1952 MG TD MkII Roadster  Chassis no. 1520285233

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 321
1952 MG TD MkII Roadster
Chassis no. 1520285233

Sold for US$ 16,965 inc. premium
1952 MG TD MkII Roadster
Chassis no. 1520285233
For most Americans, MGs just didn't exist before World War II. Sure they'd been built in and near Oxford since the 1920s, however because MGs had barely trickled into the United States prior to late 1945, they were almost completely unknown. Most American racing enthusiasts weren't even aware of the fourth overall at LeMans, the class win in the Mille Miglia or the outright victory in the Tourist Trophy. All that changed following the War. A few returning soldiers brought prewar MGs with them. Others who had remained in Europe for a few months after the hostilities ended came back with brand new MG TCs. To someone who had grown up in a world of Ford Model Ts and As, Buicks, Hudsons and other typical prewar American cars, MGs were pretty strange looking.

Compared to standard American four-wheeled fare, TCs were also tiny things, weighing less than 1,800 pounds and powered by a 1,250cc overhead valve four-cylinder engine producing just 54.5 horsepower. With a tailwind a TC might hit 80 miles per hour, but it was responsive and fun to drive. The ride was rough, thanks to solid rear axles and leaf springs front and rear. But what Americans really noticed were those 21-inch wire wheels beneath the gracefully-arching fenders. It was certainly a car for the adventurous, though, with cut-down doors, right-hand drive and build-it-yourself weather equipment. Yes, there were windshield wipers, but if you wanted to stay warm in the winter, you piled on the woolens and kept a rag handy to wipe your condensing breath off of the windshield.

The TD that came along in 1949 was a much more comfortable car thanks to the new independent front suspension and rack and pinion steering that allowed cars to be built with either right or left-hand drive. The fenders were wider and covered 15-inch pressed steel wheels. For the first time, parking protection was offered in the form of chrome-plated front and rear bumpers.

One thing that didn't change on the TD was the engine, which was the same 1,250cc unit coupled to a revised four-speed transmission. That meant that performance was about the same, although handling and ride were vastly improved. Despite being a horsepower underdog to virtually any American car, on a winding back road, the nimble MG could easily stay out front. From August 1951 a larger clutch was fitted and associated changes made to the flywheel and bell-housing, subsequent cars being known as the TD II.

The TD Mk II we offer here is offered from an estate in which it had resided since 1969 according to its Massachusetts title. It is in good overall condition, believed to have been the subject of a restoration in the early 1990s which has held up well. The car is clean, tidy and complete, while it appears to retain its original leather interior which is very nice and lightly patinated. The engine compartment matches this, is tidy and displays all proper equipment for a Mark II model. Its chrome, wheels and tires are all in good order as is its top.

Recently lightly re-commissioned, the MG is expected to be running in time for the sale.

Without reserve
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations


If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium. Buyer's Premium on all Automobilia lots will adhere to Bonhams group policy:

25% up to £50,000 of hammer price,
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 of hammer price,
and 12% on the balance thereafter. This applies to each lot purchased and is subject to VAT.

For Motor Cars and Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Some lots may be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price. These lots will be clearly marked with the relevant symbol printed beside the lot number in the catalogue.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card for returning clients only. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

If you have requested a shipping quote, we will send this to you via email within 5 business days of the auction ending.

Please note our shipping quotes are bespoke and require special care and handling from our team and shippers. Shipping will be booked after payment is received. Please allow 7-14 business days from the time of booking for packing and dispatch, depending on your chosen shipping method. If your purchase is time sensitive, or you wish to explore other options, please see our list of alternative third party shippers in New York and Los Angeles who may be able to assist you.

If you have any questions, please contact our Client Services team.

Lot symbols
Exempt from tax

Zero rated for tax, no tax will be added to the Hammer Price or the Buyer's Premium.