley but had backplates with wrong text. The text on these switches was not similar of those on the pictures. So these texts have to be skimmed. New texts have to be engraved. Because this has to be done in a round, special craftsmanship was needed. Because this specialist was not able to speak English some mistakes with the spelling were made like “wipper” and “f.o.g.”. This means another skimming and engraving.
The 4 buttons for the electrically operatable windows were made of ivory but total deteriorated by the age. Those days you shouldn’t use ivory, so I ask somebody to make them for me in a similar material. Technically he made them perfectly (shape and thread) but the colour, no. You know, in such an ugly blue white nylon colour. It really looks awful. After I delivered the original material he made those buttons again. Now they were beautiful in shape and colour but the thread was wrong. So new bolts have to be made now.
The electric motor and the relays of the electric windows do not operated anymore. You can’t compare this with the modern small electric motor. The best you can compare it with a modern laundry machine motor. With the breakdown I had to cut all the wiring, happily I left some parts so I could recognise some colours because otherwise it was a job I could never finish. After revising and a lot of search in how they operate they finally work. Safety regulation in those days they hardly know, because when you want to close the window they close, in spite of any obstacles like children’s fingers.
The remounting of the door locks was a hell of a job. Because the bodywork adjusted the hole in the metal of the door it was not in the same position as the hole in the woodwork anymore. Now the wood has to be removed without touching the painted edges of the metal. You can image how fiddle this was.
By the end of March 1991 the interior is technically put together again. This means that all the operating functions were working. Also the floorboards, the chairs, the old panels and the wooden drophead construction were mounted.



Rechroming of new or rather good old parts goes well most of the times. In my case everything went wrong with it. One window washing jet is lost; an indicator edge got stuck and is destroyed in the polishing machine, chromium spots on the headlamps and peeling off chromium on some parts. The jet and the edge have happily a good example so I have new ones made.
The radiatorcover (grill) I have made to order in England. This grill looks similar of that of a MG TC but when you keep them next to each other there is a big difference. This grill has the same width as a MG Y grill. After the chroming all the mistakes appear. A lot of bumbs and dull spots could be seen now. An endless process of unchroming, repairing, rechroming, unchroming and so on starts. In the end the grill has been chromed 5 times. One time they returned the grill beautifully chromed but with a hole in the front because of to enthusiastic grinding.
The above story has meant at least 60 telephone calls and 30 visits to several (5) chromium factories. With the same firm prices sometimes differ 100% with my last visit. Now I can write a book about all the aspects of the chromium process. Maybe once I will start a business called “Classic Chrome Restorations”. 
For the chroming of the 3 locks we have to take them apart up to the last spring. After the chroming of course nothing fits anymore. The whole inside of the locks now has to be scratched out. You can image how long this takes.



For more than a year I was looking for somebody who could deliver me the leather in the two body colours which I need for the interior. Sadly nobody could. Now I have to look for a business that could paint the leather in the colour I need. Because for impregnation you need a basin with at least 1000 litre of paint you can imagine that nobody would do this for a reasonable price. One day I was looking in the Yellow pages and there I found a business that made colour restorations to antic leather chairs. The owner had never done such a big job but he wants to try it. 3 skins in the darkblue and 1 skin in the lightblue are now painted by him. A very complex procedure was needed in the preparation of the skins to get a better adhesion of the colour. As a protecting a coloured coating is sprayed on it afterwards. To get the leather structure back again the skins has to go for a few days into a sort of cement mixer filled with cork.

In June 1991 I brought the car to an upholsterer. The 5 weeks he said he needed became 30 weeks. Because of the missing panels it was very complicated to find out how the panels must have been. 
The chairs had a rather curious interior. The driving seat had a reinforced construction and an inflatable back support (how, modern is a Ford Scorpio?). Also this chair was lowered and slightly widened.
Looking at the size of the chair and the interior Mr. Ward must be rather big.
The doorpanels were made of 10 separate elements separated by a contrasting piping coming out of a corner. In some MG’s this is called ”Rising Sun”. The nearside doorpanel has at elbow height an indent of 5 centimetres. Because of this the driver has some more space to do the steering.
Because this car is a drophead it means that the roof construction is rather solid. At the inside there is a sort of pram hinge and wooden frames surround the windows.
This hood construction has to be covered, an inner lining is nailed in and then the mohair hood in the dark blue body colour is attached.
In January 1992 I could collect the car.



