1982 Classic Roadster MGTD Parts

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    Mike Deren


    Hi all.

    Recently, my wife and I picked up a Classic Roadsters Duchess (VW based). We’ve wanted one for over 25 years and finally had the opportunity to get one. Trying to find out it anyone still makes parts for it. Looking for a bracket that holds the driver side glass in particular right now. Looks like a great ride, just want to take care of some minor issues. Also some questions:
    1. How can I tell what year the chassis is? I was able to find out the motor is a 1972 1300cc VW with manual tranny.
    2. Are there any issues with them that I should watch for?
    3. Can I change the vacuum windshield wipers to electric. Do they make aftermarket kits?
    I’m sure I’ll have more questions in the future. Any help would be appreciated.
    john barry


    Congrats Mike!



    MikeD,  Welcome to the forum.  I’m sure that you’ll enjoy your “new” TD.  They’re a ton of fun.  Can

    not help you with the bracket.  Try MG Magic they try to stock parts.  Your chassis #, hopefully,  is stamped under the seat on the tunnel.  You can use that to determine the year of the vehicle.  I do doubt that your engine is a 1972 1300cc.  Look at the generator/alternator bracket.  There should be a number stamped on its base.  That # will tell you the year and most probable cc’s of the engine.  (To know for sure you would have to take the heads off.) 

    Dan Rosa


    Mike ,enjoy your new toy Tongue   Dan

    Larry Murphy


    Mike, I know you will have lots of fun with your new toy.

    Most TD replicas use the complete wiper assembly from the VW donar car. Oreilly Auto can order the wiper arms and blades.

    If by ”driver’s side glass” you are referring to the wind wing,I think Classic Roadster used a slightly different bracket than most other kits . You may end up replacing both sides to get them to match .MG Magic is a source for the brackets used by Fiber/Fab and CMC kits and they will probably fit your windshield frame .
    Marc Lipsius


    If you need a new wind wing, you can remove the passenger’s side and have a shop cut you out a new one to match. Still have the bracket on the window frame. 

    Paul Mossberg


    Welcome aboard Mike.

    No such thing as a 1972 1300cc. If your engine is a stock ’72, it will be a 1600

    The chassis number is stamped into the center tunnel near the access panel for shift tube connector (under your seat).

    Classic Roadsters used a unique wing bracket so that you can fold the wings against the windshield and more easily fit a car cover. If the brackets are in good shape, I’d just cut a new wing out of acrylic.

    When you have your engine and chassis numbers, you can look them up here:



    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 https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    Mike Deren


    Thanks to all for your replies!

    My engine number is AB399145. According to a site called vw-resource.com/year, it lists the motor as a 1972 (Aug 71 to 31 July 72) 44bhp(DIN)1300 motor. The other sites don’t even list an engine number with an AB prefix. I’m really puzzled. I looked for several days, on and off, to try an find what the motor is. I was actually surprised when I found it. Maybe, I’ve read the wrong number??? Now I’m bummed. Any other way to determine the engine year? I really don’t want to take off the heads.

    In the meantime, I’m hoping to find out what the chassis number is. My Duchess is a 1982 also. Can I access the chassis number from the top or only from underneath? The previous owner told me it was a Super Beetle chassis, but there are no struts. I’m assuming it’s a regular Bug chassis.

    I hope to put it on the TD Registry once I can figure the numbers out.

    Thanks again all. Hope you’re having a great Memorial Day weekend!
    Paul Mossberg



    Apologies. We were not very clear. The chassis number (which was also the VIN of the donor Beetle) is on the TOP of the tunnel, under your seat, right next to the oval access panel used to provide access to the linkage at the front of the transmission.

    Picture is facing the rear of the car. Stock battery location is to your left in the picture. The oval panel is the access point to the trans-axle front.

    The 1972, 1300 cc engine really surprises me.

    It could have been a Super Beetle. But MacPherson strut front end would have been removed and replaced with a beam front end.

    PMOSSBERG2012-05-28 14:36:57

    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 https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    Paul Mossberg


    Not sure why the links above are not working.

    I just verified both url’s directly and they are correct.

    Here’s another VW engine code decoder:


    I don’t see your engine number on the list.

    And at the risk of repeating myself, I did look at the page you posted,


    …and am still surprised at the 1300 cc engines!

    I found this comment on Yahoo’s “ask” site, but cannot verify the accuracy: “The stock engine size for a ’72 can vary depending on the country it was
    intended to be sold in. in the USA all imported bugs had a 1600cc
    engine. In Europe and Australia they still had the option of 1200, 1300
    and 1600.”

    PMOSSBERG2012-05-28 14:30:14

    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 https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    edward ericson


    Never noticed that before– AB code 1972

    AB 1971/73 1300cc – dual port

    Dual port. Cool! I wonder if it’s a dual relief case with a doghouse shroud too. If so it should be absolutely bulletproof.

    Paul Mossberg


    Confusing part is that only one web site I can find shows that engine series.
    Perhaps there is some truth to the post I found about non-USA engine options.

    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 https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    Mike Deren


    Hi all.

    Paul – Thanks for the info on the chassis number. Looks like my chassis is one built in May of 1973, a regular Bug, not a super beetle, the previous owner thought. I also found the chassis and engine number on thesamba.com It also states the engine as one built after Aug 1971, which must be the 1972 model year.


    Edsnova – How can I tell if my engine is a dual port?


    Another thing the previous owner said was to use premium fuel only. Should I?


    I guess I can add it to the TD Registry now!

    Thanks again  to all. Talk to you soon.

    edward ericson


    1. Dual port: Look at the carbeurator. Thing on top. It sits on what looks like a pipe running horizontal across the engine bay. Yes? Follow that pipe with your eye as it curves down, right and left side, toward the edges of the engine. Does it split? Does it become TWO pipes before it (they) disappear into the engine? (Not counting the little skinny pipe they call a heat riser. Just looking at the fat pipe). If it splits: dual port (like this). If not: single port (like the one near the bottom right of this page).

