MG Restorers Register

Welcome to the Restorers Register of the MG Car Club of Victoria.





According to the dictionary "to Restore" means to bring back. The degree and method of restoration varies from car to car and from individual to individual. In some instances it may well be a "cheque book" restoration, where the owner pays to have all the work done by the appropriate professionals or alternatively, the owner may undertake to do all the work that is within his/her technical competence and only have the "too hard" work done by the experts. Then again, there is the restorer who not only has the patience of Job, an understanding partner also helps, but unlimited aspirations on a very limited budget. They may also have the space to work in whilst the restoration project is stripped down to the last nut and bolt and stored in carefully catalogued boxes, more often than not spread around the garage floor. Many hours are then spent in the Shed or Garage cleaning and replacing parts in order to rebuild the vehicle to a standard that far exceeds the original showroom condition.

This last approach requires great dedication to the purpose, for often times the part that is required to enable the project to move toward completion is either not available, and so must be manufactured, or it has to be imported from overseas. This adds greatly to the overall cost causing the original budget to blow out alarmingly.

The Restorers Group within the M.G. Car Club attempts to cater for a broad spectrum of enthusiasts by providing technical evenings on a wide range of services which it is hoped will be of assistance to every level of restorer by creating an awareness of the expertise and support that is available to assist them to complete what is a very personal and rewarding project.

Swap Meet held 1 March 2016

Report by Ian Nelson

The combined Swap Meet held by the T Register and the Restorer’s Group was a great success.  Sellers started arriving at 6.45 and were all set up by 8am, ready for the steady stream of eager buyers.
 Business was busy all morning, tapering off around midday.  The 35 sellers all seemed happy with sales, most buyers leaving with parts or accessories.

A wide range of parts were available for sale -  complete motors, gearboxes, diffs, panels, accessories, posters etc., all reasonably priced.  Australian Classic Wire Wheels also attended with their wide range of wheels and hubs, their 19” wheels being an excellent reproduction.  The B Register also had a stand, and Bob ‘The Builder’ Wilson was selling surplus items from the clubroom alterations, and he was able to take the opportunity to show off the work completed so far. There were also cars for sale.

Bob Coldwell’s unique BBQ trailer – created from the back section of an MGB – did a roaring trade with the sausage sizzle.  Thanks to Hilary for doing a great job cooking the sausages, and also to Aubrey in the kitchen for keeping up with the requests for coffee.

The good weather helped to make it a most enjoyable morning, which was further enhanced by a lot of socializing and catching up between members.  Quite a few members suggested we have the swap meet every year – contact a T Register or Restorer’s Group member to let them know your thoughts on this.

For the recent Restorer’s Group activity, we had a change from the usual 4th Thursday evening to a Saturday morning.
It was held at BOI Performance Dandenong on 25th October, where we were welcomed to the extensive workshop by Phil Buggee – Proprietor, and Bill Freame.
Phil started by giving his background in racing and rallying, and explained how a hobby became a business.
The subject of fuel was discussed, with Phil stating that there is quite a difference in the brands with the octane rating and quality and that he favours only two suppliers.

Carbys were discussed next.  Phil specializes in Webers and he explained how, in his opinion, they are superior to SUs, as choke and jet sizes are easier to match to engines and need less tuning once they are set.
He talked about the importance of a cold air supply to the carby, and showed us some of the cold air boxes and tubing he manufactures and sells both here and overseas.

We then split into two groups – one at the distributor machine with Phil and the other with Bill talking on the subject of pistons.
Phil demonstrated how a distributor can be modified by changing the springs, weights and stops to obtain the desired curve.  All this data was displayed on a computer screen.

Bill’s information on pistons was also interesting as he had worked at Repco in the seventies where he was involved in assisting dynomometer testing and development of various Repco brand engine parts, and he later had a business making pistons, mostly for race cars.
Bill had made a range of pistons which were on display, and he explained the differences and advantages of each one.
He no longer casts pistons but still modifies them, such as re-sizing and re-grooving. They also repair parts, including Weber chokes.

Alan Weatherby’s MGB with Weber carby had earlier been strapped down on the Dyno with all the necessary sensors connected.  It was then started and run, with the data recorded and plotted on a graph.  Phil said it was running lean and would eventually harm the engine.  He selected another set of jets which were installed in minutes, and the motor was re-run showing an increase of 16bhp and correct air fuel ratio.  With additional testing and the distributor re-graphed the performance would be further improved. Phil’s extensive experience with tuning was very impressive, showing how maximum horsepower can be obtained with the correct equipment and know-how.

The morning concluded with many questions and much discussion regarding tuning, carbys, fuel etc. and some members booked their cars in for tuning.

Thanks to Phil and Bill for a very informative morning, and also to Phil’s wife Deborah for the welcome refreshments.

