WIDE RANGE OF SMALL CAPACITY M.G. SPORTS CARS. THE J SERIES, THE NEW MAGNA AND THE MAGNETTE.
THE experience gleaned by the M.G. Car Company from its successes in the 1932 racing season has been embodied in the designs of all the new models. The new type of cylinder head, with its small plugs, first tried in the 1,000 mile Race at Brooklands, the straight underslung frame with flat springs and the cable-operated brakes are found on all models, and the large petrol tanks and other improvements which have been fitted to the more expensive models are now found throughout the range. Dunlop tyres and Rudge Whitworth wheels are also standard.
The J. Series includes all the fourcylinder cars. The J.2, the popular two seater model, and the J.1, which carries a four-seater body, are fitted with 850 c.c. engines, embodying the new type cylinder head, in which inlet and exhaust ports are on opposite sides, and twin S.T.T. carburettors. A four-speed gear-box with silent third, and 8 in. brakes with aluminium fins all help to improve performance, and the body and equipment is as complete as could be desired. The twoseater at under £200 has placed sports car motoring within the reach of almost everyone.
The J.3 is a supercharged version of the J.2, and is described fully elsewhere in this issue. By shortening the stroke to 73 mm., the engine is brought within the 750 c.c. limit, and is ideal for fast touring or competition work. It costs £299 10s.
The 5.4 and 5.5 are the supercharged and unsupereharged cars corresponding to the old IvIontlhery type. New features are the head, with opposed ports and 14 mm. plugs, and the oiling system with a large Elektron sump holding one gallon. The oil is forced through a Tecalemit filter on its way to the engine, and the oil level is maintained by a float feed, supplied from a two-gallon dash tank. Like the other J models the valves are operated by an overhead camshaft through fingers, and three springs per valve ensures positive closing. The camshaft is driven by bevel gears from a vertical shaft at the front of the engine and the dynamo is incorporated in this.
Coil ignition is used, and a spare unit is supplied as standard. On the J .5 the mixture is supplied by two semi-downdraught S.TJ. carburettors, and is pumped from the 12 gallon rear tank by two Petrolift pumps. These have independent pipe lines, and the second one is only brought into operation when it is desired to use the reserve two gallons. The supercharged cars are fitted with No. 7 Powerplus blowers mounted between the front dumbirons in the familiar cowling. The blower runs at three-quarter speed, and is protected from any end-thrust from the crankshaft by a sliding coupling. A single carburettor is bolted to the casing, and the mixture passes to the engine through the special dual induction pipe, which maintains gas velocity at low speeds. A water pump is fitted.
The 5.4 and 5 can either be fitted with the well-tried M.G. close ratio four speed gear-box, or with a pre-selective box of Wilson type, which costs an extra £25. In the first case a two plate clutch is used, but with the second the drive is taken up by the friction bands. A special feature of the pre-selective box is the servo-action of the bands, which increases the pressure when the engine is driving, preventing any possibility of slip on the lower gears. The gear-lever works in a gate carried on an extension of the gear-box, coming under the left hand, and the mixture and slow running controls are mounted below. The brake-lever is of racing type and the ratchet engages only when the knob is depressed and flies off when next the lever is operated.
The transmission follows the lines of the other models, but straight bevels are used in the back axle.
The fiat chassis, upswept in front and passing under the rear axle, is retained unaltered, and gives a floor line only 12 inches from the ground. Additional steel bracing has been embodied at the rear. The flat undersiung springs slide in trunnions at their rear ends, and are bound with cord and taped to resist the extra strains of violent cornering and braking. The brake drums are now 12 inches in diameter, and fitted with cooling fins, and
the operating cables, like other chassis points are lubricated from nipples grouped under the bonnet. The brakes are adjusted by means of a hand wheel which is situated alongside the driver.
Cam steering is used and the special M.G. divided track rod contributes to the accuracy of the steering.
The J.4 and J.5, fitted with two-seater racing bodies, normal type gear-box, and Brooklands exhaust system cost respectively £445 and £395.
The M.G. Magna appeared on the market a little over a year ago, and made an immediate name for itself by reason of its good lines, brisk acceleration, and economy of upkeep. Soon there were enquiries as to whether a racing version on the lines of the successful Montlhery could not be produced. An undertaking of this kind requires much research and experiment, and it was not until last Olympia that the six-cylinder racing car, the Magnette made its debut. Its magnificent performance in the Italian 1,000 Mile Race showed that the period of development had not been in vain.
The engine is of course a six cylinder, with bore and stroke of 57 and 71 mm., giving a capacity of 1,086 c.c. The tax is £12. The cylinder block and top half of the crank case are cast in one, and the cylinder head has 6 inlet and 6 exhaust ports on opposite sides, and 14 mm. plugs. The overhead camshaft operates the valves through fingers, and is driven by the vertical shaft-cum-dynamo arrangement as on the 750 c.c. models. There are two valves per cylinder, and on the racing engines these are fitted with three valve springs.
The aluminium pistons carry three rings, and a special type of steel connecting rod is used. The four bearing balanced crankshaft is machined all over.
An unusual feature is the B.T.H. polar inductor magneto, which by reason of its construction sparks four times per revolution, and therefore has to run at thr quarter engine speed. Three semi-downdraught S. U. carburettors are fitted to the unsupercharged models, and an electric petrolift pump feeds
the petrol from a 12 gallon rear tank, which has a reserve tap. The K.3 racing model has a 23 gallon rear tank, and two electric pumps, one of which is connected to the
reserve. Quick-acting filler caps are fitted to each end of the tank.
