1952 MG Midget

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1952
  • Chassis number 
    TD/13030
  • Lot number 
    231
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

The ex-Reg Harris, 1952 RAC International Rally of Great Britain
1952 MG Midget TD Roadster
Registration no. MNE 4
Chassis no. TD/13030

'MNE 4' was completed on 17th January 1952 and Stage 2 tuned by Johnny Wallwork (RAC Rally outright winner in 1954) for its owner, Reg Harris OBE. Britain's foremost track racing cyclist of the 1940s and 1950s, Harris won the world amateur sprint title in 1947, two Olympic silver medals in 1948, and the world professional title four times, while a comeback 20 years later saw him win another British title in 1974 at the age of 54.

The MG was prepared for Harris to enter the 1952 RAC International Rally of Great Britain, which commenced on 31st March in atrocious weather of snow and ice. In period photographs of 'MNE 4', taken during the Rally, its Raydyot pillar-fitting spotlight on the windscreen's offside, the rear-view mirror fitted to the offside wing, and the Lucas SLR 700 spotlight on the badge bar are clearly visible. The badges carried were those of the MG Car Club and the Manchester Wheelers Cycle Club, of which Harris was a leading member. Harris and 'MNE 4' were placed 22nd out of 74 in the Class 1 Open Car category.

From Nottingham and Derby respectively, the MG's next two owners were followed in 1964 by Brian Corbett, a Derbyshire farmer, who sold the TD in 1969 to its immediately preceding owner: Harry 'H' Crutchley. Well-known in MG circles, 'H' founded the MG Octagon Car Club the year he bought 'MNE 4'.

'MNE 4' was originally finished in Silver Streak Grey metallic with red upholstery. In preparation for the 1952 RAC Rally, the car was fitted with various TD Mark 2 components including 1½" SU H4 carburettors, twin fuel pumps, a 9/41 final drive ratio, and Andrex friction dampers to the front axle. Although built in January 1952, 'MNE 4' is unusual in having the XPAG/TD2-specification engine, fitted with an 8" clutch, while retaining the oil pump and filter arrangements from the XPAG/TD engine.

'MNE 4' was restored for 'H' in 1994 by Steve Baker and finished in Sun Bronze, a contemporary TD metallic colour introduced in 1951, while the engine was completely rebuilt in 2010 by Iain Rooney of Pilot Motorsports. The rebuild was completed to period Stage 2 tune incorporating larger valves and a higher compression ratio, and the engine was then producing 70bhp (54bhp standard). 'MNE 4' retains many of its period features and the aforementioned extra lights, mirror and badges from the 1952 RAC Rally, together with an Octagon Car Club badge in memory of Harry 'H' Crutchley. 'MNE 4' is also offered with an assortment of spares (inventory of file) and a meticulously prepared history file including a detailed service history, invoices, an original workshop manual, and original RAC Rally documentation.