1952 MGTD – Lifelong California Car – Enthusiast Owned
Estate Sale by the Family of a Lifelong California British Car Collector
Recently on Display at a Northern California Auto Museum
This 1952 MG TDII is being sold by the estate of a long time British collector / enthusiast in the Bay area. Owned since 1969 the car has been shown at several Northern California British car meets and is one of approximately 1,710 Mark II versions produced. This rare example carries the following numbers on the plates located inside of the engine compartment:
- Body Type: 22381
- Body No: 1695/89151
- Car No. 17600
- EXL: Export Left Hand Drive
- – Engine No. XPAG / TD2 / 17950 Now fitted with later model engine # 30776 (TF)
The “TD” is finished in yellow over brown upholstery and is powered by a 1,250cc XPAG inline-four mated to a four-speed manual transmission. While much of the history of the car was lost when the owner passed away, the car was reportedly always well maintained as were the other British cars in his collection. Most recently, the car was displayed at an auto museum pending the resolution of his estate. While the restoration is not documented, it is properly done, has the appearance of a “frame-off” restoration and presents/runs very well.
Features include a tan soft top and side curtains, left fender-mounted side mirrors, a folding windscreen, and a rear-mounted spare. This Mark II TD is now offered with a very reasonable reserve with a rear boot cover, full cover, a tool roll & tools, the original crank start rod, and a clean California title in the owner’s name.
The car is finished in yellow having received a complete, proper re-spray including the entire engine compartment and underside of the hood. The owner’s family reports that the elderly owner regularly drove the car to car shows and that it proved to be reliable and roadworthy. The has soft items including a tan tonneau cover, side curtains with darker brown seats, all of which are in good condition as shown in the photographs.
The interior features split-bench seating trimmed in brown upholstery with a matching dashboard and door panels over black carpeting. Additional amenities include a glove compartment with several badges supporting the cars participation in British car shows over the years. Other features include a period (possibly dealer installed) transistorized Motorola AM radio, leather gear shift knob, steering wheel cover, and centrally dash mounted rearview mirror.
The banjo style steering wheel fronts Jaeger instrumentation consisting of a 100-mph speedometer, a 6k-rpm tachometer, oil pressure and ammeter gauges located in the dash. The five-digit odometer displays 6,126k miles. The family reports that the MGTD received minimal use during the owner’s 52 years of ownership, primarily for entering local British and other car shows. Due to the age of the MG, the true mileage is unknown.
Exterior features include chrome bumpers with overriders, rear luggage rack, fold-down windshield, fender-mounted side mirrors, bonnet louvers, and rear-hinged doors. The windshield wiper is operable from the manual lever mounted on the passenger side of the car, but the electric function appears to be inoperable. As an older restoration, the car shows well with normal wear, but is free from any body damage, major paint imperfections, and would be well received at any collector car gathering or show.
Painted 15” steel wheels wear chrome MG hubcaps and are mounted with Nexus 156/80R15” tires with considerable remaining tread. A full-size spare is mounted to the rear body work covered by a color coordinated spare tire cover.
The 4-cylinder 1,250cc XPAG inline-four engine is fitted with dual SU carburetors, original style air cleaner and air filter. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission. While service records are not available due to the circumstances of the sale, the car has always been in running condition, never stored for prolonged periods of time, kept in an enclosed garage, and well maintained. The engine compartment and engine are very clean supporting the cars care over its life in California.
While this MG received high quality, complete paintwork several years ago, it has seen little use since, always being stored inside when not in use. The restoration has held up well as the photos support.
The tan canvas tonneau cover and top are in serviceable condition as are the side curtains. The brightwork, including the bumpers show very well and could be described in “California condition”, free from the patina and surface rust often seen on cars that spend time in inclement weather areas. There is a front horizontal badge bar with four British badges that will be included in the sale.
The interior, with brown seat and door panel upholstery, compliments the “yellow exterior nicely. The factory correct dash and steering wheel are very attractive and have not been altered using incorrect/inexpensive aftermarket components. “
The underside is California clean having the appearance of not being in the rain since the restoration. The underside of the fender wells are painted matching yellow, and are free from damage. The chassis is free from rust, extremely clean, and in its original configuration. The engine bay is extremely clean, in unmodified condition, and reflects the care the MGTD has received over many years.
The car runs and drives very well. It starts immediately when cold and equally as well once it is fully warmed up. The engine does not hesitate, and it runs smoothly as it is shifted up and down through the gears. The brakes function as designed as does the emergency brake. There is no excessive noise in the driveline including the transmission and rear end.
The MGTD has precise steering and does not pull to the left or right. MG enthusiasts will notice that the instrumentation is MG is period correct. The clock (located in the lower portion of the tachometer) is not working, but typically, they didn’t work shortly after the cars were produced!
