Volvo B18 Powered 1950 MG TD Roadster

MG TDs are fun to drive. They handle great and make good Sunday drivers. Add more power though and things really start to get exciting! This roadster may look stock but there’s a big Volvo engine under the bonnet. That may not sound like a good thing, but trust me, it is! Find this nicely upgraded TD here on eBay where it’s listed for $22k.

Engine swaps are not a new thing. One of the most popular upgrades was to stick a flathead V8 in your Model A. Naturally, a few TDs received flatheads too but that engine is too heavy for this nimble roadster. A later MG engine may seem like a logical upgrade but the Volvo engine is more durable. This engine is even out of a Volvo 1800 so it has even more power than your standard B18. We are talking 105 horsepower. That’s double what the original 1,250 put out!

Luckily, the transmission was also upgraded with a more robust 4-speed from a Volvo too. No mention is made of the rear end but hopefully, it can handle the extra torque. The Austin Healey bucket seats are a nice upgrade that you will probably need when flinging this hot rod into corners. The only thing I might want to improve here is upgrade the brakes.

I’ve experienced how exciting a Volvo-swapped British roadster can be and I’d love to have this one in my garage. It looks like the work was all nicely done and I wouldn’t change anything. Well, maybe the brakes but that’s it! Original cars are great but this is one instance where I might take the modified one over an original. What do you think? Would you take this souped-up roadster over an original?


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  1. Fred Veenschoten

    Looks like he put the Volvo seats in it too. Too bad.

    • Wolf8359

      Do you read English?

  2. Gerard Frederick

    Lovely roadster of days gone by. The engine-transmission up grade is an improvement which makes a lot of sense. All one needs is to be a fan of old British roadsters as well as of Swedish engineering, not a bad thing at all. In fact Volvo was the Scandinavian make which took its engineering clues strictly from the Brits at a time when German 2-strokes FWD cars were all the rage in Sweden. Similar to the motorcycle world were Husquarna was strictly 4-stroke British territory but Monarch was strictly German 2-stroke what with the beautiful Monarch 250 Twin powered by Ilo. Talking about Husquarna, that is one of the oldest industrial enterprises in the world!

  3. Rick

    Big mistake which, in my opinion, loers the value of the car.

    Like 2
  4. Rick

    He has, in my opinion, lowered the value of the car.

    Like 3
    • Tort Member

      Depends if you are buying it for an investment or to improve the driving characteristics and where it can be driven.

      Like 12
  5. BR

    Yep, brakes and British racing green. Don’t touch anything else.

  6. Lowell Peterson

    ANY seats are an upgrade! Mine are stock. Well done swap, huge maintenance upgrade too. Think of all the oil you will save without the mg leaks. Oh, and the trans? HUGE TOO. Smokin’ deal here! Brakes? Nah, they just slow ya down!.

    Like 5
  7. Jeff Quintrall

    As a 16 yr old weasel, a ‘52 TD was my first car. Learned not to open doors at speed!

  8. bobhess bobhess Member

    Great mechanical up grade but what kind of a delivery truck did they get that paint color off of?

    Like 2
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      Agreed. The color is the spoiler.

      Like 1
  9. Christopher Gentry

    Have owned 3 Volvo and grew up around British cars , I know some purist will hate this , but beats the heck outta a Chevy small block and the Volvo engine is bullet proof. Oh I actually like the color.

    Like 3

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