TC3423 at the Greylake MG Driver's Club Concours at Exeter in 1968

MG TC Chassis Number 3423 was built at Abingdon on 28th August 1947. On 18th September 1947 it was allocated the registration number JYA992 by Somerset County Council, when it was registered by a Mr S J Dyer of Weston-Super-Mare. No further information about the car is known until February 1963 when it was registered at Downham Market in Norfolk, England. Later that year it returned to Somerset, where it was purchased by a nurse who lived at Doniford near Watchet.

TC3423 when purchased originally in 1966

The current owner purchased TC3423 in September 1966, financed by selling ice-cream to the tourists in Torbay! The body work required attention as the original MG red paint had become badly faded, and there were signs of rust, so it was re-sprayed, in the original red. In 1967 and 1968 many thousands of miles were travelled, as the MG was used as daily transport. It looked great, and came second in the Greylake MG Driver's Club Exeter Branch concours in 1967 and third in 1968.

In October 1968 I had a career move from Devon to Bristol, so I needed a car more suitable for averaging about 500 miles per week. I purchased a 1961 MGA (which I still own) so TC3423 sadly had to go. I heard in 1972 that it had been exported to America. One's first car is special, and I had often wondered what happened to mine. I tried to locate the TC many times, but unsuccessfully, then during October 2006 I tried again, and contacted the New England T Register. Their records showed that it had been registered with them in 1974, but not since, however in less than 24 hours they had located the car in South Carolina, with the widow of the man who had owned it since 1974! Thanks to her daughter they agreed to sell TC3423 back to me, and I made the arrangements to have it transported from the garage in the USA to England. At the end of March 2007 we were reunited at the container port of Felixstowe, and returned on a trailer to a new garage in Silverton, Devon.

Back home again in Devon, looking good with fresh cream paintwork.

On inspection I found that the engine was seized, and parts missing, but as the American rebuild had been over thirty years, while the owner had moved from Green Bay, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan, then to Spokane,Washington State, then to Florida, and finally to South Carolina, this was not surprising. The authorities agreed for the use of the same registration number, the rebuild was completed, and in May 2008 I drove JYA 992 again for the first time since September 1968!

June 1st 2008, at a Classic Car event at Killerton near Exeter.

Graham Parnell