    2. Premium gas: shouldn’t need it but won’t hurt. Do you know what pinging sounds like? If so, you can dial back your octane while you listen going up hills. If not, 91 octane is probably cheap insurance.

    edsnova2012-05-28 17:18:49



    Avatar / Picture

    VW Guru
    Registered: 02/17/04
    Posts: 1,605

         02/07/05 #4

    Here’s some info I found at a German Web site http://www.vw-1303.com/.

    Year: 1974 
    Drilling mm: 77 
    Stroke mm: 69 
    Capacity ccm: 1285  
    Compression: 7.5 
    Achievement KW/PS: 32/44 with U/min: 4100
    Torque Nm: 88 with U/min: 3000
    Octane number of RON: 91 
    Engine weight kg: 120
    Consumption l: 8.8 
    0-100 km/h s: 25.5 
    Level of fuel in the tank l: 42
    Quantity of oil l: 2.5 
    Vehicle max speed km/h: 125 
    Trunk l v: 210 
    Trunk l h: 106 
    Wheel base mm: 2420 
    Track width mm v: 1375 
    Track width mm h: 1349 
    Length mm: 4110
    Width mm: 1585
    Height of mm: 1500
    Unloaded weight kg: 890

    So it looks like your engine is a 1285cc which would be called a 1300cc. From what I can translate it looks as though the “L” designation tell which engine is in the car.

    1303A=1192cc or 1200cc
    1303L=1285CC or 1300cc
    1303S/1303LS=1584cc or 1600cc

    Hope that this helps,

    Wayne Dean




    VW Brainiac
    Registered: 10/19/04
    Posts: 183

         02/07/05 #5

    Originally Posted by NYer_in_MI

    Well, as far as the year discrepancy, that was quite common for Volkswagens.  My own 1302 is listed on the title as a 1973 model year Volkswagen.  The car had probably been sold as new in ’73 but had been manufactured the previous model year.  According to my VIN, the car is definitely a 1302, not a 1303 (introduced in 1973).  How Volkswagen got away with this practice, I don’t know, but it used to happen (may still, for all that I know).  Part of the issue is the fact that VW’s new production models come out in the middle of the automotive year and have since, I believe, the very “beginning” in 1949….

    VW used calendar years through 1954. In 1955 the model year was cut off at July 31, making it the shortest production year. Many manufacturers start their model year well before the end of the calendar year, including those who don’t have to ship their product by sea to their largest market, so it shouldn’t be that big a deal. Starting with the 1965 model year the third digit of the VIN corresponds to the last digit of the model year, so there’s really no explanation besides incompetence for a car to get mistitled, but it still happened from time to time.

    Originally Posted by Wayne

    Here’s some info I found at a German Web site http://www.vw-1303.com/.
    Year: 1974 

    Engine AB 0,000,001 – AB 0,141,591 44bhp(DIN)1300  1971
    Engine AB 0,350,001 – AB 0,699,001 44bhp(DIN)1300  1972
    Engine AB 0,699,002 – AB 0,990,000                         1973
    Engine AR 000,001 – AR 121,271 44bhp(DIN)1300        1974
    Engine AR 121,272 – AR 150,000 44bhp(DIN)1300        1975
    These are all 1285cc dualport engines which look very similar to a carbureted “1600” (1585cc) DP, sold in some markets where taxes are based on displacement and/or gasoline is exhorbitantly priced (the 1192cc “1200” engine was also offered through the end of production). I have dismantled core engines shipped over from Germany which had small domes in their pistons as well as some with flat-tops…can’t recall which ones had which pistons.
    They use a smaller carburetor (31PICT-3) which resembles a 34PICT-3 but has the smaller “singleport” flange pattern. The intake manifold is also unique, having a smaller cross-section as well as the smaller flange, and the ID of the aluminum end castings was also slightly smaller to match. 113 129 729B intake air seals do not fit them, I wish I knew where to get some that would.

    All told, Euro-market Supers came in 1302, 1302S, 1302L, 1302LS, 1303, 1303S, 1303L, and 1303LS variants. “S” denoted disc brakes and a 1600cc engine, and “L” was the luxury package (mirror on the sunvisor, door pocket, padded dash). The numbers refer to the body style (1300 was a 1965 or newer Standard Beetle) not the engine displacement. 1301 was skipped over because Simca already had a car with that model number.



    Welcome aboard Mike. I see you’re from Burlington. My wife is from Beloit, not too far from there. Great roads for driving TDs. Curious…with a european VW chassis, does your replica have RH drive?newkitman2012-05-28 18:27:13

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

    edward ericson


    Knowing the 1300 CC Type 1 engine tips the scales at 264 lbs is very comforting. This Dutch airplane builder tells us the Subaru EJ22 weighs 280 lbs dry.

    I’m not hurrying to do this swap, mind ya.

    But I am starting to keep a lookout for an early ’90s Legacy with under 100k on the clock. Wrecked transmission a definite plus…;)



    Greetings and Welcome to this great site, with very knowledgeable members. I too have a “Classic Roadsters Duchess”, (Herbie which I built in 1985) You will not find a bracket for your “Wind Wing” as I have already contacted MG Magic. Your best option, is to use one of your other brackets, and have a duplicate made at a machine shop. If you do that, please let me know, because I could use 4 of them myself. Maybe other members also need some new ones, if so the re manufacture price could be considerable less then just one.


    Enjoy your new ride!


    Dave Roy

    Lakeland, Florida

    Lakeland, Florida, where we drive Topless every day

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