Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG TD TF 1500 - Does originality reduce value?

We have seen a number of recent postings seeking advice on original colours, finishes, textures etc. If a car is restored to pristine, original condition and is then actually used it soon "deteriorates" to excellent used condition. Lots of current owners can remember what their cars looked like when new but younger persons can not and they are the potential next owners. I have seen absolutely perfect TDs and TFs at car shows and they were totally ignored by the spectators. Drive in in a battle scarred, but regularly used car and it attracts people like bees round a honey pot. The only way to stimulate interest in older cars by the younger generation is for cars to be used and not simply displayed. Pristine, originality is not king anymore but high class maintenance and useabilty is.

Jan T
J Targosz

An interesting comment Jan. I attended a show on Sunday where several "trailer Queens" were present and whose owners spent some time polishing and cleaning.
I allowed small children to sit in the car for photos,blow the horn and listen to the engine. My car ,despite having no starter motor and having to be push started, won the top prize in the show.
IW Martin

Interesting observation Jan. I suspect it depends on where you go, and who the "crowd" are. I would like it to be generally true though!
Dave H
Dave Hill

Jan don't confuse originality with trailer queen pristine. Original cars, those that present as they were designed, with the right bits in the right place, will always outdo the hyped up or rat rod version of our classics. Original parts, matching numbers and a faithful, accurate and careful restoration will always bring more in terms of resale than the resto mods that have, to my mind at any rate, butchered a classic.

With no expense spared, accurately restored cars, wrapped in cotton wool, will always appeal to those with unlimited funds and so should always command top dollar, whether they end up in a museum, a showpiece for the wealthy or even a daily drive with an owner who can afford to respray and re-chrome the car once every few years.

Car show spectators are a bit like side show gawkers ever ready to be taken in by the glitz and glitter. But those in the know will always recognize quality, be able to separate the wheat from the chaff and so will pay accordingly. Totally agree though about high class maintenance and usability. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

I'm a bit discouraged by the MG world right now, which must have an average age well over 60. Within that range are the people who want a mint, restored, trailer-queen show car, a very nice driver, a reliable driver with less attention to looks, an all-original perhaps a bit tatty car, a ratty car, a modified car, or a car that is forever being fixed up, and never gets on the road.

As the salesmen say, "there is an a** for every seat," but I see fewer and fewer young people interested in these cars - AND, I see more and more of all these cars for sale. If the upper range is primarily financially-driven, it's also the one area that is selling most poorly. If the lower ranges are most affordable, I see them selling constantly in the $3-5000 range. That gives me most hope, as people must be working on them.

I spent 2 happy hours last night on the phone with a gent who had inherited his father's car-port TD, and was just figuring out where to begin. He was excited to work on the car, and needed to hear some of the basic things to restore or have restored. He sounded like the future of MGs to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with him.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

A few years ago we took our 72 MGB to a regional show and to our surprise an elderly gentleman and his wife were there from England who worked at Abingdon, he admired our car and said it was the most perfect MGB in the show, there werea bunch of Bs there, like 40. It was not a concurs judging but popular choice. Next to us was a 72 restored in the wrong color, chrome all over the engine, yellow and black striped plug wires and a home made wood shelf in the trunk. The car even had the wrong wheels on it! It won first place!! Go figure. PJ
PJ Jennings

I'm retired and restore cars for a hobby. If I didn't I weigh 300 pounds and be living alone :-) I'll never get my money back out of any car I restore but unlike golf I have assets rather than a handicap. I am all in favor of originality but I like and have made changes that improve the safety and performance of the car. But for me the improvements must not change the original appearance. We drove the 51 TD to the country club yesterday (visitors not members) and the high rollers loved it. That makes the work and expense worth it to me. One thing that I notice is that the MG car clubs I belong to are mostly people my age (ancient) and the meets and small, local shows seem to be more about fellowship and old times rather than the technical side of the hobby. Nothing wrong with that, most of the members have known each other for decades. I'm just more interested in the actual restoration than the reunion.

Timothy Burchfield

One point I'd like to make regarding the introduction to the world of MGs is that of familiarity.Unfortunately are cars are not now seen enough but I would hazard a guess that you've all met comments of approval from ALL ages including our youth of today. Perhaps from IW Martins' comment we should take the opportunity if presented to give some of these people commenting a ride to let them know what they are really missing.
JK Mazgaj

Looks like I have opened up a wee can of worms, GREAT!

My TF is an absolutely typical Haggerty condition 2 car. It was thoroughly restored five years ago and was then probably one of the best in the world. Since then I have done several thousand miles. The first few hundred were problematical and I had to be pushed or towed home a few times but eventually all the niggles were sorted and the car became reliable. It covered over five hundred miles, in terrible weather, last week without a single hitch. There are now a few paint chips (touched in with paint), scuffs on the outer edges of the running board, scratches under the ignition key and relevant to this thread a miss mash of tools in the box under the bonnet and not a clinically clean set of original ones.

