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MG T-type
Manufacturer MG Car Company,
BMC from 1952
Production 1936–1955
Assembly Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England
Predecessor MG PB
Successor MGA
Class Sports car
Layout FR layout
Transmission(s) 4-speed manual
Wheelbase 94 in (2,388 mm)

The MG T series included the TA, TB, TC, TD, and TF Midget models, a range of body-on-frame convertible sports cars produced in a sequence from 1936 to 1955. The last of these models, the TF, was replaced by the MGA.

The TF name was reused in 2002 on the mid-engined MG TF sports car.

TA Midget

MG TA Midget
Production 1936–1939
Body style(s) 2-door roadster
2-door airline coupé
2-door Tickford drophead coupé.
Engine(s) 1,292 cc (1.3 L) MPJG type I4
Length 140 in (3,556 mm)
Width 56 in (1,422 mm)

The MG TA Midget replaced the PB in 1936.[1] It was an evolution of the previous car and was 3 inches (76 mm) wider in its track at 45 inches (1,100 mm) and 7 inches (180 mm) longer in its wheelbase at 94 inches (2,400 mm).

The previous advanced overhead-cam inline-four engine was now not in use by any other production car so it was replaced by the MPJG OHV unit from the Wolseley 10 but with twin SU carburettors, modified camshaft and manifolding. The engine displaced just 1292 cc, with a stroke of 102 mm (4.0 in) and a bore of 63.5 mm (2.5 in) and power output was 50 hp (40.3 kW) at 4,500 rpm. The four-speed manual gearbox now had synchromesh on the two top ratios and was connected to the engine by a cork faced clutch running in oil. Unlike the PB, hydraulic brakes were fitted with 9 inches (230 mm) drums.

Like the PB, most were two-seat open cars with a steel body on an ash frame. A bench type seat was fitted with storage space behind it. From 1938 the car could also be had with a more luxurious Tickford drophead coupé with body by Salmsons of Newport Pagnell and 252 were made.[2] The soft top could be used in three positions, fully open, closed or open just over the seats. Wind-up windows were fitted to the higher topped doors making the car more weather tight and individual bucket seats used in the fully carpeted interior. Complete chassis were fitted with a very basic body at the Abingdon factory and driven to Newport Pagnell to have their coachwork fitted. A closed "airline" coupé made by Carbodies, as fitted to the P type, was also offered but only one or two of these is thought to have been made.

The T-type was capable of reaching nearly 80 mph (130 km/h) in standard tune with a 0–60 mph time of 23.1 seconds.[2]

Just over 3,000 were made and in 1936 it cost £222 on the home market, the same as had been asked for the PB.

When first introduced the model was known as the T Type and only after the advent of the TB did the TA designation come into use.[3]

TB Midget

MG TB Midget
Production 1939–1940
Body style(s) 2-door roadster
Tickford drophead coupé
Engine(s) 1,250 cc (1.3 L) XPAG type I4
Length 140 in (3,556 mm)
Width 56 in (1,422 mm)

The TA was replaced by the TB Midget in May 1939 with the fitting of a smaller but more modern XPAG engine as fitted to the Morris Ten Series M but in a higher tuned state and like the TA with twin SU carburettors. This 1250 cc I4 unit featured a slightly less-undersquare 66.6 mm (2.6 in) bore and 90 mm (3.5 in) stroke and had a maximum power output of 54 hp (40 kW) at 5200 rpm. The oil immersed clutch was also replaced by a dry plate type and gear ratios revised.

Available as either an open 2-seater or more luxurious Tickford drophead coupé, this is the rarest of the T-type cars with only 379 made.

TC Midget

MG TC Midget
Production 1945–1950
Body style(s) 2-door roadster
Engine(s) 1,250 cc (1.3 L) XPAG type I4 ohv[4]
Length 140 in (3,556 mm)
Width 56 in (1,422 mm)
Height 53 in (1,300 mm)[4]

The TC Midget was the first postwar MG,[1] launched in 1945. It was quite similar to the pre-war TB, sharing the same 1,250 cc (76 cu in) pushrod-OHV engine with a slightly higher compression ratio of 7.4:1 giving 54.5 bhp (40.6 kW) at 5200 rpm. The makers also provided several alternative stages of tuning for "specific purposes".[4]

It was exported to the United States, even though only ever built in right-hand drive. The export version had slightly smaller US specification sealed-beam head lights and larger twin rear lights, as well as turn signals and chrome-plated front and rear bumpers.

The body was approximately 4 inches (100 mm) wider than the TB measured at the rear of the doors to give more cockpit space. The overall car width remained the same resulting in narrower running boards with two tread strips on them as opposed to the previous three. The tachometer was directly in front of the driver, while the speedometer was on the other side of the dash in front of the passenger.

Exactly 10,000 were produced, from September 1945 (chassis number TC0251) to Nov. 1949 (chassis number TC10252), a larger number than any previous MG model. It cost £527 on the home market in 1947.

