1954 MG TD
Show Quality “TD” Finished in Classic British Racing Green (BRG) Tan Leather Interior / & New Custom Fit Tan Canvas Top & Side Curtains
Completely Rebuilt Engine and Rebuilt
Upgraded 5-Speed Transmission <300 Miles!
A Truly Striking Example of a Properly Restored / Sorted Classic MGTD
DETAILS – “THIS PARTICULAR 1953 MGTD
During our 25 years of specializing in European sports cars, we are proud to acknowledge that we have had more MG cars than we can count. This “TD” is undoubtedly one of, if not the best, driving, well maintained and properly restored examples that we have seen in many years, possibly ever!
The MGTD comes to us, as virtually all of our vehicles do, from a local friend and supporter of Classic Cars Ltd. In fact, we have had knowledge of the MGTD for years and have seen it at Northern California British car shows/events where our own Classic Cars Ltd. British cars have been on display. The MG has received several awards at those gatherings, despite the stiff competition from a high volume of MG “T” cars. The car is a truly beautiful example that has been sorted, and significantly improved by its very particular and highly detailed owner/driver.
The MG has a history of being in California all of its life, and the ‽Date first Sold” of 1954 on the clear California title supports this indication. The current owner has owned the car for 5+ years and believes the MG has had a total of 3 previous owners during the past 64~ years. While the car was in nice condition when he acquired it, he has made significant cosmetic and mechanical improvements including a recently totally rebuilt engine and installation of an update 5-speed transmission (original gearbox included) to improve the drivability and usability of the TD.
The MG is totally turn-key and needs absolutely nothing to be used as a classic British sports car for cruises, weekend use, or proud display at local shows. In addition to receiving awards and recognition at competitive Northern California cars shows, the MGTD is a reliable, “sorted” driver that can be enjoyed and depended upon for travels to shows or a long cruise on a beautiful day. And, as an added benefit, the cars timeless styling turns heads everywhere you go.
HISTORY, RESTORATION AND IMPROVEMENTS
This car was purchased by the current owner approximately 5 years ago and has been continually improved ever since. A log summarizes the repairs and mileage and indicates that the MG has accumulated a total of only 1,294 miles over 5~ years. While the mileage showing on the functional odometer shows 19,910, based on the age of the “TD”, it is impossible to determine the cars actual mileage, the extensive documentation supports that major mechanical components were rebuilt in less than 300 miles. While the MG retains its original appearance, some modifications/upgrades have been added to improve the cars appearance, reliability and drivability. Highlights of recent repairs, cosmetic improvements and upgrades include:
• Complete engine rebuild (169 miles ago / 2017) including:
– Bored to .120 over
– Crankshaft balanced
– New pistons, bearings, tappets, timing chain tensioner and all new seals
– Head inspected and valves cleaned and re-set
– Car fitted with aftermarket Crane camshaft) Moss part # 451-260)
• Professionally installed, rebuilt English Ford 5-speed manual transmission (and drive-shaft) replacing original TD gear box (250~ miles ago / 2018)
• New radiator & all new hoses, drain valves, fresh 50/50 antifreeze
• Tachometer removed, cleaned & lubricated and cable
• Carburetors, distributor & timing adjusted
• Replacement of lower A-frame bushing and seats with one piece bushings (metal sleeves)
• New starter switch
Cosmetic Upgrades / Recent Re-freshening
• Freshly chromed items including:
– Front grill
– Rear tail light plinths
– Fuel tank end panels (including repainting of body panels)
• Headlight buckets re-painted
• Seat tracks cleaned and primed with etching primer & painted black.
• Floor boards received 4 costs of paint top & bottom
• A front chrome bar fitted with two Lucas driving lights
• Lucas headlights
For those collectors/enthusiasts who appreciate the value of “numbers matching”, this MG retains its original engine, chassis, and body and proper numbers on the data plate(s).
The numbers that appear on the smaller brass plate mounted in engine compartment driver’s side:
– Body Type: 22381
– Body No. 25063 /1986
– Chassis #: 22381
– Body Number: 18882 / 93119
– Car #: TD 19531
– Using the data from the T Type Factory Production Records, this MG carrying Car No. 25,754 was produced in early March, 1953 (the range of TD’s being produced in March being #25,624 through #26,487. car with #’s ranging from 19,346 to 20,433 were produced in September 1952. This MGTD is titled as a 1954 probably as a result of it being sold by the dealer in 1954 and, as was common practice in the day, titled in the year delivered, not the year produced as no MGTD were manufactured past August, 1953. Also, note that the California title shows a “Date first Sold” of 1954 supporting a 1954 delivery of a 1953 model. Finally, all of the numbers on the data plates, and the plates themselves have the appearance of being original, and unmodified.