After doing some more work the TA has to go to for a Dutch registration control. The results of this first control were not very good: they didn’t accept the quality of the brakes, the wheel wingnuts were not allowed, the left hand mirror was not adjustable from the inside and the lights were not correctly adjusted. So I didn’t get my registration number. The list of those bad points doesn’t shock me very much because for three-quarter of an hour the controllers have pulled, pushed and hammered on the car. 10 days later when the car had a new control and now everything was in order.
The registration number was give on the 1 April 1992.
Now the Dutch registration is on the car I can finally drive her. I intent to use the car as much as I can. Sometimes it is even possible to take her to my work (In 1992 I already drove 5000 km with her).
The first official outing to show her to the MG enthusiasts is the international MG weekend on the Silverstone circuit on 23 May 1992.

​Going with the MG TA Park Ward dhc to Silverstone

On May 20th we depart with the TA PW dhc for England.Although in the description of the car (by a journalist of Autocar) was mentioned that she had a “capacious luggage boot” you must not think we think the same nowadays about that. One sporting bag just fits in it. When I try to understand the use of such a statement by a journalist I think that either they needed/had less luggage on a trip (did they need less clean clothes or they carry clothes for just one weather type). In any case, one bag is too little for us (3 persons) to use in a week’s holiday in England.

This means our luggage and we in the car are not possible.
We went together with other MG people on the boat so they could take our luggage in their car. On the quay of Harwich my friend (the one who gave the tip about the car) waits for us and he takes over the luggage.

Original Registration number

Because the MG TA PW dhc has on all her old photos the registration number KPB 999 and I have the papers of it I want to have the British registration active again and I want to have it in my name. So I arranged a MOT, paid tax and have insurance. Now I can drive in England with the original numberplates.

Visiting last owner

On the Friday morning before Silverstone I showed the TA PW to the seller of the car.  He was enthusiast! He continually makes pictures.
As a token of thanks for showing him the car he gave me a few authentic pictures of her which he still had in his possession. On one picture she is shown with a side pillar swivel lamp. I knew that there had been such a thing on the car but I didn’t know what kind. (So I bought that one on Silverstone).

The Silverstone event

My friend in England goes with us to Silverstone. He takes an enormous caravan with him so we can sleep in it as well.
On the campground on the circuit, before we have parked the caravan, al least 10 enthusiasts gather around the TA PW.
Some of them know the car already from 35 years ago. During the weekend the attention for the car stayed like that. Most of them know the car also from the books. Despite that I have to tell the story about the TA PW at least 300 times.


The official spot to show the car is on the concourse. At 7.30 Sunday morning I start to polish the car. In those days around England she had been quite dirty so it is a big job. At 9 o’clock she is shining in the sun on the concourse the whole day were apart from, two judges, a few thousand people visiting the car. Those judges were examining every screw, bolt and part on specific MG originality. This judging resulted in the fact that I was called at 17.00 to appear in the big tent (with the TA PW).
Here they announced that I won the second price in my category. For a lot of enthusiasts I have to drive into the tent and the president presented my cup. The Dutch crowd cheared.
During this weekend I was thanked several times for restoring this part of the English history. Sometimes they gave me the feeling that I had brought back the crown jewels. Also the appearing with the TA PW on Silverstone was much appreciated.


The how and why of the MG TA Park Ward dhc

One of the visitors of this event on Saturday has called the 3rd owner (owner of the TA PW during 26 year) in the evening and told him of the presence of the TA PW. On Sunday suddenly this former owner stands in front of me. 7 years before I collected the car at his place but then I had so much to think about that I didn’t recognise him. Because I didn’t have his address I lost contact.
In the entire passing years I collected a lot of questions about the why and how of the car without getting them answered. This is the occasion to get those questions answered. This 3rd owner is a very amiable person but I think he feels a bit uncomfortable with the situation (in his time the car was cannibalised and deteriorated).
Very friendly this 3rd owner tells me about the history of this MG:
Park Ward was only making bodies of Bentley and Rolls Royce chassis. Park Ward was taken over by Rolls Royce. During the WW II Charles Ward was not supplied anymore with any chassis of Bentley and Rolls Royce.
Because he wants to do some line studies for a future body he used an MG chassis and designed and builds the first version of the MG TA PW (short wings and MG grill).
It is unknown to me if he had build this already in the begin or just in the end of WW II
In The Autocar from 1946 the existing of this TA PW is mentioned for the first time.
In 1946 Charles Ward has replaced those short front wings by the present flowing long wings and also he changed the MG grill to the streamlined front cowl (pictures in Immortal T series).
At the sale in 1956 to a journalist the TA PW had again an MG grill. In 1959 the TA PW is bought by the 3rd owner and stalled in his garage for 26 years.


And now?

