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1939 MG TA

MAKEMG
MODELTA
REGISTRATIONVXS 307
ENGINE SIZE1292
TRANSMISSIONManual
YEAR OF MANUFACTURE1939
CURRENT V5
COLOURRed
INTERIORCream

1939 MG TA

  • Fully restored
  • Engine rebuilt, can run on unleaded fuel
  • Outstanding condition
  • Photographic resto history
  • Part of a major private collection
  • Please scroll down the page to see the bidding and to read a full description for this lot

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Description

  • Fully restored
  • Engine rebuilt, can run on unleaded fuel
  • Outstanding condition
  • Photographic resto history
  • Part of a major private collection

The quintessential British sports car. The MG TA is one of the easiest vintage sports cars to own and enjoy. Great fun, super specialist suppliers and a social scene you’ll love, it is one of the most cherished British classics ever made. The MG TA sums up everything that was great about England.

Thanks to the car’s simplicity and excellent parts availability, although it’s easy to live with the MG TA, buy with care. Like any classic from this era, tin worm and in the MG TA’s case, wood worm along with worn mechanicals, missing parts and tired trim can be an issue. However, buy a good one and you’ll love every minute. Buy an outstanding one like this and it is undiluted fun.

Background

This MG TA is part of a collection of classic British cars owned by our vendor. This outstanding MG TA is a UK spec classic that is essentially a ‘one owner’ car as it has been owned by a father and son. It started life in India owned by the father, it then travelled with the family to Minnesota in the USA. Our collector came by it from a good contact he has in the US.

Engine and gearbox

The MPJG engine in the TA used a 102mm stroke with a bore of 63.5mm giving a displacement of 1292cc. With twin SU carbs and an improved camshaft it produced 50bhp at 4800rpm. It makes the MG TA a very lively performer. The benefit of a large flywheel and high rear axle ratio means the glorious little TA will cruise along comfortably too, without drama.

The MPJG had rather innovative features as well. A belt driving cooling fan and water pump together with a new fangled thermostat, removed the thermosyphon method of cooling. Coil ignition, with a distributor and 14mm spark plugs, meant the MG TA led the standards we see today.

In those, days topping up the engine oil was a real faff as it involved digging deep into the engine bay. The TA again led the way with a simple filler cap on top of the rocker cover. As the TA has a sump of 11 pints, the engineers used an aluminium sump with a rib design to aid cooling.

It was important to keep this restoration original. So the original engine, with gearbox, went off to Rawles Motor Sport to be inspected, checked and overhauled.

During pressure testing of the engine block, a cleft was discovered. The experienced engineers at Rawles were familiar with things like this arising. Specialists were brought in to make sure the block was serviceable. This involved detailing the extent of the small fissure and isolating it, then filling it up with liquefied metal and machining it back to spec. The engine received a new crank, pistons and a valve regrind.

When you lift that long, louvered, centre-hinged bonnet and reveal that engine bay, your flabber will be gasted. With its brass fittings, braided hoses, copper pipes and attention to detail on every nut, bolt, clip and washer…. it looks astonishing.

The gearbox wasn’t overlooked. It was subjected to the same thorough checks. It received new synchros, main-shaft and bearings. The wet clutch is in perfect working order too. On file are all the invoices.

Before we leave the engine bay, you’ll notice lovely original items such as the tool box have been retained. Sadly, with the passage of time, we don’t have the tools, but the fittings are there and what a lovely little treasure hunt for the new owner; to find an original tool kit!

Body and mechanicals

A traditional chassis was used on the MG TA. Other details changed from its predecessor though. The all-new TA  was 8.5″ longer meaning more space in the passenger compartment, and the wheelbase lengthened 7’10”.

The side members were straight as gun barrels, apart from the swept front end, to clear the axle. Cross-bracing was achieved by four tubular steel sections.

To cope with the torsional stresses of the lively little TA, the front chassis section between the new rubber engine mountings and gearbox braces was boxed in.

