Portola Hotel & Spa
17 - 18 August 2012
Lot 106

1948 MG TC Roadster


$66,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
TC 5473
Engine No.

Shorrock-supercharged XPAG 1,250 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine, SU carburetor, four-speed manual gearbox, rigid front and rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 94"

• Owned since 1948 by E. Alan Moss, founder of Moss Motors

• Original engine with period Shorrock supercharger; rust-free California and Arizona car

• Fascinating history; featured in several books and catalogues

• Toured extensively with numerous entries in the Monterey Historics

While all classic MG sports cars are treasured by their lucky owners, this 1948 MG TC is a particularly special example with a truly exceptional history from new. Offered from single ownership since 1948, under E. Alan Moss, of Moss Motors fame, this is likely the most famous TC ever offered for sale at public auction. In fact, it represents the origins of not only Mr. Moss’ successful business enterprise but also the birth of the British sports car scene in North America after the close of the Second World War.

The TC was purchased by Mr. Moss on September 13, 1948 from the first owner, who won it as the Grand Prize in a “Why I Like Philco TVs” contest sponsored by Gough Industries, a Philco radio distributor and MG’s West Coast distributor at the time. Since the contest winner was a mother with two young children and the MG only offered seating for two, she elected to sell rather than keep her shiny new TC. She only drove the car once during her brief ownership, and Mr. Moss acquired the car almost immediately thereafter, narrowly beating out two dealers during an intense but successful bidding session.

Following participation with the TC in an early MG rally, Al started an MG club and then opened his own specialist MG repair shop, which eventually grew into Moss Motors. He raced the TC competitively early on, including several times against eventual Le Mans and Grand Prix World Champion Phil Hill during 1949. Soon after, he focused more on the “fun” aspect of the sports car experience, including “funkhana,” a much-more relaxed version of the gymkhana and autocross events that became so popular during the era. Over the following decades, Al toured cross-country and racked up many show trophies with the TC. The pair returned to the track for competition in the second edition of the Monterey Historic Races, with some 18 race entries between 1974 and 2010. In May 2011, Al drove the TC on a long-distance tour through Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.

Now showing an approximate 113,000 miles from new, the TC is finished in Bronze and Cream, the old MG Works team racing-colors, and is complemented by a set of chrome wire wheels and tasteful chrome accents. Interestingly, these changes date to when the car was only about a year old. A supercharged TF engine was fitted for 22 years, but the original engine has been reinstalled and it offers heightened performance with rare period performance parts, including a Shorrock supercharger kit. In addition, the TC provides great handling, courtesy of the capable suspension tuning of Mr. Moss. A California, and later an Arizona-based car from new, this fascinating TC has been featured in numerous books, including Al Moss’ highly entertaining autobiography The Other Moss: My Life With Cars and Horses, as well as within the pages of both Road & Track and Motor Trend. Good copies of the original logbook and several photographs, plus the car’s original Bill of Sale and owner’s manual, accompany the car at the sale as well. A wonderful example of the MG TC, the car that ignited America’s postwar sports car boom, it carries fabulous provenance and over six decades of single ownership, rendering it, bar none, one of the most desirable TCs in existence.