The supercharged cars are fitted with No. 9 Powerplus superchargers, driven off the front end of the crankshaft, and running at three-quarter engine speed. A single carburettor is used and the blower is lubricated from the engine. Lubrication is an important matter on a high-speed engine, and the Magnette is fitted with a finned Elektron sump which holds 11 gallons. The oil is forced through a pressure filter before reaching the bearings, and on the K.3 a further supply is carried in a dash tank which holds nearly two gallons, and is fed into the sump by
an automatic float device.
The Magnette chassis can be obtained either with a manualtype gear-box with constantmesh third gear, or with a Wilson pre-selective box, which is standard on the saloon and the racing chassis. The gearlever is mounted on an extension, and grouped with it are the Ignition, slow running, mixture and reserve petrol controls.
Transmission follows the usual M.G. lines, with an open propellor shaft with two Hardy Spicer joints and a three-quarter floating back axle. On the K.3 straight bevel _gears are used. The chassis, which is upswept in front and straight from the back of the engine to the rear end, passes under the rear axle. It is braced by tubular cross
cross members, and by a special pressing at the rear. The width is greater than that of the Magna, and this with the track of four feet allows really roomy bodywork to be fitted.
The brakes are unusually powerful, and the drums are 13 inches in diameter. Attention has been paid to the reduction of unsprung weight, however, and the drums, shoes, and back plates are made of Elektron, with chrome cast iron liners
in the drums. Cables from the king pins to the chassis relieve the front springs of the X.3 of any twisting strain. Cam steering is used with a large diameter wheel, and the M.G. divided track rod is a feature of all models. The increased chassis width and track allows a full-sized four-seater and a most attractive four-door saloon to be accommodated on the nine foot chassis. The sweeping lines of the front wings are most graceful, and not being obstructed by a centre pillar no gymnastics are required to get in and out. The clever luggage container at the back is invisible when not In use. The open car costs £385, while •
the saloon, which is fitted as standard with pre-selector gear-box, is priced at £445. The K.2 is a short wheel-base model at the same price as the four-seater. The K.3 racing model has a short chassis, and follows the lines of the rest of the K. series except for the differences already noted. It can either be had in chassis form, or fitted with the familiar two-seater racing body. A very full equipment of instruments is standardised, every electric circuit has its own switch and fuse, and the switches and fuse box are mounted on the dash. In fact no item which has been found desirable in racing practise has been omitted. Fitted with T.T. type two-seater bodies and pre-selective gear-boxes the cars cost £650 supercharged, or £100 less without the blower. A streamlined body is also available. •
Through the kindness of Mr. G. F. A. Manby Colegrave, of Squire Motors, Henley, we were able to have a short run in a supercharged K.3. The first impressions were the solid and roadworthy feel of the car, partly due no doubt to the width of the track, and the comfortable driving position. The wheel came naturally into the lap, the upholstery soft and the side of the body padded where one’s elbow normally gets rubbed. The win.d-deflectors and aero screens made it unnecessary to wear a coat even at high speed.
The engine was not run in, so we had to content ourselves with 4,500 r.p.m. on top gear, which was about 80 m.p.h., and of course at this speed the progress of the car was quite effortless. Limitation of revs, also prevented the full benefit of the pre-selective gear-box from being had, for the willing engine reached the limit in each ratio almost in a flash. One can only say that its use is complete joy. The gate is worthy of mention. The lever now moves along a serrated quadrant with a fairly strong spring to ensure engagement, so that the movement is merely a straight pull, but with sufficient resistance to avoid overshooting a notch.
The grouped controls on the gear-lever extension were convenient, and the engine did not appear to be sensitive to the position of the ignition control.
The brakes were powerful, and the general feel of the car was most promising. Corners were taken without effort and the steering, though still a little stiff, held the car on an accurate course. A full road test which we hope to publish in the near future will undoubtedly answer a good many of the pleas of English drivers for a national sports car which
can hold its own in Continental events.
• The Magna range is being continued in a new guise, the L. type, and with the improvements embodied in it will more than retain its place in the ranks of light and economical sports cars. The engine has been re-designed and now has the opposed ports and small plugs which are featured on the other models. Two carburettors are fitted. A re-designed semi-balanced crankshaft is used giving a shorter stroke, the dimensions now being the same as those of the Magnette. A pressure filter is used, and a
That the sports car has never been so popular as it is at the present time, in spite of the prevalent conditions of economic stress, is strikingly proved by the latest production figures of the M.G. Car Company. The Company increased its 1932 pro
water pump increases the efficiency of the cooling system.
A two plate clutch appears on the L type, and the gear-box is of a new type with constant-mesh third gear. Marks cam steering replaces the worm and wheel, and the brake drums are 12 inches in diameter.
The tourer, which costs £299, has a wider body than before, more comfortable seats are fitted, and a new body with a cowled scuttle Long sweeping wings with running boards bring the car into line with the modern fashion in sports coachwork.
The Boom of the Sports Car.
duction by more than 1000/0 over 1931, and plans for a still further increase commencing March, 1933, were made ; even so, during that month it was found necessary again to increase the number of employees by as much as 25%, and
A two-seater costing £285 follows similar lines, and should be particularly useful for trials or other competition work, now that the capacity has been brought down to 1,100 c.c.
The saloon is more roomy than the F. type, particularly at the rear and embodies other detail improvements. The price is £345. A noticeable item in the Magna range is the size of the petrol tanks, 10 gallons on the tourer, 9 on the saloon, and 12 on the two-seater. In the latter case this should take the car at least 350 miles without refueling.
the number of cars delivered during March showed an increase of almost 100% over the previous month’s output.
Exports, also, which for some time have steadily progressed, showed a marked increase with the advent of Spring.