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MG TD TF 1500 - Leather bonnet straps..

I want to make some. Has anyone made thier own and could tell me how. I will be running my car without the bonnet sides. Thanks
PJB Brouillette

Paul - Go to a tack shop in your area and they can make a strap for you or sell you the bits and pieces to make it. Be sure to use something to pad the bonnet panels from the strap. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

Do you have any Amish people in LA as we do in Pa?? If so, go to them.

15 years ago I wanted a strap for the bonnet and two for the luggage carrier on my TD. One hot summer's day, returning from a fishing trip, I noticed a sign pointing down a side road indicating an Amish tack shop. Upon showing the scruffily bearded youth what I wanted, he took my wife and I inside the barn workshop, despite his obvious misgivings about me when he heard my upper class English accent. (He kept giving me sly sidelong glances. He probably had never heard anyone talking like me before and he certainly would never have watched any British TV). The smell was marvellous.

He pulled down two large, thick, yellow hides from a high storage shelf and laid them out on a long wooden workbench. Using a rotary wheel cutter, somewhat like a pizza slicer, against a straight edge of the width I had asked for, he cut the relevant strips and ran them through a hand cranked edger. This was followed by cutting them to the correct lengths for each application by the use of a chisel and wooden mallet. He then sewed an oval piece of thinner leather for the bonnet's buckle protection pad to the seperate central joining piece. He selected solid brass buckles and joining hardware and pierced the necessary holes using a hand awl. All this under the watchful eye of a straw hatted, white bearded ancient who silently observed the whole process, which took about 11/2 hours.

By this time I was getting slightly nervous as to the final price, as I only had about $60 and my wife about $50. I was pretty certain they didn't take Visa or M/C.

When he labouriously and meticulously added the bill, using a stubby, saliva wetted pencil on the back of a bit of newspaper, he announced they had cost me NINETEEN DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS!!!! They are still on the car and each year I rub leather oil into them. They will probably outlast the car

Halcyon days!!
G.E. Love

I'll give you 30 if you go back and get me a set made, LOL. That is cool! What does it hook to?
PJB Brouillette

Here are 4 pictures of my TD which give you a good idea as to how the bonnet straps are attached.

G.E. Love

Number 2

G.E. Love

Number 3 demonstrates the thickness of the leather.

G.E. Love


G.E. Love

And here is the picture of the picnic basket straps.

The whole lot under @20. Not bad value eh?

G.E. Love

beware that bonnet straps look very cool also pick up road grit and scratch the 'ell out of your new paint job...I tried them on my TA and after I noticed this had them padded with sheep skin...same thing, maybe worse! Tandy Corp, mother of Radio Shack has all you need to make Amish in California that I know of .......
Terry in Oakland
Terry Sanders

A good thing is to make spring loaded anchors, thus keeping the straps taut without pulling like crazy; also helps to reduce flapping and abrasion. The anchors need to be square topped U bolts, with long threaded shanks - a bit more than the hole distance on the belts. Run them through the panel and a suitable back plate, put springs and self locking or castellated nuts on the back side.

FR Millmore

I would like to mention a recent trend I've noticed on the forum... that of 'any excuse to post a photo of a Super Charged engine in an absolutley beautiful T car'.... those guilty know who you are!!!!!

Now that Moss has run out of SC kits, each posting causes undue 'induction envy' on the part of we owners of 'carburated' engines and forces us all to all run to eBay and enter all sorts of search criteria such as 'Shorrock', 'Judson', 'Eaton' etc, thereby wasting hundreds of hours we could be spending polishing the aluminum on our good old SU's....

'picture #3 illustrates the thickness of the leather' indeed !!!!!


Oh dear, Gordon, my sins have found me out. Mea culpa in spades.

I have to say that, despite the perfectly correct warnings about abrasion of paint, I consider the price worth it. It's no longer a show car (what judge would peep under the strap looking for a bit of scuffed paint? It has taken a couple of firsts and a second or two earlier in its restored life). But it is now a lovely and exciting driver.

Ever since, as a 17 year old and my first car, (a 1932 supercharged Austin Ulster with a strap over its bonnet, no doors or windscreen, a pointed tail, a curly exhaust over the rear wing and a sound like a scalded cat) I have always lusted after supercharged cars with straps over their bonnets. I even considered fitting a strap over the hood ( hood, notice, it's an American car) of my blown Bonneville, but my better half objected. Hey ho.

So, when I installed a 4.3:1 ratio rear axle into the TD, in went the Shorrock pressure charger ( it's English, blower is such a common, slang word) and, (here I hold my breath awaiting a howl from the purists (especially when they see the two plastic labels bearing the legend "SUPERCHARGED" nestling coyly beneath the metal flag emblem on the bonnet's sides, (taken, I hasten to add from the Bonneville!))that I have just had the TD's bonnet modified with louvres. This, as the psychologists will quickly point out, is my Walter Mitty brain bit in full operation. But, it's fun, even at my age and the car looks and drives marvellously. And that, in my opinion is the name of the game.
G.E. Love

Wow, cool. Thanks for the pics and nice car!
PJB Brouillette

G.E. - Thanks for the great pictures. We live in central new jersey. For years my wife has suggested that we visit Amish country and now I know why I should go! by the way, I noticed in picture 2 that it looks a fire extinguisher is sitting just of the plate holder. Do you have it mounted there or are my eyes fooling me?
Mike Iandolo

You might want to check out Restoration Supply Co. at Check out their online PDF catalog on pages 44 and 45, all kinds of buckles, straps, strap springs, etc. for the assembly of hood hold down straps for brass era type automobiles.
H.L. Kelley

A small, stainless steel, U-shaped clip attached to the bonnets center chrome strip will prevent the strap from sliding fore and aft. This will minimize scratches and ensures that the belt is always in the same place, covering those that do occur.
Godspeed in Safety Fast
John Crawley

Hello, Mike.

Your eyes are not deceiving you. I saw one mounted like this some years ago and thought it was a much better idea there instead of between the driver's legs in front of the seat, on the floor.

If my car caught fire, I would not spend time groping between my legs but getting out as fast as possible.

Accept my sympathies with your location.

G.E. Love

Your neighbors must be far kinder than mine!
I can only imagine what kind of ration of s~~t I would get if I had a fire extinguisher mounted next to my fuel filler! (as it is they tease me about the one inside the car)
My one neighbor allready refers to mine as "your other garden tractor".
David Sheward

David, don't tell me you painted the car John Deere Green? Or did you paint the tractor BRG?

When I had a flat tyre on my JD I took the wheel to the local tyre shop and told the boy to balance the wheel as I liked to cut the grass as quickly as possible. He complained he couldn't get the wheel onto the balancer.

It appears he took me seriously.
G.E. Love

This thread was discussed between 12/01/2010 and 14/01/2010

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