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MG TD TF 1500 - TF Car and Engine colour

My TF was originally sent to Ireland in parts and painted in primer. So does this give me free reign to paint it any colour I want! Over the years my thoughts on colour have changed, just wondering what others thought on colour choice for the body?
The engine is a TF 1500 Gold Seal replacement unit and has been in the car for 60 years. Should I repaint this gold or not?
Note:The car was painted Jaguar Red (a wine colour) in the 60s but no one can remember the colour before this. I am considering contacting previous owners of which I have 6 with address. I may have luck with 1!
ps Neville Mann has already spotted the unusual black box attached to the firewall!

D Lamb

I see the VIN plate on the vehicle so you should know what it was from the factory.

As for the engine, I would keep it gold.

I hope you can find the gold color you want because no one seems to agree what red engine color to use....

Keep us posted on your progress.
Frank Cronin

Here is a link to decode the VIN.
Frank Cronin

Ditto on keeping the engine gold.

Bobby Galvez

There is no original colour as identified by the VIN number.

MG not built in Abingdon, it was made from a
CKD kit (completely knocked down) and assembled by Booth Brothers Dublin.
Hence differences on the identity plate on CKD cars
Apparently Booth Brothers received TFs in Primer with the VI plate stamped HDH55
D=2 seater sports
H=Primer (colour)
5=Primer (paint type)

D Lamb

Booth Bros badge located below VIN

D Lamb

I have read that CKD cars were ALL sent out in grey primer, so really any color on a genuine CKD car must be OK. But I have always wondered what CKD TFs, where the paint color is imbedded in the chassis code - show for a serial number, and therefore color.

Finally, I wonder what the facts are about CKD cars, and cars sent to certain countries (perhaps I should start a separate thread). I have seen pictures of TDs identified as CKD, crated and without wheels, but with the windscreen folded down and padded (Gordon Lawson posted some of these a few years ago, I believe). But I have also read that the windscreens were removed and packed separately for CKD cars.

So this makes me ask what Completely Knocked Down really means? Fenders removed? Crated?

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

Mr. Lamb
Thank you for sharing a neat bit of TF lore and history. Very interesting.
I am partial to green. I think TF's look marvelous in green.


T Norby

Thanks for call the great comments. I think I do have the option possible without seriously annoying the purists to paint the car any colour. My own personal preference would be for a darker colour BRG (Tom great car) Black, Dark Blue or its previous wine colour. I want to keep the engine Gold, there is a story to be told here and the gold gives a hint to it.

D Lamb

Posted 07 January 2015 at 22:14:32 UK timeD Lamb, Ireland,

Found this amongst my notes. This is all I have about CKD....

What does the term CKD mean?CKD - "completely knocked down". A term used to describe cars that were exported in kit form to be assembled "in country". This was sometimes used to claim that the cars were manufactured locally to get by import tax situations. Cars were finished in primer only.

Just found a note stating "a large number of cars with XPAG engines have had BMC (British Motor Corporation) replacement engines (Gold Seal) fitted distinguished by a letter prefix A to E probably denoting the over bore size followed by a number. With replacement engines the original number of that engine can sometimes be deciphered just above the octagonal plate, stamped on the block. Be prepared it may have come from a Y type!"
Hence the gold colour of the block. 
What is a "Gold Seal Replacement Engine"?Gold Seal Replacement Engines were primarily offered during the production of the MGTC but there were some offered during the early days of the TD and many of these may have made there way to MGTD's in later years. During the early days of imports there were shortages of trained workers and parts to perform major repairs or rebuilds to the XPAG engines that MG used. Because of this the factory created a set of spare engines that could be swapped out for the original, instead of repairing it. The factory would exchange your worn out engine with these replacement engines. These engines were painted gold in color instead of dark red and came with a special ID tag designating them as such. The tags were made of brass and were affixed to the block stating that it was an original factory replacement engine. Sometimes these tags were affixed to the same location as the engine ID tag. In later years of TD production the same sort of process was carried out by dealers and engine rebuilding facilities who would have a set of spare engines on hand. In this manner they could swap your tired engine for a rebuilt one and in a matter of hours, or a few days, get you back on the road. Your engine would then be rebuilt at their leisure and wind up on some other MG later on.

I assume this also refers to XPEG engines also
D Lamb

Gray primer is also an interesting question because my red TD had black primer. I replaced it with gray though :-)
Christopher Couper


For body, I'd go with whatever pleases you, even if it is not a factory color. If you decide for BRG, I'd suggest painting the wire wheels the same color (if you have them),,,makes for a real stunning look.

The other day we had a dark navy-blue Morgan in our town...a color that would also be great on a TF.

