|The MGA With An Attitude |
PROTOTYPE Twin Cam - TC-108-499b
Twin Cam Prototype - YDL/14/499 -- PJB 147
The following comments are from Bob West, 27 July 2006: Pre production rev counter above. - Standard production rev counter below.
Well pleased to let you know that I am convinced that you have one of the prototype Twin Cams We have had a good look around the car and have noted the following things. No chassis number stamped into the chassis on the usual R/H crossmember. After inspecting the L/H crossmember,we noted the number 38098 this being the production number for the chassis build. After speaking with my pal John Barret in Norway, we estimate the chassis was manufactured around January 1958, starting life as a 1500 chassis.
It's been modified to Twin Cam spec. You can clearly see that the front brake hose brackets from the 1500 have been removed and new twin cam style brackets welded next to the old remains. Also you can see that the rack mountings, engine mount, fuel pump bracket etc have all been altered to Twin Cam spec.
On the top of the chassis where the heater shelf mounts, all the captive nuts are to the twin cam design, and are a factory fit. The front crossmember as been drilled to give access to the sump, as per the later cars, however the holes are not the same as the production T/C chassis, and these more than likely have been privately drilled at a later date.
Front Shroud. You can see again that the factory have converted an earlier 1500 shell. If you look carefully at the attached photos you can see that they have had the large D pressing, the round indent for the distributor, and the kidney bowl shape all added by very carefully welding in new metal. The bulkhead heater shelf area is a Twin Cam design with all the holes in the correct places for the brake cylinder brackets etc. It's also never had a body number fitted.
The inspection panel holes for the louvered panels have again been added privately at a much later date. Also radiator mounts and the duct panel have been modified. I will have to look at my notes on the shroud mods. I cant remember the date when the factory modified the wheel arches on the production 1500s. All the later 1500 shells have the modified inner wheel arches to allow for Twin Cam engines. I thought from memory this happened in late 1957. Very early 1500s, 1955-56 just have one round indent on one wheel arch, sometime I think in 1957, this round indent was modified to look like a kidney bowl. And then you see the other smaller round indent appear. On push rods this is behind the radiator bracket, this indent was for the Twin Cam distributor. And then finally on the opposite wheel arch you get the large D shape pressing. this allows clearance for the Twin Cams Vokes air filter boxes. So the mods to the shell may have been done a good while before the chassis work.
And finally for tonight, did you also notice the pre production Rev Counter fitted to the dash panel with non standard markings! Nice.