Untouched Barn Find: 1954 MG TF

Doesn’t she look hopeful? This 1954 MG TF has recently been rescued from the barn it’s been in since 1986. It’s now being sold here on eBay at no reserve; bidding is just under $5,000 as I write. The car is now located in Cleveland, Ohio.

Here’s the car as it sits now. At least it has some fresh company! The MG TF was the last development of the traditional T-Series before MG started over again with the MGA. Remember that this very traditional-looking sports car was being sold alongside the sleek Austin-Healey 100-4 and you’ll get an idea of how dated it looked even then. But that’s not to say the TF didn’t find an audience! By spending a little time on the internet, you can find that this car was produced on December 23, 1953, almost a year and a half before the end of TF production in April of 1955. We can also see that the car was originally painted dark red, so the black paint, however patinaed, isn’t original.

The main worry to me about resurrecting a T-Series MG is the wooden-framed body. While most of the wood is available, it requires a lot of skill to replace and then reattach the body panels.

Luckily those perforated running boards are available as well. The frame itself looks quite solid and there are more under-car pictures in the auction listing to validate that.

Depending on your attraction to the car, the imaginary odor in your nose right now ranges from “oh my gosh, what a rotten smell” to “ah, the smell of a car ready to be woken up after a long slumber.” Hopefully, any rodent issues have been taken care of already.

This is the XPAG 1250 cc version of the little MG four-cylinder; MG addressed power issues by enlarging it to 1500 cc for the last TF models. As much as I love the look of this car and how it seems to be begging for someone to restore it, I can’t help but wonder if it makes any economic sense at all. With T-Series values dropping as the cars “age out,” it appears that a nicely restored car would be a better buy, even if you weren’t going to charge yourself anything for the labor. So that makes taking this car on a labor of love alone. Do any of you feel that love? What’s your personal experience been with T-Series MGs?

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  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    All I know is the TF is my ultimate favorite of the T-series cars. I had an MGB and often fantasized driving a TF instead. But I missed out on the few that were available. This one is too far away and needs too much TLC. Maybe if I was a little more flush I might be tempted. Nice project. Just remember that it isn’t the value of the car that matters; it’s the journey…

    Like 16
    • ccrvtt

      Amen, Amen, and Amen.

      Like 3
  2. Del

    I was going to say leave it in the Barn untouched.

    But the seller actually posted pics on a hoist. This is a very solid car except for the running boards which are easy to replace.

    I like this and it would be a great buy at the present price.

    I wish every seller would do this. It would make bidding less risky

    Like 8
  3. Johnny

    I really like the looks of this old car. I,d rather have it. Do the work myself and know what shape its in. Then to be burn buy someone who doen shoody work and sale it for a big price. Yes I,d be real happy to work on this and learn as I went. I,ve found out when a person takes their time . They can figure it out and do a good job. I hate seeing people get in a hurry and do shoddy work.

    Like 5
  4. Bruce

    I have helped restore many T- Series MG’s and if the wood in the doors and body is still good you have an amazingly simple restoration process. I helped an expert in these restore one from disassembly to running car in less than two weeks. We sent the interior out but we took it apart, cleaned everything, had the radiator cleaned up, degreased, stripped everything, and repainted in and re assembled it into a drivable car within that time. Nothing needed but new brakes and clutch but we rebuilt all the brake cylinders and clutch parts.
    These are such amazing fun to drive and believe it or not are near perfect grocery getters. Good on the highway as well but plan on the music being very loud if you wish to hear it. Heaters not too bad, Top worked as did the side curtains. Just simple and fun. And it looks good in almost any color.

    Like 5
  5. Joe Haska

    Geometrics, All that matters is the journey, IF you can afford it!

    Like 1
  6. Jack Quantrill

    Wire wheels look good on this.

    Like 1

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