1952 MG TD
Chassis no. TD17424
The MG story began in the early 1920s at the Morris Garage in Oxford, where young Cecli Kimber conceived sportier versions of standard Morris Models. Eventually, the specials evolved into the MG marque. At first those cars were fairly big, but in 1929, the Morris-Minor based MG M-Type Midget changed that all. Tiny, light and responsive, the Midget was developed into a long line of inexpensive and popular sports cars. Meanwhile, a factory-supported club proved a hit and the overhead-cam four and six-cylinder MGs began to achieve numerous successes on the race track. Despite having engines from 750 to 1,300ccs those little Midgets, Magnettes and Magnas were giant killers.
After the company withdrew from competition, in 1936, the first pushrod MG Midget, the TA was introduced. A slightly larger version of its PB predecessor, it retained the basic styling, ladder frame, live axles and drum brakes that had been with the Midget since the beginning. Although it wasnt perceived as quite as sporting by the purists, the larger four-cylinder 1,292cc (versus 939cc) engine actually offered more relaxed touring, increased horsepower and greater more torque. In early 1939, the TA gave way to the TB, which used an entirely different pushrod engine, which had a much shorter stroke and a slightly reduced displacement of 54.4 horsepower. But only 379 examples were built before the MG factory in Abingdon suspended production and concentrated on war work.
When hostilities ceased, MG rushed back into production with the TC, which was a slightly widened and barely freshened TB. With a production run of 10,000 built between late 1945 and 1949, the TC was the best selling MG ever. It was also the car that introduced the most Americans to sports cars. Those who saw an MG for the first time were struck by the tall and narrow 19-inch wire wheels, diminutive size and rakish good looks.
In 1949 the TC was replaced by the TD. Gone were the tall wire wheels, but the increased drivability more than offset the aesthetic changes. Along with the 15-inch steel wheels came fuller fenders, bumpers, a steering wheel on the left (for North America and Europe) and a new independent front suspension with rack and pinion steering. Weather equipment consisted of a folding convertible top and removable side curtains. There was no heater, defroster, automatic transmission or power brakes. Yet, Americans accustomed to big, heavy and soft domestic cars loved them and bought them by the thousands.
Sports car clubs grew up around the TCs and MGs, which were followed by Jaguars, Austin-Healeys and Triumphs. But the MGs ruled by sheer numbers and were literally the sports cars America loved first.
Then as now, an MG TD is good looking, handles beautifully and is moderately priced. Although the 54.4 horsepower engine is better suited to back roads than super highways, it is very driveable, as is this very presentable black 1952 example. Restored many years ago, back in the 1960s it was retrimmed with a black and white Amco aftermarket interior. The 1,250cc engine has been freshly rebuilt and is joined by a new clutch, recent brakes and tires.
This particular MG TD is perfect for rallies, touring and local use. Thanks to the mechanical overhaul this particular MG TD should be ready for virtually any kind of use from local sports car club rallies to local use and reliable long-distance touring.