All There: 1953 MG TD

left front

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The MG TD design evolved from the 1930’s T series and is very similar in many ways. It shares the same basic styling and the body is also built on an ash wood frame. Almost all of the MG TDs were exported, mostly to the United States. It’s hard to imagine now, but this MG had several advanced features for its time. For example, it has a 12 volt electrical system and rack and pinion steering. This TD is listed on eBay in Felton, Delaware. It is complete and original but suffering the effects of long term storage.


The interior is all there and there’s no daylight showing through the floor.


There’s no word on whether the engine is free. This 1.3 liter engine in top form can propel this little MG to 60 mph in about 20 seconds with a top speed over 70.


You can’t see much of the underside in this view, but there’s only surface rust visible and there is nothing falling off. Could the “STOP” message be a warning?

right rear

The top appears complete and the side curtains are included. This was considered good all weather protection in its day.


It’s hard to tell from the pictures what it would take to restore this MG. The bright work looks OK and there are no obvious signs of rust. If the wood body frame is OK and the engine is not seized perhaps there is hope. Could this MG be worth restoring? With 4 days left bidding is at $6,500. Do you think it will go much higher? It will be interesting to see what you think.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Dave Wright

    These are a great beginners car. Simple, every minuscule part is available and they look impressive when done. Cost of entry is low……..these were the inspiration for the Porsche Speedster. Simple, light and cheep.

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    • Dave Wright

      And David……….you know there is no wood in the frame…….it is only in the body supporting panals.

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  2. hhaleblian

    I drove one of these from Chicago to Springfield 12/31/74 to meet a drop dead gorgeous blonde who was way above my league at a New Years party. Worth every oil smoked freezing mile. Ah youth. But I don’t need another TD. Better that both blonde and TD are left in my fossilized memory bank.

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  3. Tom Smith

    What Americans call the frame, the Brits refer to as the chassis. The frame, often Ash, was the underpinnings of the body sheet metal. Morgan still builds this way.

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  4. roundhouse

    The floor is wood, so no rust possible, maybe rot, but not normally a problem.

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  5. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    Dave, I have to disagree…

    …………….it was the series of Glocklers that inspired the Porsche Speedster.

    Glockler was a VW Dealer that built his race cars , and the Dr took notice.

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    • Dave Wright

      The factory tour we were on last fall clearly stated that the major influence producing the speedster was the success of the MG TD cars here in the US, they were light and cheep. Porsche could not compete in the market…….another thing they talked about was a group of US airmen in Germany that ordered special striped down cars to race on the weekends. Those were the roots of the speedster. Everything starts with marketing. I think they were something like 30% cheeper than the same year roadsters.

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  6. stillrunners

    Not sure but it seems like a sound car the get back on the road….looks to be there – I’m into early Fords so at the price $6500 it looks like a good buy…..if it’s what you want….

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  7. DolphinMember

    Car lore had it that this was the car that created the sports cars craze when servicemen brought them back when the returned from England. There were also Porsches, but they were much more expensive and you never saw too many around.

    I wanted an MG TD too….until I test drove one after fixing and tuning the SU carbs for a guy. You sit high up in the TD, it’s exposed, noisy, and painfully slow. I admit that by then I was driving an MGA, which at the time seemed very comfortable, advanced, and a good performer compared to the TD.

    The TD is definitely vintage, and also affordable, but I hope anyone who buys one at a distance to fix up, like this car, has already driven one and decided that it’s for him. Otherwise there could be disappointment down the road.

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    • Britcarguy

      It was the TC or older series that the servicemen brought back. The TD didn’t arrive until 1950.

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  8. Chris A.

    Did the ash framing wood receive any kind of finish or protection before the body panels were mounted? How do you tell a standard TD from a TD Mk II? This would be a fun car once restored, but the wood/metal body work scares me off.

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    • Dave Wright

      The wood was varnished……I have done a couple of Singers with similar body construction. I think that the wood is eiser to work with than metal for most amature restorers. Body panels are attached with brads or bolts…..I am sure Moss motors could sell new wood panels or you can make your own for this car. I had to make them for the Singers…….not tough at all

      Like 0

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