- Here is a great example of the classic MG car experience.
- MGs and other post-war sports cars offered high-quality handling at affordable prices.
- Check out the auction, which ends March 14, on Bring a Trailer—What, Like Car and Driveris part of Hearst Autos.
Morris Garages began life as special sports, lightweight bodies that sat on the chassis of heavier Morris cars. Early MGs were lively handlers and helped fuel the postwar sports car craze on both sides of the Atlantic. Up for auction this week is a lovely piece of vintage MG life.
This 1954 MG TF 1500 is essentially an updated version of an idea that started in the 1920s. It followed the MG TD, which was preceded by the TC, and that by the TB. The MGA that immediately followed it in 1955 was the first modern MG, and it gave rise to a breed of cars that would create a new generation of enthusiasts.
Returning GIs brought back some MGs from England’s green and pleasant country, and MG also found success as an exporter. They weren’t Jaguars or Austin-Healeys, but they were more affordable to buy and relatively simple to work on. That simplicity is necessary, since owning a vintage British car requires a certain mechanical aptitude—and an even deeper knowledge of creative vulgarities.
This TF example wears a little more chrome than might be acceptable in collector circles, but it is well restored and has the desirable 1.5 liter engine. The twin-carburetor four-cylinder is good for 62 horsepower, making the octagonal 105 mph speedometer seem a little optimistic.
Cars like the TF are not built for interstate drag. They’re made to zip around country roads at a pace that feels criminal, but won’t worry the police.
It’s the wind in your hair, bugs in your teeth, what-funny-smell, sheer thrill of motoring that has kept these vehicles popular to this day. An MG T-Series feels more alive at 30 mph than a Porsche Boxster feels at 70.
MG left the US market with the rubber-bumper MGB, which had a crash-test-required ride height like a Porsche 911 Dakar. The MG brand is currently part of Chinese manufacturer SAIC’s portfolio, and its electric MG4 crossover in the UK is reportedly fun to drive and comes in at around three-quarters the price of a VW ID.4. But the present is not the past, and while the future of the UK car industry has bright optimism, experiencing an MG T Series like this one will take you back to the brand’s golden age.
Brendan McAleer is a freelance writer and photographer based in North Vancouver, BC, Canada. He grew up with his knuckles on British cars, came of age in the golden age of Japanese sport-compact performance, and started writing about cars and people in 2008. His particular interest is the intersection between humanity and machinery, be it the races. career of Walter Cronkite or the Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s half-century obsession with the Citroën 2CV. He taught both of his young daughters how to shift a manual transmission and is grateful for the excuse they provide to constantly buy Hot Wheels.