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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

MG vs. Cadillac: 1955

MG vs. Cadillac: 1955

Someone took this Ektachrome slide of my uncle in his newly-acquired MG around 1955, in front of his San Francisco home (on the right). Why the Caddy limo is there, or if it's connected with the event, I don't know; based on the front fender trim, I think it's a '54. Appears to be a registration certificate taped inside the windshield. I presume it's parked facing the wrong way on the street because Cadillac limos get to do that. Next-door neighbor kid seems entranced by the scene, as I would have been. Random red clouds are unexplained as well. View full size.

MG memories

Back in the late 60s and early 70s, my dad had two MGs, a 1951 TD and a 1954 TF. The TF was the only one running at the time, and one of my earliest car memories is of riding the freeways of Houston at night with the top down. Fun stuff for a 3-4 year old kid. Thanks for the memories.

Picture perfect

With the neighbor kid looking out the window this could be a magazine ad for a MG!

Those "random red clouds"

are that oh-so-cool car's AURA leaking into the photograph. (A car that tasty is simply oozing aura to the point of visibility!)

Lifelong TD's

Started out riding in the back of my uncle's TD in the early 50's (there is no back seat) racing to a package store with my father as co-pilot down some back road. Must have caught on, as I now have owned three of them, many MGA's and B's, and Healeys. Still have two TD's, one Healey 3000 and a Bugeye, all wonderful rides.

1953 MG TD ID

Thanks, Anon., for nailing it down chapter & verse. That goes into my family photo database on all the Uncle Albert & his MG photos.

1953 MG TD

It is a 1953 TD. They made the TF in '54. It has the round taillights (late TD and TF)

Caddy

I am sure the Cadillac is 1956, the MG does look like a 1954.

[The limo is a 1954, not 1956, Cadillac. - Dave]

Series 75

I'm thinking the Cadillac was for scale, to show how small the MG was.

Idiosyncrasies

One thing you could say about the MGs is that they were full of idiosyncrasies. The dual carbs were unlike anything you'd find on a North American car. They needed a specialised device to properly synchronise them and it didn't take much to throw them out of synch. The early MGBs (like mine) used two six volt batteries in a battery box located behind the seats and just above the ground. Supposedly this helped with the center of gravity, but you really had to improvise if your battery box rusted out and there was nothing to keep the batteries in the battery box. Mine were held in with spit and baling wire - well, wire anyway, and I'm not kidding.

Pushing MGs

My best friend also had an MGA (black with the wonderful wood trim around the cockpit) in high school so I'll second the "heavy car to push" post from paula and completely get the irony of the quip, recalling how fun it was to drive and the absolute headache of all the work we had to put into it to keep it running - operative word "running" since the dual carbs were nasty to maintain, plus other mysterious mechanical and electrical aliments.

Going on memory, but the turn indicator was a left/right switch on the dash and would disengage itself only after you hit a bump. That may have been intentional on the part of the engineers... or not, we never decided but that's how it worked.

Another friend had a Sunbeam and another had a Datsun Fairlady. My first car was a '63 VW bug with a canvas sunroof that my dad repainted with a case of spray paint cans. I think it was the best of the bunch.

MG's are fantastic!

My mother had a MGA, British racing green who passed it to me. So much fun to drive on country roads in Western Mass, New Hampshire, and Vermont. But a very heavy car to push!

MG-TD

Looks like uncle fitted a non-standard radiator cap (looks like a leaping Jaguar)to his new MG-TD - the MG-TD was eventually replaced by the slightly redesigned MG-TF - an interim measure until the sleek MGA was produced. the rights to to MG-TD design were purchased by a Malaysian group who are producing a modern version of this British classic; check it out at - http://www.td-2000.com/

TC or TD?

Probably a TD. Damn I love these post war MGs (or just about any MG - I owned an aged and rusty MGB at one time and was heart-broken when I was forced to sell). Lovely proportions, just he thing for a college student who wants to look a bit more sophisticated than he could in the family sedan, and could do it at an affordable price. Thoroughly idioscincratic . When he grows up and gets married he'll replace it with some anonymous Detroit Iron and when he gets really successful he'll turn into a Cadillac owner. Someone's done a little after market modification by adding a hood ornament. MGs didn't need that short of frippery.

 
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