TA1326 – Exported from new to USA to race

by Dick Little

When I bought TA 1326 in 1967, I had never heard of a TA. I was looking for a TC, and was told of this car’s availability. I was told the TA was “the same as a TC, only it has a different engine”.  How true!

When I saw the car, it was complete, started up well in its 25 F storage environment, and idled well after warm-up.

Only after I bought it was I told that “the clutch was dicey, but the car was driveable”. I drove it home (about 15 miles) top down in 25 F good weather.

When I looked at the car, it had cycle fenders; I assumed all TAs had cycle fenders.

TA1326 as purchased in 1967

Over the first couple of years, I replaced the clutch and drove the TA to work on good commuting days.

I joined the New England MGT Register (NEMGT) and followed up on leads to help.  As the years progressed, more and more information about MG Ts became available.

I learned that TA 1326 had been built to a special order placed by Thomas Dewart.

Tom Dewart was a member of the Automobile Racing Club of America. This was a club formed by amateur racing enthusiasts from wealthy, college-aged men from the northeastern US. The club’s history is well documented in two books listed at the end of this article. These books established this TA’s authenticity.

There are many things on this car that were not standard TA. It had been built in “Trials Car” configuration:

Aluminum bonnet, cycle fenders, oversize dampers (shock absorbers), special 2nd and 3rd gear ratios, extra instrumentation, very quick steering, heavy duty wheel spokes, and a special cylinder head had been supplied. The cylinder head, I believe, had been replaced years ago.

Extra door locks are on this car, but I don’t know if they were Factory issue.

A supercharger was added in 1938 or 1939. It had been removed many years ago and was not with the car. I have done an amateur frame up restoration over a number of years. The work was finished in 1999.

The following items comprise most of what was replaced: 

Some wood body frame members

Both sheet metal side panels which surround the doors

Upholstery and interior trim

Paint (of course)

Rebuilt wheels with original-type heavier wheel spokes


Engine rebuild, bored out 100 thousandths; rebuilt crankshaft, new pistons

TA 1326’s color is a bright red.  I knew the maroon paint on the car, when I bought it, was not original.

I found an elderly gentleman in Alexandria Bay, NY, who remembered seeing TA 1326 in her first race in 1937. I asked him if he remembered her color.

“The brightest red I ever saw” was his reply!

Accordingly, the car is painted a 1998 Ford pick-up truck bright red.  It has not faded much in almost 25 years!

I have raced the car in VSCCA events, mostly hill climbs as it is too slow on the track. I rarely drive the car now as I am almost 91 and can’t get into the car as easily as I used to.

Richard Little
Amherst, NH, USA

“American Road Racing”, John Rueter, AS Barnes and Company, USA and Thomas Yoseloff, UK American Road Racing in the 1930s, Joel Finn, Garnet Hill Publishing Co., Lib. of Congress Catalog # 95-78147 and ISBN: 0-9647769-0-1