- Chassis # TC/0348
- Engine # XPAG1008
- An Early & Matching Numbers Example
- Comprehensive Service Recently Completed
- AACA Senior National First Prize Winner
- Complete With Weather Gear
British automobile manufacturer MG is best known for its open two-seater sports cars produced from the 1930s until the 1950s. One of their most well-known sports cars, the T-Type, was produced from 1936 to 1955 in five different series. The TC Midget was the third of the series and the first postwar MG produced in 1945. It shared the same 1,250 cc engine of the pre-war TB Midget but with a slightly higher compression ratio which gave it a total of 54.5 hp at 5200 rpm compared to the TB’s 54 hp at 5200 rpm. The TC was eventually exported to the US, still as a right-hand drive car, with smaller sealed-beam headlights, twin tail lights, turn signals, and chrome bumpers with over-riders. The TC was also used in racing, most famously as Carroll Shelby’s first race car, thanks to its low curb weight and respectable performance. 10,001 TCs were produced, more than any previous MG model.
This particular example, Chassis # TC0348, is an older yet masterful restoration that still presents beautifully almost three decades later and retains its original numbers-matching engine. The car was finished in the same black over a tan color scheme that it left the factory with, in 1945, as per the production record from the T Register. While no history file was present with the car, we estimate that the most recent owner acquired the car in the 1980s and continued to drive it and display it at shows after its restoration circa 1990. Multiple service records dating back from 1997 and 2000 as well as a National First Prize as part of the Antique Automobile Club of America in 1992 serve as proof that its previous owner kept it in great condition during his ownership. In February of 2022, this little MG underwent a full refresh totaling nearly $8,000 at CR Cars of Philadelphia which included repainting of the engine, transmission, and wheels as well as new drive belts, front/rear wheel cylinders, brake hoses, brakes, and service of the suspension and fuel system. It currently displays just under 600 miles on the odometer, likely the total miles accumulated since the restoration.
The quality of the restoration left this MG as a vehicle that is as at home on winding country roads as it is on the trimmed lawn of a pre-war car show. Driving an MG TC is an exhilarating ride that puts you in full control of the car. It offers an unfettered connection between man and machine that is gone from most modern automobiles. Upon purchase, the new owner will receive the aforementioned available service records, T Register production information as well as complete weather gear including top and side curtains.
body and paint
The presentation of this TC is overall excellent, with a consistent paint finish throughout, straight body panels, and good fitment overall. However, as an older restoration, we have noticed a couple of areas that have shown age in terms of what is under the paint. We can see what appears to be primer shrinkage/sand marks on the vertical surfaces of the hood and cowl. It takes a close inspection, a good eye, and the right light to see it, however, it is present. Further wet sanding and polishing could likely improve the finish further. As the car sits though, it is great for enjoyment and displaying at local shows. The panel fitment is good overall for a coachbuilt sports car from this era.
glass and trim
The windshield shows minor delamination on the edges but is otherwise free of any defects. The vast majority of the brightwork is excellent, with a handful of pieces such as the windscreen wing nuts, weather gear nuts, and door latches showing their age. Otherwise, the trim is all present and shows nicely.
The wheels are in excellent condition having just received a repaint in black.
There are some unplated screws on the driver's side of the windscreen, some flawed chrome pieces as photoed, a chip on the tip of the passenger rear fender. Light soil spots on top canvas and boot cover. Minor delamination on edge of the windscreen. The rear section of the passenger side running board rubbers are starting to lift, as well as a broken fog light mount.
seats and surfaces
The interior is that of a well and correctly restored example. Overall there are no major flaws, however, some signs of use are present. The sides of the seats have been compressed against the top mechanism so they are creased and there are some minor water/soiled spots on the sides of the seats that are visible only when the doors are open. The carpets, door cards, kick panels, the underside of the dash, and the dash face itself are all in excellent restored condition and are representative of a high-quality restoration.
functionality and accessories
We can report that everything is in correct working order in terms of interior buttons/electrical function. A truly impressive fact, as many times these are the first areas to fail or need adjustment post-restoration.
engine bay and trunk
The engine bay is exemplary of a well-restored example that has seen minor use and is a bit aged. There are indications of work completed, but also minor seepage/leaks. The finishes appear to be correct and present nicely though some areas of minor surface corrosion or age are present on hardware/surfaces here or there. It is however very complete and correct in its presentation for both use of hardware, colors, surface coatings, and even little things such as the extra oil can are period correct and add to the presentation and correctness.
The underside is consistent with the rest of the car and shows that this car was indeed a comprehensive restoration when completed. There are signs of use, chipped paint, or minor corrosion on hardware but overall we see a straight chassis with no elements missing and a consistent condition. There are minor leaks or seepage to be found which is normal for a car of this vintage. We can also see evidence of recent hydraulic servicing and lubrication throughout.
The engine starts easily and runs strong while showing good oil pressure and holding temperature without overheating. Once warm it has a strong throttle response, pulls well, and is free of any unwanted sounds or inconsistencies.
The transmission shifts as a transmission from this era do, firmly and tactile. If operated correctly there is no unwanted grinding or popping out of gear, although smooth shifting in a TC is a bit of an acquired skill!
brakes and suspension
The brakes work well having been recently rebuilt. There is no pulsing in the pedal or pulling from side to side. Heavy braking keeps the car straight and effective. The suspension feels compliant and appropriate with no road manners out of the ordinary.
A new set of 5 Blockley 4.50 X 19’s have been installed recently.
The MG TC brings the user right back to an era where driving a car was a mechanically tactile adventure. You can feel, hear, and see the rudimentary elements of a vehicle working. A very fun experience for lightly trafficked roads the MG TC gives such a specific feeling/experience, especially with the top and windscreen down. Lots of wind and feeling throughout your body as you drive faster. This example was well restored, then well-sorted recently, making for a turn-key experience that harkens back to a pre-war era even though it is a post-war production model.