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1934 MG KN Magnette to “K3” Specification

Formerly the property of The Late. Peter Green & the recent subject of a chassis up mechanical restoration

Chassis No. KN 0267

Registration No. MG 4119

+44 (0)1869 244 255

info@robertglover.com

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When one thinks of the letters M&G surrounded by that famous octagon, the great British drivers of the pre-war era such as Sir Henry Birkin, Earl Howe and George Eyston, don’t necessarily immediately spring to mind. Neither perhaps do the highly talented American, Witney Straight nor the great Italian, Tazio Nuvolari, the latter numbered amongst the greatest drivers ever to have lived. Yet all of these drivers enjoyed considerable success at the wheel of one particular Morris Garages model – the famed K3 Magnette.

The K-series of MGs was introduced at the London Motor Show in 1932. While all the variations of models and specifications are well recorded by numerous experts and exponents of the marque. Put in extremely simple terms the K1 was the long-chassis variant and the K2 the shorter chassis sporting variant of the K-series. The K3 was in essence the competition variant of the K-series and just 33 of these thoroughbred sports-racing machines were built employing a 94” wheelbase, double-skinned cruciform-braced chassis and powered by a supercharged 1,087cc single overhead camshaft inline six-cylinder engine. With the high-boost blower mounted ahead of the radiator engaged, it could produce—and withstand—120bhp at 6500 RPM. Power is transmitted through a four-speed Wilson Pre-selector box, allowing drivers to anticipate gear changes and then change gear with both hands on the wheel.

Not only was this exceptional world beating model from MG piloted by some of the best male and female drivers of the period, but it also succeeded at some of the most prestigious and important sports-car competition events of the time. With the support of Earl Howe, 1st and 2nd in class (Eyston/Lurani/Howe/Hamilton respectively) and the team prize at the 1933 Mille Miglia set the ball rolling followed up by a victory for Witney Straight at the 1933 Coppa Acerbo Junior. The impressive performance of the K3 was such that Tazio Nuvolari chose to drive one in the 1934 RAC Ulster TT where the master himself obtained outright victory on handicap. Given the success of the model and the relatively small production run, it is perhaps unsurprising that a number of “K3 replicas” have been produced over the years in order to cater for the demand for this most exotic of pre-war British Sports cars.

Copies of the factory chassis records contained within the extensive history files with the well-executed “K3 Rep” offered for sale here, show that chassis KN 0267 originally started life as a KN Magnette and that it was first registered, MG 3570 to University Motors as one of their demonstrators. The KN model was essentially introduced to make use of the surplus saloon bodies that had been made for the K1 but was fitted with the large N-series 1271cc motor. Crucially the KN model featured the double skinned cruciform-braced chassis as featured on the K3 model, albeit a different length.

The early history of chassis KN 0267 is contained within the copy service records offered with the car. By the late 1970s it was in the ownership of The Late. Peter Green, the former chairman of MGCC Triple M Register and latterly the owner of the Ex-Witney Straight MG K3, chassis no. K 3011. During his ownership, the chassis was shortened to K3 specification and supercharged. When Peter Green had the opportunity to purchase the Ex-Witney Straight MG K3 from America, the chance to acquire such an historic example was too good to pass up and thus this KN was sold. With K 3011 never registered in the UK, the original registration number from this car (MG 3570) was applied to K 3011 and this car latterly received the UK registration number MG 4119 that it wears to this day.

From Peter Green the car was sold to Richard Jenkins of London who retained ownership of KN 2067 for a c. 25-year period. During this time, it was Richard Jenkins who researched the early history of the chassis. He also treated the car to a restoration to “K3 Specification.” In truth it is, of course, rather tricky to exactly specify a K3 replica as the original K3s came in a number of different formats and specifications. Suffice to say that chassis ‘KN 0267’ now wears a beautiful Mille Miglia style “slab-tank” body, with C-type scuttle top and dashboard. After a long period of ownership with Richard Jenkins, with a huge amount of information pertaining to his period of custodianship contained within the accompanying files, this super MG was sold to Andrew Long in 2018.

Whilst in Mr. Long’s care the car was treated to a ground up mechanical restoration by Sharp Historics with both invoices and photographs of the huge amount of work carried out contained within the accompanying files. The total list of works carried out is too lengthy o note here but includes:

Engine:

• 1100cc Phoenix Crank and rods
• Fresh White metal bearings to race spec on Bronze inserts
• Re-bored and Honed Block
• New Cosworth pistons
• New Valves, new high lift competition cam, new rockers andcompetition valve springs
• New Water Pump
• Rebuilt Dynamo
• Flywheel lightened and all components dynamically balanced before final assembly of the engine
• Scintilla magneto ignition with magneto rebuilt by Adrian Gorvin
• Volumex Supercharger Rebuilt by Derek Chinn including Keying the Gears onto shafts to avoid any slip (A Marshall 85 K3 spec blower can be supplied via separate negotiation if FIA papers are required)
• HV8 SU Jetting and ignition timing fully set up by Stanton Motorsports

Gearbox:

• Larger Armstrong Siddeley-type for competition work. Now fully rebuilt by Graham Whitehouse with new planet gears

Chassis:

• Every component has been rebuilt, re-bushed, re-engineered and re-finished before assembly
• Brakes relined, new drums
• Wheels rebuilt by Richard Bros. and powder coated with new Blockley tyres

While the mechanical condition of the car has been improved immeasurably in recent years, the authentic feel of the car has not been diminished whatsoever. It is rare to find a “K3 replica” on an original K-type chassis with correct double skin and cruciform bracing. It is also worthy of note, that unlike many of the “K3 replicas” constructed in more recent times, ‘MG 4119’ not only has its original chassis, but also still carries its original chassis plate, chassis number, axles and steering mechanisms. This particular example has been in “K3” form for considerable time and thus feels more authentic, having been allowed to mellow with age.

Offered for sale then is the opportunity to acquire a fully rebuilt and beautifully presented replica of the famed K3 Magnette – a car eminently suitable for either the road or track. When behind the wheel one can only say that the crisp sound emitted from the Brooklands-style fishtail exhaust is exotic and one can well imagine why the great Tazio Nuvolari was impressed when he first witnessed their dominating performance at the 1933 Mille Miglia. Inspection of the car and history file is welcomed at our showroom by appointment.