Lot 3167

Gene Ponder Collection

1938 MG TA Tickford Drophead Coupe by Salmons & Sons


$77,000 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Marshall, Texas



Chassis No.
Engine No.
MPJG 3210
Body No.
US Title
  • One of just 260 TA Tickford Drophead Coupes built
  • Retains matching-numbers body, chassis, and engine
  • Powered by a 1,292-cc inline-four engine mated to a four-speed manual transmission
  • Appealing convertible bodywork on a celebrated sporting chassis
Please note that this lot is titled as a 1939.
Addendum: Please note the title for this lot is in transit. A 4-6 week delay is expected.

In the pre-war era, few manufacturers were as synonymous with the traditional British sports car as MG—and few models represented the freedom they offered better than the Midget. Lightweight and nimble, these basic-yet-engaging machines opened the door of sports car ownership to the average enthusiast from 1929 until the last-of-the-line TF in 1955. In the interim, Abingdon’s line-up began to move towards larger, more powerful, and increasingly refined models, against which the TA was somewhat overshadowed. To bridge the gap between the two-seat roadster and more substantial VA series, a new TA was launched in 1938: the Tickford Drophead Coupe.

Built by Salmons & Sons, the new model featured a telescopic steering column, three-position insulated convertible top, wind-up windows paired with full height doors, and a windscreen that could be opened for ventilation. Power came via a 1,292-cubic-centimeter overhead-valve inline-four engine mated to a four-speed manual transmission, while the chassis featured front and rear sliding-trunnion suspension and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes by Lockheed. A total of 260 Tickford Drophead Coupes were built before World War II, with experts estimating around half still exist.

Chassis TA2948 is one of those rare survivors, a car all the more special for retaining the same body, chassis, and engine with which it left the MG works on 28 November 1938. Refinished in vibrant red over a beige leather interior with contrasting black soft-top, both piped in red, this smart MG presents beautifully with correct 19-inch center-laced wire wheels, gleaming brightwork, and an original-type three-spoke steering wheel. Acquired from a UK-based enthusiast in November 2015 and shipped to the United States a month later, the car was road-registered in Texas in January 2016 and has remained in the Gene Ponder Collection since.

Finished to an exacting standard, this MG is a beautiful example of one of the most desirable iterations of pre-war Midget, further benefitting not only from the accoutrement of Salmons & Sons coachwork, but also the rarity and desirability that special bodywork entails.