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MG TD TF 1500 - Tag Holder on Left on a RHD TD

Our Right Hand Drive TD (TD 2301) is an EXRU designation car.

Should the tag holder be on the left side or the right side of the gas tank when looking at the car from the back end? All photos I see of RHD TDs have the tag holder on the right side - ours, however, has (since 1953) been on the left side. Are there any other RHD TDs with the license plate holders on the left side?

Any thoughts? Just curious. I imagine all of the RHD TDs in the factory photos were home market cars.
The tag holder could have easily been changed when the car was imported to the USA - just curious as to what would have been normal for a RHD car. Also, what were the RHD export markets back in the day?

Thanks in advance!


This is from the "Please Don't Let Him Re-Wire MY TD thread:

That's absolutely true Chris, however now they have this one up for sale:
Obviously they don't know what they have as it's priced the same as the other TD's. Although the chassis has Andrex dampers allround, the engine seems standard ???

This looks like a LHD TD with the tag holder on the right side. I'm looking for a right-hand S pipe but don't want to buy a whole car to get one.

J K Chapin


My '50 TD3966 is a RHD but has (ex works) always been in Holland. The tag holder is on the left and that's because in this country we drive on the right side of the road.

I think: RHD with tag holder on the right side in countries where they actually drive on the left side, and the tag holder on the left side where they actually drive on the right side of the road. And that's why LHD cars always have the tag holder on the left side, that is, when the owner lives in a country where they drive on the right side of the road.

Hhmm...a bit confusing...and rather difficult to explain...

Conclusion: your tag is mounted on the correct side for your country!


JL Nederhoed

Well I think mine is mounted on the right side :)

Even thought I drive it on the right side of the road now - it originally came form England its natural home so it stayed as put.


R D Jones

Hi all
If you look carefully at the licence plate holder you will see that they are not interchangeable so if it's on the right or the left that was the way it left the factory or it was changed during a rebuild.
Mick 52 ex USA TD

M.J Cook

Well - it seems that the cars are different and that the reasoning may follow along the lines that Jasper mentions above. The holders are definitely not identical - there are right and left-hand versions of the part - due to the mounting flange that is welded to the back side of the "S" pipe.

I imagine most RHD cars were originally fitted at the factory with a RH holder - and were intended as either home market or true EXRU cars - some may have then been changed to the left side either at dispatch or at a dealer if the car was subsequently sent to a country where they drove on the right side of the road. Otherwise, why would a brand new RHD car be sent to a LHD country?


Thanks for the responses.

At least I now know I am not the only RHD TD owner with the same question. I bought my TD in 1962 in France and the license tag was mounted on the Left side of the car. On the ID tag fastened to the tool box, there is an open space between the space for Car No. and Engine No. In this space, it shows the letters EXR, interpreted as Export RHD. So, why was a RHD car exported to a country where they needed the license plate on the Left side?

Jim Merz

Had a RHD car. Tag was mounted on the left as I recall. U.S.A driver. Could have been changed but don't know. Car was redone before I got it.

Brian W.

"What were RHD export markets back in the day?"

Principally Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other British colonies like Singapore and India.

M Magilton


TD 2103 is a Right hand drive EXRU located in central Illinois that has its tag holder located on the right hand side....
Tom Crause

Matthew, I believe there were some European or Scandinavian countries that had Left Traffic at the time the TD was assembled. Maybe my car started out in one of those countries and eventually was sold to me in France.
Jim Merz

1963 photo of 1950 TD2053, XPAG 2436 EXR.

E. R. Constant

Jim, yes I think you are right about those countries too.

M Magilton

Sweden drove on the left until 1967. I believe other continental countries standardized driving on the right well before our cars were made. Clausager says only 131 TD's were exported to Sweden but he doesn't say if they were LHD or RHD.
Joe Olson

Well Joe, Sweden is not too far from NE France so maybe my car left England for Sweden back in the day. I sure wish I could learn more.
Jim Merz

For the time being I'll stick to my thoughts about this subject: mounting of the tag holder depends on driving on the right or left side of the road.
As a consequence I think Abingdon materialized this with a simple rule for the production line: a RHD car gets the tag holder on the right side of the car, and a LHD on the left side. So regardless the country of original destination.

My car, TD3966 of October 1950, is a RHD ordered ex works by a Dutchman. From the daughter of the second owner I've got a letter the PO wrote to his friend (i.e. her father) at that time being on holiday in Italy. In this letter he describes his first experience with his new car. Interesting enough this letter contains also some information about the tag holder:

Monday November 13th I finally collected my new TD midget at Molenaar (being the MG-importer for The Netherlands) in Amersfoort . I had to drive a 100 miles back home. That was quite a challenge: steering wheel on the right, changing gears with the left hand, very little room for the pedals, it was already dark, the road was busy, it was raining cats and dogs and the wind was stormy. no traffic indicators and very little room for myself with the top up. I was very glad I finally got home. The next couple of days I've mounted traffic indicators on the car, changed the pedals for clutch and brake AND MOVED THE TAG HOLDER TO THE LEFT SIDE OF THE CAR. It's a nice little English car and I am glad it's so easy to mess about it without changing its looks and character. When you get home from holiday I hope I've got used to the direct steering...

So a RHD ex works exported to a country where they drive on the right side of the road, yet had the tag holder on the right side of the car.


Attached a pic of TD3966 in the year 1955

JL Nederhoed

This thread was discussed between 10/02/2014 and 11/02/2014

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