Live Auctions

No Reserve Roadster: 1951 MG TD

As the prices of MG T-Series cars continue to drop, they have become even more appealing to me. This 1951 MG TD is an older restoration/refurbishment that still shines up well and will provide a lot of driving enjoyment for its new owner. The roadster is located in Dade City, Florida and is listed for sale here on eBay at no reserve. There’s less than two days left in the auction as I type and bidding hasn’t even reached $8,500 yet!

From this distance, the car looks almost perfect; it isn’t, but it is pretty darned nice. The seller has included over 150 high-resolution photographs in the auction listing (Scotty, at least someone listens to you) detailing all the minor cosmetic defects that the car has. We’re also told that although the car’s engine turns over, it’s a non-runner at this point and has been stored for a number of years. This car is actually from the first “series” of TDs and after looking at this neat VIN registry courtesy of the T-Register I found it was built on 4-May 1951.

All the weather equipment is intact, but a little the worse for wear. But who is ever going to put the top up in an MG TD? Certainly not me! There’s some orange peel in the paint, some scratches, a few spots of corrosion here and there, but again, look at the price! We’re talking the same dollars as a 10-year old Toyota here and 100 times the charm (no offense, Toyota lovers).

The seller has even included closeups of the underside of the car, where a few issues are revealed along with a decent amount of overspray.

I appreciate the honesty provided by the photos. These are simple cars, but there’s still a lot that can be expensive to fix. I don’t see anything tremendously difficult on this car, though, even with the damage visible here.

That’s where I’d like to be right now. We’re going through a warm patch in North Carolina right now and it was over 65 degrees F yesterday — plenty warm enough for a top-down drive!

The original XPAG engine is just sitting there ready to go. I’ll bet that a fuel system cleanout and some fresh dashpot oil would have all 54 horsepower (!!) trundling down some secondary roads putting wind in your hair. Do any of you share my vision?

Comments

  1. Andy

    Dade City sounds like a really uninspiring place for a TD. I probably wouldn’t mess with anything that wasn’t a safety issue or wouldn’t lead to full scale rot in the next few years, just clean the carb & fuel lines, replace fuel hoses, flush the brakes & radiator and drive it.

    Like 9
    • Chris H

      Ditto. Always kina wanted one of these, and this one looks very nice.
      Don’t understand why they didn’t get it running before putting it up for sale. Seems a little easier to sell something capable of driving itself up on the haul trailer…

      Like 9
  2. David Zornig

    $12,000 seems to be the magic number on these.
    As cool looking as they are, I rarely see them approach $20,000 in any condition.
    Friend had a `53 TD in the `70s.
    Great little car when it ran right.

    Like 1
    • Britcarguy

      I agree about the $12K number on TDs. I don’t think the values have dropped so much in the last 20 years as the values just never took off like other models. They look good, make great noises, but are not comfortable except for local runs. If that is your plan, then find the best one you can. Just don’t buy one for an investment.

  3. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    It seems like a steal to me. Wonderful car for rural Wisconsin. I always liked these but have seen very few around here. As is said alot around this site, ‘I wish she was closer’.

    Like 1
  4. Frank

    If I remember correctly and I could be wrong but the major challenge in a TD was hidden wood rot behind the sheet metal. I think the body frame was all wood.

    Like 1
  5. waynard

    My very first car in 1971. Paid $2000 for it and took it apart after driving it for two years in near-north side Chicago. Took a year for me to restore it. Then I sold it for around 5K if I remember correctly. Loved that car (Carlotta) and I’d have another. Good price on this we’ll see where it goes.

    Like 5
  6. chrlsful

    sis got the same yr & color as a college grad gift (in 1968?). Ran it a few yrs, moved to the city (not a good place 4 it) & sold for same $ bought (eventho a local MG expert did a nut/bolt total re-do) and a Kansas guy placed in a box truck back to Kansas (frm east coast). Hada extra rear end/carb’n intake.
    While I followed prices (1968 – 1995) they never seemed to waver even w/a 25 yr changing economy. What’s this “…as they fall…”? Is the purchasing crowd dying off? (in the 90s to 40s in age)

    Like 1
  7. Robert L Roberge

    Had one. I don’t share your nostalgia. They were members of the ‘King George’s revenge’ club. Had to work on it more often than driving it.

    Like 3
  8. Jack Quantrill

    Had a ‘52, as my first car. Just don’t open the doors at speed! My friend did, and the wind tore the door off.

    Like 2
  9. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    To all of the MG people out there, what does the TD stand for? I am confident that it isn’t “Turbo Diesel”

    • Beyfon

      As far as I know TD was nothing but a series designation. Started with TA, TB, TC… Anyone who knows why there was no TE as the next version was named TF?

