How many TF1250s are on the road in the UK?

Following the completion of the TF1500 exercise, I said in the last issue “I am due to analyse the TF1250s next, this will probably need to be done over 2, perhaps 3 issues”.

Before publishing Part 1 of the lists of chassis numbers and their corresponding registration numbers (where known) I thought it would be useful to explain the background to the introduction of the TF. In doing so I apologise to those (probably quite a few) readers who are already familiar with this.

The decision of the then recently formed (November 1951) British Motor Corporation (BMC) to commit capital to the Austin Healey 100 project in preference to Abingdon’s EX175 (MGA), which was on the stocks as a replacement for the TD, presented a real difficulty to the Abingdon management.

Against the background of falling sales of the TD in the USA, Abingdon had planned on the MGA project to reinvigorate demand for its sports car and to compete head on with the products of other manufacturers, the most significant of which was probably the Triumph TR2.

With scarce funding for development work, the decision was taken to ‘facelift’ the TD as a stop gap model. Its most prominent features were a raked back radiator, giving a lower bonnet line with headlamps faired into the front wings. It was built on a Mk II TD chassis, fitted with engine number XPAG/TD3/26849 and designated TF0250, the prototype. Of course, there were other changes, notably at the rear and inside, but the body tub was virtually unchanged so as to allow Morris Bodies to readily adapt to producing the new car. Completion of build was 12th May 1953.

Three months later, 12th August 1953, the second prototype, the pre-production car was built, fitted with engine number XPAG/TD2/29748 and designated TF0251.

One month later, 17th September 1953, the first production TFs were built.

Both TF0250 and TF0251 have survived and were later fitted with XPEG engines by the Factory. TF0250 is KBL 296 and TF0251 is 362 GME; both are taxed and on the road.

When you see the lists which follow, you’ll notice that the chassis numbers start with TF0250 and 0251 and then jump to 501 et seq. Again, as quite a few of you know, the reason for this was that a new unified Nuffield car number prefix system was introduced in April 1952. It was brought into use from this date on Morris and Wolseley cars built at Cowley, but did not find its way to Abingdon until the autumn of 1953, when it was introduced on the TF, the ZA Magnette and the Riley Pathfinder, which were all then going into production.

To quote from Anders Ditlev Clausager’s Factory-Original MG T-Series “The Nuffield car or chassis number system prescribed a five character alpha- numeric prefix of three letters and two numbers. The series of numbers began with 501 which was the traditional starting number for Wolseley and later Morris cars, in the same way that MG’s traditional starting number had previously been 251.”

The first two of the three letters stayed constant as ‘HD’ where ‘H’ signified MG Midget and ‘D’ open two-seater bodywork’. The third letter indicated the paint colour, where A = Black, C = Red, E = Green (to name some popular colours).

The first of the two numbers indicated the market type e.g., ‘1’ for Home market, ‘2’ and ‘3’ for Export RHD and LHD, ‘4’ for North American Export and ‘5’ and ‘6’ for CKD cars, either LHD or RHD.

The second number indicated the paint finish e.g. 

 ‘6’ for cellulose on body, synthetic on wings (standard finish on TFs in all colours other than green); ‘3’ all-cellulose paint finish (normal on green TFs). ‘5’ for primer finish found on CKD cars.

A couple of examples:

HDE 13 (a green Home market car).
HDC 46 (a red North American Export car).

Thanks to the adoption of the Nuffield car number prefix system, the TF is the only model in the T-Series for which we can identify the original colour. We could of course have identified the colours of the earlier models, had not the chassis files been destroyed in the 1960s.

Acknowledgments are due to an article in the 1989 T Register Yearbook by the author of the prototype, and to Anders Ditlev Clausager and his wonderful book Factory-Original MG T-Series.

Part 1 of the lists follow:

VIN      Reg. no.          Status             Remarks

0250    KBL 296          Taxed              prototype

0251    362 GME         Taxed              pre-production

501      RRO 606         Taxed              Home

514      ???

522      MSU 363         Taxed

524      671 UYE         Taxed

537      656 UYP         Taxed

538      DSK 155         Taxed

555      9855 MG         Taxed

563      KZ 6886          Untaxed

593      ???

588      XPU 844         Taxed              Home

599      ???

650      SUA 718         SORN              Home

651      HHS 138         Taxed              Home

652      PKC 298         Taxed              Home

653      OOF 782         Taxed              Home

655      LOU 666         N/T for road     Home

658      KAK 81            Taxed              Home

659      UJO 10            Untaxed           Home

660      UNU 560         Untaxed           Home

693      (was ASH 858)                       Home

694      XS 8350          Taxed              Home

695      CYJ 943          Untaxed           Home

696      MCR 134         N/k to DVLA    Home

697      MFG 51           N/k to DVLA    Home

725      KSK 612          Taxed

743      TSU 247          Taxed

773      TGF 67            N/k to DVLA

795      OFF 776          Taxed

916      ???

925      ???

930      198 YUG         Taxed

951      DSK 281         Untaxed

1016    JJB 580           Untaxed           Home

1030    441 UYF          SORN

1042    SFF 634          Taxed

1053    2374 MG         Taxed

1054    92 CYX            Taxed

1058    522 XUJ          Taxed

1108    ???

1110    RSU 533         Untaxed

1148    JSJ 641           Taxed              Home

1149    JJB 693           Taxed              Home

1172    ???

