1953 MG TD Replica
Some iconic cars are very hard to find. Whether it be from rarity, low production numbers, or out of this world costs when you do find the example you like. Enter the repli-car. Nearly 750 companies produced any number of models over the years. Many were made from a fiberglass mold that was taken from the original. What better way to have access to almost any classic, where you can build from the frame up, as per your wishes, materials and skill level. Only limited by your imagination and budget.
It's easy to understand why they built this handsome 1953 MG TD Replica: it looks great! Originals were frequently neglected and abused, never mind their legendary finicky nature, so it was probably a smart idea to recreate the look in fiberglass and put reliable running gear underneath. Traditional British fun without the downside, what could be better?
This Red TD has the right look, from the flowing fenders to the cut-down doors to the rear-mounted spare tire, it's going to fool a lot of people. Unlike a lot of replicas, this one nails the correct proportions and doesn't have that home-made look. Instead, it's nicely finished and very cleanly rendered, with nice paint that's been touched up over the years but still has a slight shine. They nailed the details, too, with a nicely shaped grille, bucket headlights, and running lights atop the front fenders, and you'll love the raked-back windshield. Simple bumpers, unique British-looking taillights, and the rear mounted spare tire that doubles as a cover for the rear VW donor engine, all contribute to the old-world vibe this car gives off, which is entirely the point. It's not perfect and it's probably ready to be called an antique in its own right, but for the price, you probably can't get more 2-seat fun. Overhead, you get a folding convertible top that's in good order with a few scuffs and blemishes, and quite honestly, it probably works about as well as the MG's original top, too: for emergency use only!
The minimalist interior does a good impersonation of the original TD as well, starting with the seat. It's not quite buckets, and it's not quite a bench, instead it splits the lower cushion and puts the shift lever in the middle, which is exactly how the guys at MG were doing it, too. All in tuck and roll white. The wooden dashboard is wood, slightly faded and possible water staining, but it includes nice-looking vintage gauges that seem suitably British, too. The fat wood-rimmed steering wheel and modern steering column might give it away, but it feels right when you're hustling down the road in this open two-seater. Carpets on the floor are a bit plusher than the British were installing in their open cars but the door panels with their built-in map pockets get the look exactly right. There is no heater, but a radio has been placed in the glovebox area
Being from a VW donor, there is a nicely tucked away rear engine provided by a flip down trunk, and even the tire holder helps with room for the power plant in back. It's a tidy installation, with good service access and decent workmanship throughout. There's an upgraded carburetor, a powerful alternator, and tidy wiring, all of which suggest this was a car built to drive, and we have to admit that it has a nice little bark when you turn the key and fire it up. It's attached to a proper manual gearbox.
While the front suspension offers rack-and-pinion steering and a rather sophisticated multi-link setup lives out back. The exhaust has a grumble that wouldn't be out of place on a real TD and we'll admit that those radials are a lot grippier than the MG's skinny bias-plys.
Not a show car, not a car for fooling MG purists, but if you like the look and the open-air experience, and don't mind having a little extra horsepower and fewer headaches, then this MG TD replica might be a smart choice. Right here at Classic Auto Mall!