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Perfect Home Project: 1951 MG TD Mk II Competition

When the MG TD was released to the world in 1950, there were many positive reviews from the motoring press, especially surrounding the significant improvements in the ride comfort that the car displayed compared to its predecessors. MG enthusiasts were less fulsome in their praise, as the car seemed to lack the sort of performance that they had come to expect. The company made a reasonable attempt at addressing these criticisms when it introduced the Mk II Competition in 1951. By waving a wand over the engine, they were able to extract additional engine power, and this placated the enthusiasts. This 1951 model will need restoration, but it does appear to be a solid candidate for such a project. Located in Wylie, Texas, you will find the MK II listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set the BIN price at $13,500, although the option is available to make an offer.

As a starting point for a restoration project, this MG looks quite good. The floors and frame appear to be solid, and while there is some corrosion visible on the body, it looks like it has avoided any real rot. All of the trim is present, although there are a few pieces that will require restoration. The car rolls on its original 15″ steel wheels, and all of the hubcaps, which could be easy to lose, are present. The windshield also looks good, but a new soft-top will definitely be on the shopping list.

The general appearance of the interior trim is promising, but just how much work is required will depend on the project aims of the next owner. If perfection is the aim, then there is plenty to do, including new covers for the seats, a dash restoration, plus a few detail tasks. For the person who is just interested in turning the car into a daily driver, then the interior could be used as it is. That being said, I would still be inclined to do something about the small tears in the seat upholstery, as they could become large tears pretty quickly. One huge positive is the fact that the interior does appear to be complete, so there would not be a huge number of items that would need to be sourced to bring it up to scratch.

To address the perceived horsepower shortages of the car when it was first introduced, MG provided the TD Mk II Competition with a few mechanical upgrades, Some, like the improved shock absorbers were designed to give the car more surefooted handling, while the majority of the focus was on extracting more performance from the 1,250cc XPAG engine. With an increase in the compression ratio and the addition of a twin-feed fuel system with twin fuel pumps, power jumped from 54hp to 62hp. This may not sound like much, but it did represent a 15% power increase, which is not to be sneezed at. The car no longer has its original fuel pumps, but the addition of a battery and some fuel did see the engine fire up and run. The car has been sitting for a number of years, so it will need a complete check, and probably a bit of work before it is ready to hit the road.

For British car enthusiasts, and for someone looking for a restoration project to tackle in their home workshop, cars like this MG certainly have their share of attractions. These are not a particularly complicated piece of machinery, and the vast majority of the restoration work could be undertaken by a competent person at home. If you were looking at paying someone to undertake a full “nut and bolt” restoration, this is a car that probably wouldn’t make economic sense. However, given the fact that a pristine example can fetch figures of $24,000 or significantly more, then as a home restoration project, it does have some attraction.


  1. Avatar photo DerikLattigCats

    This is a nice little car, doubt I would do a thing to it.

    Like 5
  2. Avatar photo Coventrycat

    Like that a lot, I’d drive it just the way it is and get more attention at a car show than an Aston Martin.

    Like 8
  3. Avatar photo Tom Lange

    There is really an awful lot wrong with this car – starting with the TF seats, TYF air filters and missing horns. The engine tag is missing, so it is unclear whether this even still has the original higher-performance engine (it used to be cheaper to swap out a junkyard engine than rebuild the original). A replacement engine reduces the value by $1-2,000. Overall, the car is considerably over-priced, by about 6,500$.

    Good that the 4 extra Andrex shocks are still there; the fuel pumps and impossible-to-find air filter unit are certainly missing. Unfortunately, MGs have generally not held their values, much less gone up like Healeys or Porsches. You can buy a very nice, perfectly presentable, needing-nothing TD for less than the asking price of this car.

    A small Barn Finds correction: the Mark II or TD/C had 57HP, up from the stock 54.4; the TF1500 had 62-3HP.

    Like 6
  4. Avatar photo Bruce

    Right on all you said Tom but also check the wood framing of the body tub. Texas heat and low humidity can take a serious toll on the wood structure and if it is bad the rebuild of the wood even in kit form is expensive and time consuming. YES, they kit build the wood parts over in England for restoration and assembly is not that hard but very time consuming.

    If there is a simpler car to restore I am not aware of it. Bolts together and comes apart with ease. Simple panels and structure, mechanicals are basic and tend to last unless abused. One trick many miss is that the slats in the radiator are to be painted the same color as the interior color. Over the years that has gone away and now body color is more common.

    As for proper color MG never had proper paint mixers so there is a massive number of color variations in red, blue, tan and other colors. Different shades were just fine. So find a panel under cover and try to match that if you are going to do a proper restoration. When finished enjoy as that is what this car was made to make you do.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Ecn444

      Also noticed there is No Mark lol Emblem which mine had!!
      Pretty Rough and to Pricey🙄

      Like 3
  5. Avatar photo Jack Quantrill

    Reminds me of my beloved ’52 TD. As a punk kid bought it for $750, in 1956. Yellow over red interior, with plaid top and tire cover!

    Like 4
  6. Avatar photo Little Cars Member

    Jack, if you can scan a picture of yours from 1956, I would love to see it in that plaid period guise. No pics = never happened. :) Smiles

    Like 1
  7. Avatar photo nissim buchnik

    wonder. is it still available ?

    Like 0

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