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MG T Series Dos and Don'ts


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The good or bad depends on which "T" series car your thinking about.

The common. Fairly reliable unless beat on fairly hard. Weak links ; the original Lucas fuel pumps , cranks were an issue years ago, trans shifter forks when worn will cause the car to pop out of gear , interior gets quite unpleasant on a hot day from the engine heat , fan blades are prone to flying into the radiator , original gearing makes highway speeds challenging ( (2500/3000 rpm plus ) , suicide doors can pop open on a bump ( especially if the body wood is rotted), replacing rotted body wood can get expensive, windshield wipers are not too good but can be hand operated if the motor goes out, a little unnerving on the highway next to a semi.

Great handling and fun to drive, simple to repair as long as parts are available. The TD/TF are superior to the TC especially in the handling and braking areas . Ideal "T " series would be a TF 1500 . TCs take some effort to get them dialed in in the handling department.

There is quite a lot in terms of parts available. You need to be aware of who the good vendors are for quality parts. Many of these cars have been tinkered with by owners attempting to make the T more modern like or for racing . Some have changed differentials , swapped in different transmissions , ect... . Some swaps have been more successful than others.

The ideal T series drive is a on a hilly, winding 2 lane country road on a sunny 55 degree in the late fall.

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Thanks Palosfv3 - appreciate the information, I have admired these cars for a long time and it is one of the options we are thinking about. There seems to be a pretty good number of them out there, both in restored and unrestored form. I would think the roadability of a TD/TF might outweigh the perfect lines of a TC, but we'll see.

Appreciate any feedback folks can offer!

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  • 1 month later...

I have two MG TCs, a 1948 and a 1949. Both cars get regular use on the Interstate and will roll at 55-60 with no problems. The RPMs are high at speed, but you have to remember that these are small 4-cylinder (12500cc) engines designed for high revs. The brakes are good, and as long as your front end is in good shape, steering and handling are good as well. The TCs have a classic look that the TDs and TFs just can't match. Another big plus with the TC, at least for my 14EEE feet, is that the footwell is much larger. When they made the LHD US versions of the TD and TF they did not change the footwell bias that was originally set up for RHD cars. Parts are almost all available from a variety of sources - one of the best is Doug Pelton's From the Frame Up. Google his web site - you can look through his catalog for an idea of pricing and availability. If you really want a TC, a TD is going to be a disappointment.

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Thanks Bob, I think I recognize your name from "lurking" on a couple of MG sites? Anyway, appreciate the feedback, and I agree, the TC is my first choice. We already have a quasi collector car that I can get in and drive 2 hours each way left lane all the way if I want, but good to know 55 - 60 is not a problem in a TC. I am sure, as others have said, it feels a bit faster! Admittedly I notice a HUGE difference in driver courtesy when leaving the northeast and people seem pretty nice on the road in the southern states..

I think the RHD, lines, etc. really set the TC apart, a period supercharger would be nice to add interest and likely "roadability" as well... :-)

I am surprised at the number of TD projects out there, seems like a TC in finished form would be a lot easier to find than in project form.

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  • 1 month later...

Ditto on everything Palos and Bob have told you. I've been hanging around T-type owners for almost 40 years and have seen the doors fly open and had a gear lever almost break my thumb when it popped out of 2nd gear. Those are the ratty cars, though. The nice ones really are lovely and, like every other make, they're a bargain compared to restoring one from junk.

Be sure to get a drive in a TC before diving into a serious search because they physically don't fit everyone. I find I can't get the steering wheel far enough from my chest. Guess I'm more of an arms-out, Italian kinda driver. MGBs allow that sort of posture and actually drive a lot like a TD or a TF, from which a B is not very far evolved. But like Bob says, if you've got your heart set on a TC, no other MG will measure up. Except maybe that MGTA posted very nearby...

(Yikes! Ghastly colour - maybe just bad lighting - but that TA could be a good deal.)

Edited by Rob McDonald
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Rob, thanks for the feedback and advice - the T series is still on my short list. Have had a few cars but my only real frame of reference for a British roadster is a TR-6, which was a surprisingly roomy, relatively powerful car - I would not expect the same from a TC, though. We would likely be looking for a restored car unless a super solid project presented itself. Here in CT we are looking forward to Lime Rock's vintage fall festival over Labor Day, then of course, Hershey... :)

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