Incredibly potent 6-Cylinder SOHC with pre-selector transmission and Marshall supercharger. Well-suited to tall drivers and visceral to say the least!
1934 MG L-Magna ‘Competition Trim’ Special
VIN – L0281
Engine No. – 638/AL
Exterior Color – Blue
Interior Color – Black
Engine – Supercharged SOHC Inline 6-cylinder
Transmission – Pre-selector 4-speed #90576 AHS
Highlights of This Car
Marshall Supercharged SOHC engine with superb power
Dynamic “competition inspired” body design
Pre-Selector 4-speed gearbox
Ergonomically suited to very tall drivers
Eligible for a wide range of competition and driving events
Among the more daring British builders of sport and touring cars, the MG Company set up shop originally re-bodying Morris cars in the early 1920s. As interest grew, competition cars became a driving force behind their engineering and development, with the capable MG NA arriving in 1934. Powered by a robust ‘Light Six’ engine, this low geared, high revving overhead cam in-line 1271 cc six-cylinder engine, outfitted with twin SU carburetors, was the perfect combination for the Magnette. Derived from the KD engine, the engine produced a stout 56hp offered in many of their cars, when configured with a 96” wheelbase, low cowl, and cycle fenders, the open cockpit delivered exciting motoring in a range of driving conditions.
MG cars not only benefited from the improved KD engine, a supercharged K3 version was an outright 1933 winner of RAC Ulster TT, the revised ladder frame chassis was vastly improved by tapering the front and rear main rails and supporting the body with rubber isolation outriggers. Driving results even for the more family-oriented saloons was spirited and comfortable especially on long English countryside journeys.
History of This Car
This car is believed to have been originally manufactured in 1933 and sold as a 1934 model. Originally configured as a four-passenger saloon, it was built using an L chassis as it bears the chassis designation L0281. When delivered new, the saloon was outfitted with engine number 570 AL, registration number WJ 9742, painted grey with grey upholstery and outfitted with grey wheels. The car was delivered to the first owner, Mr. F. P. Nicholson, Sheffield, Yorkshire, April 11, 1933. While not much information is available on the ownership of the car during these early years, the chassis information is consistent with the chassis number listed in the most currently published edition of the MG club roster.
At some point in the history of the car, the late Peter Gregory, UK, one of the most knowledgeable MG enthusiasts in the world and a restoration expert, cleverly envisioned the car to L2 configuration, with construction changes primarily from the cowl back, rebodying the car with hand formed alloy panels creating an open two-seater in keeping with L Magna designations, featuring competition derived touches. Of considerable importance to the history of construction, the engine, number 638/AL was configured with a Marshall supercharger and a 4-speed Wilson Pre-Selector gearbox, numbered #90576 AHS. As is typical of the craftsmanship in all Gregory’s cars, the build quality is of very high caliber including the beautifully constructed supercharged engine, competition-derived 4-speed pre-selector gearbox, and hydraulic brakes. The resultant construction speaks highly not only to the level of craftsmanship and understanding of vintage MG cars, but to the superb harmony of craft and mechanical features.
During the research on the car, the registrar for MG F/L/N types was able to confirm that the knuckle stamping for the car as well as the brass guarantee plate appear original including the engine number stamped 638 AD 113. The 113 number is consistent with K type block castings, which according to the registrar correlates to chassis KN0379, though additional information also correlates it to L0394, a chassis that does not appear to have survived to present day. Additionally, British resident and MG collector, Geoff Radford still retains one of the matching license plates from this car, confirming that he owned the car as a project for a brief period several years ago in the UK before the car was imported to the US. In more recent years the car was owned by a Washington State resident who raced the car in vintage events in the late 1990s.
