MG TF Concours d'Elegance


MG TF Concours Originality


The following details of originality relate to MGTFs. These details have been gleaned from several sources including examination of relatively untouched cars from the Abingdon Factory, factory photographs, TF parts manuals, experience re-storing concours TFs since 1976, written articles I have had published overseas plus regular discussion and verification on the “bbs td tf” MG Enthusiasts Club website over many years. The listings and points here may assist Concours Judges in as-sessing TFs, particularly in relation to ‘originality’ and ‘authenticity’.


1. Louvres under front mudguards are body colour affixed with Phillips round head, cadmium plated screws with blunted tips.

2. Originally there was a flexing gap/join where the front quarter panel meets the rear quarter panel, i.e. below the rear of the doors.

3. Body piping same colour as or similar to body. Smaller diameter piping where engine side panel abuts to radiator shell.

4. There is a front stone guard (triangular) panel in between the bottom of the radiator shell and front bumper blade. This panel assists in stabilising the front guards. Also, there is a panel (black) between the radiator shell and the bottom of the radiator core. A pair (2) of holed rubber grommets together with two (2) Phillips dome head set screws assist in affixing the front triangular stone guard to the bottom of the radiator shell and bottom radiator panel.

5. Sweep of the front mudguards and running boards should be smooth and in line with each other, i.e. not jagged or out of line.

6. The wiring under the front guards (to headlights and park lights/indicator lights) is supported by two (2) metal loops into which are inserted two (2)

split rubber grommets for each front guard. A cadmium plated clip

affixed by a set screw holding the side lamp should also be evident.

7. Door hinges are painted body colour. The doors should be a close fit to both the inside and outside of the body tub.

8. The front bumper bar spacer is half-inch only in section, steel - painted black. Rear bumper bar spacers (long) are made of cast aluminium - painted black.

9. Bumper blades (front and rear) in overhead Plan View, top edge originally WIDER compared to bottom edge (repros have the same narrow flange top and bottom). Originally rubber spacers were not fitted between the overriders and the bumper blade.

10. Fuel tank ends painted body colour with chrome on flanged edge, i.e. paint is applied to the UPPER edge line. Fuel tank straps are painted body colour.

11. Four (4) steel tie straps to differential housing tubes for brake lines. The brake lines are placed on the rear outside of the bump straps.

12. Three (3) cadmium plated steel tie straps (same width as brake line tie clips) for wiring harness to rear most (round) chassis cross member. NOTE: Small clip holding the harness is affixed to rear bottom body tub wood beam.

13. Windscreen rubber draught excluder should be fitted.

14. The TF 1500 only has rear Lucas reflectors and enamel badges “TF 1500” on side engine panels affixed with speed nuts.

15. TF 1500 wire wheels (from 6857) have deep-dished centre hubs. All had 48 spokes and were painted silver grey, not chromed.

16. Knock-offs were chrome plated with “MG” logo in the centre. NOTE: Engraving, e.g. RIGHT (OFF) SIDE and UNDO (with direction arrow).

17. Floorboards (ply) were painted satin/flat black.

18. Bolts on chassis were GENERALLY painted over black, however they were cadmium plated initially. Some parts of the chassis fittings were not painted over, e.g. horn strengthening bracket bolts on front chassis extensions. Also the nuts, bolts and washers of the front suspension and for the spare wheel carrier were not painted but instead left in cadmium plated form.

19. Exhaust System is painted black (except exhaust manifold is hot aluminium sprayed).

20. Aero (Simmonds type), nuts to spare wheel carrier bolts, also bonnet lock brackets, oil pipe to brass union, and horn to chassis extensions.

21. Check for even gapping (importantly for both sides of the car) between the rear guards inner edge and the outer edge of the rear stone guard panel. Also the side engine panel should align with the bottom edge of the scuttle panel line and the edge of the front lower part of the quarter panel.

22. The under area of both the front guards and rear guards painted same colour

as top surfaces and body - NOT with anti chip/rubberised/bituminised finish either over or under the paint, i.e. no texture finish to bodywork.

23. Headlights Lucas 700 semi-sealed with “700 Headlamp Made in England” cast in glass down on lower edge area of lenses - NOT near the centre of the Lucas bullseye.

24. Windscreen frame and stanchions affixed with Phillips head screws and bolts.

25. A clip holds the wiring harness to each rear under guard area.

26. Rear stone guard affixed on the top aspect with two (2) Phillips dome head five-sixteenth inch diameter BSF chromed set screws with one-sixteenth inch thick washers. Also two (2) quarter inch Phillips dome head chromed bolts, stone guard to spare wheel carrier.


1. The dashboard is similar to upholstery trim colour (not body colour) as are front undersides of scuttle and glovebox bases.

2. The centre instrument panel is gold metallic (light Cognac colour). Instrument knobs in bakelite, not modern black plastic.

3. NOTE: Acceptable MG Factory colour combinations, e.g. red body colour with biscuit or red upholstery, ivory body with red or green upholstery, metallic almond green body with green or biscuit upholstery, black body colour with red, green or biscuit upholstery, grey body colour with red upholstery.

