Tuesday, May 4, 2021

A Little History

I got a bin of papers and parts and things with Alice. Tonight, I sat down and went through it. I learned some things.

The car was bought from the original owners in 1978, in Illinois. I found a matchbook from a ski hill in Michigan. It was driven for a while, since I found registration renewal strips up through 1985. I can’t say how much, though, as there’s no record of mileage along the way. It appears it then sat idle (or mostly so) from about 1986 to mid 2001, with the mileage that I saw on the Virginia title issued when the PO moved there.

At that time, a lot of money was spent to revive a then-15-year-idle car...

  • The engine was removed and overhauled.
  • The hydraulics and brakes were done.
  • The alternator and starter were replaced.
  • A new muffler was installed.
  • New tires were fitted.
  • The carburetor was rebuilt.
  • Some switchgear and lamps were replaced or rebuilt.
  • The fuel system was overhauled (including an electronic points pump, which explains why it worked after sitting for so long).
  • Things were painted.
All in all, a tidy sum in 2001 dollars.

Someone made patterns for the seats, possibly to make seat covers. The ones I found on the car didn’t appear to be custom made, but who can say? They were rotting apart when I got the car.

I then found registration slips and inspection stickers through 2006 and a renewal for 2007, which doesn’t appear to have been done. That means the car must have been driven some, but the mileage hasn’t changed—which also means either the car wasn’t driven or the speedo/odometer is broken. I can’t tell yet.

The car appears to have sat idle since, slowly degrading. In 2017 it was brought to AZ on a trailer. It doesn’t appear to have moved since, until I brought her home last month.

It’s an interesting story.

I also found some parts receipts from Moss, a 1984 Moss catalog and a 2003 Moss British Motoring magazine. I want to buy the 1969 E Type listed for $22,000. Think they’ll sell?

To top it off, I have an MG logo spare tire cover (carpet), the top cover (for when it’s down), and an 8 track radio that may or may not be the original. Who cares—it’s cool!

In the end, Alice isn’t as original as I thought. But that’s okay. It gives me more confidence that she’s mechanically sound and may be in better electrical shape then I expected. It doesn’t change the fact that a ton of work needs to be done (or now, redone) after so long. Let’s see what other discoveries I make along the way.

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