1935 Jensen Hornet Special: From being a comparatively lightweight six-cylinder model the factory Hornet Saloon gained weight and bulk throughout its six-year production life. The later ‘Special’ chassis’ supplied to coachbuilders in 1935 and 1936 were by now fitted with a 1378 cc version of the famous OHC power unit that started out in 1930 at 1271 cc. This 1935 Jensen ‘Allweather Sports’ Hornet was one of a long-line of Hornet based specials produced by the West Bromwich concern, this one showing off its sweeping mid-thirties styling to good effect, although the windscreen surround is reminiscent of the earlier Swallow Hornet models. (LATplate Motor 520-10)
1932 Eustace Watkins Hornet Special GY 3131 was owned by Miss C. Labouchere and was competitively used throughout 1933. Here her car is in London having been driven the 680 miles from John o’Groats on 21st January 1933, the first leg of the crew’s epic attempt to get to Monaco as competitors in that year’s Monte Carlo Rally. Both driver and co-driver appear weary in this night-time shot while their Hornet is covered in road dirt, testament to the trying conditions. Sadly, they failed to make Monte Carlo and were one of the 58 retirements from among the original 129 car entry. (Autocar photo scan 27/01/33 – courtesy LAT Images)
The Triple M series of MG’s all belong to a family of models that commenced with the 1929 MG Midget and continued through to the mid-thirties via a long string of four and six cylinder OHC engined cars that forged the marques identity.
A trio of MG PA Midgets were entered by Capt. George Eyston for the 1935 Le Mans 24 hour event. Unusualy, his car’s were to be crewed by an all female team of drivers that came to be known as Eyston’s Dancing Daughters. The three teams all finished the race in 24th, 25th and 26th positions with the Barbara Skinner – Doreen Evans car (no 55) covering 1285 miles over the 24 hour day/night/day period of 15th and 16th June. Here Doreen Evans is seen at the wheel while the car is routinely serviced by her pit crew. (LATfilm C6558)
The Triple M series of MG’s all belong to a family of models that commenced with the 1929 MG Midget and continued through to the mid-thirties via a long string of four and six cylinder OHC engined cars that forged the marques identity.
This 1933 Carlisle registered MG J2 Midget HH 6753 is a long way from home. The car is seen here competing on a crowded Beggar’s Roost in Devon during the 1936 MCC Lands End Trial, while being driven by K W Mahany. This car/driver combination were to go on and win a Premier award. (LATplate C8315)
Although the majority of Hornet specials were open cars, plenty were constructed as sporting saloons or coupes. This particularly handsome example of a sporting two-door saloon was constructed by Patrick Motors of Bournebrook, Birmingham sometime in 1933 and was photographed in this leafy outer-suburbia setting for The Motor magazine. (LATplate Motor 519-2)
The Triple M series of MG’s all belong to a family of models that commenced with the 1929 MG Midget and continued through to the mid-thirties via a long string of four and six cylinder OHC engined cars that forged the marques identity.
D. G. Evans is photographed here in his MG ‘N’ Magnette (BLL 493) on Darracott, North Devon during the course of the 1935 MCC London-Lands End Trial held over 19th & 20th of April. With 313 cars starting the event, Evans was one of the 102 who gained a Premier Award that weekend. (LATplate C5776)
This photo of a 1934 Wolseley Hornet EW Daytona Special was taken on the Whittingham & Mitchell stand at the 1934 Olympia Motor Show in London. W&M were a Chelsea based coachbuilding firm, who under contract from Eustace Watkins, (Wolseley main dealers and also located in Chelsea) constructed bodies for the Hornet Special chassis. According to Nick Walker (author of the A-Z of British Coachbuilders – Bay View Books 2007) W&M were eventually acquired by Eustace Watkins, although not exclusively to build bodies for Wolseley cars, the firm providing bodies for a variety of marques.
A caption is required for this recently discovered LAT image (LATplate L5870) of a 1933 MG Magnette.
(Could this be Eyston’s 1933 Mannin Beg car as it’s carrying the correct racing number?)
DG 2327 is a 1931 Gloucester registered MG M Type Midget, identifiable as such by its angular wings. This photo was taken on the Isle of Man and is one of a sequence of a dozen or more shots, some of which were used for a subsequent Autocar ‘touring’ article. This image was taken in the centre of Douglas and is one of the few where the driver’s face can be seen and the car’s two-tone colour scheme is apparent. The re-positioning of the spare wheel was no doubt made to optimise luggage space in the small boot. The newsagent located immediately behind the car is carrying an advertisement for the latest paperback by Edgar Wallace, priced at 9d. (LATplate E3917)
This atmospheric shot of an MG Abbey bodied Magna Coupe appeared in a June 1939 edition of The Autocar. GX 827 was first registered in London during the spring of 1932 and was already seven years old at the time this photograph was taken near Kenworth(?), according to the caption on the rear of the photo. (LAT photoscan)
The Arrow body upon the Hornet chassis of JD 1953 was constructed by coachbuilder A. P. Compton in late 1930 at their works in a former tram depot in Hanwell, West London. Compton’s products at this time were all known as Arrow specials, their cars being identifiable by a stylised arrow attached to the radiator core of the host car. Miss P.D. Goodban was the owner of JD 1953 and she competed extensively in the car throughout the 1933 season. The two images seen here capture her and her car at the 1933 running of the Scottish Six Day Trial which took place between 15th and 20th May whereupon she won a bronze award for her efforts. From 1934 onward Miss Goodban’s name continued to be mentioned on the results pages of motoring magazines, but she was by now driving a Singer Nine. (Images courtesy of LAT – plate numbers C322 and Motor Box X274 476 -2 )
Another scene from the 1933 IOM Mannin Beg race around the streets of the island’s capital, Douglas. Here Mansell in MG C Type no.4 leads the Ford-Baumer C Type no.12 along a residential road on the outskirts of the town. (Image courtesy of LAT Images)
An LAT image (LATplate Motor 779-33) depicting a scene from the 1934 RAC Ulster TT. (1st September 1934) The photographer has placed himself in front of Ards Town Hall to capture shots of the competitors crossing the square with the town hall as a backdrop. This surviving image shows two eventual non-finishers, Ashton-Rigby in his MG Magna leading Langley‘s Singer Nine across the square at precisely 12:32 PM according to the town hall clock.
