Another project reported

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    Hello all!  Another newbie here.

      I just bought a basket case British Coach Works kit. It was supposed to have been running years ago, then stripped down for redue.  It currently is a rolling chasis that the po powder coated the frame and rebuilt the suspension and brakes. The fiberglass is back in kit form in small pieces, needing paint.  There is no drive train included. Was the Chevette based kit.  Been thur a least a couple owners over the years. 

       Someone had the idea of using a Buick 215 alumium V8 with auto trans as the drive train.  Some parts of that combo were included. but never mounted.

      What I am aware of lacking is  the complete drive train, wiring, radiator, steering wheel, seats and ulpostery.

      A lot of the included pieces are in very good shape.

        With the  current supply of Chevette stuff scarse I don’t think I want to go that route.  I see the 2.3 Ford seems to be the drug of choice here.  Carbed engine and auto trans would get me back on the road fastest.  My preference would be manual trans. I am 6 feet tall with size 11’s and that firewall area looks pretty small for a clutch pedal set up.

      I am in SF Bay area and have frabrication skills, time and some money. 

    Would be open to suggestions of drive train.  Love to see one of these assembled as the manual appears different than what I have. Don’t know what is original and what has been added.

      The Photo Gallery is great for completed cars exterior.  How about some shots of under the hood?

      Will try posting some pictures.




    Welcome aboard almost. Sounds like you have some work in front of you. But that’s part of the fun with these cars. Some of the other members have the drive train you talk about and I’m sure they’ll lend assistance. My TD is VW based. Press on and keep us posted.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack



    Here iswhat I got. Rolling frame and pick up load of parts.


      Test fitting the Buick 215 and auto trans that came with the kit.  Seems pretty tight. Do able but reminds me of, “Speed costs, how fast do you want to go?”


     better frame picture


    Tight engine placement




    There are plenty of people that might be interested in that aluminum 215…and that ’53 Stude poking its’s nose out in the picture.

    Have you considered a Toyota 2.0L (C20?) It’s an OHC with a lot more appeal (and lighter) than that Ford Lima 2.3L. Out west, those Toyota drivetrains are probably plentiful too. They came in old Celica, Corolla and their trucks.

    A modern 4 banger is an option too…computer/fuel injection/etc. You could get something, maybe mid-late ’90’s from RWD donor. Get the whole car with the computer/wiring/etc.





    Welcome to the forum. 

    Mine has the Ford 2.3  auto.  I am 6′ with 10.5 shoes.  Cant imagin trying to get another pedal down there with both feet but I guess it can be done.  There’s lots of pros and cons for the auto versi 4 or 5 speed..  Myself, at pushing 60 I enjoy the auto, but there is times the stick would be cool. 

    As far as the engine, the 2.3 has enough power for round the town crusin’ and even 65 70 on the hwyway if you want to.  There is lots you can do the these engines to, even turbo (from what I’ve heard that mid 80’s 2.3 turbo T’Bird was FAST).  Parts are easy to find for now but may change in time.  So far the best miliage I’ve got is about 21 round town.

    I guess if something happened to my engine I would look for something newer, more mpgs, maybe little quicker (0 to 60), but mostly for the availabilty of parts and maintance. 

    Might be a good time to look into a elec conversion.   






    that aluminum buick would be a good if you have or can find all the parts to it. ive seen pics of chevy v8s  shoehorned in these little cars too. however the modern 4 and 5 cyls in chevy colorado might make a good package. my gmc canyon has 230 hp 5cyl and its peppy in a 4×4 . probably very fast in a lighweight car. you would have to get the complete package with computer and sensors etc. i can see you now chasing steve mcqueens  bullet, up and down lombard st.



     Welcome to the forum!!

     I have a BCW with the Chevette engine and 4 speed trans. I love the car especially for it’s simularity to the original MGTD. However it is somewhat less than snappy but it replicates the TD in horsepower to weight ratio.

