License plate 3193 TW is a 1960 MGA Roadster that belongs to our restoration chief, Pete Samuels, a car he has owned, raced and restored (twice) since 1979.
To tell story of this car, one has to go back to 1972, the year Pete passed his drivers license test.
Upon hearing about Pete’s success first time out, his friend gave him the keys to his Air Force blue MGA so he could drive them down to the pub to celebrate.
That fateful drive would begin Pete’s love affair with MG cars, and in particular, the MGA.
Seven years later, that very car came up for sale and Pete scraped together the £700 to buy it. The car, which had originally started out in Alamo Beige(???), was sprayed Old English White in 1980 and spec’d out to racing specifications, roll bar and all!!! During the week it was his daily driver and on weekends, the windshield and bumpers came off, headlights taped up and off to the track he headed!!!!
During the early 80’s, Pete could be found almost every weekend racing in MG Car Club Championship or thoroughbred Sports Car champ races around Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Mallory Park, Snetterton, Lydden Hill, Castle Combe, Oulton Park or wherever the racing weekend happened to be at the time.
He raced it with the stock 1600 engine that by Pete’s own admission he had taken out, rebuilt and put back in probably a dozen times, always trying to eek out that extra bit of elusive horsepower.
The MGA had started to get a little ragged after years of track use and he had to make the decision to either restore it to a full-time race or road car. He was just finishing a very expensive, and time consuming restoration (well over 1000 hours) of his 1935 P -Type, and made the decision for financial reasons to turn it into a road car!
The first restoration of the car started in 1982 on nights and weekends in-between his mechanic job when time, and money, would allow.
The 3 year restoration was finished in 85, now in a beautiful Chariot red. Over the course of the next 30 years, the car was driven, and driven hard…this was no trailer queen!!!
It was a regular visitor to Le Mans in the 80’s and 90’s and has been driven on vacation to just about every European country you can think of.
In 2001, Pete reached the pinnacle of his building career when through contacts at Pinewood Studios near his Ickenham garage, he was contracted to build from scratch the Nemo car used in The League of Extroadinary Gentlemen movie.
He would spend 11 months in Prague on set with his beloved A and would take off every chance he got to see Europe in it.
The car was also used in a series of MGA milestones that in a very small way help the way MGA’s are driven today as Pete fabricated the first MGA drum to disc conversion kit using his car as the measuring and testing platform.
He also put together the first original factory oil cooler kit (for the UK market), with his car again being used to test and refine the product.
Also, when his friends at Hi-Gear engineering were fabricating the first 5 speed conversion kit for the A, it was Pete’s car that had the first working unit installed and tested (a road trip from London to Spain with daily phone updates back to Hi-Gear which back in those days was a bit difficult at Pete remembers:)
Over the course of the next 15 years however, a combination of English weather and his highly successful MG restoration business meant he didn’t have time to drive the car and it fell into a state of disrepair.
It wasn’t until Pete moved to Brittany that he found the time to start a second, and as Pete says, a final restoration!!! As the photos below show, the car needed a serious amount of work.
A complete frame off restoration was completed in 2017, with the original Hi-Gear 5 speed still performing perfectly, but now mated to a B spec 1800 5 main bored out to 1950 cc for a bit more pulling on drives up to the Brittany coast!!!
In addition to his roadster, he is finishing a restoration on a coupe, has 2 more B’s in different states of repair and in 2020 he is slated to begin the second (and final) restoration of his P-Type that is currently sitting in the back corner of the garage.
Pete’s love of the MG not only includes the A, but also just about every other classic to come from this beloved British marque. Between running various restoration and mechanic shops over the years, he has worked on and restored A’s, B’s, C’s, TA’s, TC’s, TD’s, TF’s, J2’s and P-Types.
Conservative estimates put the total amount of restorations at well over 150, with about 70 of them just MG’s.
Pete still has many years to make memories with his beloved MGA and has refused the numerous attempts people have made to purchase it over the years, he simply has too many memories tied into it and will drive it till the day he dies.
We tell the story of 3193TW for the main fact that if you purchase one of our cars, we seriously hope that you will have a similar story to tell 20, 30 or even 40 years down the road like Pete has. A story filled with travels, and fun, beaches, mountain roads in foreign countries, car shows, family memories and so much more!!!