Restoration of 1952 MG TD 2

Author: Bob McCluskey
First posted: 1 Sept 2000
Last amended: Dec 2015
Please email Bob McCluskey
Car No TD/11935
Engine No XPAG/TD2/12333
Body Type 22381
Body No 11301/78948

Sewing Machine At tech we used Singer 132 machines, and I was lucky enough to buy one for A$3000 from a local manufacturer who was standardising on a more versatile model, which could do fancy stitchwork. I had visions of putting it into a sewing room, and Margaret and I could do our little projects together, she on her little Pfaff, and I on my Singer 132 B6. But she took one look at it as I improvised a gantry to get it out of the back of the car, and pronounced that it wasn't coming into her house.

At tech the machines all had piping feet, welded on to prevent the apprentices from stealing them. They also had speed control units, designed and built in the technology labs, so you could slow them right down to single stitches, which is how I did most of my exercises. In contrast, mine had a 1/2 hp motor and a clutch: when the clutch was engaged, it could beat Phar Lap in a 2 mile handicap. I gradually changed the motor pulley down to smaller and smaller sizes, until now its only just bigger than the spindle, and it still gets away from me, but not so catastrophically.

I got the pulleys from the local Singer man, who said he could have got me an identical model for only $5000 if only I'd thought to go to him. I didn't tell him how much I paid. He told me that the design had been commissioned by Henry Ford. Apparently Ford's Model Ts had plywood panel trim, covered with fabric - and in fact I've just learned that the panel trim on MGs was originally plywood, so I must make sure to distract the judges at concourse when they come to upholstery. His workers had to drill holes in the panel trim, then sew through them to cover the timber. Ford thought there must be a better way, and commissioned Singer to design a machine that would sew through 1/4" of plywood. The sewing machine man showed me a machine, identical to mine except that instead of white enamel it was finished in original black cast iron. He said that machine had been built in 1914.

send me an email

Top of Page