17-18 August 2012

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Lot 106

1948 MG TC Roadster

  • Chassis no. TC 5473
  • Engine no. XPAG.6182

Sold for $66,000

Shorrock-supercharged XPAG 1,250 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine, SU carburetor, four-speed manual gearbox, rigid front and rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 94"

• Owned since 1948 by E. Alan Moss, founder of Moss Motors

• Original engine with period Shorrock supercharger; rust-free California and Arizona car

• Fascinating history; featured in several books and catalogues

• Toured extensively with numerous entries in the Monterey Historics

While all classic MG sports cars are treasured by their lucky owners, this 1948 MG TC is a particularly special example with a truly exceptional history from new. Offered from single ownership since 1948, under E. Alan Moss, of Moss Motors fame, this is likely the most famous TC ever offered for sale at public auction. In fact, it represents the origins of not only Mr. Moss’ successful business enterprise but also the birth of the British sports car scene in North America after the close of the Second World War.

The TC was purchased by Mr. Moss on September 13, 1948 from the first owner, who won it as the Grand Prize in a “Why I Like Philco TVs” contest sponsored by Gough Industries, a Philco radio distributor and MG’s West Coast distributor at the time. Since the contest winner was a mother with two young children and the MG only offered seating for two, she elected to sell rather than keep her shiny new TC. She only drove the car once during her brief ownership, and Mr. Moss acquired the car almost immediately thereafter, narrowly beating out two dealers during an intense but successful bidding session.

Following participation with the TC in an early MG rally, Al started an MG club and then opened his own specialist MG repair shop, which eventually grew into Moss Motors. He raced the TC competitively early on, including several times against eventual Le Mans and Grand Prix World Champion Phil Hill during 1949. Soon after, he focused more on the “fun” aspect of the sports car experience, including “funkhana,” a much-more relaxed version of the gymkhana and autocross events that became so popular during the era. Over the following decades, Al toured cross-country and racked up many show trophies with the TC. The pair returned to the track for competition in the second edition of the Monterey Historic Races, with some 18 race entries between 1974 and 2010. In May 2011, Al drove the TC on a long-distance tour through Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.

Now showing an approximate 113,000 miles from new, the TC is finished in Bronze and Cream, the old MG Works team racing-colors, and is complemented by a set of chrome wire wheels and tasteful chrome accents. Interestingly, these changes date to when the car was only about a year old. A supercharged TF engine was fitted for 22 years, but the original engine has been reinstalled and it offers heightened performance with rare period performance parts, including a Shorrock supercharger kit. In addition, the TC provides great handling, courtesy of the capable suspension tuning of Mr. Moss. A California, and later an Arizona-based car from new, this fascinating TC has been featured in numerous books, including Al Moss’ highly entertaining autobiography The Other Moss: My Life With Cars and Horses, as well as within the pages of both Road & Track and Motor Trend. Good copies of the original logbook and several photographs, plus the car’s original Bill of Sale and owner’s manual, accompany the car at the sale as well. A wonderful example of the MG TC, the car that ignited America’s postwar sports car boom, it carries fabulous provenance and over six decades of single ownership, rendering it, bar none, one of the most desirable TCs in existence.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more