4. The steering wheel centre and hub are metallic gold (similar or same as instrument panel). The steering wheel colour itself was light tan in cellulose with very light marbling (not pearlescent, black or pinkish plastic).

5. Trip meter/re-set cable plunger under passenger side glovebox with spacer and held with clip and small hex headed bolt.

6. Double wired clamp around leather gaiter/draught excluder at base of steering column.

7. Later TF 1500s have a dipping day/night Wingard (Pat. No. 662246) or Lucas interior mirror with the body chrome plated or gold painted, both with a chrome surround. TF 1250s (and some early 1500s) have “Desmo” non-dipping interior mirror.

8. Carpets are black Karvel corrugated, “corn row” pattern and unbound except behind the handbrake lever and two (2) small pieces affixed to the body tie cross piece. NOTE: The Karvel carpet over the drive shaft tunnel panel is glued on and oriented transversally with the corn rows (cross grain).

9. The hood frame and side screen frames - light tan colour (can give a slight pinkish hue with aging). T-nuts for side screen chrome strips - also painted tan colour.

10. Tonneau frames at rear of seat are interior colour.

11. Side curtain lid affixed with four (4) hex head bolts and nuts for each hinge. Hinges are unusually five-sixteenth inch knuckle three (3) points to each - all painted interior colour.

12. The side curtain compartment has four (4) ply wood panels. The centre panel is affixed to the wood subframe using four (4) BSF, countersunk, slot head set screws.

13. The side curtain box lid underside is covered with black coarse felting. Black ribbon-like material (half-inch wide) is stapled around the perimeter. Side screen floor also covered with black felting.

14. A Patent Plate is located on the driver’s side curtain frame.

15. The TF seats are wood screwed down at the rear as well as set screwed into

T nuts at the front.

16. Seats have two (2) lift-a-dot fasteners to each below the tonneau rails for fitting of the half tonneau. The seat back tacks are NOT visible, i.e. hidden under edge.

17. Tank straps are bolted with round Phillips head bolts (large head diameter) painted to match interior upholstery.

18. The actual half tonneau itself has only four (4) lift-a-dot fittings for attachment to the body tub (plus two (2) per elastic ties for rear seat attachment).

19. Hood, side screen and half tonneau material is a pale biscuit colour, i.e. not black and not vinyl. The rear most edge of the hood is screwed into the three (3) wood pieces using Phillips head wood screws and flanged washers.

20. The rear side screen cloth (lower part) is attached to the rear side screen frame by three (3) solid, dome head, aluminium rivets with an aluminium washer under the head (not nickel plated bifurcated rivets).

21. The two (2) small bolts attaching the hood cloth to the rear most hood bow are countersunk, slot head with a flanged washer underneath the head.

22. The Hidem binding which affixes the hood to the front wood tacking piece is similar colour and material to the hood cloth, i.e. not vinyl and not differently coloured.

23. The edging of the hood, side screen and half tonneau is similar in colour and material to the hood cloth colour, not coloured vinyl.

24. The fibreboard under dash panel is affixed to the under dash frame with three- sixteenth Phillips head set screws with flanged washers under the heads.

25. Clock should be working and accurate.

26. The threshold plates (under the doors) were plain aluminium affixed with seven (7) small slot-head countersunk wood screws (repros incorrectly have “MG Car Company” engraved on the plate).


1. Fuses in fuse block are 50 amp (yellow), 35 amp (white) with pointed ends and also one spare of each.

2. Engine sump fan hub and water pump - painted red, rocker cover - painted silver grey.

3. Fan blades - painted black.

4. Two (2) types of Oil Filter Canisters for TFs:

(i) Purolator (with decal) - painted light metallic sable green.

(ii) Tecalemit (with riveted badge) - painted a coppery/bronze colour.

5. Eight (8) post Lucas relay cover - cadmium plated.

6. Tool box lid underside - painted gloss/satin black. Body plate riveted on lid with four (4) solid aluminium rivets on tool box underside.

7. Tall twisted clip to hold tachometer cable to firewall. Rubber split sleeve for tachometer cable. Also a larger clip to the bulkhead affixing main wiring harness. Both painted black.

8. Rubber boot over starter switch to negative battery cable connection.

9. Bonnet lock mechanisms under bonnet halves and inside of the engine bay - cadmium plated (button/escutcheon plate and plunger guide - chromed).

10. Side engine panel brackets on the bulkhead - painted black.

11. Air Cleaner (Vokes) Covers are affixed by cadmium plated hex shallow head set screws. Front bolt to hold air cleaner to carburettor has extended, long head with screwdriver slot. The air cleaner canisters - painted semigloss/gloss black paint.

12. Fuel overflow pipes are steel (not copper) and affixed to the bearer plate with a brass clip.

13. Dust cover plate fitted to brake/clutch - to side of housing.

14. Special bracket attached to starter motor set screw for carb return spring to accelerator arm - painted engine red.

15. Clutch rods - painted black.

16. Oil filler cap - cadmium plated but with oil company’s print stamping in black lettering. Finger hold of cap - nickel plated. Small link chain - also cadmium plated - affixed to rocker cover with large, flat-head, solid aluminium rivet.