The comfy two-seater body had a traditional construction, built on an ash wooden frame, secured to the chassis rails by 10 bolts. A vertical slat radiator replaced the earlier honeycomb type.

A 15 gallon fuel tank and spare wheel carrier balanced up the rear end. The tank has a three gallon reserve compartment and this was operated by a dual petrol line from the tank leading to a dashboard mounted valve switch.

Suspension is half elliptic leaf springs at the front and rear, with the rear springs mounted on Silent-bloc bushes and sliding trunnions. In another innovation, the MG TA uses Luvax lever arm dampers all round, with Lockheed hydraulic brakes providing the stopping power.

A great feature in the sporty TA is the fly-off type handbrake as a standard feature.

Outside-laced wire wheels shod with 4.50 section tyres with centre lock fixings kept the energetic TA on the tarmac.  The wheels are the originals which our vendor had re tightened and spokes replaced where required, these were then powdercoated and new tyres added.

You can see for yourself the amount of work that has gone into this TA.  For the avoidance on any doubt, this MG TA retains all its original panels.

From the before and after images, it always amazes us that we have such skilled artisan engineers in Britain who can take a great British classic like this on such a journey and end up at such a marvellous destination.

Interior and hood

The classic MG TA was the most refined MG so far. Indeed the interior was quite sophisticated. It was designed well and the roomier dimensions gave good elbow room as well as a high degree of comfort.

The wider body accommodated seats that had “separate cushions with a one-piece back rest that was adjustable for rake”.

The hood and side-screens were quite civilised with mica celluloid side windows and the folding front screen was fitted with Triplex safety glass. For a car costing £222.00 when new, this was quite a luxury.

The dashboard has a wonderful symmetry to it.  The beautiful 5″ speedometer and matching rev counter were separated by mellifluous central instrument cluster, with original gauges, switches and ammeter.

All the instruments are back-lit which proved very handy for night rallying, which a lot of classic MG TA’s did. Then there is the work of art that is that original spoked steering wheel. Try finding a TA with this still in residence. And one that is adjustable just like when they came out of the Abingdon plant.

To be honest, the whole interior and hood looks very much like it has just left the factory.

Other information

We’ll leave the last word to our vendor. This is just some what he said during long discussion about the classic MG.

“It’s a UK Spec car, went out to India and was owned by a father and son, one family owned this car all its life. During the restoration, I’ve kept all the original panels, it is all original. The chassis is good. It was all stripped down. The SU’s were rebuilt. I replaced the two six volt batteries with one 12 volt because it’s more reliable like that.. It’s had new brakes, shoes, cylinders, linings, the lot. I have the original starting handle somewhere! The trunnions and king-pins have been done. I had a new roof put on and a tonneau. It sounds beautiful. It drives lovely”.

Our view

How often do classics like this come along? Not often. It is breath-taking. If you’re looking for an MG TA, it is hard to imagine you could find a better one. With only 3,003 of the MG TA’s produced, and that number diminishing hugely, this will attract a lot of interest.

Vehicle Location: Peterborough– it’s the responsibility of the winning bidder to make collection / transportation arrangements directly with the vendor

Have a question about this MG TA? Please contact the Evoke team at auction@evoke-classics.com and we will speak to the vendor on your behalf.

Tedious but it’s vital you read this, please.

We will always strive to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available. However, we can’t claim to be perfect. Your own analysis is very important and we are here to help and also answer any and all queries you may have prior to purchase.

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Bidder Bid amount Bid time
r**************4 £19,500.00 2022-09-28 21:05:49
g******d £18,000.00 2022-09-27 13:56:19
r**************4 £18,000.00 2022-09-28 20:37:53
r**************4 £15,000.00 2022-09-28 20:34:07
c****6 £10,500.00 2022-09-22 08:45:24
t******t £9,000.00 2022-09-21 17:31:50
d**********s £7,500.00 2022-09-17 06:21:43
Start auction £7,500.00 08/09/2022 3:00 PM

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