Derived from the first Midget - the M type - and introduced for 1933, the two-seater J2 established the classic MG look that would characterise the Abingdon marque's sports cars into the 1950s. With its deeply cutaway doors, fold-flat windscreen and fixed cycle-type mudguards, it revealed its race-bred pedigree in every line and set the British sports car fashion for many years. This new Midget was given the factory designation 'J2' and it was announced simultaneously that a new 'super-sports' J3 model and a racing J4 would quickly follow. The Midget's 847cc, overhead-camshaft, Wolseley-derived engine was coupled to a four-speed gearbox and housed in a simple chassis frame featuring half-elliptic springing all round and cable-operated 8"-diameter brakes. Thus equipped, the lightweight J2 possessed exemplary handling and steering by the standards of the day, and was good for 65mph. Today the model is one of the most sought after of pre-war MG sports cars.
This particular J2 Midget was delivered new to Australia in rolling chassis form. Ordered by MG agents Lanes Motors of Melbourne, chassis number '4211' was sent for bodying to local coachbuilder Aspinall's, who fitted it with a steel framed, door-less racing body of their own design. Lanes supplied the completed J2 to the Britannia Motors Race Team (BMRT), a privateer outfit formed by Ces Warren, Neil Gulliver and Norm Punt. It is one of eight J-Type MGs supplied by Lanes to BMRT. Research undertaken by previous owner Geoff Broadhead (see documents on file) has revealed that '4211' was registered as '130582' in February 1934 and raced by Jim B Skinner, who finished 4th in the car at the LCCA Winter 100 Race at Phillip Island that year. With three finishers out of five cars entered, the BMRT J2s won the team Prize. Together with Colin Keefer (MG J2 '4212') Skinner entered the 1935 Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, retiring after three laps when a big-end bearing failed.
There is then a sizeable gap in the J2's history, which is blank until the early 1970s. At that time the car was owned by MG dealer John Dalton of Melbourne, who sold it to Brian McLellan of Heathmont, Melbourne. In 1976 McLellan sold the now partially dismantled and body-less MG, together with a non-original and incomplete J2 engine, to Ron Wilson of Vermont, Melbourne, during whose ownership the engine was rebuilt by MG and Bugatti specialist John Porter of Warrandyte, Melbourne. The completed engine was then kept on display in Ron Wilson's office.
Little more progress had been made when the car and engine were sold circa 1980 to Alastair Jones in New Zealand where a replica conventional J2-type body was made and the restoration completed. Alastair Jones kept '4211' for some seven years before selling it to Auckland classic car dealer Charlie Conway. By 1990 the car was for sale and was purchased by Geoff and Bronwyn Gallagher, spending the next ten-or-so years on display in their private collection. When Geoff Gallagher died, the J2 was purchased by MGCC (Auckland Centre) president, Nick Wilcox and continued to be well cared for but little used. Indeed, over the course of some 27 years in New Zealand, it covered only 162 miles.
In 2007 '4211' was acquired by MGCC Auckland Centre member, Geoff Broadhead, who re-commissioned the car and got it back on the road, though little work was needed apart from an overhaul of the (non-standard) hydraulic brakes. After passing the local roadworthiness test, the J2 was ready to participate in the MGCC's Pre-'56 Group event, covering more miles (175) over the weekend run than it had in the preceding 27 years. The car was still running superbly at the finish.
Suitable for MG club trials and circuit races plus a wide variety of other speed and road events, this historic Australian J2 is described as in generally good/very good condition and comes with all EU/UK duties paid.