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MG TD TF 1500 - matching numbers for t types
|Why is it that in the USA that matching number t types are such a big deal? In reality its a big deal for antique cars in the USA period.What I've read in England is that they seem to care less and it does not reflect value. How is it in other parts of the World? THANKS. MICHAEL|
|I have not seen that mass produced, low cost TD roasters reflect any increase in value in sales prices for “matching numbers”. Sellers may want to gin up the price using the descriptor “matching numbers”, but I have not seen selling prices showing any effect.|
|In my opinion in Australia or in New South Wales at least it doesn't seem to matter very much. Many years ago I ran the annual concourse event for a particular MG car club where I was also a judge on other occassions. Matching numbers were really not a concern and didn't reflect the points score. That was in the 1970's and early 1980's.|
|I am guessing one in three buyers would ask about matching numbers in Australia. Most of them would still buy the car anyway depending on condition.|
|If you buy an engine rebuilt in England the number won’t match.|
But consensus is that if the numbers don’t match the price is lower at sale, by a bunch.
Why, who knows or cares, just the way it is out there. If you are buying to make a profit I have a bridge for sale.
|P G Gilvarry|
| Fords, Chevy’s , prewar classics, muscle cars, sure..|
Asking prices might be higher..but in the end, T owners seem much less concerned about bragging rights. All-in-all a more practical group as a whole and not bothered by driving their cars in the rain somewhere besides a car show.
|As was stated before: Engine swaps on MGs were very popular in the 50's, 60's and 70's to get people back on the road in a day vs waiting for weeks to have the original block serviced.|
|Rarity is a major factor in classic car values and desirability. A car surviving for 70 years with its original motor is not that common. Ask yourself, if you could purchase two cars in identical condition would you take the one with matching numbers or without.|
|I can see it being something to consider on a true show or concourse car, but for an MG T, I can't see it being as big an issue. There pretty much were two TD motors the TD and the TDII and the differences in them is very slight. It is not like you had a variety of motor/transmission/differential choices as you do with American muscle cars.|
|Interesting that nowadays you can buy a blank plate from Moss and stamp original numbers on it. (I guess that is provided the original number is not registered somewhere else in the same country.) So I am guessing that some matching numbers are original and others might not be? Surely that possibility reduces any difference in value? I suppose that if the original number is being used by some-one else, a deal could be done to just swap the brass plates?
Original colour is another thing which comes to mind. And there are two levels of that: Original colour for that model and original colour for that particular car.
Of course we are grateful that Cecil Kimber was not into originality. MG started as Specials and the history as described in "Maintaining the Breed" was full of development modifications.
|R L Schapel|
|Yes you can stamp a plate, but you may need something to back it up.|
A previous document, records, but you can fool most of the people most of the time, look at politics today.
|P G Gilvarry|
|Bob, the chassis number on the frame and the number stamped into the engine are the true arbitrators of originality, not replacement ID plates. The new plates don't change anything. I doubt very few members here would purchase a T Series without examining the chassis and engine number, not just by examining the ID plates. Also, no matter how much a model from the factory differed from its predecessors it still came with an original motor and engine that, if still in the car, would be considered numbers matching 70 years on. Since there are no official records of a car's original color (TDs and before) color would not be a sign of originality. But a buyer could easily determine if the color of a prospective purchase was one of the original colors used by the factory for that year (or a close approximation) i.e everyone knows there were no white TDs.
|I'd argue that since Cecil Kimber was only with the company for 17 years, it was not long enough for any M.G. to become collectible or to be restored. If he were restoring a 70 year old M.G., I bet he would make it as original as he could. Probably more than most of us would in fact. Only the first few cars he built, before production ramped up, were specials. Once the company was established it became no different than any other. Lines of identical cars plus a few special orders.
