Restoring a Tickford frame on a MG VA
By Peter van den Heuvel
It all started back in 1998 with the aquisition of a restored VA chassis and engine and the remains of a Tickford body.
Once all the rubble was sorted out the remaining parts of the old Tickford frame were attached to the chassis brackets. As most of the wooden bits were in a very bad condition Peter decided to make a brand new frame from ash using the old frame members as a pattern.
As also new rear wheel arch timbers had to be made and as no steam bending experience was available it was decided to make templates on which arches could be made by glueing thin layers of wood together.
So a start was made at the back frame to find out the correct radius for the templates from a board of plywood to create new wheelarch timbers.
The finished mould around which the thin layers of wood could be bend and glued.
The laminating in proces
On the left hand side of the body the old wood has now been replaced by newly made timbers copied from the old wood. Also the new back seat timbers connecting the two wheel arches are now in place, creating some rigidty.
New wheel arch still attached to the mould is being tried for size using the old timbers on the rh side of the body
Here the old woodframe at the back is now replaced by new timbers exactly copied from the old timbers.
A view on the inside looking against the rear of the backseat back. Before building up the frame it is very important to establish the exact centre of the body/chassis and to do all measurements from there.
Left hand wheelarch in place
Left hand rear corner finished with wheel arch attached to chassis bracket
Left hand rear corner viewed from underneath
Both wheelarches now in place. Seat back frame plays a major role in the body stiffness connecting both sides and to the frame. A new metal wheelarch is being tried for size.
Biggest challenge was the copying of the A posts. They do not have any flat surface anywhere. (see below)
Trial fit of left hand door after connecting the front frame with the back frame.
Start of the metal cladding with the B post and the sill
With the metal wheelarches in place the covering of the rest of the body can begin.
A lot of attention went into the aligning of the backpart of the body, the doors, scuttle and bonnet.
A proud Peter with the woodframing and metal work finished
After taking the now solid and rigid body of the chassis it was painted seperately.
Part of the hoodframe mechanism on the lh side
Same on the rh side
Woodwork around the backseat
Recreating the storage space with a hinged top in the back seat middle
Adding a side to it
Peter Ratcliffe recreated a new Tickford hood and did all the trimming
The finished product
If you have any specific questions about VA Tickford bodies you may as well drop an Email to Peter van den Heuvel
Follow the progress on Elmar Gailitis's Tickford (click)
Go and have a look @ the Tickford Owners Club website
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