Half way around the world
The British Heritage Motor Centre Production Certificate states that this MG TF was despatched to the USA on the 19th of November 1953.
The next documentation is a Service Slip pasted inside the Workshop Manual that came with the car when I bought it in 1971. It is dated the 26th of September 1960 and issued by British Motors of San Francisco, California.
In 1971 I bought the TF from Jeff and Thurid Stewart who bought it in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to complement their dark blue MG TC. The TF was painted Salmon Pink. They resprayed it Ivory and I had to vow never to paint it Salmon Red. They drove it on trips to Lake Louise and once on a camping holiday to the Niagara Falls. That is what young couples do, isn’t it? Tenting?
The Stewarts brought the better of the two T-types to England. The registration number became CTY 850B. This numberplate was issued in Newcastle as Jeff's parents came from the nearby village of Alnwick. Jeff studied at Shuttleworth Agricultural College and they lived at Hill House, Old Warden, near Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. It was kept in a garage with a steppingstone outside, for mounting horses.
The Stewarts moved to Thurid’s Haugesund, Norway where they started farming. To finance a new silo the TF went up for sale. I bought it in May 1971 and had an exciting summer with the car until restoration plans formed and I joined the MG Car Club and went to their yearly meetings.
Thurid Stewart handing over her MG TF
in May 1971
MG TF Contemporary play list
You Belong To Me - Jo Stafford
High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me) - Frankie Laine
Sugarbush - Doris Day and Frankie Laine
Takes Two to Tango - Louis Armstrong And His All-Stars
Wonderful Copenhagen - Danny Kaye
Side by Side - Kay Starr
Swedish Rhapsody - Mantovani
Poppa Piccolino - Diana Decker
Oh, Mein Papa - Eddie Calvert
The Happy Wanderer - Obernkirchen Children's Choir
Bimbo- Ruby Wright
Little Things Mean a Lot - Kitty Kallen
The Black Hills of Dakota - Doris Day
West of Zanzibar - Anthony Steel and the Radio Revellers
This Ole House - Rosemary Clooney
Mr. Sandman - Chordettes
Mambo Italiano - Dean Martin
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White - Pérez Prado and his Orchestra
Under the Bridges of Paris - Eartha Kitt
Dreamboat - Alma Cogan
Unchained Melody - Al Hibbler
Hernando's Hideaway - Johnston Brothers
Yellow Rose of Texas - Mitch Miller
Oh Susanna - Singing Dogs
Suddenly There's a Valley - Gogi Grant
Suggested by KEL.
3 second animation.
Made with iStopMotion on the iPad and
iStopCamera on the iPhone 4.
Boinx Software available on the App Store.
No dinky toys were harmed during the production.
MG TF styling
The MG TF 1953-1955 styling is unusual in that it has a streamlined front compared to the TD, and a rear that is as old as the industry. That end of the car was where makers bolted on fuel tank, spare tyre, lights and bits and a number plate.
The front was where modernisation took place. The TF got the looks from its housemate, the Riley Saloon and the automotive sensation from Coventry, the Jaguar XK 120 and Italian “carozzeries”.
Streamlining in the 1930s was applied to existing shapes and mostly to the rear, as in MG’s own Airline coupes. The fully streamlined production car would have to be an adaption of the “bodywork on a chassis”as was the MGA prototype on a TD chassis. The full monocoque aerodynamic car body came after the wartime aero-developments.
The 1930s car styling was Art Deco enthusiasm applied to the rear for streamline efficiency, and to the front as decoration, cascading grilles, flowing lights, ornaments and wings.
The TF replacement proposal was streamlined at both ends, but still on the T-type chassis. By choosing to replace the TD with the TF we know, MG got the time to produce a modern MG A , streamlined at both ends and on a lower chassis. This was not a result of following fashion, but based on MG’s long experience with high speed records.
There are two distinct lines of MGs. The tall seating adaptations of the ladder frame including the TF; and the lower MG A, MG B and MG C and the Midget. The C was a sign of the good old push for more power of a racing and record winning spirit of Abingdon.
The high-tech R-type of the thirties was channeled into the Lotus Elan of the sixties. That’s the Spirit of MG, though the spirit had left Abingdon.