I think numbers matching matters quite a bit to the show crowd, and to those who are heavily into history. For those who just want a fun car to drive around, it won't matter much. The more rare or expensive the car, the more people seem to care. And if a car has a notable history, such as racing or celebrity, then having as many original parts as possible will have a major impact on its value.
|I agree with your points P G, Tim and Steve. I might be wrong (I often am) but I think Kimber put a supercharger on his own MG KN. Regarding the plate. I meant new octagonal brass plates for the engine are available to make the engine look as if it matches the ID plate on the firewall and chassis number. In Australia, I have seen some original engine numbers (matching the octagonal brass plate etc) faintly stamped directly onto the block and hidden by paint or the octagonal brass plate itself. However, many engines don't seem to have such numbers and so a newly stamped octagonal engine plate could easily be substituted. Can experts pick a repro octagonal brass engine number plate from an original?
|R L Schapel|
|There is the point that if it can be proved that an engine is actually the original then it could contribute to backing up any claim to history. However two things. Firstly "Old Number One" the Bentley purchased I believe for around £10 million. A court case ensue because of the amount of parts used to rebuild the car having been damaged whilst racing and the point argued was is it really the original. Then the 2nd point. For those who've seen the Brirish comedy "Only Fools and Horse" there is scene when a character refers to his broom as being "original" -It's had 17 new heads and 14 new handles" Very funny. It's on youtube for those interested and want to put things in perspective.
|Bob, for TDs at least, factory records exist that show what engine was put in what car. Also, as you eluded to, the engine number is stamped into the block. New plates, if they match the original numbers don't change the matching numbers category. But this is all beside the point of this thread. If a seller or owner can not verify the original numbers on the engine or chassis then it would be deceptive to call it a matching numbers car no matter what the ID plates say. And in my opinion, all other things being equal, most buyers would go with a matching number car over a non matching one. Ergo matching numbers are more desirable than non matching.
|JK, here in the states matching numbers refer to the chassis, engine and sometimes the transmission. Many resto mods have almost the entire body replaced and suspension and brakes up graded. But if the engine, chassis and transmission match it would be considered a matching numbers car. Of course they are not multi million dollar historically significant cars.|
|Matching numbers car is a personal thing, I personally like knowing that my engine had the assembly guys on the line in Dec 54 place their hands on it and put it in the chassis. Fortunately all the body parts but left rear fender are original Does it make the car more valuable, no, only to me after beating on it for 9 years! LOL! Cars regardless of the make and year are only worth what someone is willing to pay for it and too much emphasis is placed on what one sold for at one of the deep pocket auction houses! JMHO. PJ|
|I've mentioned this before. My opinion is not than a car with matching numbers is worth more, but one with a non-matching engine is worth less.
It is indeed easy to re-stamp a plate, but the font is a tell-tale, as are the attaching screws for the guarantee plate. It is really very hard to make a new plate look like an old one, with the quality of stamping, font, and surface finish. The block-stamped number (not always there) can easily be filled in on a non-matching engine with Bondo, if subterfuge is the goal.
It's not the people on these forums who will be fooled (or defrauded), but the person who just wants a fun car, and does not know for what to look.
I like having a matching-numbers MG, even though I realize it matters little. When a junkyard engine was $150, nobody ever thought these little cars would be so collectible that matching numbers would ever matter to anyone. These were every-day transportation, and people often owned and drove ONLY an MG!
A few years ago I matched an eBay TD/C engine with it's car now in England, and the car's owner could not have been less interested. He said, "The replacement engine in my car runs fine, so why would I want to spend all the money to rebuild yours?" The concept of matching numbers was not something he cared one whit about.
|Bob, I understand and appreciate your viewpoint. In my own view however, modifying a car is different from restoring one. Someone looking for a performance car, especially a brand new one like your example of Kimber's KN, isn't going to care as much about originality. But fast forward 80 years and imagine you were buying that very KN. Now imagine it has a replacement blower unit on it, installed in the 1960's. Still historic but not the one Kimber installed in the Works department shop. Now imagine the one Kimber himself installed was on the shelf beside the car. I think all of us would gladly pay extra to have that blower rather than the replacement with an unknnown past. Looks, performance, sound, etc will all be the same but we want that original part for varying reasons. For me it's an emotional thing to know that the engine and chassis of my TC have been traveling together for 70 years. The more parts are original, the more emotional I feel about it. But some people are simply into the machine, not the nostalgia or history. So for them, maybe they wouldn't care which blower since they are identical parts.