      Like 2
      • Robert Thomas

        Yes, TF was the next and last of the T-series,

    • TDM

      It was just the series identifier. As the TF was later from my cousins.

      Like 1
  10. charlie Member

    Collage roommate had one. Pulled the transmission out in a parking lot in a snow storm, rebuilt it in the living room, put it back in. Two of us just carried it two blocks from where it was parked. Great on secondary roads, terrifying on the Interstates given its size and fragility. Practiced the “dive” in case of a roll over (while standing still). A 3rd person could fit in the boot if the top was up. Freezing cold in cold weather despite heater. Lucas electrics, only one fire in the two years he owned it, put out by pulling the burning wires loose. No headlights but got home. A toy when new, a toy now, but like all good toys, fun.

    Like 6
  11. Andrew Franks

    I had one, loved it. It got demolished by a drunk driver in Chicago. I was in it.
    It was a miracle that I survived. I want another one, life interfered, I’ll get to it.

    Like 5
  12. Russell Ashley

    I had a friend who had one of those and he drove it to work almost every day. I looked through the pictures on ebay and now I realize why he always wore a raincoat if there was a possibility of rain. The curtains don’t look too watertight.

    • John S Wyatt

      I had a ’51 TD in the 80’s in racing green. I really loved it had a ball with it. Finally sold it a big regret. It was in great shape a daily driver.

      Like 2
  13. Robert Thomas

    My dad and mom went on their honeymoon in Myrtle Beach in one and watched MGs compete at Watkins Glen after the war. Dad bought a white TC in the early 60s and I remember he kept it a year maybe before buying a 1965 Mustang convertible. He disliked the styling of the TD series.

    I had cousin who’s uncle had a TF in a barn and later got it running and I drove it in NY state. Took a while to get used to not having disc brakes.

    Like 2
  14. bobhess bobhess Member

    We had a red over tan ’53 that we used to run around town on the weekends or go to parties etc. Lots of fun. If we had room we’d grab this one. We’re 2 1/2 hours away from it. No cross country runner but lots of fun.

    Like 1
  15. SMS

    My father had a ‘52 from ‘54 to ‘59. I got my ‘52 some 40 years later. Mine had the same issues that his had minus the dry rot. His had none. We laughed about it being just as reliable 40 years later.

    Can’t get a lot of the parts anymore.

    One thing I learned with the TD was about usage. There was always something needing fixed on the TD when I was using it occasionally. I started driving it three or four times a week. Suddenly it became more reliable. A friend suggested it was due to parts belong flexed and the heat keeping the moisture at bay. Not sure why but it changed from several hours of wrenching for every hour of driving to a squirt of grease and oil plus some bolt tightening once a week.

    These are a blast. Right up there with a TR3 for fun. Though even at its best the TD takes more effort to keep on the road.

    Make sure you check for dry rot. Replacing any of the frames is LOTS of work. That being said if anyone buys this and lives near San Jose I will give you a hand.

    Like 3
  16. TDM

    I learned one important tip on damper carbs while I was at British Car Service. Use tranny fluid not oil when refilling. When it’s cold it doesn’t thicken up, better response on the throttle. ATF has more detergent in it also, helps.

    Like 2
  17. TDM

    Also if you can’t find parts at Moss Motors or British Victoria find an aircraft machinist. I have several buds that I hire to make missing parts.

    Like 1
  18. Tom Lange

    Beyfon – the thinking is that TE sounded too much like the high-pitched British giggle, “Tee-hee,” and so was skipped over.

    Fears that you “Can’t get a lot of parts anymore” is not correct – between Abingdon Spares, Moss Motors and the many individuals who maintain these cars, almost any part is available – new or used.

  19. SMS

    @Tom Lang, just had a look and stand corrected. My information was old. Looks like parts are available.

    That is great to see. One of my frustrations when I had mine was a catalog full of part numbers and many of them out of stock or no longer available.

  20. ccrvtt

    A guy I played basketball with in high school borrowed his older brother’s TD one night. We took it out after a night game in January (in Michigan). Neat car but I froze my a–.

    Every time I see a TD I shiver…

    Like 1
  21. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:Dec 30, 2019 , 9:01PM
    Winning bid:US $10,850.00
    [ 38 bids ]

    Like 1
  22. Robert Thomas

    That price is certainly worthwhile. There’s an MG TC for sale in San Diego that used to be in the Automotive Museum here and they are asking over $25,000 for that on Craigslist. It’s not likely to sell at that price, based on what we see here.

    Like 1

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