BTW, where are you in Ireland? I am related to Lambs that left County Monaghan around around 1866 or so.

Charlie Duffy
Healdsburg, CA

Charles Duffy

Never thought of painting the wire wheels the same colour sounds very interesting. Love to see a picture of one. I have always liked dark blue but like you have only seen it on a Morgan. I think with all the chrome and a black interior it could look great. I have the original wire wheels but they need a lot of work and not sure how to progress with these.
I am in Dublin Charlie and my farther was involved in the Quaker company "Lambs Jams" (probably means nothing to you but it used to be how we identified ourselves from other Lambs / Lambes). They also came from the North of Ireland but more around the Armagh area. You never know though could be related. I did our family tree last year on so I will check for a Duffy link! Thanks for the advice.
D Lamb

D. Lamb. What color was your interior? I am curious to know if it was an MG green, red or biscuit or some other color. I have seen a statement about Booth cars having black interiors but no evidence.
Christopher Couper

Our interior is Black but I couldnt tell you if it's the original colour. My parents cannot remember the colour combination when they restored it in the mid 60s. But attached is the only photo taken mid 60s restoration. It could possibly be red based on the rubber along the top of the dash.

D Lamb

Interested to hear that you had even heard of Booth Bros. Do you have any more info about them.
Thanks Darryl
D Lamb

D Lamb: I would say the red crash pad and dash give it away if that is indeed what you have. I can see the red dash but the crash pad appears to be taken off. Maybe that's what we are seeing hanging on the scuttle?

So you bring another interesting question for CKD cars. What color interior did they come with even though the paint may have been primer? And was the inside of the scuttle already painted and if so did it match the dash?

So far I am coming up pretty short on Booth Brothers. You see cars mentioned being produced by them but nothing else I have seen and the cars are all heavily restored.
Bud Krueger

The above post was hijacked by me from Buds ID. Sorry Bud.
Christopher Couper

I like them MG red..or dark BRG.

Jan Emil Kristoffersen

Very interesting providence on your car!
Should make for some interesting stories for years to come.
IMHO: On the gold seal replacement I would definitely keep it gold in color to preserve the providence. Even more so as it is an XPEG block and that is something I (for one) never even knew existed!

As to body color:
It would be very nice if there were a way find records from the Booth Brothers id # and do it to match, but if unable to attain that info I guess it is what ever you decide you like.

My personal favorite: Black w/ Biscuit but only because that was the color of my fathers TF1500 when I was 3 yrs old.

I did note that there was some info as far as "T Register" when I looked. (see attached) Can't help but wonder if they could be of any help?

IMHO: I'm not too sure on the "matching paint to wheels" ...but I guess to each his own. Years ago my dilemma was that it was going to cost more to restore my painted wires than to purchase 5 new 60 spoke (wider) chrome ones. I know many here feel "chrome" is over the top on these cars (and I know they are "wrong") but I like them. The next owner will have the choice as I have retained the 48's complete with bias ply tyres.

Best of luck whatever you decide ...and keep us updated!
David TF1500 7427

David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427


Our friends Mike and Edd featured another Morgan in Series 9; here is You Tube link:

Hard to get a good screen capture but I've attached one. The background may seem familiar.

Check your email regarding ancestry.


Charlie Duffy
Healdsburg, CA

Charles Duffy

Darryl, I've sent a link to this thread to the MGCC T Register historian, Roy Miller. It does sound like a very interesting car.


David Wardell

Darryl may remember contacting Barrie Jones, TF Registrar and myself in February 2010 when he was researching the production history of his car. Unfortunately the T Register knows very little about Booth Bros. in Dublin as no records have survived but it appears that they were the local assembly plant for T Type CKD kits sent from Abingdon to Eire. Clausager tells us that 10 r.h.d. CKD 1250 TFs for Eire were exported in 1954 but none in 1953 or 55. Darryl's car was 'produced' on 28 January 1954 so would have been one of the 10. Clausager also states that 75 l.h.d. TF1500s were sent CKD to Mexico in 54/55. Over the period 1950-53, 98 CKD TDs had been dispatched to Eire to be assembled and finish painted by Booth Bros.
Darryl's car is numbered 187 which seems to indicate that the 84 CKD TCs to Eire also went via Booth Bros.
CKD or COMPLETELY knocked down means just that. I cannot speak for MG but at Ford where I worked for 13 years, all the major components/sub assemblies such as engine, transmission, chassis, body tub, panels in primer, wheels etc. were crated up individually by a separate department for shipping to export markets where they were built up/assembled on arrival and only items such as tyres, trim and paint perhaps glass and others were purchased locally where available to complete the vehicle. No doubt Abingdon would have been similar in operation.
It is interesting to note that on the special CKD Guarantee (identity) Plate the original engine number, TF/32741, has been stamped using stamps with a different sized font to the chassis number which was allocated and issueded at at Abingdon. This is probably because the CKD kits were shipped in batches and any engine could finish up in any car so the plate was stamped locally after the identified engine was fitted.
Hope this provides a little more insight to CKD export vehicles which, at Ford certainly, were regarded as just as important as main line production.
R.E. Miller

TF2913 is one of 5 C.K.D. cars on January 29, 1954: 2910 through 2914. My copies of the production Records do not show any destination, so it's good to know that. The next batch of C.K.D. cars were 3390-3394, Feb, 22, 1954, which presumably are the other 5 sent to Eire.

