Shiny and Red: 1951 MG TD

Military personnel returning from Europe after World War II wanted sports cars just like the ones they had seen and driven in Europe. So, most TDs came to the US. This one is listed on here on Auto Archeologist in Middleton, Connecticut. It’s been in storage for some time but has been serviced, and runs and drives beautifully.  The $17,000 asking price is perhaps a bit high for a driver quality TD, especially with right-hand drive, but the 141 pictures provided show this MG to be in very nice condition.

The TD was based on MG’s TC sports car. About 5 inches was added to the length and width. Weight also went up 200 pounds, but there were a few more creature comforts. MG built around 30,000 TDs and only about 1,600 of them stayed in England.  The interior looks nice, but up close the seats do look a bit dried and cracked.

Here’s the 1250 CC engine. It will get you to 60 MPH in a little over 20 seconds and continue to as fast as 77 MPH. They have a 12-volt electrical system which was a problem because American cars of the day still had 6 volt systems. The TDs also have rack and pinion steering, years before it was available on American cars.

It’s not as shiny on the bottom side, but things look nice under this TD. These cars rode on a frame so they are relatively easy to restore. As long as there isn’t any serious rust, the biggest concern is the wood structure around the doors. Replacement parts are readily available though from multiple sources.

TDs looks really nice from this end as well. This MG was well taken care of by the former owner after it was restored. It is not a pristine show car but it is a really nice driver. NADA shows low retail at $16,400 and average retail at $25,000, but I think that’s very high when compared to what they sell for on eBay and other sites. While this car may not be a steal, I think it is good value if you don’t mind driving from the wrong side.

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  1. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    I wouldn’t be afraid of a RHD. Everyone makes a big deal about the wheel being on the other side, but drove one of these and shifting became second nature after a few minutes behind the wheel. These little cars aren’t fast, but they are a blast on a curvy backroad. The shifter is crisp and the handling is confidence inspiring. You feel pretty exposed though, but that is part of the experience I suppose. It makes you feel like you are going a lot faster than you really are… Guess that’s what they meant by Safety Fast!

  2. bcavileer

    Left turns at intersections here, kinda weird… but a few miles behind the wheel = no problem at all. I had a TC RHD, loved it just because if the openess and truly engaging driving experience. You couldn’t text your mate while driving … you actually had to drive the car. Had a TD LHD also. Not quite the same, but still a blast at 40 mph. There is nothing like a bare bones roadster. Make everything else seem numb. Ah except the 101 Giulia. 3 wheel cylinders and 3 brake shoes still made you squirm when stabbing the brakes. Go-cart handling was great, but those brakes would make your hair stand on end. Would have been better without any brakes. Lol

  3. jw454

    Shifting with the left hand isn’t hard at all. I’ve been in Japan many times where they drive on the left as in England, Australia, Ect. Every car I drove was a standard shift. I agree with Jesse, it’s natural after a few minutes.

  4. AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

    I’ll chime in on the RHD ease of driving as well. When you first hop in, things do feel a bit odd… Backing out of the garage at first was very foreign too… Then, as I tooled around my little garage community where the car is currently stored, the driving became much easier and again, as Jesse stated, it just became second nature. Once out on the road it was a non issue. I don’t think I’d take this one up onto I91 or 95 that is for sure!

    BTW, the pricing is quite negotiable and the leather seating surfaces, although showing somewhat as cracked, are very pliable and not split open at all.

    Thank you for looking!

    • Bob clark

      Love the car. If i had the extra $$$$$ i would gladly give it a home. Beautiful! Hope right person buys it.

  5. Darwin Robinson

    Nice car,but the dealer is in Middletown CT—-I;ve driven by this place many times

    • AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

      Hi Darwin,
      Thank you, she is a great little car!
      I hate to say that you couldn’t have driven by though, as I am not a dealer and do not have any kind of show room.
      I do live in Middletown CT and I do assist folks in getting their old cars moved on to new conservators… but I am not a dealer, nor am I a flipper.
      I simply advise the owners on what I feel a market correct price would be.. sometimes they take the advice and other times, they don’t.
      I love old cars, hate to see them sitting, wasting away… whether under a car cover in a garage or under a ratty tarp in someone’s side yard.

      This little Brit had been sitting in storage, at a shop in Providence, RI. The owner died and his sister is the executor and wanted the car here in CT. They would start it and they changed the oil and gave her a slight tune before I picked her up.

      Talk soon,

  6. bcavileer

    Solid looking car, but so much needs to be done . Looks like a recent spray bomb job with overspray on everything. And incorrect fastners etc. Right down to the clamp on the rack gaiter. Have a clear head about this car. There is a lot to do.

  7. Steven

    The 1930’s TD’s were better..

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