Some MG racers

Unless I am mistaken the largest number of comments on any post at The Chicane have come re. the material on the Singer Owners Club hillclimb at Agoura in 1955. I recently dug out my negatives taken at that event and found one the local camera shop had not printed back then as it was blurry–shows my Dad being flagged off on his winning run. Hanging over the not so well deployed snow fence I must have moved my Kodak Brownie which took six shots on a roll of film.

Those who asked about the exact location of the event may be able to align the profile of the hills in the background with the terrain today.

At a recent GoF west (Gathering of the Faithful–pre1955 MG car club meeting) we had a guest speaker who had just rebuilt the engine from Bob Menefee’s much raced TC special of the 50s. He claimed some 125 horses from an unblown XPAG, In period, 85 was the best that could be done, including the factory engines supplied to Ken Miles for R1 and R2 (two engines, not the same one as claimed in Art Evans’ book on Miles). The Menefee car is not going to be vintage raced according to the restorer. It was quite similar to many other T MG specials of the same time, which dominated the ranks of F modified before the Porsche Spyder, with a lightened original chassis, home made alloy body and the original radiator shell preserved. Harold Erb’sTC Spl, seen here, was the longest lived of these, and when a really big blower was put on in 1957, it beat a few Mondial Ferraris.

You will note how similar is the body work to our Magnette special, built at the same time, which I still race. Here it is at The Quail concours two years ago.

John Timanus’ TC Spl was also a look-alike for these two cars. At the 1955 Pebble Beach, ten of the 18 cars in F mod were MG specials, and another was MG powered (Hanford’s Lotus VI, still around) while one was a stock bodied TF. A year later there were only two, along with 10 Porsche 550s! Where are all those MG specials now?

—Mike Jacobsen

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