The MGCC, the MG Triple Register and other MG organisations have always taken a keen interest in MG history and the cars’ competition successes. In conjunction with the MGCC’s 60th anniversary of the formation of the works team of “Cream Crackers” which we reported last month, the Club was prompted to publish details of the surviving MGs of the one-time Abingdon works teams. This must be of interest not only to MG owners but to those who recall the pre-war mud-storming and MCC classic trials, So it becomes us to summarise these findings, with the MGCC’s blessing.
Of the original “Cream Cracker” cars run during the 1934/35 trials season, in the MGCC cream-and-brown livery during the second season, Centric vane-type superchargers were used on the PA cars driven by Maurice Toulmin and MacDermid, with that of JA Bastock running non-blown. The cars of Toulmin and Bastock, TJ 5000 and JB 3854, have survived, but Mac’s car, JB 3639, has disappeared — which does not automatically mean it no longer exists. During these two seasons TouImin won nine Premier Awards and many other trophies, and retired only twice, from the Experts and SUNBAC trials in 1934.
By 1935/36 the “Crackers” had developed into PB Midgets with Roots-type Marshall superchargers, and it is good to know that all three have survived — Toulmin’s JB 7521, Crawford’s JB 7524 and Jones’s JB 7525. By 1937 the “Cream Crackers” were non-s/c push-rod ohv TA Midgets of which only Crawford’s ABL 952 and Jones’s ABL 962 have survived, Toulmin’s ABL 960 being no more. For 1938 the works’ “Crackers” consisted of the unblown but bored out to 1708 cc VA-engined TA Midgets, of which the only known survivor is Jones’s BBL 80. However, the white car of Geoff Imhof, which was sometimes used as a works’ support car or a reserve for the “Cracker” team, BBL 81 is intact.
Of the MG ‘Musketeer” team cars, all three of the 1935 cars, Welch’s BB 4606 “Athos”, Kindell’s IB 4608 “Porthos” and Nash’s JB 4750 “Aramis” still exist, albeit the first-named only as a chassis. These were NE Magnettes. For the 1935/36 trials, Marshall-blown 1408 cc Magnettes were provided, of which Mac’s “Athos” and Bastock’s “Porthos” have been broken up, but of which Alf Langley’s “Aramis” JB 6867 is still with us. By 1937 the “Musketeers” were non-s/c TA Midgets of which again only the ex-Langley car, ABL 965 has managed to escape destruction. Rather curiously, as one comes to these later cars, the non-survival rate increases. Thus, of the 1938/39 “Musketeers”, of the four these TAs which had Laystall crankshafts giving a shortened stroke, with a capacity of 1250 cc and were supercharged with type 110 Marshall blowers, only one, BBL 82, driven by MacDermid and named as usual “Athos”, is still in existence, unless, of course, anyone out there knows anything. All credit to the owners of those historic MGs that have survived that most of them came to the 60th anniversary reunion and trial. Credit also to Roger Thomas who has disclosed much interesting data about all the MG team cars and the events they competed in, in his book “MG Trials Cars”, reviewed last month.
Books: February 2018
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