     Classic Roadster Duchess built their version using the Chevette front suspension and also the Chevette rearend. It was available with either the Chevette engine and trans OR with the Ford 2.3 and Ford trans . Both versions used the SAME REAREND regardless of the engine. One of our members [Ringo] has one with the Ford engine/trans  and he could tell you how this combo performs.His car is in the members photo gallery at the top of this page .

     The BCW chassis is one of the better kit car chassis in my opinion. Yours is the first one I have seen with the body removed. I’m sure you will enjoy the build however you decide to do it.



    Welcome aboard ALMOST!

    Looks like a great project. The BCW is a nice car.

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to and register (you need to copy and paste the link)


    Todays effort.  Ok so  I peeked at the SBC powered one.   I know the Buick is smaller and lighter.  So today I mocked it up with the Buick 215 and auto trans.  I will probably need block hugger headers  and the master cylinder will have to be dealt with. The radiator needs moved forward about 6 inches.  Think I have room for 14 x 22 radiator. Enough radiator for the 215 Buick?

       Downside of the Buick is cost.  Starter is $125-200. Headers (hard to find) $400, Manual trans bell housing $250-300. Some of the stuff is interchangable with Rover.  Rover stuff ain’t cheap!





     This shows the front of the water pump and steering rack relationship



    Almost,,,,215 Buick wow that could be quick , but if you use Rover parts you would have a true Half/Breed a British hart , an American skeleton all wrapped up in knock off Designer clothes Good luck . There plenty of Rovers in junk yards  OK now what is the year of the Champion  Dan


    Dan  The Stude is a 54 with a Fatman front clip, SBC, Muncie and Ford rear end. What would your discription of that be?



     Stiched up some adjustable temporary motor mounts to get the motor placement dialed in.   Moved the motor back about inch and a half from yestedays position.  Took just  a skoch off the fire wall for clearance. The transmission mount will be a bolt on square tube so the box can drop out the bottom or maybe come out with the motor from the front.

       Someone must have removed the supports for the firewall so made those up. They are the light colored vertical square tubing in the next picture. Rick, thank you for bringing their absense to my attention. Suggestions always welcome.  



    Ah! Rover motivation. That should work nice. I’ve decided I want to make one of these with an Olds Quad-4 rigged with Weber side drafts and bolted to a T-5. If I ever get it done I’ll take the front wings off & paint George Beavis Special in little cursive letters on the door.

    Probably never happen though.

    Got an up-close look at the foot well of a working BCW Chevette yesterday. It is crazy narrow in there–less room than an original TD (saw one of those two, not quite side-by-side). The BCW owner is like 5-9 and normal feet and he complained a little about the clutch-to-brake distance. Just a little, though. Mostly he was tear-assing around, revving the engine and whooping it up, his wife in the right seat.

    Hopefully he’ll be joining this forum soon.

    Please keep us abreast of your build. That’s hot sh*t right there.


      No photos today.  Inventoried fiberglass body parts with a body and paint man.  He had positive thoughts  on the work of British Coach Works.  Said the fiberglass was thick and even with no shinny spots (to much resin) or raw glass (to little resin). Overall the body parts were in good shape.

      Had to make work room and get a work bench to do  the body work on.  Some stress cracks and a few nicks to glass,  then sand to get ready for paint.


      Went on a road trip to see some other MG replicas to see construction details.  None were British Couch Works kits. Did see a Chevette powered manual  trans car.  My two feet covered all three pedal so I guess i would need to drive that one barefoot.

       Master cylinder on the firewall is next design problem.  It  interfers with the engine so need to relocate Under floor location is one. Not a personal favorite. Still considering……….




    Welcome aboard. This is a great site with lots of mutual support. I

    live in Sacramento and have a BCW Chevette based MG. The drive

    train is right out of a 1976 Chevette and the Haines manual is very

    helpful. Also the wiring appears to be lifted out of the Chevette.



    That pedal problem looks tough. Your foot box looks narrower than the one on the car (BCW Chevette) a guy named Greg brought to Carlisle. He was saying his was tight and it looked like it, but not like yours. 

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