BF AUCTION: 1953 MG TD Project

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

The MG TD is an icon of British Motoring, seeing use as daily drivers, weekend racers and even as dedicated race cars. The Auto Archeologist discovered the example you see here stashed away in this barn, where is had been parked since 1973. They pulled it from the barn, cleaned it up and have it ready for a new home. It’s already had upgrade work done for weekend racing, but it still needs some work before it’ll be ready for the road or the track. Seeing how well our first ever auction went, David thought he’d give it try, so if you’d love to give this beautiful Brit a good home be sure to bid below!

Seller Description: The third owner of the car worked with the first owner of the car. That first owner reportedly went through the engine and balanced and blueprinted it and may have done some hop up work to it, as he then took the car racing several times and according to the third owner, came to work with a couple of trophies. The car has always been here in CT. The first owner installed a small under-hood fire extinguisher, HP fuel pump, a high force clutch and had louvers punched into the top of the bonnet (those are things we know of…).

When the first owner went to sell it, the third owner wanted the car but couldn’t afford it. It was sold to a local woman who hardly drove the car (possibly due to the clutch). The current owner knew this woman and actually delivered milk to her and he saw the car sitting. It sat for a couple of years and this owner approached her and bought the car. He and the first owner (you’re getting all this right..?? LOL) got the engine running again with just a little tune up work. That was in 1964.

This owner used it to deliver milk in, courted his first wife in it and generally used it as a daily driver. When he got divorced, he got the car but seeing as it was associated with his Ex, he tucked her (the little MG, not his Ex) away in the barn seen in a couple of the photos. That was late 1973. The car has been sitting ever since. I bumped into the owner at a car meet and we got to talking about a recently freshened RHD TD I am helping someone sell and he told me about this car. Take a look at the 150+ photos here (or in the gallery below).

This car is super solid, the engine turns, still has all her oil and its still rather viscous. Sure, there are nicks and chips in the paint. (The previous owner pulled the fenders and repainted them back in the 70’s), the top has 4-5 mice chew holes and the seats are starting to get a little crunchy (they were died red over black at some point.. the previouscurrent owner doesn’t remember dying them…LOL)… But… with some softener and cleaner, they’ll come back to comfy with the dreaded P word (patina)…

The tires are the ones on it from ’73… Michelins.. She’ll need brakes, but with some tuning, cleaning and standard used car replacement items (fluids, brakes, flush tank, tires, probably a gasket or two) I feel this car could be up and running as is. Cut and polish that paint and she’ll shine. The car does come with some spare parts too; generator with tach drive, water pump, wind wings and a few more I can’t recall at the moment. Oh, all numbers match, 65,991 miles, no rot, no rust through, only very minor surface rust here and there. Wood structure looks practically new too!

We are incredibly excited to be offering this MG as an auction and want to thank David for listing it with us. Be sure to register as a bidder and post any questions you may have in the comments below. If you have a vehicle that you’d like to auction off, please contact us.

Location: Middletown, Connecticut
Mileage: 65,991
Title Status: Clean

[wpauction id=”13″ /]

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Comments

  1. Al

    When I was a kid, I loved this car style.
    When I was 12, I found a BRG TD. The guy wanted $3500 at the time, it was immaculate, you could eat off the motor. Probably it was too much money for it at the time, possibly he was trying to scare me off. I got a second job after school job, my first job was a early morning paper route. When I was 16 and had saved the money, I went back to him to buy the MG, and he looked me up and down and said, “Sure, I can take your money, but I think you had better try and get into it”. Dang…, I was too tall, at 6’7″, I could not get into it.

    16+
  2. ulm210

    Robert is in a bidding war… with himself

    6+
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Actually there were two Roberts bidding against each other. Our system only displays first names, but we have changed one of the Robert’s username so everyone can tell who is who.

      3+
  3. King Al

    Barn Finds provides such diverse transportation offerings. I never cease to be amazed at the types of vehicles that interest others. To me, maybe the MGA or later B are are some interest, but the earlier MG offerings are such basic vehicles with so little to them. They must be an aquired taste, like for those who drink kombucha juice after the large fungus in the jar (excretes) ages it. Odd how these purportedly trendy British sporting vehicles seem to appear mostly in the Northeast. Rarely saw these in the midwest even 40 – 50 years ago. Dont know if that is because many didnt want want to experience driving a British 1950s version of a Model T. Or if the joy of driving these rattle traps through a forest lane on a crisp fall day wasn’t that desireable after all.

    2+
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Have you driven one of these? They are right at home on a twisty tree lines road and that’s exactly why they were so popular in the northeast. Give one a try and you’ll be surprised at how much fun the experience can be!

      5+
      • Bmac Bmac Member

        I’m thinking the twisty roads of beautiful northern Michigan!

