Better Hurry! 1946 MG TC At Auction April 26

I’m already driving my birthday present from my wife (actually, I get 3/5 of it, she claims it 2 weekdays), so the fact that this MG TC is being auctioned off on my 53rd birthday is irrelevant. The facts that it’s exactly the right colors for me (see The Red Car) , has enough wear and incorrectness to scare off collectors wanting a pristine car so the cost might just be reasonable, and is being offered by an auction house that doesn’t deal with many collector cars so it might not get a lot of bidders are also irrelevant. What is relevant is that one of you readers should go buy it! It goes up for auction at 6 pm April 26 at South Coast Auctions in Santa Ana, California, but they say get there by 4 pm. Thanks to Jim B. for sending this one in…I think. Jim also notes that it has no title, so he may have done some further inquiring. You can find more pictures of the car here, but no description that I can find at all.

The drop dead rakish looks of the TC have been well documented. As you can see, this one has some wear around the edges and a general air of being neglected, at least for a while. By the way, those are accessory bumpers sticking up in the rear, not some funny antenna for a non-existent radio. Tires look intact but we have no idea how old they are, or how long this car has been off the road.

Oh my. Do you blame Americans for falling in love with this car and starting the British sports car revolution over here? Anyone want to bid for me in California?

I’m pretty sure this is vinyl rather than the original leather, but I don’t care. I just wish I were sitting in it. There are some wires hanging out of the dash and I’m sure you’ll have some work to do, but if it’s lived in California for a while the structure, which is the most important thing on a TC, should be fine.

I was afraid there would be some substitute engine in here, but this is a good old XPAG unit. I’d love to be the one making it run again.

My favorite write up for Barn Finds out of the 1,834 I have written is this one, about a 1935 MG TA. Learning that the eventual buyer of the TA found the car through our site was a terrific feeling. This TC has me feeling similarly, and I sincerely hope one of you readers goes out and gets this car. Let us know if you do!

Fast Finds


  1. jdjonesdr


  2. Jim B

    Thanks for posting! I hope a BF reader gets it!


    My red TC is hands down my all time favorite car. Drives well, looks beautiful, and is a joy to own. Whether it’s a Sunday afternoon drive, or week long trip to the Florida Keys, the TC is the greatest sports car of all time – to me.

    Also, I don’t understand comments about being afraid to drive cars if they’re too nice. Why??

    Good luck to whomever ends up with this red TC!

    • KEN TILLY Member

      If memory serves me correctly, the TC that I owned in South Africa had 19 inch wheels and my TD had 15 inch. So it would look pretty stupid with tiny 13 inchers under those beautiful, sweeping fenders.

  4. Francisco

    RHD, no thanks.

    • Spiderman

      Think about it, the TC is a 55 – 60 mph car If you want to make it “faster then convert to Kilometers per hour – 96.5 KPH. See “faster” You wouldn’t have much opportunity for passing on a highway anyway. Enjoy her for what she was been, and what she is.

    • KEN TILLY Member

      The TC is so narrow that it’s just about a LHD anyway!

    • DHS

      Well, since they only came in RHD, I guess you can’t have one. :P Lots of truly great cars came in RHD only. Gotta have an open mind toward adventure to truly enjoy the antique car hobby!

  5. doug6423

    RestoMod it. 13″ wire wheels. Hydraulics for lift when needed, and cut up the frame to fit in different drivetrain and engine…

    Jamie, are you wishing you had a thumbs down to press??? LOL! Please bring them back, I think everyone or most everyone misses them.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      AAAARRRGGGGH! Funny, Doug. Funny :-)

      • doug6423

        Glad you got a laugh out of that.
        These are nice looking cars, and look easy to maintain.

    • Loco Mikado

      Here’s mine

      • doug6423

        Thanks Loco, I feel better now :)

  6. Ed P

    Not being green should count for something. This TC sure looks good in red.

    • Murray

      …..and the problem with green is?

      • ed p

        There are so many “British Racing Green” MG’s it is good to see something different.

  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    THE RED CAR, in the flesh….

  8. Bruce Best

    To whoever purchase it be careful of high speeds on anything but perfect roads and by high speeds I mean anything over 50MPH. It will go much faster but if there is much variation in the road those beautiful wheels will flex and make you a believer about as quickly as anything.

    At lower speeds they have low limits but my how much fun they are in a summers sunset. NO that is wrong unless it is raining, too hot or too cold they are just about as much fun as you can have in a car. Even if you are just picking up something from the local store you will come back smiling more often than not.

