header image
Parts
Homepage. This page: A late 1930s MG TA, registration CTE 502, once used by the Police service.

1. Pre-war MG TA, CTE 502.

Nikki emailed over this photograph of her Grandfather sat in his pre-war MG sportscar, and wondered if I could identify the model. It looked like a TA to me, and Jonathan (forum member) confirmed that not only is it an MG TA, chassis number TA1920, but that it was also a Police car in its early years. Although not perhaps the most obvious choice as a car for the Old Bill to nip around in, pre-war MGs (and similar models from other manufacturers) were not an uncommon sight in the less frenetic years of the 1930s. A photo of an MG TA used by the Derbyshire Police appeared in the Mystery Cars section a few years ago, and can be found on this page now, image #2.
Although Nikki doesn't mention a date for this photograph, I'm guessing it was taken some time in the 1960s.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
MG TA sportscar
A search on the DVLA site shows this MG as still being registered, as a 1938-year car, with a tax renewal date of 1980. Where is it now? I suppose it could have been scrapped and DVLA never notified of the event, but more likely I suspect that it is sat in a garage somewhere, perhaps undergoing a long-term restoration. The CTE registration code was introduced in Lancashire during November 1937, the TA presumably being delivered new to a Police division in that corner of the country.
The TA replaced the PB in 1936, and was an enlarged version of the earlier car, although now powered by a tweaked version of the 1292cc OHV Wolseley 10 engine. Production of the TA continued until 1939, during which time 3,000 cars were built, most bodied as two-seat sportscars like the example shown above.

2. A 1937 TA.

Some years ago, a reference to MG TA reg. BBL 84 was added to the "find a friend" (ie car finding) page. The son of the car's owner from 1945 had been in touch, wondering what had become of his father's old motor. Fast forward to 2015, and Nicholas contacted me via Facebook, with a photograph of the self-same car, BBL 84, in the mid-1950s. With it, he added the following details:
"[The MG is] seen outside the Dunn Inn, Cockington, Devon in 1954. The lady in the car is Audrey Hart-Still, seen with her boyfriend Frank. Sadly Audrey, a keen artist and archer, died in 1957 aged just 27. She was my cousin, and lived in Worthing. I don't know what happened to the MG TA. Lovely car, hopefully it's still being enjoyed by someone, somewhere."
1937 MG TA
Many thanks for the update, and the cracking photo, Nicholas. Can anyone else shed light on this car's story? It isn't currently logged with DVLA, although the car - chassis TA2046 - may be sat somewhere unregistered, or perhaps lives on under a new registration number, possibly abroad. In its early years, BBL 84 was active in motor sport - which explains the fitment of cycle wings on this example. Another photograph of it (a rear view) may be found in an article published on the following blog site: external link.
Return to Page 13 in the classic & vintage car photo gallery.

Custom Search
www.oldclassiccar.co.uk (C) R. Jones. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.
Website by ableweb.
Privacy Policy, Cookies & Disclaimers