Front Cover – Penelope

‘Penelope’ outside Willington Hall situated in Willington, Tarporley, Cheshire.

Penelope’ was manufactured on 27th September 1951. Her chassis number, TD10607, indicates that she arrived on the scene just over a third of the way through TD production and her engine number XPAG/TD2/10952 signifies that she was fitted with the larger 8” clutch.

According to the DVLA record, ‘Penelope’ was first registered in London on 11th October 1957 – the gap between the date of production and the date of registration might be explained by time spent outside of the UK?

This lovely MG red TD was looked after by three owners before entering the long term ownership of Mike and Liz Jones in 1962.

Loved, treasured and cared for in the way that a true MG thoroughbred would expect; ‘Ready to Go’ anywhere, TD 10607 has graced the highways and byways of UK and Europe for the past 51 years in the ownership of Mike and Liz.

Mike vividly recalls collecting his new born daughter in the car and ever since, ‘Penelope’ has grown up with the Jones family.

Earlier this year Mike went into hospital for an operation and whilst convalescing he and Liz, after much soul searching, reluctantly decided that the time had come to pass Penelope on to another like minded family.

I hope Mike (who doesn’t know that Penelope is being featured in this issue of TTT 2 until he receives a couple of complimentary printed copies) won’t mind me reproducing part of an e-mail he sent me earlier this year.

“After 51 years it was a hard call to make, but one that comes to us all eventually. We were inundated with enquiries, all MG owners – MG TFs (the real TF!)supercharged J2, BGT, Y-type, GTV8, TC; one chap even rang from Germany! The first to ring was a chap from a few miles away (TF owner) ringing on behalf of his best friend who was working in Calgary that week (oil engineer). The chap had been looking for a “good original TD” for a long time and Penelope sounded perfect. I told him I would hold her until his friend came back to the UK, to which he informed me it would be at the end of the week. Saturday duly arrived and the chap came with his wife, son and grandson and was also accompanied by his friend and his wife – all of them huge MG enthusiasts and very knowledgeable.

He took one look at Penelope and before I had even started her up he said “Please may I have her? She is just what I have been waiting all this time for”. His son and grandson were equally enthralled as was everyone else. I took him for a really good drive along our local empty ‘A’ roads and he was just enthralled at her handling and that wonderful blast from the straight through exhaust. He only lives 20 miles away just a few miles away from his friend. He came a week last Saturday to collect her, plus 14 boxes of spares, many new, plus the original Laystall head that I had had reconditioned by Oselli some years back but never fitted. ‘Penelope’ will stay in the family and be passed down to son and grandson.”

Ed’s Note: Although I have never had the pleasure of meeting ‘Penelope’ I feel that I know her quite well. I have corresponded with Mike and Liz over the years and met them at Silverstone and we will continue our friendship.

Many of us worry about the future of our cars and what will become of them when we are too old to drive them. Wouldn’t it be good if, when the time comes, we could have the same reassurance as Mike and Liz have had in finding a caring owner?

Finally a note about Willington Hall where ‘Penelope’ was photographed (the photograph on this page).

Built as a country house in 1829 for Major W. Tomkinson, Willington Hall is in the parish of Willington, Cheshire. It was extended in 1878 but reduced in size in the 1950s and has since been used as a hotel. It was designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building in 1958.

The hotel used to be run by Mr Richard Tomkinson, who was a great grandson of the first owner.

Nowadays the hotel is run by the Begbie family, who have carried out restoration work to the hotel and gardens.

Alas, not large enough for a base for a TTT 2 Tour!

2 thoughts on “Front Cover – Penelope

  1. David Fletchert says:

    Really good to read and sorry to see it sold. I bought my TD in 1963 and it is unrestored but engine rebuilt 5 yrs ago when piston ring broke after 247.000miles. I use it virtually every day,summer,winter,sun and snow. Always hood down except torrential rain. I will be buried in it or my ashes will be put in the radiator instead of Bars Leaks. However I am only 73 so expect to drive it for at least another 25 years. Best wishes for the future MGTD 1953 JUK487

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