MG C Type Midget RX 8303 is pictured here at Brooklands during the course of the Brighton & Hove Club race meeting in the summer of 1931. The car is stopped adjacent to the pits where the crew can be seen changing a wheel. (LATplate B7078)
The 1933 running of the Mannin Beg race around the streets of Douglas, Isle of Man took place on Wednesday 12th July. While 20 cars entered just 14 started, including ‘Billie’ Sullivan’s Morris Minor. Sullivan and ten others failed to finish the gruelling 50 lap, 230 mile race, the eventual winner being Freddie Dixon in his Riley. Two C Types Midgets finished, second place going to car number 4 (Mansell), with the Ford/Baumer car (no.12) finishing third. Here Hamilton’s Magnette (16) trails the Ford/Baumer C Type at St. Andrew’s Church on the corner of Finch Road and Prospect Hill. Although Hamilton set the fastest lap time of the race he was to retire after 35 laps with a back-axle problem. This superb image is available from LAT Images – quote reference LATplate C1044 when enquiring.
NB Why the single front wing on the Ford/Baumer C Type?
A total of 69 cars took part in the Light Car Club’s 1931 inaugural Relay ‘Grand Prix’. The conditions were awful and a large part of the race was run in torrential rain. This photo shows the start of the race with the ‘scratch cars’ from Littlewood-Clarke’s MG Midget team and the Randall led Austin Seven trio about to come under starters orders. A full report on the proceedings can be found on the Austin Harris website here.
(Editors note: This image had always intrigued me, as the head of the crew member in the Austin Seven seen staring straight at the camera, always struck me as looking like a bodyless cardboard cut-out! An opportunity to examine a high-resolution image reveals that he is wearing a white racing overall which against the smoke of his car’s exhaust makes his torso virtually invisible.)
A dramatic scene from the 11th March 1933 BARC meeting at Brooklands. Wright’s ‘C’ Type Midget was taking part in the Weybridge Junior Handicap, a race over a distance of just six miles. According to Motor Sport the Midget had not been running well and was in the process of being retired at the fork when the car caught fire causing much smoke and mayhem. Apparently ‘the Pyrene men’ came to the rescue although two of these individuals look very much like policemen. Meanwhile, Wright looks on. (LATplate B9639)
The second Light Car Club Relay Grand Prix took place at Brooklands on Saturday 16th July 1932 with 29, three car teams taking part. Among this 87 car strong field was a team entered by Eustace Watkins sales manager Stanley Hutchens. His team consisted of two of the new EW Hornet Daytona Specials (driven by Hutchens and Bertram Wickens) and an earlier 1931 EW Hornet International driven by Edward Erith. A complex handicapping system ensured that racing was close over a full 90 laps of the famous Surrey circuit. Each car was required to finish 30 laps before handing over to a team mate. The Hornets performed impeccably and won the race. This image shows the three drivers (left to right – Hutchens, Erith and Wickens) recieving congratulations from the Earl of March. (LATplate B8744)
1934 RAC Ulster TT – Ards Circuit. This extract from LATplate C4620 shows Dodson crossing the finishing line at the wheel of Geoge Eyston’s MG NE Magnette, winning the 500 mile race at an average speed of 74.5 mph. For those in the UK the BBC have this excellent newsreel clip to view, while the full results can be found here.
Yet another image from the 13th May 1933 Donington Park meeting which on this occasion features an MG Magna sandwiched between two EW Hornet specials. The years 1932 and 1933 were particularly successful for the Hornet and the factory made ‘Special’ chassis with a number of notable successes both on the track and in trials and rallies. Here car number 19, driven by J. Tatton-Ridd leads C. C. Martin driving his MG Magna (no.9) with Dr. E. Hawes in another Hornet at the rear of the trio.(LATplate C454)
Another image from the 13th May 1933 Donington Hall meeting. Little is known about either of the two cars seen here. The J2 is carrying a registration of AMX 650. Any further information appreciated. Please email email@example.com This is an edited extract from LATplate C461.
This response from Cathelijne Spoelstra: No. 80 shows Eddy Hall in C0268 at the May meeting at Donington in 1933. There were three 850cc Midgets entered that day which doesn’t really help when trying to allocate the J2. Unfortunately the database has no record of the registration number.
The second International Relay Race was held at the Brooklands circuit in 1932. The winning team of three Hornets was made-up of two 1932 Eustace Watkins Daytona Specials and an earlier 1931 Eustace Watkins International model. The International was driven by Edward Erith who is seen here in the same car as he drove that day – GO 6468. In May of that year Erith took his Hornet to Lewes in Sussex having entered the annual speed trials on the downs. Alongside Erith in this paddock shot is a late 1931 Kent registered Swallow Hornet Special while yet more Hornets await their turn behind the leading duo. (LAT Motor Sport negative)
A 1933 Somerset registered 1933 MG J2 Midget (YD 6854) is seen here taking part in the driving test section of the 1935 MCC Torquay Rally & Trial. The details of this rally are not recorded in Donald Cowbourne’s book ‘British Rally Drivers – their cars and awards’ therefore the crew of car number 173 will have to remain unnamed. This is a restored version of LATplate C7066
Little is known about the car and crew in this paddock image. It was taken at Donington Hall on the occasion of just the second race meeting to be held at the venue on 13th May 1933. The man standing behind the car has a cardboard tag hanging from his lapel labelled ‘Mechanic’ while both crew members pose for the camera in their crash helmets. The remainder of their attire is more appropriate for a trip to the pub rather than 20 laps around a race circuit. (LATplate C460)
This image perfectly illustrates the genetic ties that exist between the pre-war Morris Minor and the first MG Midget. The photo was sent to the Network in early 2009, just a few months after the website was established. The limited information captured at that time included the name of the correspondent, a Mr Norman Edwards and the vehicle’s chassis number 2M/651. This of course identifies and dates the car as a 1929 MG Midget, the vehicle registration confirming this and identifying its place of registration as being Manchester. While the photo is undated and could have been taken at any time during the last thirty years, it’s clear that it has been heavily modified at an earlier stage in its life, someone fitting what looks to be a home-built body while also replacing the original Midget radiator with that from a 1932 Morris Minor. The Minor radiator badge has also been removed and replaced with that from an MG. The much-revised car’s front valance is of later construction and was not an original fitment on either model. Although not listed on the Triple M Register (at least, not with this chassis number) the car is known at the DVLA, their database recording it as being first registered in October 1929. It, therefore, seems likely that it is still out there somewhere. Let’s hope so.
