Front Cover – TD/C29478

Photo 1 – Shock and horror! The car as it was before it was ready to be picked up by the scrap merchant

TD/C29478 left the Factory on 16th July, 1953. A Home market MK II it was fitted with engine number XPAG/TD3/29782. So far as the Editor can ascertain, the car was the third but last Home market MK II produced. The car nearly didn’t make it, but it has survived and I have seen it ‘in the flesh’ – it is beautiful! Owner, Chris Rainey takes up the story…

On the death of an elderly gentleman the family called a scrap merchant to collect a partly stripped down rusty relic of an old car and a heap of parts that were in his garage. On the journey to the scrap yard following the collection, a trader happened to notice the MG ignominiously strapped to the bed of the recovery truck and realising what it was stopped the driver and purchased the car there and then.

The trader then sold the vehicle on to a man called Mark Knight in 1990 who had it taken to his home where he identified that all the main parts were included, except for the number plates which were missing. Remembering that when he went to see the car there was definitely a pair of plates with the boxes of parts, Mark asked the trader what had become of them. He was told that they could not be found and were presumed missing. (Later, when the restoration was completed it was necessary to obtain the age related number plate BSL 676).

Mark then went on to restore the chassis, suspension, brakes, engine and gearbox before selling the rolling chassis to Paul Cheal in Hove, Sussex, sometime in 1995. Paul then completed the restoration of the body, interior, wiring etc. to a high standard and the car was back on the road in 1999.

Paul’s maiden trip with the TD was on the West Sussex South Downs run where he carried out all the pre checks you would including checking the oil level, but omitted to refit the oil cap and left it dangling on the chain. You can imagine the mess he found when he opened the bonnet!

He also had a few other teething problems on his first trip out, including the brakes sticking on. Paul then went on to win best in class with the car at the East Sussex MG Club in 2000.

In total, Paul owned BSL 676 for around 16 years, but only had it on the road for 6 years during which he barely completed around 2000 miles. In 2005 the car was taken off the road and parked at the back of his garage behind a TF he was restoring and alongside another TF he owns.

I was introduced to Paul at Silverstone in June 2011 by Timon Iles, a TC owning friend, who told Paul I was looking around to buy a TD; Paul told me about the TD Mark II that he had restored but wasn’t sure if he wanted to part with it, although he did give me his telephone number.

Some weeks later, after viewing quite a few TDs, I arranged to go to Chichester to inspect yet another. As Chichester is well on to way to Hove from Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire, where my wife, Dawn and I live, I gave Paul a call to see if I could go along to view his car afterwards. As it turned out the one at Chichester had developed a major oil leak, so we didn’t even get to go for a test run.

Paul agreed although he did tell me I wouldn’t be able to see it running or get it out the garage as it hadn’t been started for over 5 years and it was behind the TF. On arriving at Paul’s and having a nice cup of tea, Dawn and I looked around the car and immediately fell in love with it.

Over the following weeks a couple more phone calls were made to Paul and eventually he was persuaded that it was time he parted with the car and a deal was agreed. He then got it running, had all the water hoses changed, took it for an MoT test and delivered it to me on a trailer in July 2011.

Thanks to Pete Vines who took the pictures (man in striped shirt in car with Dawn), Danny Boswell, who is the bursar at Hordle Walhampton school Lymington in Hampshire, for giving permission for the pictures to be taken in the school grounds (man with cap in car with me) and Timon Iles for viewing several TDs with us before we bought this one.

Photo 2 – dashboard of TD/C29478
Photo 3 – owner, Chris Rainey taking Danny Boswell, bursar of Hordle Walhampton school for a ‘spin’ in the school grounds
Photo 4 – Chris and Dawn Rainey in the rather immaculate school grounds
Photo 5 – Peter Vines, who took the photos with Dawn in the passenger seat
Photo 6 – TD MK II distinguishing features

One thought on “Front Cover – TD/C29478

  1. Mike Tomlinson says:

    Hi Chris,

    Congratulations on buying a superb car!
    However, my main interest is the fact that my
    car appears to have been immediatly in front
    of it on the assembly line.
    I own an MG TD2 (not Mk2) chassis no. 29477
    engine no.TD2/29878 first registered in Coventry
    on 22nd July 1953, reg ODU405.


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