Derived from the first Midget - the M type - and introduced for 1933, the two-seater J2 established the classic MG look which 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 new supercharged 'J3' sports and racing 'J4' models 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. In total, 2,083 of the two-seater version were produced between mid-1932 and early 1934. Today the J2 is one of the most sought after of pre-war MG sports cars while the ultra-rare racing J4 is even more desirable. The J4 (and J3) used the supercharged, cross-flow 746cc engine (to qualify for the '750' racing class), which was coupled to an ENV four-speed gearbox as first seen in the C-type Midget. To cope with the blown engine's increased power (around 72bhp) the J-type chassis received the 12" diameter brakes from the L-type Magna, thus addressing one of the shortcomings of the under-braked C-type.
The J4 was very expensive for such a small car priced at £495 it cost more than twice as much as a J2 and was built in strictly limited numbers, only nine being completed during 1933. Arguably, the J4's finest hour came in 1933 at the RAC International TT, held on the Ards circuit, when Hugh 'Hammy' Hamilton's car came home in 2nd place, 40 seconds behind the winning MG Magnette K3 of Tazio Nuvolari. The J4 averaged 73.46mph to the 1,100cc K3's 78.65mph, a highly creditable achievement.
Well known within the MG Car Club, this exceptionally well-presented motor car comes with a history file containing invoices and correspondence dating back to the 1950s. Built on an original factory 'J' chassis (no new rails) it was converted to J4 specification in the 1980s, restored in the late 1990s much of the work being done by marque specialist Barry Walker. Invoices totalling in excess of £25,000 had been accumulated prior to the 2003 engine rebuild carried out by Tom Dark Engineering Limited. Which included the installation of a replacement supercharger, counter-balanced Phoenix crankshaft, Carrillo pattern con-rods and Cosworth pistons.
Other noteworthy features include split track-rod steering, 12" cable brakes and a rare ENV cross-tube, gate-change gearbox. The car is finished in British Racing Green with apple green leather interior trim and bucket seats by Mike Collingburn.
'MG 2285' comes complete with full windshield and full/half tonneau cover. Documentation on file includes 11 expired MoT certificates dating back to 1988 (most recent expired April 2012), buff continuation logbook (issued 1962) and Swansea V5C registration document. Taxed and MoT'd to April 2013, this exciting MG sports car is eligible for a wide variety of events.