BRITISH COACH WORKS, 1600 CC VW ENGINE, VERY NICE REPLICA, CLEAN THROUGHOUT!
After a few years in the hobby, you quickly learn to spot VW-based replicas, especially those fake Mercedes 500K roadsters and goofy Bugatti Type 35s. Almost all of them have odd proportions and abysmal build quality, but when this 1952 MG TD rolled in, well, it inspired more than a few double-takes simply because it nails the original in just about every important way. That's really impressive.
It probably helps that the MG and Beetle were about the same size and shared a similar wheelbase, but the guys at British Coach Works got the proportions exactly right. From the long hood and sweeping fenders to the abbreviated tail with rear-mounted spare, there's no visual clue that the People's Car lives underneath. Fit and finish are also impressive in a way that very few kit cars ever are, with a hood that fits flush, doors that open and close easily, and no waviness to the fiberglass (yes, it's plastic, not metal, but you were fooled, weren't you?). Obviously someone with a lot of time and resources invested in making it look this good, and now you can reap the benefits because there's surely more than the asking price now wrapped up in this one. The chrome grille looks right, the headlights are almost exactly like the units used on the originals, and not even the taillights give it away (a common foible on most kits). Add details like the faux filler cap, front fender-mounted mirrors, and shiny running board trim and the illusion is very, very convincing.
The interior works the same magic, using MG-style seating with a pair of individual lower cushions and a single backrest for both, perhaps the TD's most distinctive feature. Tan vinyl does a pretty good impersonation of the original leather and is far more durable, and it extends to the doors with neat little map pockets that are surprisingly handy. The double-hump instrument panel is shaped right and uses an engine-turned insert to hold secondary gauges and controls, and it's especially charming to see that the fuel gauge is labeled "PETROL" and the ammeter says "DYNAMO" to further reinforce the illusion. The steering wheel doesn't look right until it has a pair of string-backed driving gloves grasping its wooden rim and the shifter has a matching wooden knob. Overhead, there's an MG-style folding top that stashes below a matching boot in back.
The illusion ends pretty quickly when you tip the side-opening hood up and find not a spunky little four-cylinder engine, but rather the gas tank. It's neatly fitted and offers good access, and you'll have to prepare yourself for questions every time you fill it up. Open the "trunk" however, and everyone will understand, as there's a sturdy, reliable 1600 cc VW flat-four living there. Nicely detailed with lots of chrome and some neat upgrades, it fits so well that there has to be some impressive engineering going on. In fact, the whole pan is VW Beetle, which ensures a well-engineered driving experience and until you fire it up, nobody will really realize what you've got. Parts are insanely easy to find and inexpensive, and handling is actually improved by the low-slung bodywork, so it feels quite nimble on the road, just like an original. VW steel wheels look enough like MG steel wheels that the hubcaps provide perfect camouflage and the 165SR15 radials are tall enough to complete the illusion.
Affordable and fun, this car combines the best of two worlds: gorgeous MG bodywork and bulletproof VW mechanicals. Finally a kit car that fully delivers on its promises. Call today!
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- AM/FM Radio
- Manual Convertible Top
- Vinyl Interior
- Front Brakes
- Rear Brakes
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