If I may say so, John B. Perrett’s memories of Abingdon (“An Engineer Remembers”, May issue) seem to have faded somewhat.
The projected S-type of 1935 was not a 3-litre sports car but an 1,100 c.c. single-Seater racing car a scaled-up R-type, in fact, intended to replace the K3 Magnette, and possibly to be increased to 1,500 cc. to regain the position that MG’s had lost to ERA. The designer of the R-type, H. N. Charles, was well aware oh the roll problem, and his future plans were described in detail in my book, The Story of the MG Sports Car, published in 1972. The large sports car Mr. Perrett refers to must be, I think, a rather ghastly experiment known at Abingdon as the Queen Mary because of its size and general unwieldiness. It was never taken very seriously, and I don’t think it even lasted long enough to acquire an experimental project number.
Mr. Perrett is even more muddled about the subsequent production cars. The S-type or SA-type which actually materialised was of course the MG Two-litre, not the 2.6-litre, which came almost three years later (in 1938) and was known as the WA. It had absolutely no connection with the Morris Isis, either; Mr. Perrett must be thinking vaguely of the MG 18/80 of late 1928, which had a 2,468 cc. engine similar but by no means identical to that of the later Isis. The SA, although always known as the Two-litre, had a 2,662 cc. engine (actually that of the Wolseley Super Six) in prototype form, went into production with a 2,288 c.c. unit, and was later enlarged to 2,322 c.c.
There is no real difference between S-type and SA-type as a model designation. Previously, new models had been dubbed A, B, C, D-type and so on, but when the N-type Magnette became the NB and the P-type Midget became the PB, Abingdon started calling new models RA, SA, VA, and WA in the expectation of producing RB, SB VB and WB models which never, in tact, materialised. Incidentally, owners of TA, TB, TC and later models must have been startled to read Mr. Perrot’s assertion that the Midget became defunct in the middle Thirties.
Chichester, Sussex F. WILSON McCOMB