Initially known as the Midget Series 'T', the MG TA was announced to the general public in June, 1936.
A product of the new Cowley-based Design Department, the car was born out of Lord Nuffield's move to rationalise components across the range so that it would use as many Morris parts as possible.
Larger than the PB model it replaced, its track and wheelbase were increased to the same dimensions as the N-Type Magnette, albeit the new T-Type sat lower in side profile.
The new model achieved a number of 'firsts' as a Midget:
• Its 1292cc overhead valve engine was based on the Morris Ten with valves operated by pushrods operated by a camshaft running within the cylinder block and driven by a chain. Gone was the overhead camshaft Wolseley derived engine which powered previous Midgets.
• Synchromesh was provided for the first time on a sports M.G. which considerably aided gear changing compared with the 'crash box' of previous Midgets.
• A hydraulic braking system was introduced for the first time on a sports M.G.
• Click here to subscribe for free to Totally T-Type 2, the bimonthly technical publication for MG T-Series owners
The model was generally accepted as an improvement over previous Midgets, in particular it offered "more car for your money" at the same price as the model it replaced.
Whilst the MG TA offered rather more comfort than its smaller Midget predecessors and took one from 'A to B' with less effort, thanks to its more powerful engine, its sporting pedigree was established by 1937 as a successful trials car. Supported by the Factory with a range of tuning 'goodies' the TA soon upheld the honour of its overhead cam predecessors in trials and in 1938 the Cream Cracker team arrived on the scene using VA engines to boost performance.
In 1938 a Drophead Coupe was introduced, the body being built on the TA chassis by Salmons of Newport Pagnell and known as the TA Tickford. The Tickford is a much sought after model nowadays and commands a significant premium over the tourer.
3003 examples of the MG TA were built before the model was succeeded by the MG TB in 1939.
The survival rate is pretty good with around 50% thought to have survived and new 'finds' still turning up from time to time.
• Click here to add your MG T-Type to the T-Database