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 MG TD photo

1953 MG TD

The MG T-Type was in production from 1936 to 1955. They were a series of body-on-frame open two-seater sports cars that began with the TA Midget in 1936, serving as a replacement for the PB. Power was from an overhead-cam inline-four-cylinder engine with a 1292cc displacement, developed 50 horsepower, and was backed by a four-speed manual gearbox with synchromesh on the two top ratios. It had steel bodywork, an ash frame, and hydraulic brakes with 9-inch drums.

In May of 1939, the TA was replaced by the TB Midget with a modern but smaller 1250cc XPAG engine with 54 horsepower. The prior oil-immersed clutch was replaced by a dry-plate type with revised gear ratios. Bodystyles included the open two-seater configuration or more luxurious Tickford drophead coupe. Total production reached 379 TBs prior to the factory being converted to help with the war effort.

When peacetime resumed, MG's first postwar vehicle was the TC sharing the same 1,250cc pushrod-OHV engine from the TB. It had a slightly higher compression ratio of 7.4:1, hydraulically adjusted timing chain tensioner, and produced 54.5 horsepower. 19-inch Dunlop wire wheels were placed on all four corners and even though they were exported to the United States, they were only ever built in right-hand drive configuration. Production of the TC continued through 1950 when it was replaced by the TD Midget, which had been announced in January of that year.

The MG TD continued to use the now-familiar 1,250cc twin carburetor, pushrod OHV XPAG engine. Styling features were similar to the TC with free-standing headlamps, running boards, and flat-folding windscreen. Compared to the TC, the MG TD was much more comfortable thanks to the new independent front suspension and rack and pinion steering. It continued to use the same wheelbase and box-section chassis as the earlier TC but with a 2.5-inch wider track and the front and 5-inch wider at the rear. The 19-inch wheels were replaced with 15-inch pressed steel wheels, and the fenders were wider to accommodate the wider track. For the first time, parking protection was offered in the form of chrome-plated front and rear bumpers.

The XPAG engine was coupled to a revised four-speed transmission, which meant performance remained mostly unchanged, however, the handling and ride were vastly improved. From August 1951 a larger clutch was fitted and associated changes made to the flywheel and bell-housing, subsequent cars being known as the TD II.

The TD was the first MG to be offered in both left- and right-hand drive which helped increase annual production at the Abingdon factory to more than that of the entire pre-war period.

In July of 1951, the 1250cc engine was given a new block, sump, bell-housing, and flywheel allowing it to accommodate a larger clutch. A result of these changes brought about a new engine number prefix of TD2, and MG TDs fitted with these improvements are commonly known as TD2 models. The changeover occurred at engine number XPAG/TD2/9408. Please note that as confusing as it sounds, the TD2 should not be confused with the TD MK II. The TD2 used a single SU carburetor, single fuel pump, and standard-ratio four-speed gearbox.

Changes between August and November 1952 included a 3-bow frame replacing the 2-bow frame for the fold-down hood, and circular rear lamps with flashing turn signals. The windscreen wiper motor was relocated from the side to the center of the windscreen.

Alongside the standard car, MG also produced the TD MkII Competition Model beginning in 1950. It used a tuned 57 horsepower engine with an 8.1:1 compression ratio, and twin fuel pumps. There were additional Andrex dampers and a higher ratio rear axle.

Most of the approximately 30,000 TDs were exported, with 1,656 remaining in the home country. 23,488 were sent to the United States. Roughly 1,700 were MK II models.


by Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2020

Related Reading : MG T-series History

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....
Continue Reading >>

1953 Vehicle Profiles

1953 MG TD vehicle information

Roadster

The TD debuted in 1949, and retained the TC drivetrain with only minor modifications. Body construction and general look appeared much the same too, but the TD was wider and sat much lower with an independent front suspension. The most obvious visu....[continue reading]

1953 MG TD vehicle information

Roadster

The TD used the same basic chassis and drivetrain as the MG Y-type 4-seat sedan, complete with independent front suspension, rack-and-pinion steering, and 15-inch steel, disc type, road wheels. A great improvement over the previous cars, some said. ....[continue reading]

1953 MG TD vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 22535
Engine Num: XPAG/TD2/22884

Because of the popularity of the MG TC among American servicemen (both those late returning from World War II and those staying behind for postwar duties), the British automaker equipped 90 percent of that car's successor, the TD, with steering wheel....[continue reading]

1953 MG TD vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: XPAGTD228344

Designed specifically for the United States market, the MG TD followed the TC in 1949. Its styling was very similar to its predecessor, though it brought with it many improvements. They had left-hand drive, a much stiffer welded chassis derived from ....[continue reading]

1953 MG TD vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: XPEGTD 22832

With a possible racing background this car was rescued from a field in West Virginia in the late 60's by an earlier owner and was acquired by the current owners in running condition in 1972. Some maintenance work was subsequently performed but the c....[continue reading]

1953 MG TD vehicle information

Roadster

This was the last year that the TD was produced. For a short period of time in 1952 the MGTD and MGTE were available in order to clear the production of the MGTD. Wire wheels were offered as a factory option.....[continue reading]

1953 MG TD vehicle information

Inskip Tourer

Chassis Num: TD23255 EXLNA

This vehicle is a 1953 MG TD Inskip Tourer fitted with a 1250cc four-cylinder engine capable of producing nearly 60 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel hydraulic brakes. ....[continue reading]

1953 MG TD vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: XPAGDT228975

This MG TD has been in the same care for over 5 decades. It was purchased by Werner Spier M.D. on June 4th of 1960, from a Dallas Coca-Cola executive, who is believed to be the original owner. The Coca-Cola executive had the car finished in a two-ton....[continue reading]

1953 MG TD vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: XPAGTD223411

This MG Td has been treated to a frame-on restoration and finished in white with a new Green Apple leather interior. It has a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine and a 4-speed manual transmission. There is a new canvas top, new side curtains, and a new to....[continue reading]

1953 MG TD vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: TD-22418
Engine Num: XPAG/TD2/22853

The MG TD first appeared in 1949 and was a larger car than its predecessors. It used a narrowed and modified version of the Y-Type saloon's box-frame chassis with an all-new body that retained the classic pre-war MG sports car appearance but with a m....[continue reading]

Roadster
 
Roadster
 
Roadster
Chassis #: 22535 
Roadster
Chassis #: XPAGTD228344 
Roadster
Chassis #: XPEGTD 22832 
Roadster
 
Inskip Tourer
Chassis #: TD23255 EXLNA 
Roadster
Chassis #: XPAGDT228975 
Roadster
Chassis #: XPAGTD223411 
Roadster
Chassis #: TD-22418 


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Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1953 TD
$1,945-$12,680

Other 1953 MG Models

TD

Year
Production
Wheelbase
Engine
Prices
94.00 in.
4 cyl., 76.28 CID., 54.40hp
$1,855 - $1,855
94.00 in., 104.00 in.
4 cyl., 76.30 CID., 54.00hp
$1,945 - $1,945
94.00 in.
4 cyl., 76.28 CID., 48.00hp
$1,945 - $1,945

Industry Production

#1#2#3MG
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)16,250
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)13,496
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)
1949Ford (1,118,308)Chevrolet (1,010,013)Plymouth (520,385)
1948Chevrolet (696,449)Ford (430,198)Plymouth (412,540)

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