Prewar MGs



Old Number One and here in colour

Not the first MG ever built, but certainly the first MG "sports car" built for Cecil Kimber for use in the 1925 Lands End Trial.
14/28 14/40
The Flat Nose Radiator models
18/80
C Type
The production version of EX-120, the C type was introduced in 1931 as a racing car. It met that challenge nicely, having achieved 100 MPH on a 750 cc engine. 44 built between 1931 and 1932.
D Type
Shown here in 4-seater form, the D-type was a less-than-successful attempt at commercializing the C-type. Due to longer wheelbase and more coachwork, the D lacked the performance of its predecessor.
F Type
The first of the Magna model, the F was essentially a 6 cylinder version of the C and D. Its increased engine capacity, derived from the Wolseley Hornet, gave it a very sprightly performance. 1244 cars produced in 2-seater and 4 seater open and closed configurations between 1931 and 1932.
J Type
Considered by many as the pinnacle of pre-war MG Midgets, the J was the first of the traditional “"square-rigger”" style. Its 847 cc engine delivered a 78 MPH top speed, but its two-bearing crank was the weak link in the design. 2463 cars made during 1932 - 1934 in both 2 seater and 4 seater open configurations. The later years were produced with swept wings as standard. This 1932 J2 was a concours entrant at Surrey '96. This 1932 J2 is owned by James Healy. J Type pictured in 1949
J3
A supercharged version of the J2 with a 750 cc displacement, the J3 was designed for street and occasional trials work. Only 22 were built during 1932 and 1933.
J4
Only 9 of these J4s were ever built. Strictly not for the amateur, these cars were a serious contender in all-out racing. Arcangel Terranova from Argentina sent us these pictures: Front Line-up
K Type
Probably the most serious contender in international racing to come out of Great Britain prior to the war was the famous Magnette range K3. Here shown in its initial slab-tank style, Ks were built in a large variety of forms including single-seat, 2-seater, and 4-seater open versions as well as closed saloons. This car is the Brooklands record breaking Horton K3 single seater, photographed at MGCC Beaulieu Event in 1995. Richard Noble (of Thrust Land Speed Record fame) driving the well known Witney Straight/Dick Seamen Car at Brooklands during the MGOC Picnic in 1992.
See also John Andrew's K1 Special, KO251 and George Ward's K-Type in the style an original Delahaye poster, composed by Adrian Furniss. a very rare KN 1935 owned by Peter Prosser and again
L Type
A two seater available in 1933 as L2 Magna. Around 600 per sold. This one is the Rivers Fletcher / Elizabeth Wigg owned L Type Special seen at the VSCC Prescott Hillclimb 1994... driven here by Elizabeth Wigg.
Michael Stuart would like to know the whereabouts of this 1933 MG L Type Magna, 6cyl OH camshaft. Reg No. NJ3059.
Chris Cook's L1 Magna (and again) was photographed with roof up.
Les Hurlock's 1932 L Type Magna Coupe which he owned when living in Ipswich, Suffolk in 1954. Les recalls 'This was a hateful car but I was blinded by the MG emblem on the radiator'.
M Type
The first of the MMM (Midget - Magna - Magnette) cars, this being the Midget. Crude by modern standards, but a very willing sports car for the price in its day. The first model to be produced in large numbers. 3325 cars were made between late 1928 and mid 1932. The M type had a 4 cylinder overhead camshaft engine with a capacity of 847cc. Keith Portsmore's M type with roof up. Les Hurlock's M Type in Suffolk in the early 50's. (VX 9768). Here's one on the road. M -type at Loseley Park, Spring 2000. David Rushton of Hinstock, Shropshire competing in the 2000 VSCC Derbyshire Trial. The car has been owned and campaigned by myself in various VSCC and Octagon car Club events since 1968 and was passed onto my son for his 18th birthday.
Roger Brandon submitted this image from his 1936 family album. They look like M types from which the headlamps have dropped off!
N Type
