Pick of the Day: 1953 MG TD, true vintage-style sports car motoring

Low-mileage example of classic roadster offered at affordable price

6
mg
The MG TD appears to be holding up well with an older restoration

The MG TC originally introduced US drivers to British sports cars, but its successor is what really took this country by storm: the MG TD.

The TC was very much a prewar design, having a solid front axle and a suspension more resembling that of a horse-drawn cart than an automobile. The TD took the basics of the TC roadster and added more interior room, rack-and-pinion steering and independent front suspension. The car proved very popular, and MG would sell 29,664 TDs versus about 10,000 TCs.

mg

Having owned a TC and driven many TDs, I found that the TD, while not quite as pure a design as the TC, more than makes up for that by offering a much-improved car in every area. It handles predictably and is more pleasant to drive, and with more interior space than the TC.  

Another major selling point for US drivers, TDs also were available with left-hand drive while TCs were right-handers only, in keeping with their British roots.  

The Pick of the Day is a 1953 MG TD with LHD and finished in Ivory/Cream over a Green leather interior. The ad incorrectly calls the paint color Primrose Yellow, which would be a non-original TD color.

mg

The Prescott, Arizona, private seller advertising the MG on ClassicCars.com calls it a very original car with only 38,576 original miles that runs well and is fun to drive.

RELATED:  Pick of the Day: 1953 Studebaker coupe in sparkling show condition

The MG is free of any rust or body damage, says the seller who notes that it received a frame-off restoration in 1987 and has been driven very few miles since. One subtle thing I like about this car is that the dash is still covered with the correct Green Rexine, a leather-like material, instead of being modified with an aftermarket wood dash as many have. This shows that the owner understands how this car is supposed to be finished and presented.

mg

The TD includes an optional fold-down luggage rack, a new top and side-curtain set, the original owner’s manual, workshop manual and other books and a Whitworth socket wrench set, according to the ad.

The MG TD is a fun way to enjoy vintage-style sports car motoring at a reasonable cost, and this TD seems from the pictures and description to be a very clean example. Parts for these cars are inexpensive and readily available, and working on them is quite simple.

The asking price of this MG TD at $17,000, which is in line with the current Hagerty Price Guide average value, and it’s hard to image a better vintage sports car deal.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Advertisement
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

6 COMMENTS

  1. A few inconsistancy’s there. True only 10,000 TC’s were sold as that is all the Brit’s built but the TC is today a much more desireably car. Less than 2,000 left on the world register .A little larger in body than the TD with more cabin room & larger wire spoked wheels making the TC much more fun to drive regardless of the poor turning circle. I have had my TC since 1963 ( 55 years ) & recently bought another fully restored TC so that my two daughters will have one each when i turn my toes up. I am 74 & never had the desire for a TD regarding them as an ugly car. I wish you luck with a quick sale as the your TD is really cheap. Cheers

  2. Interesting that the owner wants this TD to be “original.” Then it should have a green grille, to match the green interior. Regardless, any T Series MG is a thing of joy and beauty. I have restored and owned a ’55 TF1500 for 28 years, and it has been the love of my automotive life.

  3. Last time I saw my ’51 TD (1955) it was cruising down 1stAve in Cedar Rapids,Iowa stuffed full of 265ciChevrolet. God help us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No brakes on a TD could handle a 265. R Walters

  4. Cute little bugger. And with a “frame-off” restore over 30 years ago , makes it kinda a mute point. I really think the price is right on this one.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here