Launched in May 1939, there were some cosmetic changes between the TB and the TA, most notably in changes to wheel design. The wire wheels of the TB were centre laced unlike the side laced wheels on the TA. The two seater TB also omitted the semaphore style traffic indicators found on the TA generally, although they were retained on drophead coupe models.
The bonnet side panels had different sets of cooling louvres and the nearside panel sported a bulge to accommodate the large dynamo associated with the innovative XPAG engine. The hood also had distinctive twin slots in the canvas forming the back windows—but these proved unpopular because they restricted rear vision.
It was, however, under the bonnet that the difference between the TB and TA was more evident. The four cylinder engine with a capacity of 1250c.c. was capable of a maximum speed of 87mph. This example is fitted with a 1466cc engine.
When new, the standard TB cost £225 for the two seater option; a Tickford Coupe was slightly more expensive at £270. While only 379 TB’s were built in 1939, this vehicle, chassis number 296, is still competing actively having won overall first price in the 2017 Flying Scotsman Rally and the 2017 RAC 1000 Mile Trial.
Bore and stroke: 66.5mm x 90mm
Number of cylinders: 4
Valve operation: Pushrod overhead valve
Power output: 54.4 bhp @ 5200 rpm
Clutch: Borg and Beck dry plate
Gearbox: Part synchromesh, 4 speed manual
Brakes: Lockheed hydraulic, 9” drums
Suspension: Half elliptic front and rear with sliding trunnion
and Luvax hydraulic lever arm dampers
Steering: Bishop Cam
Weight: 15.5 cwts
Car displayed courtesy of JD Classics from Friday 19 to Monday 22 January 2018.