Just driving with her!
Just visit the Silverstone MG event or a classic car event in Holland and you will see her.


Symphony has got her nose-job


Symphony is 70 years old in 2006.
So she deserves a present, doesn’t she? A lady of this age is likely to be at the plastic surgeon!? So, Symphony got her nose-job.
Symphony, who? Nose-job, how? I will explain. Symphony is a ‘one-off’ special MG TA from 1936 with a rather luxurious body built by Park Ward coachbuilders. Most of the people know her, by seeing her in real life or in magazines, with the characteristic T-type chrome radiator shell. This radiator shell was subject to the nose-job.


The birth of Symphony

Symphony was born in the workshop of Park Ward. The son of the owner, Charles Ward, liked to be a physician but was forced to work in his father’s business. Good or bad he learned the handicraft of coachbuilder (yes, for cars). Around his 30th birthday he wanted to prove his skills by building his own masterpiece.


Extravagant coachwork

Within the year Charles did the design, improved the rolling-chassis and built the high-flown body on the MG-chassis. In authentic photographs shown in the magazine ‘Autocar’ (the magazine Classic Cars and Thoroughbreds which were sending to me) you can see that Charles made the front wings end just where the doors begin and the car had a (modified) MG radiator shell. When I visited the widow of Charles, Miss Joy Ward, she allowed me to take photographs from the pages in the family-album detailing various stages of the build. In the caption I could read the name Charles had given to his masterpiece: Symphony. There was also a photo where Joy and Charles were having a picnic alongside Symphony.
After the war Charles liked to experiment with the modern lines of that time. He did this by giving his personal car a total face-lift. In 1946 Symphony got long flowing front wings which ended just before the rear wings, an improved drop-head roof, radio and a prominent streamlined painted nose-cowl. These long flowing wings are later returned in the Park Ward 1949 Bentley’s. The original photos of the face-lifted Symphony (in front of the Park ward premises) were with the car when I collected her.  In the book ‘The immortal T-series’ you can find two of them. For a time Symphony was equipped again with the T-type chrome radiator shell. There is a poor picture from1960 where it can be seen. More history of this phase does not exist.


MG radiator shell? Of course!

When I acquired Symphony she didn’t look flourishing. She needed a total (body-off) restoration. So I was free to choose which nose I would restore: the modified MG radiator shell or the painted streamlined cowl. As I was deeply into the MG-world it was logical for me that the characteristic MG nose should return.  This is how you knew her for 14 years. This was not a wrong choice as proven by all the cups she won on several concourse d’elegance. Some of them where very special like “Het Loo Concourse” and of “European Concourse d’elegance in Schwetsingen”. Here this rapturous little MG garnered top honours in its class. Among the also-rans were a Hispano-Suiza Labourdette, a Lagonda Rapide, a V12 Maybach Zeppelin, and a Duesenberg SJ Boattail, and Isotta Fraschini Castagna Landaulet. Lofty competition indeed,


Doubts about the nose

In those 14 years my wife and I got very familiar with the lines of Symphony and came to the conclusion that the square front (T-type shell) was not harmonising with the spherical round curves of the body. I always had to manoeuvre photographers in such a way that they didn’t take pictures straight from the front. She was, according to us, just not looking correct that way.
We wanted to put the 1946 painted front-cowl back on, thinking this would be a quick change. But after making enquiries it showed to be a real heavy operation. The original cowl was cannibalised (sold by previous owners). Years and years with a lot of pleasure and success passed by.
Wrinkled nose
Until ... in the summer of 2005 Symphony’s nose got awful wrinkles. Yes, even burst. An operation was inevitable to keep her presentable on her 70th birthday. The modified MG radiator shell was UK-made in 1985 in such a bad way; it needed extensive grinding before it could be re-chromed again. The shell had become extremely thin and couldn’t withstand any more heavy treatment. That meant a total rebuild of this one-off MG-shell at a specialized British workshop.


Dutch coachbuilder

When I had to get a new nose build I could of course choose the painted streamlined front cowl. With an experienced Dutch coachbuilder (he had done more things for Symphony) we did a thorough study of the two available pictures. I had faith in the qualities of the coachbuilder who made the aluminium nose according to the two pictures. In reality it was an enormous job with endless fitting, measuring and comparing the photographs. The hood had to be shortened and additionally the radiator needed severe adjustment and new fitting. The chromium rim for keeping the gauze in place had to be made from scratch. After the paint-job it showed how well the nose was built; everything fitted correctly.

Bandage off

The time has come to reveal and take her bandages off, my wife and I find her more beautiful now, even from the front
This is how she will remain for many years to come.