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MG TD TF 1500 - 'Hybrid' car


I've posted a few queries on this board and found the members to be very helpful and knowledgeable. I would like to canvas your opinion on a car I recently acquired. Externally the vehicle is an MG TD, it has a plate on the firewall giving its chassis and engine numbers that would date it to December 1950. However, the chassis and engine come from an MG TF of about 1954 vintage. From the production records on the T Register site, the real chassis and engine numbers are consistent with each other. Both the "TD" chassis plate number and the "TF" real chassis numbers relate to right hand drive export models and so must have been exported to somewhere like Australia, or other right hand drive market. The car was imported back to the UK in 1990. I have MOT certificates going back to 1995 over which period the car has only travelled about 4500 miles.

The body is also consistent with being a TF, as the side screen compartment is under a horizontal panel behind the seats. The wiring is also consistent with either a late TD or a TF, having indicators (which operate via the front side lights and brake lights) and a main beam foot switch. As the instruments are early TD, the headlight warning light has been incorporated in the main instrument panel in place of the fog light switch.

The bonnet (hood), radiator, wings, running boards, fuel tank, dash board, instruments and seats are all consistent with a TD and are in very good condition.

It therefore looks to me as though someone in this vehicle's past has converted a TF into a TD!

Has anyone found a vehicle like this before? I am wondering what to do with it, keep maintaining and restoring it as a TD or converting it back to a TF (which could be a major task, as all the panels would need replacing together with the fuel tank, seats, dash, instruments....).

Any thoughts?

M J Davis

Are you able to find the num ber on the front left dumb iron????
Steve Wincze

I believe the TF has wider doors(at the bottom edge) than the TD making the doors non-interchangeable. This was done to provide a little more foot exit room which the TD badly needs for the taller drivers.
Jim Merz

Hi Steve

Yes I have found the number on the dumb iron although it is a little indistinct and I had to remove the front apron (if that's the right term) as this was obscuring it. I think the number is 6488 although the third digit is indistinct and could also be a 3. The letters are similary indistinct and overlap but look more like TF than TD. If I look up the production records for TF6488 on the T Register site it tells me the engine number should be XPAG/TF/36311 which is the number on my engine.

Does anyone have the dimensions of TD and TF doors?

I find it quite difficult getting in and out of the car and I am only of average height!


M J Davis

Is it just me ...or does anyone else think something looks odd with the front scuttle and wind screen placement in Matt's picture? It does (possibly) look like maybe it was "extended" forward. Perhaps to tapper inward so it would mate a TF tub to TD bonnet.
(TF being slightly "wider" as I recall)
Can't tell from the picture but what are the two "dimples" just to the rear of the bonnet on the tub? (Almost looks like aftermarket antenna holes?)

Quite a strange bird you have there ...must be a very interesting story behind this one!
Could you post a picture of firewall and engine compartment for us? Firewall is quite different between TF & TD....I would be very curious as to what she looks like there.

Very interesting post!
David Sheward

No matter how it comes out, its a really nice looking vehicle. Congratulations!
Warm regards,
Dick Thomas
Dick Thomas

Here's a photo of the engine compartment. One thing I noticed is that the rear bonnet catch engages directly into the sheet metal rather than having a separate bracket (you can see this just to the left of the bracket supporting the wing). The chassis plate is also located just to the side of the toolbox, which I understand is the usual location for a TF. The engine appears to be in good condition, starts immediately an runs with an oil pressure of just over 40lbs/in2 when warm. Possibly it has been rebuit, but I have no past history to confirm this.


M J Davis


It is a beautiful car as is. Unless you are fanatic about originality I would suggest using it and enjoying it as is.
Years ago I purchased an MG knowing that is was different. It was a TA frame and running gear but everything else was TC and registerred as a TC.. It was the nicest driving early T series that I ever drove. Steering was hands off at 60 MPH.

It looks to me like a TF with TD front fenders, grill, bonnet and runnig boards. These parts should fit without too much work. It looks like a TF body tub, the angle of the top of the rear quarter panels, the scuttle and the doors look to be TF. I would love to see a picture of the dash board and a rear shot showing the rear valance, gas tank, spare tire and rear licence plate bracket.
I would suspect the TF was wrecked and TD pannels were used, or somone bought a TF and turned it in to a 1954 TD MK III.
I would leave it as is, it is a one of a kind, a conversation piece, and has probably been that way most of it's life.
D. Sander


Here is a photo of the dash board - looks like a TD's except for the indicator switch. I think that there should also be some chrome and piping around the top. The instruments are all early TD types except for a combined oil/temperature gauge. The horn button does not have the main beam switch, as this is operated by a foot switch.


M J Davis

And here is a photo of the side/rear. Again all appear to be TD panels.


M J Davis

For whatever reason sure looks like a quality job on the conversion. Pretty car, and I am sure you will have some fun with being a "one-off".
An interesting day would be having a TF & TD sitting on either side where you could really do a compairason.
I am guessing the "bumps" just behind the bonnet is where they "pulled" the panels inward to mate to the TD as it is narower?

Tell everybody she's the prototype for a streach TD!
David Sheward

What numbers are on your ownership?
gblawson(gordon- TD27667)

The angle of that dash really makes me think it is a TF tub. The TD dash was more vertical. Look at the top rail of the tub over the rear fender. It is TF, not TD. It looks like the rear splash apron may have had to be modified to fit as well. I would love to see this car. I just finished an 8 year restoration on a '53 TD, and am well underway on a restoration of a 54 TF right now. The chassis are both almost identical, and the tubs are quite similar. I have wondered if this very project was ever attempted as I have been going through all my assorted TD / TF parts
D. Sander

6488 is not known to me as an ex Australian car. 6486 went to New Zealand.

Matthew Magilton

6438 is in Tasmania.

Matthew Magilton


I have a late TDII, and there are a couple of aspects of the dash board which are 'interesting'. Having owned the car since 1964 (it has a July 1953 build date), there are two 'oddities' which came with it and also seem to match yours. The first is the type and location of the indicator switch and also you appear to have a lockable gove box. Neither of these were, I believe, standard. Mine also has a Smith's heater.

One other 'tell-tale' could be whether there is a bulge in the front wings (fenders) for the late shock absorbers. A TF chassis should require this if it still has TF shocks, and early TD would not.

Personally I would 'bet' that you have a TF chassis with a complete TD body, since I would find it hard to imagine blending the TF back end with its running boards to a TD front end. However there may well be better based opinions than mine out there!

Whatever, it looks really well fettled, so enjoy the experience!

Ian Bowers

This thread was discussed between 16/08/2010 and 17/08/2010

MG TD TF 1500 index

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