The ex-Lee Majors
1953 MG TD Four-Seater
Coachwork by J.S. Inskip
Chassis no. TD26606
Engine no. XPAG/TD2/27186
By 1952, the MG TD had become a favorite of America's sports car aficionados. Its popularity spawned a number of offshoots by local entrepreneurs, including S.H. "Wacky" Arnolt of Chicago, who offered both open and closed TDs with bodies by Bertone. About 100 were built. Much rarer were the four-seat tourers built by J.S. Inskip, the New York distributor.
John S. Inskip began his automotive career selling Locomobile and Rolls-Royce cars in New York City. By 1929, he headed Rolls' New York sales office and guided the company's coachbuilding operations, which by then were dominated by Brewster & Co., which the British automaker had purchased in 1925. When Rolls-Royce closed their American assembly operations at Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1934, Inskip conceived the Brewster Ford town car as a means of keeping the company alive. It was a short-lived venture, but it left Inskip with a sales and coachbuilding staff that enabled him to import and body a number of Phantom III and Wraith chassis in New York.
After World War II Inskip added distribution rights for MG, Morris and Riley to his Rolls-Royce and Bentley portfolio. This led to the Inskip MG, a stretched TD with bench-type rear seat and a chrome side spear that accented the car's comely proportions. Just 12 were built.
This car headed Inskip's display at the April 1953 International Motor Sports Show at New York's Grand Central Palace. It was sold the following year to Homer Harmon, a publicist for the Roxy Theater, for his daughter Joy, who, at age 16, began a ten-year television and film career (Tell It to Groucho, Cool Hand Luke) before starting a baking company. She kept the MG until 1963, when she sold it to actor Lee Majors (The Six Million Dollar Man, The Fall Guy).
Originally red, the car was repainted several times for Mr. Majors, who kept it for 30 years, driving it only occasionally. A subsequent owner returned it to its original color scheme and retrimmed it in harmonizing fawn leather. The original disc wheels and wide whitewalls have been replaced with chrome centerlock wires and larger blackwall tires. It retains the original hallmark Inskip lion radiator ornament.
A prized possession of show business personalities for most of its life, this unusual MG is offered with an album of history and photographs of the car compiled by Lee Majors. With a heritage that stretches from Brewster coachbuilders to The Six Million Dollar Man, it can without exaggeration be called truly unique.