Lot 274 - 1934 MG P-Type Special
|Result||Sold - £40,320|
- Fascinating History
- Known to the MMM register and VSCC
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", so 'Autocar' magazine reported in November of 1934. 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. With good reports in the motoring press it was no surprise that the car sold well, 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 from 1964 right up to the late-1970s with many race-winning references in Autosport, MMM and VSCC Bulletins during this time. Indeed it is noted MG racer, Ray Masters himself who contacted the office and recollects that it was, at this time, changed from a non-competitive 500cc engine to a 750cc unit, de-stroked to compete in national F3 competition in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
The body used was thought to be very reminiscent of a 250F Maserati. The chassis was shortened and reinforced with extra PA chassis rails with the front suspension 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, he recollects firsthand, 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 noted racing car builder and racer, 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 photographs 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.
We were assured by the Italian vendor that, upon the turn of the key, the car will start despite not running for 20 years but this has not been our experience. We would advise any potential buyer to assume this to be a non-runner. There is a problem with the rubber brake seal, a matter of £10 apparently although we would certainly recommend that a full program of recommissioning take place. The straightforward engineering employed throughout its life should not represent significant issues, however.
Whilst the FIA papers are now out of date, it is still currently registered with the Triple-M register and recognised by the VSCC last July, 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-owners, Colin Warrington, Ray Masters and the VSCC.
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