This superb cutaway image of a 1932 MG F1 Type Salonette first appeared in the 11th September 1932 edition of The Autocar magazine. There is little else to add other than to say the drawing was authored by noted technical artist, Max Millar.
The 1935 RSAC Scottish Rally took place between the 10th and 14th June. Sixteen MG’s took part including Midget BXA 23 which was driven by D.R.B. Duffy who bought it home in eighteenth position of the forty-one cars in his class that made it to the finish. The rally was as much a test of endurance than of skill as the event ran for four days through some of Scotland’s most picturesque but demanding terrain. (LATplate C6404)
LAT plate C440 is dated 13th May 1935 in the LAT portfolio but was almost certainly taken on 13th May 1933 as the plate number places it among the May 1933 sequence. This dramatic shot of car no. 19, a 1932/33 Wolseley Hornet Eustace Watkins Daytona Special was taken at Donington Hall at only the second ever car meeting to be held there, the first such meeting taking place just two months earlier. The outcome of this incident is unknown.
Peter Brock found this reference to the incident in Motor Sport:
Round they came again, and this time J. T. Ridd went onto the grass. Somehow all the cars got round and we waited for the next circuit. Patrick was well in the lead, followed by Briault, who came up to the bend at a great speed. He clapped on his brakes, the tail of the Hornet decided to become the front, and with a screech of tyres the car turned right round. Briault took his bearings, and set off, but not before Doctor Hawes on another Hornet had robbed him of second place. The crowd, with typical British disregard for the niceties of driving, gave Briault a rousing cheer.
This photo was taken in July 1935 during the course of the Eastbourne Concours D’Elegance or Coachwork Competition. The event was one of a series of south coast ‘beauty pageants’ held each summer in the resort towns of Brighton, Ramsgate and Eastbourne. They attracted huge crowds and large entries throughout the thirties and it was to these events that the equivalent of today’s motoring exotica gathered. This rather overdressed MG, owned by a Captain Short is being examined by Eastbourne’s Lady Mayoress, while Major Gowen from Fawlty Towers looks on. Can anyone recognise the model hidden behind the plethora of badges? (LATplate C 7041)
This atmospheric night shot was taken in the early hours of 28th December 1935 near Shaftesbury in Dorset. The occasion was the 21st running of the MCC’s London-Exeter Trial, the cars having left the start in Virginia Water, Surrey a few hours earlier. The three recognisable cars here are are the Midgets of N.E. Bracey (‘P’ Type BPL 999) and J.H. Summerfield (‘P’ Type JB 4611). The Ford V8 3.6 litre behind the two MG’s is that driven by F. Allott. While Allott and Bracey both went on to win Premier Awards, Summerfield retired his car before the finish. (LATplate C7825)
JHT 400 is an MG Magna engined Wolseley Hornet Special. Originally registered in Birmingham in 1931 as a Wolseley Hornet Saloon (OG 7528) it was initially rebuilt as a plywood bodied trials special in 1936 by owners T.C.G. Butler and C.C. Evans. The car was then campaigned both before and immediately after the Second World War. Evans named the car ‘Ophelia‘ after hearing a comment by a passenger bouncer “Oh, feel your wheels gripping” following its second conversion when the seats and hence more weight was moved further to the rear. Ophelia and crew achieved some success and notoriety while taking part in many national reliability trials during this period. The first of the three images to be seen here (competition no. 65) was taken in Gypsy Lane during the course of the 1946 Colmore Trial while the Motor Sport snippet caption tells us that OG 7528 was appearing in the 1937 event of the same name. The venue and date are not known for the third image.
Little is known about this LAT plate C7830 except that it was taken in January 1936 and shows The Three Musketeers team, both cars and crews, prior to an event. Please contact the Network if the event or crew members can be identified.
MG enthusiast Mike Bradbury writes: The three MGs in the photo are the 1935/36 Musketeer Magnette/Magna specials. JB 6865 (Athos) usually driven by MacDermid; JB 6866 (Porthos) usually driven by Bastock; JB 6867 (Aramis) usually driven by Langley. These cars were built on L type Magna chassis’s and were a mixture of the best parts of L, N, J and P types. It seems that only Aramis is known to the Triple M Register and is with John Reid. Their chassis Nos were Comp/N1,2,3 respectively. I’ve no idea where the pic was taken but it is possible that the three drivers mentioned above are the gentlemen in the picture.
The 1933 Brighton-Beer Trial was held on 25th June with six observed hill sections. The entry of 102 cars was dominated by MG’s which made-up almost a quarter of the 102 cars that started. Car no. 37 (UF 7254) is a 1931 Brighton registered Jarvis Midget, although the names of the crew are not known. Any further information concerning this LAT image C959 gratefully received.
The MG Midget Sportsman’s Coupe was launched in 1929 and provided the template for later MG Coupe versions which were to arrive on the scene from late 1931 onward. RX 6257 is seen here exiting Church Loft in West Wycombe, Bucks before joining the main A40 London to Oxford Road. Apart from the traffic and parked cars, this stretch of the A40 has changed little in the intervening 87 years.
