1933 MG L-Type Magna Tourer Registration no. JK 3375 Chassis no. L0454 Engine no. 737AL
General Manager of Oxford-based Morris Garages, Cecil Kimber brought sports car motoring within the financial reach of the man in the street with a succession of affordable MGs. These were, naturally enough, based on existing Morris models, arguably the most famous and certainly the most influential being the Midget, which first appeared at the 1928 London Motor Show. The first - M-Type - Midget was based on modified Morris Minor running gear and used the latter's 847cc single-overhead-camshaft four-cylinder engine, though it was its delightful two-seater body that set the little MG apart from its humbler progenitor. Manufactured by Carbodies of Coventry, it was narrow, light in weight and adorned by a most attractive boat tail. The latter feature was missing from the four-seater D-Type Midget that arrived in 1931, replaced by a sloping back with accommodation for a spare wheel. Broadly similar to the D-Type and introduced at the same was the six-cylinder F-Type Magna that, like its equally new four-cylinder stablemate, used a development of the under-slung chassis first seen on the racing C-Type Midget, but of longer wheelbase. Wolseley, also owned by William Morris, had been responsible for the Minor engine, and it was this unit in 12hp, 1,271cc, six-cylinder form that powered the Magna. The latter looked every inch a proper MG but possessed greater refinement than the fours thanks to its smoother, torquier and relatively vibration-free six-cylinder engine. Introduced in 1932, the F2 version boasted 12" brakes (replacing the original 8" drums) and Midget two-seater coachwork, while the mechanically similar F3 was a four-seater tourer. What would turn out to be the last of the Magna line the L-Type arrived in March 1933 boasting an engine downsized to 1,087cc but producing greater power (41bhp) thanks to a 12-port, cross-flow cylinder head. 12" brakes were retained for the L-Type chassis, which was broadly similar to that of the contemporary K-Series Magnette apart from a narrower track, while the new body featured attractive flowing wings. Top speed was in the region of 75mph. A total of 576 L1/L2 Magnas had been produced by the time production ceased in 1934. Chassis number '454' was first registered on 22nd November 1933 to Eastbourne 'Motor Agents and Engineers' Messrs Parkinson, Polson and Company, the Borough Council issued registration 'JK 3375' still being on the car today. During a 'last nut and bolt' total rebuild carried out by pre-war MG specialist Baynton Jones in 1996/7, the chassis was found to be original, though a new body with model-correct fixtures and a cotton-braided wiring loom were sourced (see invoices on file). Gerhard Meir supplied a new cylinder block, which was bored to 1,286cc, while a new crankshaft with shell bearings, new oil pump and MMM full-flow oil filter, and a camshaft with more modern profile were fitted. On completion, the car was set up and tuned on a rolling road and the engine bolts' torque settings rechecked. Due to the immediately preceding owner's work commitments, the now fully restored Magna spent the next five years well preserved in storage, although in both 2003 and 2006 it was specially fettled for trips to Goodwood. In June 2009, Simon Bish Historics was commissioned to tune the carburettors and ignition, lubricate grease points, change oils, balance brakes and carry out a road test. Since the main restoration, and as confirmed by mileages recorded on expired MoT certificates, 'JK 3375' had only covered a little over 2,000 miles when it was offered for sale at Bonhams' Goodwood Revival auction in September 2011 (Lot 261) and purchased by the current vendor. Since acquisition, the MG has been repainted at a cost of circa £3,000 and is presented for sale in generally excellent order, with beautifully re-trimmed interior and well detailed engine bay, while the double-duck hood, hood bag and full tonneau appear good as new. The car is offered with old-style logbook, sundry restoration invoices, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5 document.