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Special Bodies on MGA Cars - VT-106D1
Rebodied MGA Twin Cam YM1.1701 - by D.N. Stephenson

Supplied by Abingdon as a running chassis only.


The Autocar, 12 August, 1960

PUTTING ON THE STYLE
. . . WITHOUT ITALIAN INFLUENCE

 
 

Even without the name badge this could be recognized as an M.G., the Stephenson radiator grill combining tradition with current fashions. It is a car with real poise and character.
 

WHY do we so often leave it to the Italians? There must be plenty of enterprising and artistic young men in this country waiting to turn their hands to body styling -- and even a few who might make a success of it. That's how the special Twin Cam M.G. on these pages came about; on paper it was the work of D. N. Stephenson, who commissioned F.L.M. (Panelcraft) Ltd., of London, S.W.8, to transform his ideas into metal, paint and leather. To create a one-off body you need a lot of money, a skilled and sympathetic coatch builder and, of course, a chassis to mount it on.

 

This project is not intended to tell the M.G. people how Mr. Stephenson thinks they should design their next coupe. although he has shaped it in a modern idion which still suggests something of hte M.G. tradition for, shall we say, robust efficiency. It is, in effect, a mobile exposition of his talents, with which to attract anyone wishing to have a body designed.
Mr. Stephenson's ambition is to become a design consultant, with a small staff of panel-beaters able to interpret his schemes and translate them into three dimensions as quickly as they do in Italy. This M.G. is his first attempt; it has taken about 15 months, including about two months of preliminary study on the drawing board. Such work cannot be done cheaply, and when purchase tax is added the overall sum becomes considerable -- nearly L3,000, in fact, of which about a half represents the bare cost of the body.

 
Counterbalanced by elestic bands, the rear canopy lifts high enough to miss your head.

Below: The inrerior is airy and attractive. Seat cushions are adjustable for rake. The spare is carried vertically in a separate locker, between two 7-1/2 gallon fuel tanks, leaving a deep recess for luggage inside the car.

 

A few details: Body panels in aluminum are carried on a light, separate structure fabricated from mild steel sheet, which is bolted to the M.G. frame. Paint colours are olive drab (which is not really drab) with an ivory roof; just above each stainless steel rubbung strip is a wide horizontal band of black -- Mr Stephenson's purist friends want to know why, since it serves no function. He says he put it there because he likes it, which seems sufficient justification.
Bumpers and gutterings are also of stainless steel; inside the car seats, doors and facia are trimmed with olive green and stone gray hide. Carpeting in loop-pile hair cord, by Frank Strone and Co, of Kidderminister, is particularly striking in colour and quality, and Talbot Designs of Finchley, moulded the tinted Perspex rear windiw.
Knowing that no completed work ever fully satisfied its creator, I asked Mr. Stephenson where he would alter this one, were he to repeat the exercise. First he would reduce the front overhang by three or four inches; secondly the slightly uphill lines of the front wings would be extended right to the tail; thirdly, he thinks the top angle of the spare wheel locker should be horizontal, upswept at its extremities to blend into the raised wing tops. Even so, it looks pretty good as is. R. B.

 
Through view: On a column 4in. shorter than a standard is a steering wheel of black and red plastic laminations. Instruments are normal M.G. fittings but the control knobs are sensibly varied in shape.
 
Special bodied MGA by D. N. Stephenson

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