﹒Now looks more like a ‘30s car than the kit it is based on
Designed to resemble a 1930s Aston Martin by Nick Green, hence the company name ‘NG’, in the ‘60s, the TA uses easily maintained and readily available MBG running gear in its own chassis and bodywork, and as a series production vehicle is registered as an NG TA and is classed as a historic vehicle by the DVLA.
Although its a fairly small car with a narrow body, it can seat 4 easily, although it is easier if the two in the back are children!
Like many kit cars, in standard form the TA details are a little clunky compared to the vintage cars they emulate. The current is owner has taken this car and tweaked those details to make it look more like the ‘30s Aston it is intended to. The most obvious difference being the wheels, gone are the wide 14” rims that look so wrong on these, replaced by vintage 19” rims on Blockey tyres and more delicate mudguards and steps. Since taking the car on in 2019 he has done extensive work not just to look better but to make it drive better and be more usable, and there are pages of invoices that document the jobs and expenditure on the TA. By all accounts it is easy and fun to drive and the casual observer will easily think its a pre war car.
He has enjoyed working on the car and now driving it, but as it takes some nimble footwork to climb aboard and he is now retired he has decided to find a new home form it and get something with some doors!
There are sheafs of receipts with this car for all the tasks carried out on this car, many from well know MG specialists - as it uses MGB axles, engine and gearbox service items and upgrade parts are easy to come by.
These tell a story of a thorough and detailed overhaul of the car.
There isnt much interior to talk about in this car! The front seats have come from an MGB, ideal as they are quite small and thin backed to give room un the back and the classic styling dont look out of place. Generally in good condition the drivers side does have a small split in the stitching of the seat back. In the rest they are simple vinyl pads with race style harnesses, but inertia real in the front.
The dashboard is an eye catching detail in beautiful engine turned aluminium, housing Jaguar dials as found in Mk2s and E Types. Most work and the speedo needs to be calibrated so there are some markers stuck to the glass which add to the pre war race ambiance.
The owner has sourced some vintage style control knobs and the car has a wonderfully period style four spoke polished metal and leather steering wheel, and the MGB gearshift has a brown Bakelite style round gearknob, and a modern radio/CD head unit is hidden under the dash, with speakers in a wooden pod by the pedals.
There is a small space for luggage behind the rear seats, but an aluminium trunk is attached to the rear for more stowage.
Mirror perfect paint would look out of place on a car like this, so the sometimes gloss, sometimes a little flat with a few odd marks actually enhances the character of the machine. The 19” wire wheels make the car look just right and absolutely transform it from a kit car to a replica. They have been rebuilt by Tudor wheels, with the spokes reset and rims trued, media basted and powder coated and all five fitted with new Blockley 4.75/5.00 19 tyres and inner tubes. The mud guards are smaller and look better than standard, as are the side steps.
The headlamps are vintage items and the rears replicas.
Over the chequer pattern grill he has found a Concorde bonnet mascot which is a nice detail some might miss. The roof raises and lowers relatively easily and the wooden arms and cover are in very good shape, and there is a full tonneau which can be zipped back for just driver access.
Originally the MG B series was 1972cc and made 95bhp. It has now been fully rebuilt having been re-bored to plus 60 thou and so new pistons, a fast road camshaft from Piper Cams, the crank has been reground and a new duplex timing chain, The head has been skimmed and had an unleaded conversion, and it has a new electronic distributor. On the way in the carbs have been stripped rebuilt and for the exit there is a stainless extractor manifold. All the ancillaries such as starter, oil and water pumps and ignition components are new and it has a new aluminium radiator.
The engine has been run in and the head tightened down so its ready to go.
It has a four speed with overdrive gearbox that has been rebuilt by Heathrow transmissions and refitted with a new clutch and release bearing. The rear axle has all new seals and fluids and new leaf springs. Being MGB axles they are tough and have nice steering feel with front disk brakes.
Many of us would love to own a pre-war car, but realistically the impracticality of these cars with vague steering, iffy brakes and not much in the way of speed make these toys for special occasions rather than something to pop to the shops in, and the prices of high end cars like actual Astons means they are for the rarified few.
This car in particular with all its new changes captures much of the look and feel of those vintage cars but with the ease of use and ownership of an MGB, and those little details really lift if from the kit car crowd and at a price most could afford to put on their drive.
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