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Lot 353: MG Midget TA Drophead Coupé

Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia, Bonhams (29 April 2013)

According to information provided by the Tickford Register, this TA Midget was first registered to the Axminster Laundry Company as 'DVB 269'. After extensive enquiries, the vendor succeeded in tracing the original owner who was by then into his 80s but remembered the car clearly. He had ordered it at the London Motor Show and clearly remembered the exterior - blue with a silver-grey hood - because it always attracted attention. He also recalled that he had the green faced instruments changed for black ones. The owner and his wife thoroughly enjoyed using the MG for a year or so until he was called up for military service. By that time his wife was expecting their first child and so the car was put on blocks for the duration. When he returned, the Midget proved too small for his enlarged family so it was advertised and sold to a motor trader from London's Warren Street. The car's history is unknown from 1946 until 1963 when it was bought in Hemel Hempstead by Robert Knight, a friend of the current vendor. The latter purchased the MG from Mr Knight in 1964 and by late 1965 had returned it to roadworthy condition. The MPJG engine was not the original unit and while it took the Midget around the British Isles for two years, could never be described as 'sporting'. It was also unreliable, frequently overheating, so in late 1967 was replaced with the superior 1,250cc XPAG engine from a 1952 YB (also fitted to the subsequent T-series Midgets). The crankshaft was re-ground, the internals lightened and balanced, and the engine tuned. The tuned XPAG transformed the car, making it much more fun to drive. More importantly, it proved outstandingly reliable, running beautifully for well over a quarter-century, usually carrying two or three children all around the UK and Europe, often towing a large camping trailer. Known as 'Teufel' (devil), the car has never broken down since the XPAG's installation and over the years has attended many International MG Car Club meetings. Photographs of it carrying the registration '2 EVE' were featured in the 2006/9 copies of the Tickford TA/TB Registry Book. 'MSJ 892' has been extensively rebuilt to a high standard, including chassis refurbishment by marque specialists Brown & Gammons and the installation of a Shorrock supercharger. The bulk of the work has been done and numerous parts accumulated (detailed list available, perusal recommended). However, other projects and a recent health issue have made the vendor decide to sell the car for someone else to complete and enjoy. Offered with sundry bills and Swansea V5.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Hendon, RAF Museum. UK
TypeCar
Lot Number353
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£15000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£17250
Year1938
Condition rating
Registration numberMSJ 892
Mileage-
Chassis numberTA 2610
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors