On March 3, 2012 I posted a brief note about the unseen influence of the MG TA on sports cars in America due to the strong link between the MG TA and the MG TC, the car that really started the widespread interest in sports cars in North America. This post presents the direct link between the MG TA and the MG TC, the MG TB.
A 1939 MG TB
The MG TB came about when a new engine was installed in the previous MG TA model. This happened sometime in early 1939. When World War II broke out in 1939, MG decided to discontinue car production immediately. As a result, only a few MG TB cars were ever produced. It is thought that only 379 MG TB cars were produced. Therefore the MG TB shown in this picture is indeed a rare car.
The MG TB was the Prototype For the MG TC
The MG TB model shown in these pictures is obviously a right hand drive model. I don’t know the history of this particular car by I suspect that it was directly imported from England. I doubt that MG made MG TB cars specifically for the North American market due to the small production numbers and their focus on the home market.
The Interior of the MG TB Reflected Its Low Cost Status
The MG TB had a 1,250cc four-cylinder overhead valve engine that produced about 54 horsepower with 2 SU carburetors. The MG TB had a four-speed manual transmission that was only partially synchronized. The car used Lockheed 9-inch hydraulic drum brakes.
The MB TB Shared the Same Engine as the MG TC
It is interesting that the MG TB had such a short production life that it was never fully road-tested by any magazine. Based on the performance of the MG TA and MG TC cars, it is thought that the MG TB would have a top speed in the range of 75 mph and have a 0 to 60 mph time of about 23 seconds. As you can tell the MG TB was not a high speed car, but it was a key step on the way to getting North Americans interested in sports cars and should be judged against other cars of its era. These early MG cars have always seemed to me to be the real deal when it comes to sports cars.