Ok, I'll broach the touchy subject!

Home Forums MGTD Kit Cars Manufacturer Comparison Ok, I'll broach the touchy subject!

This topic contains 27 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  jeffthornton 4 years, 2 months ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 28 total)
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  • #234829

    jeffthornton
    Participant

    @jeffthornton

    For someone wanting to purchase their first replica TD and had choice of several made by several of the manufactures. Who put out the better product? As far as fit, replication accuracy, simpler assembly, etc. I know this is only a small part of it because most of the burden lies with the builder but I like some of the advantages of each noted by PMOSSBERG but who put out the better product as a kit?   😕

    #257196

    billnparts
    Participant

    @billnparts

    That’s like asking which is better…”Blonde or Brunette” ?

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

    #257197

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Well, owning an early FiberFab, I’d suggest that other kits such as BCW use heavier fiberglass… 

    I can’t speak to ease of assembly for any of them, though… since mine was already assembled.

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #257198

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Like Bill, I don’t like the word “better” in this application.  Kent is right that BCW used a heavier layup than Fiberfab.  And Fiberfab used more than Daytona MiGi.  

    But….

    Is more always better?  I suggest not.  As a young tyke, I was taught by my Grandfather that the heavier one (regardless of what it was) was better.  And, I sometimes struggle to ignore that advice. But, more is not always better.  Consider toe-nailing a 2×4.  Putting in too many nails, significantly weakens the joint.  Since our TDrs are fiberglass bodied, it might help to look at early fiberglass boats.  Early fiberglass boats that were available to the public (Circa 1950) were all much heavier than new ones of comparable size that are made today.  The lightening over the years is due to:  improved materials, more confidence that a lighter build is sufficiently strong, and construction cost savings. A heavier boat (and a heavier automobile) is less efficient in that the engine is pushing more weight around.  
    A lighter auto feels more sprightly and sporty.  A heavier one, more of a Cadillac ride.  
    All that said, I can not help but admire the thickness of fiberglass on a BCW.  Intuitively, which is sometimes wrong, it is “better”.  
    My 2 cents.
    #257199

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Wow…there are so many different ways to answer this.

    But I think THE most important aspect, by far… is the manufacturers
    themselves. Were they reputable? How was their post sale support? And how about before
    the sale, what were their sales people like?

    This discussion leads to other things….Were kits complete? How about the
    assembly manual, how good was it? At the end of the day, would a person reasonably good with their hands be able to complete the kit and get a car on the road? That is WITHOUT becoming a homicidal maniac.

    I only have personal experience with a couple firms “pre-sale” (CMC and Classic Roadsters Ltd.) and only one “post-sale” (Classic Roadsters Ltd.). But I’ve been around the hobby for ears and have heard LOTS of stories.

    CMC were (and in their many later iterations) the lowest of the low. Their focus was on sales sales sales. Believe it or not, I got interested in this because of all the Gazelles that were displayed on airports all over the country. But their salespeople were a–holes! I think only timeshare sales are higher pressure! Finally, it came to the point were I hung up on a guy, and immediately called my Classic Roadsters Ltd. rep and ordered my Duchess kit.

    I never looked back.

    I have nothing but good things to say about Classic Roadsters Ltd. The kit was complete down to the last rivet and bolt. The only thing the builder had to add to the kit, was a half sheet of plywood (for the trunk floor) and stereo system. There was no such thing as this internet stuff back in 1982. But I would call the shop when I got into trouble in my garage (OK, my dad’s garage) and I ALWAYS found someone in the shop to help.

    Go look at the build manual. It is incredible. Detailed. Real pictures of real guys building real cars. I simply followed it step by step until one day, there she was…ready to go.

    Gary Rutherford (the owner) was a stand up guy. Sadly in the mid 1980s he decided to sell to refocus on his boat business, which preceded Classic Roadsters Ltd. And to whom did he sell? The dreaded CMC. Somewhere I wrote up a history of Classic Roadsters Ltd.  I’ll look for the thread. But in a nutshell, CMC sucked all the cash out of the company that they could and killed the products. Gary bought the company back in the early 1990s and came to Carlisle to meet with all his existing owners.

    FiberFab, BEFORE they got bought out by CMC, was a good company. From what I have heard, I would have bought from them. Looking at the build manuals on-line here, I think their manuals are a bit sketchy. All line drawings. But enough detail to get the job done.

    As far as the kits themselves….

    The Duchess is within fractions of an inch or so of the original TD dimensions. And uses all reproduction trim parts, bumpers, grill, door hardware etc.

    I think the grill is a primary issue here. It is such a distinctive feature of the TD. And I think any kit that uses the original grill stands head and shoulders above those that have a shortened grill. No offense to those that have cars with the shortened grill. But Jeff did warn this could be a touchy subject.

    I agree with the comments on the fiberglass. The glass needs to be thick in some spots, thinner in others. For example, I have seen lots of kits where the fenders are simply too thick and really look fake. Sorry, but I can’t be specific about who did what. But I know my Classic Roadsters Ltd.
    handled this well.

    Having seen more cars in recent years, I would give kudos to the BCW for the final car. Very true to the original. But I know very little about how the company operated or how easy their kits were to build.

    So there’s my two cents.

    Paul Mossberg
    1982 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #257200

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    And with all that said, Bill is right.

    Although I would say… Blonde? Brunette? Redhead?

    This is gonna be like people debating football vs baseball.
    I think the real “American favorite sports” is actually arguing about which sport is favorite. 😉

    Paul Mossberg
    1982 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #257201

    jeffthornton
    Participant

    @jeffthornton

    It’s not just about hair, but also where we prefer the curves! I know “opinions are like………………..Harleys!!!!!!!………..everyones got one”. And I value everyones opinion before I jump into something blindly:-)

    #257202

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Curves. I like curves.

