1938 MG T/Q

From my first rebuild of a 1939 TA in the early 1970s to the rebuild of my 1939 TB TIckford in the 80s and then acquisition of a very original 1936 SA 25 years ago, originality was always top of the priority list. However, lurking deep down there has always been the desire to do something just a little special.

I think this goes back to the early 70s and seeing a very nice red single seater MG on a trailer at the Beaulieu Auto Jumble and being very impressed.

In 2018 I was looking around for an MG project in my then forthcoming retirement and had put the word out that I was looking for a TA/TB chassis and mechanics for just such a project. No sooner than I had mentioned this that I found the perfect opportunity of a complete TA chassis, axles, rebuilt MPJG engine and gearbox and lots of spares.

A deal was struck and I set about planning the project. The TA and TB Tickford had both taken 3 to 4 years to do but for this rebuild I set a target of driving the car 12 months from starting.

As I planned to supercharge the engine, I sold the MPJG engine and gearbox and purchased an XPAG engine which, rather than rebuild myself this time, I had rebuilt to facilitate my time scales.

I spoke to Steve Baker https://www.stevebakermg.co.uk  to order one of his Q type bodies and arranged for the chassis to go to Steve for body fitting. At the same time, I had the rebuilt engine delivered to Steve along with a Hi Gear 5 speed box which he fitted. Steve then delivered the car back to me ready for full assembly.

I then took the car apart again for full assembly which included wiring, petrol pipe runs, dash board planning and assembly, body painting and fettling and fitting the myriad of jobs that are required in any rebuild.

Yes, I hit my target and 12 months from starting I was able to drive the car!

I am delighted to have rescued another MG that is now on the road after 40 years stuck in a garage going nowhere, like so many stalled projects all over the UK.

As I have done with all my MGs, I drive the car weekly throughout the year.

Now if I can find a Wilson preselector gearbox and nose hung Marshall or similar supercharger, I rather fancy doing another ………………………

       Andrew Pearce

Editor’s note:

I’ve picked up on Andrew’s comment “another MG that is now on the road after 40 years stuck in a garage going nowhere. like so many stalled projects all over the UK.”

I don’t know how many stalled projects there are in the UK, but I would hazard a guess that the figure for pre and immediate post-war MGs might run into the hundreds.

Within 10 miles of me I know of a TC and a TD which have been owned for many years. The owner had started work on the TD (the TC was totally dismantled) but he has recently passed away. I am not sure what has become of the cars, but I am concerned that they will never see the light of day.

Within 18 miles of me, a TB had ‘sat resting’ with what remained of its body taken off the chassis, for more years than the owner might admit. He took some persuading to part with his TB, but he finally realized that he would never finish the car and agreed to sell it.

Opinions vary on the fitting of racing type bodies to T-Series models, but it does at least put another car on the road, which would otherwise be unlikely to survive intact.

I must admit that I rather like them – I only wish I could afford to buy one!

2 thoughts on “1938 MG T/Q

  1. Ray White says:

    Having originality at the top of the list was also my approach until a neglected TC came into my life. There was not much “original” about the car worth saving which led me down the path of a mild “restomod”. On reflection, as the body needed replacing, it would have been wiser to build a TQ like yours but at the time I had a picture in my mind of a standard looking T C… but one which would be more usable than original. With an upgraded supercharged engine, five speed box, TA diff and VW steering conversion for starters, I soon fell into the trap of mission creep. By the time it is finished I will have spent far more than the car will ever be worth but like yours, it will be unique. You are to be congratulated on getting the car back on the road in such good time.

    Financially, the sensible thing for me to do would have been a “correct” restoration but everyone seems to do that these days and I wanted to improve on where I felt the original design left something to be desired. Like your TQ my rebuild will not be to everyone’s taste but I hope it will have been worth doing.

    Ray White.

    • Andrew Pearce says:

      Hi Ray
      Thanks and good to hear of your rebuild.
      I’ve always enjoyed driving all my MG’s over the years and try wherever possible to drive them weekly. The little TQ is an absolute delight to drive. The 1350 cc supercharged XPAG engine is really flexible and I am an absolute convert to the 5 speed box, If anyone is in any doubt DO IT. Transforms the car.
      I also have a 1936 MG SA Tickford which I have owned for 25 years. Been a runner all that time and I often think of the two cars as ‘beauty and the beast’. I don’t need to tell you which is which.

      Perhaps the Editor will allow me to publish a couple more pictures in due course?

      Originality is really important BUT if building a special’ keeps one more MG T type on the road then it needs no further justification.

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