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MG TD TF 1500 - Correct and Original ?? Beware!

I recently saw an "original" TF 1500 for sale on eBay which was advertised as having been in a museum, two owners and 18,000 miles on the odo. It was listed as HDC 46 9882, and was being sold by an outfit called, get load of this, "scuderiasilvestri" in Stuart, FL. for $25,000.
I sent this company and email and asked for the eng. no., body number and paint color. The pictures do not show a MG color, but they can be off a little. What I got back was XPEG 3724, Body 20486 and the color being metallic red. I sent an email and told them that the provenence on the car look pretty correct, a copy of Jeff Payne's TF database, but that no TF's were ever painted metallic, and therefore the car was not quite as "original" as advertised.
Did I get a nasty note from, I assume Sen. Silvestri.
He told me that the car was sold and that I was a "time waster".
Lets hope the new owner shows up on our site and that he does not feel too bad about the non-original aspect of the car, the paint. Actually the car look decent, but pictures can decieve.
For all us TF owners, we ought to be happy that someone will pay in the mid $20's for a TF.

Buyer Beware.
colin stafford

If the only fault is a non-original paint color, that's a pretty fair price for a TF 1500, especially given the low mileage figure. The seller's rudeness isn't cool, but there may have been other things he was responding to, that had nothing to do with you.

Mark Barrington

It's nice to see the selling prices for TF's are holding on well. Although not original, I say if the buyer likes the color; great. If he was mislead by the seller that's another story. The problem with Ebay buying is there is no way of scrutinizing the items. I would certainly be careful of spending 25 grand on something I wasn't sure of. And FWIW TF's did come in metalic paint. Almond green metalic, "E" code for paint.

Dan H.
Dan Hanson

Many MG's came with metallics. I have a copy of a salesman's handbook for 1938-9 and it states metallics are available. But the wings were painted in regular enamel.Apparently they did not have at dealer level the ability to touch up metallics.It also states that body colors other than standard were available at extra cost as were the wheels in colors of customer's choice.
Sandy Sanders
conrad sanders

Dan I did mention in my email that the only TF's that had a metallic paint where done in that light Green (Almond Green Metallic). HDC 46 denotes a red car.

Sandy....I am aware of the wide variety of metallics that were available on pre-war cars. In fact you see some early cars redone in metallics. I had an interesting lecture on the pre war colour issues from Philip Laicona who has a concours 1938 TA Tickford finished in metallic grey. Its a beautiful car, but the paint looks too modern for my taste.

After the war I am not sure if or how many custom colours were available for TC, TD, TF.

eBay can be misleading......look at the price bid for that fake Singer LeMans with a TC body.
colin stafford

Hi Gang;

I had heard about a new sports car place opening here in Stuart so I drove by yesterday for a look see. There sitting in the window was a maroon (?) TF with what might have been original paint. I didn't get out of the truck and go inside for a closer look. Being that it was sitting in the window along with some generic vintage race car and most of a Triumph TR4A I suspect that it may still be for sale. I ran across your thread this morning and thought that I would report. The outfit advertises itself as preparers for vintage race cars and is not just a car sales outfit.

Safety Fast
Dick McCutcheon

It could well be a straight, correct and original car, but the guy told me it had metallic paint. I found one here in MI some 7 years ago and it had only 24,000 miles on it, and I bought it for 1/2 the asking price of this one. Another original TF 1250 showed up here in MI last year. The owner had brought it from CA 35 yrs. ago and just kept it in the garages ever since. He is now a memeber of the T Club and plans to get it on the road.
colin stafford

Hey, I bought my TF 1500 for only $3500. It was in terrible shape, but mostly complete. I think I got an OK, but not great deal. By the time I'm done, I will have spent somewhere in the $20K range, plus a few hundred hours of labor. But there is the satisfaction I get from bringing a trashed MG back to presentable condition. Plus I've really learned a lot. The biggest thing I've learned is that I don't want to do this again. Next time, I'll buy a car that someone else has restored.