Church Loft was built in the 15th century. It was here that pilgrims stayed as guests of the church. Since then it has been the village jail, stocks, and in more recent years as a venue for events. The building is timber-framed, with later brick in-fill To the left-hand side is an arch to Church Lane which contains the Village lock-up and whipping post. The building has a bell turret, and a particularly fine clock (dated 1668) overhanging the street. The recently restored clock’s mechanism remains within the Church Loft and now chimes once again. The clock was restored in 2003. (Summary, courtesy West Wycombe village website.)
Just 44 Montlhery, or ‘C’ Type MG Midgets were built in 1931-32 and a surprising number survive to this day. One such survivor is a 1931 car RX 8306, currently owned and still used competitively by Chris Cadman. This photo may or may not be of Chris’s car. It was taken at the spring 1932 MAC Shelsley meeting and shows a C Type with its number plate partly obscured. It’s established that another C Type was registered as RX 8586 and so this photo may be of that car (LATplate B8591)
Thanks to Cathelijne Spoelstra for the additional information to be found below:
Pictured above is PJ 37, a 1931 Surrey registered Abbey Hornet special. The occasion was the 1932 running of the MCC Sporting Trial which took place on 15th October that year, centered upon Buxton in Derbyshire. In this photograph the car was being driven by J.J. Kennedy who was one of 28 drivers to collect a Premier Award from among the 80 crews that started the event. Compared with other national trials organised by the MCC, the Sporting Trial was a short half-day affair comprising just five observed sections (three of which were covered twice) over a distance of only 46.5 miles. (LAT Motor Sport image)
1931 Wolseley Hornet Coupe
Rarer than many Wolseley Hornet Specials this factory produced two-seater Coupe was not a big seller despite being competitively priced at £215. (The smaller MG Midget Sportsman’s Coupe sold for £245) LAT Images Photoscan
1931 McEvoy Hornet Special GK 4084 was owned by A. J. Bochaton and appeared in a series of national trials between 1934 and 1936. In this photo, the car is being enthusiastically driven at the MCC’s London-Gloucester Trial (held on 7th December 1935) while climbing a narrow green lane somewhere in the Cotswolds. The Network’s photo archive holds three further images of this car/driver combination and in each photo, the car is trailing a smokey exhaust, which in view of the car’s age, already four years old at this time and its competition pedigree could indicate the need for imminent engine surgery. If that was the case on 7th December 1935 it didn’t hinder Bochaton as he went on to win a first class award for his efforts.
The 1931 MG C Type Midget was a supercharged short stroke 746 cc racing car. Fourteeen examples were built prior to the third and final JCC Brooklands Double Twelve race of 8th and 9th May 1931, five of these cars occupying the top five places at the race’s conclusion. Just a few weeks later two C Types took part in the Le Mans 24 Hour race, neither car being classified as a finisher. The C Type driven by the Hon. Mrs Chetwynd and H.H. Stisted completed just 30 laps while that driven bt Sir Francis Samuelson was disqualified for failing to complete the final lap in under 30 minutes. The car pictured above is that driven by Samuelson. (LAT Motor Sport negative)
With snow on the ground, J. F. Kemp pilots his 1932 Birmingham registered MG J2 Midget (OJ 6978) along a frozen and rutted section of byway. The date is 23rd February 1935 and Kemp is taking part in that years running of the SUNBAC Colmore Cup Trial. He completed the course and gained a Third Class award. (LATplate C5309)
1933 MG J2 Midget JH 4140 is seen here taking part in the 1935 running of the MCC’s ‘Edinburgh’ trial while being driven by O.M. Dixon. The car is negotiating Wrynose Pass on 8th June in the Lake District National Park where gradients of 25% can be expected. In 1935 this pass was an unmetalled road or loose gravel track which proved to be a real test for many of the cars. Dixon won a Bronze Award for his efforts. This seven minute YouTube video shows a ‘modern’ tackling the pass in October 2011.(LATplate C6347)
By January 1936 Essex registered 1931 MG Midget VX 6845 was four and a half years old and some way distant from the model’s competitive heyday in the early years of that decade. However this M Type was far from alone. There were plenty more representatives of the the early Midget taking part in competitive events up and down the country throughout this period – and not just in club competitions such as this one. Cowbourne’s epic tome, British Trial Drivers – Their cars and awards 1929-1939 includes a photograph of Bacon’s 1931 M Type CV 5127 taking part in the 1939 ‘Exeter’. The photograph above (LATplate C7834) was taken at the Kentish Border Trial in January 1936 although the names of the crew are unknown.
Frank Ashby & Sons along with V.W. Derrington, James Grose, Brown Bros, Halfords, Gamages and others sold a vast array of accessories for the pre-war car owner. No one was better catered for than owners of cars with sporting pretentions. This Frank Ashby half page ad from the 23rd June 1933 edition of the Light Car & Cyclecar was aimed directly at these owners with their ‘Brooklands’ range. It’s interesting to note that their fully-flexible steering wheels were standard equipment on a host of sporting models, while MG clearly preferred Bluemel products.
The Bugatti Owner’s Club held regular events on Gold Hill Common, Chalfont-St-Peter, Bucks throughout the early thirties. The gravel byway from the village to the top of the hill provided the track, with competitors generating thick clouds of dust as they negotiatiated the bends. Here 1930 MG Midget MG 764 commences the climb with an unknown driver at the wheel.
1932 Eustace Watkins Daytona Wolseley Hornet Special: Eustace Watkins were the London main dealers for Wolseley cars throughout the thirties decade and significantly contributed to the growth of the Wolseley brand via their ‘special’ bodies fitted to the Hornet chassis. The majority of these bodies were open sporting types which sold well and in the right hands went on to capture numerous awards at the popular club and national trials then in vogue. The bodies were not constructed by Eustace Watkins and were sub-contracted to the coachbuilding trade, much of the E.W. work going to Abbey Coachworks of Merton and later, Acton. This drawing by ‘Ferguson’ for The Autocar appears on an undated glass plate (LATplate L5613) and depicts a 1932 season model.