Our next activity on Thursday 26 February will be a visit to ‘The Derby Works’, 11 Stewart Street, (cnr. St Albans Street),  Mt. Waverley, which is owned by long-time member Simon Elliott.
The company specializes in the restoration of Rolls Royce, Bentley and other prestige cars.  Meeting time will be 7.30pm for an 8.00pm start. For any enquiries ring Ian on 0411 180 242.


The last meeting of the Restorer’s Group was held at Vintage Wiring Harness in Ringwood North.  Our hosts, long time club members Paul and Sue Vermont, took over the business 9 years ago after leaving an I T. background.  They employ 3 staff, and the business has doubled in that time with both local and overseas orders.  One loom was recently sent to Greenland.

Paul has over 1000 specifications for looms, covering most vintage and classic cars from 1920 onwards, including GT Falcons, XUI Toranas, E Type Jags, Minis and so on.  Their range also includes looms for new and old military vehicles, motor bikes and recently a loom for a Daimler at the Australian Museum in Canberra.  Loom types include braided wire or PVC, with cotton over-braiding or taping.  Paul demonstrated assembling a loom for a twin can, using two specification sheets, one giving wire length, location and number, and the other sheet giving wire size, colour and terminal type.  Wires are laid out on a bench and then taped in position and checked before going to the braiding machine.  This machine is a work of art, with 12 bobbins rotating around each other, covering the loom.  With 12 cotton bobbins, any braiding colours can be matched.  Next was the terminal crimping machine – much easier than crimping hundreds of terminals by hand.

Paul praised Lucas for their colour coding, which has hardly changed from the pre-war cars and is the same for every other British make that used Lucas. Unlike other manufacturers, they never spliced cables in looms.  Paul also mentioned that wires should never be soldered as vibrations may break the cable behind the soldered joint, and it may also introduce a corrosion factor.  A detailed instruction sheet is supplied with every loom purchased, which makes for easier installation.

The night was concluded with a lavish supper and much discussion about the different looms, the complexity of so many types, and the amount of different cable and cotton which has to be stocked.

Our thanks to Paul and Sue hosting such an informative night, and also for their outstanding hospitality.
Ian Nelson, Restorers Committee


Last MGCC Restorers Visit

The Restorers Register Visits   Clive Cams

On Thursday August 29th, a keen group of 27 braved a blustery raining night to arrive at Clive Cams in Ferntree Gully. Clive Stenlake has been in the Camshaft business for over 47 years, and at his current premises for 7 years.
With his 2 highly trained machinists, Trent and Paul, they are able to carry out camshaft grinding on cars, trucks, and almost any other engine known to man. This sounds like a high recommendation, but with all those years of experience there isn’t much Clive hasn’t seen.
Clive and the boys have over the years developed a range of cam profiles that have been tried and tested in all applications, ranging from improved street performance to full race applications.
These modified profiles can change your engine Horsepower and Torque range to suit your application.

The camshaft grinding takes place on one of two grinding machines. These special machines are purpose built for grinding cams, and when you look at the size of them they look like they could grind a cam from the Queen Mary.
These grinders are some 30 years old, and made from real metal coming in at just over 3 ton. This weight ensures that no movement takes place during the grinding process.

Clive also offers a special Billet camshaft purpose made for “B” series MG engines. This delightful cam is made to high specification and close production tolerances from a manufacturer in Turkey reported to be in downtown Istanbul.
The cam incorporates special oil drilling to lubricate the oil pump/distributor drive gears. These gears can show signs of wear under heavy race applications, the oil feed prevents this wear. This special cam has been so successful it’s been nicknamed the “Turkish Delight”.

One of the overlooked combinations of any camshaft set up is the cam follower. Clive spent time explaining how critical it is to have the follower ground to the correct profile. If this profile is not the required 72” circumference, the follower will not rotate and premature lobe failure may occur.

As part of Clive Cams quality control process, after grinding the Camshaft is set in place on the Cam Doctor. This computerized test machine conducts a real time analysis of inlet and exhaust valve, opening and closing angles at crankshaft timing points, to ensure the grind is within specification.
The boys at Clive Cams are happy to talk to you on any of your Camshaft questions whether it be for street or race use, so take the opportunity to give them a call.
Located at Factory 4, 35-37 Clyde Street Ferntree Gully Vic  9758-5977

The CAM Doctor



Grinding the Turkish Delight


The Happy Restorers




Our next Meeting will be at Ray Skewes Automotive 22 Greenway Street Bulleen on Thursday 31st of October
Please be there from 7.30PM for an 8.00 PM start.      

Leon Howell Restorers Committee


Next Meeting

The Restorer’s Group will be visiting
Trev's Custom Panels
at 14 Follett Drive, Nyora.
on Sat 18-Mar-2017, starting from 10:30am.
Contact Neil Williams 0411-180-242
  Subsequent visits will be:
  • 27 Apr 2017 Link Automotive
  • 22 Jun 2017 TBA
  • 28 Sep 2017 TBA
  • 23 Nov 2017 TBA