Mike Macartney

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About Mike Macartney

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    Norfolk, England

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  1. Mike Macartney


    This Humberette is fitted with spare wheel that is called a 'Stepney' (see photos below) The Stepney Spare Wheel was invented by Thomas Morris Davies in Llanelli, Wales, in 1904. At that time, early motor cars were made without spare wheels. Roads were mainly unmade, horse show nails and the steel studs, that were popular on boots of the time, caused no end of punctures. Thomas's idea was to make a rim with an inflated tyre to clamp to the punctured wheel, enabling the driver to get home without resorting to mending the punctured inner tube. With his brother, Walter, they started the company Stepney Spare Motor Wheel Ltd. In 1906. Their 1909 catalogue proudly claimed that Stepney Spare Wheels were fitted to all London taxis. They both became very wealthy men as their business grew and they set up agencies across the world. Apparently, so I am told, the word 'stepney' is used in some countries still for a 'spare wheel'. The beginning of the 1920's saw the majority of car manufacturers supplying a spare wheel, or wheels, with their cars so that punctured tyres could be easily changed with a complete wheel and tyre. Not like these wheels on the Humberette on which you have to remove the hub nut and and cone which then releases 26 ball bearings, 13 at the back of the wheel and 13 at the front of the wheel. I have learnt my lesson in the past with ball bearings going all over the place and loosing some, so I laid a rag underneath to catch them. Luckily, they were well greased and didn't roll away. I am a little puzzled by the photo that was taken when the car was found in 1995, It shows the wheels painted orange. As it was put in storage in 1926 they must have been painted orange before then? I would not have thought that they would have been that colour as standard? Perhaps the wheels were painted orange when the adapters for the Stepney wheels were fitted to the original wheel rims? If so why did they not paint the Stepney wheel orange as well? We will never know!
  2. Mike Macartney


    Humber called it ‘The Perfect Car in Miniature’ in their advertising!
  3. Mike Macartney


    I have decided to have all the metal parts that need painting soda blasted. I had this done to all the panels and bodyshell of my MGB, it saved me a lot of hard work of stripping the paint off to get to the bare metal. Unfortunately, many do not realise that if you paint over any rust it will come back eventually. Some of the panels, bonnet and wings, have been painted in grey primer over bare metal and left without top coat by the previous owner. Primer is porous and the metal underneath will rust if left for some time in humid conditions. That is what has happened especially with the wings and bonnet. On the blue parts of the body rust is just starting underneath the paint. I used Soda Blast Ltd, in Wolverhampton last time. http://www.sodablastingltd.co.uk/ I was really pleased with the work they carried out for me previously so I have booked the parts in for end of this month. I am still debating, whether or not, to get them to spray on a coat of 2-pack etch primer to stop the bare metal rusting or do this myself as soon as I get the parts back. On other restorations I have carried out on cars and motorbikes I try and restore the parts as I take them off the vehicle, then pack them away ready for the rebuild. Because I want to get on with the bodywork so it is ready for painting by the end of the year. I have dismantled a lot of the parts and not restored them yet. The coach trimmer wants the car for 3-months while he makes the interior and hood (you call it the top in the USA). I should have plenty of time then to clean up all the other parts. The Humberette body with all the chassis to body coach bolts undone ready to lift the body off The 'naked chassis and V-twin water cooled engine. The ash framed body looks in remarkably good condition for its age. One of my next jobs is to strip the old cracked Dunlop tyres of the wheel rims. I hope they come off easier than the tyres on a 1922 Model T Ford I restored a number of years ago. they were a real struggle!
  4. Mike Macartney

    1952 MG TD

    I was surprised me to see that the TD suspension was very similar to the MGB suspension. Here is the attachment to my MGB V8 rebuild http://www.v8register.net/profileV8RebuildMacartney.htm Report 161 is an index to the reports. This week I have been helping a friend in our village with his MGTD which he has owned since the 1960's, the car was 12 years old when he bought it. He is having problems with 'heat soak' and the coolant boiling when the engine is switched off. In the UK we have some unusually hot weather at the present time, which is not helping his cooling problem. His TD is much more sophisticated car than the PA and TA models that I have driven previously. Mike
  5. Mike Macartney


