Horse Barn Find: 1951 MG TD

1951 MG TD

Long forgotten in the corner of a horse barn since 1975, this 1951 MG TD has now been found and can be your new project car. 70,000 miles are posted in the listing as the mileage, and the seller does include a VIN as well as claiming a clear title. To bring this project car home, you will have to part with $9,500. It is located in Auburn-Enumclaw, Washington. Thank you, Pat L., for the tip. You can view more on Craigslist.

1951 MG TD

As far as mechanical components go, the car is complete according to the seller. It still retains its four cylinder engine. The prior owner, who has passed away, intended to supercharge it, and the Eaton supercharger does come with the car. The seller also notes that a new transmission is also available, but they are not certain if it has overdrive, as the gentleman who was working on the car had intended.

1951 MG TD

For being tucked away in a barn and having nothing covering the cabin, this car has aged surprisingly well. The upholstery is still intact as you can see in the photos, except for some of the carpeting in the floors and door lining. All of the instruments on the dashboard seem present. After a day of cleaning, the car could be suitable enough to cruise in and mentally feel calm about the condition in which you are riding.

1951 MG TD

The seller says that long ago when the car was parked, the battery was removed, and the keys left in the ignition. New drum brakes, a rebuilt differential, and heaters also come with the purchase of the car. If you are interested in the car, the seller is doing this for the widow of the original builder. They intend to sell before the colder weather, so if you want to prepare for a project in the new year, this might be your candidate for restoration in 2020.


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  1. Fahrvergnugen Farhvergnugen Member

    This looks like a great canvas to work with! Even little evidencia of Rodentia! And a dash that hasn’t delaminated. Wrong coast, but i reeallly like this one.

    Like 5
  2. waynard

    Nice. Clean the windshield, check the oil and water, make it safe, drive it the way it is.

    Like 7
    • BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

      2nd the motion !

      Like 3
  3. Bill

    A little pricey imo. Fully restored they go for $18,000-$20,000 in my area. You would be underwater fast with this one starting out at $9000+. You could probably find one partly restored for that money.

    Like 1
  4. Milt

    Think back when you were about 14 and found the book “The Red Car”, about a kid who found a trashed MG TC in Frenchy’s Garage. How many of the rest of you are now traipsing down memory lane?

    Like 14
    • robj Member

      About 4 years ago I bought the book again and re-read it. I still lust after a TC!

      Like 1
    • Robert L Roberge

      Found a ’53 in a warehouse in downtown Redlands, CA in ’66. Paid $50 and hauled it home. Rebuilt the tired old XPAG-TD2 engine for under $200. A guy I knew covetted it from day 1 and when he offered $550, I couldn’t resist. I have bruises from kicking myself so many times over the years.

      Like 2
    • zipp

      How many of us read “The Red Car” when we were kids – and never forgot it! Amazing.

      Like 4
    • 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

      Exactly! I read that book so many times I almost memorized it. I dreamed of having a TC until I tried getting into one at a car show years later. I’m 6’4″ tall and at that time probably 200 lbs- couldn’t get all of me into it. Now, 30 lbs heavier I’d have to stand outside it and just admire the lines. I have a 66 Corvette coupe, plenty of room inside, but tough to get in and out of gracefully.

      Like 2
      • Randall G Cook

        I have a ’66 convertible, helps getting in and out with the top down haha

  5. ken tilly uk Member

    As far as I am aware the MG TD never came with overdrive. I don’t think the MG TF did either for that matter.

    Like 2
  6. StuB

    No T series MG had overdrive and no way an overdrive will fit without drastic alteration to the tunnel, even then I don’t think an adaptor to fit it to the transmission and the overdrive specific output shaft exists outside of someone’s imagination.

    Like 1
  7. bobhess bobhess Member

    That gear box pictured on the listing is a Ford top loader 4 or 5 speed. We’ve got a 4 speed in one of our Sprite race cars. They were probably thinking the 4th gear ratio would be like having an overdrive compared to the MG. If the picture comes up the Ford is on the left. Lot of work to do on this one, especially if it needs new wood under the metal panels.