    My oldest MG was a MGA but I have restored a number of these and a few friends have let me borrow them to drive for the weekend. I have very good friends indeed for each trip and weekend was amazing. To who ever purchases it take care you have a pice of art that you are riding in. Share the smiles as much as you can.

    • Murray

      Bruce, I take it you’ve not actually driven a TC. These things are perfectly safe IF they are maintained properly. The wheels do not “flex” simply because the car is doing in excess of 50mph. They will flex if subjected to extreme use such as in a motorcross or suchlike. They will also flex if the spokes are not tight. Just like a Chevy or any other vehicle, a badly maintained example is unsafe at any speed (apologies to R. Nader).

      • Bruce Best

        I have driven TA’s Thru TC’s, TD’s and TF’s The wheels on the TC’s and earlier even when trued up which we did with every one we restored are subject to wobble at speeds. You are totally correct that with misaligned wheels, spokes not tighten it is much much worst but at speed the TC’s frame will flex and so will the the direction of the wheels on a bumpy road.

        This may not apply to many areas of the country but the secondary roads here are often awful and the tendency of a TC to wanter is much more progressive than modern cars with stiffer frames, better suspensions and better wheels. The TD has almost none of that problem because it has much smaller diameter wheels and many more spokes per wheel. Jags with their wheels are even better yet.

        I have no problem with wire wheels but in combination with poor road surfaces, limited traction patch, and a flexible frame combined with speed you are asking for trouble.

        NOW deep snow these things like Model A Fords are amazing. Just be careful at higher speeds they do not perform anything like modern cars. Last I should ask forgiveness as it is not just the wheels that flex even though they do enough to feel when pushed it is also the frame and chassis combined to make directional control iffy when pushed at speed. At normal around town traffic speeds they are perfectly fine, abet with a longer stopping distance.

      • DHS

        Agreed, Murray. TCs are perfectly fine at highway speeds. They are well built, agile cars. If you’re suffering wheels flexing at any speed outside of a race track then you need to rebuild or replace them. Properly maintained, a TC is a fantastic car to drive and will cruise happily at 65MPH all day with a slightly taller set of rear end gears, which are readily available.

        Bruce, any solid axle car will be less stable on a bumpy road than a modern IFS-equipped model. But are you really saying that every set of wheels you’ve trued on these cars, as well as the 15″ on TF, have been wobbly at speed? There’s definitely a problem somewhere if that’s the case. Just about every sports and racing car ran on wire wheels without this kind of instability right into the 1960’s, sometimes over 200 MPH. I don’t know you so I don’t want to question your wheel truing skills, but I suspect that at the least you’re trying to repair wheels that should be retired. Wire wheels don’t last forever.

        Now as for too hot, too cold, too bumpy, too rainy to drive., (with due respect) I couldn’t even enjoy an old car with that kind of mindset! Park the modern econo-bubble, forget the AC, heated seats and radio, and drive the classics as often as you can. We did it when the cars were new and we can do it now. The only difference is letting yourself get soft through modern technology. I’ll take a classic British sports car over a modern car any day. In fact I do. Sold my last modern car years ago and now commute every day in a classic, sometimes even in a TC. Hot, T-shirt. Cold, jacket and gloves. Rainy, top up. Bumpy, relax and don’t white knuckle the steering wheel. It’s all good! :)

  9. Robert Gressard

    Back in the day I too read the Red Car. When I had the money in 1968 I bought one TC 8337 XPAG9037. I still have it. It will never be sold for all the silver and gold. Love that car. Bob

  10. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Is anyone going to the auction?

  11. Murray

    Bruce the better ride and handling of the TD over the TC has nothing to do with not having wire wheels. The suspension geometry (Independent Coils) and the chassis design which does not flex is without doubt the reason.


    New 19″ wheels are available – fresh new splines, dead true, and straight rims. I can drive my TC at 75 if necessary, but it prefers a cruising speed of 60-65. The wandering myth goes away completely with proper steering, wheels, and suspension. If just one of those components is mush, the car will drive like mush.

    Driving a properly set up TC on a winding road with the windscreen folded is a most pleasant experience.

  13. KEN TILLY Member

    Hi DHS. Your last paragraph must be about the best description of what owning, or at least driving classic cars, are all about that I have ever read. I have been in the old car/motorcycle game for over 40 years and have no regrets about any of the more than 200 vehicles that have passed through my hands, other than that as I now live in UK I am unable to own a classic as I don’t have access to a garage. I do own a 1933 Calthorpe Ivory Major 500cc motorbike that lives in a museum in North London, and a 1986 Honda Rebel 450cc that lives in my friends garage so at 78 years of age I’m still enjoying the classics.

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