1954 MG TF 1250 Roadster
|Engine||In-line four-cylinder, 1250cc|
MG’s T-series Midget family began back in 1936 with the first TA and remained in production – with a break during the Second World War – until 1955, the fifth and final development being the TF launched in 1953. The last of MG’s traditional square rigged sports cars, the TF was originally something of a stop-gap designed to fill the breach until the new MGA entered production but for many enthusiasts is the best of the lot. The TF’s lines were subtly modernised by raking the radiator shell and integrating the headlamps into re-profiled, more flowing wings, but pre-war styling cues like the fold-flat screen remained intact. The TF’s cockpit was updated with a new dashboard design with three octagonal dials and more supportive seats, while the unpopular pressed-steel disc wheels found on the TD were ditched in favour of traditional wires. Mechanically the TF was essentially a carryover from its predecessor, the rugged 1250cc engine benefitting from valve and carburettor improvements. The XPAG motor provided willing performance from its 57 horsepower and there was adequate stopping power from Lockheed hydraulic brakes. In total some 6200 1250cc TFs were made before a revised 1500cc model was announced mid-way through the production run, the vast majority exported to the United States where GIs returning from Europe eagerly snapped them up for America’s burgeoning sports car scene. The TF remains at its best on winding country roads, the superbly weighted rack and pinion steering and predictable handling combining to make every trip an experience to savour. T-series ownership is a rewarding experience, with a thriving national club scene offering plenty of shows and rallies around the country each year and a strong network of local specialists for parts supply and servicing.