laminated trading-card picture of a left-hand-drive black MG with a red grill
and interior is very, very close to the real thing, the one I bought in August,
1957. Even to the luggage rack. It may have had a tan tonneau cover when new,
but by the time I got it, it was plaid. Yes, light and dark gray and black
with a faint red line through it here and there.
One of my first missions was to turn it all black with upholstery dye. It didn't
completely disguise the plaidness, but made it easier to ignore. As I ignore the
lack of a center-mounted windshield wiper motor in the picture. The wiper motor
location and the round tail lights were principal exterior
cues that the car was a '53 rather than an earlier vintage.
I have seen show "1953" MG TDs with the squared tail lights. MG TFs
have the round ones. This makes the TD I had a very late example of the line.
I can tell you the body and engine numbers, and let you judge for yourself: body
number 29595 (of 29664 TDs made) and engine number 29068. Or was it the other
way 'round? This is from memory, remember.
The tonneau cover eventually
came apart at the seams. I re-sewed it, then it ripped in several places I couldn't
repair. I had bought a mail-order car cover from Marian Weber at MG Mitten. When
the tonneau cover lost its usefulness, I took the snaps off it and put them in
appropriate places on the car cover. The cover now snapped to the back of the
cockpit as the tonneau cover had done, and either stretched to cover all the car
but the gasoline tank, spare tire, and rear bumper, or snapped in the same places
the tonneau cover had snapped at the front and sides of the cockpit. Or you could
unsnap it and cover the entire car. In either case, when not in use it or its
leftover parts stuffed very nicely into the spaces behind the seat and within