Britain’s Sports Car: 1951 MG TD

1951-MG-TD-Survivor

Since we just featured America’s sports car, it is only appropriate to bring up Britain’s. Back in the fifties, sports cars were all the rage here in the USA and many credit the movement to this car. Service men had a good time driving the strange cars around Europe during the war and when they returned home, they brought their steeds with them. MG started exporting the TD to our shores shortly thereafter and they became one of the most popular machines at the races. This particular example is in amazing original condition and can be found here on eBay out of Tarzana, California.

1951-MG-TD-Survivor-side

The MG was more refined than the Crosley. Let us not forget that MG had a little more time to work the kinks out. They started producing their T-cars in 1936 with the TA midget. Improvements were made along the way, but the basic design remained the same for 19 years before they released the MGA. That could explain the archaic exterior.

1951-MG-TD-Survivor-grill

Don’t let the old fashioned clothing fool you though. I took one of these out for a drive the other day and was impressed by the handling, power, and smooth gearshift. They really do drive better than they look. These cars were quite a departure from what the American market was used to. They were nimble and exciting, but not particularly fast. Many people didn’t understand the concept, but those who did, loved them.

1951-MG-TD-Survivor-dash

If you want to find out what they are all about, this could be the perfect one to do it in. This 1951 MG TD has been in the same family since new and is claimed to be all original with no corrosion. It was freshened up mechanically about 5 years ago and is claimed to drive beautifully. She looks pretty good too with the black over red color scheme. Maybe we are just getting cabin fever up here in the cold, but right now there isn’t anything we would rather do than squeeze in that tight cockpit and take this little MG out on some back roads for a summer evening drive.

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Comments

  1. Dolphin Member

    Like the E-Type that was featured here yesterday, this is another California car that is in far better condition than nearly all other unrestored TDs. It has the added distinction of apparently being a 1-family owned car (if you don’t count the reseller), which is extremely rare for a 63-year-old vehicle.

    The bidding continues to be good over the 3 days it has been offered, and it should sell and bring a premium price if the reserve is anywhere near reasonable. You just don’t find this kind of car very often. If the buyer wants to make it perfect, that would be fairly easy as restorations go, but that would not be the way to go with this car. It has great patina and just needs a bit of cleaning up. It’s only an original unrestored car once, so to restore it is to lose that.

    That said, these cars have definite limitations as driving vehicles. I remember tuning one of these up decades ago and was struck by how vintage they are when I drove it. Very high and narrow, with lots of noise and wind in your face, but without much power. They were a great fun car for 1951, and all these years later they are still exactly that: a great fun car—for a 1951 car.

    Buy it for its style, history, and pure vintage driving feel, but don’t expect too much in the way of power, brakes, and low NVH.

  2. Barn Finds

    The eBay link has been fixed.

  3. Dan Farrell

    I love the way the old MGTCs & TDs look way better than the MGA.

  4. paul

    Fantastic, don’t touch a thing, of course, I don’t own any “Roots” tools, so I couldn’t do much any way. & like Dolphin says they are what they are, but so is early Corvettes that folks pay 100,000 G’s .

  5. Warren

    I remember when I was a teenager my Grandmother was storing a MG TF1500 RHD (same color combo) for a local doctor. I loved how the headlights faired into the fenders while keeping a lot of the TD cues.

  6. Kman

    Warren has the right of it: The TF was a much more stylish car than the TD with some cues from a Morgan, As a matter of fact, so was the earlier TC which had the narrow 20wheels, (same size as a Model T). The TC was more likely to have been brought back by returning GIs since it was in production until at least 1949. Kman

  7. John

    If this was a TF, I’d be trying to convince my wife to go to California……

  8. FRED

    I HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART FOR MG’S.THE FIRST CAR I EVER OWNED THAT WAS STREET LEGAL WAS A 1969 MG MIDGET.AT 6FT4IN I WAS TOLD I WORE MY CAR WELL.IT STARTED MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH ALL THE OLD SPORTS CARS.THEY WERE ALL I OWNED WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL THEN A FRIEND OF MY OLDER SISTER LET ME DRIVE HIS 1962 CORVETTE AND THAT ENDED MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH OLD EUROPEAN SPORTS CARS.. THIS ONE COULD REKINDLE THAT OLD FLAME…

  9. Barn Finds

    Here is a TF project for those of you who wanted the later model. The TC is still my favorite!

  10. Joe

    Gentleman please do not run down the power and handling until you have driven a period correct one with period equipment and modern steering and suspension. Upgrade the cam, rear ratio and increase the bore and you have power to spare. Many do not take the time to do this.

    Joe

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