Introduced in June of 1936, the iconic T series came to life, sporting a larger engine, improved suspension, and hydraulic drum brakes, which would be a first for MG. The new engine introduced in the T series wasn’t only larger, but more importantly, was an overhead-valve engine compared to the previous overhead-camshaft design. Despite these advancements, MG would continue the tradition of using an ash frame, as well as the use of their many romantic styling cues, including, fold-down windscreen, flowing fenders, 19-inch wire wheels, and slab gas tank placed in front of the classic, rear-mounted spare.
The TA marked the first model of the T series remaining in production for three years, until the unveiling of the TB in the summer of 1939. Meanwhile privateers continued the tradition of racing their MG sports cars with great success, one example being Allan Tomlinson who went on to win the 1939 Australian Grand Prix in his TA. Such victories only helped build the company’s image, planting the seed that you too, could purchase one of these sporty cars and head out to the track. The TB model would be the first model to use the 1250cc XPAG engine that would go on to be used until 1955. Sadly shortly after the MG TB went into production, the factory was forced to shift its interests, and begin building military equipment thus ending car production for the duration of the war.
Unleashed to the public in September of 1945, the MG TC was MGs first postwar production offering after WWII. The interior width of the TC grew 4 inches wider than its predecessor giving increased cockpit space, while also becoming the fastest of the series to date with a top speed of just less than 80 mph. Many racecar legends including Phil Hill, John Fitch, and Denise McCluggage owned and raced MG TCs on the east and west coast. MG literature boasted them as “responsive and lively, with a ‘character’ all its own, it quickly identifies itself with its owner’s personality” which we find to be quite fitting.
Powered by the venerable XPAG 1250cc inline four cylinder engine, it was now rated at 54.5 at 5,200 RPM, and was so successful, it would continue to be used until 1955, in the TD and most TF models (naturally excluding the TF1500). Mated to a four speed manual transmission, the TC has direct-drive fourth gear, and synchromesh on the top three gears, with a 5.125:1 rear axle ratio.
This numbers matching example marks the last year that the MG TC would be produced, with chassis number TC6669 manufactured on September 1st of 1948. Purchased in 1996 by the father of the current family, this example comes out of long-term family ownership, which included being shipped via enclosed carrier, from California to Pennsylvania when it was entrusted to the next generation in December of 2002. We believe this car to have been a longtime California resident judging by the fact that not only is it a rust free example, but also the frame has no pitting or signs of corrosion anywhere. Purchased nearly twenty years ago, after reading journal entries by the father of the current owner, it was clear that this TC could not have been purchased by a more charismatic family.
Having left Abington in MG red, the TC presented here now wears a distinctive Kelly Green with light brown top, and brown interior. An older restoration, the paint is not without blemishs however one has to be close to notice any imperfections. At first glance, you may not notice the horizontal radiator shutters done in a very subtle dark maroon, complimenting the body color. Grill has no dents and combined with bright work is in very nice condition, as are the polished “knock offs”, while the painted wire wheels makes tedious polishing a non-worry. The right headlight suffers one dent, a common occurrence while closing the bonnet on T series cars. The foldable windscreen is in very nice condition, as is the brooklands aeroscreen for those days when the mood takes you to fold down the windscreen, to reach your optimal speed.
Under the bonnet, the engine bay is very tidy with a polished valve cover sitting on top of a nicely re-painted block, with all rubber fittings appearing to be in good condition. Toolboxes built into the body come equipped with jack and hammer necessary to remove “knock off” should one suffer a flat aside the road.
Doors close nicely as they should with no door sag. Door checks are intact, as we see many lesser quality cars with them missing or broken. Upon entering the vehicle, one notices the machine turned doorsills before settling into the comfortable cockpit. The brown upholstery shows small signs of wear, only matching the exterior of the car. The wood grain dashboard could stand a re-veneering, however we would probably leave it alone. All switches as well as choke and starter pulls are marked, alleviating any confusion while operating. Grey faced gauges play nicely, matching the steering column, all correct for the TC model. The top is in nice condition, sporting a light patina which blends well with a restoration of this age.
Largely untouched cosmetically, upon arriving on the east coast, this TC has underwent a great deal of sorting all of which is documented in a personal logs, in addition to the file full of parts receipts. This TC runs and idles very nicely, however digging into the receipts files, it is noted the current tires and tubes were purchased in January of 2003; thus we would encourage new rubber all round for increased safety and comfort. Combined with a thorough going through of the braking system, this TC will be ready to venture any great distance. Underneath the car is rust free, with chassis in excellent condition – we noted there is not pitting or other signs of corrosion in the past.
Depending ones level of meticulousness, this TC could stand a lot from a carpet kit, and brake lever boot. We can see it being just fine as is for fun motoring or seasonal touring. Topped off with a period correct owners manual and brooklands steering wheel, vintage turn indicators in the rear add a level safety for driving in modern traffic, while the fronts are discreetly incorporated into your parking lights. This TC also comes equipped with a Marchal driving light in very nice condition, accompanied by a vintage New England MG T Series register badge, which helps complete the pre-war sports car look. Complete with all weather gear and tonneau, the side curtains are stored neatly in their compartment built into the rear of the body.
While it is not concour fresh, it will be gladly welcomed at any local show. This TC has just the right amount of patina to be enjoyed as a weekend driver, classic to run around town in, or for others may be a perfect candidate for a light cosmetic restoration. It is an example that one can be proud of, yet not afraid to drive. An ideal tour vehicle and would be welcomed by any number of clubs, including the Vintage Sports Car Club of America.
Available Documentation: (Click on the links below to view the file)