    Jeff, as you search for your car now, it is likely you will be finding partially built cars or even fully running cars that just need some rework.

    Complete, unbuilt kits, still in their boxes will be pretty rare.

    The positive aspect to that is you will be able to see pretty clearly what is there, what’s missing, what the build quality is.

    And since most of the companies are gone, I guess manufacturer support is not an issue. 😉
    But then, that’s what you have US for! 🙂

    Paul Mossberg
    1982 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #257203

    jeffthornton
    Participant

    @jeffthornton

    That is my delima!

    For example, in the classifieds there is an unbuilt Duchess and 95% Fiber Fab. Same price. Kit, I can do it my way, but how do I know what is the right way? Most all of you have done modifications or tweaks or changed after the build.

    I also have a drivable Duchess that needs the finish brought back and replace top, same price.

    What to do? maybe one fiber fab and one duchess?

    #257204

    jeffthornton
    Participant

    @jeffthornton

    To clarify I have a lead on another Duchess, not that I have one now.

    Although my wife feels we need a his and hers. We have a 4 yr old and the car will only fit 2. I am not about to argue that thinking:-)

    Although I am thinking 1966 corvette ragtop for me!

    #257205

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    If you can afford a ’66 Vette, do it.  A father is one who keeps photos where his money used to be. We’ll talk to you on the TD site when she gets a bit older.  Good luck there.  

    #257206

    billnparts
    Participant

    @billnparts

    For example, in the classifieds there is an unbuilt Duchess and 95% Fiber Fab. Same price. Kit, I can do it my way, but how do I know what is the right way? Most all of you have done modifications or tweaks or changed after the build.

    The modifications and tweaks are to personalize and/or custom fit the vehicle in ways that please us, the owners. You will never find any two the same, regardless of manufacturer. It’s been 24 years now and I’m still making modifications. Carry on.

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

    #257207

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    My BCW has about an 1/8 to 3/16 inch fiberglass thickness throughout. It’s fairly sturdy & nicely detailed–fold down windshield, for example, and the fake TD “hood latches” down low without visible latches high on the hood. It’s about 3-inches longer than a TD, but it lacks the engine room that most other kits have.

    Top kits to me appear to be the Allison Daytona, BCW and Classic Roadsters Duchess. But if I were looking for one today I would pay a lot more attention to the condition of the individual car(s) I was looking at than the brand name. 
    In your case, if the Fiberfab were well-assembled it might be the better choice. Then again, asking prices on these cars tend to be pretty flexible. With an unbuilt TD kit chances are good you’ll be the only call the seller gets in six months.
    #257208

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Can’t argue with that, Ed!
    Good viewpoint!

    Paul Mossberg
    1982 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #257209

    jeffthornton
    Participant

    @jeffthornton

    you know, I have never seen a Fiber Fab in real life and I don’t feel like driving eight and a half hours to be disappointed. So I was looking through the registry and noticed that “Sailor” is listed as living in a town about a half hour away from me. But I noticed that he has not been active on this site for quite some time. I called information and got a number, so I called and left a message and by the end of the night I had been invited to “come’on out!” and check it out!!! And I found out that we also share a passion of sailing.

    Every day I am amazed at TD Replica owners!!

    Jeff

    #257210

    billnparts
    Participant

    @billnparts

    Pretty scary bunch, huh?;)

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

    #257211

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Another abduction . . .

    #257212

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Yeah, we’ll never hear from Jeff again. LOL

    Paul Mossberg
    1982 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #257213

    jeffthornton
    Participant

    @jeffthornton

    Well, I spent two hours out a Sailor’s tonight checking out his Fiber Fab with 2.3 Pinto donor. I admit it TD’s are not for me!! Tonight was the first time that I ever sat in one. Remember, I am looking for this car for my wife and daughter.

    1) How much more leg room does VW verses Ford offer? Yeah, I couldn’t push the clutch in. I am 6’2″ and not thin but not fat. And with the top up I had some real issues.

    #257214

    jeffthornton
    Participant

    @jeffthornton

    By the way. Sailor has a NICE Fiber Fab and it is for sale. But when I told him how much some of the ones are list for on this site and what some on Funnybug sold for I think he was near shock. We were discussing it again in front of his wife, I think she thought I was lying. She questioned if I was serious that there were TD’s listed for $3k and kits for $3k because she knew that 25 years ago the kits were selling for $5,600 she never dreamed that you could by a kit or a drivable car for $3,000.

    Also, I really liked the looks of the Fiber Fab Ford TD looks from the rear!! Really looks tough (short and squaty) with that wider look.

    #257215

    jeffthornton
    Participant

    @jeffthornton

    Has anyone ever put an automatic in their TD?

    #257216

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    yes. Front engine it’s common because of the small footwell. VW-based there are autosticks.

    There was a real TD for sale in PA a while back that had been converted to automatic with a more modern engine (Chevette, perhaps?). It was nicely done but was not attracting a lot of praise on the MG boards.
    #257217

    ray10
    Participant

    @ray10

    jeff, I have the chevy with the automatic in mine, you loose a little bit of power having the automatic verses the stick .

     Personaly the ford is much easeir to get parts for.

    TDREPLICA Map

    http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=7f9174ad614e43b680deba085b0abf48

    #257218

    billnparts
    Participant

    @billnparts

    I’m 6’2″‘ and with seat modifications I have plenty of room.

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

    #257219

    montie
    Participant

    @montie

    Mine is a Ford with auto too with a few seat mods and I’m over 6′ too.

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