Lot 255 - 1931 MG F Type Magna
|Engine Number||1401 FA|
|Odometer reading||5,735 miles|
|Estimate||£45,000 - £55,000|
The F Type Magna was the first in a famous line of small six cylinder MGs. Created to fill the gap between the M Type Midget and 18/80 the Magna was launched in October 1931 and utilised the smooth 1271cc overhead camshaft engine from the Wolseley Hornet (with a plate cleverly attached to the cylinder block to disguise its origin) which was available thanks to William Morris's acquisition of Wolseley Motors. The six cylinder engine featured four main bearings for the crankshaft and four bearings also supported the camshaft. It was fitted to an extended version of the C Type Midget chassis, with similar underslung rear section and trunnion supports for the springs. The back axle was of the same type as fitted to the M and D Type Midgets albeit with a higher final drive ratio to take advantage of the larger and more flexible engine and the gearbox was the excellent ENV four speed unit, as fitted to the C Type but with wider ratios. With twin one inch SU carburettors, power output was initially 37bhp at 4100rpm which was later increased to 47bhp thanks to revised valve timing.
The Magna was initially offered with two body styles, made for MG by Carbodies of Coventry - a four seater tourer and a closed foursome coupé known as the 'Salonette', although a significant number were supplied in chassis form to outside coachbuilders including Abbey, Carlton, Jarvis and Stiles. With its rakish good looks and 70mph capability, the F Type Magna had great appeal and sold in larger numbers than any other six cylinder MG of the 1930s. In August 1932 a two seater version, known as the F2, was launched which featured larger, twelve inch, brakes. These were also fitted to the four seater cars from September 1932 and given the appellation of F3. A total of 1250 F Types were produced.
The featured car is one of approximately thirty that were bodied by Jarvis of Wimbledon as a two/four seater and is one of only three known survivors. As hand built cars they are all slightly different, most notably concerning the shape and size of the rear mounted fuel tank. The MG was purchased, in need of restoration, by the vendors in 1975 from well known Kensington Vintage car dealer, Dan Margulies. The car was then stored for some years and in 2005 a full restoration was embarked upon. There is a comprehensive file detailing all the work carried out to the car including a full engine rebuild by marque specialist, The Montlhery Garage, which included the fitment of a full flow oil filter with a dedicated feed to the rear main bearing and side water pipes to the cylinder head, which was an important modification on the later cars. Other work includes the fitment of a new larger capacity fuel tank to give a longer range, new wings made to the exact design of the missing originals, overhauled and recored radiator, rebuilt carburettors and dynamo, respoked wheels and a new hood and sidescreens. More recently a fast road camshaft has been fitted to optimise performance.
Resplendent in red paintwork with black wheels and interior, the MG is the archetypal early 1930s sports car. The engine starts readily and emits a lovely six cylinder growl which, coupled with the ENV gearbox, should make it very enjoyable to drive. All the dashboard instruments are working correctly with the exception of the clock. The car comes with a current V5C registration certificate and, most interestingly, the original and very unusual white steering wheel is supplied as a spare; the owner preferring to use a more conventional black wheel. Prospective buyers should be aware that at some point in the car's life the engine has been changed for another of the exact type, which is recorded in the MG Car Club's MMM Register. This attractive F Type Magna is a rare example of an early coachbuilt six cylinder MG and offers a new owner the opportunity to take part in the wide variety of prestigious events catering for the sporting pre-war car.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.