In 1936, MG replaced the PB with a wider and longer car called the TA Midget, the beginning of MG's famed T-series that would eventually re-introduce the sports car concept to America. Like the PB, the TA's 1,292cc pushrod overhead valve 50 horsepower 4-cylinder gave impressive and lively performance for a car of its size and price. Ride was significantly improved thanks to hydraulic shock absorbers fitted both front and rear. Other improvements included hydraulic brakes and synchromesh on second, third and fourth gears. Most TAs were the familiar two-seater roadster with a steel body on an ash frame, but from 1938 the car could be had as a more elegant and luxurious Tickford Drophead Coupe by coachbuilder Salmons of Newport Pagnell. Compared to the more spartan standard TA, the Tickford Drophead came with roll-up windows, turn signals, full leather interior, Bluemel Brooklands banjo steering wheel and separate bucket seats. The car was also a three-position drophead, meaning that the fully lined and padded top could be left partially open or folded completely depending on the weather or the driver’s mood. The TA in general was a significant sales success for Abingdon with over 3,000 examples built, but only somewhere between 250 and 260 specimens of the more expensive drophead were constructed, making them a real prize among prewar MGs.
This 1939 MG TA Tickford Drophead Coupe is a genuine and very strong example finished in grey with a grey top, grey cloth headliner and grey leather interior. It also features wire wheels, Dunlop blackwall tires, a badge bar with twin horns mounted on the front, two spare wheels and a luggage rack mounted on the back, and a fascinating period Motorola radio mounted prominently under the dash. Fully and properly restored within the last ten years, this MG has been a proven tour car and still presents beautifully. More comfortable and attractive than the standard car, it is perfect for someone who wants a fun prewar sports car to drive, tour and casually show. Since the Tickford Drophead Coupe also accounted for less than one tenth of TA production, this car is not only fun but also highly collectible, a real gem among MG enthusiasts and a car that very rarely comes up for sale.
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