I know that if I had tried to sell the museum quality car of a few years back there wouldn't have been many, if any, takers at £mid thirties. I would hope that my now Haggerty condition 2 would sell far easier at £mid to high twenties.

Just to put my arguement into context Just after restoration I took the TF to a local classic car show. It was about one mile from my house. I spent the whole day by the car and no one looked the car over even though to my eye it was stunning. Parked about ten cars away was a 1960s convertible Cadilac, painted white, huge scabs of filler on the wings, gold painted bumpers and a pool of oil on the floor under the car. BUT the owner had a loud speaker on the rear seat, belting out rock an roll, he was dressed like Elvis Presley and his girl friend had a rara skirt. They gave a jive demonstration during the afternoon. His car was voted by the public as "Best of the Show"
J Targosz

"The first few hundred were problematical and I had to be pushed or towed home a few times but eventually all the niggles were sorted and the car became reliable"
Just goes to prove the point our cars like to be used!!
JK Mazgaj

@ IW Martin. My hat's off to you for letting people (even children) sit in your car at shows. Anyone who shows the slightest interest in any of my cars at shows is offered to sit in it and try it out. If it was more convenient, I'd even take then for a short ride. That includes my Morris Minors, the TD, my Jaguar 3.8S and Austin 1300. If this hobby is to survive we need to interest people in it. Who knows that the 3 minutes in one of my cars might spark an interest in them of joining the hobby.
John Quilter (TD8986)

In our restoration we kept originality in mind but were more concerned with practicality, performance and our own particular vision. I was really happy to get a third place award in the one show I entered - beating out all the Porsches and losing to a gorgeous XKE and a Cobra. My Dad was ecstatic - it was still his car at the time. But what really struck me was the number of people that came up and talked about the TD they had in their youth because they were so cheap and fun and reliable. They all "loved that car", and were so happy to see one restored.

For the performance part: I beat an Austin Healy 3000 off the line, through the first three gears anyway. That was fun.

J Barry

I think you all know where I stand. :-)

I tend to worry like Tom does. The generations after baby boomers don't associate with these types of cars. Maybe Gen Xers like the muscle cars of the 70's but Millenials don't even like cars, let alone ones without creature comforts and air bags.

I expect the value of these cars to start going down over the next several years and keep going down. In that case you could make a case that the "good" cars would be of more value than the pristine/original cars because at least their value would not depreciate if driven or repairs were needed.

If you think about all of the time and costs required to restore a car to absolute originality these days it goes off the chart quickly. Good enough is far cheaper and easier.

In the past you could alway "over restore" a car and perhaps find some older buyer who "just had to have it". Those buyers are either gone or are looking at other cars these days IMHO.
Christopher Couper

Have to agree with Chris that to today's youth cars are just an appliance to get from A to B comfortably, connected and with "my" music ruining their eardrums. I also agree that letting spectators climb in and all over our cars is our only hope for creating future interest in our cars. Other owners at the few shows I attend stand there with their mouths agape when I invite 3 or 4 kids to climb in and on my TD but the parents (and, I think, the kids) love it. Here's just a sample of some of the fun.


J. K. Chapin

The MGCC of Victoria have a "Youth on Wheels" programme designed to encourage members children and grand children to learn the basics of driving using either their parents vehicles or the club-owned MG midget. This includes taking part in our paddock events. Visit our club website to learn more.
M Magilton

I have a 79 MGB. It is a driver. When I go to shows and events, I display a sign "Display Only" Do Not Judge.

I have no interest in accumulating plaques, citations, or trophies. I simply enjoy the car and the people I meet.

My next door neighbor has a 1951 TD, a restored "custom" which has garnished many trophies. In fact his is one of the few manufactured in Germany.

Beautiful deep blue with silver sides and cycle front fenders. He told me, the cost rebuilding of this car "kept off the streets and out of the bars for a some time"


79 MGB
gary hansen

I wonder how much of the problem of "our successors" is the perhaps (tongue in cheek) lack of practical aptitude. No money and time on our hands (no internet or social media) we had often to be resourceful to get mobile. But then it was not so costly perhaps as an apparently abandoned vehicle with a bit of fettling got us going-bald tyres and all!!
JK Mazgaj

I am in the midst of a full restoration on my 1950 TD. I am striving for a car that will be a good representation of what it would have been when picked up at the dealer.

The paint will not be 2 stage, blind you shiny. It will be a close match to what the factory did.

Trying to stay with original parts or at least reproductions that are as close to original as I can get.

No, this will not be a trailer queen, but it will be my attempt at having as original a TD as I can make it.

Whould I like to be able to get approval from other TD owners? Sure, but that is not the point I am shooting for. I am testing my ability to learn as much as I can about originality of our cars.

I have already found a number of areas were we really don't have a good understanding on what is original and why they did some things.

