What I don’t want to do is to take the J2 off the road for five years or more, completely restore it to better than new condition, and find that its history has vanished. Ideally, I’d like to drive it in summer and spend the winter addressing those issues that need attention. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work out that way! But in any case, I am rebuilding the car in phases with the aim to get it back on the road as soon as possible before moving on to the next phase. Also, I’m not trying to make every part look brand new - as long as it continues to function properly, it stays the way it is.

Now let’s go back to the main points of my page on restoration ethics:

  1. 1.Analyse the history of the car and its components

This is done on the History page.

  1. 2.Decide which period in the car’s history will be the focus of restoration work.

Two periods in the car’s history are of particular interest: the time when it allegedly entered the Monte Carlo rallye as a new car, and the time it spent with the Campbells in Scotland. I’ve been tempted to restore the car as I bought it, as a tribute to all the care Robin Campbell took in looking after it. However, this would mean restoring some improvised repairs which were executed in the forties and fifties with varying degrees of success. I’ve decided that this is not a practical option. Any part of the car that needs restoration or a replacement will be brought back to original spec, with the exception of the colour, which I haven’t decided on yet but which definitely not be the original green. Another exception is those components that will be upgraded to cope with modern traffic (see further below).

  1. 3.Decide which components need to be restored or repaired to perform their original function

A good way of finding out which parts need to be restored is by driving the car! After driving the J2 home from Scotland, and driving it to the Kimber trial and Silverstone, it became apparent that the body was beginning to fall apart. The scuttle was shaking so bad that it was hard to read the instruments, and the fuel tank was leaking from its ancient repair patches. The wheels and tyres were in desperate need of replacement. The chassis is in reasonable shape and can keep going for thousands of miles before a major rebuild becomes necessary. The J2 block will need some work to become truly serviceable, and a J2 gearbox is needed to match it, rather than using the PA gearbox with its poor gear ratios.

  1. 4.Decide what additional functionality the car needs

First of all, to make the car road legal in The Netherlands, direction indicators have been installed in duplo fittings inside the existing side lights. I’ve installed a set of 1950s D-lights on the back, containing brake lights, indicators and license plate lighting.

When making our way trough Milton Keynes with all of its congested roundabouts and traffic lights, it soon became apparent that an electric fan is quite useful. This has been installed soon after I bought the car.

Once I’ve completed the body restoration, I’m not going to re-install the existing Singer wind screen. It doesn’t quite fit and it wouldn’t do my new bodywork any good. Nor am I going to spend hundreds of pounds on a new windscreen - I’ve decided to just install a pair of Brooklands racing screens since I feel that greatly improves the looks of the car, especially with the windscreen not there to obscure the curved lines of the scuttle. It also helps to reduce weight and aerodynamic drag by quite a bit.

I’m planning to use the original J2 block that came with the car, but I don’t want to be worrying about breaking my crankshaft all the time. So, I’m going to install a new steel crankshaft and con rods, as well as some smaller improvements like a modern oil filter etc.

Although the 9” hydraulic brakes work fine, I’d like to convert the car back to mechanical  cable operated brakes. Not the original 8” drums though, but the optional 12” brakes that were used on other MG models at the time.

  1. 5.Minimise the destruction of history when upgrading the car

This website is a good place to record the history of the hardware on this car and the canges I’m making. Original parts which are replaced or mostly stored in the attic - although the size of my attic dictates that some junk which is rusted beyond recognition does get thrown out eventually.

Go to Site index

The Restoration Plan