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MG TD TF 1500 - Another cool film from British Pathe

There was discussion earlier about another film (without sound) with similar content that showed cars with dark wheels on a truck. This one confirms they were for export. One poster postulated that they were bound for Australia where importers were required to use domestic manufacturers of tires.

The Original MG TD website has a photo of TDs being crated with the wheels and tires removed, which may confirm that the dark wheels were temporary.

Note the solid wheels on Appleyard's car, but the body hoop on assembly. Looks like this is the winter of '48-'49.

Apologies if this has been posted before...
David Littlefield

....that was the TD taken directly from the assembly line with 122 miles on the trip odometer and xxx747 on the main odometer....hmmmm
Speed is impressive however....

gblawson(gordon- TD27667)

As I watched the film, I'd wondered about "taking a car direct from the assembly line etc ...." and then thrashing it on a cross-Channel dash.

But, in those days, despite all the hyperbole for the camera, I don't supose you could. My father's first car (a Standard Vanguard Phase II, circa 1953) had to be "run-in" for what felt like months, when a replacement engine was fitted after the big-ends went on his old one, and he told me he'd had to do the same when it was new.

We puttered around town, with maximum speeds gradually being increased, as he put more miles on the clock. He had strict written instructions from the garage about this and would instantly put his foot down to get that extra allowable 10 MPH as the odo passed another magic milestone or other.

Then there were the frequent oil changes, as the engine bedded-in - we must have used up a tankerload of the stuff.

And finally, shame of all shames, the embarrassing home-made sign in the back windscreen which read: "RUNNING-IN, PLEASE PASS". For us nippers, that was the most toe-curling aspect of it all: We felt like lepers, as our schoolmates' fathers cruised past our self-confessed wreck, with an every-so-slightly smug smile, as we hid our faces in the back. It was a great day when we finally got to tear up that hated sign and put it at the back of the fire.

As was true of all drivers at that time, Dad never got out of the habit of preparing against total disaster if he had to go on a journey of more than 30 miles or so. He'd permanently have spare oil, water, plugs, condenser and points, fan belt etc. etc. taking up at least half of the boot space and would always have a full service on the car before we went off on our annual hols (it was only 75 miles to the coast), whether it needed one or not.

Even into the 1990s (he died in 1995) he'd have all the gear on the garage shelves, although he'd not been under the bonnet in years and expressed absolute astonishment (with that resigned shake of the head which only fathers can give their sons) when I admitted I regularly drove 275 miles to London, non-stop, on business, without checking anything at all when I filled the fuel tank before setting-off.

That was in a Citroen ZX Volcane 1.9TD, and he'd never have believed that I eventually did 250,000 miles in that car, on the same clutch and without needing to ever take the head off.

How times changed.

- Tom.
Tom Bennett - 53TD 24232

Hi Tom,

Your comments nicely set out the reality of early 50s motoring in Britain. Like many others, before the dreaded first MOT around 1960, my father drove pre-war Austin Sevens, that had to be stripped every summer, before the annual seaside holiday. We always got where we wanted, although 'recut' tyres could let you down. A trip 'up north' from Bristol to relatves, over 200 miles, was planned and talked about for weeks by neighbours and friends, and we always set out with cheerful trepidation.

The first modern car was a 1960 A35 van, (no purchase tax!), and despite careful 'running in', new rings were needed within 20,000 miles. It had no rear side windows, and during my driving test in 1962, (time taken out from school!) the examiner allowed me to reverse into a side street on the other side of the road, so I could follow the kerb easier! And I'd been practising a normal reverse for weeks - nevermind I passed first time!

We perhaps sometimes need to remind ourselves of the motoring context in post war Britan, out of which came our cheap and cheerful, yet very quirky cars.


J C Mitchell

Nice film, I enjoyed it very much. If some of you guys remember, here in America back then, it was quite a standard thing to run all new cars through a break in period, usually around 40 to 50 MPH for the first 500 miles I would think it would have been quite risky to jump in any car back then and take it on a run like they did. Regardless, it was nice. I enjoy those old films. Thanks for posting. PJ
Paul J

John, your driving test story reminded me of mine. Rules stated the test car had to be a four door, four seater, with the examiner in the back seat. The only car we were allowed to use was Dads Kombi campervan since the others were MG sports cars. I dropped a few points on the reverse park (wheels slightly too far out from the kerb)but still passed the test. I remember the euphoria of eventually driving a car on my own.

Matthew Magilton

You can still see some production methods very much lake those in the film on a visit to the Morgan Factory today.
David Werblow

This thread was discussed between 26/03/2011 and 09/04/2011

MG TD TF 1500 index

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