David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/3/10 12:35 p.m.

The MG T-series introduced Americans to the sports car. Where most of our domestic postwar offerings were big, bloated and drenched in chrome, the MG TC showed us that less could be more.

The T-series might not have been the most advanced contraption ever put on this planet, but its design just worked. It mated a robust engine with a simple chassis and cozy interior—and that’s about it. The car contained exactly what was needed for the day’s motoring activities.

However, this design wasn’t the product of a savvy postwar marketing department. The 1945 MG TC looked like an old car because it was an old car. Its design picked up where the prewar MG sports cars left off; in fact, the MG TC was probably closer in design to the brand’s first sports car, the 1929 M-type, than anything offered by Detroit at the time.

Peter Brock and others still praise the T-series’ design, but are those accolades based on sepia-toned memories or recent experiences? The earliest examples of the postwar MG T-series are now 65 years old, and we have certainly made much automotive progress since then.

We don’t have a time machine, but there is a way to step back a few years and sample these landmark cars. The Lane Motor Museum just happens to have beautiful examples of the MG TC, TD, TF and TF 1500 in their collection.

In fact, museum founder Jeff Lane began his personal automotive journey with a T-series. When he was 12, he told his dad that he’d like his own MG. Dad obliged and delivered an MG TF for Christmas. It was far from a running, driving car, but four years later Lane had it back together and used it to take his driver’s test. He and the MG covered some 40,000 miles throughout the next three years.

Today, the museum that Lane created boasts nearly 350 cars, including the ones that imported the sports car craze from Europe. A day spent with these machines showed not only how far the genre had come, but how right it was from day one.

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Rupert
Rupert HalfDork
1/11/11 12:20 p.m.

I had a '52 TD when I lived in Southern California. I loved that car but even then, you could barely go anywhere except by freeway. Most of the surface streets just served as freeway feeders. That car was absolutely scary on the freeways at that time. Traffic then, not now, often ran 75 mph or more during off peak times. You don't want to be on a four or five lane freeway in a TD when everyone is running 75 plus! For one thing you are so low people don't see you in the traffic. At least on a motorcycle you had some power and you were high enough to be seen.

Since I couldn't afford to own two cars at that time I sold my TD for $495. I had to drop the price $100 because the top blew a big hole right before I sold the car.

Of course I was hooked and have owned several TRs & other British Beasts since. But somehow I never got around to buying another MG. They just seem too underpowered for my tastes.

ronbros
ronbros Reader
2/9/11 7:35 p.m.

my introduction to 1952 MG TD, just before christmas in 52, not a happy time.

two guys identical twins(in lynn mass) bought for themselves 2 new MGs, a red one and a green one, they used to go out on the back country roads,and braggin about there cars handling.

i had a 1932 ford roadster channelled, with a 46 Mercury V8, that was all well and good,never did race against them heard they were out racing each other , one lost it on a curve, crashed and killed.

a sad end ,but life goes on, his brother sold his TD, never seen him again!

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