Tommy's MG TD

Tommy And His Red 1952 MG TD

It's official. Tommy is definitely a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

Still mourning the death of his 1963 Dodge Dart, he went out and spent $9,000 for a car. That's $6,500 more than he has ever paid for a car in his entire, short, miserable life -- and nearly equal to the sum total investment Tom has ever made in vehicles since his young mitts first caressed a steering wheel.


Vehicle Expenses, Tom Magliozzi, 1960 Up To Purchase Of TD


Chart A



Vehicular Income, Tom Magliozzi, 1961- Present:


Chart B


Net Vehicular Investment, before MG TD: $7,025

So, it is true. The MG is more than the net that I've spent on all the 12 cars I've ever owned!

And what did he get for that amount of money? A car from 1952, no less.

Okay, so it was not just any car. He bought his dream car. A 1952 MGTD convertible. And, we have to admit, the TD looks pretty slick. (That won't last, of course. Mark our words, raccoons will be in residence before the year is out.)

This week, the lackeys at Car Talk Plaza cornered Tommy and grilled him about his extravagant--and more than a little out of character--acquisition.

Here's what he had to say for himself...

TM: The MG TD is my dream car. It always has been. I think it must have to do with something that happened in my childhood. Actually, I remember a car at some amusement park that looked like a TD. For a minute, I thought I was attempting to recapture my childhood, but my wife tells me that my childhood is alive and well -- and residing in this old, decrepit body. And besides, you try driving $500 jalopies for 40 years -- you'd cave in too.

Tommy's New Babe: MGTD

How did you find it?

TM: It was through, of course. No? Okay, actually, I did find it on the Internet, though. My brother-in-law Eugene found it. I think he typed in "fool and his money" and Google took him right to the page.

Ray told us that the MG leaks gas. It leaks oil. It won't stay in third gear. It doesn't have windows, and it has no heat or defroster. There's no radio, and the windshield wipers operate at "glacial" speed. And, just so we're clear on this, you're telling us that buying this car was a good idea?

TM: I never said it was reliable. I said it was my dream car. You're telling me you've never had weird dreams?

What are you going to do with the MG in the winter?

TM: Actually, it's a good thing we have long winters up here in the great frozen North, because chances are I'll have to spend November through March rebuilding the transmission and engine. Every year.


Tom overjoyed by fallen money

So, exactly what is it about this car that appeals to you?

TM: Well, as you know, I'm a pretty basic kind of guy. "Simplicity" and "Basic" are my middle names.

And cars don't get much more basic than this. It's got wheels and an engine and that's about it.

So, we all want to know: Does Alex get to drive it?

TM: Sure -- as soon as Amnesty International finds him and releases him from his basement cell. By that time he will probably be in his 40s and will have had plenty of time to reflect on his misdeeds, so I anticipate he'll be a much better driver.

> Check out Tom and Ray's Test Drive Review of Tommy's MG TD