1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371

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Lot 246
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer
Registration no. AYM 604 Chassis no. NA 0371

£ 90,000 - 100,000
US$ 110,000 - 120,000
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer
Registration no. AYM 604
Chassis no. NA 0371
• First owned by pioneer aviator, Beryl Markham
• One of 690 NA/NB Magnettes made
• Restored to concours standard between 2001 and 2014
• New cylinder block, new hood, new side screens
• Outstanding condition
• 'Best of Show' award winner

Footnotes


  • 'It is not surprising that with the makers' knowledge of racing... it should be capable of giving as high a speed as 80mph. What comes as a revelation is the ease with which on Brooklands that speed is reached and held. The rev needle hovering between the 5,000 and 5,500 marks, the whole mechanism feeling as one, and with no sense of adventure attached to such speeds.' – 'The Autocar' on the N-type Magnette.

    General Manager of Oxford-based Morris Garages, Cecil Kimber brought sports car motoring within the financial reach of the man in the street with a succession of affordable MGs. These were, naturally enough, based on existing Morris models, arguably the most famous and certainly the most influential being the Midget, which first appeared at the 1928 London Motor Show. Before then, Kimber had been turning out modified 'bullnosed' Morris Cowleys fitted with his own more sporting bodies, the first of which was sold in 1922. He followed that with a series of sporting two-seaters on the Morris 14/40hp chassis, which was fitted with bodies by the Oxford based coachbuilder, Raworth.

    Small-capacity six-cylinder cars were much in vogue in the early 1930s and MG had duly climbed aboard the bandwagon in 1931 with the launch of the Magna 'F'. Maximum output of the Magna's 1,271cc Wolseley Hornet-based overhead-camshaft engine was later raised from a modest 37bhp to a much healthier 47 horsepower. An extensively revised and improved version of this 'KD' engine, tuned to produce 56bhp, was carried over to the 'NA' Magnette of 1934. The chassis too had come in for revision, being lighter than hitherto, while the body was now supported by rubber-mounted outriggers, an arrangement that gave a more comfortable ride.

    This NA Magnette was originally owned by Mrs Beryl Markham, the celebrated lady aviator who was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from east to west. Piloting her single-engined Vega Gull monoplane, 'The Messenger', she took off from Abingdon, home of the MG Car Company, on 4th September 1936 intending to land in New York. After a 20-hour flight, her aircraft suffered fuel starvation caused by icing of the fuel tank vents, and she crash-landed on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. In spite of falling short of her goal, Markham was assured of her place in the aviation record books.

    Markham had purchased the Magnette on 22nd May 1934 from dealer B Charles of Wellesley Road, London W4, as recorded on the accompanying guarantee card. A communication on file from the MMM Register lists two subsequent owners: S G Russell and J A Clark, both in 1946, while the old-style continuation logbook (issued 1957) lists the owner from 1954 as one James Melville Norris of Derby. Four subsequent owners are recorded, the last being Margot Elizabeth Buckley of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, who registered the car in August 1971. A magazine article on file states that the MG was then British Racing Green, 'a non-runner but complete with sound body and reasonable mechanics' (sic). Refurbished and repainted Ivory, the car saw relatively little use thereafter and in January 2001 was sold by Mrs Coates (as Ms Buckley had become) to the lady vendor's late husband (purchase receipt on file).

    A total restoration to concours condition then commenced and would take ten or more years to complete. Numerous invoices on file record the parts purchased and works carried out, which included a full interior re-trim and rebuilding the engine around a new cylinder block; to November 2014, a total of almost £33,000 had been spent. Its meticulous owner oversaw the car's restoration to ensure that every detail was as per original, and since completion, 'AYM 604' has won various 'Best of Show' awards. Originally a four-seater, it now has only two seats.

    The most substantial history file contains newspaper articles, photographs, a letter from Cecil Kimber and other correspondence relating to Beryl Markham's association with car. Other extensive files contain photographs, invoices, letters, copies of registration documents, etc relating to its subsequent life and other owners. Said to start, run, steer and generally perform better than when it was new, AYM 604' represents a rare opportunity to acquire a six-cylinder MG sports car from the 1930s that is both handsome and practical. A superb example.
Contacts
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer  Chassis no. NA 0371
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