1951 MG TDC
Rare Competition model with various factory upgrades; fresh from a body-off restoration which cost over £25,000; engine rebuilt by TD guru George Epney and only 250 miles since; super condition throughout
Following on from the successful TC, the MG TD arrived in 1949, introducing some much-needed post-war refinements. Its rigid box-section chassis frame featured independent double-wishbone front suspension, a well-located 'live' rear axle, four-wheel drum brakes, a hidden reinforced scuttle hoop and perhaps best of all, rack-and-pinion steering.
Sharper handling and smoother riding than its T-series predecessors, the newcomer drew considerable praise from the contemporary press. Powered by a twin-carb four-cylinder XPAG 1,250cc engine allied to four-speed manual transmission, the 54bhp TD was capable of 80mph and 26mpg.
In 1950 MG launched a high-performance version called the TDC which was developed in conjunction with famous MG racing driver, Dick Jacobs. Dick owned W Jacobs and Son Ltd, Mill Garage, the most famous of all MG dealerships, in South Woodford, Essex, and his exploits on track arguably gave the MG marque more publicity in the 1950s than the entire Nuffield or BMC publicity machines.
The TDC featured Andrex shock absorbers in addition to the standard items; larger 1.5-inch carburettors with increased inlet ports; right side bonnet bulge to clear the larger carbs; larger intake manifold and air cleaner; larger valves; increased compression ratio; higher rev limit to 6,000 rpm; higher rear axle ratio; twin electric fuel pumps and lines and a higher performance ignition coil.
Easily identified by the TDC chassis prefix, only 1,710 were made between 1950 and 1953, virtually all of which were exported – the high compression engine was not suitable for the UK market because, thanks to the continued operation of wartime fuel restrictions, buyers were still limited to feeble 72 octane ‘pool petrol’.
As confirmed by MG Octagon Car Club correspondence on file, this MG TDC is one of 32 that left the factory on 15th July 1952, all destined for North America. A copy of the USA Certificate of title shows that it ended up in sunny California where it remained until 2018 when it was exported to The Netherlands. Our vendor brought it to the UK later that year.
When he acquired the car, it was in a dismantled state but was complete and almost totally rust-free. He then spent the next two years restoring it to the wonderful condition you see today, doing much of the work himself and enlisting professional help when required. The full extent of the work carried out is far too detailed to list in full here, but is amply covered in many invoices and photos on file.
The engine was rebuilt by TD expert George Epney and included an unleaded head, new camshaft, pistons, liners, crankshaft, timing chain, oil pump, water pump etc. The gearbox was reconditioned with new bearings, seals and gaskets, as was the rear axle and differential and the prop shaft. Steering/brakes/suspension were all rebuilt with many new parts.
The chassis was in very good condition and only needed cleaning and painting. The ash frame was also good and required minimal attention. The interior was fully retrimmed and the whole car expertly repainted in red. A new set of weather gear is also present (hood; sidescreens; tonneau cover). Rest assured, no corners were cut, a quick tot-up of the bills showing that over £25,000 was spent, the bulk of this in parts alone and excluding the many hundreds of hours of labour invested by the vendor.
As you can see in the photos, the car is now in super condition throughout and has only covered 246 miles since the restoration was completed in 2020 so it will need a period of gentle running-in before the performance is exploited to the full. It had an oil change and a new filter just before the auction and the head studs were tightened but further fine-tuning may be required as everything beds in. It has been starting promptly and running well as we have moved it around on site, with good 45psi oil pressure.
A serial car restorer who enjoys rebuilding more than driving, our vendor has now moved on to another project and needs the space liberated by the MG, hence its appearance in this sale. A most rare and sporting variant, this freshly rejuvenated TDC now only needs an enthusiastic new owner who can enjoy the fruits of all the work lavished upon it to date.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
Reg No: MXS890
Chassis Number: TDC/18196
Engine Number: XPAG/TDC/17986
Engine Size: 1250cc
Docs: V5C; copy USA Certificate of Title; import docs; restoration invoices and photos; MG Club correspondence; technical literature
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