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N-Type Magnette NB Airline Coupe by Carbodies
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.
In 1935, the MG N-Series was upgraded and became the NB; the chassis remained unaltered, but modifications were made to the coachwork. With a slatted stone guard fitted to the radiator shell and a lowered scuttle height, the appearance was a vastly improved; the front end lent itself more to two-toning and the driver was provided with a better view of the road ahead.
Gone were the “suicide” doors, they were now hinged at the front rather than at the B-pillar. New, larger chrome-plated hinges extend on the outside of the scuttle, which rectified a problem in earlier models where the doors tended to droop when opened.
The two-door design featured an elegantly curved roof merging into a streamlined rear panel in which the spare wheel was partially countersunk. The doors carried sliding windows and each Airline coupe featured a sunshine roof. This actually consisted of three separate trapezoidal-like celluloid panels.
Inside, the seating was also modified and pneumatic cushions were used with spring cases for the back squab. The dash now carried a separate speedometer and revolution counter, while the other instruments and switches were grouped like that of the MG PA Midget. The Airline Coupé body was still available as well.
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