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"SPARE" stamp on bonnet

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OlyHealey David M
Olympia, WA, USA   USA
I've got a pretty early '53 BN1 with the designation "SPARE" stamped on the edge of the bonnet instead of a number. Anyone ever run into that? Spare part on the factory line perhaps? Or maybe original damaged before it was delivered?

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NOHOME P P
O, ON, Canada   CAN
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"
Perhaps not an answer but a thing I have heard over the 40 some years of playing with Brit cars.

When building these cars, there would be a number of a given panel at the install station. The assembler would offer up a panel and if it did not fit they would grab another. Repeat util they found one that was good enough. ( QC in the 50s was not what it is today).

At the end of the week, any panels that had failed to find a fit on the assembly line was marked "Spares" and set aside to be sold to the collision trade: those guys are used to beating and bashing to make anything fit so let them use the rejects".

True or not, its how I have always rationalized the fit of repair panels that never &%&#@$^&**(!!! fit.

Pete

Healey2 Avatar
Healey2 Silver Member Curtis Arndt
CA, USA   USA
David,

Bodies were built and numbered at Jensen and the trucked to BMC for assembly. The numbers were there so that the boot, bonnet splash apron and cockpit trim pieces could go back onto the same car after all the mechanicals were installed and the cars trimmed.

This did not always go as planned. I have a good friend who had a factory 100M, body no. 10995, however his boot lid was number 10996. Obviously a 5 looking like a 6 was installed on the wrong car upon reassembly.

I also have a friend who has BN2, body no. 10792. It's a very original numbers matching car, however his boot lid is stamped "SPARE 25". All other numbers are 10792.

Don't really know the history on this, whether it was done at the factory or maybe at the dealership if a panel was damaged.

Cheers,

Curt

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Healey2 Avatar
Healey2 Silver Member Curtis Arndt
CA, USA   USA
David,

Question for you... An early BN1 would have had an aluminum bonnet. Is yours stamped SPARE aluminum or steel?

Thanks,

Curt

OlyHealey David M
Olympia, WA, USA   USA
It's an aluminum bonnet with V-shaped support only (no side-to-side cross member). Based on layers of paint matching those on the rest of the car, I think it's original. The boot lid, on the other hand, is apparently a replacement following a rear-end bump. It is steel and not a great fit with the poorly repaired shroud. The whole car, which was originally Carmine, was repainted refrigerator white, apparently in a dust storm, in an open field, with a bunch of rattle cans.

Healey2 Avatar
Healey2 Silver Member Curtis Arndt
CA, USA   USA
David,

Very funny comments about the paint!

Also very interesting that your early BN1 appears to have a proper aluminum bonnet without the side to side cross brace, but it's marked "SPARE". Therefore, I might conclude that this bonnet was replaced/added at the factory back in 1953, and not a later, dealer supplied bonnet. However, since the aluminum bonnets were phased out for steel at body no. 3397 (c156120) May ’54 this still could have done at the dealership, but doubtful since the cross brace was added at around body no. 877 circa Dec. '53.

BTW, what is your body number?

Cheers,

Curt

OlyHealey David M
Olympia, WA, USA   USA
Hi Curt

Thanks for your comments. Here are photos of the number plates.

About 10 years ago I found a used aluminum boot lid to replace the steel one that came with my car. It has 3435 stamped on the prop rod bracket. Looks like it might have been a leftover from the aluminum to steel switchover at 3397.

Dave


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Healey2 Avatar
Healey2 Silver Member Curtis Arndt
CA, USA   USA
Dave,

Very cool, no. 531 an early car.

Your aluminum boot lid numbered 3435 is also a neat anomaly. It would be nice to know the history on why that happened.

BTW, your plastic chassis/engine tag is in great shape! With careful cleaning and a gentle polishing, it should restore very nicely.

-C

Triumphant66 Avatar
Triumphant66 Kent C
Richmond, VA, USA   USA
1956 Austin-Healey 100M "ParisieM"
1963 MG MGB
1964 MG MGB "Nanette"
1966 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8    & more
In case you may be interested, I have a spare alloy boot lid for sale.

All the best

Kent

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