17. Wiring attached to steering rack with two (2) steel tie straps.

18. Temperature tube line is affixed to the radiator stay with three (3) tie straps (not plastic zip ties).

19. The Lucas battery case is made out of rubber. Battery filler caps - black,

negative cable is woven cotton, wax covered, terminal caps - helmet type

(Lucas Pat.). “LUCAS” lettering in red or white vertically oriented. Battery sits on a wooden tray.

20. Phillips head countersunk self tappers with blunt tips - cadmium plated around radiator shell. The radiator shell has a rubber strip for the bonnet to rest on.

21. Radiator hose clips are of the dual wire type. Bypass branch pipe also.

22. The breather tube from rocker cover to front carb - painted engine red. The two rubber hoses are affixed to the tube with four (4) Jubilee Clips, size ‘O’

(not wire clips). *Refer to the Service Parts Manual, not the pre-production print Owner’s Handbook.

23. Front support bar to side engine panel/mudguards - painted black.

24. High tension coil - Q12 on TF 1250s (end inset, not like TCs with outside base fit) - painted black.

- LA on TF 1500s (part scalloped bracket base) - not painted.

25. Brass plaque/badges on both the radiator fan guard and radiator core (Patent plate).

26. Battery restraining bar has two (2) rubber moulded buffers at corners of bar (often missing). Retainer threaded rods - painted black.

27. Toolbox lined with thick white felt. Note the covered wood block to divide out the jack.

28. The cylinder head on TF 1250s has the numbers 16842(5) cast in a sill on the front upper right hand front of the head. The numeral “5” is stamped in. The cylinder head on TF 1500s has the letters/numbers stamped in, i.e. AEF118. The rear plate of the head is affixed with round, slot head set screws, not hex heads. NOTE: Wolseley 4/44 heads were cast number 168422. The engine block on TF 1500s has the letters/numbers AEF117 cast in (located on the block adjacent to the generator).

29. The Lucas generator and Lucas starter motor - painted black. The generator pulley - painted engine red.

30. After entry to the engine bay the fuel line is clipped on the right hand radiator stay to the body stiffener bolt. The clip is placed (offside most aspect) under the nut of the bolt holding the radiator stay to bulkhead stiffener.

31. Carburettor fuel lines are braided with brass ferrules, union, banjo and nuts.

32. Side engine panels are affixed to the bulkhead and radiator with four (4) Aero (Simmonds) type nuts with additional spring washer. The bolting is oriented so that the nut is visible on the top surface.

33. Spark plug connectors on HT leads are in bakelite with printing “Champion Made in England” (not the later red version label).

34. Rubber grommet from wiper motor cable through bulkhead has open nipple.

35. The regulator has a decal warning sign. The card used for the sign is vanilla to light yellow colour.

36. There is a rubber tube from both the radiator overflow pipe end plus radiator drain cock.

37. Earth strap from the gearbox bell housing set screw to body stiffener bracket is round, not flat braid.

38. Flexible oil line (block to brass union fitting) rubber piping with wire wound over its length (not repro SS braided line).


1. Brass/bronze swivel links (upper and lower) - painted black.

2. Shock absorbers front and rear - painted black (green = replacements). Refer to evidence in Abingdon Factory photo of running chassis in yard.

3. On TF 1250s, there is a screen printed logo with the white lettering,’TF’ on the rear of the diff housing centre. The lettering is generally not available from the internet.

4. On TFs, the back brake plate has ‘DM7’ stencilled on using off white coloured paint. This coding referred to the Hardie Ferodo brake lining rating.


The tool kit itself was made of either black canvas or a black hessian/burlap material. Items such as tube spanners (3) and set spanners (3) often stamped “King Dick” as was the jack (King Dick or Shelley). Often the longest tube spanner has been replaced or missing - 8 inches in length originally. TF 1500s can have a greater predominance of King Dick versus Shelley tools. Tube spanners and set spanners can be reference stamped BSF, W, or both.


1. In TFs, many bolt/fastener manufacturers contributed to the car including SPARTS, BEES, CLR, NEWTON, GKN, NEWALL and RUBERY OWEN.

2. On well-restored cars, it is nice to see these back in the correct place. For example, the bottom area of the engine side panel is bolted to the chassis frame with five-sixteenth inch BSF, SPARTS brand. The footplate to the bolt head is fastened with BEES bolts and the rear guards are affixed to the body tub with pointed end, quarter-inch BSF RUBERY OWEN bolts (into cage nuts on the wheel arch).


MG Factory sales brochures list centre lock wire wheels, luggage carrier, external rearview mirror, badge bar (no badges for Concours) and fog/driving lamps as

optional extras. The external wing mirror is recognised as a Lucas type 160 with two (2) part knuckle mirror arms. The fog lamp and/or driving lamp is recognised as

Lucas SFT576 and Lucas SLR depending on customer preference. NOTE: With

reference to the top crest bracket with red Lucas engraving - this retaining bracket was of a smooth, plain surface, not the step crest of later years. ‘LUCAS’ cast in glass lenses above chrome nipple.

Rob Grantham 2018