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After the Covid affected 2020, it was about February 2021 before I managed to muster the enthusiasm and the time to return to the car. A new WoF/MoT was sorted, the annual registration paid, so back on the road again, legally. As before - and for the last few years(!), attention returned to the fibreglass bonnet and boot (hood and trunk for the American followers). 


A return to trying to sort out the bonnet wasn't exactly something that inspired enthusiasm, it was more of a chore as progress had been so slow. I wasn't too happy with the locating of the removable panels, but after lot of thought, I hit on a method of holding the centre edges more securely and also tidy that central spine. Unlike those with metalworking expertise, I have to rely on fibreglass, wood and in this case, plastic, to achieve what I wanted. The solution was to use plastic strip, normally used in a household environment for locating the edge of cladding panels.

I then acquired a strip and cut two pieces to length, then cut down the width one down so that when butted together, they formed a new central spine, when glued and riveted to a strip of thin ply. Then it was a case of working out the fitment method so that the spine could be removed, without also removing the radiator grille and surround.  Access for maintenance or even engine removal is an important consideration.       

Work also continued on trying to match the panels to the fibreglass front panel, getting a decent close fit not just with the panel gap but also the contours. Fiddly work and still not complete, but the system works OK as far as the bonnet staying in place when on the move. What complicated this was slanting the radiator grille and surround, back just a few millimetres, but this obviously changed the contours of the join!

A captive ferrule was incorporated into the top of the ply/plastic mix at the front and the centre panel can then be bolted from the underside - the photograph merely shows the location. Two bolts were also countersunk, on either side into a small panel that is part of the under-structure to form additional location.  These were skimmed over with fibreglass so from the top, the location attachments are invisible.

After some time messing about with the bonnet, my attention moved to the boot lid.


The original boot lid had been used to provide the basis for a thin skin of fibreglass, which was then reinforced, but neither the lower edge nor the right side had a lip of any sort, making the lid flimsy and I also needed to finish the bottom and sort out the locking and the number plate recess.

Once again, household plastic strip was used to form the base of the lid and this should also act as a drip rail. Edging strip was also affixed to the number plate opening, but the recessed plate design wasn't exactly working as I expected, An ex Riley Elf boot lock and exterior handle also needed properly locating. A previous attempt hadn't worked too well, but a flash of inspiration was that if I left the number-plate off, I had access to the boot interior to check out the locking mechanism and the location. MG Magnette V8

I mounted a couple of spacer blocks and glassed them in, with bolts from the outside, but somehow or other, I was a bit careless with the fibreglass resin, as when it came time to remove the bolts from the outside, they were stuck fast! it didn't matter what I tried, I couldn't shift them, so I had no alternative but to grind off the head and then skim over them, meaning nuts on the inside rather than bolts!MG Magnette V8

No big deal I suppose, but not the original plan. Before refitting the boot lid to the car to set the lock, I had to sort out the number plate recess. The aluminium framework ideally should be welded, but I no longer had access to a friendly welder as By'Gone Autos just down the road, who had started the project, closed (owner retired) and my other fabricator, has moved three hours north, so a quick rivet job had to do.

I also had to put a lip on the right hand edge edge of the boot panel so I took a 2 layer, 5cm/2" mould off the original metal lid after a coat of 'Mold Release' wax was applied and just one layer wrapped around to form the lip.  This was reinforced later to give the lip some strength and thickness. Slow work but steady progress. This also made the lid so much stronger. Unfortunately, as this was done off the car, the bottom right corner doesn't sit as flush as it should, so more remedial surgery required!


On a positive note, I was able to get the locking mechanism to work properly.MG ZA V8

Onto the base, a strip of LED white lights had been attached, to illuminate the plate which is mounted above.  Above that, a strip of perspex. 

Whilst this was all going on, I was also diverted to the boot/trunk interior where I had built a tool box with proper location for the trolley jack, wheel brace, small tools, a set of screwdrivers - even a kitchen roll and a fuel transfer syphon hose.

Typically, this was indeed a diversion as getting the panels done is far more important, but I have to be in the mood and fibreglass work needs to be done outdoors, otherwise the stench of fibreglass permeates the whole house as the garage is under the main living area.  Working out the location of the various items in the tool box appeals to my sense of organising.

These pics date back to 2013 in the early stages of sorting out the boot/trunk.

Magnette V8 boot    Magnette tool box






Life got in the way with Covid and other issues, so progress has been minimal for far too long.  Work on the boot and bonnet has been slow and there isn't really much to show. February 2023 seems to be quite a jump and the car is now on the restoration register for a few months.

Interior of the boot with the number plate holder and ex Riley Elf boot lock.  Front of the V8 without the radiator panel surround.  Shows the location of the electric fan

     MG Magnette V8  MG Magnette V8







MG V8Very little real progress - or even road use recently. The front and rear bumpers were made from fibreglass but I needed to modify them for a better fit. The rear bumper had to be modified to cover the towbar and I later opted to extend it forwards to make a better fit. The idea is to eventually get front and rear chrome wrapped, but before that happens, they have to be as perfect as I can get them, otherwise any imperfections will be obvious.

MG V8 - rearThe work can be slow and laborious for an amateur, but ultimately rewarding.

The front bumper I always thought looked odd, at the ends, so I have extended it towards the wheel arch and also lowered it compared to the original.  Quite subtle but one of many minor changes that few would notice.

As everything takes so long, not to mention interruptions by travelling, working on the house and the other cars, it may never be finished. I'll never be bored but I'm not one who spends day and night on the car - or any one project.

MG Magnette V8MG Magnette front bumper


  MG Magnette