The TF is widely regarded as the most graceful and desirable of all the T-Series by MG aficionados. But it was roundly criticized in its day as being too little too late. Generally the TF is little more than a TD with revised styling at each end and slightly more power. The hood sloped more sharply to a smaller, newly raked radiator flanked by re-profiled fenders with flared in headlamps. The interior featured a new gauges shaped in MG's trademark octagon instead of circles, and wire wheels were again available.
Morris Garages began building sports cars in the 1920s under the direction of Cecil Kimber, who'd been hired by William Morris of sales manager to soon become general manager of Morris' dealerships. After World War II, MG resumed production with its TC, which had no heater, rigid axles and used ash wood to join body panels. But the cars were fun to drive and popular with American military personnel.
MG designed the TC's successor, the TD, with Americans in mind, and in 1953 launched the TF, with integrated headlamps and bucket seats, in exactly the same vein. This thoroughly restored 1954 TF has made trips in recent years to MG meets from Canada, all along the West Coast, and to Arizona.
This 1954 MG TF has spent 22 years in a barn in Kansas before it was rediscovered and underwent a three-year restoration that was only recently completed.
British sports car maker MG produced the TF from 1953 through 1955. The car was the last in its traditional sports car lineup, which could be traced back to before World War II.
Many MG aficionados consider the TF to be the best driving and most desirable of the T series automobiles. The TF is a refined version of its predecessor, the TD, with a bit more horsepower and subtle changes to the car's front and rear.
The TF series was in production from 1953-55.
The original MG marque remained in continuous production for 56 years, following its introduction in 1924-25. The name comes from Morris Garages, an Oxford (England) dealer of Morris motorcars.
In 1952, MG was absorbed into the British Motors Corporation, which included the Austin Motor Company.
The MG TF is powered by an in-line, 1250cc four-cylinder motor that produces approximately 57 horsepower.
The MG TA Midget appeared in the spring of 1936 as a replacement for the MG PB. It featured many components borrowed from Morris. Channel sections replaced the tubular cross-members making the vehicles ride more comfortable. The suspension was provided by leaf springs and beam-axle in the front and rear. The brakes were hydraulically operated drums, a first for MG. The body shell was assembled around the MG traditional way of using a wooden frame. All this added up to a total weight of 1,765 pounds. A 1292 cc, overhead-valve, pushrod, four-cylinder engine was placed in the front and powered the rear wheels. Outfitted with dual horizontal SU carburetors, the engine produced 50 horsepower. The four-speed manual gearbox was synchromesh, another first for MG.
When first introduced, the two-seater vehicle could be purchased in open and closed configuration. Later, the open coupe, referred to as an Airline Coupe, was replaced with a Drophead style. The Drophead used a soft-top that could open and close depending on the driver and the weather conditions.
In 1939 World War II was beginning. MG was introducing its latest vehicle, the TB Midget. It was basically the same as the TA, but was equipped with a larger, 1250cc, engine. The four-cylinder over-head valve, XPAG power plant was borrowed from the new Morris 10. It produced 45 horsepower and was much more reliable than its predecessor. When the war began, production ceased. MG shifted its focus to creating equipment for military purposes.
At the end of the War, MG introduced the TC Midget. This was essentially a TB with very few modifications. The chassis was modified with rubber bush shackles in place of the sliding trunnion spring mountings. The transmission was the single-plate dry clutch and four-speed synchromesh unit. The engine was the XPAG 1250 cc pushrod engine. It was essential a TB offered in one body style, an open two-seater.
Even though the TC was a rebirth of an old model and used outdated mechanical equipments but modern interior, the TC Midget was very successful. During its four year production run, lasting from 1945 through 1949, more than 10,000 TC's were created.
In 1949, the TC was replaced by the TD Midget. It visually appeared like the previous Midgets, but was very different in mechanical ways. With a new chassis, it was sturdier and provided a comfortable ride. An independent suspension with double wishbones and coil springs were placed in the front. The vehicle was left-hand drive. The engine and transmission were identical to the TC. To comply with newly developed safety concerns and regulations, bumpers were placed on the front and in the rear.
A Mark II version used a more powerful version of the XPAG engine. With larger carburetors and higher compression ratio, the vehicle produced 57 horsepower. The suspension was modified and the interior received bucket seats.
During its four-year production run, the TD experienced even more success than its predecessor. Just like the TC, many of the TD Midgets were exported to the United States.
In 1953, the TD was updated and dubbed the TF. It was given a 1466 cc engine. Production continued through 1955 when it was replaced by the MGA.
Prior to World War I, the future of the company was unknown. Thanks to the success of the TA, the road was paved for MG to continue their prosperous status after the War. The models that followed brought modifications both visually and mechanically. The T-Series, lasting from 1936 through 1955, was a simple and reliable two-seater sports car that was fun to drive. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006