|Home||By Make||By Year||By Desc||Gallery||A||B||C||D||E||F||G||H||I||J||K||L||M||N||O||P||Q||R||S||T||U||V||W||X||Y||Z||0|
Model: TD; Body Style: Roadster; Original Factory Price: $1,850; Brake Horsepower: 54; Displacement: 1250 cubic centimeters; Bore & Stroke: 66.6 millimeters x 90 millimeters (2.62 inches by 3.5 inches); Cylinders; 4 in line; Wheelbase; 94 inches; Manufacturer: MG Car Company, Ltd.; Location: Oxford, England and Abington-on-Thames, England; Years of Production: 1924-1980
Signage: Maintaining the Breed
The year of the first MG is somewhat uncertain. Cecil Kimber, general manager of Morris Garages in Oxford, began putting two-seat roadster bodies on Morris chassis in 1921 or 1922 but the first car with the distinctive MG octagon logo may have been built in 1923. Ads for the "M G SuperSports Morris" appeared in 1924, and in 1928 the MG Car Company became a subsidiary of Morris Motors. Through the 1930s MG built some highly successful race cars but concentrated on family cars and "Midgets," two-seat roadsters made almost entirely for British consumption.
In 1946 however, MG began exporting its series TC midget to the United States, and it is the TC that is generally credited with starting the sports car craze in America. The TC was a pre-war design and had its faults, according to one observer. "It had no speed, no power, rode like a camel, was hot and dusty in the summer and cold and drafty in the winter, and was the best sports car ever made." The TC was cute, cheap, fun to drive, and was very different from anything coming from Detroit. The TC was followed in 1949 by the TD series which was a great deal like the TC but with improved suspension and steering, minor body changes, and left-hand drive. In the four years of its production nearly 20,000 TDs were sold in America.
The TD was followed in 1953 by the TF, and then in 1956, the dramatically different MGA which had more power and aerodynamic styling, was introduced. In 1961 the midget series was revived as a badge-engineered Austin-Healy Sprite. The MGA was followed in 1962 by the MGB, a car with appealingly clean lines. However, after MG Cars merged with British Leyland Motors in 1970, MG sales declined and production ceased in 1980.