This is one of two Motor Sport images of this Abbott bodied MG Magna DHC taken at the company’s plant in Farnham, Surrey. E.D. Abbott survived the recession of the early thirties and continued to produce vehicle bodies up to the outbreak of war and for a short period after the cessation of hostilities.
Little is known about this LAT plate scan (C2544) other than it was taken at the 1934 running of the WASA Chiltern Trial. The car looks to be an MG F Type Magna (MG 1316) which is seen negotiating a by-way in the Chiltern Hills, almost certainly a section of The Ridgeway. If anyone can provide further information concerning the crew, then please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
This sequence of eight images was taken by accomplished automotive photographer W.J. Brunell and are part of a collection of his images held at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu which can now also be viewed on the Getty Images website
The car in question is a 1929 MG Midget registered as MG 1930 and was owned by C. I. Robinson, who used the car to compete in a trio of national trials in 1929 (Exeter/Sporting & Lands End) along with the ‘Lands End’ of 1930. This car and driver combination featured in a number of photographs taken at these events, with images appearing in both the Light Car and The Autocar. It’s not clear for what purpose this particular series of photograph were taken.
To view each image in turn click upon the grey bars beneath the gallery.
M.F.L. Faulkner’s supercharged 1931 MG Midget is seen here competing at the February 1931 running of the Inter Varsity Speed Trial at Branches Park in South West Suffolk on the Cambs/Essex border. The driveway of Branches Park House was used as the track. The house itself was demolished just 26 years later in 1957. This scan is taken from a Motor Sport negative (Courtesy LAT Images Ltd.) See also Triple M Corner no. 31
Four images of the 1931 launched Supercharged MG Midget have appeared hear previously. This fifth LAT plate image (E1922) provides an excellent close-up of part of the cockpit, including the dash panel and instruments. For example, it’s clear that a Smith’s model PN speedometer was used.
J. B. Carver and his 1930 London registered MG Midget GC 5505 featured in many trials during the early thirties. This Motor Sport image shows him about to leave the car park of the Crown Inn, Marlow on a wet November morning prior to competing in the 1932 running of the Inter Varsity Trial between teams from the Oxford and Cambridge universities. His motoring activities could not have left much time for study as the club badges adorning the front of his Midget would indicate that he had a passion for sporting motoring. The r/h LAT sourced scan was taken from a celluloid negative retained in their archive, while the l/h image is a scan taken directly from the December 1932 edition of the magazine. (Page 52)
N.B. To see the respective images in full – drag the arrows to either the right or the left.
During 1930 and 1931 the original MG Midget was entered for many trials and at most events outnumbered other popular models . The 1931 running of the London-Gloucester trial (12th December) was one such event where 13 Midgets took part, including that of N.H. Cole, his car (OU 3146) being registered in Hampshire in 1930. He is seen here piloting OU 3146 up Ferriscourt which was a timed section on this trial. He finished in the awards winning a Silver Cup for his efforts. (LATplate B5246)
F.H. Boyd-Carpenter made his name tuning and racing Austin Sevens from the mid-twenties onward. In 1926 he established his own coachbuilding business in Kilburn, N.W. London and from 1928 produced a pointed-tail Austin Seven Special. This was to be followed by the ‘Junior’ model, an unglamourous (and inexpensive) Morris Minor special in 1930. His company were quick off the mark when the Wolseley Hornet was launched in April 1930 when just a few months later this good looking special (based upon his Austin Seven design) took to the streets. By the standards of the day it was an expensive Hornet option with a £232-10s price tag, although surviving images testify that at least three found customers. (LAT Motor Sport nagative)
The 1933 running of the MCC London-Gloucester Trial took place on Saturday 9th December with the 149 competitors (a record entry) leaving the car park of the Bridge House Hotel, Staines, Middx from 12:01 AM. The crews were then tasked with completing an all night drive before arriving in Cheltenham for their breakfast stop from 5:00 AM onwards. Competitors were then further obliged to complete the 12 observed test hill sections before finishing a gruelling almost 12 hour drive at Rodborough Common, Glos. The MG J2 Midget JD 2741 seen in this image was driven by T.C. Taylor who went on to collect a Silver Medal, one of only 14 such awards that day. (LATplate Motor X789)
GP 8217 was registered in London during 1931 therefore one of the early Swallow built Hornet Two-seater specials. The car is seen here taking part in the 1932 MCC London-Lands End Trial with C. F. Harris at the wheel. This image was shot at an unknown location on 26th March 1932 by a photographer using celluloid film in his camera, the resulting negatives producing far less detail than that seen on glass plates. C.F. Harris failed to collect an award and retired from the event. (An LAT Motor Sport image)
1932 Wolseley Hornet March Special
Kevill-Davies & March of Bruton Street, London W.1 marketed a number of ‘specials’ from early 1932 onwards. One of their earliest designs was an open two+two body for the Wolseley Hornet chassis as seen in this April 1932 Autocar image, with a body supplied by the coachbuilder John Charles of Kew. There is a strong claim that these Freddie March designed bodies were the first to feature fully swept front wings, a styling cue that was to become a design hallmark of British thirties sports cars. (LATplate E2670)
Swallow Hornet Special
Arguably one of the prettiest Hornet Specials to leave a coachbuilder’s workshop was also one of the earliest of this variant to be built. The Swallow Hornet two-seater (£225) made its first appearance in November of 1930 to be joined the following October by an open four-seat model. It was sold exclusively by the Henlys concern who heavily advertised the vehicle in The Autocar, The Motor & The Light Car and soon versions were to be found taking part in the major sporting events of the day. Two of the striking features that made the Swallow Hornet two-seater stand out from the crowd were its three-piece raked windscreen and Alvis like beetle-back rear end. The finish on this later (1933) car looks magnificent in this photograph taken immediately outside the Henlys showroom in Great Portland Street, Central London. (LATplate E2071)
