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1953 MG TD

This vehicle has now been sold - click ‘Register Similar’ below to get notified when we consign a similar vehicle.

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  • Mileage~28,497
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine1.3L
  • LocationSwindon


1953 MG TD

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Darren Rungasamy
Automotive Editor, Photographer and Consigner

The vintage curves and style evoke a golden age of motoring many enthusiasts still enjoy to this day.

Despite its pre-war roots, the MG TD has far more in common with modern cars than first meets the eye. Deceptively advanced for its era, the independent front suspension with coil springs, together with a rack and pinion steering gives it a distinct advantage over its contemporary rivals. While not an out-and-out quick car, the lightweight frame, plump seats and joy of manoeuvring gives the 1.3-litre TD a genuinely sporting feel and is beautifully easy to drive. As a measure of MG's success as an exporter, the Americans fully embraced the T-Series and set the precedence for the golden age of the British open-top sports car.

This 1953 TD has only had six recorded owners in its 69-year life, with two of the most recent owners having owned the car for more than half of that time. It comes with a stack of invoices and receipts going back to 1972, and since being restored in the mid-80s it has been garaged and only ever used during the warmer days of the year. Ready to see the road with a twist of the key, the structurally and mechanically solid car could also be the ideal example for an enthusiast to further improve over time.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Darren after meeting Howard the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

I bought the MG in 2009 from a previous owner who had owned it for ~24 years.

Following his wife's approval of the TD's appealing appearance and demeanour, Howard purchased this car in 2009. The car is the latest in a long line of MGs he's owned, the TD was strictly used as a summer and weekend tool which suited the gentle pace of the local country lanes.

Handy with a spanner, having spent his career working for various car and bike manufacturers, Howard has kept on top of any maintenance while the car has been kept in his dry garage. Sadly, the car reminds him too much of his late wife and has decided to call it a day with the MG. He'll be on hand to answer any questions about the car in the comments section below.

Vehicle Owner

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The open-air design was made for long drives and touring on back roads.

Wheels and Tyres

The Toyo tyres are all well within the legal limits and have decent tread, the 15" vented wheels are good with no significant road wear, but show signs of slight distortion on the edges of the front rims.

Take a look through the pictures and videos documenting the detail of the exterior.


The car had seen an extensive restoration in the mid-80s, followed by two owners who have not only kept the mileage down but also stored the car in their respective garages. As a result, the structure and chassis of the car are in very good shape, with the wings, doors, underneath the running boards and bulkheads looking good. The area around the fuel tank looks solid too.

The bonnet flaps open well and are kept up by a rail guide. The passenger doors open and close well with no drooping, although the driver's door catch might need a little adjustment - it remains closed while the car is in motion.


The paint finish has lasted well and is tonally consistent. The front wings and sides show signs of age, marks, wear and the odd tiny dent in places but overall thanks to its 40-year indoor storage, still present nicely for a 50s British sports car.

Glass and Trim

The chrome is in good shape, with the odd bit of pitting noted on the windscreen and rear bumper. The headlamps and grille look good and remain blemish-free.

The rubber beading is intact and appears to have resisted the years well. The front screen is in line with the rest of the body and free of significant damage.


Basic and lean, there are no distractions in the cabin of this open top sportscar.

Seats and Carpets

The seats have a pleasing patina, both are free from any significant damage considering their age. The carpets are in good condition, with the usual wear spots where repeated contact is made.


The wooden dashboard finish reflects the general patina of the cabin, with age-related wear but certainly not any worse for it. The facia trim and detailings are intact, with the dials legible.

The switches follow the same script and present well enough. The door cards are in good shape, with the soft-top headlining in good condition with no significant damage.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The steering wheel is likely to have been replaced or renovated at some point, as it retains a healthy gloss with no major damage. The gearstick looks good and is potentially an original item, with a little more wear to show compared to the steering wheel.


Lively to drive, the engineering behind the TD is remarkably familiar.

Engine and Gearbox

Not believed to be the original engine, it started up without any hesitation as can be seen on the mechanical review video. No unwanted mechanical noises were noted from the engine. The engine displays a few unsightly scars on the block, but these are cosmetic.

