1997 Don Martine had the unusual opportunity to purchase a rare
1955 MGTF 1500 Pickup. A good friend of Don’s told him
about a man in Fresno who had a highly modified MGTD race car
that he might be interested in. Don called Jack Anderson and
he was invited to see the racecar and the TF Pickup, also. Don
was intrigued and off they went. Jack and his brother had raced
the TD throughout the west in the early 50’s. We already
owned the Von Neuman TD Special that won a lot of these races
so our interest flowed to the TF Pickup.
bought the TF new and enjoyed driving it for many years. He
developed MS and began to lose the ability to walk distances.
He could still drive it but he needed a place to put his wheel
chair. He restored the TF extending the frame 12 inches, making
new rear side panels, making a pickup box and rear drop door.
He used Ford Comet pickup hardware so the rear door works and
looks factory. He put an MGA gas tank under the pickup box and
built a side mount on the right front to carry the spare. All
the original parts were saved and Don now has them also.
then built racks for the pickup box on which he could tie down
his snowboard when he went to the Sierras in the winter. Over
time the MS disabled his left leg totally and he installed a
vacuum clutch. Eventually he could no longer drive the pickup.
Jack then re-restored the TF and Don was able to purchase it.
TF has been to events all around the west. We use it as a parts
car and run-around vehicle. It drives very well. It draws a
lot of attention wherever it goes. The most frequently asked
question is, “Is it a factory produced pickup?”
have done a lot of engine work on it and it is very fast. We
have flowed, ported and relieved the head; installed heavier
valve springs, ¾ race cam; polished, filled, and beveled
SU Carbs; balanced the engine; installed Scot crank, Airies
pistons, stock rods. We have changed the rear end ratio to give
lower RPM on the highway. The TF cruises between 65 and 80mph
with no problems.
has had parade laps on a lot of the west coast tracks, is rallied
and shown. Don
has not tried to enter the TF 1500 in the NASCAR Truck Series