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MG TD TF 1500 - VIN / body numbers

Hi all,

I've posted this question on another forum, but Dave Dubois told me it was best to post here as well, as there's probably more expertise on this forum.

We recently started work on a 1950 MG TD. Trying to get it as close to original as possible. Doing some research, we are now trying to find out what the body numbers and other VIN codes can tell us about the car. Body number is 1862 / 58859. Does anyone have information about that?

J de Wijs

Jan, those numbers don't mean a lot. You need the car#, engine#, and the long # from the square plate on the left front of the tool box that has something like "XPAG/TD/LHX........" The chassis # is also stamped in the left front frame rail extension. George
George Butz


George is 100% right - forget the body numbers. Unfortunately many people see the body number plate first, and conclude that its the "serial number" of the car.

Because there are several after-market car plates available, on to which you can stamp any numbers you want (making a stolen car into a non-stolen one), you want to take the car number ONLY from the left front dumb-iron where it is stamped into the frame.

I can tell you of a very sad tale when a car was accidentally registered with the body number, and the number - not the car - happened to duplicate an MG number and not a T-Series, that was shown to be stolen. The car was seized and to the best of my knowledge, is still in a lock-up and that was 2 years ago, while the mess is untangled with lawyers and the DVR.

Get it right the first time!

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.

Gordon A. Clark


Thanks guys. The car# is no mistery to me. I've checked e.g.. Car number is TD2176. I just wondered if the other numbers have a meaning. I'm trying to find out what the original body colour and upholstery was. Any clues on how to find out about that?

J de Wijs

You can usualy find evidence of original colors.
Look under the dash in the interior, inside wheel wells, and the fire wall. For interior colors check the rexene(vinyl) inside the curtain box or other inconspicuous places. If you have no interior evidence you can deduct which interiors came with the exterior colors. I don't think there were exterior color identifying numbers on the TD as on the TF.
Nor were there any identifying numbers for interior colors on either the TD or TF

Dan H.
Dan Hanson

Jan, Dan is right that no color or other records were kept for any TD's. I recall those records were destroyed, and the only ones left were the ones with car/engine# and production date. Lots of sources out there
for available colors with which interior, etc. The full number as mentioned in my post above can tell you where the car was originally sold (ie LHX/NA is left hand drive, North America), etc. Somewhere there was a recent thread about the body #s, but I recall nothing was ever made of it that made sense. George
George Butz

Gentlemen - It sticks in my mind that someone was keeping track of the body #s and I thought that it was on this board that it had been discussed. I may be mistaken and it may be that the information was on the T series mail list that it was discussed. I directed Jan to this site,not only to get information on the body #s, but to also introduce him to the single best assemblage of T series experts that there is. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois


I think it is Gordon Lawson that is trying to make sense of the body numbers... but I may be mistaken.

Dave Braun

Four years ago someone mentioned that the body numbers held all the info on colours, accessories, etc. I started collecting chassis/body numbers and noticed very quickly that this wasn' the case.
The body manufacturer had a body number (the 2nd) which was transferred to the 'plate' and MG had their body number (the first) which was also punched in place. Because the body manufacturer built bodies for several companies, their number jumped faster and went higher.
If you check out my data base, you can see the 2nd number go up to 99,999 and then start over (It happened somewhere around TD/24150)... the first number just climbs till the TD's finished. TF's started over with the MG body number and there wasn't a body manufacturer's number
The TF's chassis number includes colour, etc.

The main page of my data base will give 'number' info:

See for info on the Body Number of my TD. Bud
Bud Krueger

Gordon: My late TD24349, which will be 56 years young tomorrow, has the Body number plate on the firewall, and all other plates exacatly as shown on page 71 of Clausager's book. So I assume when you say "late" TD, you mean really late.

I was wondering about the image on page 71 showing the "Made in England" plate for export models. I do not have this plate. Were they discontinued after a certain date, or is the book in error, or am I just missing it? Perhaps someone knows.

In any case, we shall be celebrating a happy 56th birthday tomorrow with another drive in great weather. Forecast to be mid 70's F. I know you guys with put up cars wish you were driving too, but remember, when you are driving yours on beautiful Summer days, I'll be hiding in the house from the 100+F heat here. It all works out equal I guess :-)


L Karpman

Not sure when they put the plate on the underside of the tool box lid... mine is 27667 and is under there....?


My friend Bill's car has a "Made in England" plate, his is a very early 1951. I believe his car was not exported to North America, and went instead to a country that required explicit point of origin information. There are holes in the tool box for it.

For the record, my car which was exported to North America lacks the "Made in England" plate and did not have the holes.


Dave Braun

My early 50TD has the Made in England plate. Was on it when I bought it in 1959.
Ernest Betts

Thanks everyone for your reactions.
It's clear to me we have to search elsewhere (inside of bonnet, back of dash as suggested) to find proof of original colors etc.

Thanks again!
J de Wijs


I have in my collection, an original MG midget sales brochure for the TD Series dated April 1950. On the "Specification" page, it lists the following body and upholstery colours.

Body Leather Upholstery

Black ............... Red, Beige or Green
MG Red .............. Red or Beige
Almond Green ........ Beige
Ivory ............... Red or Green
Clipper Blue ........ Beige

If you can discover the original body colour somewhere hidden away in a protected area, the above will give you the appropriate interior colour for the early TD.

George Raham
TD 4224
G. L. Raham

Hi George,

Thanks a lot. The seats that are in the car right now aren't the original ones. We've found that out pretty quickly. The body appears to be almond green, which would mean it has to have been a beige interior.

Thanks a lot!

Where did you find the original brochure, by the way?
J de Wijs

A great deal of detail is also found at:

And a bunch of detail in the NEMGTR book "The T Series Handbook"
Dave Braun

Hallo Jan,
Maybe you already know, but in the Netherlands is a very enthousiastic MG T-type Owners club ( ) with about 400 members. Currently several people are restoring a TD. Next exhibition is the Britsh Car and Lifestyle fair in Rosmalen at the end of february. Several MG-parts companies and individuals will offer their goodies there.
Groetjes, huib
Huib Bruijstens

Nice Website, Huib! Looks like a great resource.

Dave Braun

Hi Jan,

A friends brother found out that I had a TD and said that he thought he had some information on the car and asked if I would be interested in having it. Well I could not turn down the offer, and it turned out to be an original sales brochune from an MG dealer in an other city. It is treasure, and in excellent condition. I'm Very happy to help you out in your quest for the information. Good luck on your project.

George Raham
TD 4224
G. L. Raham

Interesting note about the MADE IN ENGLAND plate. My early 50 has the holes in the tool box, but never had the plate.
R.AF. Robert Finucane

This thread was discussed between 20/01/2009 and 23/01/2009

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