The T.G.Sports (1955)

  Kit Car Builder Magazine ISSUE #6 - Mar/April 2003


One of the best things about this TG Sports is its choice of donor vehicle--Miata MX5. The chassis is designed to utilize the Mazda 1600cc and 1800cc engines, automatic or 5-speed trannies, brakes, steering, gas tank, engine management system and other sundry components.
   As popular as the MGs were, they had a reputation for being expensive to maintain, oil-leaking, rust buckets. Sure they looked great but many who dare own one typically developed a love/hate relationship. The kit car industry took advantage of an MG's failings and produce replicas early on-fiber-glass bodies powered by dependable and cheap components. Thos MG kits were of course VW based in the beginning, though several manufacturers later produced ladder frames designed to accept Pinto drivetains and suspension components. The replicas were popular, and we still get a considerable amount of interest through only one manufacturer that we can think of still offers an MG replica.
    Like many of the so-called neo-classics, those replicas representing cars from the 1930s through about the mid-1950s.MG replicas have virtually disappeared from the kit car scene. No one can seem to put a finger on why those cars have virtually disappeared from the scene, though it's doubtless a matter of the severe graying of customers interested in such vintage vehicles. I think it's a little like Model T Fords. It wasn't all that many years ago that you could touch a Model T for any kind of reasonable dough and now you can buy them at very reasonable prices, while desirable cars of the 40s and early 50s are demanding high prices. I think there's probably still a considerable market out there for a nice MG-style car, give the amount of interest that still seems to exist, particularly one that possesses a high degree of quality and modern componentry. Let's face it, we have come to expect a high degree of dependability,quality and driveability in the cars we operate these days.
We no longer seem to have much tolerance for vehicles that require the services of a manual choke, brakes that need pumping, transmissions without an overdrive by pumping the accelerator pedal and other such "old school" concepts. Admit it, we love turnkey instant starts, economic cruising rpm on the highway, light-touch quick stopping, efficient and responsive computer controlled engines. We enjoy such things in our commuter vehicles, so why not in our weekenders.
    Well, as you have no doubt already accelerated ahead of me in this discussion,, such a kit car exists, or at least it will on the U.S shores by the time this reaches your mailbox. The first TG is skedded to appear at both the Knott's Berry Farm (CA) Import Kit/Replicar nationals in mid may.
    The beautiful car you see here is built in new Zealand and has been built there in numerous iterations since 1984. The TF Sports is loosely based on the 1955 MG-TF though it is not an exact replica, rather it tries to capture the spirit and style of the original. Before you chastise me for including a right-hand-drive car in a publication devoted mostly to left-hand-drives, know that the cars arriving here will have the steering wheel on the correct side. The TG is also a little different from the usual kit car in that it is what its Kiwi builder calls an SBV (Semi-Built Vehicle), a version of what we know as turnkey -minus. In short, its a project that requires little more than attachment of the donor suspension, drivetrain, brakes, windshield glass, instruments, wheels, tires and paint. And some of those items can even be included with the package.

The vintage feel of the TG Sports is unmistakable. Though the photos here show a right-hand-drive layout, the cars coming to the U.S. will all be correct-hand-drive cars. This photo shows the optional burl wood dash treatment and high-back seats. We think we would opt for the "old-fashioned" low-back seats for a more authentic look.




 A stout, galvanized and dedicated ladder frame chassis is the foundation of the TG, with all locating points and mounting holes predrilled and ready for bolt-ons. The car is a single-donor vehicle wisely utilizing a Mazda Miata MX5 for its major components. Miatas are plentiful, have plenty hop-up goodies available in the aftermarket, and are dependable and efficient in terms of engine, suspension, steering and brakes. A fully assembled TG is about the same weight as a stock Miata so the performance potential is impressive indeed. The manufacturer also promises a very quick build time, so that the car can be on the road quickly and not destined to spend a lot of time in the garage.
    The builder has also taken safety into consideration by including side intrusion bars in the doors, a front impact area and a collapsible steering column. Even the door latches are double action and "burst proof." A third brake light is also incorporated.
   Several options are also offered to upgrade the car including leather upholstery, paint, luggage carrier, badge bar, bumper overrides, wind wings, side curtains, and wire wheels.
   The TG will sell for $17,750 when it appears almost completely assembled. Even some of the options, when ordered at the time the car is ordered, will be installed. There are some no-cost options such as a choice of colors for door panels, carpeting and soft top. It's also a good idea to know the donor's engines size and transmission type prior to ordering the vehicle so that things like the wiring harness will incorporate the proper leads for engines management system.

   Given this cars cool vintage looks, its quality and the benefits of modern components like the Miata, we predict good things for the TG. When you look around at all the cool little production sports cars theses days, and their associated price tags, the TG Sports looks even better. With the TG however, you get the distinctive looks that you won't see coming and going.           KCB

Article courtesy of Kitcar Builder Magazine. Jim Youngs