A Love Story:

1953 MG-TD Roadster

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MG's fabled TC model, first brought back by returning GIs, was directly responsible for fanning the flames of sports-car enthusiasm in early post-WW II America.

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Its successor, the MG TD of 1950 - '53, continued this famous line of ultra-traditional British Roadsters, a bit softer around the edges perhaps, but much more useable than its predecessor.

The 1953 MG TD prominently featured here comes with an amazing story. A southern California car all its life, the car was acquired by a Ventura couple in the early 1960s. They used the car for many fun trips, even taking their young kids along occasionally.

In 1976, the husband promised his wife to restore the car, signing this humorous and loving note, which is included with the documentation. Many journeys to Moss Motors and The Classic Car Co in Goleta, Calif. followed until, after more trips to Van Nuys Plating and the American Body Shop in Ventura, the little TD emerged like new, to be cherished and driven sparingly, mostly by the Lady of the house, for many years to come.

And this is exactly how we found this amazing car, hibernating under a soft flannel cover, a little dusty but featuring an incredible state of preservation. Uncovering it was an almost mystical experience!
The widowed owner, 92 years old, was finally ready to part with the TD that she'd so thoroughly enjoyed for all these decades, and we felt privileged to become the new caretakers.

As you were hoping for, this is a 100% numbers matching TD, where the engine number *20497* is stamped onto the bulkhead-mounted I.D. plate and the corresponding tag on the engine block.

This MG TD still wears its period California black-and-yellow license plate like a badge of honor. The Lady owner always kept the registration current, just in case she wanted to take the car out for a spin.

A plethora of books and detailed records, mainly for parts purchases and restoration work, totalling $12,000.00 -- quite a big chunk of dough in the late 1970s! -- accompanies the car. The owners themselves performed routine maintenance -- such as chassis lubrication and fluid changes -- with pride, a surprisingly fun and easy task on this vintage automobile.

This TD is ready to be shown with pride and will pass every judge's close inspection. Due to its fantastic structural integrity, fit and finish of all body parts is phenomenal. This MG has never been rusty, nor did the 46 individual pieces of wood used during its construction ever suffer from rot-causing neglect. We've checked the car with our electronic paint-depth meter and could not find any body filler, anywhere. The amazingly deep and glossy primrose yellow paint has been applied over perfectly straight, accident-free coachwork.

You might never need it, but it's comforting to know that the TD comes with a perfectly fitted, black convertible top and a set of side curtains, should you ever get caught in a rain storm.

We tended to the brakes, cleaned the entire fuel system, rebuilt and adjusted the carburetors, installed a new battery, and she instantly purred like a happy kitten. We drove the car on the 4th of July to see if it needed more sorting, but all is good. She's ready for a new owner and a new chapter of her life. Due to her simple mechanics, this MG will outlive all cars of the new Millennium by a mile.

Below the folding bonnet of the TD lives the original 1,250cc overhead valve pushrod XPAG engine, which producing 55 real, honest-to-goodness horsepower. It's reliable and powerful enough to propel the lightweight MG to freeway speeds.
Note the new wiring harness, front to back, preventing you from becoming another victim of LUCAS, the inventor of warm beer (yes, they did manufacture refrigerators, too).

The car has been driven less than 800 miles since it was restored, and the clean engine compartment gives testimony to this.
The motor runs very nicely and one is able to tell that a lot of money was spent on her. Clearly visible in the photo above are the twin SU carburettors, original intake manifold, and chrome air cleaner set up.

Look, Guv'nor, no leaks!

TDs featured a much more spacious interior than TCs, due to a five inch increase in width.

Fabulous pre-war-look dash of the TD was updated with a nice burl wood version.

Gauges are original. All lights and switches work.

Gorgeous, willow green leather perfectly contrasts the primrose exterior. All leather surfaces are in a pristine state of preservation.

Detail shots illuminate the loving restoration.

Classic MG roadster tail, with rear-mounted spare. Note black Calif. plate.
Chrome parts are re-plated originals throughout, not cheap, far-East reproductions.

Car is as nice underneath as it is up on top. Being a life-long California resident, it has escaped any damage and is 100% free of corrosion or wood rot. Check out the wooden floorboards.

Pristine inner fenders!

Monday, July 22nd was another fine summer day here in San Buenaventura, and we were eager to take the TD for a spirited drive . . .

. . . and we were not disappointed. Smiles all the way!

How does the TD drive, you may ask?
Set the choke, turn the ignition key to the on position and pull out the starter knob, and the engine comes to life instantly. Indicated oil pressure of 40-60lbs is encouraging. Thanks to the car's low mileage and thorough restoration, there is enough power to participate in today's traffic. Shifting is good, brakes are solid, suspension is firm but still comfortable. Driving position is sporting, period. Especially with the windscreen folded flat, driving the TD constitutes an amazing, wind-in-the-hair experience. Only a Morgan could deliver the goods like a MG T-series car.

Enjoying the road trip. Car stays cool at all times and the oil pressure is great, too.

Pure sports car fun.

A TD is fun to own, spares are readily available and repairs, should they become necessary, are easy to perform. And while we're talking about spares, this car comes with a small mountain of spares, used and new, more than even shown. Wow, just wow!

As a Sunday driver, participant in vintage Rallies or at car shows, a TD is welcome anywhere. In the newly released Quentin Tarantino movie "Once upon a time in Hollywood," Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski are seen driving a TD all over the Hollywood Hills. Amazingly, almost 70 years after its introduction, a MG TD Roadster is still a very hip sports car!

We sold this fabulous MG TD in August of 2019.

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