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MGTF

Book Reviews

These pages contain our reviews on MGTF related books that we have in our collections. This is a rather small list and is specific to books that deal with the MGTF. These reviews are our own personal observations and likes about these books as they pertain to information about the MGTF. If a publication is disliked by one of us, you may find it of great value. Also we do not attempt to evaluate these books on anything more than the information they provide specifically to an MGTF owner, especially in the interest of originality or restoration value.



T-Series Complete Story

Ratings: Original Content/Pictures/Value
B+/B+/B+
Reviewer: Chris Couper
MG T-Series The Complete Story by Graham Robson; The Crowood Press, 1998.

A fairly good overview of the entire T series line of cars. Most of the book is dedicated to the pre TF cars. Interestingly enough the author chooses as his favorite car, the MGTF. There are a number of MGTF pictures. The sources are not cited but they do look like factory photos when you look at details such as the tires. Most of these are available in other publications as well but here the quality is much better. This book does provide some insight into the overall history of the T-Series and gives a perspective of where the TF fits into its' family. There is also a good write-up of how the MGTF came about. This book makes for good reading about the MGTF but I wished it had more information useful to someone who is restoring the MGTF. A good addition to your library but not the first book you should obtain.


Original MG T Series

Ratings: Original Content/Pictures/Value
A/B/A
Reviewer: Chris Couper
Original MG T Series, A Restorers Guide to MG TA, TB, TC, TD and TF; Anders Ditlev Clausager, Published by MBI Publishing Company, 1989

Overall this is one of the best books on the MGTF you will find. If I had to give up all my other books this would be the one to keep. While the pictures are all photographically beautiful, they are of restored cars, some questionably. Anders was the Archivist for the British Motors Industry Heritage Trust. Clearly he shows a remarkable understanding of the MGTF originality, or at least has access to the information. This book is of great value to the person who is trying to restore their MGTF to original. It would score a A+ if it only included original pictures and sales literature. That is hopefully planned for a future book.


MG World 75

Ratings: Original Content/Pictures/Value
C+/B+/B
Reviewer: Chris Couper
MG World/75, Edited by Richard L. Knudson and John M. Lavery, MG World/75, 1976

While this book is most likely unavailable, it does bear a review in case you see one at an auction or used book store. This is an overview of things MG in 1975 around the world. At that time there were a number of events MG the world over that made interesting news. In the MGTF area you will find many pictures of restored cars at events, some factory photos and brochures. There is a three page article dedicated to the TF. There are a few pictures in this book that I have not seen anywhere else before. This book probably has more value to an MG enthusiast rather than someone who is trying to restore their car to original specifications, but it is worth it if you can find one.


MG Cars 1953 - 1954

Ratings: Original Content/Pictures/Value
A-/B+/B+
Reviewer: Chris Couper
MG Cars 1952-1954, R.M. Clarke, Brooklands Books

A compilation of period articles of roadtests, tips and techniques, and other information pertaining to MG's of the period. While there are few factory images in this publication, many time articles such as these were reproduced by BMC and other MG entities to be handed out in dealer showrooms. This book provides another look at what made the MGTF popular. I would highly recommend it. This is available as a paperback reprint from many sources.


MG The Book of the Car

Ratings: Original Content/Pictures/Value
B/B/B
Reviewer: Chris Couper
MG The Book of the Car, by Anders Ditlev Clausager, Gallery Press

Less than a hundred pages overall, this large format book is dedicated to the entire MG mark. The T-Series (Chapter 6) gets about 10 pages. There are pictures of restored cars (mostly TC's and TF's). The TF gets a few pictures and the covers. There were a few factory shots but nothing of the TF assembly line. If you want a coffee table book to show people you know about the MG Mark, this may fit the bill. Overall I would rather spend my money on A Restorers Guide to MG TA, TB, TC, TD and TF by the same author.


The T-Series MG

Ratings: Original Content/Pictures/Value
A/B+/A-
Reviewer: Chris Couper
The 'T' Series MG, R. L. Knudson, A Motocars Unlimited Production, 1973

I loved this book because it was mostly original factory photos and brochures. These are the best types of sources for original information to the restorer. Although sometimes factory photos (especially first run models) are of prototype cars, they none the less are what the factory was portraying at the time. Used collectively, you can compare such images over time to see what might have changed, or to confirm elements that were uncertain. This would be one of the first books that I would acquire, and actually was a great help to me in the restoration of my car. I do wish that the quality of the images was a little better though.


