1953 MG TD
Few owners; massive history file; sensible upgrades
Supplied new by University Motors in September 1953, this lovely TD is an original UK car that has only had four owners since 1976.
It comes with a large history file extending back to the mid-1970s to show meticulous upkeep over the years. It was purchased at Brightwells in 2021 by the most recent owner who has sadly passed away since.
Prior to 1976 it was owned by a Mr Blaby of Leicester who fitted a replacement Gold Seal engine in 1969/1970 when he also had the body rebuilt by Naylors with a new ash frame and some new aluminium body panels. At this time the car was still on its original registration number, 8279 H (of which more later).
In 1976 when the new engine had still only done 3,000 miles, he sold the car to a Mr Cook of Lancashire who was to keep it for the next 30 years. Judging by the huge number of invoices on file, he barely used the car, preferring to spend his time spoodling it up rather than actually driving it.
Invoices show that in 1981/1982 the interior was retrimmed with new carpets and new black leather seat covers which have stood the test of time very well indeed. A new canvas hood, sidescreens and tonneau cover were also fitted at the same time and the front and rear bumpers were rechromed. Dozens more invoices attest to a multitude of other new parts being fitted during Cook’s ownership.
In 2006 the car was spotted for sale by a Mr Beamond of Staffs, but as he arrived in Lancashire to view the car it was already being trailered away by Yorkshire classic car dealer Derek Matthewson (of ‘Bangers & Cash’ fame). Fortunately Mr B had seven (!) other TDs to look at in the same area so it wasn’t a totally wasted journey but unfortunately they all turned out to be rubbish compared to the one that got away.
A deal was therefore struck and Mr B was able to buy the car from Matthewson although the 8279 H number plate was not included so it got re-registered as 540 UXU, a transferable number that it wears to this day. Upon acquiring the car, Mr B promptly sent it to the Octagon Car Club T-Series guru, Chris Rogers, for a stem-to-stern checkover to ensure that it was fighting fit and to carry out any upgrades recommended by the Club to make it a reliable daily driver.
Rogers confirmed that the ash frame was indeed ‘as new’ and he also removed the sump and the oil pump cover plate to check the tolerances in the Gold Seal engine, again declaring it ‘as new’ with no wear whatsoever. The carburettors were completely rebuilt and Aldon electronic ignition fitted along with a modern ‘spin on’ oil filter and an electric fuel pump. An MGB cooling fan was fitted along with an uprated water pump and an MGB brake servo.
All rubber items were replaced and the felt trim strips between the petrol tank and the chassis were upgraded with much thicker rubber items. Modern inertia reel seat belts were fitted and the whole chassis was sprayed and injected with waxoil. A new tonneau cover was also fitted plus a host of other items, all detailed in copious invoices on file.
All this work paid off and over the next 11 years the car needed nothing other than routine servicing. A stainless steel exhaust was fitted in 2010; the odometer (which had been stuck on 12 miles since the 1980s) was rebuilt in 2011; Goodrich stainless steel braided brake hoses and a new master cylinder were fitted in 2015. In 2016 it was treated to a rebuilt 4:55 crown wheel and pinion which was fitted by MG racer/engineer George Edney and the speedo was recalibrated by Speedograph as the old 40mph was now 50mph.
The TD was purchased from Mr Beamond in May 2017 and was used it sparingly in fine weather only, until it was sold at Brightwells last year. As you can see in the photos, it remains in very good order throughout and has been starting promptly and running nicely as we have moved it around on site, with good 40psi oil pressure.
Since being purchased, it has had new plugs, brake shoes, wiper arms, renewed electronic wiring and improved and smartened dashboard details.
Photographs showing here were taken in September 2022.
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