1938 MG Midget TA Tickford Drophead Coupé Coachwork by Salmons & Sons Registration no. YXS 941 Chassis no. TA 2654
Launched in 1936 as successor to the PB Midget, the TA Midget was an altogether larger and roomier car. Longer in the wheelbase at 94", the simple chassis followed established Midget practice with semi-elliptic springing all round, though the use of hydraulic dampers at the front and the adoption of Lockheed hydraulic brakes were new departures. Although styled in a manner MG enthusiasts had come to expect, the new two-seater broke with tradition by employing an overhead-valve engine instead of the previous overhead-camshaft type. The TA was introduced after Nuffield's takeover of MG and used the 10hp 1,292cc four-cylinder Wolseley engine, itself derived from that of the Morris Ten, which produced around 50bhp at 4,500rpm. Though MG purists complained about the adoption of a pushrod engine and synchromesh gearbox, the TA was faster t
han the PB, having a top speed of 80mph (with the folding windscreen lowered).
Now very rare, Tickford's drophead coupé was a factory-approved body style announced in August 1938, and the MGOC has reportedly said that this car was on MG's stand at that year's London Motor Show. Past owner Andrew Charlesworth of Hampshire commissioned Roger Taylor Classic Cars of Bournemouth to carry out a full body, chassis, interior, and mechanical restoration of this TA, which was completed in 2002/2003 (invoices and photographs available). The car was then placed in secure, climate-controlled storage, and upon Mr Charlesworth's death passed to his son.
The current vendor purchased the MG from Mr Charlesworth's son in November 2018 and proceeded to re-commission the car, which included a major engine rebuild: big-end and main bearings, thrust washers, camshaft bearings, piston rings, cylinder head converted to unleaded compatibility, refaced flywheel, and a new clutch assembly. In addition, the car received new wheel cylinders, brake shoes, batteries, voltage regulator, and coolant hoses, while the radiator was refurbished. Total cost of the re-commissioning was £14,000 (invoices available). Apart from a modern-type clutch drive-plate, no modifications are notified.
We are advised by the private vendor that the MG is in generally excellent condition and runs and drives very well. The engine starts on the button with no knocks, rattles or any evidence of smoke; the windscreen and roof operate smoothly; and the car has been fully serviced and is ready for the road. It should be noted that the V5 registration document still lists the original engine 'MPJG2914' (currently 'MPJG1966').