Andy first saw a T Car at the National Classic Car Concours d'Elegance at Ellerslie Race Course on St. Valentine's Day. (Hence the reason we call the car "Valentine") Although he had never considered building a car before, when his wife Anne fell "head over heels" in love with the T Cars on display, what was a man to do?
After taking a brochure and a "build handbook" home, and a couple of weeks to "get up the courage", the project began! HC Viva running gear was located, and the chassis arrived in April 1999. Working mainly at weekends, without access to workshop facilities, the engineering expertise of a number of friendly local experts was called upon.
While the T Car is not intended to be an absolutely accurate replica of an MG TF, Andy has endeavoured to "pay homage" to the original through badging, Morris Minor bumpers, wire wheels, and cream paintwork. The maroon upholstery and roof are a departure from the original tan colour scheme, but it works very well. The paintwork was done by the boys at Waikanae Panel and Paint, and the upholstery and interior by Jim Woonton, in Auckland.
A number of other "cosmetic" departures from the kit as supplied were made, including the cutting out of the rear taillights and "glassing in" of VW lights instead, the creation of a centre console, and, of course, as 1954 CD players are unobtainable, the installation of a modern CD player! Andy sums up the build as a nine-year "problem solving" project, as there was always something to figure out, but this certainly added to his enjoyment and kept him motivated.