Tom Lange's recent post on single carb TD's is a great example.
Bruce Cunha

After the first five years of its life these cars were cheap old bangers for a youngster to smoke around in. Think these days five year old Miata/MX5. As soon as values went beyond a few hundred (OK, let's say thousands these days - currency of your choice), then something was lost along the way, and tastes had changed anyway. I'm not fortunate enough to own a T series, but I drive a '72 MGB in that spirit ie rattle can paint, but kept mechanically and bodily sound. Bought cheaply minus engine when it was twelve years old, extensively welded (UK climate), lightly modded (no bumpers, bits from optimum years etc) and kept going ever since means I can use it for supermarket, school run or wherever. More scratches adds to the patina. Funnily enough, people seem to like it, and I'm not fretting when I park on the street.
Peter Allen

Interesting topic. If you want to see what happens when cars and their owners get old just talk to the Ford Model A and T people here in the USA.

I was at a car show in Sedona AZ last year where there must have been 25 to 30 of them. They ran the full gamet that Tom described - flawless to barely running with patina. I would say most people in attendance just walked by those old cars with a "Oh that's nice look".

Just last weekend we had our local car club driving tour and I would say at least a third or more drove modern cars because of various reasons - comfort, weather, distance, A/C, no worry of mechanical issues, etc.

Price decline for these cars are a fact and I think when I am dead who cares. I have had my enjoyment, met some nice people and some jerks, fulfilled a dream and really the cars can go to the crusher if no one wants them. If we thought they were our family inherteage then sorry to say we really were not the best financial planners were we.


JWP Policastro

My TD is not really "Original". Not since I have owned it at least ( since '66). It came to me with a replacement engine, no side curtains, an incorrect roof and a radiator out of a German car.

I tend to like bling. I have a SS grill, an engine turned dash, and two tone paint.

I know that wherever we go, there are inveriabley lots of good comments. Just today we went to lunch at the corner Diner ( a NJ passtime), after our daily walk around the park. I watched out the window and at least 3 groups of people inspected the car. At the park we were commented on by several people.

I have only taken it to two shows. I go mostly to get a picture of the TD with an aircraft. Many, many people stop and talk and take pictures with their family and the car.

BUT most are older to midlife. The younger ones seem to know "Big Block" and "Hot Rods"..

The Beach Boys should have written:

"Well I saved my pennies and I lived very thrifty
Giddy up, giddy up 1250"

I do know that at both shows the viewers picked the TD as best import, so it's not all lost.

I find there is too much emphasis on the future value of older cars and not on the looks and driving experience.

I took my grandson out for a ride. We never got over 35 and he's said it felt like we were going 90..

Todays cars have taken all that experience away.
And now they want self driving cars.

Jim B.
JA Benjamin

Joe: I like your comments.

I have a Millenial daughter. She knows what the car means to ME but I would not want to straddle her with a car she has little practical interest in and the time and expense you need to maintain or even house it. It's not like a picture or a vase you can just stick way and pull out from time to time.

So it's going to be an interesting conundrum at some point in time in the future on what happens to my car.
Christopher Couper

Interesting subject
Couple of years back I was asked to be a Judge at the local MG Concours
When it got down to final judging between the winners of each class there were 3 judges including me
Finally eliminated cars one at a time till there were 2 left a TF and an A
We judged individually and compared notes
I found 2 originality blemishes with both cars,but decided on the TF as it had a nice original patina about it, the other fellas found zero faults but outvoted me and chose the A because it had a powdercoated chassis and suspension
It looked fine but compared to a nice original car, in my eyes the TF would win every time
I don't judge anymore and certainly don't show,
Took my elan (all original )in to get some paint touched up on one headlight bowl last year ---had asked around and been told these two young guys were the place to go and was really peed off when I went to pick it up, they had painted the bowl and half the guard in 2pak, and were proud of it and the colour was way off--they tried to bullsh@t me about the pigment changing in old paint, which is true in itself but colour is colour
(can't print what their ears heard from me)
It took ages to block it all off and get it back to looking like it should--that won't happen again-------
William Revit

How original is original? Inevitably with time items get updated and improved. Where does one draw the line?
As for trailer queens I recall being told by a very prominent MG man, who failed an entrant at a national conocurse (to the owners anger)because it was undriveable.
MGs were built to be used and not kept in proverbial glass caes; so use 'em, give 'em some hard driving within their performance. (You wouldn't buy a race horse and not keep it fit and raced, or would you?)My daughters aged 10/11 learnt to drive on the TD and my grandchildren are doing the same.

We have a 1926 Morris which gets used summer and winter and the other day a small boy admired the car and so I let him sit in it and start it. The grin on his face made my day.

Bob Marshall
R J Marshall

This thread was discussed between 26/06/2019 and 01/07/2019

MG TD TF 1500 index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG TD TF 1500 BBS is active now.