MG 1945-1964 Photo Archive

Ratings: Original Content/Pictures/Value
C/C/C-
Reviewer: Chris Couper
MG 1945-1964 Photo Archive, David A. Knowles, Iconografix, 1996

A little writeup on the origination of the TF plus a few pictures. Well folks, as far as MGTF restoration related information, it just about stops here. This book is not T-Series friendly. All told there seems to be less than about a dozen pictures of T Types (3 are TF's) for the 126 pages. Sure there are some rarer photos of variants and the MGTF prototype, but little of the original MGTF. As a restoration guide this is a real loser. So if you want to get a flavor of what MG was about when it was in production, then this book might be for you. As a MGTF resource, it comes up short.


MG T Series Restoration Guide

Ratings: Original Content/Pictures/Value
A/B+/A
Reviewer: Chris Couper
MG T Series Restoration Guide, Malcolm Green, Brookland Books and Motorbooks International, 1993

A well thought out book containing valuable technical information on restoring the T Series MG. This book fills many of the gaps from the workshop manual. Malcolm includes some interesting information such as the correct hole layout for the TF firewall, underdash, and other tidbits. Malcom has also included a few additional factory photos than is normally seen. There are some great sections on bodywork for those of you who did not buy a car from California. In short this is a real great book for anyone who is planning or in the process of restoring an MGTF. Get this one as soon as you can.


MG Collectibles

Ratings: Original Content/Pictures/Value
A/A/A
Reviewer: Chris Couper
The Complete Guide to MG Collectibles, Michael Ellman-Brown, Bay View Books

This is a great book on all things that are MG collectible. While not dedicated soley to the TF there is enough TF related items in this book to make it a must have for the TF owner who also likes related collectibles. Everything from catalogs, brochures, models and toys, posters, signs, books, magazines and some photographs. Highly recommended. Originally printed in 1997, you should still be able to locate a new copy. There is an absolutely great index in the back of the book.


TF Superprofile

Ratings: Original Content/Pictures/Value
A/A/A
Reviewer: Jeff Payne
MGTF Super Profile, Jonathan Edwards, Haynes Books

The TF Super Profile, while only 56 pages in length, is an excellent addition to the TF owners library if he can find one. I obtained my copy through an e-Bay auction and have only seen one other copy for bid in the last year. The book contains driving and owners impressions as well as tips for buyers. There are several excellent cutaways of the XPAG engine, plus lubrication charts and bare chassis photos. The production figures and specifics are given in detail for the 1250 and 1500 models. The book also lists various MG clubs and organizations plus other reference books available as well as a fine photo gallery of color and black and white prints. My copy was published in 1984, most likely it is now out of print.

Barrie's Notes Ratings:Original Content/Pictures/Value
B/C/A+
Barrie's Notes. Maintaining a 1955 MGTF in the 21st Century. By Barrie Jones

Published and sold exclusively through the T Register in the UK, Barrie's Notes covers the maintenance of the TF's electrical and mechanical systems and does a very good job of explaining the eccentricities of these little British cars. Contents include for example; an explanation of engine bolt threads, gearbox rebuild, carburettor tuning, dynamo maintenance, a fault finding checklist and a comparison of rear axle ratios. I see Barrie's Notes as a usefull supplement and update to the old workshop manuals. The book is quite small, A5 size like the Operation Manual and 76 pages making it suitable to pack into the map pocket. Barrie, a qualified engineer, has owned his TF 1500 since 1966 and is the current TF registrar with the Register. - Matthew Magilton


MG T Series In Detail

Ratings:Original Content/Pictures/Value
A-/B+/B+
MG T Series in Detail, TA/TF 1935-55; Paddy Williams

This book covers the entire T series line from 1935 to the end of production of the MGTF. There is not a lot of new information on the TF in this hardcover book but the quality is good and some of the pictures are of reasonably restored cars. Chapter 6 is dedicated to the MGTF.



Ratings:Original Content/Pictures/Value
B/B-/B
MG's Abingdon Factory; Brian Moylan

This paperback book covers the MG Factory at Abingdon. Most of the book is on the modern cars and covers much of the behind the scenes activities outside of the production of the cars. There are just a few pages dedicated to the MGTF and you have seen all of the pictures before in many other publications. All in all its a worthwhile book to add to a dedicated collection but not one of the first books I would purchase.


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