Unique of the Week: 1951 MG TD

Classic Cars

This completely original and unrestored 1951 MG TD is a wonderful reminder of the cars the automaker built during its heyday.

With MG becoming a Chinese-owned automaker of family cars enthusiasts are forced to remember the brand for what it once was. The creator of icons such as the MGA, MGB and MG Midget. The automaker has a history that dates back to 1924, but it was in 1936 when it unveiled the T-Type, the successor to the PB. The T-Type actually consisted of a series of models, all of which were convertibles with body-on-frame construction. MG continued building the T-Type series until 1939, when World War II broke out.

Immediately after the conflict, the automaker continued building the series until it was finally replaced in 1955 by the more familiar MGA. The first of the T-Type Series was the TA Midget and like other British cars of the time, it had an ash wood frame, a building method that’s still used by the ultimate vintage automaker, Morgan. Following the launches of the TB and TC Midgets, the TD Midget came out in 1950. It was only the second model MG built after the war ended, the first being the TC. And the TD was an obvious improvement thanks to its modified rear axle, an updated chassis and an independent suspension with coil springs.

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Power came from a 1.3-liter inline-four that produced just 57 horsepower and was mated to a four-speed manual. That may not sound like much today but it was decent for its day. Recorded test times back then gave the TD a top speed of 77 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 18.2 seconds. More importantly, the TD was a big sales success, surpassing all of the other TD Series including its immediate successors, the TF and TF 1500 Midget. All told, 30,000 TDs were produced by the time production ended in 1953. Just around 1,650 stayed in the UK while the remaining units were exported, 23,500 units of which were sold in the US.

This 1951 MG TD that just sold for $12,000 on eBay only had one family owner since 1954; the current owner’s grandfather bought it that year and it remained in the family ever since. Despite needing some bodywork attention, the car still has its original tires and all of the gauges and windshield wipers work. All of the serial numbers for the chassis, engine and body match as well. There’s a total of 71,446 miles on the clock but for such an original MG TD that’s unrestored, the final sale price was actually quite a bargain.

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