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MG TF

MG TF Published: 10th May 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

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Final brew of the T strain saved the best till last as this model also provided the platform for the MGA. The TF is your cup of T if you like the prospect of owning this war time MG sportster but not the ancient characteristics that come with it.

Driving

The fastest MG of its time, good for 90mph with its later 1446cc engine, and yet the ‘softest’ in character with extra refinement and certainly some welcome added cockpit space. The handling, benefited from a better, bigger chassis so is not found wanting and is safe and predictable. The 1980’s Naylor replica goes very nicely indeed even with its modern 1.7-litre ohc Morris Marina/ Ital engine while the up-to-date suspension makes the handling the best of them all.

Values

As with earlier T derivatives, values vary and are more dependent on originality and desirability above anything else but all things being equal, a TF can command as much as 25 per cent more than an earlier TD, especially later 1.5-litre versions, which, coincidentally, is about the going rate for a Naylor or Hutson replica, when they eventually turn up. The TF1500s are the most valuable; for a decent runner you’ll need to spend £20-£25,000 while the best cars change hands for £35-£40,000 while the TF1250 tops out at between £28,000 and £35,000. If you’re on a budget, for £15,000 you can buy a tatty one that’s roadworthy but will need money spent on it. But you have to be oh so careful at this end of the market as these cars can be in a worse state than you think say experts.

Left-hand drivers are worth much less and converting is now difficult due to the parts supply but less than 10 per cent of the TF1500s were sold in the UK, so there are quite a few left-hookers around.

Timeline

1953 TF ushers in a more modern look (of sorts), with its faired-in headlamps. Despite a more modern appearance the TF is nothing more than a TD with a modified bodyshell. There isn’t even a fresh engine – at first

1954 The TF finally gets its new powerplant with the introduction of the TF1500 in November. The 1496cc unit (not B-Series related) kicks out 63bhp for a genuine 90mph and with much better acceleration. The most usable of all the T-Series MGs, just 3400 of these bigger-engined TFs are built (325 for UK market), compared with 6200 examples of the TF1250. Production of the TF ceases in 1955, to make way for the MGA

1970s Start of numerous replicas, the best known being British Naylor which had the approval from Austin Rover

Top five faults

 

Transmission

Bizarrely, it’s the earlier gearboxes that are the most durable, later units being fitted with smaller, weaker components. It’s the gears and layshaft that create the most problems, so make sure the car doesn’t jump out of gear and that there’s no significant whining or you’ll have to fork out up to £1000 before too long

 

Chassis

Later frames are less durable, as it’s box section rather than channelling. As a result it rots from the inside out – not helped by the fact that it’s made from thinner gauge steel than previously

 

LHD

Vast majority are and as parts supply is scarce any recent converts need to be examined for workmanship and bodges

 

Engine

XPAG and XPEG units are very tough but extremely expensive to properly overhaul, XPAGs can suffer from a weak valve train: oil pressure should be 40lbft minimum

 

Body

Timber outer frame rots, particularly under the running boards and dash. Door posts are known to be weak – rather like a Morgan. Check for door drop as it’s a good guide to the rest of the car’s condition and expensive to correct

Best models

 

1250

These are far more plentiful due to longer production run and so cheaper plus not unknown for the later 1500 engine to be fitted

 

1500

Bigger engine certainly gives the TF welcome punch and not much slower than first MGA but otherwise pretty much unaltered

 

Replicas

Naylor is best and MG specialists reckon better than the real thing; later became Hutson TF. Others are Harper Roscoe and TD Silverstone



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