Little Work Needed: 1954 MG TF Midget

Launched in October of 1953, the MG TF was essentially a face-lifted version of the previous MG TD, but during its 18-month life cycle, it did receive some welcome performance upgrades. This 1954 model appears to be a nice survivor that doesn’t need a lot of work to really make it stand out. Located in Paris, Texas, you will find the MG listed for sale here on eBay. At the time of writing, bidding has reached $8,350. With the reserve having been met, the little MG is set to head off to a new home.

The presentation of the MG isn’t bad, and I quite like the match of the white paint and the white-wall tires. There are a few marks and dings on the car, the worst of these being the damage that you can see in this photo on the passenger side rear fender. There is also a smaller one on the opposite side and a scrape on the front fender on the passenger side. The soft-top does have some patches, and it is looking a bit saggy and baggy. I did a bit of a search around, and replacement tops are available for around the $300 mark, or up around $500 if you want to buy one with the matching side curtains.

The interior of the MG looks to be both original, and in quite good condition. The owner says that the carpet could be replaced, and once again, I did a bit of scouting around, and quality replacement sets can be bought for around $190. The rest of the interior and the dash looks quite good, although the door trims are showing their age a bit, and the upholstery on the seat bases is also a bit stretched. The perfectionists among you would probably want to restore these, but to me, they just add to the character of the car. The only other thing that I would address would be the boots on both the shifter and parking brake. Both look untidy, and if these can’t be repaired, I would probably look for replacement items.

The owner says that this is a numbers-matching car, so under the hood is the 1,250cc XPAG 4-cylinder engine, which is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. Although this combination was essentially carried over from the MG TD, the engine did receive some upgrades in a bid to provide improved performance. Increased compression ratio, along with larger valves and carburetors saw the engine power increase by 4hp. It’s not much, but when you only have 58hp at your disposal, every little bit helps. The owner says that the car runs well and that the only issue that it has is a leaking exhaust gasket.

I have to say that I actually find the MG TF Midget to be a striking looking little car. The all-white paintwork with the red panel piping, matching side curtains, and red interior trim gives the car a really elegant look. The work needed to really make it sparkle would not be particularly difficult to perform, or expensive. The simple fact is that today you will be hard pressed to find a reasonable TF Midget for sale for under $20,000, while immaculate examples can fetch more than twice that figure. This one isn’t perfect, but if those few little issues were addressed, it could be an enjoyable little car to own, and the potential is there for the next owner to be able to secure it at a very reasonable price.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Dude

    This car is very cool, but could someone tell me what the most controversial comment or the longest debate in the barn finds comment section was? I know this has nothing to do with the car but i have always wanted to know, as i have only known barn finds for about a year and a half and I am sure one of you that has been here since the beginning would know.
    Thanks

  2. Steve

    Of all the T-Series MGs I like the TF the best. If you can find one, a Judson supercharger adds some HP to the cars. They (the super chargers, not the MGs) were built near where I used to live, Conshohoken, PA.

    Like 2
  3. Mike

    That exhaust gasket can be changed in a matter of minutes. But replacing the nausea-inducing red piping will take a while. And at that point, you might as well respray it in the original color.

    Like 1
  4. ccrvtt

    I have been a fan of TFs for years and seeing a red one in an episode of Midsomer Murders put me over the top. The MG clubs had their national gathering a few years ago in Louisville and I met a fine fellow from Canada who owned a cream colored 1500. They are definitely rakish with the top down (and black tyres). White with wide whites and the ungainly top up, not so much.

    Like 1
  5. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Man, that seems like a smoking deal! I am going to have to keep my eyes open for one.

  6. Andy Member

    Back in the early 60s, I bought a cream and red TF like this one for $750 in Honolulu. Drove it for a year or so and sold it for $775. Great car. Never had the top up on it. I thought it was a 1500cc. Could be wrong

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