The T Series MG's
At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, production of cars at MG in Abingdon had given way to production and maintenance of machines of war, as it had at most other engineering plants over the whole country. A very wide variety of jobs were undertaken, ranging from servicing guns and production of aircraft parts to overhauling tanks. No job was too large, too small, or too difficult for the workers at MG.
It was before the war, in the spring of 1936, when the replacement for the MG PB appeared. The Cowley inspired TA Midget used many components of Morris origin and, at first, was not popular with the "hardy" MG enthusiasts. However, this resistance was soon overcome and the car widened the appeal of sports cars, which had previously been looked upon as being temperamental and difficult to drive.
In the summer of 1939, as the war clouds were gathering, MG announced the TB Midget. In terms of chassis and body options it was essentially the same as the TA, but the TB had a new engine, which was a 1250cc, ohv, four-cylinder unit. Taken from the new Morris 10, and known as the XPAG engine, it had a much stronger bottom-end than the previous unit, better valve timing and a better-designed cylinder head. These design features combined to give a power output of 45bhp. The engine was backed up by a dry clutch and a better set of ratios than before with an improved synchromesh. All of this meant that the little car looked very promising indeed, but the onset of war stopped production as MG had other, more important, tasks to carry out.
Before the war, MG had offered the TB model. Which, after the war, was to receive a few modifications to become the first post-war MG. The TC Midget had a chassis which was essentially the same as its predecessor, however the sliding trunnion spring mountings were dispensed with in favour of more conventional rubber bush shackles. The engine was the now familiar twin-carburettor, 1250cc, pushrod, ohv XPAG unit. The transmission was also the single-plate dry clutch and four-speed synchromesh unit as had been seen in the TB. The brakes were 9 inch hydraulic units and the wheels the usual centre-locking wires. The TC was only offered in one body style, this was an open two-seater that was very similar in appearance to the TB model.
The TD Midget was the replacement for the TC and was announced in 1949. While it followed the traditional styling of its predecessors, it was very much a different story below the surface. The TD had a totally new chassis, this had been developed from the chassis of the Y Type saloon and was a much sturdier and stiffer frame than that of its predecessor. It had box section side rails and cross members and was of an all welded construction. One change that did not impress the hardy MG enthusiasts was the change from the old 19 inch wire wheels in favour of 15 inch pressed steel wheels which had a much more modern appearance. The engine was the same as the one used in the TC as was the body, however the body of the TD was a little wider and the wings were slightly different to contrast with the new wheels. The TD was the first of the MGs to be equipped with front and rear bumpers.
was to be the last of the T Series cars and today, many enthusiasts and
collectors would say it was the most desirable of the T Series. The MG TF
Midget was introduced in 1953. It was essentially the same as the TD, having
the same form of chassis, suspension, brakes, steering, engine, and
transmission. However it was the bodywork where most of the changes could be
found. It still had the unmistakable MG styling, which by this time was
becoming somewhat old fashioned but there were a number of obvious changes
which had been made.