Letter to DSJ
It was with great interest that I read of the recent sale at auction of “The Ex 120” for a sum of some £60,000. Whilst the body and trim have been very well “replicated”, the chassis, engine gearbox and running gear are, I believe, the same as I put together in 1973!
It is not “the Ex 120”, that car does not exist; the MG racing shop broke the car up after its serious fire at Montlhery following Captain Eyston’s successful attempt on the one hour record for 750cc cars. The actual engine was used in Ex 127 initially, as were some other bits of running gear. I know, because not only is it documented, Reg Johnson, the MG mechanic, told me at the opening of the Magic Midget public house in December 1974, an event which I attended with Ex 120 Replica.
I have been so concerned at the claims which have been made.in recent years, that I documented the exact details of my replica in the latest MMM yearbook, thus history, I hope, cannot be perverted! It seems I was wrong to foster such a dream. At best the new owner has a block, sump and crankshaft that came from the works racing department. The block, I was told by Reg Johnson, was probably the one fitted to Ex 120 after it threw a rod at Brooklands. This was later fitted to Ex 127 to provide the early non cross-flow engine, then being removed to make way for a new cross-flow engine during 1931/32.
There are no chassis numbers on Ex 120 Replica, this was by agreement with the MMM Register. The car carries the Register number 1500 and on certain parts will be found stamped Ex 120. This does not denote that they came from the original car, you will find them on D, J, L and P types it was a pattern numbering.
If the new owner would like to contact me, I will supply fullest details of the constituent parts I am aware of, subject to seeing the car and being aware of what changes have been made. Incidentally, I sold the old replica at auction in 1976 for £2,100 how times change. The original replica body will shortly be seen again mounted on my 1931 Midget.
There is no doubt that the car in its present form is a well-built and presented vehicle with a meticulous attention to detail it is not however, “The Ex 120”.
Nigel Musselwhite, Taunton, Somerset