THE M.G. SIX (MARK I.).
A Closed Car o/ 1-11c* Performance.
IDEAS on sporting cars have undergone a good deal of change during the past few years. The days
• have gone when the owner was content to sacrifice comfort, cleanliness and silence for the sake of speed, and the indifferently-upholstered body with undersized windscreen and scanty wings, which at one time were considered essential in a car which laid claim to high speeds, are no longer in vogue.
The modern sports model, to meet average present day requirements, as well as being capable of fast travel, must also be so equipped as to afford a degree of driving ease comparable with any tourer. It is this combination of comfort and liveliness whi4 is the outstanding characteristic of the M.G. Six Mark I ” Sportsman’s Salonette.” The particular model which we had for test had already done many thousands of miles as a service car of the M.G. Company and it was not only just standard, but one which had not been specially tuned or tended for special demonstration purposes. This was all to the good of our purpose, as we were able to judge what this popular car in perfectly ordinary production form was capable of doing. On collecting the car from the Pavlova Works at Abingdon, as soon as we got in the driving seat, we found certain little details which call for favourable comment. The accelerator pedal, for instance, which is placed well away from the other foot controls, is operated against a return spring of just the right tension and works through a conveniently small range of movement, whilst the gear lever of the central change is in a position where it falls readily to hand. The brake lever is placed on the right-hand side and is of the quickrelease racing type. This is a feature which might well
be included on the most mundane of utility motorcars, for it is a great improvement on the more usual pattern.
From previous experience of low-roofed sports saloons, we were prepared to find the exhaust noise somewhat noticeable, but on the M.G. as soon as the throttle was opened, we found the engine notably unobtrusive. While passing through the country lanes from Abingdon to the main Oxford-London road, it was difficult to realise that our speed had risen to the 50-60 m.p.h. mark, so silky was the running, and on reaching a suitable section of the main road, where we were able to open out, it soon became apparent that it was perfectly easjr to ” play ” the car round the 70 m.p.hi figure without any difficulty at all, and a brief period at full bore brought the speedometer needle round to 75 and finally 80 m.p.h. mark. When one considers that the M.G. has all the attributes of the well-behaved “town carriage,” it must be agreed that this maximum speed, without any fuss or any suggestion of over-driving, is definitely good. There are plenty of motors nowadays, of course, with which one is able to obtain these figures, but it would be difficult to find another which makes less business about it, even if one were to choose a car with an engine of, perhaps, double the capacity. Another point which genuinely impressed the writer was the braking. There is nothing so disconcerting in a car than to find on applying the brakes at high speed that its deceleration is violent and uncontrolled. The M.G. brakes which are of perfectly straight forward lay out, make it possible to slow down rapidly from speeds of 70 m.p.h. to a standstill with noteworthy smoothness ; the steering, which is of the Marks type was well in keeping with the rest of the car. As for the
HE M.G. SIX (MARK I.)—continued.
clutch, this is one of the smoothest that we have ever used.
The springs are long semi-elliptic front and rear with the front ones shackled so that deflections in steering and braking are greatly minimised; a point which is worthy of note is that all the springs are inclined upwards to the front in such a way that the absorption of road shocks is greatly improved. Hartfords are fitted all round.
As we have already stated, the model under review was by no means new ; nevertheless, there was a complete absence of any body rattles or drumming. In a good many cars the instrument board is responsible for irritating -” dithers ” at certain engine speeds and probably one of the reasons of there being no trouble of this sort with the M.G. is that tht dash is built up with the chassis and is thus very rigid. It carries the steering column and reserve petrol tank and also a tank for one gallon of engine oil.
The standard equipment includes a Jaegar speedometer and revolution counter, and besides the usual ammeter, clock, oil pressure gauge, petrol gauge and ignition tell-tale, there is also a radiator thermometer.
The engine has a Treasury rating of 17.7 h.p. and a capacity of approximately 2i litres.
The six cylinders are cast en bloc with two separate induction pipes feeding groups of three cylinders. The feed to the two S.U. carburetters is by an Autopulse electric pump. The ignition is by coil and battery (Lucas). The crankshaft is carried on four large bearings and is statically and dynamically balanced, and overhead valves are inclined and operated by an overhead camshaft. Lubrication is by spur gear pump bolted to the outside of the engine. This auxiliary, like other parts of the power unit, is readily accessible. The three speed gear box is built up in one with the engine and the ratios are :—top, 41-1, second, 6i-1, bottom 13-1. The final drive is by enclosed propeller shaft.
Throughout the M.G. Six, one finds evidence that it has been planned and developed by a designer who is both practical and discriminating, and at the conclusion of our all-too-brief test, we found ourselves in the pleasant and somewhat unusual position of being unable to find anything which we could criticize. And that is all that need be said.