MG VA Tourer CHO 17 (Chloe)
Chassis # VA 0614
Engine # TPBG 858
Date of original registration: 16th July 1937
Started life in and around Brockenhurst in the New Forest.
The 1962 issued logbook lists the colour as “Cream” and shows 4 owners between 1964 and 1978, the last being Robert Charles Alford Hughes of Taunton, Somerset. He had rescued the car from a scrapyard and stripped the car but did not complete the project. Mervyn Cox bought the car in 1987 and rebuilt the chassis and wood frame and re-fitted the panels. 5 years were spent on the car by this, now retired, owner.
The car was sold to its present owner in 1999. He had previously restored a MG WA and used the knowledge gained, along with SVW Spares considerable experience, to correct any shortcomings with the previous restoration.
Peter Ratcliffe’s team set about straightening all the wavy edges of the wings, they removed several pounds of body filler and repaired inner and outer wings where sandblasting showed a metal lace like structure after severe rusting.
The body was truly re-restored again, and painted in the traditional black gloss of the police force’s standard MG VAs.
To meet the upgraded spec of the police MG VA’s the engine was over bored to take MGA pistons, and rebuilt by a firm in Doncaster.
Braking was improved by creating a twin leading shoe Lockheed system and suspension was damped by a modern Telescopic shock absorber in place of the Armstrong lever arm type.
The car was intended to be used for continental historic road rally’s and has, therefore, a central console to house additional instruments.
That she was never used was because the owner had another MG, the DHC of the WA range, and this car took over all his rally ambitions. Nevertheless Chloe attended a Dutch rally and a won first prize at the Wirral car show. It has also been used on several tours around the UK.
Wheels have been rebuilt and offer a safe touring car, capable of bursts of 70 mph and general cruising at 50-60mph. A full set of 5 Blockley tyres are fitted.
In 2008 the cylinder head was removed due to head gasket failure and, even though the fault was cured, a replacement cylinder head was constructed with new valve guides and seats and the common crack between #2 & #3 water jacket was stitched. This was fitted around 2011.
In 2012 the engine ran a big end bearing and the engine & gearbox were removed and stripped down. Several faults were found with the build and the crankshaft was beyond repair. A new replacement crankshaft and set of connecting rods were sourced and JBL Bearings did the machine work to match it all up.
The distributor has been replaced with a fully electronic device. There is a battery isolator, fuel cut off, and the pull starter has been replaced with a push-button.
The gearbox and wet clutch were found to have no problems and so were re-assembled and refitted along with the engine.
The engine is still being run in but starts readily, idles smoothly and pulls strongly. Good oil pressure and normal operating temperature are recorded.
The jacking system has been disconnected for safety reasons, the owner didn't want the jack collapsing through leaking seals.
All suspension, wheel bearings and brakes are in excellent condition. The body is undersealed.
The leather upholstery has a good patina and the carpets are relatively wear free. All floorboards etc are in excellent condition.
The hood is quite new and in perfect condition, the side-screens are only very slightly frayed at the bottom and the fit of all this weather equipment can only be described as excellent. The hood cover for when the roof is lowered is also excellent. The tonneau cover is a little older and has some slight tears around one or two clips.
There are receipts covering the time spent with its current custodian as well as a photocopied driver’s handbook and original 1960s logbook.