MG TA Tickford Drophead Coupe
The MG TA was introduced in 1936 with The Autocar declaring, “Though there have been many changes noticeable in the latest T-Series MG Midget by anyone who has been well acquainted with its extremely popular forerunners, in character the car remains of the same type. That is, it gives an unusually good performance for its engine size, handles in a distinctly better manner than the ordinary touring vehicle, and processes those touches in the ‘tout ensemble’ that endear it to the owner with sporting tendencies.”
The improved ride came courtesy of hydraulic shock absorbers now fitted front and rear. Synchromesh was added to fourth, third and second gears, which precipitated faster gear changes, while the addition of hydraulic brakes provided improved stopping power.
The TA ultimately claimed the title as the most popular prewar MG with just over 3,000 examples built. Of those it is estimated that only about 260 examples were fitted with stylish Tickford Drophead Coupé bodies, their numbers limited due to the high cost of production. The Tickford Coupé body was actually built by coachbuilder Sammons of Newport Pagnell. The fully lined and padded top, its trademark, could be folded completely or left partially open in the classic Coupe de Ville style. Other features in addition to the unique three-position Tickford top include roll-up windows, full leather interior with carpeting, the highly desirable Bluemel steering wheel, separate bucket seats and trafficators.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
52.4 bhp, 1,292cc over head valve pushrod four-cylinder engine, dual semi downdraught SU carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, front and rear sliding trunnion suspension and nine inch Lockheed hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 94".
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel