1951 MG TD Mark II - SOLD
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This appealing MG TD is one of only 470 Mark II models built in 1951.

The 1950 TD was the first major update of the beloved English 2-seater from Morris Garages since before the war, and it was long overdue. GIs returning from WWII had made the MG TC a household name and 2-seat British sports cars were now a fact of life on American highways. Longer, lower, wider, more powerful, and with improved steering and brakes, the TD was everything enthusiasts loved about MG sports cars only more of it. Today they remain equally passionate about these lovely little machines, which skillfully combine Old World craftsmanship and entertaining road manners to create something that just can’t be found anywhere else. If you like the elemental feel of a purpose-built machine going about its business, an MG is what you seek.

This appealing MG TD is one of only 470 Mark II models built in 1951. The Mark II was ostensibly an attempt to improve the TD’s performance and to compensate for enthusiasts’ tendency to upgrade their cars using aftermarket parts—perhaps an early “tuner” car. The Mark II included a bump in horsepower from 54 to 57 which came complements of more compression and larger carburetors, as well as dual fuel pumps and numerous upgrades to the suspension and steering. Outside, the look is instantly recognizable, and even people who don’t know much about cars seem to know that this is an MG and that an MG is special. The handsome British Racing Green paint certainly helps, because, after all, if you’re going to have a sports car, you may as well go with tradition. The high-quality workmanship is visible throughout, with a deep gloss to the paint, laser-straight sheetmetal, and excellent fit and finish that shows in the way the doors open and close and how easy the hood is to latch. It’s difficult to resist running your fingertips down the long hood and while the TD was a notable update over the TC, it still has that old-fashioned MG look with separate headlights, an upright grille, and flowing fenders. This particular car is nicely dressed with chrome bumpers, accessory mirrors, and a Boyce moto-meter atop the radiator which is a wonderfully old-fashioned touch. The chrome was all restored with the rest of the car and remains in very condition. It was not restored to be a trailer queen, so there are a few signs of use, but the quality is visible throughout and it works quite well.

The interior is trimmed in tan leather and in the finest English tradition, it’s fragrant and soft to the touch. Interestingly, MG used individual lower seat cushions but one single backrest, which is adjustable for angle, so it’s easy to get comfortable, even for taller drivers. There’s also a steering column that’s adjustable for reach, which is a nice feature on an early car like this. The hides are supple and smooth with only moderate signs of use on the driver’s cushion, and the door panels are beautifully fitted with built-in map pockets. The steering wheel was re-cast at the time of restoration and all those lovely green-faced gauges were rebuilt and remain fully functional. You’ll note there is no fuel gauge, although that green light in the center of the instrument panel indicates when there are about two gallons left in the tank. The other switches are familiar, from the pull-out starter knob to the rotating headlight switch. For weather protection, this car has a beautifully fitted tan canvas convertible top that folds and stows behind the seat, as well as a full set of side curtains. There is no trunk, but the area behind the seat is neatly finished and includes a narrow compartment for storage.

Mechanically, the TD wasn’t all that different from the TC, including the gutsy 1250cc inline-four cylinder engine. As I mentioned, the Mark II made a rather sprightly 57 horsepower, but in such a lightweight package it’s plenty spirited and makes wonderful sports car sounds. Fed by a pair of side-draft carburetors breathing through a single AC oil bath air cleaner on an aluminum housing, it’s quite correctly finished and nicely detailed, from the MG Maroon paint on the block itself to the soft gray finish on the tinwork. All Mark IIs received the “bonnet bulge” to accommodate the filter unit, and twin cowl-mounted SU fuel pumps keep the carbs fed. During the restoration, it was fully rebuilt to factory specs and it runs superbly, starting easily and running down the road with a gutsy sound that is a big part of the MG experience. Details like the wiring harness, hoses and clamps, generator, and fasteners are all correct, and while it shows a few minor signs of use the quality of the restoration work is evident throughout. Again, this one was built to drive, so it’s not perfect, but you’ll never hesitate to open the hood at shows and show it off a little bit. Even the tool compartment on the cowl is properly lined and fitted with an original jack assembly.

The 4-speed manual gearbox is probably the one thing that makes people fall in love with MGs. With light throws, just the right gear ratios, and a wonderfully precise feel, you’ll find yourself shifting just for the sheer joy of it. The engine is torquey enough to pull 4th gear even from very low speeds, but the fun is in running it through the gears with enthusiasm, letting the engine sing its surprisingly baritone song through the single tailpipe out back. It’s not fast, not by today’s standards, but the fun is in driving it at 8/10ths and still running at a moderate pace without endangering the countryside. You feel like you’re exercising the car and having a ball doing it. The suspension was upgraded on the TD and the rack-and-pinion steering is a wonderful addition, giving improved precision with less effort. There’s a fresh stainless exhaust system, the wood floors are obviously new, and the structural pieces are in excellent condition throughout. Upgraded shocks were included with the Mark II and the standard drum brakes are plenty powerful and with the light curb weight, even those 165R15 Firestone radials on factory steel wheels are grippy enough to be entertaining.

This MG includes a full tool roll, jack assembly, owner’s manual, restoration receipts, photos, and several boxes of spares.

This is just a wonderful little car that looks great and drives even better. Fully sorted and reliable, it’s an excellent car for the novice or experienced hobbyist and the cheerful look will win it fans everywhere you go. These cars are demonically expensive to restore properly, so it always makes sense to buy a good one, and we can’t find many things to fault here. Call today!

Vehicle: 1951 MG TD Mark II
Price: SOLD
Stock Number: 116032
Mileage: 395
VIN: TD9751
Engine: 1250 cc inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 4.88
Wheelbase: 94 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 165R15 Firestone radials
Exterior Color: British Racing Green
Interior Color: Tan leather
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