TRYING OUT THE MG. MAGNA
1,200 c.c. SIX WITH ATTRACTIVE FEATURES AND LIVELY PERFORMANCE
[Mo(or Sport photograph]
ALL of us have at one time or another conjured up visions of the sort of small car we would like to build, if we had the facilities to carry out our ideals. Time and again those ideals have been mentally revised and arranged until they have become increasingly definite.
This car must be fairly small, of course, so that it can nip about in narrow spaces. The chassis must be very low so that it will corner well and be impossible to overturn. It must be light, for this means good acceleration, a most important feature in modern traffic. It also means economy, very essential in these days for most of us, and furthermore, light weight is essential for success in trials.
A really lively engine is taken for granted, and not too small, for we do not want to be constantly tuning or leplacing worn parts. Flexibility is another requirement, for at times we feel lazy and do not wish to bother with gears. On the other hand we must have a fourspeed gear box with the higher ratios close together for the occasions when we suddenly wish to emulate Chiron or Campari ! The driving position must be carefully arranged, as we shall hope to travel long distances. For the same reason the body must be really comfortable for two people, with pneumatic seats and room for luggage, or occasional extra passengers when necessary. The weather in this country being what it is, we want good
‘ weather protection, and as we shall bc -ather proud of this car of ours it must be very well fimAi.ed, and have really ” snappy ” lines.
. A very high maximum speed is not essential, as this Is usually a very expensive luxury, and about 70 m.p.h. will see the majority of cars left well behind. All these thoughts have recurred from time to time to any keen motorist, but when we came to take over C
an M.G. Magna with an Abbey body for test, we realised that here was the car we had really been imagining, only fashioned with more neatness and ctumin.g than the vehicle of our dreams.
This car, which was placed at our disposal by Messrs. Stearns, of 16, Fulham Road, who specialise in. sports cars with the Abbey Company’s special coachwork, certainly embodies all the points we have enumerated, in addition to many others of which we had never thought.
The chassis frame is upswept over the front axle, and passes under the rear axle, being at a constant level from the engine to the rear.
The six cylinder overhead camshaft engine with twin S.U. carburettors transmits its power through a fourspeed box and Hardy-Spicer propeller shaft to the rear axle. There is an emergency bottom gear, very useful for trials work, and three close ratios which suffice for all normal road work including getting off the mark.
Apart from the excellent finish which is apparent to the most casual observer, there are many details of equipment on the body which make a strong appeal to the ” all-weather ” owner. In addition to the excellent hood arrangement, the screen is provided with twin wipers, and the former is arranged either to open at the bottom, such as for driving in fog with the hood up, or to fold flat on the scuttle like a racing screen when out for some fresh air in decent weather.
The pneumatic seats are fully adjustable, while the rear compartment is excellently arranged for a small car. An eight gallon rear tank is another departure from standard which is extremely useful, and with the good petrol consumption of this motor it would enable a day’s run of 250 miles to be covered without filling up, provided that the average speed was not forced too high.
Ease of upkeep of the chassis has been carefully studied, and grouped lubrication points make this important duty easy to carry out. The first im pression on driving the car is of its extreme handiness a n d excellent acceler ation, and these are undoubtedly its chief charac
and perfect smoothness of engine and transmission throughout the speed range, make it a most fascinating car to drive, and owing to its capacity for leaping past other vehicles at a touch of the throttle, a high average speed is possible even when the way is by no means clear.
The clutch is very smooth, and the gear change positive and rapid, so that no time is lost in running up through the gears. The steering has good self-centering qualities, and once we had adjusted the Hartford shock absorbers to our liking the road holding was very good indeed. As would be expected from the layout, the car is remarkably steady on corners. We soon came to the conclusion that the speedometer was optimistic, and a careful check of this proved our surmise to be correct. The acceleration figures given show a very high standard of performance for
an over 1,200 c.c., and fully justify the makers’ well-known slogan, ” Faster than most.” Incidentally owners who think their cars show even better figures in standard tune, should remember that ours are fully corrected, and not speedometer readings.
The comfortable maximum speeds on 2nd and 3rd were 35 m.p.h. and 50 m.p.h., while all out in top the car didr66 m.p.h. on the level.
As the car had done little over 500 miles when we tried it for maximum speed, there is no doubt that with a further run-in the speed would be appreciably improved, and the Magna would certainly be a 70 m.p.h.. car when thoroughly settled down.
The brakes were a little disappointing, as they were either out of adjustment or required further bedding down, when the stopping distance of 80 ft. which we obtained from 40 m.p.h. should be considerably improved.
Altogether, the latest addition to the M.G. range is a very attractive high performance car, with a special appeal to the man who has to consider reliability and economy, and yet desires a car with individuality. To anyone who can afford just that amount above standard which the
” Abbey ” model costs, the extra outlay is certainly well worth while, the price being 2298.
[Further details regarding the M.G. Magna are given elsewhere in this issue)—Ed. .i k3 let t 4a—–_ it
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