Leo & Martha Pedersen
Name: Leo & Martha Pedersen
Location: Santa Barbara, California
1948 TC 6422 / XPAG 7086, Dark Blue / Beige
Picked up in boxes and bags from four different locations. Reassembled just in time for GOF West ’90. Leo has also restored an MG TD.
If you’ve just furnished and landscaped a new home, taken on a challenging architectural project in Santa Barbara, accepted a seat on the Board of of the San Luis Obispo County Art Center, what’s next? How about taking on the restoration of two classic MGs? Makes perfect sense..to Leo Pedersen that is.
With the perverted excitement of an enthusiast faced with a pile of parts and the prospect of a couple year’s work in a cold garage, Leo says he “can hardly wait to get started” and went on to describe his new projects.
The first is a partially completed show car with a ground-up chassis restoration but with assembly, upholstery, paint and canvas yet to be done. This one will become a concours car to be sold to provide working cash for the second project: a proper, competition MG and the fulfillment of years of fantasizing about Buttonwillow, Willow Springs and Laguna Seca.
The acquisition was completed in the high desert town of Ridgecrest, California. On behalf of the estate of a friend, Gene Roth listed the unfinished T types for sale in our own Classic Chassis. When Leo saw the ad, he felt that destiny had done its dastardly deed and knew that this collection of classic bits and pieces had his name on it.
There remained the problem of transporting the two cars two hundred miles back to Leo’s Atascadero workshop. The fi rst vehicle, an early 1951 TD that will eventually evolve into a track-friendly ride consists of a bare frame, a seriously tuned engine, and the accompanying pieces including B front suspension, headers, racing seat and Brooklands wind screen. With the help of Gene and Martha, (see photos on next page) this car was loaded into a large, U-Haul truck for the trip to SLO County.
On a second run, the 1953 TD, was transported on an open car carrier towed by the family Lexus. This project is much farther along than the ‘51 consisting of a nicely detailed frame, engine and drive train, major chrome, and a primed bucket eagerly awaiting its wings, bonnet, hood, paint and upholstery. Since this car is closest to being finished, Leo has decided to tackle it first with the idea of creating a top-of-the-marque, show car with a traditional, red/bisquit finish. Upon completion and sale, he will then take on car number two–a flat out racer that pushes the limit of V.A.R.A. rules for competition T types.
“To tell you the truth,” Leo confessed, “I’m looking forward to working on the race car the most. It’ll have cycle fenders on the front, and maybe I’ll leave off the running boards too. I can get more creative with this one. I’m also planing to get my racing ticket as soon as possible, but even if I never race, it’ll be fun doing time trials and such. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”