Larger Brass Plate Mounted on Storage Jack Compartment
-Car # TD/C 25754 – Vehicle Production #
– EXL/NA – EXL = Export North America / Left Hand Drive
– Engine #: XPAG / TD3 / 266067 – Correct to chassis
– XPAG denotes the 1250 cc engine
– TD3 indicates MKII engine produced after engine # 17xxx (this engine is 26067)
The engine number corresponds to the octagon brass plate # on the lower right side of the engine block supporting the fact that this MGTD is “Number Matching.” (Refer to photo on listing to view brass engine tag)
The later model MKII MG added a number of features, virtually all of which still exist on this “TD.” They include:
– Increased compression ratio 8.6 / 1
– Increased engine red-line to 6,000 rpm due to improved valve gear
– Larger carburetors (1 1/2” bore)
– Larger intake manifold and air cleaner
– Twin fuel pumps & fuel lines
– Andrex friction shock absorbers
– Right hand hood panel with bulge to accommodate larger carburetors
– Enameled left and tight “1500” hood emblems
– Radiator medallions were black on white
– Dash grab handle
- MG XPAG engine, 4 cylinder in-line, Correct Factory Displacement Engine / 1250 cc (TD3)• Overhead valves, 2 per cylinder, push rod• Naturally aspirated w/ twin SU H2 semi-downdraught carburetors• Factory proper air cleaner• Semi-floating rear axle with hypoid gears• Direct rack and pinion steering• 12 volt conversion• Heavy duty battery• Stock manifold• Proper color recently painted block
• Upgraded 5-Speed transmission (Rebuilt Datsun 5-Speed installed <250 miles ago)
• Factory Lockheed hydraulic brakes with large area drums
• Coil spring independent front suspension
• Piston-type hydraulic shock absorbers
• Restored 15” chrome wheels including spare mounted tire/wheel
• Excellent, high quality Dunlop SP20 Tries
• New rear-mounted spare tire and chrome wire wheel with canvas tire cover
• Stock 12 ½ gallon fuel tank
• Car does not have significant oil leaking and any minor leaks appear to be consistent with British machinery of the era
- Beautiful restoration of a solid, original California MGTD (refer to photos)• High quality “BRG” (British Racing Green) paint• Extremely straight example with no damage• Very tight, rattle free ‽TD”• All exterior chrome is exceptional and free from pitting or damage• Beautiful bumpers with factory correct over-riders• Excellent, like new, custom fit beige canvas tonneau cover with functional center zipper to allow for “splitting” the driver’s and passenger compartments or covering the entire car• New, custom fit convertible top, front & rear side windows in storage bags (NO damage & perfectly clear, new windows)• Totally restored factory top frame• Both doors open and close and secure properly with added safety fasteners (can be seen in listing photos) due to “suicide” door configuration
• Currently registered until 1/20/19 (CA buyers only)
• Recently re-chromed / restored front chrome grill
• Front chrome bar with Lucas Driving lights – Larger carburetors (1 1/2” bore)
• No radio or antenna (the way it should be for a vintage British sports car)
• Front mounted fender mirrors and windshield mirrors for excellent visibility even with top in place
- Beautiful pleated beige leather seat upholstery• Beautiful original restored steering wheel• Elegant wood dash• All original, functional and clear gauges (clock is accurate twice a day)• Excellent tan door panels each w/ a storage pocket• Glove box in dash• Nice black floor carpet w/ MG logo carpet mats• Ample space for luggage behind the front seats with separate felt lined compartment for side screens / windows (included per above description)• Factory correct center mounted rear view mirror• Electric turn-signal switch added
• Functional original electric wipers work
• Hand brake works
• Twin factory style horns (2) work (loud!)
• Lights & electrical system is fully functional (with the exception of the clock)
Many believe there is only one color for a classic MGTD….British Racing Green! This spectacular MGTD received a high quality, complete paint work several years ago, and has seen little use since. It is truly in excellent condition and any imperfections require a close, critical inspection to be noticed. It is truly one of the nicest “TD’s” that we have had in years.
The beige canvas tonneau cover and top are new as are the side curtains. All chrome and trim is excellent and very good, particularly both bumpers.
The interior, with tan seat and door panel upholstery, compliments the “BRG” 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 and supports that the car has not seen rain since restoration. The fender wells are painted matching red. The engine bay is very clean and attractive with a few chromed accents and the properly painted red painted block.
The car runs and drives as well as any “T” series car we have experienced. 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 syncromesh gears of the fresh, upgraded 5-speed transmission (original transmission included should the new owner choose 100% originality as opposed to significantly improved drivability).
Over the course of 25+ years, we have had a number of early MG’ s that have significant noise in the transmission (particularly in 1st & reverse, but any gear). This is not the case with this “TD.” The improved 5 speed transmission, while visually transparent (even the original vintage shift knob has been grafted onto the shift stick), makes a world of difference when it comes to the drivability of the ‽TD.” It is quiet, does not pop out of gear and shifts easily. Perhaps most important, the 5 speeds provide for considerably increased low and top end along with the pleasure of having a fully syncromesh gearbox (including first gear).
Additionally, there is no unusual noise in the drive-line including the rear end, engine, brakes, and other components.
The MGTD does not pull to the left or right, or exhibit any drivability issues. 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, horn and the turn signals. Engine oil pressure reads 60+ lbs. upon start up, and is well within the normal operating specifications at all temperatures reflecting the recently rebuilt engine. The MG runs cool even in warm Northern California temperatures partly as a result of the restored cooling system. The car is totally sorted, usable at highway speeds and, personally, we would not hesitate to take it on a long (and enjoyable) journey.
The MG is perhaps the most mechanically solid example that we can remember owning 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 vintage British vehicle.
- Clear California title with current California registration (Until January 20, 2019 for California buyers)• California smog test not required for vehicles 1975 and older• Passed the California required safety inspection for working wipers, turn signals, lights, brakes, etc.• Binder documenting the cars show history• Original Operation (Owner’s) Manual• Boxes of spares, too numerous to outline in detail…please call for specifics• Original factory radiator• Original MGTD transmission from this TD• Framed photo of the car• Copies of show awards / recognition
SPECIFICATIONS OF THE 1953 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 cars 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 the total production was 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 pleasurable British driving experience and the TD is no exception. Its mechanicals are robust and mostly easy to source, which makes ownership relatively straightforward.
California Lic & Reg
Dual Side Mirrors
Exempt From Smog in California
Fresh Complete Engine Rebuild
Freshly Rebuilt Transmission
Matching Numbers Engine
|Numbers Matching Car
Original California Car
Rear Storage Area
Runs / Drives Very Well
Seat Belts (Front)
Yellow & Black CA. Plates