Fuel consumption was 28 mpg-imp (10.1 L/100 km/23.3 mpg-US).[5] Its 0-60 mph time was 22.7 seconds a respectable performance at the time.[5]

TD Midget

MG TD Midget
Production 1950–1953
Body style(s) 2-door roadster
Engine(s) 1,250 cc (1.3 L) XPAG type I4
Wheelbase 94 in (2,388 mm)[6]
Length 145 in (3,683 mm)[6]
Width 59 in (1,499 mm)[6]
Height 53 in (1,346 mm) [6]

The 1950 TD Midget combined the TC's drivetrain, a modified hypoid-geared rear axle, the MG Y-type chassis, a familiar T-type style body and independent suspension using coil springs from the MG Y-type saloon: a 1950 road-test report described as "most striking" the resulting " the comfort of riding".[7] Also lifted from the company's successful 1¼-litre saloon for the TD was the (still highly-geared) rack and pinion steering.[7] In addition the TD featured smaller 15-inch (380 mm) disc type road wheels, a left-hand drive option and standard equipment bumpers and over-riders. The car was also 5 inches (130 mm) wider with a track of 50 inches (1,300 mm).

For the driver the "all-weather protection" was good by the standards of the time.[7] For night driving, instrument illumination was "effective but not dazzling, by a pale green lighting effect".[7] There was still no fuel gauge, but the 11 British gallons of tank capacity gave a range between refuelling stops of about 300 miles (480 km) and a greenlight on the facia flashed a "warning" when the fuel level was down to about 2½ British gallons (>3 US gallons / >11 litres).[7]

In 1950 the TD MkII was introduced, produced alongside the standard car, with a more highly tuned engine using a 8.0:1 compression ratio giving 57 bhp (43 kW) at 5500 rpm. The higher compression ratio engine was offered with export markets in mind, and would not have been suitable for the UK where thanks to the continued operation of wartime fuel restrictions, buyers were still limited to 72 octane "Pool petrol". The TD MkII also featured twin fuel pumps, revised dampers, and a higher rear-axle ratio

Nearly 30,000 TDs had been produced, including about 1700 Mk II models, when the series ended in 1953 with all but 1656 exported, 23,488 of them to the US alone.[2] The main complaint that US owners had with the MG T sold in the US was the British 12 volt system which was hard to service when a head light and other electrical items broke down. Also, they had minor complaints over the lack of a water and fuel gauge. But in general in surveys owners of the Americanized MG T had more positive remarks than negative.[8] 0-60 mph time was 22.7 seconds according to Popular Mechanics.[9]

An example tested by The Motor magazine in 1952 had a top speed of 77 mph (124 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 18.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of 26.7 miles per imperial gallon (10.6 L/100 km/22.2 mpg-US) was recorded.[6]

In 1998, the rights, intellectual properties and trademarks associated with the production of MG TD is acquired by TD Cars Sdn Bhd in Malaysia to reproduce the TD series as TD2000.

TF and TF 1500 Midget

MG TF Midget
Production 1953–1955
Body style(s) 2-door roadster
Engine(s) 1,250 cc (1.3 L) XPAG type I4
1,466 cc (1.5 L) XPEG type I4
Length 147 in (3,734 mm)
Width 59 in (1,499 mm)
Height 52.5 in (1,334 mm)[4]

The TF Midget, launched 15 October 1953,[10] was a facelifted TD, fitted with the TD Mark II engine, headlights faired into the fenders, a sloping radiator grille concealing a separate radiator, and a new pressurized cooling system along with a simulated external radiator cap.[1] This XPAG engine's compression ratio had been increased to 8 to 1 and extra large valves with stronger valve springs and twin carburettors increased output to 57.5 b.h.p. at 5,500 r.p.m.[10]

In mid-1954 the engine output was increased more than 10%. Now designated XPEG it was enlarged to 1466 cc by increasing the bore to 72 mm (2.8 in) and compression raised to 8.3:1 giving 63 bhp (47 kW) at 5,000 rpm. The car was now designated TF1500 and externally distinguished by a cream background enamel nameplate on the sides of the bonnet placed just to the rear of the forward bonnet release-buttons.

Production ended on 4 April 1955 after 9,602 TFs had been manufactured, including two prototypes and 3,400 TF1500s. The TF was superseded by the MGA.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 MG T-Series at Retrieved on 17 July 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Green, Malcolm (1997). MG Sports cars.. London: CLB International.. ISBN 1-85833-606-6. 
  3. Basic Information On M.G.'s First T Series Midget Retrieved from on 19 July 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Second Hand car guide supplement", Practical Motorist 6 Nbr 68: 768–769. April 1960. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Willson, Quentin (1995). The Ultimate Classic Car Book. DK Publishing, Inc.. ISBN 0-7894-0159-2. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "The M.G. Midget Series TD Road Test", The Motor. October 8, 1952. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "M.G. Midget Series TD Two-Seater", Autocar. January 20, 1950. 
  8. "The Owner's Report on the MG." Popular Mechanics, June 1952, pp. 89-92/240.
  9. Popular Mechanics - Google Boeken. Retrieved on 2012-10-06. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 New M.G.Cars. The Times, Friday, Oct 16, 1953; pg. 5; Issue 52754

Further reading

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