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MG TD TF 1500 - king of the road medallions

Looking for history and which years a TD should have them. Mine are not present on chrome marker or headlights.
Vincent Piņa

Somewhere in 1952 the switch was made to eliminate the medallions on headlamps. Not sure of the exact date and it may have varied a bit based on supply and what was painted up. For example red cars may have switched earlier than other colors.

The marker lights always had them on TD's. Do you have glass or plastic lenses?
Christopher Couper

My TD was shipped early in January of 52, It has the KotR Inserts on the headlamps. These were originally painted.

Jim B.
JA Benjamin

In late 1953 the headlamps were all chrome, no medallion, and they had a chrome base riveted on.
D. Sander

Dave: They stopped chroming the headlamps in 51, but otherwise you are correct for sometime in mid or late 52. My early September 52 car has headlamps as you described but painted.
Christopher Couper

Christopher, my two TD's (June '53 & Aug '53- 30th last TD built) have the original headlamps that are described as Dave mentioned. Over the years I have seen a strange combination of headlamps on various ages of cars. It never has seemed to me for there to be any pattern to their madness. There are all sorts of reasons that I have heard from chrome being short in supply after the war to the costs of plating, etc. I think that they were just using up old stock towards the end of production. I can't think of any other reason. Mark
Mark Strang

My 51 had original chromed headlamp with KOR emblems, I did buy a new set from England years ago with help from Lew Palmer as the old ones were pretty well damaged beyond repair. Mine is an early TD with the small clutch..
Tom Maine

TD 18508 has black painted headlights w/o kotr medallions. Marker lights are chrome w/kotr medallions. Marker lights have violet glass lenses that protrude more ovel than flat. This car is 100% unrestored.

TD 20377 has chrome headlights w/o kotr medallions. The marker lights are chrome w/o kotr medallions. The lenses are glass, slightly violet (not as much as original) and flatter than original. Front ring also appears slightly different in it's cross section. This car was resprayed about 25 years ago but all of the chrome appears to be original as it is close to the condition of the unrestored TD 18508.

Did they ever produce an aftermarket lens/ring that was glass, slightly violet and that protruded less? Maybe 25 years ago when it was painted they replaced then but used all other chrome.

Vincent Piņa

Vincent: Those marker lights are used on all sorts of British cars over the period. Anything is possible. Many other cars did not have the kotr marker lights and perhaps some TD's got into an odd lot because of supply issues.

I guess I will have to be a skeptic about the late chrome headlamps as original from the factory but with these cars, anything is possible. I have always attributed late cars with chrome headlamps as something the owners had done, and maybe even a dealer.

Truth be told those painted lights are always getting scratched and its possible that many dealers did not want to deal with complaints so they just plated them before transferring the car to an new owner.

Check out this picture of a brand new car that was 'chromed up' for a dealer show. Funny thing is that they 'un-chromed' the headlight rings.

Christopher Couper

The late TD did have chrome lights, but the bucket was different. The shape of the bucket was not the same, The base was riveted on, and there was no KOTR emblem.
Every authentic late 53 I haver seen has these lights.
D. Sander

Thanks Dave. I will make a note of that. They must have switched back to chrome at some point. Again I would not doubt they were getting a lot of complaints about scratched headlamps.

Very late TD's had a lot of strange things going on. Some items that appeared in the TF's were on these cars or even just unique the TD. Amongst those were: moving the body id plate to the toolbox lid, adding reflectors to the rear bumpers, your chrome headlamps ...

My late 1952 headlamps are exactly like you state (riveted, no kotr) but are painted. They solved that problem with the TF :-)
Christopher Couper

This thread was discussed between 10/07/2014 and 11/07/2014

MG TD TF 1500 index

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