The MG runs at normal operating temperature with no indication of overheating. The other gauges are fully functional (speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure, ammeter) as are the lights, and the horn. Engine oil pressure reads 50+ lbs. is well within the normal operating specifications and the MG runs cool even in warm California climate.
The MG is mechanically solid showing no signs of unusual engine noises, smoking, or other issues. Uncharacteristically, the car sits for prolonged periods of time with only minor minimal oil drips characteristic of this era vintage British vehicle.
- Clear California title, current registration filed on Non-Op
- California smog test not required for vehicles 1975 and older
- Passed the California required safety inspection for functional, lights, brakes, etc.
- Operation (Owner’s) Manual
- Workshop Manual
SPECIFICATIONS OF THE 1952 MGTD
- Length 145 inches
- Width 58.3 inches
- Height 56 inches
- Wheelbase 94 inches
- Weight 1931 lb.
- Drag coefficient (est.) 0.65
- Top speed 81 mph (w/ stock differential)
HISTORY OF THE 1950-1953 MGTD
MG’s TC roadster sold well initially and proved American demand for an English sports car, but the car’s right-hand-drive configuration and 1930s specifications meant it was ripe for a redesign by 1950. In response, Syd Enever and Alec Hounslow took two weeks in 1949 to strip a four-seat Y-Type Tourer and shorten the chassis five inches. Just like that, the MG TD roadster was born.
The TD also carried a few modifications aimed at the U.S. market. Specifically, left-hand drive was offered, along with rack-and-pinion steering, smaller, 15-inch steel disc wheels (no wire wheels were offered), and larger bumpers. In turn, the car was wider and 200 pounds heavier than the TC. Keeping with its predecessor, the TD’s weather protection was minimal.
The MG TD still used the 54-hp, 1,250-cc XPAG inline-four motor to reach a top speed in the mid-70 mph range, which meant the second of MG’s T-Series cars was a tad slower than the first. Even so, the TD’s modifications conspired with a newly devalued British pound to make the TD an unqualified success and 29,664 were sold in four years – three times the TC production. More than 80% of that figure were imported to the U.S. In the middle of 1951, the TD received a new engine block and sump, as well as a larger clutch and a new flywheel, and this iteration is now commonly referred to as the TD2.
In general, the MG T-Series delivers a pure 1940s / early 1950s British driving experience, and the TD is no exception. Its mechanicals are robust and mostly easy to source, which makes ownership relatively straightforward.
PURCHASING A COLLECTOR VEHICLE – THINGS TO CONSIDER
As always, we recommend that you carefully review the seller’s background for any collector car being sold over the Internet. We believe it is important to consider the following:
– How long have they been in business?
– How much experience do they have with collector cars?
– How many positive collector car vehicle sales have they completed (positive eBay feedback)?
– How detailed/complete is the description of the vehicle?
– Do the photos show details of the interior, exterior, top, chrome, etc. or are they simply “glamour shots” taken from a distance?
– Does the seller have a Surety Bond to protect the financial transaction?
– What about insurance, licensing by the state, and a local business license?
– Does the seller (if a business) have any DMV (Motor Vehicle) complaints and/or other history of legal action, grievances?
– Does the seller enjoy a favorable local and national/international reputation?
– Can the seller assist with funding sources, transport and out of state/country sales?
ABOUT CLASSIC CARS LTD.
– Classic Cars Ltd. has been in the same, small, California town for over 28 years. We operate a small “brick & mortar”, indoor showroom, and specialize in the sale, consignment, and purchase of sports, high performance, and specialty vehicles of all types. We have a particular interest in sports cars and unique vehicles.
– The majority of our vehicles come from local, private owners and collectors, and many were sold new in California. We appreciate that rust free cars, with excellent documentation and history are especially attractive to our buyers both locally, and around the country. As a result, we do not purchase our collectible cars from “distressed” sales, such as wholesale auctions, salvage sales, or lien sales. We do not sell vehicles with salvage titles, or those that have a history of significant accident damage or repair.
We have sold hundreds of unique, classic, and collectible vehicles and regularly deal with buyers that have not had the experience of purchasing a large (both physically and monetarily) item on eBay, or through an Internet source. Our eBay feedback is 100% positive on all vehicle sales from customers around the globe and reflects our commitment to accurate, complete, and thorough vehicle descriptions.
– We have been shipping vehicles for years and have established excellent contacts that are not only high quality but very price competitive. We do not use brokers, terminal shipping, or other discount methods. Call us or email for a quote directly to your home or office. We are often able to obtain quality enclosed transportation (the kind of travel this car deserves) for the cost of open shipping.
– Please review our feedback on eBay (username Never22Many) representing over 1,000 positive transactions to buyers all over the United States / World.
– We are fully insured, bonded, and licensed for collector car sales all over the United States/World.
– Classic Cars Ltd. carries a $50,000 Surety bond to cover financial transactions
– We frequently sell vehicles to out of state / out of country buyers and will be glad to provide references for buyers in your area.