MG M-type

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MG M-type Midget
M type advert.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerMG
Production1929–1932
Body and chassis
ClassSports car
Body style2-door Roadster
Coupe
Chronology
Predecessornone
SuccessorMG J-type

The MG M-type (also known as the MG Midget) is a sports car that was produced by the MG Cars from April 1929 to 1932. It was sometimes referred to as the 8/33. Launched at the 1928 London Motor Show when the sales of the larger MG saloons was faltering because of the economic climate, the small car brought MG ownership to a new sector of the market and probably saved the company.[1] Early cars were made in the Cowley factory, but from 1930 production had transferred to Abingdon.

Sports car[edit]

The M-Type was one of the first genuinely affordable sports cars to be offered by an established manufacturer, as opposed to modified versions of factory-built saloon cars and tourers.[2] By offering a car with excellent road manners and an entertaining driving experience at a low price (the new MG cost less than double the cheapest version of the Morris Minor on which it was based) despite relatively low overall performance the M-type set the template for many of the MG products that were to follow, as well as many of the other famous British sports cars of the 20th century. The M-type was also the first MG to wear the Midget name that would be used on a succession of small sports cars until 1980.

This 2-door sports car used an updated version of the four-cylinder bevel-gear driven overhead camshaft engine used in the 1928 Morris Minor and Wolseley 10 with a single SU carburettor giving 20 bhp (15 kW) at 4000 rpm. Drive was to the rear wheels through a three-speed non-synchromesh gearbox. The chassis was based on the one used in the 1928 Morris Minor with lowered suspension[2] using half-elliptic springs and Hartford friction disk shock absorbers with rigid front and rear axles and bolt on wire wheels. The car had a wheelbase of 78 inches (1980 mm) and a track of 42 inches (1067 mm).

1930 brought a series of improvements to the car. The Morris rod brake system, with the handbrake working on the transmission, was replaced a cable system with cross shaft coupled to the handbrake and the transmission brake deleted. Engine output was increased to 27 bhp (20 kW) by improving the camshaft and a four-speed gearbox was offered as an option. The doors became front-hinged. A supercharged version could be ordered from 1932, raising the top speed to 80 mph (130 km/h).

Early bodies were fabric-covered using a wood frame; this changed to all-metal in 1931. Most cars had bodies made by Carbodies of Coventry and fitted by MG in either open two-seat or closed two-door "Sportsmans" coupé versions, but some chassis were supplied to external coachbuilders such as Jarvis. The factory even made a van version as a service vehicle.

The car could reach 65 mph (105 km/h) and return 40 miles per gallon.[2] The open version cost £175 at launch,[1] soon rising to £185, and the coupé cost £245. The 1932 supercharged car cost £250.

The M-type had considerable sporting success, both privately and with official teams winning gold medals in the 1929 Land's End Trial[1] and class wins in the 1930 "Double Twelve" race at Brooklands. An entry was also made in the 1930 Le Mans 24 hour, but neither of the cars finished.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Green, Malcolm (1997). MG Sports Cars. Godalming UK: CLB International. ISBN 1 85833 606 6.
  2. ^ a b c Sedgwick, Michael; Gillies, Mark (1993). A-Z of Cars of the 1930s. Bay View Books. ISBN 978-1-870979-38-2.
  • Holmes, Mark (2007). Ultimate Convertibles: Roofless Beauty. London: Kandour. pp. 100–101. ISBN 978-1-905741-62-5.