Owned For 70 Years! 1952 MG TD

Long-term ownership of a classic car is nothing new, but this 1952 MG TD takes it to a new level. It has been part of the same family for an incredible seventy years, but the time has come for it to head to a new home. It underwent a frame-off restoration many years ago, but it still presents beautifully today. The seller has pulled it out of storage and returned it to a roadworthy state, making it ready to hit the road with a new owner behind the wheel. If you feel up to the challenge of owning a classic British sports car, you will find this MG located in Rohnert Park, California, and listed for sale here on Craigslist. You could call this MG yours by handing the owner $17,500.

The seller indicates that the owner treated this MG to a frame-off restoration in the 1980s. It received limited use once the work was complete before the owner placed it into storage. It has only recently been dragged out and revived, and it remains in excellent condition. Its Black paint shines richly, with no visible flaws or defects. It would probably benefit from a careful hand polish, but even that would not be essential. The panels are laser straight, but the best news is that since this vehicle has spent most of its life in California, it remains completely rust-free. The underside is spotlessly clean, and it has no immediate physical needs. The matching Black soft-top is as tidy as the rest of the exterior, while the trim shines beautifully against that Black paint. The original steel wheels are in excellent condition and are wrapped in a new set of tires. There’s little doubt that this MG is a head-turning car.

Lifting back the hood on this MG reveals the 1,250cc XPAG four-cylinder engine that produces 54hp. That power finds its way to the road via a four-speed manual transmission, allowing this British gem to cover the ¼ mile in 21.5 seconds. However, it is worth noting that brute straight-line speed is not the forte of these cars. They are more at home cruising winding country roads, providing a relaxed wind-in-the-hair motoring experience. While he doesn’t expressly state it, I believe this vehicle is a numbers-matching classic. I suspect that the engine was probably treated to a rebuild as part of the restoration process and saw little use before the car went into hibernation. When the seller moved it into the light of day, he worked through returning it to a roadworthy state. As well as replacing the tires, he performed a service, replaced the brakes, and checked the fuel system. The fuel system proved to be in good order because the owner was meticulous about his preparation before placing the MG into storage. This TD is now roadworthy and ready to be enjoyed by a new owner.

It seems that the owner had an eye for detail and originality when they performed the restoration on this MG. Any TD that rolled off the factory floor in Abington, Oxfordshire, wearing Black paint would, as a matter of course, feature an interior trimmed in Red, Beige, or Green. It is common to see refurbishments where an owner aims for a triple-black treatment, but this MG features its correct Green interior trim. It presents as nicely today as it would have when the restoration was complete. There are no signs of wear or physical damage, and even the original banjo-style wheel is in good condition. The dash is free from problems, while the gauge markings are crisp and the lenses are clear. The new owner could drive this car with pride because there’s nothing to be ashamed of with this interior.

It is easy to claim that any classic car represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and often, those claims don’t stand up to close scrutiny. However, that would seem to be true with this 1952 MG TD. Finding any classic that has been the subject of long-term ownership is a treat, but finding one where that feat has spanned seven decades is pretty incredible. While its owner performed a restoration in the 1980s, the fact that it has remained untouched and unmodified since means it could easily be classed as a survivor. Its asking price is highly competitive, and I suspect the new home won’t be very far away. Could it be yours?


  1. 370zpp 370zpp Member


    Like 9
  2. MattR Member

    Very nice.

    This is located near one of my favorite breweries. I think I’ll stay away from there for a while.

    Like 5
  3. robert gressard

    Wow, 70 years same owner. I have driven my 1952 TD for 52 years. I hope I am driving mine 18 more years. Something about long term ownership. The car fits like a great old leather jacket. Everything falls just where it belongs. Along the way I have met the greatest bunch of owners, traveled the world to meet other like owners. The car always starts for the next adventure. Nice TD. Buy it and join the preservation and enjoyment of the T series MG.

    Like 13
  4. Denny N. Member

    I’m amazed no one has snapped this one up. A classic with this history doesn’t come along often.
    I have one British car and that’s all I need.

    Like 6
  5. Chris

    No, it is not a survivor in any way. A restored car, even an older restoration, does not meet any possible definition of “survivor” unless we’re just throwing any reasonable definition out the window and calling everything that is nice a survivor.

    Unless you were joking?

    That said, this is beautiful. Fantastic price! I wish I could make this mine today, but it’s not in the cards for me right now. Someone is going to get a real beauty here!

    Like 4
    • Armstrongpsyd Armstrongpsyd Member

      Chris, I love the discussions of “Survivors”. How would you define one? That term is used a lot, and there’s usually someone questioning it. Is there gray area? Is it black and white? I have older vehicles (No computers, carbureted, hand cranked or slide in windows), and I maintain them, replacing generators, wipers, headlights and other parts as they wear out. I’ve even reupholstered seats that were in bad shape; so I’m interested in this term as we discuss our toys. If it’s still on the road as a daily driver, not a garage or trailer queen, I’d tend to cut it some slack, but I’m no expert and curious what other guys think.

      Like 3
      • Garry

        I am a survivor, been around a bit longer than the TD.
        Teeth not original, bit hard to start on cold mornings, still good for a long haul.
        I have a woman who makes sure that I am well maintained and kept in top tune!

        Does that fit the definition of survivor?

        Like 4
      • Solosolo Solosolo Member

        I have been married to the same lady for 58 years and she hasn’t killed me yet so I figure I must be some sort of survivor!

        Like 1
      • Armstrongpsyd Armstrongpsyd Member

        Solosolo, I guess some might ask if you’ve got a pace maker or had your knees or hips replace. Did you have that white hair when you married her? How about those reading glasses? ;) Congratulations on 58 years of marriage. I’d definitely call you a survivor.

        Like 1
      • Solosolo ken tilly Member

        @Armstrong. Yeah, I’ve had a knee replacement, got the grey hair, had eye implants and still wear glasses, but life goes on. Just waiting for Spring in order to get back onto my Honda motorcycle, if the knee lets me that is!

  6. Jack Quantrill

    I turned down a ‘47 Chevrolet 4-door for a ‘52 TD. $750, then. I was a 16 yr old weasel.

    Like 1
  7. Chuck

    Being a 1952 model myself, I would love to buy this. Unfortunately, I have too many LBC projects and the wife would kill me. She may kill me anyway if I don’t finish her toy.

    Like 1
  8. bobH Member

    Wife & I had a 52 TD in the early 60’s. Nothing about that car inspires me to have another. However, having voiced that opinion, this sure seems to be a nice one that would make an enthusiast proud. Somebody, go for it.

  9. fliphall

    Sweet ride, good price.

    Like 2
  10. Bruce Cunha

    I note it looks like it has a radio antenna. Is the radio the original Radiomobile 4100? If so, I would love to see it.

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