Regarding data plates, there are always dishonest people out there. Look at how many Cobras and the like are represented falsely in order to make money. That's why documented proof of originality matters. In the case of a TD for example, we have only factory records and visual clues. If someone is clever enough, they will deceive a buyer and possibly every buyer after him throughout history. It makes me ill, but it's a fact of life. And on the flip side, sometimes a tag is lost so a replacement is necessary. So you can't assume that because a replacement tag is in place, the car is misrepresented. I have a replacement data plate on my MGA because it was lost long before I got the car. But it is honest.
I have a story similar to Tom's. A friend broke a crankshaft in her TC. I happened to know where a complete rebuilt engine was for less than the cost of a new crankshaft, so her husband went and bought it and had it installed. He offered to give me the original engine but I told him to keep it in a corner so it stays with the car. He argued with me for 10 minutes about why he would want to keep it. I explained as best I could about the engine number being stamped on the data plate, the value of originality for a future buyer, maintaining history, etc. He simply said, "Why would I want a broken engine?" I finally gave up, took the engine and told him if they ever sell the car to let the buyer know I have the original engine. So I'll be storing it until that day for him, whether he likes it or not!
|It will be interesting to se if the offer to re-unite this with the original car is taken up. For the asking price I doubt it.|
|My original plate was mangled by my father who cut holes in it to fit some air horns in the toolbox. I suspect he did not care or even notice that the plate was there since it was painted over in some hack refinishing job once.
I still have the plate as evidence. The new plates lack the TD/ being etched into the body so that is a dead giveaway. When I get bored I plan on having that part etched into the plate.
It's not hard to find a stamp set with the correct font. I had to purchase a few extra single stamps to match but it's doable. Now I have a complete stamp set for this that will be used twice. :-)
|The "TC engine plus parts" linked above is worth the asking price. TC engines and gearboxes sell for a lot more than TD/TF units. Just the air cleaner alone on that TC engine is worth a few hundred USD. The gearbox is worth $1K if in good working order.|
A friend of mine sold a complete TC engine, possibly running but not guaranteed, for $3500 USD a few years ago. He listed it and it was sold in a day or two. No gearbox.
|I seem to remember a TF1500 motor on eBay some years ago going for around $10,000. Just the motor, not the car.|
Of course, TDs and TFs are very useable cars even in the modern era !
|Just to add more weight on the who cares thing.|
As anyone can tell my car has 55 TF drums and wire wheels. I can tell you that at a number of times in the 1960's there was contemplation from a certain party to put in a TF 1500 engine too.
You could get these for a few dollars then at a wrecking yard in great condition. Luckily it never happened. I still do have the slotted wheels and drums but I seriously doubt the original engine would have survived.
|When I found Lazarus in 1988 my first goal was to replace the Volvo B16 engine and transmission with the proper XPAG system. I gave the B16 items away to a Volvo fan. Bud|
|I've seen XPEG engines sell for crazy amounts also. Fair to say they are the most valuable T-Series engine.|
|I suspect the EX176, the factory dry-deck 1,466cc engines used with great success by Ken Miles in R1 and R2, are probably worth just as much as an XPEG, perhaps more. These engines are still used in race cars, and still winning races in the hands of competitors such as Don Martine.|
And they are legit T-series engines since TD came with an EX176 engine from the factory when new!
|I'd agree with that, although those engines weren't a normal production item like the TC XPAG, TD/TF XPAG and TF XPEG. The EX type engines are valuable only to those actively looking for one, but to the average Joe I would argue that they aren't very desirable. An XPEG would be a lot easier to sell to the general hobbyist. It's just semantics of course.|
|The factory records show one TD produced with an EX176 engine -|
TD/C/25051 EXR was produced on 12 February 1953 with engine EX176/16 which replaced engine no 25432.
|Just 42 cars and one day after mine - TD/C25009|
|J. K. Chapin|
|From David, The factory records show one TD produced with an EX176 engine -TD/C/25051 EXR|
Is this car, or part of it, still around?! PJ
|Yes, and I have been hoping and offering to buy it for some years. It has lost its EX engine, but I have an NOS block to install. I will persevere!|
I have just taken delivery of my latest acquisition - a 1955 mgtf 1500.
