1954 MG TF
Lot 598
1954 MG Midget TF Roadster Chassis no. TF2280 Engine no. XPAG/TF/32015
Sold for £34,500 (US$ 53,888) inc. premium

Lot Details
1954 MG TF 1954 MG TF 1954 MG TF 1954 MG TF 1954 MG TF 1954 MG TF
1954 MG Midget TF Roadster
Chassis no. TF2280
Engine no. XPAG/TF/32015

Footnotes

  • A charming letter in this car's history file tells the story of a young professional couple (then in their 30s), driving up to New York in the spring of 1954 from their home in Philadelphia at the invitation of J S Inskip, the well-known distributor of British automobiles. They arrived in their MG TD, purchased new just three years earlier, to test drive the new MG TF model. Instantly falling in love with the new MG, they traded in their TD and purchased the TF on the spot.
    The car was only driven during temperate months until they moved to California in 1961. It was always used as a third car, the occasional 'weekend driver', in California and also in Arizona for a brief period in the late 1970s. The couple are now in their late 90s and the husband's health has deteriorated rapidly so they sadly had to say goodbye to their loved and cherished MG after 57 years of ownership.
    A good family friend and well respected collector of fine and rare classic cars was given the task to find a new home for their MG. On file is a copy of the advertisement placed by the family friend/agent, which is well worth reading as he has known of this MG for quite some time. This advertisement 'tells the story of a car that was completely loved,' continuing: 'the car really is in great condition. Never stored for long periods of time, it's been hand detailed all its life. The number matching engine fires right up without any smoke or hesitation. Idling consistently, it pulls through each of the gears strongly and smoothly and has excellent compression. The ride quality is excellent.'
    The MG was sold to a British collector (personal emails are in the history file) who in turn agreed never to register this superb car but to keep it as original as possible for as long as it is in his care. To this end the car was carefully dismantled then cleaned and detailed before being reassembled. This task was akin to that of restoring a Grade 1 listed building and has taken nearly two years, though the TF still requires some minor finishing. It was decided out of necessity to change the original cross ply tyres; although the tread was fine the side walls had cracked due to age. The original exhaust, although operating without any blowing, was cosmetically poor and a new stainless steel system was fitted for longevity.
    As can be seen, the body panels are in amazing condition while the underside is as good as the top; virtually no rust was found anywhere. All panels are original, as is the chassis, which still bears its correct car number stamps. The original ash frame is likewise superb (the wooden floors were only changed for cosmetic reasons). None of the ash frame was touched and it still bears its factory body stamp. Photographs of all the aforementioned features are on file. The body tub remains totally original and the doors fit and shut as new, with no play anywhere.
    A new correct wiring loom was installed (most of the plastic sleeves had cracked in the constantly dry Californian climate) together with a new battery and leads complete with a cut-off switch. A new fuel pump of correct make and style was installed together with new fuel pipes for safety reasons (the old pump comes with the car).
    The US-style weather equipment was changed to a new British-style mohair hood, and the hood and side screen frames were stripped bare and repainted the original colour. Its original owner had them changed to red to match the interior trim (along with the brake drums), these being the only known deviations from factory colours (see original photographs on file together with a seven-page report). The side screens require re-assembly, while new mohair screens and all original parts to finish them come with the car. The TF was reassembled using new wing beading and new nuts and bolts (again for cosmetic reasons; the original nuts and bolts come with it).
    A letter on file dated 17th July 2010 from the UK MG Car Club 'T' Register states: 'if this is indeed TF2280 then this is remarkably original. According to my records, TF2280 was built on 7th January 1954, it has only had one owner from new, and by March 2010 it has only recorded a mileage of 9,000 miles.'
    Only offered for sale by its 'caretaker' because of a house sale, this outstandingly original MG TF comes with a most substantial and fascinating history file, which prospective purchasers are urged to examine.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note this is a 1250 and not a 1500 as catalogued.
Auction information

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Buyer's Premium Rates
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20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

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    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
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