The traditional MG: Light, quick, with cut-down doors and flowing
fenders, and that upright MG grille up front. Evolution was slow at
Morris Garage, but there's a reason why cars like this 1953 TD were
brought home by the hundreds by GIs returning from Europe, and why
they remain wildly popular today. 1953 was also the final year of
the TD, and for many enthusiasts, the separate headlights and
fenders define the vintage MG look.
The look is pure pre-war, with separate fenders and a long hood,
but the energetic handling and performance were quite contemporary.
This MG was partially restored in 2017 to the tune of $11k worth of
work, but it wasn't over-restored to the point where you're afraid
to drive it, which misses the point entirely. The body construction
was traditional, but that also means that it's light and easy to
repair, and this one shows no signs of serious damage or the MG's
arch-nemesis, rust. Hood and door fit are quite good, and the
combination of creamy English White paint and black fenders/running
boards is a very authentic-looking finish that's neither too shiny
nor full of metallic, both of which are instant giveaways to
incorrect choices. It shows only a few light signs of use, of
course, but the overall presentation is what endears MGs to their
legions of fans. Of course, things like the chrome grille,
stand-alone headlights, and simple bumpers give it an old-fashioned
look, and they're all in excellent shape.
Inside the diminutive cabin, there's adequate room for two, and
once you settle into the low-slung bucket seats and assume the
proper driving position, you'll find it's easy to spend hours
behind the wheel without fatigue. Well, maybe your cheeks will be
hurting from grinning so much, but the driving experience is
involving without being exhausting. The comfortable seats have been
properly reupholstered in pleated brown, which matches the door
panels that offer useful storage pockets. The lovely dashboard is
genuine wood, not a veneer, and houses a full array of Jaeger
instruments that are all-original and have a truly British look.
The three spoke, banjo-style steering wheel is still the universal
symbol for sports car, and has been restored to a high level, and
the carpets below are plush and in great shape. And since MG lovers
are serious about their cars, this one offers a brand-new matching
black canvas convertible top as weather protection, which quickly
separates the men from the boys, along with side windows, and the
spare tire out back has a new cover too.
The whole point of an MG isn't brute power, but they're plenty
peppy with the 1250cc inline-four, and it has a wonderful baritone
exhaust note that's half the experience. Recently maintained and
ready for the road and this one really is a wonderful runner,
firing up easily through dual side-draft carburetors. The whole
engine is scarcely bigger than a briefcase, but all the parts are
easy to get at and maintain, which is why MGs are so beloved today.
The engine's linked to a slick-shifting 4-speed manual transmission
whose light action and progressive clutch are the cornerstone of
performance driving and make it a joy to run at 8/10s. The chassis
is a simple ladder frame, and as I mentioned before, there's zero
rust or rot underneath, just a neatly detailed undercarriage that
shows how well this MG has lived, because it's very, very clean.
Stock steel wheels with chrome hubcaps look right and wear
appropriately tall 5.60-15 whitewall tires.
One drive and you'll see why it's so easy to love an MG, and this
TD delivers that old-world fun with the benefits of a lot of recent
work behind it. Call us today!