May 2017 – 1935 N-Type Magnette


This car was built at the end of 1935, and it carries the chassis number of the last ohc M.G. built pre-war. However, it appears to have been sold at around that time to William H Haden, the noted Midlands-based trials driver. It was a standard four-seat tourer, but he had a supercharger fitted, and used it in a number of trials early in 1936. He then changed his allegiance for a new TA Midget, probably at a “special price”, and the NA was traded in against it, remaining at the Factory for a time.

The Irish driver Walter Furey had, in 1935, won the 200 mile handicap race at Phoenix Park, driving an NA special, but unsupercharged. He apparently wrote to Kimber at MG asking for support for the 1936 race, and Kimber had to write back saying that all support for racing had ceased, but in view of the prestigious race he had won, he was offered the supercharged NA which had turned up at the Factory.

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Furey mounted his special body on the car, and won the event for a second year. Evidence for this is that he won in 1936 at a greater speed, in a car declared as supercharged. I also had a letter from one of Walter’s helpers pre-war, who said this is what happened.
I bought the car as a rolling chassis in the seventies, and a number of years later rebuilt it in its present form, which features a copy of an NE body. In building the car I was greatly helped by the owner of JB4706, Peter Thelander, who provided templates. The car represents his car as it was in 1937, fitted with a supercharger, and which was raced successfully by F.W.Carr and others.

The building took exactly twelve months, 1990/1991, and in October 1991 we took the car on the first New England Raid, driving it for 1500 miles without major problem.
On return we set about developing the car, eventually tuning it to give around 200 bhp (from 1100cc, remember), and raced it for the next fifteen years or so, often sharing the driving with my daughter, Jane Metcalfe.

In 2001, ownership was officially transferred to Jane, although she still allows Dad to drive it from time to time, in return for maintenance!

It has recently been de-tuned for road use, and was seen racing at the MG Silverstone Meeting in June 2009, and at number of VSCC events. It also competed last year in the “Racing Legends” series for pre-war sports cars, where it had the distinction of having the smallest engine, but was by no means the slowest car there, and finished all three events.. It ran in various MGCC and VSCC events this year, driven by Jane or Tim, and even was on loan at the Donington Vintage meeting to a friend in the Ladies’ Race. Jane won the VSCC 75th Anniversary Ladies Award at Prescott in August.

Owner: Mike Allison
Make/model: N-Type Magnette
Month/year of manufacture: 1935
Colour: Brown and cream (Cream Cracker team colours)
Engine size/type: 1100cc six cylinder ohc unit, supercharged at 10/12 psi boost
BHP: –
Top speed: –
Gearbox type: Wilson Preselector four speed and reverse unit
Area:  Newbury, Berkshire
Date purchased: 1970s

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