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MG TD TF 1500 - Colours Once Again!

My TF has a "C" colour code so was originally red. I believe there were two shades of red. A rebuild of my car was started in the early 1960s but never completed. The rebuild included a new body and all the metal work which was finished in primer. I have just dug the dashboard out of storage and indeed the surround is red - the darker version - which is a match to the seats. Is this the original colour of the body or did both, externally red, cars have darker dashboards to match the seats? Is there any way of finding out from chassis numbers or records which red the car was originally painted in? Rather than mess around with paint formulations I am going to take the dash to a local accessory shop and find a modern car colour that is a close match. This will allow me to readily buy more paint and also aerosols (rattle cans) to spray small items or do touch ups. I have seen a 2013 Fiat 500 in the street which could be a match. Has anyone else identified a modern colour?

Jan T
J Targosz

Jan, this has been discussed in detail before.

All TF had the dash panel including the two glove boxes, the 2 seat tonnaeu rails, the rear fuel tank bolts and washers ,the rear side screen box lid hinges all to match the interior trim colour, ie Tan, Green or Red.

My experience has shown the interior Red was a lighter shade than the exterior. Carefully rub back a section of the dash panel to determine if its the only coat of paint. Can you post an image please for comment?
Rod Brayshaw

Jan, the red color of the dash and the red body paint color were not the same. The red paint to the dash was more brighter and brilliant to match the interior.

I recently posted a thread of my project a few days ago trying to match as close as possible the red paint to the dash and the bronze/gold/beige center console. There you will see that the Factory used a white primer before applying the red colored paint to make the red dash more vivid. I also posted a color code to help those who are looking for a color match for the red dash. A paint store can mix a color you want and put it an aerosol can if you like.

For a great reference what your red TF looked like, check out the link below my message. You will see the red dash is more brighter than the body color. As for color codes for the body color closest to this TF on the link I posted, I'm sure someone will chime in and refer you to the post like Rod mentioned was covered extensively before. Do a search in the archives and enjoy the reading!! You will get lots of hits.

http://www.mg-cars.org.uk/mgtf/Pictures/TF9052/Thumbnails/mgtf_tf9052.htm





Frank Cronin

Hi Rod,

I attach a photo showing an original TF dash board, a sliver of leather cloth from inside the door pocket and a door skin from a scrap door I purchased some time ago. All are original. My query is my TF is colour code "C" but how do I tell if it should be the lighter or darker shade of red.

Jan T



J Targosz

One correction on the interior color of the rear hinges, gas tank screws, dash to match interior color. This is all true EXCEPT when the exterior color of the TF is green, then the dash panel only, is painted green, not a color to match seats if they are tan for example.
K E MURPHY

K E. I think the same can be said about the red cars too in North America. In fact there is still a debate that North American cars had tan dashes.
Chris Couper

That sounds kind of strange-what color is the dash with a tan interior? the red or green to match a red or green interior rather than body color? Any pictures of original cars showing this?
J K Barter

There are original images on Chris TF site.

I am a little confused KE, if you say tan interior TF's for North America had green dashes if the exterior colour was green then I would like to see original images of this combination.

All the right hand drive TF's I have seen have had tan dash panels to match the interior.

As the largest number of TF production went to USA why did so small a number of Right hand drive green cars have tan dashes only?

The bodies were completed painted and trimmed complete with soft tops etc at Morris Bodies before being trucked to Abingdon, so any dash colour difference would have to be made there.

My understanding is the centre gold dash panel including instruments was fitted at Abingdon, so LHD and RHD cars were determined at Abingdon.

If you are looking at TF literature I am talking about TF Biscuit that is tan in colour.

The image below copied exactly the original paints.

I painted some interior colour strips (all 3 colours) and posted to those who requested them last year. These were taken from original dash and glove box samples where the sun had not faded the surface.

An example is also on Chris TF site

Rod Brayshaw

As per usual,Rod Brayshaw's comments re the
debate on correct TF colour and interior colour is
spot on.
The Factory painted the dash colour in the similar colour to match the upholstery,not body colour.
When close examination of original TFs occurs,I have found in each and every case,the colour combinations
is as Rod has indicated.

I do not believe the Factory had different dash colours
compared to the interior.Yes! The colour was not a perfect match, however close enough and pleasing to the eye.

This debate reminds me of the one concerning the wing piping. Some cars in the USA I have observed have replaced the piping with a colour that matches the interior eg. a cream body coloured car with a red interior WITH an incorrect wing red piping!This then becomes the erroneous 'original'standard.The 'trick'
is on examining the untouched original cars.

Also,Frank Cronin is correct in saying that the dash red for example was lighter compared to the exterior body panel paint. Rod Brayshaw also agrees
with this point.

Rod B,your experience involved with the rebuilding of thirty(30) TFs over the years has provided a wonderful insight into what is correct on these cars.So good and honoured to have you on board.

