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
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