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MG MG Y Type - The French Connection

While at my local tire shop which has been in business nearly forever, the owner said my Y-Type looked very French. He even suggested that, if his memory serves him, some parts were shared with some French cars. At first I thought he was crazy but after watching "The Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse" the next night I noticed there were similarities between the Y and some French pre-war saloons.

I returned to that tire shop a few days later to treat a leaky valve stem and the owner was there again. This time he mentioned that the wheel I brought him actually came from Citroen. Can anyone verify this? Any other parts shared?
Steve Simmons

I know of no similarities at all (common parts that is) between a Y type and any French cars - except for the fact that some of the threads used on the XPAG engine were of French origin (Hotchkiss threads?) due to some historic reason with early MG/Moris engines, I believe. The general shape of the Y has some hint of the shape of Citroen Traction Avants (1930's-1957) but just a passing similarity much as you get some cars that look a bit alike today.
David Mullen

As far as I as no Citroen's from the 1930s on have metric Wheels and Michelin Radial Tyres.

Strangely enough, many passers-by, when they see my YB, ask "Is this a CitroŽn??". Probably because the only car they remember having real mudguards/wings and separate headlights are the 2CV and Traction Avant.
Remo Peter

Ouch. That must sting when you hear that!
Steve Simmons

That happens to me all the time, but it doesn't sting because the Traction Avant CitroŽn is a very charismatic car (too?)
Willem van der Veer

The Hotchkiss connection resulted from the purchase of the Hotchkiss factory (I believe that it was a munitions factory) in France by Morris Motors. There were numberous screw machines in the factory which were put to use by Morris to produce, what is refered to int he T series crowd, as the Nuffield Mad Metric fasteners. They are a old French Standard Metric, a fine metric thread (as opposed to ISO metric) with a BSF head. For a complete listing of the fasteners used in the XPAG engines, see the chart at:
While this is billed as MGTD engine fasteners, the vast majority of the fasteners listed are the same for the XPAG engines used in all of the cars from TB forward.
Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

Some early Citroens such as the Light 15 had Lucas headlights and sidelights identical to TC and Y's
Richard Prior

The Citroen Light 15 was made on licence in the UK at some factory or other (Slough?)for a few years in the 1950's which may explain the Lucas headlights etc. The lights would have suited the UK market.
David Mullen

This thread was discussed between 02/05/2004 and 11/05/2004

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