Father & Son Survivors: 1949 MG TD and MG TC

What an interesting find this is: a pair of gorgeous MGs, one TC and another TD, that were both restored and then driven to their (or near to their) current resting spots where they’ve been parked for 20 years. The TC has resided in the previous owner’s living room up until recently, while the TD was driven as part of the “Great American Race” from California to Georgia. The father and his son used the car for the driving event, and then parked it, much like the TC. Both cars are no longer running, but they remain in seemingly excellent condition. Find the MGs here on craigslist where the seller is asking $25K for the TC and $18K for the TD.

The listing mentions that these cars (obviously) belonged to longtime British car enthusiast, who has sadly passed away. The seller has listed them on behalf of the owner’s son, who doesn’t want to get into rejuvenation of the cars and would rather sell them as-is to someone who will bring them back to life, so the sentiment is that these are fair prices for vintage MGs in non-running condition. Fortunately, the seller suspects given the condition they were parked in, they won’t need much work to be road-going once again. The TD was restored by the father and son before being run in the Great American Race, and was then parked after completing the event with its race livery still on the doors.

The TC does look beautiful, with excellent paint, interior, and panel fit. The TC is a right hand drive example, which almost guarantees it was imported by the father or a previous owner. The listing doesn’t provide much info on the TC, other than to note it was parked in the father’s living room for 20 years prior to being moved down to the garage! I get it, though – a car this pretty, I’d love to stare at it every day, especially if old age had caught up to me and made daily driving a classic a bit of a chore. The seller doesn’t provide any meaningful details, other than noting he thinks both cars could get away with basic brake and fuel system work to be back to road-going status.

Whatever the story is here, it has to be an interesting one. It’s hard to imagine achieving the milestone of driving from California to Georgia in an MG TD and not having a life-altering event cause you to hang up your driving gloves so quickly. It makes you wonder if a health emergency caused the cars to be parked, and for the TC to be brought into the living room so it could at least be enjoyed while not being driven. The seller includes pictures of a Morgan roadster that was previously sold, along with a modified Porsche 356 and what looks like a Maserati 300S, evidence that this family has some fine tastes in vintage automobiles.

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Jeff, my somewhat fallible memory tells me all TCs were RHD, so this car could indeed have been purchased in the U.S.A. The company began building left-hook cars with the TD, as I recall.

    Doesn’t matter, really, as these aren’t wide enough for the wheel location to make a whole lot of difference. Experience tells me having the shift lever on the left is like any other cockpit detail; you get used to it after a few miles.

    That wouldn’t give me a moment’s hesitation if I had the $25K to spare. I’ve always loved TCs, have driven only one, and would be proud to own one. If this example is as solid as the photos suggest, the price isn’t outrageous.

    Like 9
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    We owned a ’53 TD in the ’70s that we really enjoyed as a weekend toy for cruising, shows, etc. They are pure fun and easy to keep running. Nice examples of the T series cars here.

    Like 5
  3. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Interesting article. I have been looking for one for about four months now. I have only seen 1 in the wild and am not sure of the attraction. Maybe it’s that they look like a ton of fun! Still in the wheel chair so it will be a while untill I can travel to check some out. Kind of rare here in S. Wi. I really know nothing about these rigs so I hope someone reading the article can direct me to a good forum / source of knowledge. Thanks in advance for any info, take care, Mike.

    Like 1
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Hope you are feeling better soon! I’d hook up with the local MG Club, check out mg3club.org.

      Like 3
      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Thanks Jamie! I will check the mg3club.org.

  4. Bob Roller

    In 1951-52 and 53 I worked for a garage that sold Nuffield cars,MG-Morris-Riley and anything else Max Hoffman had to offer.These MG’s were fun to drive but not too durable if driven hard.Back in the early 50’s there were no really good oils in spite of ads to the contrary and those old engines were made to use a 30 or heavier weight oil and the film strength of these oils was doubtful.High cylinder bore wear and bearing failures were a problem in these little engines and I have posted before about machinists that rebored these engines and said the motor blocks were soft.I know some of these cars owned by people who had big American cars and they must have thought these little four cylinder could be driven hard like a V8 powered car
    and within 10,000 miles or less they were ready for a rebuild.Maybe with the
    high quality oils we have now and driving them sensibly they can be used for a long time.

    Like 2
  5. charlie Member

    College roommate had a ’51 TD, drove from Texas to New England and back more than once. Prices are reasonable, any old car, if you are going to drive it, is taking a chance, but keep in mind, other than Toyotas and Kia’s, so is a new car – my brand new Audi was in the shop 10 days in the first 50,000 miles for failed electronics, covered by warranty, but out of service none the less. AND service manager told me that if the info system/audio system/nav system/phone system had failed 5000 miles later, out of warranty, it would have been $1500 to fix. These are both great toys, keep in mind that they are toys, designed for England’s narrow roads, 35 mph speed limits, but not for England’s rain. Rain proofing them is a periodic chore, both the passenger compartment, and the ignition system. And they drive well in slush/snow despite the lack of much heat or defrost ability, not that you would.

    Like 2

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