        1+
    • Nathan Avots-Smith Staff

      My grandparents had an MGTF (the version that followed the TD) when they were first married in Iowa in the ’50s. My grandmother drove it to her nursing job in the winter with the just the side curtains and top keeping the elements out. My mom came home from the hospital on the shelf behind the front seats! There were a few “oddballs” in the midwest back then…

      5+
    • waynard

      @KingAl,
      I had one in Chicago in the late ’60’s, a 1951 TD. I was also President of the Vintage MG Car Club of Chicago around that time. There were plenty of these running around and we all drove them regularly and for great distances in the country. Mine was a daily driver. You must not have gotten out much.

      1+
      • King Al

        Well, I must admit, I wasn’t in Chicago but was around metro Detroit in that time period. As I said, saw a few As, more Bs in later years, but none of the early MGs. Here is a similiar vehicle now offered in BF. Also didnt see these around Detroit, but maybe you had some in your sports car club in Chicago.

        http://barnfinds.com/funky-farmer-1950-crosley-farm-o-road/

        0
    • Bob Little

      HEY! Rattletraps? Just because you have no appreciation for fine British craftmanship…. Bolts and nuts that are so finely milled they undo and drop original British engineered parts hither and yon? Superb gasket fittings and end of crank stuffings that bleed oil all over your otherwise boring and spotless driveway?
      You obviously never rode ‘english bikes’ growing up. Bikes that had no brakes, dropped chain drives and bikes needing to be bolted back together after every outing.
      You were never a fan of the amazing British motorcycles like Triumph, that notoriously never ran, but looked so damn good. A dead Bonneville in your driveway showed you were a man of superior taste with little riding experience, but a huge right leg from endless kick starting.
      You had a disadvantaged youth. You missed those nights of New England snow storms where the snow literally blew in your MGA cockpit between windshield and convertible top bow. Oh the pleasure and joy of stuffing rags and towels up there at visor level to keep out the elements.
      You mere novice…no meaningful road background in true British motoring…so sad for you…

      2+
      • Tommy Brown

        Nice headlights on that beauty indeed.

        2+
    • Donek

      Isn’t everything an acquired taste? It’s that ‘basic…with so little to them’ which is for many so attractive. So much of the feel and sound of the road and of the machine and let’s not forget the elements 🙂 and not difficult to maintain.
      This will make someone a really delightful project.

      0
  4. Big Al

    Great find. That one has so much life left in it. Preserve and enjoy.

    3+
    • AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

      Thanx Al,
      I agree 100%
      Any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me and/or comment here. I do have a day job and will answer as quickly as I can. BTW, this little red Brit has a period GM heater installed.

      Thanx!

      Talk soon,

      2+
  5. Lee

    l would cut the back off and graft it on to a Harley for a neat three wheeler and make a couch out of the seat and a wall hanger out of the front two feet and tubes for the kids for swimming and ebay the rest

    1+
  6. Steve

    So far, pretty cheap. My Dad had a friend with one, rode with him a lot and my Dad’s favorite expression about it (and other sports cars of that era) was, “It felt like you were dragging your butt on corduroy.”

    3+
  7. Bruce Best

    I can tell you that since it is in good mechanical shape and the body is neither rusted or damaged that two hard working young men can restore one of these, completely strip the metal, repaint and reassemble one of these in two weeks. It helps if you send the interior out to be done along with the top and per my mantra of replace the wiring harness but you can drive what seems like a new car in two weeks of hard work by two car nuts.

    And what is amazing is the feeling of accomplishment and the amount of fun the process is. Good luck to who ever purchases it and have fun.

    5+
  8. tugdoc

    When I was a kid in the 50s a TD was parked near a factory daily. I loved the look of that red MG. I would look for it whenever I was in the area. One day it was gone but in it’s place was a brand new MGA also red. Dang choices choices GLWTS

    3+
  9. oldmgguy

    Had a couple of these ’53 shown here, still have one a ’51 bought on a used car lot in ’63. Absolutely love the ingenuity of the windshield defoggers on the car for sale………never seen that before GLWTS

    2+
  10. Bmac Bmac Member

    Assuming this car is still on the east coast, should of ask earlier

    0
    • Bmac Bmac Member

      Never mind, must of missed it.

      0
  11. AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

    Hi BMac,
    Yes the little red Brit is in Middletown, CT.
    Assuming you take her home, where are you located?

    0
    • Bmac Bmac Member

      Concord, Michigan

      0
  12. Tom Lange

    It’s a very late car – the 28th from the end of production run. The last car (excluding a prototype that was finished dead last) was TD29915, and this one is TD29887.

    3+
  13. Chuck F 55chevy

    Love T-Series, finally got one, the best, a 1500! New wood, new paint, new interior kit, some assembly required.

    2+
  14. AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

    Just a quick follow up.
    Bmac and I contacted each other immediately after the auction.
    He scheduled a time to drive out from Michigan that weekend. he brought cash. He drove the 11+ hours out, put the car on a trailer and turned around and drove back…
    He has an awesome plan for the car. Get her running and enjoy her as she is at his cottage on the lake somewhere in the “wilds” of MI.
    Everything went well and very smoothly.

    Thanx Barn Finds!!

    Talk soon,

    1+

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