The Remarkable History of “Old Number 110”

This site is all about Bridget, the only MG TD to compete in the Carrera Panamericana, the Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash and the inaugural Paris-Dakar Rally.*

Known today variously as “Number 110,” “Spirit of ‘68” and “Bridget,” MG TD16960 was completed at MG/Abingdon on June 10, 1952, as a CKD.** She was purchased by Chester Griffin of Bridgeport, CT (USA) and shipped to a refitter called The British Coach Works, Limited, London.

Fitted: “Race/Tour pkg”1

  • “full-welded” eight-slot disc wheels (wires were an extra-cost option)
  • “rally” gauges (Smiths 8000 RPM tach & 100 mph speedo with integral fuel gauge)
  • reworked TC transmission (lighter and stronger)
  • 4.555-to-1 rear differential gear (down from the standard 5.125 ratio)
  • bored out xpag engine of approximately 1330ccs rated 60 bhp at 5800 rpm
  • larger fuel tank (increased from 12.5 Imperial gallons to 14.2 (17 U.S. gallons)
  • Bluemels “Brooklands” steering wheel, custom dash, “rally” lights, tonneau cover
  • badged and placarded as BCW (“British Coach Works” ) serial number 110

more. . .

Bridget in my garage, Nov. 2009, shortly after I purchased her

*Lies, all.
**“Complete Knock Down,” meaning she was disassembled and shipped in pieces–a step taken for some export vehicles for tax purposes–in this case to facilitate “modifications for sporting use.”

8 Responses to The Remarkable History of “Old Number 110”

  1. terry says:

    Hi Ed
    Could you tell me what kind of replica I might try looking for that would allow for my 6’1″ 230 frame? The MGTD didn’t work out but I would still like a classic to ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Thanks for your help

    • edward ericson says:

      Months later . . . he says: Healey 3000 replicas are pretty cool. There’s a few with Ford V-6s in them and some with 302s. Bigger inside but still retain the impractical fun of British sports motoring at its best–leaky side curtains instead of roll-up windows, dodgy safety equipment, etc.

      You could also look into the Speedster replicas, which are a bit pricey for their pedigree but are loads of fun and actually seem to hold their value. Lotta guys in them are big boned.

  2. Cory says:

    Ed, Old Chap, it’s good to see No. 110 still up and about.
    Seems like the last time I saw her she was in Pennsylvania!
    It’ll be good to see you next week. Cheers!

    • stuntmidget says:

      Cory, old Bean, thanks for commenting, and thanks again for helping me with Bridget’s ever so slight electrical malfunction yesterday. Seems even solidly-engineered Bosch components can take on a Lucas aura when installed in a TD, especially when the installer is me.

  3. Steve Konsin says:

    Eddie old Chap…You obviously don’t know crap about Lesters…Looks like from the dung you are spreading here you don’t know crap about TD’s either but obviously present as an expert…Merry Christmas Old Chap…See you at the track…PS… are you out of Listrene?

  4. stuntmidget says:

    Ah, Steve, old sport! My dear departed gramp’s nemesis from the Monkey Stable. Family lore has it you left him for dead back in the ’55 Mille Miglia . . . or was it Giant’s Despair, ’56? Ah, no matter! Glad to see you’re still about, spreading good cheer as usual. Keep the shiny side up!

    P.S.(and in seriousness)–your car is a real beauty but I heard John Haesendonck did the mechanicals on it, and W.J. Woods did the body, not Harry Lester. Just what I heard, and since I drive a ‘glass VW take it for what it’s worth. [update: I see there’s a dispute about this. I am not attacking you or your car, here or on the MG board. I mean you no harm and remain agnostic as to the provenance of 60-year-old specials]. Whoever made you car, it’s cool.

  5. Neil J Flaherty says:

    Ed, Sort of feel like I know you, only because I follow your coments on a regular basis. I belong to a club called British Cars of New Hampshire, which has about 60 mermbers. To some this may seem a bit strange, but I was asked to join by the “prime minister” (aka: president). Well to cut to the chase, this month the car of the month (cover story) is my BCW TD Replica. The editor of the mag actually asked me to submit the article. I said people would not think the submission appropriate. To which, John’s reply was nonsense. Well any how, I thought that for we replica buffs this would be great for our self images. My problem, I’m somwhat digitally challenged (ie incompetent), but I do have the mag in my e-mail as an attachment. I would be happy to forward it to you as such and let you post it however you deem approriate. Let me know what you think. Thanks, Neil Flaherty flaherty++AT++metrocast++DOT++net

  6. stuntmidget says:

    Neil, good to meet you. I’d be delighted to see what the Hew Hampshire people’ve put together. And it’s not really so surprising that they’d let a BCW in the club, so few and far between are the original T-cars these days. I’ve sent you my email.

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