1209    MNM 899        Taxed              Home

1266    SXL 88            Taxed

1267    RSK 833         SORN

1295    WVD  609       N/k to DVLA

1380    FSK 973          Untaxed

1405    RWE 576        N/k to DVLA    Home

1406    GFV 725         SORN              Home

1407    STB 333          N/k to DVLA    Home

1408    OLP 826          Taxed              Home

1409    NUF 145         Taxed              Home

1411    VLF 261          N/k to DVLA

1441    377 UXL          Taxed

1443    NSJ 948          SORN

1448    HSK 229         Taxed

1457    216 XVL          Taxed

1488    724 XVC         Taxed

1510    NYU 380         Taxed              Home

1511    ONF 615         Taxed              Home

1514    MWP 401        Taxed              Home

1549    ???

1550    966 UYT          Taxed

1570    SAE 423          N/k to DVLA    Home

1628    UPD 786         Untaxed           Home

1629    287 AMG         N/k to DVLA    Home

1631    MNP 750         Taxed              Home

1632    LYS 441          Taxed              Home

1656    FSK 609          SORN

1660    ESK  654         Untaxed

1665    936 UXM         Taxed

1685    GSJ 109          Taxed

1741    OYR 288         Taxed              Home

1776    MWY 759        Taxed              Home

1788    ???

1795    ???

1809    XSU 699         Taxed

1812    SSK 135          SORN

1851    GVS 129         Taxed

1854    MSU 590         Taxed

1877    PKH 44           Taxed

1878    OLK 345          Taxed

1896    ???

1898    ???

1918    WSJ 409         Taxed

1920    LDK 5              SORN              Home

1921    TEH 678          Taxed              Home

1923    BNC 425B       N/k to DVLA    Home

1925    HCX 376         Taxed              Home

1957    SKJ 994          N/T for road     Home

1965    938 UYH         Taxed

1970    WDF 796         Untaxed

1984    TDH 152         Taxed              Home

2021    ???

2034    227 UYE         Taxed

2064    RTV 693          Taxed              Home

2065    (was 600 BMC) N/k to DVLA    Home

2066    MNP 924         Untaxed           Home

2073    ???

2094    MFG 55           N/T for road     Home

2116    ???

2146    SSU 441         Taxed

2165    345 BRE         Taxed

2166    266 BMM        Untaxed           Home

2168    FO 7394          Taxed              Home

2191    XSV 639          Taxed

2198    ???

2214    907 UYH         SORN

2215    977 YUR         Taxed

2218    ???

2226    TSK 156          Taxed

2227    HDP 461         N/k to DVLA

2238    CSK 960         Taxed

2250    275 UYM         Taxed

2262    DSJ 697          N/k to DVLA

2268    MSJ 661          Taxed

2272    CSV 868         SORN              Home

2285    KFY 343          Taxed              Home

2286    MBY 91           Taxed              Home

2289    JBO 769          SORN              Home

2291    LRS 202          SORN              Home

2293    JCO 717          N/k to DVLA    Home

2311    740 XUX         Taxed

2317    ???

2338    DAS 796         Untaxed

2340    ???

2355    7 TML              Taxed

2368    ???

2405    AAS 462          Taxed

2412    LMR 148         Taxed              Home

2413    SWE 17           Taxed              Home

2439    XSV 996          Taxed

2443    ???

2461    VPK 631          Untaxed           Home

2462    NNP 500         N/k to DVLA    Home

2463    XVX 777          Taxed              Home

2464    RBP 425         Taxed              Home

2465    SCM 646         N/k to DVLA    Home

2471    Y 954               N/k to DVLA    Home

2472    2106 TF          Taxed              Home

2525    DSN 186         Taxed              Home

2536    CSK 669         Untaxed

2538    URB 414         Taxed              Home

2557    OXL 561          N/k to DVLA

2566    ???

2582    HFR 281         Taxed              Home

2583    VSU 897         Taxed              Home

2584    NWN 284        N/k to DVLA    Home

2606    KNT 950          N/k to DVLA

2613    RRO 214         Taxed              Home

2614    995 BRE         Taxed              Home

2615    JSK 858          Taxed              Home

2675    KUN 40           Taxed              Home

2677    KFJ 818          Taxed              Home

2680    155 UYS         Taxed

2703    229 UXE         Taxed

2722    OOP 834         Taxed              Home 

2735    746 JGY          SORN              Home

2737    GCF 285         Taxed              Home

2787    SKJ 995          SORN              Home

2789    GJT 532          Taxed              Home

2793    STC 578          SORN              Home

2794    NDF 222         Taxed              Home

2820    NXT 337          SORN             

2823    GRJ 856          Taxed              Home

2824    ECP 295         Taxed              Home

2851    UAS 122         Taxed             

2853    PZ 6220          N/k to DVLA    Home

2867    KVS 893          Taxed

2884    TTD 332          Taxed              Home

2885    953 BMG         Taxed              Home

2886    212 UYM         Taxed

2895    ???

2911    ZU 8893          N/k to DVLA    CKD

2917    LSF 422          N/k to DVLA    Home

2921    MAS 493         Taxed

2937    836 XVR         SORN

2956    ???

2964    ???

2994    OVU 774         Taxed              Home

2995    OON 20           Taxed              Home

2997    LWS 292         Taxed              Home

3011    URB 394         Taxed              Home

3015    609 XUY         Taxed

3063    ???

3065    ???      (was MAA 161)

3093    JBO 499          Taxed              Home

3094    416 BMD         Untaxed           Home

3095    OWK 880        Taxed              Home

3096    700 BRP         N/k to DVLA    Home

3132    YFF 649          Taxed

3135    418 UYJ          Taxed

3141    696 XVL          Taxed

3171    312 MWP        Taxed              Home

3192    MSU 796         Taxed

3214    TVT 232          N/k to DVLA    Home

3215    UPF 458          Untaxed           Home

3216    ???                                          Home

3217    509 CBU         Taxed              Home

3218    SUM 5             Taxed              Home

3227    VVS 335          Taxed

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