MGExp

T-Series & Prewar Forum

TF on my bucket list

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bug88 Avatar
bug88 Chas T
south central, IN, USA   USA
1975 MG MGB
As I restore my 75 B...........I can see a TF in my future ....) What are some things to look out for when deciding what TF to buy?
I don't mind it not running as I might just store it for a wile.

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RoyzMG Avatar
RoyzMG Roy Challberg
Livermore, California, USA   USA
There was a recent post on this subject ----

http://www.mgexp.com/phorum/read.php?46,3561945

Cheers,
Roy

LaVerne Avatar
LaVerne LaVerne Downey
Fruita, Colorado, USA   USA
1954 MG TF "Green Hornet"
1969 MG MGB
You will be way ahead dollar wise if you find one already restored.

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Paul J Avatar
Locust Grove, ok, USA   USA
In reply to # 3571543 by LaVerne You will be way ahead dollar wise if you find one already restored.

I agree with that totally! eye rolling smiley PJ

Jack Long Avatar
Forest Hill, Maryland, USA   USA
1955 MG TF 1500 "Harriet"
1974 MG MGB "Lucy"
Agreed on buying a car that's already been restored, unless you are a skilled mechanic/body man/wooodworker. There are good cars out there, but it takes some searching. I found mine about 4 years ago after looking at many, many cars that had serious needs.


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Paul J Avatar
Locust Grove, ok, USA   USA
That's a nice looking TF Jack thumbs up, I really like the color, another thumbs up! PJ

RoyzMG Avatar
RoyzMG Roy Challberg
Livermore, California, USA   USA
Disagree with some of the comments above. Yes, you would be "money ahead" if you bought an MG that was already restored. But some of us like to work with our hands and enjoy the process of restoring an automobile. Certainly no one will get rich restoring an MG, especially since the prices have not changed much over the last few years. But some of us enjoy the disassembly, cleaning and rebuilding of an old car. You don't really need to be an expert in wood working, nor a professional mechanic to do a lot of the work (although it helps). A lot of the work can be done with simple hand tools and a lot of elbow grease. Nothing can give one more pride than to finish a part of the restoration, even to a small extent and be able to say "I did it myself".

Cheers,
Roy

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LaVerne Avatar
LaVerne LaVerne Downey
Fruita, Colorado, USA   USA
1954 MG TF "Green Hornet"
1969 MG MGB
I've done a nut and bolt on both a TF and a TD and I'll stand by my statement. It's cheaper to buy one already finished. That said I do/did enjoy the process.

Find one that is complete...some of the parts for a TF are unobtainium....like the grille shell...wiper knobs.etc. Some can be found but at great expense...like the gauges, dash panel etc. The first concern on any T car is the condition of the wood. The second is the condition of the wood. Yes the wood can be replaced but it is a great deal of work to get it right.

TD4834 Avatar
TD4834 Bill Chasser
Sacramento, CA, USA   USA
Although Roy's and LaVerne's statements both have merits, I tend to agree with LaVerne more. You will certainly be money ahead if you by a car properly restored and let the restorer take the financial hit. I say this merely because the cost of a proper t type restoration will far exceed its finished value even when doing the work yourself. Not
Mentioning a shop's labor rate which is just plain folly unless you have no skills and money burning holes in your pockets. LaVerne can attest to resale value after restoration

But like Laverne, Roy ( I'm presuming only because I don't know him), myself and many others, we all get satisfaction from resurrecting these beautiful little cars. Simple as they are however one must have some skills and the fortitude to carry a project through. Many sadly do not, hence, why so many of these cars are basketcases and have been languishing in garages, barns and heaven forbid in backyards under tarps ten, twenty, thirty, forty even sixty years.

I will whole heartedly disagree with Roy on his idea regarding timber replacement. You can not go into timber repairs with your eyes closed and expect a good result. Even in kit form timbers must be measured, fitted, shaped, removed, measured again ....rinse and repeat as many times as necessary to get the job done right. Make bonehead mistakes during mock up and final fitting and your left with $1k's of worthless kindling for the winters fireplace. Ask me how I know. Even after reading $1C's worth of books on the subject of tub construction and carriage building all of which leave a lot to be desired.

That being said, you have to decide what you are truly capable of doing. Do you have more than mediocre mechanical, electrical and woodworking skills? Do you have deep pockets? Do you have the needed space to take on a restoration or just enough room to park a car in the garage? Do you
truly have the fortitude to take on a less than desirable project? Once you can answer these minimal thoughts honestly then you know the type of car to look for.

A couple of parting observations. TFs are particularly expensive to restore as many parts are now made of unobtainium and originals must be restored no matter how bad they are and the costs associated with it. They are also a PIA to work on in the engine compartments due to the lack of unobstructed access.

And those are My Final Thoughts

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MGTF1500 Ardeche France Thierry SUCHIER
TOURNON SUR RHONE, Rhône-Alpes Auvergne, France   FRA
+ 1 with Bill smileys with beer

Paul J Avatar
Locust Grove, ok, USA   USA
LOL! Perfect description of a TF Bill! thumbs up , but you have to admit, they are a lovable machine when done. I wouldn't trade mine for anything! Well. maybe a 120 or 140 Jag. grinning smiley PJ

TD4834 Avatar
TD4834 Bill Chasser
Sacramento, CA, USA   USA
When I bought TD-4834 as a basket case the seller also had a running TF 1500 for sale. It sold for $5k but my heart was in the TD. Had I had the money I would have bought both. It originated from the Monterey CA area and the person who bought it was also from Monterey and remembered the car from the '60s. A women had owned it and I found out from the new owner she had built the engine up to stage 4 specs. It was quite the hot rod apparently and the new owner was tickled to get it and return to Monterey

Buckdendave David Hill
St Neots, Cambridgeshire, UK   GBR
1954 MG TF
The lack of an economic case for restoring a car yourself is more than made up for from the satisfaction gained in doing it. More than that is when and if you show the car or take to an event, there is something more satisfying, and dare I say honest about it, when you know its your own work and not that of somebody else. I know that not all will agree.
Dave H

LaVerne Avatar
LaVerne LaVerne Downey
Fruita, Colorado, USA   USA
1954 MG TF "Green Hornet"
1969 MG MGB
That's true Dave and I did all of the work on mine with the exception of the engine machine work, chrome plating, some powder coating and the shock rebuilds. I was just making a point that with few exceptions that if you restore one yourself that you will be way under water dollar wise with few exceptions even doing all of the work yourself. If you enjoy the work and have the funds ...go for it. If you are looking for an investment.... run away.

Looking at some Road & Track magazines from the early 70's not long ago I saw that the asking prices for TC's TD's and TF's haven't changed in almost 50 years. Which means the value has gone down considerably due to inflation. On the other hand if I could go back in time I'd pick up some that I saw...like a 275 GTB Ferrari for 6000 bucks or maybe the 289 Cobra for 5200 dollars....or maybe the Gullwing Mercedes for 3100.

Buckdendave David Hill
St Neots, Cambridgeshire, UK   GBR
1954 MG TF
Yes I agree entirely. My list of things I contracted out is identical. I even did the paint -- its not perfect, but its ok. I always regret not buying an AC Ace when they were lot more affordable than they are now. The problem with TDs and TFs is that people keeping finding and restoring them, there are just too many about. We should stop encouraging them!
Dave H

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