I assume that British Heritage has more complete records for TD and TF cars, since Clausager records their destinations, which information does not appear in the Production Records.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

Wonderful information here. I had no idea 6 months ago when I started researching the car in conjunction with the restoration that there was all this information to be discovered.
Roy and Barry were instrumental in answering a number of my early questions for which I am very grateful.
As this thread progresses I am discovering more and more so thank you to all who have contributed.
I think my next port of call will be to try and contact some previous owners that's if they are still with us.
D Lamb

Is there any way I can find out more information about the TF XPEG engine that was put into the car in the early 60s. As in where it might have come from. Was it installed in another TF. How unusual was it to have a Gold Seal XPEG engine. Is it in fact a Gold Seal engine or just an engine painted gold.

I am also a bit confused about who holds what records.
I know Barrie Jones is responsible for the TF register.
Tom Lange do you also have access to info.
What are Clausager records and British Heritage records.

My engine details are:
replaced with
Gold painted 1500cc engine labeled Head AEF118 Block AEF117

As in the picture you can see there is a crudely atached badge identifying the replacement XPEG engine as an XPAG!

D Lamb

Darryl - first of all, your tag is not a standard tag. It does not look like any tag I have seen, on factory or replacement engines (although the tags on replacement engines do vary quite a bit).

Second of all, I find every serial number in that 10-engine range was used in a car, EXCEPT XPAG/TF/32741 - I have records of 32740, and 42-49, but 41 is not listed, according to the Production Records. Not in order, the engines in that sequence were installed in TF2871, 2873, 2884, 2893, 2897, 2900, 2929, 3029, and 3031, all close and appropriate to your car.

But I think that the reason your engine does not appear is because the XPAG numbers for C.K.D. cars are consistently NOT recorded in the Production Records - I have always assumed this is because the engines were not fitted to the cars when they were shipped, but were sent all together in one separate shipment, accompanying the cars. This would mean that at their destination the engines would be installed into the C.K.D. cars at random, and the appropriate engine number would be stamped to the plate. That would explain a lot - but NOT why you have an XPAG tag with an XPEG engine....

Try this on for size: The TAG you have reproduces the numbers from the original engine for the car, XPAG/TF/32741. At some point another engine was required, and the tag was made for the replacement (Gold Seal?) XPEG engine.

This scenario does explain most things. For your information, Please contact me off-line and I will send a scan of the Production Record for your car.

By the way, do I see a ghost of a serial number stamped at the top of the plinth where the tag now is - is the last digit perhaps a 7? If you can give me that number I can see what it came from - if it is even there... It may be my wishful-thinking.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

Thanks Tom will remove the engine badge and see what it reveals.
D Lamb

Looks like the car had a red exterior when my parents acquired it in the early 60s. They thought I knew.... but it could have been any colour red as it would have been painted by Booth Bros.

I guess it's probably obvious now from the attached picture taken in the 60s as both the firewall and the dash are red.

D Lamb

I have taken an interest in this thread as your car was made the day after mine.
Of your batch 2 are unknown,1 is in Italy, yours plus one in the UK. The UK one is on the register as ZU8893 but does not appear to be on the DVLA database so maybe not yet n the road.
Ray TF 2884
Ray Lee

Thank you, Lee. I think it is fabulous, the way we can all weave our information together, and form a better picture of how our LBCs were processed.

I have learned a lot in this one thread.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

Just a thought,if Eire used the same system of road taxation as the UK that would account for the XPEG engine carrying an XPAG number. The rate of taxation varied with engine size. By keeping the original number the amount paid would be lower (but highly illegal).
In the UK the tax rate was decided not by engine size but by bore size. This is why we had very long stroke engines.
Ray TF 2884
Ray Lee

Ha ha Ray never thought of that as a reason for the 1500cc XPEG being disguised as a 1250cc XPAG. There would definitely be a saving in Road Tax as Irish Road Tax is based on cc. I must tease my parents about that......
D Lamb

This thread was discussed between 07/01/2015 and 11/01/2015

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