The $25,000 price, IMO, is a decent price for a car that is in #1 or #1.5 condition and needs nothing to be show ready. But prices vary wildly depending on a lot of factors. I probably wouldn't buy the car, but I've already got a TF.
Mark Barrington

Another wierdo thing I have noticed on eBay beside the incorrect "correct/original" descriptions of MG's is that 90% sell to a bidder who never bids until the last few seconds (sniper). So all those bidding days are to me a waste of time. There are also quite a few re-listings I've noticed.
Before I bought my TD last March (Free Press addvert) I had (in 2003) gone and looked at 4 Spidgets that were sorta local and looked great in the pics but each was not as described and not worth the money they went for.
Hey, good question, is there anybody which frequents this board that has bought a TC/TD/TF from eBay?
Greg & Grimm
G.J. Cenzer

Hey Greg,

Yes, I bought mine (TD/C) from eBay last March, too. I paid 13 BIN and have another 5 into it at this point (not done "improving"). Never restored but does not need it (IMO). Original color was the dark red, recently repainted RED. Interior matched, I want biscuit.

John Redman

I bought mine (52 TD) on E-Bay about 2-1/2 years ago from a seller in Springfield, Illinois. He wasn't the original owner and it looks like a PO had started/stopped a restoration. I was lookingf for a fixer-upper and I paid just over $5,000 and had to rent a U-Haul to get it myself. For 3 weeks I couldn't find a shipper to get it to me. No harm no foul, my in-laws live in Champaign, IL. so made it a weekend trip to see them.

Where my gamble didn't pan out, is that the rear panels were rotted and I'll need to replace them.
I did the same thing with a 79 Spitfire 5 years ago, but paid less, and parts are cheaper too. Here's some pictures.

So far the chassis, brakes (less lines and pedals) and suspension are complete. I'm working on the tranny now, and expect to start disassembling the engine befor the Spring. Late this year or next year I'll get around to the interior, then electrics, then the body.

In the spring of 2003 and add in the Detroit Free Press was for a 1952 MGTD @12,500 out in Columbiaville, MI. I looked and offered $8,000, left my number and no calls. In Mar. 2004 the same car was advetised but @ $9,500. I went and looked again and said "Mike it's still $8,000. Car needs too much work", Mike went and asked his wife came back and took my offer.
I've got almost $2,000 in needed repairs to make presentable for the Battle of the Brits show at Freedom Hill in Sep.2004.
Everything I'm doing now is because I want to do it because these cars are so much fun to work on along with driving. there are some pics of it at point of purchase out at this site:
Also some pics as it appeared in Sep.2004 for the BOB.
I'm turning 68 on the 22 Jan and I just can't get under large cars anymore so I gave up my 1970 Rover 3500S (P6). The nice thing about a TD is you can do almost everything form above. I even repaired the exhaust from above. Converted floor board screws to be removable from above.
Greg & Grimm
G.J. Cenzer

I purchased my TF1500 from ebay.
I contacted the seller (a broker) prior to bidding and made it understood that I would "hold" him to claims made as far as "orginial engine" and advertized condition of the car....would pay "downpayment" only to a bank escrow fund pending my inspection, and balance by cashiers check after that. He agreed and I actually got the car for less than what my high bid was. As it turned out was not "a 100 point car", as advetized, but the price was fair for a good running car. There is MUCH MORE to the story ....but in the end I fell in love with the old girl and she was at a good point for me (with somewhat limited mechanical skills) to deal with. Never did see "$45K in reciepts for restoration"...but then again paid about $30k less of that for no regrets! Haven't a clue what I have in it now (quit adding things up when it went over $20k)...and have no real plans of selling it unless somebody made just a stupid why's a hobby / a vice / a love / a dream since age 3 do you put a price on that? Having to much fun driving and so far nobody has offered what it would take to trade my "dream" for the nightmare of doing it all again!
David 55TF1500 #7427
David Sheward

eBay has another "original" MG TD for sale, only problem is that it was restored in 1995, which makes it NOT original. A lot of artwork in the world is original because it is "one of a kind", but much of it has been restored and cleaned in the guise of preservation, which is ok. Mass produced cars are another entity, they are either original or not. Essentials that deteriorate over the years, can be replaced with like kind or repaired and still maintain the essence of originality and preservation.
Colin Stafford

G.J. - I'd say you got a pretty good deal at $8K for that TD. Unless the pictures lie, that's a very nice looking car.
Stan Griffis

