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Modern Art Monday: 1952 MG TD Midget Rat Rod

Scott Ith July 23, 2012 Cars You Should Know, Modern Art Monday 11 Comments

The local race track holds an annual event called the Graffiti Drags.  For this one night, only cars 1979 and older are allowed.  It makes for great photo opportunites as you sit back and watch all the vintage hot rods screaming down the track.  Then, once in a while, you notice something that doesn’t quite fit with the crowd of V8 Fords, Chevelles, and Mustangs.  In this case, it was a 1952 MG TD Midget.  It met all the requirements for the event, which were age and be safe enough to run down the 1/8 mile track.  It was, and it did, in a gentlemanly, yet rough-around-the-edges, manner.

The fiberglass hard top is a hand made addition.  Other than that, there aren’t many body mods.  The engine remains MG, though I couldn’t be sure if it was of the correct vintage.  The Mooneyes hubcaps even strangely seem to work.  This car and its owner made no apologies for who and what they were.  I salute them both for it.


The car’s owner was quick to point out the impressive signature on the spare tire hub cap.  Mario Andretti, the legend himself, signed this hub cap (and the glove box door) at a previous event.  I say, if it’s good enough for Mario to put his name on it, it’s good enough for me. 

Don’t forget, this event (held at Rocky Mountain Raceway) was about drag racing, and the MG didn’t shy away.  The owner took the maximum number of practice laps and then participated in bracket eliminations.  Unfortunately, he lost in the first round on a break out.

The old chap wasn’t the fastest car on the track that night, but it was certainly the most unique…or was it?

What are the odds that there would be two MGs running at the Graffiti Drags?  Apparently 100%.  Who would have thought?


Scott Ith is an Associate Editor with Hooniverse.com, but he also contributes to his own site NeedThatCar.com.  Buzz over there for more about hoons in midgets.

  • jeepjeff

    I like it. The moon discs look great.

  • RegalRegalia

    My neighbor growing up had a 53 in BRG. I always thought it was an inherently beautiful design. This example proves that these girls depend on their makeup. I vote disgusting.

  • What's not to like?

    I think I'd rather run drags in that Pinto Runabout, though.

  • Nicest rat rod I have seen in a while, shocking as that is.

  • Dan

    I've always thought of a rat rod as a hot rod in the making, or a deteriorated, old hot rod that still gets good use. With that said, I'm not a big fan of some of the rat rods where people weld together a bunch of rusty parts and call it a rat rod. Some are still kinda cool though.

    • The rat rod thing is played. This seems to me to be more a drivable unrestored than a rat rod.

      • I went with "rat rod" because that's how this car's owner referred to it.

  • Joe_Btfsplk

    The mix of primer colors lend a whiff of sophistication that most "Rat Rods" lack. Love it!

  • 4doornomore

    Needs more motor.

    There's plenty of British steel in the old jalopy mags. Roots hot rodding is taking what you own and making it faster.

    BTW, it most resembles the golf carts behind it in picture #4…

  • I think that this is just way too much fun. Hey, the guy has his car set up the way he likes it, it looks absolutely unique, and he's not afraid to run it and just have a great time while doing just that. Sure, rat rods are becoming cliche, but there's nothing at all overdone when it's an MGTD that's driven in anger on a dragstrip. What's not to love about this? I like the fact that the rubber bumper MG Midget was there at the same event. Great stuff.


    For future reference, it is quite simply outré to refer to one of the Queen's own motor vehicles as a "Rat" Rod.__Any proper British motor vehicle adorned with such an austere appearance must be referred to as a Rodent Rod.