Michigan Shop Teaches British Car Repair


“You drove your MG hard and put it away wet 20 years ago. Or worse, you started it to take it apart! Your dream has been to restore it . . . but you cannot get it done. We can help you! For information visit www.universitymotorsltd.com .”

This catchy classified ad is designed to get the attention of auto enthusiasts who want to learn how to fix their own British sports cars. John Twist, who penned the message, is a professional restorer, but once a year he turns himself into a teacher to educate auto enthusiasts who want to “do it themselves.”

Each February, John Twist’s University Motors, Ltd., becomes a real university for dozens of MG owners willing to travel to snowy Grand Rapids, Michigan to learn how to fix their vintage sports cars. Two full weeks of intensive seminars are offered.

This year, there were six University Motors workshops. Half of them were held over 3-day weekends and the other half took place during the week. The weekday sessions are called “rebuild seminars” and allow students to bring their own components (such as transmissions and carburetors) to overhaul. The weekend sessions cover a broader range of topics (such as discussions about insuring vintage MGs), but include hands-on demonstrations on actual cars.

The “2003 Mechanical Seminar” took place Feb. 7-9. It covered workshop safety, the complete tune-up, and the home workshop. The “MGB/MGC Overdrive & Gearbox Seminar” was Feb. 10-11. The “Restoration Seminar” was held Feb. 14-16.It covered body restoration, interior and soft trim, undercarriage work, power train and chrome. The “MG T/3 Synch MGA/MGB Gearbox Seminar” took place Feb. 17-18. The next weekend, Feb. 21-23, was scheduled for a “Tuning For Speed Seminar.” The “Tune-Up – Carbs & Distributor” class was the last session on Feb. 24-25.

Twist thinks there are more than 100,000 people restoring or preserving MGs in the United States. Less than 100 of them took the workshop last month. Fortunately, John has compiled a thick, spiral-bound Technical Book that he uses as a textbook for his seminars. It covers how to repair various MG components, what books are needed and what clubs exist. Call John at (616) 682-0800, or visit his website (www.universitymotorsltd.com) to learn more about his book, the other services offered at University Motors, and next year’s class schedule.


Share Leave comment
Read next Up next: Collectible Classic – 1967-69 Plymouth Barracuda