The N was introduced in early 1934. A KD engine with 1271cc was fitted to the later K-type road cars was improved by fitting a modified cylinder head and the crankshaft used a similar design to that of the P-type engine. In addition to the two-seater, N-types were fitted with unsold K2 bodies, resulting in the ND. The NA Allinghams were built at the instigation of W.H. Allingham of Straford Place, London, as were Airline Coupes. Alan Hogg's 1935 NB Magnette as a concours entrant at Groombridge, September 1999 (engine bay). Andrew Fock's N type (NA 0279 from Australia). Rob Miller's 1936 NB from Borneo, as acquired at Auction 2003 in New Zealand. Engine bay.
P Type
The P was a much more refined Midget that its predecessor J. Its 3 bearing crank was much more robust delivering a very smooth performance with the same 847 cc displacement. The later PB had an increased displacement of 939 cc and a few more creature comforts. 2499 produced from 1934 to 1936. View a colour sales brochure. Jimmy Adams' 1935 PA. Brian Hill's PA (Australia). Barry Smith (of the "Tamar Trio") in his PB finishing the MCC Lands End Trial in 1995. Roland Kunzmann from the Black Forest in his PB
MG PB found in a barn in Bewdley, Worcs in 1959 and again. Sue Morris would like to hear from you if you recognise the registration and could identify the chassis number.
Tickford
Several chassis were acquired from MG by outside coachbuilders for use in fitting special bodies. One of the most successful of these was Salmons of Newport Pagnell. Shown here is the Tickford drophead coupe in famous three-quarter or “coupe de ville” position. VA(White), WA(Red with Black wings), VA Tourer(Red, owned by G Wilson)
Airline Coupe
Another of the successful special-bodied MGs was built by Allingham and known as the Airline Coupe. Built on both the P and later T chassis, the car had a curious mixture of sporting chassis and engine and luxury body.
1935 MG NB Magnette Airline Coupé owner: D Lawley
More about these Coupes
Q Type
Derived as much from the Magnette line as from the P Midget, the Q Midget was again designed to appeal to the racing enthusiast. It delivered 110 bhp from its 750 cc engine - no small feat of engineering. Its lack of commercial success is perhaps attributable to the fact that the £555 price tag put it beyond the means of the average enthusiast. Thus only 8 were ever built making it the lowest production of any pre-war MG.
R Type
Yet another attempt to capture the glories of racing by the MG Car Company, the R type represented the further experimentation in redesigned chassis and suspension started in the Q type, this time in monoposto or single-seater configuration. A bit heavy to match earlier successes, the Q fell victim of the close of factory racing in 1936. 10 of these were nonetheless produced before this in 1935.
SA
Perhaps to try and match its rival Jaguar Car Company, the SA was introduced in 1936 by the MG design team now located in Cowley. This was a true luxury saloon car based on a very large chassis and 6 cylinder, 2 litre engine. More information available. Also a picture of a special Swiss bodied 1939 SA/WA. SA Engine detail. SA Saloon owned by "Johnny" Walker. SA owned by Len James, again, and again. Len James and Adrian Priestly with Len's SA at Silverstone 1999

SVW cars at Harewood Hall Leeds, 1999 [1] [2] [3].

Ben Gilbert's 1938 SA Tickford QD 9483 after complete overhaul in summer 2000. Located in Miami, Florida, USA. from behind engine interior front interior rear

Paul and Sallie with their 1937 SA

MG SA from New Zealand.

VA and in colour and again
Said to be a replacement for the Magnette, the VA never lived up to that claim. Its engine was a low revving unit never capable of the type of performance claimed by the earlier cars. Nonetheless, the car had appeal for the open-motoring crowd with versions in 4- seater open tourer, saloon, and Tickford body styles. 2 VA's (Maroon one owned by Bas de Voogt from Holland and Grey VA JEV 11 owned by Graham Page from Colchester). VA Tickford F2 5814 in correct colour scheme
WA
Undoubtedly the largest MG ever built, the WA was an updating of the earlier SA, now becoming a bit dated. Now upgraded to a 2.6 litre engine, some 369 of these models were built before production was halted by World War II. WA Tickford. This vehicle is a 1939 MG WA 2.6 Saloon - chassis No 0590.

Own a pre-war car? Did you know about the MG Octagon Car Club?


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