I have just inherited my Fathers MG TC and I am looking for any information
regarding the history or restoration of the little car. My Father's name
was JAG Smith, but he went by Gordon. He was a rather dashing R.A.F pilot
turned California real estate developer who emigrated to the States after
world war two. He was always very proud of the fact that he became a US
citizen. Still he never lost his accent or a love for all things English.
A loss he felt most keenly was the sale of his Aston Martin in order to
return to the States. It may have been this that sent him searching for
an English sports car that would remind him of home. Sometime in or before
1967 He bought TC 5853 from someone in the Palo Alto area I believe. If
I remember correctly they had changed the car over to left hand drive.
Dad brought it home and switched it back. I remember fighting with my
bigger sister over who got to ride with him as we ferried it back home
over the Golden Gate bridge.(with head scarves and FREEZING I might add!)
It seems the car was originally crème with green interior. But I cant
remember if Dad was the one who painted it or he bought it that way. Many
wonderful road trips to the seaside and weekend fly fishing trips were
to follow. Around 1973 Dad required a surgery that left his right arm
somewhat disabled. He garaged the car, (with a brand new set of tires
or "tyres" as Dad would say) with plans to drive it again when he was
better. Unfortunately that day never came. The little car sat piled under
boxes and debris until we dug it out just before Christmas 2001.Father
now gone, I Felt guilty about "mucking about" with Dad's pride and joy.
We laughed to find the "new tire sale stickers" still on the car almost
30 years later! To our great surprise and delight we found a drawer full
of replacement parts in a forgotten part of the garage. It were as if
he had left us a "roadmap to restoration." Even though he hadn't been
able to drive the TC he was still collecting parts and such as late as
1997. We know just where to start. Thanks Dad! It was a tough job staking
my claim to the little car. I have two older sisters who also shared interest
in it. However,after much; hair pulling, tears and giving up my claim
to a pair of rather lovely Staffishire dogs that had been the family for
years, not to mention a tidy sum of CASH!, I took the TC home.
Now I am thinking of so many questions I wished I had thought to ask
about the car. Maybe someone out there can help.
1. The car has the "Made in England" plate on the end of the battery box,
but no "EX-UP" stamp as far as I can find. Does this mean the car was
sold in England and shipped over later, rather than being sold for export
to the US brand new?
2. It is fitted with two fog lamps on the badge bar with a horn installed
under the bonnet.(see photo) I'm wondering what was correct for a 1948
TC with no "EX-UP" stamp. also questions about the bumper.
3. I'm thinking of restoring to the original color (My sisters will kill
me!) Seems to be crème or a very pale yellow. How do I find paint of the
4. I am also thinking that I might have a set of TD seats, mine seem different
than the photo's I've inspected. They are fatter and lumpier, making it
a tight fit behind the wheel. Someone also seems to have installed some
wooded shims to raise them up higher.
5. Finally, How do I trace the past owners of the car?Dad told me once
"There is a difference between "driving" and "motoring." He answered the
question mark on my face by saying "Driving is what you do in all other
cars, "motoring" is what we do in the TC!"
Thanks for the help --