1933 Jensen Hornet four-seat Sports Saloon Special
Such is this car’s shape that a quick glance at its profile could lead the viewer to believe that he was looking at a two seat Hornet Coupe. The stylish back windows provide the clue to the additional rear seats while the vinyl covering to the roof and dummy pram-irons are period fashion items. The opening boot and trafficators indicate that this is a well-equipped version of the genre while its rear-hinged doors hark back to the twenties but none-the-less permit far easier access for rear-seat passengers. Jensen built other Hornet special types including a detachable trunk version of this model. (Image LAT E plate – reference obscured)
This 1931 MG Midget (DG 2327) may be familiar to those who view this page regularly as it has previously featured in an IOTW (no.377). As reported there these images were all captured on the Isle of Man and were taken to appear in an as yet undiscovered article in The Autocar magazine. This photo was taken in the centre of Douglas perhaps at the junction of Prospect Hill and Victoria Street and provides an interesting view of the car, resplendent with a full set of badges including that of the Junior Car Club together with a ‘lucky’ horseshoe. The motorcycle combination JW 1656 was almost certainly the property of another island tourist in that it was first registered in Wolverhampton in 1932. (LAT Plate E3928)
This 1932 Wolseley Hornet Special (GX 6560), driven by a female, is seen here taking on an MG F Type Magna (GX 430) at the June 1932 running of the BARC’s Inter Club Meeting at Brooklands. There is another LAT image (B8511) of the two cars together on the starting line. If the names of the crews are known please contact the website at email@example.com (LATplate B8509)
Postscript: Thanks to Dick Serjeantson’s booklet Hornets at Brooklands (Wolseley Hornet Specials Club) it can be revealed that the female driver of the EW Daytona is none other than Kay Petre who was making her Brooklands debut. The driver of the Magna was Doddy Moncrieff.
During the early part of the thirties decade ‘concours d’elegance’ events were an important part of the motoring scene while that held in the south coast town of Eastbourne, Sussex each September was perhaps the most popular of them all. Tens of thousands attended these events which were effectively beauty pageants for cars although some did include a driving test element. This beautiful 1932 Kent registered E.W. Hornet Special KJ 6644 was a prize winner for its owner and his glamorous companion at that years running of the event. (LAT Plate E3898)
This 1933 MG Magna has been fitted with a removeable coupe hard top, built in this workshop probably somewhere in West London, which at that time was the heart of the coachbuilding trade. The LAT Images Plate (E4470) yields no further clues as to the coupe top’s origins.
RX 8306 is a 750 cc C Type MG Midget and is seen here in post-race condition at the Brooklands circuit in Surrey in 1931. This is one of a sequence of images taken of this car at the circuit that day another of which featured in Triple M Corner no.42 which can be found in the Snippets archive. In this instance the Hornet in the background is of significant interest. OW 275 is a factory built 1931 Hornet Coupe of which very few were constructed and even fewer photographed. (Lat Images Plate E1333)
Yet another Abbey Hornet 2+2 special, this one being a 1932 AS3 model. The close fitting front cycle guards on this model turned with the wheel ensuring that less road dirt decorated the car’s body sides, although the bottom quarter of the rear mudguards have been fitted with an aluminium cover to protect the paintwork. Unlike other Abbey Hornet models this car was not fitted with louvered side valences. (A Motor Sport road test of this model has recently been added to the Wolseley Hornet page here.) LAT Plate E1909
1931 Arrow Hornet Special PL 9592 was built at the A.P. Compton‘s works located in a converted tram depot in Hanwell, West London. The firm offered two further Arrow body styles on the Hornet chassis, these being a fixed-head and a drop-head coupe. All three models were effectively 2+2s and this seating arrangement was a particularly popular style and was adopted by many of the coachbuilders constructing Hornet special bodies at that time. The Arrow model illustrated was fitted with twin wipers, fold-flat windscreen, a fog light, Mosley ‘float-on-air’ seat cushions while the all weather equipment included a rear tonneau. Stone guards have also been fitted to the headlamps and radiator, partially obscuring the Arrow script attached to the honeycomb. (Plate E1875 courtesy of LAT Images)
The Triple M series of MG’s all belong to a family of models that commenced with the 1929 MG Midget and continued through to 1936 via a long string of four and six cylinder OHC engined cars that forged the marques identity.
The original MG Midget, conceived in the autumn of 1928 by Cecil Kimber, had its ‘last hurrah’ in February 1932 when the supercharged version was launched. A favourable road test report appeared in the February 12th edition of The Autocar and it is from that road test photo-shoot that this unpublished image was taken. The new ‘blown’ variant of the Midget had a top speed of 76mph (as tested by The Autocar) and cost £250, a full £65 more than the standard metal paneled version, which according to the test report now sported a wider body than the fabric skinned model.
This image (E1924) is from a newly discovered batch of plates in the LAT Images archive. As can be seen the clarity and overall quality is extremely high and its hoped to feature more from this cache shortly.
A further scene from the 1933 running of the Scottish Six-Day Trial (SSDT). Here D. Donaldson’s Edinburgh registered 1933 J3 Midget FS 6777 is seen negotiating a very sharp hairpin bend on an unmetaled section of mountain road with spectacular highland views as a backdrop. Just 35 cars entered the event (including the two Minors of Barge & Wagner) while Donaldson’s car was part of the prize winning three car MG team.
1930 MG Midget MG 703 (2M/1910) is seen here taking part in the Royal Scottish Automobile Club’s 1936 (RSAC Rally) which took place over 1st – 5th June that year. The car is being driven by Lt. Cdr. G.M.D. Maltby R.N. a member of the Kent based coachbuilding family. According to the caption on the rear of the photo the car is “awaiting 1st test” – Acceleration up hill at Boness. The Boness hill-climbing test was an innovation at this rally and took place early on the first day, shortly after the rally’s Edinburgh start. The car and crew did get among the awards winning the ‘Old Car’ prize. (The fate of the cyclist is unknown.)
