September 5, 2011 at 2:22 pm #233670RickParticipant
WARNING!! You’re about to enter the Oprah zone where feelings and thoughts will be shared. But sometimes it’s just good to say things out loud.
I recently purchased my first MG TD Kit car. Something I’ve wanted since Jr. High. I knew I had purchased a project but didn’t really know how much of one until I removed the body from the frame.
I posted pics of my status in the “VW Based Kits” forum and got a few responses telling me to abandon ship and find a new donor frame. One that would handle better, go faster, and be more fun to drive.
While I’m still considering this advice, it made me think about why I bought the car in the first place.
To tell it quickly, I have 4 kids, all of whom have been involved with drugs and alcohol. The 2 oldest were so bad and unwilling to change that we made them move out while in their teens.
My oldest ended up homeless for 2 years and my second son would barely talk to me for 5 years.
All 4 have spent time in jail directly and/or indirectly for drug use.
It’s obvious I’m not the best parent on the block so after seeking help for several years things began to turn around.
Again, the short version, all my kids live within 5 miles of me and we love to be together. We have made amends and have become the best of friends.
One thing we’ve all wanted to do for the past several years was buy a kit car and fix it up. Time together, working and sweating side by side and leaning on one another to get problems solved and goals achieved. Things we should have done while they were growing up.
So when it was time to pull the body off the car I called the kids over. We had it off in 30 minutes. But a couple of them hung around for 3 or more hours just tinkering, talking, pointing, dreaming, and reminiscing.
After they left I went in the house with a giant grin on my face and a smile that wouldn’t quit in my heart.
That stupid rusty, money pit of a project gave me one of the best afternoons I’ve had in a long time. And I know it’s not the last.
So, maybe I should take the advice given and get a new donor car with all the “best of” for kit cars. But if I don’t and I only end up with a slow, “buzz around town” mediocre restoration that me and the kids worked on together, that’ll be ok.
I’ll keep asking for advice and will seriously consider feedback from the knowledgeable, experienced folks on this forum. But I’ll try to not loose sight of my original goal along the way.
It’s much more satisfying.
Thanks for letting me share. Now back to real men things.September 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm #246337MikeParticipant
Great story Rockyx. I am with you and your reasoning. I wish I would have had a project like that with my Dad, but it never happend. Not complaining mind you, he wasnt a project guy and as a kid I was to busy doing my own thing. However you choose to go here, rebuild your chassis or find a new donor Im sure there will be hours of memories made . God bless you and your family.September 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm #246338edward ericsonParticipant
Smart man. Thanks for sharing that.
Maybe we should put up a “why we fight” thread so everyone knows everyone’s motivations. I myself am an accidental convert.September 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm #246339Larry MurphyParticipant
Thanks for sharing that story.It’s good for familys to stick together and do things together. I’m glad you and your sons had the time together and if it took an old rusty VW chassis to make it happen ,that’s OK too.
I may have spoke too quickly with my advice on gettin a better donor. Since you have the manpower and facilities to repair this one ,plus it’s already in the shop, you would have the joy of knowing that you saved it from the scrapyard as well as the time with your sons.
Along with Mike ,may I say God bless you and your family. You have made it thru some hard times, you can certainly deal with any thing that a project like this may put in your path.September 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm #246340Dale SchumacherParticipant
Thanks for sharing as well. Sorry if it felt like we were dumping on your
I know well the feeling you had w/ your project – my oldest son and I rebuilt
my TD from about the same shape as the one you have and it will be his
when I move on or leave this life. We worked on and off for 5 years till one
day Josh said – Dad let’s just finish the car! Within the next 8 months it was
done. My youngest is now helping me restore a speedie replica – it will be
our father/son project. So… more power to you – have fun and get it done
and on the road. If you want advise just ask and we will jump in or let us
know when to shut up – no big deal
DaleSeptember 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm #246341newkitmanParticipant
My donor car will require tons of work. Don’t get discouraged. A lot of
the fun is defeating the challenges. Now that the body is off, is there
much work needed on the body?
VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
"If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The ShackSeptember 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm #246342Montie HendersonParticipant
Thanks for shareing your story. I lost my dad a few years ago and always wanted a project to do with him.
I wish I had one of my old VW’s back to donate to your car. Back in the 70’s I had over 20 at one time, all by the way side now. Built sand rails, Baha’s some just swapped motors and resold. For now all I can offer is some good and maybe bad advice when needed now and then.
MontieSeptember 5, 2011 at 9:39 pm #246343RickParticipant
Thanks for all your kind words and personal stories. I know we all have them.
Please rest assured I was in no way offended or discouraged by anyone’s feedback on the condition of my chassis. I had 4 kids remember…pretty thick skin.
Allen, the body is in near perfect condition. All we are going to do is sand it down and change the two tone colors to red and black. Again something one of my sons does for a living…works with and paints fiberglass.
He also does wood working and is making a new dash. He also sculpts and wants to make a one of a kind hood ornament. Creating the design alone will give the family some great times over burgers and beers and napkin drawings. I’m sure there will be an argument or two as well
I will continue to document my progress with the car AND the kids and I hope everyone feels free to chime in on both.September 5, 2011 at 10:57 pm #246344newkitmanParticipant
Red and black are good colors. There are a few that way in the photo gallery. Mine is all MG red. White interior and white top. Once I find the engine the the chassis work begins. I’ve pedals ad shifter to move. Oh me!
VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
"If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The ShackSeptember 6, 2011 at 10:44 am #246345Paul MossbergKeymaster
Thanks for sharing your story!
You have all the right reasons to restore that pan and the car. My only advice on the pan, which I’m sure you don’t need to hear is to not comprpomise safety.
That said, every VW pan based Porsche Speedster replica that is on the road has had its center tunnel cut in half and welded back together.
So the repair you mentioned regarding the front end is quite doable. You can cut the tunnel to remove the front end mount and weld in the new piece. Actually happend in the 1970’s to a friend. He was approaching a traffic light and the front end of his Beetle collapsed. The front beam was fine. The attachment where the beam bolts to the pan rusted through. The repair involved cutting the center tunnel and welding a new front end support to the pan.
Go for it!
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)
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.