Friday, 27 May 2011

Malc's MG Magna

I had to smile at the above advert given the fact that a Magna was the only car Malc ever possessed which he unsurprisingly managed to write off! Day says in his biography that Malc 'disembowelled it on a great tombstone of a rock'(Day, 181).The car was acquired by Lowry from Tom Forman, to whom Ultramarine was dedicated. Jan Gabrial recalled the car in her book about her time with Malc; "He'd wrecked his short-lived MG Magna, but was fortunately unhurt. Thank God I had not been with him when he crashed!"

The car does creep into Malc's work; "......The English "King's Parade" voice, scarcely above him, the Consul saw now, of an extremely long low car drawn up beside him, murmurous: an mg Magna.....Under The Volcano 79; in October Ferry; "Nor their towing the MG away — it was still the same one (and one of the few of its kind, that special 1932 four-seater convertible MG Magna "University" model), like the sporting hearse..." (115)

It was not until September 1931 that the first 12 horsepower Magna was introduced, known as a 'light six'. This car was to be the MG Car Company's venture into the smoother running six cylinder sports car market. The six cylinder cars were however to be produced in relatively small numbers compared to the Midgets of the era as they did not generate quite the same affection. Performance wise, although smooth, they did not give quite the exhilaration of the smaller MGs. The appeal for the six cylinder cars was nonetheless understandable when you consider that most of the 1930s cars had solidly mounted engines and non synchromesh gearboxes and when directly compared with their four cylinder counterparts, the 'light sixes' ran far smoother with far less vibration. The first and the most popular of the Magnas was the F type which had a production run of 1250 cars. The car was basically a C type that was stretched by 10" in length and it was powered by an M type engine that had two extra cylinders 'tacked' on. The hefty power unit was derived straight from the Wolseley Hornet but was cunningly camouflaged externally by MG engineers. Twin carburettors helped to produce a modest 37 bhp and performance was adequate, certainly not startling, however the car sold well if only because it looked the part. There were two body styles available, a four seat tourer and a close coupled salonette. 1250 cars were produced in just over 12 months which was a good figure by MG standards. An improved model was introduced at the 1932 Motor Show with better, larger brakes. In total 129 of these were produced either in two seater form, known as the F2 or in four seater guise designated the F3. Read more on MG Owners Club

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