The car is now in the long-term custody of Ian Judd, a member of this website and former Minor owner. A high resolution version of this image will hopefully adorn his office wall soon.
The 1932 MG F Type Magna was powered by a ‘disguised’ Wolseley Hornet six cylinder engine with a displacement of of 1271 cc. The version seen here is bodied by the coachbuilder Stiles and was one of 188 Magna rolling chassis that found their way to the coachbuilding trade. This model was constructed with a dickey-seat covered by a lid that also acted as a back rest for the occupant. Note the ‘dickey’ access step attached to the rear bodywork. This image first appeared in the 18th March 1932 edition of The Autocar. (LAT Images photoscan)
This 1932 MG Magna DHC special with a body by Farnham sold for £325 when launched in 1932. The image is a photo-scan of a heavily re-touched print from LAT Images Autocar archive.
The last M Type Midgets were built during the first half of 1932 and were lightly tweeked in appearance for that last season. They were the recipients of new angular styled wings as seen on the D and F Type Midgets and on this factory demonstrator/press car example a windscreen wiper had also been fitted. Other interesting features to note are the short notched advance/retard lever as first fitted to the 1931 short season S.V. Minors along with the anti-shake rubbers fitted on the ‘B’ post. The long extended ‘double-bend’ gear lever is plainly visible as is the carpet fitting detail. This is a metal paneled model and the permanently attached hood brackets are just in shot while the shorter boot lid is not. (This is an Autocar photo scan image courtesy of LAT Images)
A seasonal image to conclude the Triple M corner series for 2016. This heavily re-touched shot of MG P Type Midget (BUV 140) was taken at the MG Car Clubs Chiltern Trial held in January of 1936. According to the caption E.J. Haesdonck is seen ‘crabbing up Maiden’s Grove’. The hamlet of Maidensgrove is located five miles north west of Henley-on-Thames, Oxon. The precise date of the trial was 19th January 1936 and this W.J. Brunell image appeared in the next Autocar edition which was published on 24th January.
This MG C Type (RX 8306) features in many period images and was the actual car used by The Autocar at the time of its launch. The C Type was a production development of the Class H record braking Midget driven by George Eyston at Montlhery and Brooklands which was eventually partially destroyed by a fuel fire, Eyston thankfully escaping serious injury. The cars parked-up in the Brooklands car park are worthy of closer examination with two M Type Midgets visible along with an Aston Martin Le Mans and other notable sporting cars of the period. (LAT plate E1366)
UD 3166 is a 1929 MG Midget purchased new by a Mr. Michael Collier. The car and driver are seen here on Ranmore Common, near Dorking, Surrey while taking part in the 1930 running of the Junior Car Club’s ‘Half Day Trial’. The event was held during the afternoon of Saturday March 8th and was not without controversy. The Light Car (14th March 1930) reported that police were called as thoroughfares were blocked by queuing competitors resulting in a number of crews receiving official police cautions for causing an obstruction. According to the Triple M Register the car survives and is currently resident in the USA. (A Getty/Brunell image 624162834)
MG J2 Midget RX 9980 has featured earlier in this series (Triple M corner no.7) that photo being taken at the February 1933 running of the Sunbac Colmore Cup Trial as it is in this Brunell/Getty image. The winter of 1932/33 was particularly harsh and conditions for the trial were difficult for competitors. The Midget was being driven by J.R. Temple and was the very same car that The Autocar had used in it’s road test of the type in August of the previous year.
This 1930 MG Double Twelve Replica Midget (MG 768) is being driven by Viscount Curzon in the 1931 Inter Varsity Trial which had started from the Crown Inn, Marlow, Bucks on the morning of Saturday 4th November. The trial sections were almost exclusively located among the Chiltern Hills and it’s believed that this photograph was taken on Alms Hill by Bill Brunell. This photo appears on the Getty Images website and carries reference number 615477046.
This scene from the 1930 running of the MCC Sporting Trial is one of a series taken by Bill Brunell at that event. Getty Images have now obtained the rights to Brunell’s back catalogue including many historic photographs and are displaying them at a reasonable pixel width on their website. A search of their website is a must for anyone with an interest in pre-war motoring.
This shot was taken at the commencement of an observed section somewhere in the Peak District and shows R.D. Crump’s 1929 Essex registered Midget (VX 2286) about to leave. Car no. 45 is another Midget (RX 7206) driven by L.A. Welch while the MG Six is being driven by C.F. Dobson. Crump went on to collect a bronze award.
