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REPORT ON THE MG MAGNETTE FROM A.C. SERVICES 
(incorporating VINTAGE ADVENTURES)

The strength of a Magnette to draw Willy Cave back to Monte 50 years on

We were asked by Mike Cornwell to find and prepare a MG Magnette ZA for himself and Willy Cave to use to compete in the 2005 Winter Trial. 

Now the hard part - to find a car. Eventually we found one in Wolverhampton being advertised on "Ebay" in need of total restoration. Quite ironic really as the car was once owned locally in Minehead (Just some 24 miles away from us) The car was to a point exactly what we were looking for as it was a very early model Magnette ZA Reg No KUX 606 (chassis number 927). The car was practically complete insomuch as what wasn't fitted was in the boot, or on the back seats.. 

Our main problem was going to be finding original equipment for a 1955 Car. With the help of Lou Shorten the Magnette Specialist whose invaluable advise and knowledge helped us by supplying the standard parts we needed. 

For all the uprated and competition parts we used our 25 years of trading to source these ourselves (as we are in fact main agents/dealers for all the leading Motorsport manufacturers).

The floor pan & outer chassis were badly corroded so we had to fabricate and weld into place new panels. The interior including new door panels, door pulls (front & Rear) and arm rest were then sourced and fitted and once complete the vehicle was resprayed in its original black colour in 2 pack paint.

The suspension was re-bushed and heavy duty springs and Spax adjustable shock absorbers fitted. The brakes were replaced with Mintex high temperature brake linings together with all new replacement Exact braided hoses and a new brake master cylinder. With the axle stripped, rebuilt and the gearbox overhauled with new layshaft spindle, bearings and 2nd gear syncro and refitted attention turned to the engine. We wanted to keep the vehicle as original as possible so the engine was completely overhauled and fitted with new pistons, new crank bearings, lightened and balanced bottom end, a Kent fast road camshaft and the head was lightly ported after it had been fitted with new valves, guides and lead free seats. A Facet fuel pump installed with all new pipes and a pair of later inch and half SU's with pair of K & N Filters. it was down to the cosmetics. The front seats were replaced with period Corbeau Alpine rally seats and to add the little touches we had Mike & Willy's names embroidered into the head rests and LMA 3 point harnesses, map lights & extinguishers finished the job 

The car was finished off with a single chevron on the front wings to denote it was the lead car just as Willy's original had been when he competed as part of a team of 3 works Magnettes on the Monte Carlo in 1955.

The Driver, Mike Cornwell owner of Sports & Classic Solutions has competed in a lot of Historic Rally Events with some success and he has done quite a few with the help of Willy Cave to guide him.

To the rally fraternity (from the 1950's on) Willy Cave is renowned for his navigational skills and has sat with the very best rally drivers, and his enthusiasm for the sport is still the same to this day. He entered his 1st Monte in 1955 as part of a 3 car factory team driving a Magnette Registration number KJB908 . With everything on board including the kitchen sink and a 3rd crewman as mechanic the 1500cc engine then had a hard job on its hand but they finished the event 237th overall. 

The car was then used by Pat Moss who unfortunately lost the engine on the Tulip Rally that year. 

A problem we can relate to as after all the lavish attention to detail that went into the engine rebuild the car was rolling roaded to check for mixture and ignition settings I then drove it nearly 200 miles before Mike collected the car to drive it back home from Somerset to Woburn but the difference between driving the car on "A" & "B" roads to modern high speed Motorways that weren't invented 50 years ago proved too much for the new engine and it picked up on number 2 piston. All this happened 48 hours before the car had to be in Bedfordshire. A small problem we overcame but could well have done without.

If they can get to the finish in one piece all the effort would have been worth while.

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ere asked by Mike Cornwell to find and prepare a MG Magnette ZA for himself and Willy Cave to use to compete in the 2005 Winter Trial. 

Now the hard part - to find a car. Eventually we found one in Wolverhampton being advertised on "Ebay" in need of total restoration. Quite ironic really as the car was once owned locally in Minehead (Just some 24 miles away from us) The car was to a point exactly what we were looking for as it was a very early model Magnette ZA Reg No KUX 606 (chassis number 927). The car was practically complete insomuch as what wasn't fitted was in the boot, or on the back seats.. 

Our main problem was going to be finding original equipment for a 1955 Car. With the help of Lou Shorten the Magnette Specialist whose invaluable advise and knowledge helped us by supplying the standard parts we needed. 

For all the uprated and competition parts we used our 25 years of trading to source these ourselves (as we are in fact main agents/dealers for all the leading Motorsport manufacturers).

The floor pan & outer chassis were badly corroded so we had to fabricate and weld into place new panels. The interior including new door panels, door pulls (front & Rear) and arm rest were then sourced and fitted and once complete the vehicle was resprayed in its original black colour in 2 pack paint.

The suspension was re-bushed and heavy duty springs and Spax adjustable shock absorbers fitted. The brakes were replaced with Mintex high temperature brake linings together with all new replacement Exact braided hoses and a new brake master cylinder. With the axle stripped, rebuilt and the gearbox overhauled with new layshaft spindle, bearings and 2nd gear syncro and refitted attention turned to the engine. We wanted to keep the vehicle as original as possible so the engine was completely overhauled and fitted with new pistons, new crank bearings, lightened and balanced bottom end, a Kent fast road camshaft and the head was lightly ported after it had been fitted with new valves, guides and lead free seats. A Facet fuel pump installed with all new pipes and a pair of later inch and half SU's with pair of K & N Filters. it was down to the cosmetics. The front seats were replaced with period Corbeau Alpine rally seats and to add the little touches we had Mike & Willy's names embroidered into the head rests and LMA 3 point harnesses, map lights & extinguishers finished the job 

The car was finished off with a single chevron on the front wings to denote it was the lead car just as Willy's original had been when he competed as part of a team of 3 works Magnettes on the Monte Carlo in 1955.

The Driver, Mike Cornwell owner of Sports & Classic Solutions has competed in a lot of Historic Rally Events with some success and he has done quite a few with the help of Willy Cave to guide him.

To the rally fraternity (from the 1950's on) Willy Cave is renowned for his navigational skills and has sat with the very best rally drivers, and his enthusiasm for the sport is still the same to this day. He entered his 1st Monte in 1955 as part of a 3 car factory team driving a Magnette Registration number KJB908 . With everything on board including the kitchen sink and a 3rd crewman as mechanic the 1500cc engine then had a hard job on its hand but they finished the event 237th overall. 

The car was then used by Pat Moss who unfortunately lost the engine on the Tulip Rally that year. 

A problem we can relate to as after all the lavish attention to detail that went into the engine rebuild the car was rolling roaded to check for mixture and ignition settings I then drove it nearly 200 miles before Mike collected the car to drive it back home from Somerset to Woburn but the difference between driving the car on "A" & "B" roads to modern high speed Motorways that weren't invented 50 years ago proved too much for the new engine and it picked up on number 2 piston. All this happened 48 hours before the car had to be in Bedfordshire. A small problem we overcame but could well have done without.

If they can get to the finish in one piece all the effort would have been worth while.