MG Cars is a former British sports car manufacturer, which was founded in 1924, the creator of the MG brand.
MG Cars is best known for its two-seat open sports cars, but MG also produced saloons and coupés. More recently, the MG marque has also been used on sportier versions of other models belonging to the parent company.
The MG marque was in continuous use (barring the years of the Second World War) for 56 years after its inception. Production of predominantly two-seater sports cars was concentrated at a factory in Abingdon, some 10 miles (16 km) south of Oxford. The British Motor Corporation (BMC) competition department was also based at the Abingdon plant and produced many winning rally and race cars. In the autumn of 1980, however, the Abingdon factory closed and MGB production ceased.
The MG TA replaced the PB in 1936. It was an evolution of the previous car and was 3 inches (76 mm) wider in its track at 45 inches and 7 inches (180 mm) longer in its wheelbase at 94 inches. The previous advanced overhead cam engine was now not in use by any other production car so it was replaced by a more typical MPJG OHV unit from the Wolseley 10 but with twin SU carburettors, modified camshaft and manifolding. The engine displaced just 1292 cc, with a stroke of 102 mm and a bore of 63.5 mm and power output was 50 hp (40.3 kW) at 4500 rpm. The four speed manual gearbox now had synchromesh on the two top ratios. Like the PB, most were two seat open cars with a steel body on an ash frame but it could also be had from 1938 as a Tickford drophead coupé with body by Salmsons of Newport Pagnell or closed "airline" coupé as fitted to the P type but only one of these is thought to have been made. It was capable of reaching nearly 80 mph (130 km/h) in standard tune with a 0-60 mph time of 23.1 seconds. Unlike the PB, hydraulic brakes were fitted. Just over 3000 were made and in 1936 it cost £222 on the home market.
The TA was replaced by the TB in May 1939 with the fitting of a smaller but more modern XPAG engine as fitted to the Morris 10 but in a higher tuned state and like the TA with twin SU carburettors. This 1250 cc I4 unit featured a slightly less-undersquare 66.6 mm bore and 90 mm stroke and had a maximum power output of 54 hp (40 kW) at 5200 rpm. Available as either an open 2 seater or more luxurious Tickford drophead coupé, this is the rarest of the T type cars with only 379 made.
On the eve of the war, MG had offered the TB model which, with a few modifications was to become the first post-war MG, the TC Midget. The chassis of the new car was essentially the same as before, but the sliding trunnion spring mountings had been dispensed with in favour of more conventional rubber bush shackles. This had been forced on MG, as it was unable to obtain the raw materials necessary for the original mounts, this helped to simplify the maintenance procedure, but made little difference to the handling of the car.
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 offered in one body style only – an open two-seater which was very similar in appearance to the TB model. All the old features were there : the humped scuttle with folding windshield, cutaway doors, swept front and rear wings, a slab-type fuel tank and rear-mounted spare wheel. It was almost as if the intervening 5 years had never happened!
Despite the fact that the car was so obviously dated, in terms of both mechanical specification and appearance, the MG TC Midget found a ready market. There were a number of reasons suggested for this a lack of other post-war cars, or the familiar design reminding people of the pre-war days, whatever the reason the Midgets success took MG somewhat by surprise.
The TC was the first postwar M.G., launched in 1945. It was quite similar to the pre-war TB, sharing the same pushrod-ohv engine with a slightly higher compression ratio of 7.4:1 giving 54.5 bhp (40.6 kW) at 5200 rpm but using more modern interior elements allowing a wider cockpit. The makers also provided several alternative stages of tuning for "specific purposes“ It was exported to the United States, even though only ever built in right hand drive. The export version had slightly smaller US specification sealed beam head lights and larger twin rear lights, as well as turn signals and chrome-plated front and rear bumpers. Exactly 10,000 production versions were produced, from Sept. 1945 (chassis # TC0251) to Nov. 1949 (chassis # TC10252), a larger number than any previous M.G. model. It cost £527 on the home market in 1947
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