    Like 1
    • misterlou Member

      Looks like a Ford Type 9 5-speed to me Bob. These came in the Merkurs stateside.

  8. bobhess bobhess Member

    StuB… Our bell housing came from a company in the UK through one of our race car parts suppliers. Huffaker Engineering in California is rumored to have adaptors and bell housings for various transmissions. Couldn’t tell from the picture but I’d assume a stock 5 speed Ford box’s 5th gear is an overdrive gear. Also, the Ford would fit the tunnel but it is a good bit longer than the stock box which would require building a shorter driveshaft.

    Like 1
  9. Tom Lange

    Wrong supercharger (won’t fit and is much too small), and wrong transmission. A nice solid $5-6,000 car, as is, needing everything. Spend another $6k on the engine, brakes, tires and suspension, and you have a nice solid $8,000 car. Spend another $14k on new paint and chrome, $4k on interior, and $3k on instruments, etc., and you have a restored car worth $20,000. T-series cars are not wise investments these days, as there are so many of them available, and only old guys seem to love them.

    Like 3
    • bigdoc

      I resemble that remark! LOL

      Like 8
    • waynard

      Hey! Don’t be criticizing us “old guys”. We’re keeping a good chunk of the market alive.

      Like 7
    • TouringFordor

      If you buy a new car, you lose 20% of its value driving it home. But you buy it because you like it, and are willing to take the loss. It’s called utils in economics.

      If you love the car, love doing the work, and enjoy driving it, it’s worth what you have in it. Everyone isn’t in this to make a profit.

      Like 1
    • damnfingers

      Definitely the T-9 transmission from the Merkur. Bell housing and other parts to fit to TD available for a reasonable price from Hi-Gear Engineering in the UK. Not sure about the supercharger but just about anything can be modified to fit/work with the XPAG engine.

  10. charlie Member

    As impractical a car as there is, but fun to drive on twisty back roads at 45 mph if you don’t have to get home on time. Accommodates two people and a bag of groceries (along with a bunch of spares parts, fuel pump, water pump, wiper motor, some wire and duct tape, and tools – Whitworth if I remember, a fire extinguisher for the electrical fires, and a AAA card so if you can’t fix it on the run, it can be towed home.) College roommate had a ’51 in the early 60’s, transmission got rebuilt on dorm room floor at one point.

    Like 4
  11. waynard

    My ’51 was never that unreliable. Drove it daily for 4 years with nary a problem. Fire extinguisher, yes, but never used it.

  12. Clay Bryant

    50 years ago I and a brother-in-law were driving down an irrigation canal outside Grand Junction , Colorado when I looked over and saw a cow rubbing it’s neck on what looked like a roadster windshield beside a barn. Went back and saw this MG buried to the axles in mud, outside with no cover and it had a smallblock Chevy in it. High dollar “cattle rubber”. Anyone from that region ever know what happened to that car………?.

  13. bobhess bobhess Member

    Thanks misterlou. The 5 speed makes sense if you are looking for an overdrive transmission. The 5th gear was added to the original 4 speed which was in the European Capri and eventually made to the states in the late Pintos. It’s a good tough box, especially with the Quaif racing gears we’ve got in ours.

  14. Gord Clark

    Tough? you bet! I bought my TF new in June of 1954. Its has about 375,000 miles on it. Driven to all 4 corners of the lower mainland:- The Maritimes, Florida. California and BC. Drive it every day (in the summer), if possible. On its 5th engine, 2nd gearbox. Done some suspension work, but not too much. Original springs all ’round, but they’re now getting pretty tired. Paint and interior desparate! I really need to do some work on it, but I’m almost 87, and need lots of help now. Looks tatty but still drives well. Just today 80, miles with the windscreen down! I’d sell my first born for a 5 speed; especially with synchro on 1st. Just not in the cards for now.

    And for the record … yup, I’m one of those old geezers that Tom Lange mentions.

    Like 8
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Great job Gord! You are a car guy!

      Like 4
  15. bobhess bobhess Member

    What leiniedude said! Go Gord!

    Like 3
  16. Del

    At 9500 they will not be selling this soon

  17. robert kirk

    Oct 4, car is no longer listed.

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