The New England M.G. ‘T’ Register has a long history of providing its members with advice and technical expertise on the restoration and maintenance of our special cars. We present some of our favorite technical articles and tips here for members and visitors alike.
Radiator Grille Slats
Chip was surprised to see this come again as a questionable area because it was settled years ago, or was it?
Frank Churchill’s favorite saying used to be “If you chrome the slats you gotta chrome the upholstery.” The late TD Mark II MGs did have chrome plated slats as well as a black on white radiator emblem in place of the usual brown or cream color combination. This applies to most (not all) Mark IIs after chassis #22613 (December 1, 1952). On the TF, of course, the slats were always plated and the emblem was black on white.
On all other grille slats (TA, TB, TC and TD) the grille slats usually matched the color of the upholstery. Sometimes the slats also matched the color of the body. Some "experts" have said that certain interior/exterior color combinations were done one way, there were exceptions to the rule. This is not confirmed by factory literature or empirical evidence. The Clipper Blue cars are a good case in point. While you have heard it said that they all had blue grilles, some of them did not. Chip has seen enough un-restored Clipper Blue cars to confirm the suspicion that they came both ways. They also did have the slats matching their Biscuit upholstery. Clipper Blue cars always had Biscuit colored upholstery, but sometimes the slats were painted Light Tan and in other cases they were painted Clipper Blue.
Until we are able to prove otherwise, it is probably safest to say that the grille may be painted to match either the exterior color or the interior color, whichever the owner prefers. This leaves it up to the taste of the owner while still providing a reasonable guarantee of originality. (This is true as long as you stick to the original interior and exterior colors for your particular model and your MG).
by R. J. Gift #4884
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Disclaimer: All Tech Tips presented here are copyright of The New England M.G. ‘T’ Register. Be advised that every effort was made to verify the validity of each tip. But as in any free advice, it’s up to the user to judge the usefulness of each tip presented here.