I have established the chassis number as being accurate, but the engine is not the original.
I would love to have matching numbers, but all I care about at present, is that after 62 years, I have realised a teenage boys dream.
Here it is..............
|R M Prior|
|Looks nice Maurie. Welcome to the TD/TF fraternity! The angle of the door handle makes me wonder if it's latching correctly? If you provide details of the engine someone here will probably be able to tell you what car it was originally fitted to. What follows meanders off thread but I'm intrigued by the earlier mention of the EX 176 engine, so I googled it and came up empty. What is it? Why the big deal? I'd like to do a piece on this beast if I can find accurate sources of information. Over here mention of the 176 refers to a Holden engine with a bit more grunt than the 149. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
|For some of us, original engine numbers is not an option. My car came with the original engine but had a catastrophic failure that cracked the block. I purchased another early motor that is about 3000 above my old motor.
During this restoration, I could have easily ground the engine ID plate and restamped it with the old motor numbers and then just used the old motor tag.
But that is deception and can end up badly. So instead, I will put the original engine tag and pictures of what happened to it in my restoration documentation.
|The door handle is normal for a TF.
THE EX176 engine has a history in early/mid 50s MG racing in the USA. Possibly a predecessor to the XPEG.
2 years ago I saw a presentation by Tom Lange who owns a couple of these engines.
The engines were sent to the USA in an attempt to boost the MG racing world to bolster sales for the breed.
Google it, will tell you it is a dry deck engine with external cooling paths.
Interesting presentation by Tom Lange, want to see another? Be in Buffalo on April 3/4 for Kimber Fest, for more go to www.nemgtr.org and look for Kimber Fest.
|P G Gilvarry|
|Well I feel quite privileged to be the owner of a 1951 TD for the last 43 years that IS running its original engine but value implications are not a concern to me.|
|John Quilter (TD8986)|
|Personally I fell there are two types of enthusiast. One who owns and just enjoys being able to drive a pre'56 MG and those whose "hobby" extends to enjoying the ownership of a car that as near as is possible was as it came off the production line. To those these numbers are relevant but in no way detract from their affection for our cars. I would add that I suspect that there are few of us out there who when buying if given the choice of identical condition cars at the same price would in fact select the "matching numbers" car. For that reason one could argue it therefore has greater value if not in monetary terms.|
Given as I am to being totally unashamed with emotional displays in my senior years, I am truly gob smacked at how this car has affected me.
The numbers are important for the feel good/great investment/future resale/historically correct cohort, and I can fully agree with these sentiments. But, nobody can ever know, how much this car means to me, after 62 years of desiring one, and finally, it is mine.
I am trying to come to terms with the emotional impact it is having on me. The numbers are meaningless to me, and so, it is simply grand, because it hasn't been prostituted with anything, that is not all Abingdon and British made.
|R M Prior|
|And we understand your sentiments, Mr Prior - I feel the same every Spring, when I get my cars out of Winter storage, and feel like I am driving them for the first time. |
Let us know if we can help with any questions or problems.
|Had my TF out 10 days ago, was in the high 40s.|
I store it at home in my heated garage so I am able to work on it all winter as long as my wife takes her car to the airport using airport transfers tunbridge wells.
Improving the floorboard fasteners while I reassemble after swapping the gearbox is the current project while setting up an MG tool chest so I can wheel it to the car.
Nothing better than an opportunity to drive my MG in my mind.
|P G Gilvarry|
This thread was discussed between 16/02/2020 and 04/03/2020
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