It's a good solid car. Was running good when I got it. The wurst thing is the paint. The paint is chipping off the tub. Wrong primer or wrong preping. Wings and other pieces are just crazing. Driver seat had a split seam because whilst sitting in barn some little critter ate thru the plywood and foam and built a nice nest. Seat back is a disaster altho I had no problem sitting and driving. When they redid the seat back in history they installed the trim cover allway down to bottom of back panel leaving no room for squab (cushion) to move allway back. They built the seat back from some kind of lattice work and foam no springs. Sorting that out now. DPO had had brakes redone with new master and wheel cyls so I converted to silicone fluid. Clutch worked fine but linkage was rubegoldberg with screen door springs and welded shafts. I put that all back right. Altho they seemed to be working OK I rebuilt the SU's because I love rebuilding SU's. DPO had put Armstrong levers on Girling rear shocks. I have that sorted out too thanks to this board's help. Had tank cleaned and rustproof coated and painted. Putting new rubbers in rear susp. So, like I say, I'm doing a lot of these things cause it's so much fun, but it ran fine when I bought it. It's a good solid car that hasn't been messed with too much. Supposedly DPO was third owner and He got it from his brother-in-law about 12yrs ago.
G.J. Cenzer

Hi Gang;

I have just looked at the afore mentioned car that started this thread. It is in fact an original car with 17,000 miles on it. It is being sold on consignmemnt by them for a friend. The actual color of the car is more a maroon than red and is not metalic. The interior is red with tan top, side curtains and toneau. With the exception of a couple of chips the car could be buffed out and look very presentable. The paint shade is very slightly different between the fenders and the body which could indicate either damage repair or didn't the company paint some cars with different material between the fenders and the bodies.

I ran the car but did not drive it yet. Engine oil pressure was 60 psi at idle as the water temperature was coming off the peg and there was a tapping noise from one of the tappets but other than that the engine sounded strong. The whole engine compartment needed a good cleaning. The carbs appeared not to be leaking for the short time I ran it. My one concern is potential for cylinder wall and lifter rust because the car has set so much. I was told that the owner only drove it once or twice a year in the 12 years he has owned it. Before that it was in a museum in Connecticut I believe. Apparently there is paper work to substantiate the history.

The seats, top, rugs and toneau are all dry rotted and need to be replaced. The door panels and other interior material is all original and in good shape but dirty. The side curtains were in their storage location and the one that I looked at was ok. I can't attest to the status of the wood. All of the chrome is in exceptional shape and appears to be original. All five tires look new and were purchased from Coker. I was told that the rear brakes needed work with no further information. The windshield wipers and turn signals did not work. All of the gages worked and appeared to be in good shape. The other lights that I checked worked.

Based on the above discreption and todays market, what would your purchase price suggestions be. I believe that the owner wants 23K.
Dick McCutcheon

The car hit 23500 and the reserve was not met so it didn't sell on ebay. So if you are dealing with the owner now just tell him/her what needs to be done and make an offer. There are cars out there between 20000/30000 that need very little work other than routine stuff. let's face it your gonna have to put some money into it so the loser you can get it to 20000 the better, and then you can have the fun of making it nice and lovable.
Greg & grimm
G.J. Cenzer

Dick.....glad you took the time to see this car and that it does not have metallic paint on it. If you saw a difference between the body and the wings that is ok, as the were done in two different kinds of paint and fade differently. My car shows the same shade issues.
I sent them the TF database and it appears that the car has "matching numbers" so its original in that respect.
My car was stored for about 20 odd years and suffered from the same problems, leaking brakes, eventually leaky carbs, rotted rubber hoses and moldings, but it had no corroison in the engine. Check to see if the orig. plugs are in it, Champion NA-8, Made in Eng.
Mine were. Obviously the fuel pump is running, but for how long. If you are interested in buying this car I would be glad to chat with you about owning an "original". Not many of the left.
Colin Stafford

Hi Gang;

Just to complete the picture a friend of mine went to the shop today to make an offer on the car and it was sold. He was told the car went for between $19 to $20,000. They said that the car went to Atlanta to either a dealer or a car collection. Funny how it is hard to get the straight story sometimes. At least this is another data point on the "T" car values for us to ponder over. Hang tough, spring is right around the corner.

Safety fast
Dick McCutcheon
Dick McCutcheon

This thread was discussed between 12/01/2005 and 04/02/2005

MG TD TF 1500 index

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