M.1-4*”ra'”V•””VW” SPORTING CARS ON TEST: The M.G. Super-Sports.
IT was our pleasure the other day to do a lot of nice things. We visited that age-old city of charm— Oxford. The sun was shining brightly and the Summer Term was in full swing. The streets were a riot of colour, flower-sellers with their cowslips and tulips, men with variegated blazers, and women with gay frocks. Then we called at the Queen Street Showrooms of the Morris Garages and found the very latest thing in M.G. Super Sports Two-Seaters awaiting us.
There she stood resplendent, yet with cool colouring— gleaming blue and silver—her symmetrical lines being more reminiscent of Cowes and graceful yachts than the petrolised production of a motor factory. No wonder a new £10,000 works is being erected to cope with the demand !
Before setting out on our run we walked round the Showrooms to inspect the other three M.G. productions which we were not trying. The Four-Seater M.G. Sports pleases the eye as much as the Two-Seater and it is difficult to decide which of the two standard finishes is the more attractive. In one case the colour scheme is a Saxe Blue, in the other a Claret colour. The real leather upholstery matches as also does the hood material and the hood bag. The low lithe lines are enhanced by a horizontal bead running the whole length of the body. Above the bead the body is painted. Below, the aluminium is curled and lacquered. The wings, valances and wheels are finished in the same colour as the top deck. What, however, must be the most artistic examples of coachwork to be found anywhere are the Twoand FourSeater M.G. Sporting Salonettes.
In whatever colour they may be finished—and the standard colour is blue, brown or crimson—the side panels of the body below the horizontal bead are finished in the same shade, but several tones lighter. The result is pleasing in the extreme. To return, however, to the open Two-Seater M.G. patiently awaiting us in the doorway. We now had a good look round it and under the bonnet. The engine externally looks like a standard Morris Oxford but for the vulcanised head and plated cap nuts. Internally much patient work has been expended, enlarging and polishing the ports, fitting stronger valve springs and
generally seeing to the bearings and checking the balance of all the reciprocating parts. We noted a large size Solex carburettor and special Lucas magneto, whilst the workmanlike nature of the controls was indicative of the care and thought expanded on the whole.
.Marles steering is fitted as standard, carried in a sturdy bracket attached to the frame. A spring spoked Rene Thomas steering wheel with neat central throttle and ignition controls completes the steering lay-out.
A re-designed brake cross shaft operated by the Dewandre Vacuum Servo mechanism, provides enormous stopping power.
The tools are carried in a box slung between the rear dumb irons which not only utilises waste space, but enhances the lines of the car.
Turning to the body work. At the rear a really comfortable dickey seat for one person or any amount of luggage is provided. The driver’s and passengers’ seats are of the bucket variety, both being adjustable.
The screen is of unique design, being triangulated at the sides providing immense strength ! The side curtains are the neatest we have ever seen and efficient, and when not in use are housed in a locker behind the seats. A thoughtful touch is the provision of baize interlining for the side curtains when stored to prevent scratching. Still another little point to show how the job had been studied, each wing is carried independently on .brackets permanently bolted to the frame. They are not attached to the running boards and being ” jigged” are interchangeable from one car to another. This means in the event of damage to that
most vulnerable of a car’s anatomy, a new wing can be supplied from stock that will fit and can be attached with ease.
Having thoroughly examined everything from outside, we then climbed into the driver’s seat and were immediately struck by the natural way in which all controls fell to the hand or foot. Immediately there was that comfortable “at homes’ feeling. A touch on the foot starter and the engine quietly burst into life ! Engaging first gear and letting in the sweetest of clutches we were soon gliding down St. Aldate’s past Christ Church with its famous Tom Tower, on to Abingdon and Sutton Courtenay, the home of a famous Statesman. Although early to form an opinion, an outstanding feature of the car was its wonderful controllability or
perhaps, a better description, ” road worthiness.” This naturally connotes personal comfort as well.
A sweeter running ” four” one would hardly wish to drive over the whole range from four miles an hour to nearly seventy,—sixty-seven to be exact,—whilst that comforting thrust to the small of one’s back when the throttle was depressed indicated accelerative properties of the first order. The effortless way in which the car sailed up Hinksey Hill at well over 40 m.p.h. well bore out the slogan” The car that takes the ills out of hills,” for Hinksey is a hill which calls for a change down on most cars. At Sutton Courtenay a stop was made to take photo
graphs, and then on through that delightful long straggling village of Long Wittenham, situated on the prettiest backwater of the Thames.
On the way an opportunity was found to use the very useful second gear. The ratio is fairly high (7.6-1)— higher in fact than most third speeds on many popular cars with four speed gear boxes—but with the engine doing about 4,200 r.p.m. a speed of nearly fifty is obtainable and was found very useful for a lightning flick past another car with sports intentions but staid performance. And then the cornering ! It is positively amazing. Wet or dry road the car is practically skid proof. The secret is possibly due to the even distribution of the weight over both axles and the extremely low build of the chassis. Anyway, to be appreciated one has to try the car and after a spell at the wheel of an M.G. one is rather spoilt for ordinary motor cars for without care the first corner invites disaster. Altogether the Morris Garages are to be congratulated on producing a car which may not be very fast all out as speeds go nowadays yet capable of putting up an average on give and take roads that would be difficult to beat with any car. At any rate that was our impression as we wandered on, stopping at England’s prettiest village, Clifton Hampden, to take some more photographs. Then on back to Oxford at an effortless cruising speed of fifty when the engine seems to go to sleep and the miles reel past un noticed. (Continued on Page 332)
It was with very great regret that we relinquished the wheel and said goodbye to one of the most delightful little motor cars it has been our lot to try for many moons.