|Engine||In-line four-cylinder, 1386cc (see text)|
MG’s most successful T-series model to date, the TD launched in 1949 was a clever update of the previous TC, using a modified version of the Y-type saloon’s box-section chassis frame with modern features like independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. Ostensibly similar to the outgoing TC, the TD’s body combined additional interior space with more robust construction, resulting in much improved handling. The TD’s cockpit also came in for some much-needed revision, including better ergonomics and a proper glove compartment, without losing the character associated with previous T-series MGs, retaining traditional sporting features like the folding windscreen. Perhaps the biggest external change was the switch from wire-spoked wheels to smaller diameter steel discs, something necessitated by the independent front end. Output from the 1250cc engine was a healthy 54-½ horsepower, while more powerful front brakes (with twin leading shoes) and a hypoid rear axle further improved the T-series, making it an altogether more refined and enjoyable car behind the wheel. The TD proved especially popular in the United States and the vast majority of the 30,000 made were built to left-hand drive configuration as a result. The burgeoning market for sports cars across the Atlantic (and the formation of the Sports Car Club of America) saw many owners competing in their TDs on racetracks around the country all through the 1950s. Today, the MG owner enjoys enormous support from clubs and specialists worldwide, with a particularly strong club scene here in Australia. It’s not uncommon to see a T-series being enjoyed on country roads of a weekend and the TD delivers proper British traditional wind-in-the-hair sports car motoring, reminding us of a time when driving was all about having fun behind the wheel.