1947 MG TC SPORTS ROADSTER
Chassis No. 5519
Yellow with tan interior
Engine: four-cylinder, 1,250cc; Gearbox: four-speed manual; Suspension: semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear; Brakes: four wheel hydraulic drum. Right hand drive.
MG recovered quickly after the Second World War and began production on its new TC series which were among the first cars built anywhere following the war. The TC Midget was, and is still aesthetically pleasing with its distinctive radiator and sweeping wheel arches framing the spidery, nineteen inch wire wheels. Even with windscreen raised and all-weather gear up, it still looks the epitome of the classic British sports car.
Mr. Rose purchased this fine TC in January 1973 from the secretary of the TC Motoring Guild, Mr. Mitchell Leyland. Under the ownership of Mr. Leyland, a well known automotive perfectionist, this TC underwent a remarkable restoration and upgrading upon the original MG specifications. The complete history of this work was written up in the June 1973 issue of Road Test. The magazine also had a free large scale poster of this car as part of Road Test's Famous Sports Car Series, many copies of this poster accompany this lot.
Mitchell Leyland undertook a complete nut and bolt rebuild, the frame was completely stripped, aligned and re-riveted and then sand blasted. New rubber bushes were fitted to the suspension and the shock absorbers rebuilt. The steering was uprated with a special new steering column and high quality roller bearing box which transformed the tightness of the notoriously slack steering. The brakes were totally rebuilt with all new steel lines, hoses and shoes and a new master cylinder machined. The 19" wire wheels were stripped and rebuilt with new wires where necessary and shod with Dunlop tires. The transmission and rear end were all rebuilt with new parts. The engine underwent the full treatment and included, polishing the crankshaft and rods, new full skirt aluminum pistons, a ported head with bigger valves and new guides. A rare racing type valve cover was acquired and a new tappet cover was hand made, the exhaust manifold was porcelained. Naturally the whole engine was balanced. A TF oil pump and filter was fitted as well as a new clutch and pressure plate. The body was stripped to bare metal and in a few areas Mr. Leyland reinforced with sheet metal (such as fuel tank doors and floor pans) for strength purposes, not corrosion. Lucas tripod headlamps were fitted and all the instruments either rebuilt or exchanged for new units. A new version of the steering wheel was also added and of course the upholstery was replaced using all new leather Connolly hides. The resultant car was of course superb and Mr. Leyland won many shows with the TC. He also enjoyed driving the car and Mr. Leyland was quoted as saying that after each use he would wash the underside!
Mr. Rose is known to have derived much pleasure from owning and driving this very special TC and on occassion raced it too. In 1995 the car was entrusted to Cooper Technica who rebuilt the engine once again. They re-sleeved the block, fitted new pistons, new valves, new main and rod bearings, and camshafts as well as rebuilding the carburettors. Since this final rebuild the MG appears to have had minimal use.