Name: Gus Ramos
Location: Los Angeles, California
1948 MGTC 3844 / XPAG 4523, Slight Cream Cracker / Tan
About Gus’ TC:
This particular MGTC, chassis number 3844 left the assembly line at Abington-on-Thames in mid October of 1947 and was delivered new to Los Angeles California. The earliest history of the car was recently confirmed by Al Moss, and photos in his book Moss’ MG Memoirs – as our written history with John Vander Male began with a photo marked “Car when first purchased, May 1950.” Moss’ book explains the car’s pre-1950 whereabouts; “The first owner purchased the car from Hollywood Sport Cars, lived in Hollywood, and left it parked on his driveway with the keys in the ignition. Two neighbor boys drove off with the car and were chased by a motorcycle policeman. When he tried to stop them on Hollywood Boulevard, the driver attempted to run the policeman down and left at high speed, heading toward Mulholland Drive, with the cop in pursuit. The cop pulled his pistol and in spite of the speed they were both travelling, fired one shot thorugh the rear (glass) window, killing the driver, who lost control and smashed into a parked car.”
Moss purchased the wreck, and after completely rebuilding it, sold it to John Vander Male of Sausalito CA, who used it for daily transportation and sportscar events. Photos of the wrecked TC can be seen in Moss’ book.The Title was transferred into Helen Vander Male’s name in May of 1950. Subsequently, it finished third in the Apple Valley Concours d’ Elegance up to $2000 class as noted in the November 1951 issue of Road &Track magazine. John Vander Male was one of the founding members of the Abington Rough Riders MG TC (and earlier) club of San Francisco, and the car still wears the Rough Riders Badge (inscribed with #4 – signifying the fourth member) with honor on its’ badge bar.
Vander Male cosmetically restored the TC late in 1953. In 1954, the TC was pressed back into service with a new steering wheel and a polished aluminum valve cover. It was disassembled completely in 1955 – 1956 for its’ second restoration. A cross-member was welded into the frame to stiffen the chassis. Based on photos, chrome 19″ wire wheels, and a louvered hood with leather straps were also added. The car was actively raced in Sports Car Club of America events during the late fifties and early sixties. The racing wound down somewhere in the early-to-mid sixties. The registration was changed to non-operational between November 1961 and June of 1972.
John Vander Male initiated Restoration number three in 1968. Once again, the TC was disassembled to its’ bare frame. In June 1972, TC #3844 was purchased by Ivan Neudorfer of Castro Valley California and the title was registered as operational on August 25th. Neudorfer was an MG enthusiast with a sizeable collection. In talking with some of his MG club contemporaries, he was regarded as one of the first enthusiasts to take his MG restorations to a very high standard of detail – almost more than the cars value warranted at that time. The TC wasn’t restored with a strict interpretation of originality. Instead, he incorporated period modifications, and carried out his own paint and polishing themes. Neudorfer’s 1977 – 1978 restoration of #3844 brought the TC to its current configuration with 19″ wheels, a subtle cream and cracker paint scheme, and a strong Butch Gilbert built XPAG power plant. Custom air cleaners and a slightly green tinted windscreen might put off the strictest of concours judges, but added to the character of the car.
Neudorfer used the TC for long trips, tours, and shows. One of the longer trips was to Colorado where it made the climb up Pikes Peak. Neudorfer died in the early 1980’s. Most of the collection was sold off, but his widow kept the TC in storage until 1990. In 1990, Steve Glenn received a call from longtime T-Series enthusiast and Moss dealer Mike O’Connor. Glenn had been looking for the right TC for a long time. O’Connor’s Santa Clara shop was preparing the car to be put on the market.
I purchased the car from Steve Glenn and as part of the Glenn family, #3844 had been used for spirited driving on tours, TSD rallys, limited appearances in SCCA Solo II autocrossing, and the occasional British Car Meet show. The TC also made numerous trips to the Monterey Historic Automobile Races, through the Sierras, and to local tracks supporting the family’s racing efforts. Glenn moved from Pleasanton CA to Southern California, where the TC is happily soaked up the Los Angeles sunshine on weekends for a couple of years. It attended the 2003 GOF West (T-Series Gathering of the Faithful) in Long Beach CA. It came back North to Sonoma county in 2004. Neudorfer’s thorough restoration has acquired an ever-so-slight patina over the past 30+ years, but the car wears it proudly and is still far too nice for another restoration, however I may repaint the front and rear fenders plus running boards to match the body color.
The car has Alfin brake drums, as well as period correct accessory gauges for monitoring oil and water temperatures and a vacuum gauge to monitor the carburetors.
Gus also owns a 1950 MG TD.