1951 MG TD MidgetView vehicle description
1951 MG TD Midget
The MG TD Midget was a gentle evolution of the MG TC, which was itself based heavily on the pre-war MG TB. However, the TD’s relatively modern engine and chassis mean that the MG TD is a wonderful balance of pre-war vintage and post-war fifties sportscar.
Solid 15-inch wheels are bolted to the new chassis too, rather than the 19-inch wires of the MG TC, a move that shaved a few quid off the cost of production while simultaneously doing wonders for the ride.
The MG TC also contributed its 1250cc XPAG engine, which means it has nothing more threatening than sprightly performance to challenge the chassis. Still, the TD’s more comfortable ride and a wide track always did make it more of a touring car than a street racer.
Not that that is damning with faint praise; comfort and stability go a long way to making a sporting car more usable on the road and the MG TD balances handling and ride better than most of its contemporaries, making it one of the most useable sports cars of its generation.
Besides, with a top speed of 80mph and around 25mpg on tap courtesy of its 54bhp, the MG TD is capable of holding its own in modern traffic with a little forethought.
Around 30,000 were built in total with all but 1,656 exported, with the overwhelming majority of those being sent to the US, which snapped them up with alacrity.
In the care of the previous owner for the past 28 years and the vendor since 2017, this delightfully patinated little MG TD Midget is finished in British Racing Green with a red leather interior, both of which are quite possibly original.
With just one other former keeper according to the registration document, it was last serviced in February 2023 by Windyridge Garage of Holmes Chapel, with previous services having been carried out in 2017 and 2018. As a result, we are told that it “drives very well”.
In need of some TLC to allow it to fulfill its potential, this little MG offers a huge amount of fun for not a lot of money – and it’s being offered with no reserve, so will sell no matter what!
On the Outside
If shabby chic is your thing then this MG TD Midget is right up your street – and please don’t think we’re being rude because we love the idea of driving a well-fettled but slightly scruffy semi-vintage sportscar like this.
Issues? Well, the doors, for example, will need easing back into alignment, and the front grille needs attention.
And, if you don’t like your cars patinated you’ll be thinking about a respray too but others might want to continue its conservation and just fix the stuff that needs fixing and leave everything else just as it is.
Signs of care are everywhere. The wheels, for example, are fitted with matching Vredestein Sprint tyres. They have plenty of tread on them but they are the ones that were on it when the seller bought the MG back in 2017, so the new owner might want to keep an eye on their age.
But, they’re matching and decent ones at that, and as we will never get tired of telling you that experience shows that this is an infallible sign of a caring and mechanically sympathetic owner who is prepared to spend the appropriate amount in maintaining their car properly. Their presence does not, of course, preclude the need for a thorough inspection - something the vendor would welcome, by the way – but it does perhaps give you a shortcut into their attitude towards maintenance.
The side screens, as is so often the case, look almost new, because no-one ever bothers fitting them. The hood is slightly more worn but not much; this is a car whose charms are best enjoyed al fresco and the condition of the roof suggests this is how it’s lived its life.
The tonneau is a little more worn but that’s only to be expected as it’s the only bit anyone uses: if you need more weatherproofing than this provides, then put on a coat.
On the Inside
The interior, which the owner thinks is almost certainly the original, continues the shabby chic theme and while the exterior could be left largely as it is, we can see that the MG’s new owner will almost certainly want to sort the seats out as they’re probably too far gone to leave them as they are in the long-term.
Ad hoc repairs have been made in the past, so perhaps the best solution would be to strip them down and rebuild them with new springs, webbing and stuffing before recovering the frames with the existing leather to give the best of all worlds; comfortable and supportive seats that whose look is in keeping with the rest of the car, preserving its history for posterity.
The key here is, we think, to continue the car’s conservation because there can’t be many left like it, cars that’ve been serviced and maintained and that retain their honesty and integrity.
This ability to fine-tune your approach goes to the heart of running a car like this. Everything is accessible and so utterly analogue that it can be restored with nothing more than a basic tool kit and nothing more than rudimentary knowledge – and the finish you get can be tailored to suit your pocket and your attitude towards originality.
The seller tells us that it drives very well and is in good shape mechanically.
He’s spent plenty of money on keeping it so in the six years he’s owned it but why not make an appointment to pop along to The Market’s HQ near Abingdon and take a look for yourself?
The engine bay is nicely presented being highly usable without being prissy. You might like to tidy it up a little but detailing would, we think, be a step too far.
The underside looks strong and solid; certainly no MoT tester has ever had cause to mention structural rust but then cars like these tend to be used only for high days and holidays rather than all-year-round transport, so are able to dodge the worst of the road salt and the subsequent rust and rot.
The previous owner, who had it in his care for 28 years, was the father of a university friend of the seller and when he decided to emigrate to Australia, he called him to ask him if he’d like to buy it. As the owner of an MGB already, he seized the opportunity and has enjoyed the six years he’s had it.
But, while he was very happy to celebrate its 70th birthday, he recognizes that someone else needs to curate it towards its centenary, someone who’s going to take care of its cosmetic condition.
He has been diligent in maintaining it mechanically. Apart from the invoice from Windyridge Garage for the MG’s most recent service in February of this year, there are previous ones for service work in June 2018 and May 2017.
The MG comes with a workshop manual, a parts catalogue, and a set of keys in addition to a current V5.
It doesn’t have a current MoT certificate, and while it is exempt by virtue of its age, we would strongly encourage the new owner to have it MoT’d at the earliest opportunity. The cost of an MoT is a small investment when offset against the purchase and upkeep of any classic vehicle, and it gives an independent, third-party assessment of the car’s condition, which not only provides reassurance to the owner (and any subsequent purchasers) but might also be invaluable in the event of a bump when negotiating with the police and any interested insurance companies…
The recent Vehicle History Check is clear.
What We Think
The MG TD is, for many, the quintessential British sportscar. Joyful and jaunty, they’re a great way to move into a semi-vintage classic without the culture shock that buying a pre-war car might bring…
And yet, for all their many virtues, prices are still reasonable. How reasonable? Well, we think this one will sell for somewhere between £6,000 and £10,000 but as it’s being offered with no reserve it’s going to sell from the very first bid.
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
Please note that there is an Auction Premium of 5% of the hammer price (plus VAT in UK & Europe only). Fees are minimum £600, maximum £6,000 (min Euro 720€/max 7,200€ & US$ min $500/max $5,000).
All vehicles must be collected within 7-days of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per car/per week) thereafter.
IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst Bonhams|Cars Online always strive to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings, we cannot claim they are complete analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer the opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle prior to bidding, and we encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this gives our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional. We do not formally test drive the cars.
Please also note that localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using cameras with standard microphones, which often result in inconsistent sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that all sales are 'sold as seen' (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for all used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and ensure you inspect a vehicle you are interested in, to decide what it is BEFORE bidding.
Want to know how Bonhams|Cars Online auctions work? Take a look at our FAQ'sView FAQ's
- Location: Bonhams|Cars Online HQ, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
- Seller Type: Private
- Odometer Reading: 52000
- Chassis Number: TD8044
- Engine: 1250cc
- Gearbox: Manual
- Steering position: Right-hand drive
- Colour: Green
- Interior: Red Leather
- Estimated Price: £6,000 - £10,000