MG's post war



AS the dark clouds of World War Two cleared from British skies, one manufacturer was off to a flying start in the sports car sales stakes.

As peace descended the MG factory at Abingdon whipped the wraps off the TC Midget, a little car with a big heart which set the company's fortunes on track towards the 1950s.

The TC Midget is probably one of the best-known MGs to come out of the Abingdon factory. The production lines had seen six years of producing tanks, armoured cars and aircraft engines for the war effort and the workforce was glad to be back doing what it did best.

The TC was not some glorious new design, but a derivation of the pre-war TB model with a similar engine and gearbox but featuring a wider body.

The old ways were changing because the sidescreens on the new model featured flaps to facilitate hand signalling. The twin six volt batteries were removed from the underfloor position of the TB to a bulkhead box containing a large 12 volt battery.

MG also made the car a little more civilised with changes to the suspension.

Hydraulic lever arm dampers were fitted and the road springs were mounted in shackles rather than the traditional sliding trunnions. This change allowed the use of war-proven rubber suspension bushes which gave smoother quieter feel to the car as did the fitment of rubber engine mountings.

The car was announced within five weeks of the official end of the war in October 1945, and by the end of that year 81 examples had been turned out. Not bad considering that a lot of essential materials were in short supply.

The TC Midget was a masterstroke, the model selling very well, even attaining a number of sales abroad sparking off the British sports car craze in the USA.

One notable customer in England for the TC was the Duke of Edinburgh who owned one before marrying Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen, in 1947.

A total of 10,000 examples were produced between 1945 and 1949. The car was succeed by the TD model in 1950.

Under the bonnet of the TC Midget was a 1,250cc four-cylinder petrol engine producing 54.4bhp, capable of whisking the little car to 78mph.

You could sweep the needle up to 60mph in around 27 seconds and fuel consumption was about 27mpg.

In 1947 you would have had to find around £500 to buy one.


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