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MG TD TF 1500 - Bumpers; what I have learned so far

In a separate post I recently described being hit from behind while I was stopped in my ’53 TD. TD bumpers can take a pretty hard hit. The “backer bar,” the 47” long X 1.5” wide X .25” thick steel strap bolted inside the bumper face provides considerable rigidity to the bumper. I don’t remember bumpers from domestic cars of that era, like my ’53 Chevy back then, having such backer bar support. The bumper guards (overriders) also took most of the hit, shielding the bumper face. The bumper guards were bent about 40 degrees forward, but most of the damage was absorbed by the mounting brackets inside the guards. The spare tire/wire wheel can take quite a bit of impact, which I thought was good, considering the proximity of the fuel tank. I also learned that large body repair shops, either franchise or dealerships, will not work on a TD, even though employees like to come out to take pictures of the car. Also, bumper repair re-chroming shops are about non-existent these days, even in a metroplex area such as Dallas-Fort Worth. Although the repro bumpers/guards have been on my TD for at least 10 years (the PO died in 2005) the chrome has held up well, especially on the guards; although there is rust on the insides. My rear bumper guards are a bit different shape than the ones on the front. Moss lists them as the same part. It is a good thing that I was hit by a late model car with energy absorbing front bumper instead of by another TD, or my neck and back would be a lot sorer than they are now. Of course, since this is Texas, the odds are that one may be hit by a giant pickup driven by a young lady sending a text message. I really should consider installing seats with head restraints.


Bobby L.
B. F. Loughridge

I have my bumper stories (actually my fathers). Check this picture out with the car less than a month old (new). Notice the back bumper is missing something? (the left overrider). So many cars were getting hit in LA in the early 50's it was not unusual for there to be a shortage of bumper parts for weeks at a time.

Christopher Couper

This appeared to be a repeating thing for him so in the early 60's he went to the junkyard and got some massive Buick bumpers with a similar profile. They were too big in width so just behind the overriders they were cut and spliced.

Christopher Couper


I spent most of my working years in Los Angeles County (high desert.)I had several XKE's and XK's when they were readily available in junk yards. However, I always liked the looks of the TD, so I finally built a car of that style, only larger. Picture below is from 1984.

Bobby L.

B. F. Loughridge

Additional pic from 21 years later. Paint has faded and different wheels, but I worked real hard on those bumpers.

B. F. Loughridge

Well, it is almost an MG. midget doors and windshield, right?
David Littlefield

Well, its almost MG. the doors and windscreen are MG Midget, right?
John Quilter

The entire cockpit from the cowl back is MG Midget with the "tail fins" cut off and contoured to the shape of the trunk. From the cowl forward was fabricated with 16 gauge steel. Grill from '72 Continental. Yamaha turn signals, Harley tail lights. 429 engine modified a bit. The usual stuff from junk yards and J.C. Whitney (are they still in business?)
B. F. Loughridge


Just a thought,have you checked under the TD for any chassis damage? Notoriously on rear end impact,the chassis frame can be bent down or compressed.Look for
any swelling of the inside/outside ,vertical wall of the chassis frame as it passes over the rear axle.

Also,I am assuming the door closures are still ok at this stage.The woodwork around the back of the car can also be damaged.

Rob Grantham

This thread was discussed between 23/10/2015 and 24/10/2015

MG TD TF 1500 index

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