British sports cars are some of the most appreciated automobiles in the classic car world, whether it be a Triumph, Austin Healey, or an old Jag. The modest MG is arguably what captured the early intrigue for an American audience, introducing them to a series of nimble sports cars that delivered an addictive driving experience. More specifically, this phenomenon can be traced back to the launch of the TC in post-war America. Both mechanically and cosmetically, the TC was nearly identical to its predecessor, the TB. During WWII, the production of MG’s were brought to a halt like many other industrial companies, to use their factories to manufacturer military supplies. In 1945 the war ended and MG, along with many other automobile manufacturers, were now in a race to reignite production and sell their leftover pre-war inventory. With expense conservation as a priority, the MG Car Company dusted of their old TB blueprints, widened the body, installed shackles replacing sliding trunnions for spring mounts, changed the gauge cluster format, and slightly increased engine compression. The significance of the TC did not lie within the design but within the sales strategy. It was the first MG model to be formally sold in North America and acted as a catalyst in adapting their new audience’s taste to the British sports car.
The particular TC on offer is chassis number TCEXU7618, engine number XPAG8207, boasts a well-kept older restoration. Unfortunately, the specifics of the car’s early history are not exactly known. The earliest record of ownership dates back to June of 1968. A receipt stating a Mr. Duvall had some minor items tended to by Toulmin Motors of Middlesex, England. Beyond this the car retains a letter from previous ownership showing communication with the MG register. Showing a copy of this examples chassis number in the original log book and further delineating its specifics in a letter from “The MG Car Club Ltd.”. The next piece of documentation brings us to the 21st century where we see that the car underwent a complete restoration carried out in 2002 by the marque specialists at JD Auto Repair of Chalfont, Pennsylvania. The craftsmanship and knowledge of their trade is apparent in the restoration performed and can is still clearly interpreted through the present condition of the car. An item to take into consideration is that there was no rust repair, body, or paint work listed in any of the receipts. It actually won its class at the Positive Earth Drivers Club’s Brits on the Beach as well as the Buckingham Councours De’ Elegance and the AACA International Spring Meet in Montgomery, Pennsylvanian in the 90’s. From this, it can be concluded this was a very nice car before the restoration was done but simply needed a good freshening up and still boasts a well done earlier repaint. The current owner had the car regularly serviced by Motor Car Garage in Maple Shade, New Jersey. The professionals there have taken great care in the work they have done on the car and confirm the cars gorgeous condition with no quarrels to be had.
The car shows well upon approach with minimal flaws to note in respect to the paint which holds an attractive shine and is free of any scratches. As you begin to walk the perimeter of the car, the paint maintains a consistent and even finish. Upon close inspection of the front portion of the car, two chips in the inner fenders across from the bonnet latches, smaller than a dime, can be noted. What it appears happened was that as someone was lowering either side of the bonnet, they pulled it to close to the fender and the latches came in contact with the paint; a common flaw to be found on TC’s. These blemishes would only be noticed if one were to closely inspect the inner fenders or perhaps while they are in the process of opening the bonnet. There is also a very small area on the right fender where a paint chip had been touched up as well as some mild chipping at the end of the chrome hood rail that bisects the bonnet. All of these items are common with an older restoration and simply add to the character of the car in a welcoming manner. Furthering one’s assessment of the exterior of the car, all the shut gaps are within the appropriate clearances throughout revealing no signs of prior body damage and superb panel fitment. The windshield and headlamp glass is crisp and rubber seals supple. The soft top, tonneau, and weather gear all are in superb condition with absolutely no abnormalities to report. Looking over the chrome items on the car will reveal that they have held up quite well some only some faint pitting beginning to develop on the mirrors.
The interior has fared well for the tan leather is in great shape with a welcoming patina. A peak down at the rugs will show that they have had little use and resemble the quality of the rest of the interior. The correct steering wheel is present, all the gauges have flawless faces, and function properly along with all switches, knobs, and levers, with the only exception being the clock which has seemed to stop ticking. The wooden dash is without any cracks or flaws and the veneer is of show quality. Given that this car was built in the late 40’s there are not many components that make up the interior but what is there was carefully tended to during the thorough restoration and the attention to detail can still be seen to this day.
Under the bonnet shows a tidy, clean, and correct engine bay that needs nothing to be enjoyed on a show field. There is clear evidence that every component has been addressed, refinished, polished, or rebuilt by capable hands. The hoses, clamps, facets, wiring, and lines have all been tended to in accordance with original factory standards. The MG factory tags and plates are all present and indicate that this is a genuine matching numbers car. A thorough visual inspection will show that there are no major leaks nor mechanical flaws present.
Continuing one’s inspection of the car, the underside shows very as well and is consistent with the rest of the car, having no improper or careless work done to it. Each wheel well has been nicely painted and possesses not one spec of rust and incurred no sort of damage from road use. The rockers are spotless, the suspension components have been painted per factory specifications, and there are no grounds to indicate any sort of major rust repair. All of the brake lines have been run properly and show no sign of deterioration. It can be seen that the rear differential gasket may have a slight drip from time to time but this is a common attribute of many classic sports cars and usually can be resolved from some time spent on the road.
Mechanically, this example is truly sound with no issues to report given the extensive mechanical work that was executed during the restoration. The engine has been completely rebuilt and performs as such, starting almost immediately with a turn of the key and a tap of the gas pedal. The driving experience the MG TC has to offer is certainly one reflective of the 40’s with a large steering wheel to provide leverage, skinny tires that have limited grip, and an engine with less than 100 horsepower. Once up to temperature, the 1250cc engine is quite lively and urges the driver to squeeze out every bit of horsepower he can manage. The fresh clutch feels as it should and allows the 4-speed gearbox to happily change from gear to gear without any hassle. During use, the gauges indicate good oil pressure and a steady operating temperature. A frim press of the brake pedal promptly engages the drum brakes and given the lightness of the car, brings you to a timely stop with no pulling or fade.
This restored MG TC is of a high driver/show quality that is inviting to the enthusiast, still having much motoring enjoyment to offer. The artful restoration that was performed leaves us today with a fantastic example that has be carefully preserved both mechanically and cosmetically. This TC has always been garage kept and regular maintenance completed by capable technicians, leaving nothing left to do but to take it out on a Sunday morning and drive it. Taking into consideration the historical significance of the TC as the catalyst for America’s love for the British Sports Car, its turnkey mechanical condition, and well-kept cosmetics, makes this a great opportunity to own a significant piece of British motoring heritage.
Available Documentation:(Please click on the links below to view the files)