1954 MG TF Roadster

In the late 1930s, MG adopted the robust and affordable XPAG engine from Morris for the new T-series. The change wasn’t necessarily welcomed by traditional MG fans of the time, but the new management at Morris forced them to abandon their high-strung, exotic overhead cam engines in favor of the vastly less expensive, production-based Morris unit. When motorcar production resumed post-war, MG’s charming pre-war styling and light, nimble handling struck a chord with buyers, particularly among the many Americans serving overseas.

Soon, the little Abingdon-based sports car company found a steady stream of Americans eager to get one of their spindly TC “Midget” roadsters. The TC’s success spurred on its replacement, the TD in 1950. That car retained elements of the pre-war look but with modernized details and a host of refinements, including independent front suspension and a roomier cabin. In time, MG sales lagged as more practical alternatives to the T-series emerged on the scene. The modern MGA was in the works, but still several years away, so in an effort to claw back sales, MG bridged the gap with the heavily revised TF Midget, introduced in 1953.

Sharply styled with faired-in headlamps and a rakish, laid-back radiator grille, the TF’s new sheet metal cleverly masked the TD body tub. Mechanically, the TF was a simple evolution of the TD, sharing its independent front suspension, crisp rack and pinion steering, and the famously robust XPAG OHV four-cylinder engine. Only 9,602 TFs were produced between 1953 and 1955, making them the rarest of the post-war Midget series, and paving the way for the game-changing MGA and MGB to follow.

The 1954 TF roadster offered here is a wonderful example of the spirited T-Series. It is the subject of a high-quality nut-and-bolt restoration finished to a high standard in the attractive colors of Autumn Red over a Biscuit interior. Equipment includes chrome wire wheels, wind wings, and a correct-type vinyl top with side curtains and a tonneau cover. The biscuit interior looks particularly attractive against the dark red paintwork and features authentic materials, fittings, and details, including the gold banjo-style wheel and signature octagonal instruments. Similar attention to detail was paid to the engine bay and undercarriage. The XPAG pushrod inline-four displays high-quality finishing in the correct shade of MG red and is topped with a period accessory polished alloy valve cover with flip-top oil filler.

In the true spirit of the T-series, this TF rewards with its charming good looks and delightful road manners. It is very well detailed inside and out and is sure to please the veteran enthusiast or newcomer to the marque alike.


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