Decent ancillaries and hoses point towards a good mechanical schedule. There was a little soot from the engine upon start up but soon cleared up as the engine warmed up - no additional smoke was noted as the car was running with no signs of burning.

The gearbox synchromesh needs some encouragement as the gears change up and down but eases up nicely as the car warms up. Typically for a car of this era, it seeps a small amount of oil, but it is manageable. The car comes with its original inlet manifold as a spare, with a spare gasket set also part of the sale.

Suspension and Brakes

The car has been subject to recent work on its shock absorbers and brakes, and Howard is satisfied that their performance is up to the best possible standard for a car of this era.

While on the move the car soaks up the road well, corners and brakes without any issues or noises.

The Drive

Almost the perfect car for low-speed country lane jaunts, it is sprightly and easy to drive. It rides nicely at town speeds, the engine beating sweetly throughout with no suspension or differential noises.

Plenty of attention and goodwill is part of the experience, but it is of course a car for fair weather and low volume traffic!

Electrics and Other

The car has seen the semaphores removed and replaced with indicators and has had the added reliability of an electronic distributor fitted.

The hood and side screens are in good shape with minor signs of age but are intact with no rips. It raises and retracts without any issues.

History and Paperwork

There are over 150 invoices and documents to support 50 years of maintenance on this TD, couple that to fair weather use and the result is an incredibly usable 50s sports car.

The extensive collection of invoices stretches back to 1972, which covers the usual mechanical aspects of maintenance, upkeep and repair items. Howard purchased the car in 2009, after ~24 years of ownership by the previous owner, who restored the car and kept on top of any issues. Some of the work carried out over that period includes an engine rebuild (which also included an unleaded fuel cylinder head conversion), hub, bush, brake, fuel, suspension and steering components.

Prior to this, a charming collection of old-skool invoices, notes and receipts have been retained with a significant number coming from the Naylor Brothers. More recent work carried out by the current owner covers cooling aspects, an electronic distributor, new shock absorbers, fuel and water pump and additional brake work.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5 and also actioned a HPi check on the vehicle.

We've summarised our own view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above, however, and as you can see, we go to great lengths to photograph and video the car in hi-resolution detail - this has been done for you to make your own assessment from the comfort of your sofa. So please sit back, have a cuppa and take your time to review everything on this listing in order to make your own assessment on the vehicle's condition. Viewings are also welcomed with all our listings, so please get in touch with us to arrange a suitable time - we just need to speak to you first and receive a valid photo ID before confirming.

If there's anything you're unsure about, no matter how small, then please first ask the owner in the comments area below before placing your bid/s, as bids can't be retracted and form a binding contract if you win the car - just like a traditional auction house.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
20-06-2012 MOT 27,196
23-06-2011 MOT 26,917
22-06-2010 MOT 26,601
03-06-2009 MOT 25,328
30-06-2007 MOT 25,180
12-07-2006 MOT 24,121
Key Details
  • ModelTD
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date07.08.1953
  • CC1,250
  • Mileage~28,497
  • HistoryYes
  • ColourRed
  • Interior ColourBlack
  • Interior TrimVeneer/Vinyl
  • Chassis #TD26288
  • Engine #XPACTD1154
  • RestoredYes
  • Engine RebuildYes
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • Road Tax ExemptYes
  • Former Keepers6
  • Tyre BrandToyo
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned~13 years
  • Key Feature50 years of paperwork

Vehicle Sold

Register your interest for similar cars.

This vehicle has now been sold - click 'Register Similar' below to get notified when we consign a similar vehicle.

Ask Questions
Post a comment or ask the owner a question about the car.
Kulraj Salh

RESERVE REMOVED – Howard has removed the reserve on the auction, so it will be selling to the high bidder this evening. Good luck if you’re involved in the bidding. Best, Kulraj – Trade Classics


Sorry, that should say what fuel are you using.


Hi, what fueler you currently running the MG on, is it unleaded with an additive. Thanks Pat


£5000 l love your car, Keith


I really admire your Car. God bless You!
I would like to ask If like to buy straight from you. What is best price u ask for this lady.
If you need cash I more than happy or in Bank,, whatever easy for you!


Vehicle Location

Swindon, Wiltshire

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