Cheers
Rob Grantham
TF3719("Aramis"),TF9177("Athos").
R GRANTHAM

Mr Brayshaw's observations make sense-it just does not seem likely that dashes for the American market would be painted differently.
J K Barter

If anyone has pics of a Green TF with tan interior and the dash, please post. To add fuel to the fire, at least some, and maybe all TF in US had dark green (not Almond) exterior paint that was METALLIC! I used to get all disagreements on this. The reason I am so positive, is that a friend Bob Sweet in Ft Wayne, in the late 70's I would go and look at his TF 1500 and it was a fine metallic. He was the original owner and I asked if it had been repainted, and questioned the metallic - and he assured me it was not repainted (and did not look like it) and came from the factory that way. I forget his interior color and dash color! Since that time I have gotten support from Australians who said all the green TFs they have seen were indeed metallic.
K E MURPHY

The subject of almond green metallic paint has been discussed here before and I believe there was agreement that it was the only green offered on TF's. Now that you mention it ,I have never actually seen an original green TF with biscuit interior- It would be interesting to see pictures. MY TF was green on green and I have been gradually repainting it to match as closely as I could. I sent a part to the paint company with original paint to be duplicated. It is more of a medium green and the metallic particles are very fine compared to modern metallics.


J K Barter

All TCs and TDs came with the dash covered in Rexine (Google it). As Rod Brayshaw has correctly pointed out, ONLY in RED, TAN or GREEN and nothing else - no wood, no leather - only Rexine. The origin of Rexine was, and still is, for book-binding. Its still available in different weights and colours.

The TF dash was painted only in Red, Tan or Green. No other colour - not even black! And the central panel that mounts the instruments, was always in that goldish-brown - and elusive colour that for some reason, nobody has been able to exactly duplicate ...come close yes, but not duplicate.

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.
Gordon A Clark

About the only car that really should have a tan dash in North America would be a black car. You could make the case that the rest of the tan interior cars got a dash to match the exterior color.

So has anyone ever seen an original black/tan North America TF?
Chris Couper

Hi Gordon C.,

Your assessment of the original Factory TF Dash colours
is correct!! Black dashes on original untouched TFs,no.

Cheers
Rob Grantham

TF3719("Aramis"),TF91779("Athos").
R GRANTHAM

Joann McGerrigle, the owner of our local pub here in Rockburn, has a black TF. Car started life in black, and the dash is tan.

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.
Gordon A Clark

Gordon. Good to know about the black. Do we also have a red or green NA TF with a tan interior and tan dash?
Chris Couper

Gordon,
Early TC's had wood dash, late TC's changed to Rexine. I rely on "TC's Forever" for originality details on TC's.
Max Irvine

One further query on a red car is the underside of the scuttle painted the dash or body colour. I suspect body colour since it would have been easier to simply blow over the underside when the rest of the body was being painted.


Jan T
J Targosz

My underside on a TF is painted dash color.

I have a Black TF with red interior and red dash. The underside is red back about 4 inches from the padded rail, then black beyond that.
Don Harmer

Jan T: Even a red car with red interior gets the special red dash color painted as Don states. You can see the difference in this picture.

The only real debate is the tan interior North America cars. Still looking for an original picture of one to put that to rest.

Chris Couper

Gord, I think all TC's had a walnut veneer dash until early 1948 when it was changed to rexine.
Cheers, Hugh Pite
H.D. Pite

Picture of the vivid / bright red dash paint applied under the scuttle of my Birch grey TF.

Frank Cronin

Chris, here is Gord Clark's dash in a red car (original paint if I recall).
I cant see that the painters would have even known the market when they were painting the tubs with under scuttle paint. Special dash colours would be a logistics headache that both Abingdon and Nuffield Exports could do without.

Matthew.

M Magilton

I am still at a loss regarding the "C" colour code. I know for certain this indicates a red TF but is it dark or bright? Looking at the "Original MG TF" site it appears TFs were only produced in the dark shade but all the photos I have seen show the bright colour. There is one for sale on eBay at the moment - see MG Auction Watch which is clearly bright. Can someone confirm TFs were originally available in both dark and bright red and how can I tell which one is correct for my car.


Cheers

Jan T
J Targosz

Jan, we thrashed this out recently, it will be in archives, sorry I do not remember the title.
Have a look at the pictures of "Unrestored TF 9052" in Gallery on The Original TF midget website for an example of factory red.

Matthew.
M Magilton

Jan: Compare the two reds on the TF site. What looks like a dark red is not really as dark as the darker, Autumn red. We are pretty sure most, if not all, of the TF's were MG Red, the lighter of the two reds.

Every TD and TF you see that looks like dark red is probably MG red. The Autumn red was a lot darker and had a more burgundy color. Early TD's had the that color.

BTW the dash colors I reproduce from some samples but they display a lot darker than the paint and interior colors. I think I may have to move them up a few notches to they look correspondingly correct.
Christopher Couper

This thread was discussed between 07/05/2014 and 24/05/2014

MG TD TF 1500 index

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