Greatest road tests ever: Naylor TF 1700

15 Agosto 2022 - autocar

Greatest road tests ever: Naylor TF 1700

Lotus-tuned MG replica steered sweetly but never found success

Styled after the 1953 MG TF Midget, the TF 1700 was the product of Bradford-based Naylor Cars and cleverly blurred the line between original and replica.

The Naylor was largely underpinned by Austin Rover engineering, including the chassis, longitudinally mounted 1700cc engine and four-speed manual gearbox that sent drive to the rear wheels. Suspension was provided by double wishbones up front and a fourlink live rear axle. 

Acceleration was meagre but in line with the car’s classic ethos, and in-gear progress was respectable. High revs brought thrashiness, and wind noise was significant over 60mph with the hood up, while top-down buffeting was uncomfortable above 50mph.

Handling was secure and predictable, and understeer was well contained despite skinny front tyres. The Lotus-tuned ride was a tad choppy, while the steering was lighter than we preferred at pace and the long nose demanded a later turn-in than was initially instinctive. The brakes were adequate.

The cabin was neat and comfortable for the most part, although storage was limited to the glovebox and a shelf behind the seats and there were no door locks. Hood operation was relatively straightforward.

For Handling, build quality, hood design 

Against Lack of security, price, economy

What happened next

Naylor Cars failed after building 100 TF 1700s, and in 1986 the rights were transferred to the Hutson Motor Company who then produced the car in limited numbers. Hutson still fabricates MG T-series parts, as well as replacement panels for the Jaguar E-Type.

Factfile

Price £14,221 Engine 4 cyls in line, 1700cc, petrol Power 77bhp at 5180rpm Torque 99lb ft at 3700rpm 0-60mph 12.5sec 0-100mph na Standing quarter mile 19.5sec at 72mph Top speed 89mph Economy 25.9mpg

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