It was a 1953 MG TD
Your basic first sports car
Photo: MG TD section of the cabinet

The 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.

Many pictures 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 the car.

Model Quest Rating for the card:   .757

                Make        Model      Year         Color            Detail/Scale       Gestalt       Rating
Original    MG           TD           1953        Black/red                                                        
Sample       10             10            10            5                    8 / 0                  8            51/70

I have seen photos of MG TD 1:43 models. K&R is a firm in the UK who will put together one of their excellent kits in your choice of colors and -hand drive side. Last I looked, it was something like $125 and a ten-week delivery. I don't remember the entire line, but my impression is there were very few non-English cars in it. The TR7 convertible was there, and the MG B in open and GT versions.

I have acquired a K&R diecast model of a TD, round taillights and all. It's green with a silver grill, realistic wheels and many other fine details. Picture link is to seller's version; mine is up top.

As for the MG-like model that previously occupied that space, it has wire wheels, a silver-colored flat grill, a tan interior and is (more or less) a replica of a green mid-Thirties SINGER car. A Mikansue green Singer car model is what it is. It just looks MG-like and I put it there because it was as close as I could get, and to help invoke the mood of pre-envelope body cars.

Model Quest Rating for the K&R MG TD:   .957

                Make        Model      Year         Color            Detail/Scale      Gestalt       Rating
Original    MG           TD           1953       Black/red                                                        
Sample       10             10            10          Grn/Tan  8       10 / 10              9            67/70

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MGB on Riverside International Raceway, 1968
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