Name: 1952 MG TD Roadster
Year(s) Produced: 1949-1953
Number Built: 29,664
Class: Sports Car
Body Type: 2-door roadster
Engine: 1,250cc; 76.3 cu in., Straight 4
Power: 55bhp @ 5200 RPM
0-60mph: 23.5 seconds
Top Speed: 81 mph
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Length/width/height: 145 in./ 58.3 in./ 56 in.
Wheelbase: 94 in.
Base Price: US$2,115 (NADA)
Current Value: US$210,000 (Hagerty)
Ever dreamed of owning a piece of Marilyn Monroe – or Debbie Reynolds, or Carrie Fisher, or even Cary Grant for that matter? Well, somebody already had his/her dream came true on June of 2011 and hit the grand slam when a 1952 MG TD roadster that caressed the backsides of all four stars, and was actually owned by Monroe, hit the hammer in a Debbie Reynolds auction. The car also brings with it the title of being the only known car that that the iconic sexy actress ever owned.
The car made it to the big screen in the 1952 sci-fi comedy ‘Monkey Business’, starring Monroe and Grant. In fact, the radiator still bears a scar from the film: a dent from a scene in which Cary Grant ran the roadster into a fence. If you wish to see the road scene in this movie, check out the footage of this car zipping around LA with Cary Grant on the wheel. The link is provided at the end of this story.
The MG was put into storage not long after filming wrapped, and there’s no record of it being used by the studio again. After Monroe took interest of the car, actress Debbie Reynolds purchased it in 1971 during a sale of Monroe memorabilia. She hasn’t driven it much since although she did let her daughter, Carrie Fisher, get behind the wheel when Fisher was first learning to drive. Unfortunately, Fisher couldn’t quite get the hang of the transmission, and the car eventually ended back in the garage.
Reynolds had the transmission rebuilt, and slated the MG to be auctioned. A modest estimate placed the final value around $20,000 to $30,000. However as it seems, certain people had a disposition for providence especially if the name Marilyn Monroe is attached to it. In the final analysis, Profiles in History tagged the MG TD Roadster with a final auctioned value of US$ 210,000. Clearly, a pretty blonde makes a lot of difference.