MG K-Type Magnette KN SC Special Speed Model by University Motors

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K-Type Magnette KN SC Special Speed Model by University Motors





The MG K-type Magnette is a motor car that was produced by MG from October 1932 to 1934.

Launched at the 1932 London Motor Show, the K-Type replaced the F-Type Magna but having at first a slightly smaller capacity engine it took the name Magnette. The chassis was similar to the Magna but strengthened and had the track increased by 6 inches (150 mm) to 48 inches (1200 mm) and was available in two lengths with a wheelbase of either 94 inches (2388 mm) or 108 inches (2743 mm). The steering was modified with a patented divided track rod which was claimed to reduce kick back at the steering wheel. The brakes were cable operated with 13-inch (330 mm) drums made of "Elektron", a light magnesium alloy, with shrunk in steel liners. Suspension by half-elliptic springs and Hartford friction shock absorbers all round with rigid front and rear axles. Wire wheels with 4.75 x 19 tyres and centre lock fixing were used.

The engines were based on a Wolseley overhead camshaft design used first in the 1930 Wolseley Hornet and subsequently used by MG in the F-Type but subject to a major re-design. The stroke was reduced from 83 mm to 71 mm to reduce the capacity from 1272 cc to 1087 cc and a cross flow cylinder head fitted. Fitted at first with triple SU carburettors it produced 39hp (29 kW) at 5500 rpm. In early 1933 a modified version of the engine was announced that had improved valve timing and only two carburettors but the output was up at 41hp (31 kW). This engine was called the KB and the previous version, which continued in use, the KA. In late 1933 they were joined by the KD with a larger 1271 cc capacity by returning to the F-Type stroke of 83 mm but with the improved cylinder head and timing power was up to 48.5hp (36.2 kW). (The F-Type had only been rated at 37hp.) In addition there was the KC engine for the racing cars. This retained the 1087 cc capacity but with the aid of a supercharger power was up at 120hp (89 kW) at 6500 rpm.

Drive was to the rear wheels through either a four-speed non-synchromesh gearbox or ENV made pre-selector type.

All the road cars were capable of reaching 75 mph (121 km/h).

This was the original K having the long chassis and was first shown with the saloon body, KA engine and pre-selector gearbox all costing £445, quite expensive at the time. It was soon joined by a tourer with KB engine and manual gearbox. Later the saloon could also be had with KD engine and pre-selector.

54 K1s with KA engines, 74 with KB engines and 53 with KDs were made. Not many of the saloons were sold and surplus bodies/chassis were later fitted with MG "N" type engines and sold as the MG KN Magnette.

Introduced in July 1934, the KN Magnette combined the longer (108") wheelbase chassis of the K1 with the all-new and much stronger N-type 1,271cc six-cylinder engine. The KN was only offered as a 'pillar-less' saloon, thus providing University Motors with the opportunity to exploit a gap in the market with their attractive K1-style four-seater tourer using the larger and more powerful N-type engine. It was advertised thus: 'To cater for the growing demand for the open speed model coachwork, University Motors Limited have introduced this pleasing four-seater on a special long wheelbase MG Magnette chassis.' Some sources state that University Motors used leftover K1 tourer bodies while others attribute the bodies to London-based coachbuilder, Coachcraft.

The MG N-type Magnette is a sports car that was produced by MG from October 1934 to 1936. The car was developed from the K-Type and L-Type but had a new chassis that broke away in design from the simple ladder type used on the earlier cars of the 1930s being wider at the rear than the front and with the body fitted to outriggers off the main frame.

Only 745 N-Types were built between 1934 and 1936, and of these a very small number of cars were fitted with Airline coupe bodywork.

H. W. Allingham of London was responsible for the design and marketing of the MG Airline coupes. Rather than set up a coachwork facility, he designed car bodies such as the MG P and N-Series Airline Coupes, and in the case of the N-Series, sub-contracted Carbodies to actually construct them. Carbodies had been founded in 1919 when former Charlesworth employee Robert Jones bought out Gooderham & Co. One of their best customers, MG supplied Carbodies with the majority of their business from 1925 to 1930.

It has been debated that as few as six, or as many as twelve Airline coupes were built and fitted on P, N and T-series chassis. However, all agree that very few examples of “The prettiest MG ever,” survive today.

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