BF Classifieds Find 1953 MG TD

Jamie PalmerBy Jamie Palmer

You’d better hurry if you want this MGTD, which is being offered with no reserve, and bidding is below $6,600 with less than 12 hours left in the auction! While it might be listed on eBay, the seller also listed it here on Barn Finds in our classifieds, and is located in Dade City, Florida.

The seller is very straightforward that this is a barn find, and that while they have gotten it running off a bottle for a short video, it is sold as a non-running project and you should expect a major restoration. I’m glad it looks largely original and it doesn’t look like someone has been there before you and “refurbished” the car.

Although the body looks pretty darn good, you can expect some issues with the wood framework to the body, and as you can see from this picture, there’s some frame rust that will have to be dealt with. The Thrush muffler might lead to interesting sounds, too.

The seats certainly look serviceable even if they aren’t original. Other things look pretty good as well; for example, it’s rare to see an original TD wheel that doesn’t need more repair than that. I’m hoping there are side curtains somewhere as well. There are some great photobucket albums linked in the auction listing that document the condition of the car well.

The XPAG engine is the original one per the commission number plate, and actually seems to run quite well when fed from a bottle. The thing is, these cars are so bloody simple that if you can deal with the wood part of the body structure and are comfortable repairing the frame rust (I would be comfortable structurally repairing it, but it would not look perfectly original when I was complete) you could have a running T series MG for less than $10k. Before you chime in that it would be less expensive to buy one already complete, I agree totally. But what if you’re MG T budget has only $7k in it right now, but you have time on your hands? This might be your MG!

 

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Comments

  1. Bruce Best

    Well the seats are from a TR-3 but you can get the right seats from England. If the wood is good this would be a fun restoration. TD’s are right at the edge of being a car that you could drive everyday and be happy with. They are just not able to compete with modern traffic. The brakes and acceleration is not up to modern highway standards. To putter around town they are wonderful and very easy to maintain if you know what you are doing.

    I would not worry too much about the side curtains as they can also be replaced. There is really not much to the side curtains just some flat bar stock welded together and fabric covering.

    If you have never restored a car this one and a TR-3 are about as basic as you can get. The come apart easily and you can paint the sections in your garage if you do it right. The only real problem I see is the frame. That is serious as the frames on these cars are not that great from the factory. I would suggest a professional welding shop to fix those problems.

    If you have a son or daughter that you want to teach the value of a car and the value of labor this is a perfect learning device. I have helped restore between 20 or 30 I have forgotten over the years.

    They are fun. I can tell you that if you have an expert partner and you do not need to fix the frame like this one, 10 days is all you need to turn a faded beauty like this one into a show car. I know my friend and I did that more than once. You will be spending long days but it will be amazing the change each day brings. just have the materials and spare or replacement parts you need available and Poof it is done and you have an amazing ride.

    Good luck

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    • Britcarguy

      The seats look more like Bugeye Sprite seats the way they wrap around in the back. No matter, seats are way down the priority list on this one.

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  2. Bruce Best

    Second note the slats in the radiator shell should be painted the same color as the interior or silver.

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  3. Rustytech

    The first time I saw one of these I was about 9 years old. The neighbors son got one before going off to college. To a nine year old who had never seen anything but American Iron, it was cool! I like these in British racing green.

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  4. Doug Towsley

    Cool car, I know someone else restoring one right now. I want to paint it British Racing Green but he is adamant that wont happen.

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  5. Jack Quantrill

    My first car was ’52 TD. Yellow, with a plaid top. Paid $750. Learned the hard way to not open the doors at speed!

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  6. Car Guy

    If you are going thru the effort of cleaning the car and putting shiny tire dressing on the tires, couldn’t you as least air them up too?

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