Another "newbie"

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    Charles Niedzialkowski


    Hey everyone, my name is Chuck and I am the proud owner of a white

    MGTD replica. I can’t believe my luck, the beauty of my old Austin and

    German engineering underneath and no Lucas electrics ! It is VW based

    but I can’t identify which “Kit” it’s based on. I have looked at the photo

    gallery and there seems to be a couple unique features in this model. The

    doors have no exterior handle, they open from the inside; “reach-in”

    only. In addition the car gasses-up through the fake radiator cap on the

    grill. Anybody know where I could look to find out whether I have a

    Fiber-fab or what I may have.

    I did get a “rag-top” and tonneau cover with the car but neither will be

    much good in Western Washington’s rain this time of year. I could not get

    the top to work because it’s missing the rod that holds the front of the

    top in. Does anyone know if it is just a flat piece of iron (or aluminum)

    that slips into the slot and then into the groove in the windshield or does

    it wrap around down the sides? I do want to find some of the “wings” that

    go on the sides eventually.


    I suspect I will have lots of other questions as I move forward in this

    project.   Great to know you are out there helping each and enjoying these

    fun cars.   

    Steve Crites


    Welcome to the forum!

    I’m sure you’ll get some guidance and answers to help you along from the members with similar top attachment.  My top attaches by way of snaps on the top of the windshield frame.  This causes mucho problems with wind leakage at speed and I intend to change it over to the more correct bar in the front channel when I replace the top.

    Does your car have the side curtains?


    Larry Murphy


     Hi Chuck ,Welcome to the group. My cars use the flat metal strip in the top that only fits in the slot in the horizontal part of the windshield frame.A small fabric strip with a snap wraps arround the upright part of the frame in each corner where it attaches to the snap on the frame. Hope that makes sense.   Larry Murphy

    Paul Mossberg


    Larry’s description is the common approach to many manufacturer’s TD kits. I have seen none where the “flat bar” actually bends around the corners of the windshield frame slot.

    Classic Roadsters tops had small tabs the fit into the slot on the two sides. But they are separate pieces from the main bar. AAnd they were sewn  into the fabric of the roof.

    Most of the other manufacturers simply wrap the corners of the roof around the frame and use snaps on the inside portion of the frame.

    The gas through the radiator cap is the standard Classic Roadsters approach, since they provided a new gas tank, which sits on the floor. Many of the other manufacturers reuse the VW tank, so the “through the radiator cap” design is not feasible.

    Post a few pictures and we may be able to help identify the manufacturer.

    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)

    Pat Dwyer


    Welcome Chuck…  post some pics…



    Hi Chuck, welcome, I just got a Fiberfab.
    Do you live on Whidbey Island, I used to live there in 78-80 when my dad was stationed on the Navy base, he was a Marine though as was I.  That’s a beautiful Island I took a vacation there in 2001 from Pennsylvania. 

    Charles Niedzialkowski


    Thanks for all the replies. I will try to figure out how to attach some

    photos. Todd, I am indeed on beautiful Whidbey Island.    Have been here

    18 years and have still not seen everything. Dreaming of some nice

    drives around the island and out to the San Juans!

    I noticed some responses about switching over to disc brakes. I have to

    replace the master cylinder anyway and so this may be the time? From

    what I read, you have to do both axles and not just the front because of

    weight distribution.

    One of my first challenges is to replace the seats and find good 3-point

    seat belts for safety sake. The seats were barely fastened to the floor so

    the ride home was exciting. Anyone found any good substitute seats that

    bolt flat to the floor but still have a classic look ?

    Charles Niedzialkowski


    Hopefully here are some pics. These were the photos used to sell. I bought

    it on Craigs list. Traded my motorcycle and some cash !




    Paul Mossberg


    Hi Chuck,

    Beautiful car. Good luck!

    You have a Classic Roadsters Duchess. The give-away is the small bump in the rear fenders where they meet the running boards.

    You asked about the seats and seat belts.

    My very off the record suggestion…get over it. 🙂

    The best way to attach three point belts is in cars with a roll bar. If you have a roll bar, the shoulder belt would anchor to a mounting point on one of the cross bars.

    Without a roll bar, there really is no place to attach the shoulder belt. My lap belts anchor to the VW floor pan. Without a roll bar, the only place to attach the shouldr belts is to the fiberglass over the rear wheel wells. That is no tstron genough for shoulder belts. So…I’ve been on the street since 1983 without shoulder belts and have surviedd. I fugure I’m no worse off than I am when I am in my 1965 Plymouth Satellite convertible. I just accept the risk.

    Re your brakes. You are correct the best is to have discs front and rear. But if you cannot do that, it is a significant improvement to have front discs, with stock rear drums. Part of the conversion will include a proportioning vale to balance the front discs with the rear drums.


    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)

    Charles Niedzialkowski


    Paul, Thank you very much for the model ID. I have not seen this model

    featured much in the other photos. I am going to try to make the seats I

    have work but I suppose the 3 point belts is a “want” not a need.

    Thanks for the scoop on brakes. I have not driven it long enough to tell

    about the brakes yet. Just trying to look long run. I am going to research

    that model right now !




    Jennifer here from just north of you on Salt Spring Island.

    Have just acquired my first ’52 TD rep (from Lafayette, Georgia – bought on EBay).

    I am looking at putting shoulder belts in my car and as I plan to put in a roll bar am glad to hear that that is the best way to mount them.

    Looking forward to doing a trip down the Chuckanut when the weather is better!!!!




    Maybe you should stop in White Rock and we can take two TD’s down the Chuckanut.


    Charles Niedzialkowski


    Jennifer, Come spring, sounds like a great drive. Right now the Chuckanut is

    blocked with car size boulders since the big rain !   Chuck

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