1949 MGTC  



   Click on photo to enlarge 

For Sale: A 1949 MG TC for someone who wants a terrific vintage driving experience! $27,500.00



This TC, No. 7730, was originally sold in Australia where its owner drove it enthusiastically and raced it in various events in the 1950s. After an accident in the 1970s, it was completely disassembled and rebuilt to Concours condition by well-known MG experts, Phil and Harry Pyle. It is pictured on page 13 of that classic TC book, "TCs Forever" by Mike Sherrill.

The car was imported to California from Australia in the early 1990's by a local MG enthusiast who saw and bought it during a visit to Oz. He used it briefly, then stored it with his many other cars in a warehouse. He died a few years ago and left the car to his sister. She had it transported to my shop, where I did some work to get it back into good running order. When she picked it up, I told her it was one of the nicest TCs I had ever driven and said I would like first refusal if she ever decided to sell it. Despite telling me she would never sell it because it had been a gift from her brother, she was back at my doorstep a few weeks later, having decided that she could not manage the right-hand drive, stick shift and lack of power steering or power brakes! I met her price and acquired the car, along with a lot of documentation and pictures relating to its previous history (which, of course, come with the car).

I proceeded to use the car whenever possible for local car club runs, weekend drives, etc. After a while, however, I became annoyed by what sounded like rattly tappets and the oil leaks from the engine and gearbox so I pulled the engine for a rebuild. To my surprise, I discovered the reason the engine was so noisy was that the head had been milled so far that the exhaust valves were hitting the top of the block! I also found two causes for the engine leaks: it was fitted with home-made front and rear crankshaft oil seals, and the side oil gallery was badly cracked. The oil seals were interesting, apparently being prototypes of what Moss Motors now sells; the front one was the same rubber seal but it was installed differently, the oil pan and timing cover having been milled to accommodate the seal, while the crankshaft had been ground rather oddly to accept a Volvo seal at the rear.

During my rebuild, the top of the block relieved to give clearance for the valves, the Volvo seal was replaced and I attempted to improve the way the front seal was installed to prevent it leaking. I also tried to cure the side gallery leak by the application of an epoxy material around the leak. The results? Performance was improved by the fitting of new rings and a valve job, the "tappet" noise was substantially reduced, but the oil leaks remained. I suffered this a while longer, then decided more work was needed.

As repairing a cracked block is so difficult, I decided to start with an MG TD block I had in stock. At that time, I was reworking my vintage racing TD which was unpopular with race organizers because I had a roller-lifter camshaft and 5-speed gearbox, so the TC received a brand new crankshaft, proper front and rear seal conversions (which work!), 130 thou overbore, ported head skimmed to give 9:1 compression, the roller camshaft and lifters, and other appropriate new parts including overhauled oil pump and spin-on filter. I also installed the 5-speed gearbox and a new clutch, while the original TC gearbox went into my race car. With the addition of 1-1/2" carbs and custom 4-2-1 header, I ended up with as close as possible to a leak-free, powerful, economical engine and the 5-speed makes it a delight to take on long drives. (I drove from Sacramento to Phoenix in 2013; 850 miles each way crossing five 7,500-plus feet passes in the Sierras, 3 days down, 2 days back, then to San Diego in 2014 - two days each way and surviving Los Angeles freeways and Interstate 5 while averaging 65 to 70 mph).

Other things I have done to make the car a fun driver: New road springs all around, with Teflon strips added between the rear leaves; rebuilt shock absorbers; Panhard rod, brake restraints and Heim-jointed tie & track rods at the front; re-sealed Datsun steering box (originally fitted in Australia); new wire wheel hubs, new 19" wheels, complete brake system overhaul with all new parts and alloy drums; new tires and heavy-duty tubes; Halogen headlamps, LED D-lamps, 3rd brake light, turn signals; modern hi-torque starter; air horns and a battery cut-off switch. I also fitted a new battery last year. There are approximately 4,500 miles on the car in its current configuration.

The paint and chrome are good, although (prior to my getting it) a few scratches in the paint were touched up poorly. Structurally, the body is extremely solid. The right-side bonnet panel has been modified with an air scoop to feed the air cleaners. The canvas (top, full and half tonneau covers and side curtains) is sound but showing its age. I attach a picture of the car, taken before the bonnet side panel was changed.

I still have the original carburetors, factory air cleaner, exhaust manifold, starter motor and original bonnet side panel, which are available to the new owner if wanted for an additional $950.00.

This TC, which drives well enough to keep up with MGAs and Bs on MG car club outings, can be yours for just $27,500. Sensible offers will be considered.