This is going to be a short one. I recovered these photos recently, after having forgotten about them for about four years. In the summer of 2012, I went to the town of Harogate in Yorkshire (on a ferry, via Belgium) to take part in the International Citroen Car Club Rally (ICCCR), a global Citrofest held every four years. Quite apart from the numerous Citroens I photographed on this occasion, a few other interesting CCs lurked in the town itself. Such as this rare pre-war 6-cyl. MG.
My memory isn’t great on this MG, but I did speak to the owner and I remember him telling me that this was an N-Type, with a 1.3 litre 6-cyl. OHC engine. I cannot remember whether this is a re-bodied or partially-re-bodied car, but it was not 100% original (wood-framed cars this old rarely are). Not being even remotely specialized in MG, especially the pre-war kind, I was unable to fully assess the scarcity of this particular model, which was made from 1934 to 1936 in two series — for a total of about 700 chassis. There were a few with two-door saloon bodies, as well as a handful of the Allingham “Airline” aerodynamic coupes, but most became two- or four-passenger open cars.
Some MGs are a bit too small and short for my taste. The Midgets (be they pre- or post-war), the T-series and most of the early ’30s stuff is just too minute. This N-Type though, which boasted the first new MG chassis, was a rather well-proportioned design, especially compared to the 4-cyl. MGs. After the N-Type, MG reverted using a Wolseley / Morris chassis and OHV 6-cyl. engine — but the 2-litre MG SA was in a different price class altogether. The cheap, small 6-cyl. roadster was later incarnated by Triumph, Austin-Healey and others in the ’50s and ’60s, was incarnated by MG back in the ’30s.
The nitty-gritty of the detailing on cars of that era is just irresistible. Nearly every bit of the car that could have an octogonal MG logo had one, including screws, bolts and what not. I wish I had more photos to illustrate what I distinctly remember, but alas, I have only two. Still, aside from the taillamps (and the cable brakes), there’s not much to be said against this brilliant example of its species. The British roadster has had many incarnations, but was it ever more accomplished and beautiful as this?
Are those “Audax” Hillman Minx rear lights I see ? I fitted the very same ones to my ’46 Anglia.
Who new MG made little 6 cylinder cars ? I rode once in a 30s PB Midget that a school friend had bought. It had the OHC Morris Minor engine, that used a vertical dynamo as a camshaft drive . Very clever – until the dynamo needs maintenance….
Sweet car, this “N” type, but I prefer the look of the models with “slab” petrol tank on the back.
Double “R” in Harrogate , BTW.
Wolseleys used shaft driven OHC since the end of WW1 they got the idea from building Hispano aircraft engines for the airforce putting the generator in the cam drive left it vulnerable to oil leaks and resulting charging problems great idea but not with the oil seal technology available at the time.
Basically a MG version of the Wolseley Hornet, A friend has a very rare Hornet sedan most were roadsters like this MG, very cool find.
What a find. A truly outstandingly beautiful machine.
Lovely car, and a nice write up. Its not clear from the photos if this is a 2 o r 4 seat version, but I suspect the rear seat was not that comfortable.
Next up, Citroen Fest photos? Pleeeeeease!
I’ve always wanted to see one of these. Great find. Did you have a chance to hear that neat small six?
Thanks for posting this. A beautiful car with excellent proportions and attention to detail. It’s hard not to smile at least a little when you see something like this.
The ad says “The Best Small Car in the world”. Have to appreciate their pride and confidence in their product. MG’s were always about the fun and joy of driving, and their performance heritage (the MG slogan was once “Safety Fast!”).
Hopefully wherever automotive design heads in the future there will always be an element of fun that can be found, with companies proud of their product and even of being a little different.
There is a long narrow slot with chrome trim on the side just to the rear of the bonnet. I see slots on both sides in other photos. What are they for?
Guessing here, but that might be a semiphore type turn signal, like this…
Excellent guess, it must be. Fascinating, thanks.