(Jack Woolridge has owned TC5044 for 58 years).
“My MG story began with the International Geophysical Year expedition in 1957-58. The “Snowmobile” was perfected for use in the Arctic. By the winter of 1960-1961 the machines had come to Clearfield, Pa.
My father’s brothers bought four of them for use at the family camp. I decided we needed one too. I was twelve years old and I pestered my father to purchase one. He finally announced that I would be driving in a few years and I would not be driving his Cadillac. He said he had planned to get me an older British car called M.G. Dad was in Burma and India during WW2 and had been exposed to the British autos. He then said that if I wanted the snow sled he would get it, but there would be no M.G. This was a difficult decision for a young person. I got through the winter riding my uncle’s sleds.
As spring came, I told dad that we better start looking for an M.G. There was an MG TD owned by Jack Poole in Clearfield. It was not for sale but dad arranged that we could look at it. Dad put a wanted ad in Antique Auto and Cars & Parts. We looked at several cars but they did not suit dad. He got a call from William S. Jackson who had grown up in Clearfield, and was the editor of Antique Automobile and he had two M.G.s for sale. We went over to Lewisburg, Pa. the next day and he purchased one. He sent a coal truck the following Monday to bring it home. The 1948 MG-TC # 5044 cost $760.00 in August of 1962. The snow sleds cost $1,200.00. I still have the car and all the sleds are long gone.
TC5044 being delivered by coal truck back in 1962. This photo was taken by 13 year-old Jack.
This little car was my only transportation for four years. The M.G. was a basic machine and was not very well made. I learned to repair every part of the car. Many mechanics helped fix the things that I messed up.
I developed a passion and appreciation for all things mechanical. It was an important part of my education. Bill Jackson had given me a catalog for Moss Motors in California. I knew it inside out. There were many photos of MG people and autos on the back cover. My friends and I speculated as to what was happening in the mystical place called California. I had to call Alan Moss many times and he was always encouraging, very accommodating to my many questions.
The little car sustained major damage when the Grice Antique Auto Museum collapsed in the winter of 1997. I finally gathered the parts and made the time and put it back together in 2007.
The car was purchased new by a fellow named George L. Sterner from York, Pa. I recently found out that he raced the car at the first road races at Watkins Glen, N.Y. in 1948, 1949, and 1950. The engine rebuild exposed the .120 overbore pistons, the milled cylinder head and the induction ports were siamesed. I went to school in York and went to see Mr. Sterner. He gave me many spare parts and briefly discussed his racing. The first photo below was taken on the original road course at Watkins in 2007 and the second ‘shot’ shows the car as she is today.”
TC5044 just waiting to be driven.