|Blakely Bernardi Front turn signal assembly|
Every year, once in the spring and again in the fall, I have spent a half-day or more on Google looking for a possible fix. I would accept (in order of preference) (i) a matching replacement lens, (ii) something that could be modified into a matching replacement lens, (iii) a pair of full turn-signal assemblies (period-correct, capable of installation on curved fenders), or (iv) any other good idea. I would look at new stock, old stock (got a nice pair of 1955 Jaguar wind wings in the original, completely decayed, cardboard boxes), new old stock, car parts, motorcycle parts, 18-wheeler parts (those nice lights marking truck roofs are actually a pretty compatible shape, except for being 3 times larger than the Blakely turn signals), boat parts, and even airplane parts.
After giving up on finding something already built, I would also look at cloning the remaining part using (i) careful hand-machining of plastic rod stock, (ii) casting transparent colored resin in a custom lens-shaped mold, (iii) reverse-engineering the lens in a CAD design tool and borrowing a CAD-driven cutting tool to machine a few new copies of the lens, or (iv) any other good idea. But nothing ever really worked out.
Until this spring's search day on Google.
After a number of hours in futile review of military night-vision lenses and the NASA spaceship parts catalog, I stumbled onto a forum site where folk discussed restoring their post-war Triumphs and MG-TDs and whatnot. Someone was hunting front-mount turn signals for his British-spec MG, which apparently did not leave the factory with any front signals installed and needed them before it could be certified for road use in the twenty-first century. After the usual plethora of non-helpful replies, one of the forum members suggested he obtain parts from a California company that supplies new replica parts for the MG-TD kit car clan.
In all my years of searching, I had never heard of the company and their nifty parts. I went straight to the website and picked through photos on the main page, to find a photo of a replica MG-TD front wing that carried a very familiar-looking turn signal assembly. A quick visit to the catalog found the turn signal lens and I called to order two. A week later, the postman delivered the long-missing lens, in duplicate so I could replace the existing one as well as the missing one. Wunderbar!
The company is MG Magic, in San Diego California. Their website is at http://mgmagic.intuitwebsites.com/ and the parts catalog for MG-TD replicas is at http://mgmagic.intuitwebsites.com/MGPL__07-20-2012.pdf. I don't suppose too many of their parts would be perfect replacements for Blakely cars, but there are quite a few that would bolt on without raising any eyebrows: dash-mount rearview mirrors, fog lights, dash switches and gauges, fender-mount mirrors, front and rear bumpers, and more. When the snows of spring dissipate somewhat, I will race out to the garage to install my two new turn-signal lenses. Then I will come back to the computer and order the next critical enhancement - perhaps a period-correct cigarette lighter or some such gizmo.
Next installment: making the car electricals work full-time so the beautiful new lenses can be seen! And cigars can be lighted!
===UPDATE=== It looks as though MG Magic is moving toward online sales. There's a new website up at http://mgmagicclassicmotorparts.com/ with an online catalog and more parts photos.