Running and driving older restoration still presenting well
1933 MG J2
VIN – J2778
Exterior Color – Crackers & Cream (Ivory and Brown)
Interior Color – Green Leather
Engine – 847cc 4 cylinder with twin SU carburetors
Transmission – 4-speed non-synchromesh manual
Current Miles – 62 miles (TMU)
Owner Purchase – September 1965
Highlights of this MG
- Under Current California Ownership for 59 Years
- One of 2,083 Built with Very Few Remaining Today
- Multiple-Award Winning Pre-War MG
The earliest examples of sports cars appeared at a time when the automobile industry was booming, and individual wealth was increasing at historic rates. European royalty, Hollywood film stars, and the youthful progeny of industrial tycoons favored sports cars of this period for their performance and exciting character. But sports cars were also gaining interest among working class enthusiasts. The J-type, produced from 1932-1934 was the car that would meet that need at a very affordable price.
The earlier series cars were four seaters, but by 1933, the J2 arrived featuring seating for two, 65 mph top speed, and a very affordable price (199 pounds sterling). Interesting technical features included non-power assisted cable driven drum brakes, an 847cc 36 hp overhead crossflow head engine, and a sporty 86” wheelbase. Small and easy to use, these could readily fit inside small carriage houses or park under cover at cottages.
Other notable features for the J2 included a fold flat windscreen, 19” knock off wire wheels, and a spoked flat steering wheel. With the classic twin-domed scuttle and low-cut doors, these themes would carry through all MG series cars for decades to come. Though a successful car, sales were modest with just 2,083 built and likely very few survivors remaining today.
Purchased in Croydon, England in September 1965 by the current owner, this car belonged to a woman who was leaving for Australia but needed to sell her beloved MG. A photo retained with the car shows it in the UK, parked curbside, wearing the license plate MG 2307, which remains on the front of the car today. Documentation accompanying the car includes the original MG instruction and registration pamphlet with stamped registration marks dating back to 1959. Hand scribed notation indicates that this car was first sold under original registration March 25, 1933. Registration stamps in Surrey, UK are present in the record up to July 6, 1964, just prior to purchase and export to the current owner in California, September 1965.
After purchase, the car was shipped to San Francisco, CA where confused dock workers were unable to get it started. The owner arrived to assist, stepped inside, and pressed the floor starter to the astonishment of all watching. With a fresh tank of gas and fluids freshened, the owner drove the car to El Sobrante, CA. Shortly after, the owner began a ground up restoration much of which he performed himself, being a multiple MG collector and enthusiast. The restoration proceeded at a leisurely pace, concluding in 1990 after many spare parts were located in the UK, returning to the US in various suitcases while the family enjoyed leisurely trips to England. The car retains the original 847cc engine and among the many awards it has received, was voted both Best of Show and 1st Place in the 1998 MG at Jack London Square car show.
Today this MG delivers a charming vintage appearance that only a matured restoration can offer. Reflective of over half a century of singular stewardship, the paint, applied by the owner himself, retains good gloss and smooth coverage. Though aged over time, the car was stored indoors and lovingly maintained. And while signs of aging dapple the paint in various areas, the driver level quality is quite suitable for local shows and events. The chrome is very good throughout, including the headlights, windshield frame, and MG grille which has minor pitting. The black canvas roof has seen minimal use since it was restored and holds position at the windshield header when raised. The stitching and clear plastic rear window are in excellent condition. The overall cosmetic impression of the car is delightful, conveying an elegant sportiness with the two-tone paint. A matched set of Dunlop 4.00-19 tires are mounted on painted wire wheels with central chrome knock offs.
The interior presentation is quite nice overall with excellent fitted green leather applied to the seating cushions and smoothly trimmed matching green door panels with cutout map pockets. The engine-turned dashboard and banjo style steering wheel are both in excellent condition. The instruments and switches display excellent finishes overall with clear lenses and crisp dial faces. The floor is finished with black carpet and a delightful array of lever brake, switchgear, and various pull activating knobs finishing the exposed mechanical features mounted on the center of the floor.
Opening the traditional center hinged hood, a delightful blend of patinated finishes and details are revealed on each unique engine side. The engine has been cared for over time but now shows signs of age to various components consistent with the passage of time. Various mechanical components are clean and tidy as is the firewall and lower frame areas, but here too allowed to honestly reflect the nearly 60 years of enjoyable use by the current owner. The underside of the car is clean and thoughtfully maintained, though here too showing the passage of time. All components appear in sound condition with evidence supporting careful and correctly detailed work performed during the restoration.
The car starts and runs well with operational behaviors consistent with prewar cars. Mechanical engagement is a big part of the allure with these cars and here too the MG J2 supplies driving delights at a vivid level. Once up to temperature and the cooling system is pressurized, there is coolant seepage from the water pump weep hole. Shifting non-synchromesh takes some time to appreciate but over a few uses the shifting becomes natural. Brakes are consistent with expectations of the period while steering is light and suggestive, keeping you fully engaged as you guide the car through curved roadways and adjust accordingly. With the top down and suited up in all-weather driving gear, it’s easy to see how vintage driving can become a captivating experience.
Included with this car
The car comes with the original MG instruction and registration pamphlet, a lubrication chart, two brochures, the matching rear license plate, a set of contemporary tools in a tool roll, a hand operated starter crank, a British wheel wrench, an MG branded car cover and bag, a notebook with a copy of a “Practical Guide to the Restoration of the “J” Type MG”, and a notebook with photos of this MG.
Also included with the car are two printed color books, one featuring a segment on this car, a poster for the 2003 MG show featuring this car in the poster, and 6 car show plaques including the following awards presented to this car:
Best Pre-War MG - 1994 MG and Jazz at Jack London Square, Oakland, CA
1st Place Pre-War MG - 1996 MG at Jack London Square, Oakland, CA
1st Place Pre-War MG - 1997 MG at Jack London Square, Oakland, CA
1st Place Pre-War MG - 1998 MG at Jack London Square, Oakland, CA
Best of Show - 1998 MG at Jack London Square, Oakland, CA
1st Place Pre-War MG - 2004 MG at Jack London Square, Oakland, CA
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