No model made a greater contribution to MG’s fame than the TC, produced from 1945 to 1949. The first MG to reach volume production status – 10,000 in four years – it became Britain’s first postwar export success. Just over 2000 were shipped to the USA, where it was a cult car, and the two-seater also sold strongly in Australia.

The TC design was derived from the 1939 TB which, in turn, was a development of the 1936 TA. Although dated when it appeared, the 1.25-litre TC proved enormously popular and very successful in a variety of motor sports. Perhaps it was nostalgia, a yearning for the simplicity of life as it had been before the war, but it was also that the TC was an affordable fun car and people were keen to have fun in the late 1940s and early 1950s, to shake off the memories of a world at war.

TCs became more and more common on the roads and racetracks of Australia. It wasn’t long before MGs in general, and TCs in particular, were to dominate the entry lists of many motoring competitions. They were even to carry on the tradition established in the 1930s of winning an occasional Australian Grand Prix, and certainly gaining many of the major placings.

The TC was launched as an open two-seater of typical midget style at a price of 594 pounds 10 shillings. John Crouch, the first man to race a T-type in Australia back in 1938, now became the first man to race a TC in Australia in 1946, gaining two second places at the Strathpine meeting in Queensland. Shortly afterwards, at Bathurst, the Under-1500cc Handicap had 15 entries, nine of which were MGs (three TAs, three TBs, one TC, one NE, and one P-type). Motor racing in 1947 continued to feature MGs. In the Victoria Cup at Ballarat, MG TCs were third and fourth.

The Australian GP returned to Bathurst in 1947, the first post war running of the event. Twelve of the 28 entries were MGs, and the race was won on handicap by Bill Murray in a stripped MG TC. Other MGs finished in positions 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, and 14, and so it continued in 1948.

With all this promotion for the MG marque on the race circuits, the TC was selling like hot cakes in the showrooms, rolling out the doors faster than any sports car had ever done before in this country. Erratic supply often meant long droughts of MG models until new shipments arrived.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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One Comment

  1. The TC in the photo is TC chassis number 4488 with XPAG 5132. This car survives in Melbourne.

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