    HISTORY OF HUMBER BEFORE THE 1st WORLD WAR Humber were an old established bicycle makers in Coventry, England, who started producing automobiles. By the early 1900's they had developed a range of voiturettes, (as they seemed to call small cars at that time), mainly using the French single cylinder De Dion engines and transmissions. In 1903, Humber produced what was possibly Britain’s first effective light car, namely a 5 hp Humberette with 613 cc De Dion engine and 2-speed gearbox, with shaft drive. These were produced in various forms until, I believe 1905, when they concentrated on larger cars. From 1910 'cyclecars' were becoming popular, with a large number of companies starting to manufacture them. To compete, Humber started offering a new 'Humberette' with a 998 cc air cooled V-twin engine (some articles say 996 cc, but what's 2 cc between friends!) This engine was mounted in a conventional light car chassis, production continued until 1915 when the company moved onto production of aircraft engines and field kitchens for the First World War. The Humberette was not unduly expensive at around £120. The engines were air cooled. In 1914 they offered a water cooled V-twin engine for an extra £10 to £15 (I have seen both prices quoted). The 1914 Humberette I am restoring is one of the water cooled versions of the Humber V-twin engine. The Humberette was described by the makers at the time as ‘The Perfect Car in Miniature’ and the advanced chassis was of non-welded steel tubular construction, with transverse front leaf and quarter elliptic rear springs. A 3-speed and reverse gearbox with cone clutch, bevel-gear rear axle, rack and pinion steering and transmission brake on the end of the gearbox as well as rear wheel brakes, working on the outside of the drum, all very advanced features for the period. To date most of work to date on the Humber has been looking at what has been carried out to date by the previous restorers and what still needs doing. I have book that in which I note down the parts that need looking into and list work that I consider needs redoing. I also take a lot of photos that I can refer to later if the need arises.
  6. Mike Macartney

    1952 MG TD

    Hi, I would just like to say how much I am enjoying your reports on the MG TC restoration. Having recently documented a series of reports for the MG Car Club V8 Register website, on my MBG roadster V8 rebuild, I appreciate the amount of work that goes into planning the restoration, the work involved and report writing. Keep up the good work. Mike
  7. Mike Macartney

    Some AACA forum basics

    Peter J, Thank you for explaining 'Highly Questionable Member'.’ Being a new member to the forum and from the UK, I thought it maybe a member not to be trusted. Hence, if there was a link on that members post I did not click on the link in case I downloaded something dodgy onto my computer. Even at my age you learn something new every day. Mike
  8. Mike Macartney


    Thank you for your kind comments. Terry your mention of your Morris 8 brings me back to my youth. When I was 17, I found a basket case Morris 8 2-seater tourer that we bought for Jane for £5, we both got stuck in and 'rebuilt' it for her to use. I say rebuilt in inverted comma's because, basically we got it through the MOT test, fitted a new hood and hand painted the car in Valspar Post Office red, that we bought from Woolworths. I remember that Jane adjusted the tappets on the car as I could not get get my hands in there to adjust the side valve clearances. She ran the Morris 8 for a number of years until we got married in 1969, when I found her a 1934 Singer 9 Le Mans with a broken half shaft for £37- 10 shillings. We changed the half shaft with a second hand one that came with the car. Jane still has the Singer and we have kept it running all these years without having a rebuild. (see attached photo). Over the years we have travelled in it to Switzerland with the Morris Register, holidayed in France with camping gear, and been to Singer events in Holland a couple of times. MGTC – I had forgotten how sophisticated these cars were compared to the Singer, MGPA/PB and MGTA models, until last week, when a friend from the next village came round with his that was giving him overheating problems. He too has had his TC for more years than he cares to remember. He was complaining of the engine coolant boiling in the engine after he had come to a stop. I went for a drive with him and of course it didn't happen when I was with him! I have attached a photo of the tree we have found that we hope to get the wood from to make the top bows from. My drinking chum Robert got all excited when he saw the photo of the Humberette, noticing that it had rotted top bows. He said “Great – we can have a go at steam bending”. Robert is into his woodwork. I, on the other hand, only have to look at wood and it splits! I found an excellent video on You Tube by Engels Coach Works on 'Steam Bending'. If I knew how to do a link to this page I would include it here. I am busy planning out building the steamer while Robert tries to split out some wood from this massive sweet chestnut tree. I helped him the other day to clear out all the undergrowth around the fallen tree to get to the main trunk.
  9. Mike Macartney