Today this remarkable MG Competition Trim Special is an impressive example of pre-war sport motoring conceived in a very attractive package. Workmanship throughout is impressive and properly conceived with ample evidence of MG specialization and high-quality craftsmanship throughout. The low-slung alloy body exhibits a competition inspired stance with its impressive leather-belted louvered hood, dropped-entry roadster cockpit, and distinctive competition touches. The rear of the car is bobbed in typical British fashion with minimal rear overhang and a single spare tire mounted to the K3 type upright “slab” fuel tank, capped by twin external fuel filler caps. The beautifully curved cycle-type fenders fit tightly to the tires, which feature knock-off mounted wire wheels finished in silver. The blue finish is glossy throughout, exhibiting very good coverage and smooth reflections. The condition, design, and exterior details are all evidence of clever construction, reflective of period-correct competition cars. The passenger side is adorned with beautifully formed exhaust stretching out the length of the body. The roadster bodywork offers a classic profile with desirable proportions delivering sporting looks, particularly in the impressive front view. The front section of the car can be trimmed with a formed alloy shroud, concealing the Marshall supercharger, allowing the carburetor to peek out at one side, flanked by period correct lever arm suspension, and finned drum brakes. With the front shroud removed, the supercharger can be viewed in all its glory, evoking great racing cars of this period.
The interior continues the sporting themes with an array of original type instruments filling the angled dashboard and accented by a commanding black and banjo-wire steering wheel. Of particular note, the seating position allows ample room for tall or longer legged drivers (6’ 3” or 6’ 4” height), a feature not often found in cars of this vintage. The pleated leather seats have relaxed a bit since the restoration was completed giving the seating surfaces a nice feel, quite fitting especially for their wrap around design. Though some provisions have been made for modern use, the overall look and feel is very authentic. As with so many prewar cars, the beauty lies in the combination of mechanical features as part of the artistry of the vehicle, evoked by the mechanical Pre-Selector 4-speed gearbox, Brooklands windscreens, and exposed transmission.
Under the hood, mechanical artistry is evident at every corner. The impressive in-line six-cylinder engine conveys an authentic feel, beautifully prepared and maintained to a high standard. The supercharger is a key feature of the engine and a wonderful visual treat on the outside of the car as it mechanically interfaces under the long hood. Boasting traditional ribbed alloy casing, a single carburetor, and capable of offering delightful sounds, the supercharger greatly adds to the aura of this roadster and is in keeping with the traditions of MG racers. The various mechanical components are a feast of detail including the exhaust headers which extend elegantly out the passenger side. Studying each of the features of this fine car, even the most particular enthusiasts of pre-war cars will be impressed by the hand crafting and engineering excellence from the engine compartment to the gearbox, suspension, and small details throughout the car. The underside of the car offers further evidence of correct MG features, all of which appear to have been configured and further maintained with attention to detail.
In addition to being beautifully constructed, this roadster can also be driven with confidence. Once started and warmed under idle, the supercharged engine offers a hearty roar when prompted. When on throttle, the acceleration is impressive and progressive, particularly when the supercharger comes, bringing the already impressive revs to another level of sonorous engagement. The pre-selector gearbox is intuitive once familiar, and within a few minutes at the wheel, shifting becomes part of the adventure of driving open-air, as the driver engages seamlessly with the machinery. A properly adjusted pre-selector gearbox such as this one is crisp, rewarding, and altogether superior in every respect, mercifully so in downshifts, when compared to non-synchromesh pre-war gearboxes. It’s a wonder why this advancement didn’t see more development and use particularly in performance cars. Under higher speeds (limited to 60mph), the ride is exhilarating, enhanced by seat-of-the-pants excitement, low slung stance, and fantastic views over the expansive hood. For those unfamiliar with prewar cars, braking requires some adjustment, but after a few engaging miles, the result is an unforgettable driving experience.
This MG Competition Trim Special offers a very special opportunity to enjoy a dynamic and unique example of pre-war sportscar motoring. With so many important cars of this era immobilized in museums, this is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a very usable and show-worthy car, configured with impressive performance features. Sold on a Bill of Sale, accompanied by old English V5.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608