1932 MG L-Type Magna Supercharged RoadsterSOLD

RM Auctions - The Ponder Collection - Texas - April 20-21st, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $120,000 - $160,000


$60,500 Sold

124hp, 1,086 cc, supercharged, single overhead-camshaft inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid axle and semi-elliptic leaf spring front and rear suspensions, Bowden cable operated single cross shaft mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 95"

A Fully Restored Example Built From an Original MG L-Type Chassis and Powertrain
1933 MG Supercharged Six-Cylinder J4/L1 Special

April 12, 1888, Cecil Kimber, the man behind MG, was born in the London suburb of Dulwich. In 1921, Kimber joined a retail outlet known as Morris Garages in Oxford, which had been founded ten years earlier by William Morris. The firm's initials would soon become one of Britain's most famous sporting marques.

Kimber, a bright and enthusiastic engineer, saw the potential of the Morris chassis and engine design, and began selling performance versions of the Morris Cowley.
"Old Number One" was built in 1924-25 and gained the status of being the first to bear the MG badge, yet it has been well documented that earlier examples of this new marque did exist in various guises.

Old Number One was built-up as a "special" based on production and modified Morris bits and pieces. It was powered by an 11.9 horsepower Hotchkiss engine fitted with an overhead valve head. In the London to Lands End Trial it qualified for a prestigious Gold Medal.
More MG versions soon followed. Produced in increasingly larger series numbers, they bore unique to MG bodywork, grilles, tuning and the trademark octagon MG badge that became an icon in both the automobile industry and racing.

In 1933, Kimber was building a small range of MG models, which included the F, J, K and L-Types. These different models were designed to make MG appealing to various different parts of the market. All of these models were powered by six-cylinder engines save the J-Type cars; they relied instead on the four-cylinder engine of the MG M-Type Midget, which had been discontinued the year before. The J-Type was the originator of the ‘square-rigger’ style, which, for many enthusiasts, places it at the pinnacle of prewar midgets.

In addition to road going models, MG made outright racing variants of their K and J-Type cars, with each designed to compete in a different class. The K3, with its supercharged 1.1 liter inline six, proved very successful, winning its class in the Mille Miglia outright and achieving a fourth place at Le Mans.

The J4 was a smaller, lightweight, all out race model designed to compete in the 750cc class races. With a top speed of approximately 200 kilometers per hour (120mph), they were serious competitors. Unfortunately, only nine examples were ever built.

In addition to its own factory race teams, MG depended greatly on privateers, not only to help offset their race car development costs, but also to increase the MG presence on the grid. After all, a victory in an MG driven by a privateer was still a victory for MG.

As it was common for customers to buy an MG rolling chassis to be fitted with elegant custom coachwork, the same could be done with a racing model. Although the K3 was a formidable competitor, if a customer wanted just the mechanicals, it would not have been difficult to contract a specialist builder to provide a custom body for the car, or for that matter, to fit the upgraded mechanicals to another MG, for instance the lighter and smaller J4. At any rate, despite successes from both the K3 and the J4, when MG formally merged with Morris Motors in 1935, the MG Competition Department was shut down, and with it they closed the book on MG’s racing legacy.

Fully restored to pristine condition, the 1933 MG Supercharged race car presented here was built using the chassis, engine, steering column, front and rear axles from an MG L1, while the Preselector gearbox is a genuine example that came out of an MG K-Type. Although they had all the right pieces to build an excellent K3 replica, the owner and restorer Len Bull decided to build the MG to be essentially a six-cylinder J4.

Shortly after it was completed, the owner raced the MG six-cylinder J4 replica at the 1987 MG Car Club Silverstone event. Since acquiring the car, Mr. Ponder has completed the California Mille in the very capable race car. Accordingly, the car still wears stickers from both events.

Being constructed like the J4, this example sports numerous features that were popular on racing models of the time. Some of these typical period competition accessories include cycle fenders, Dunlop racing tires, Lucas King-of-the-Road chrome headlamps with stone guards, leather bonnet straps, a folding windshield with Brooklands race screens, a Bleumels Brooklands steering wheel, and a wrapped fish-tail exhaust. Other niceties include Hartford shocks, 72-spoke chrome wire wheels (including a spare), and a full black cloth tonneau with matching green piping. Painted in a striking green and black color combination, this little MG has both road and track presence.

The chrome and brightwork, like the rest of this vintage sporting MG still sparkles. The interior of the MG is covered in hardy green leather with thick black carpeting, while the dash has a black painted finish and features Jaeger gauges.

The 124hp, 1086cc, with its front mounted Magnacharger supercharger and single overhead camshaft inline six-cylinder engine is as close as you can come to artwork in design and presentation. Chrome and polished details accentuate its beauty, yet the sound this smooth six-cylinder engine orchestrates is music to any enthusiast’s ears – particularly at speed.

This 1933 MG six-cylinder J4/L1 Special is the epitome of what MG and Cecil Kimber stood for; it epitomizes the ingenuity, styling and performance that made MG in the early thirties a racing legend.

Superbly equipped and ready to tour or race, this vintage MG will allow you to truly experience the early years of sports car driving. Although driving gloves and goggles are not necessary, these items are heartily recommended for enthusiastic late night or cool morning driving fun.

Reference Number 7582

as of 2/27/2007

Car 1932 MG L-Type Magna Supercharged Roadster
VIN L0578 
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