    Report of my 1914 Humberette restoration

    Thanks for doing the link Mike
  10. Hi I have just put on the 1st Report of my 1914 Humberette restoration project under the forum heading 'Our Cars & Restoration Projects'. I hope it may be of interest to other forum members. I will updating, hopefully on a regular basis. Mike
  11. Rebuild Report No. 1 on a 1914 Humberette 3rd August 2018 Hi, I am an old vehicle enthusiast from Norfolk, England ('old' in both senses of the word!). I have recently joined the AACA forum and thought I would record the restoration of my new project for any interested parties to follow. Last year I finished a 1000 hour plus total restoration/rebuild of a 1978 MGB Roadster, fitting an engine and gearbox from an MGRV8. At the start of the project the MG Car Club V8 Register of Great Britain asked if I would document the restoration to help other MGB owners, as I had spent most of my life running an accident repair and restoration workshop, from which I retired in 2004. Before I started the roadster rebuild I had already restored a 1974 MGBGTV8 that I had purchased from and old college friend. Unfortunately for me, I got persuaded to sell it back to him when it was finished, although I really liked the car and would have been happy to keep it. Hence, the rebuild of the MGB roadster for myself. The restoration 'blurb' for the V8 Register ended up with around 160 reports and an index. Not only has it helped others, it also helped me. It gave me time to look through the photographs I had taken and gave me time to think about the work I had completed. If you are interested in seeing the reports, they can be viewed at: http://www.v8register.net/profileV8RebuildMacartney.htm I am at an age when working in the mornings is enough for me, the afternoon can then be used for sitting at the computer writing up the reports and planning the next days work. Years of running a body repair and restoration shop for BMW 2002's and CS's has taken its toll on my lungs, mind you, smoking hasn't helped either! This new project started with an advert I saw on eBay for a 1914 Humberette. There were only a couple of photos, so I messaged the seller to ask if he could send me a few more photos, which he kindly did. A couple of days went by and I broached the subject of another old car project with my wife, Jane. We discussed it and came to the conclusion that I had enough to keep me occupied with the number of cars and motorcycles we already have. The seller messaged me again and asked if I was still interested in the Humberette. I wrote back and said that I felt that at my age I had enough projects to keep me busy and would not have to resort to getting involved with gardening and housework, which I loathe! I also told him that I thought the price he was asking, in my opinion, was very reasonable and he should stick out for his asking price. Next, I got a phone call from him informing me that he wanted the Humberette moved quickly as his father had passed away 8-weeks previously and his mother bust into tears every time she walked past the car, as she remembered him working on the car daily. He thought his Dad would have liked someone like me to have the car, I could have it at £2k less than his asking price. Sense and sensibility then went out of the window and the sale was agreed. When I said I would transfer the money and arrange for someone to collect it for me, he said he would hire a trailer and bring the car up to Norfolk, as he would like to see where the car was going. I saw the advert for the Humberette on a Saturday and the car was with me by the following Wednesday! With the car came some history, unfortunately, not of the first owner, but of the second owner, a Londoner who had bought the car in 1922. He ran the car until 1926 when he stored the Humberette in his garage. It did not roll a wheel until 1947 when he moved from London to Devon and took the car with him and stored it in a barn. When the owners son got to 80 years of age he decided that he was never going to get round to restoring his Dad's car and sold it to a local farmer in 1995. It had been in storage for a total of 69 years. I believe the farmer started the repairs/restoration of the Humberette but subsequently died in 2017. The previous owner to me, purchased the car and continued with the restoration until he too died. I am hoping that it will be third time lucky and that I finish the restoration before I 'pop my clogs'! Next report will be some history on the Humber company, Humberette's, preliminary notes, and preparations before I continue the restoration work. Photos attached: The 1914 Humberette when it was taken from the barn in 1995. The 1914 Humberette as purchased by me in July 2018.
  12. Mike Macartney

    Availability of 26 x 3 beaded edge tires

    Many thanks for the link to Coker tires. I have messaged them and asked for availability and shipping to the UK. I tried Tom at Longstone tyres and he could not give me a date when they would be available. Mike
  13. Hi Here in the UK nobody seems to have any 26 x 3 tires (we call them tyres), beaded edge (I believe you call them 'clincher'). Can any member recommend where I may be able to purchase this size and type of in the USA? Mike
  14. Mike Macartney

    Some AACA forum basics

    Many thanks for the information, it's helped a lot. I will attempt to update my profile. Sorry for the late reply but I forgot to tick the box to notify me of replies! Mike
  15. Mike Macartney

    Crestmobile Roster holder- Jay Simpson??

    Mike Many thanks for your offer of help with my pull start recoil system on my Crestmobile. I'll email you some photos of what I have got left of the system. Best regards Mike