Lot 233 - 1934 MG P-Type Special
|Chassis Number||PA 0881|
|Estimate||£50,000 - £60,000|
This car can be viewed in person from 14th to 18th July 2020 at our the auction site, Windsorview Lakes, Datchet, SL3 9HY
The P-Type Midget was launched in March 1934 as the replacement for the J2. It is well recognised that the P-Type had similarities with previous Magnas and Magnettes and its parentage derived from the M and J-Types. 'Autocar' magazine road tested the P-Type in November of that year and reported "This latest model is a marked improvement in all respects over its forerunners". Sales literature produced by Abingdon claimed, "In all there are over one hundred new and improved features". With good reports in the motoring press it was no surprise that the car sold well, with serious production starting at the end of January 1934; over two hundred cars a month were coming off the production lines.
Most of the design knowledge gained from previous involvement in production car trials and racing proved invaluable to the production of the P-Type. The chassis was far sturdier than the J-Type and the body was less angular and had more flowing lines.
Originally leaving Abingdon as a standard PA model, chassis PA0909, history picks up this motorcar in 1950 under the ownership of Geoff Monk and Ray Masters when the pair modified the car significantly for racing right up to the mid-1970s with many race-winning references in Autosport and VSCC Bulletins during this time. The body used was thought to be very reminiscent of a 250F Maserati. The chassis was shortened and reinforced with extra PA chassis rails. The front suspension is of wishbone type with coil springs and friction and telescopic dampers replacing the original beam and leaf springs.
Colin Warrington acquired it in 1983 and, prior to that, has memories of racing against it, noting that it was a hard competitor to beat and very successful over a number of years. Indeed, after many conversations with this noted historic racing driver, he has thrown much light on the development of this fascinating vehicle. He remembers that it was known, back in the 1970s, as a Q-type special. It had been fitted with independent front suspension and it was then he decided to rebuild it in the manner and style of the highly sought-after R-Type single-seater.
The body was built to his design and instructions by Duncan Ricketts, tailored to fit the shortened chassis which remained the same length as it was when owned by Masters. The new R-Type design was chosen to replicate one of the super-rare models; indeed an original one changed hands at auction in 2006 for £130,000.
One of the photos enclosed shows it in the paddock at either Oulton Park (June 84) or Shelsley Walsh VSCC Hill-climb event carrying either ‘Number 9’ or ‘Number 79’ whilst readied for competition at VSCC Silverstone in 1984.
Famed driver, Barrie Gillies, bought it in 1986 through to 1990 when ownership changed once again to Svend Algren in Denmark and then on to Heinz-Georg Kohl in Dorsten, Germany the following year.
The rear suspension is now of De Dion type with leaf springs and lever arms. The 746cc, Q-Type engine replaces the 847cc P-Type engine but with a Godfrey K100 supercharger bolted to the race engine with magneto ignition. A single S.U. carburettor takes care of the intake with wet sump lubrication and oil filter. A 10 gallon tank replaces the larger 19 gallon unit for competition purposes. Drive is with a four-speed, ENV75 preselector gearbox with a 4.5/1 final drive.
Brakes are of 12” x 1¼” MG type drum type, front and rear, with hydraulic operation changed over from cable in 1950. A redesigned steering layout has been installed to suit single seater status with independent front suspension using worm & peg system. 16” wire wheels replace 18” diameter standard Q-Type units with 550 x 16 to the front and 600 x 16 to the rear.
Whilst the FIA papers are now out of date, we are assured by the Italian vendor that, upon the turn of the key, the car will start despite not running for 20 years. There is a problem with the rubber brake seal, a matter of £10 apparently. A certain amount of recommissioning will be required but the straightforward engineering employed throughout its life should not represent significant issues.
Currently registered with the Triple-M register and recognised by the VSCC only last week, this significant racer may well offer the next competitor a position towards the front of the grid and, in the right hands, some silverware on the podium.
With grateful thanks to ex-owner, Colin Warrington and the VSCC.
Addendum – Direct from Svend Algren, “I bought this car from Barrie Gillies in 1990 with a burst P-type engine that had replaced the original Q-type engine. Baynton Jones built a new P-type engine for it and I raced it in Denmark, Sweden and Norway in what we called 'Nordic Cup' for pre-war cars. I won the Cup in it in '96 and '97. I also took the car to England and participated in Wiscombe Hill Climb. It ran on pure Methanol with a little R40 added. I sold it in running condition to Germany in 1999. If a new owner is interested in more details and photos from the period I owned the car, he is welcome to contact me. It is a very wonderful car!!”
Interested parties should note that whilst this car did arrive in a driving condition, it will require mechanical attention prior to use.
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Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.