1985 Naylor TF 1700
Only 11,700 miles from new; three owners; steel body; new clutch and timing belt; one of only 100 made; fool 99% of the people 99% of the time!
If you are into your T-Series MGs, you will certainly be familiar with the firm Naylor Brothers. The Yorkshire-based concern is one of the principal restorers and suppliers of spare parts for the full range of these models.
In the early 1980s, Alastair Naylor decided to launch an updated version of the MG TF under his own name. Using an in-house chassis design fitted with Austin Rover Group running gear, the car had an all-steel body on an ash frame in the traditional manner. Styled almost exactly like the original MG TF, the car was powered by a 77bhp 1.7-litre O-Series Austin engine which pushed it along to a more than adequate top speed of 94mph.
The complications of producing hand-built cars should never be underestimated, and the costs associated with out-sourcing components on limited production runs makes it extremely hard for the sums to add up. Selling at just £40 less than the much more powerful Morgan +8, it was all a bit of an uphill struggle and Naylor stopped production after just 100 had left the factory. The rights were sold to a company who marketed their own version called the 'Hutson', adding a further 61 to the total produced.
Not to be confused with a home-built kit car, these Naylors carried full type-approval and were registered in their own right as a Naylor – an important distinction which was probably not fully appreciated at the time. They were covered under a warranty provided by Austin Rover and their development saw a close relationship emerge between Naylor Brothers, Austin Rover Group and the British Motor Industry Heritage Centre which was later to lead to the MG RV8 programme.
At a glance, it would be hard to tell that this Naylor TF wasn't an MG manufactured three decades earlier. First registered in October 1985, it has had just three owners to date, the current owner acquiring it via Brightwells in 2015 to join a collection of classic cars. He fitted a new clutch and a new timing belt but apart from the odd short run to keep everything free, it has been kept in storage ever since, the odometer showing only 11,680 miles which is the total distance covered from new, as warranted by 21 old MOTs on file. The service book shows three stamps from 1991, 2005 and 2006, the cam belt being renewed at 8,000 miles in 2005.
As you can see in the photos, it remains in very good order throughout with gleaming red paintwork, a polished walnut dash and nicely mellowed stone leather upholstery. The only real cosmetic defects that we noted being some slight peeling of the chrome on the corner of the front bumper and some cracking to the surface coating on the seats. It has a stainless steel exhaust and a full set of weather gear (hood; hood cover; sidescreens; tonneau cover) all in good condition. The original owner's manual and service book are also present.
Flying through its MOT in March this year with no advisories recorded, it has been starting promptly and running beautifully as we have moved it around on site, with good 60psi oil pressure, as you would expect from such a low-mileage example.
Built in a proper factory, by the recognised experts and barely even run-in yet, it is ready for a proud fourth owner to enjoy over the long hot summer that doubtless lies ahead of us!
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
Reg No: C181VPM
Chassis Number: SA9TF51M1FA01342
Engine Number: 17V647AAH101904
Engine Size: 1700
Docs: V5C; older V5C; MOT March 2022 with no advisories; 21 old MOTs; handbook; service book; invoices; Naylor News magazine from 2015
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