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1938 MG TA 'Tickford' Drophead Coupe by Salmons & Sons

Sold For $77,000

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Auctions - HERSHEY 6 - 7 OCTOBER 2016


Chassis No.
TA/2566
  • Completely and meticulously restored
  • A desirable, elegant, and rare example
  • Finished in MG Gold Cup Yellow
  • Tools, jack, and spare tire included

75 bhp, 1,750 cc OHV pushrod four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, front and rear sliding trunnion suspension, and nine-inch Lockheed hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 94 in.

Addendum

Please note that the original engine block as well as documentation and tool set will be shipped to the winning bidder after the sale and courtesy of the consignor.


The MG T-Type Midget—the TA model—was introduced in 1936. The T-Type was larger than its predecessors, and some devotees missed the overhead camshaft engines and non-synchromesh transmission of the older cars; however, they quickly became fans of the TA’s performance (up to 80 mph). Initially, only one TA body style was available, a traditional two-seater roadster. In 1938, an alternative was presented: the more luxurious “Tickford” Drophead Coupe body by Salmons & Sons of Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.

Salmons was a high-quality shop that had built convertible bodies for BSA, Aston Martin, Rover, and Triumph, among others, and the new style was well received. Salmons was operating under the Tickford name at the time and gave the TA a patented three-position lined convertible top—a “Drophead” in England—that, with its functional landau irons, could be fully open, partially open, or fully closed, allowing the car to be billed as weatherproof. Innovative roll-up windows and higher-topped doors added to the car’s weather resistance. It was a popular configuration that offered hardtop protection and roadster excitement. About 250 TA Tickfords were produced. It is estimated that fewer than 35 examples survive in the United States today.

The Tickford presented here had its chassis built at the MG facility in Abingdon. It was then taken to Salmons for the custom body and top. While exact dates are difficult to obtain, it is believed that the TA’s first owner was N. Heritod Glenn of Sutton, Surrey, England.

In 1977, Bruce Mentech bought the right-hand-drive car and transported it to New York. Six years later, it was purchased by Charles Osburn, Spring Valley, Ohio. Its current owner acquired the car in 2005 and soon thereafter commissioned MG specialist Tom Metcalf at Safety Fast of Mansfield, Ohio, to perform a complete ground-up restoration and engine rebuild. No expense was spared in turning the Tickford into a showpiece. Mechanical, electrical, body, and interior components were restored or replaced in compliance with original MG specifications. The factory 1,275 cubic-centimeter engine was removed, and a more powerful 1,750, 75-horsepower unit was installed. All instruments and gauges were taken from the dashboard and shipped to England for refurbishing. The body was refinished in authentic MG Gold Cup Yellow, and the interior was decked out in red leather. The burgundy top includes a clear glass window; wire wheels and hubs are new, as are the Dunlop tires. The recognizable MG vertical grille and other brightwork are pristine. The car has been protected in a heated warehouse in winter, and, impressively, since restoration, the TA has been driven a total of only 28 miles. Documentation and a tool kit are included with the car.

This Tickford is one of those very rare cars that offer its next owner the opportunity to enjoy it on the open road or proudly display it at prestigious gatherings—or both.

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