An image taken from an adjacent spot featured here as Triple M corner no.35. Both photographs were taken during the course of the Scottish Six Day Trial held in May 1933 and show J Type MG’s at this water course obstacle. Above, J2 FS 5757 is seen creating quite a splash while being driven by Miss M. Dixon who went on to collect a top award of a Silver Cup for her efforts over the course of the trial. (LAT Plate C258)
This shot of MG Brooklands Double Twelve Midget (WL 9270) was taken in the immediate aftermath of the 1930 running of the Brooklands Double Twelve race. The car was crewed by Norman Black and H.H. Stisted and finished 14th in the overall standings and was the first of the five racing Midgets to finish the race behind the winning Bentley of Barnato and Clement. Motor Sport then took one of these cars (WL 9273 – Randall & Mongomery’s race car no.76) to the West Country for an extended test where it was reported that the car could cruise at an indicated 70 mph with 75 being attainable on suitable stretches of road. (Motor Sport image – courtesy of LAT Photographic)
Up to 1927 the Edinburgh & District Motor Club regularly invited cars to participate in their internationally well know Scottish Six Days Trial, perhaps the toughest trial in the U.K. for both man and machine. After a six year hiatus when just motorcycles could be entered, the club once again opened-up the event to cars for its May 1933 running. Just 35 entries were received, the largest contingent being M.G.’s. The models represented were J2s and J3s with six of the former and two of the latter taking part. Here the J3 FS 6777 of D. Donaldson is seen gingerly approaching a water hazard, the photographer capturing the point at which the car is about to enter the water, with its reflection perfectly etched upon its surface. Although individual awards are not listed for this event in ‘Cowbourne’, Donaldson did pick up an award as a member of the three-car prize winning team. (Image courtesy of LAT Photographic Plate ref: C261)
The MG J2 Midget was fitted with twin SU carburetors and featured a cross-flow cylinder head. This Motor Sport engine bay/firewall area image should aid J2 Midget restorers seeking originality. (Image courtesy LAT Photographic)
Throughout the early thirties Charles Wynn wrote a column for The Autocar entitled Touring Topics. The column was invariably headed up by a photograph, which in many cases had been submitted by a reader, and depicted an interesting touring related scene. The LAT archive contains many original pieces of The Autocar artwork which in the case of Touring Topics consisted of a re-touched photo, graphically overwritten in a studio. This is a scan of one such item showing JJ 673, a late 1932 London registered MG J2 Midget on Exmoor, Devon, the photo first appearing in a September 1933 edition of the magazine. (Image courtesy of LAT Photographic)
The supercharged 750 cc ‘C’ Type Midget was MG’s third successful racing car variant after the 12/12 and Le Mans Midgets of 1930. In 1931 a team of ‘C’ Types swept the board at the last running of the Brooklands Double Twelve event, the winning car being driven by the Earl of March and C.S. Staniland who covered 1575 miles at an average speed of 65.63 mph. The first five places went to ‘C’ Type Midgets while three Austin Sevens filled positions seven to nine. This photo is another from the Motor Sport archive and is taken from a poor celluloid negative which has been subject to enhancement in Photoshop. (Image courtesy of LAT Photographic)
MG K3 Magnette JB 1046 is featured here for a second time, on this occasion by courtesy of an uncaptioned Motor Sport image. The photo looks to have been taken at a pre-war hill-climb event. If anyone has further information they can add, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (Image courtesy of LAT Photographic)
Jensen Motors of West Bromwich were a highly successful coachbuilder at a time when many similar businesses were going to the wall. Apart from building a significant number of bodies for Michael McEvoy, including the the two Minor models (60 & 70), the concern also bodied the Hornet and as can be seen from this Light Car cutting at least one J2 MG Midget OJ 4491.
1930 Midget KR 4806
R. Littlewood-Clarke owned this Kent registered Midget and is presumably driving the car when it was photographed here taking part in the 1932 MCC Sporting Trial held on 15th October 1932. The trial was centered around the Derbyshire town of Buxton and comprised five observed sections, three of which were covered twice – one of these being the notorious Litton Slack. Littlewood Clarke was one of 28 drivers to collect a Premier Award that day. The viaduct seen in the background may be the clue to provide the answer as to precisely where this Motor Sport sourced image was taken. (Image courtesy LAT Photo)
Another image from the Motor Sport photographic archive. This one shows C. W. M. Wicket’s 1930 MG Midget passing an Austin Seven Ulster during the course of the 1931 MCC London – Land’s End Trial held over Good Friday and Easter Saturday – 3rd & 4th April. The Midget (CV 2027) was first registered in Cornwall in 1930 and local man Wicket went on to collect a Gold award at this event. (Image courtesy of LAT Photographic)
This 1929 Bedfordshire registered MG Midget (TM 5284) is seen here competing in the (7th) December 1935 running of the MCC London-Gloucester Trial with L. Onslow-Bartlett at the wheel. At some point after June 1932 the car had been fitted with a McEvoy body (source Cowbourne) although this head-on view doesn’t permit many of the differences with the standard example to be seen. What the image does reveal is that the front wings are home-made cycle types while the front dumb-iron valance has been removed and the slatted radiator surround is another non-standard addition. The MCC awarded this car/driver combination a third class award upon completion of the trial.
This image is located in the Motor Sport archive and is reproduced here courtesy of LAT Photographic.
13th, 14th 1932 MCC London – Edinburgh Trial
MG Magna TK 7277 was driven by S.W. Cottee and is seen here climbing Park Rash hill in the Yorkshire Dales during the course of the 1932 running of the event. Cottee won a Premier Award for his (and the car’s) efforts over the two days.
(This image is held in the Motor Sport image archive and is reproduced here by permission of LAT Photographic)
Launched in July 1934 the MG KN Magnette (pillar-less) Saloon was a six cylinder fast touring car, just 200 of which were built in its short production life which ended in 1935. (Source: Mike Allison ‘The Magic of the Marque’.) The KN Magnette was built upon the 9′ lwb K chassis and weighed in at just under 16 cwt. (LAT ‘Motor’ Plate 525-8)
By the start of the 1932 season the original MG Midget was fast approaching the end of its production life. Fabric clad bodies were rapidly disappearing from model ranges, the last Minors to be thus skinned being the 1931 season Semi-Sports, along with the S.V. and O.H.C. Fabric Saloons and these only sold in very low numbers. The ‘M’ Type Midget was about to give-way to the new J2 model on the Abingdon production lines and just 187 original Midgets were made that season, of which all but 37 were metal paneled cars. A distinguishing feature of these metal clad models was the shorter boot lid made to accommodate the permanently attached hood – note the visible hood rails. (LAT Photo Scan)
The Triple M series of MG’s all belong to a family of models that commenced with the 1929 MG Midget and continued through to the mid-thirties via a long string of four and six cylinder OHC engined cars that forged the marque’s identity.
On 6th May 1933 the JCC International Trophy Race took place at the Brooklands circuit in Surrey. The race was held over a distance of 250 miles with 28 cars making it to the starting line. Although the Honourable Brian Lewis won the race in an Alfa Romeo the next three places went to the MG K3 Magnettes of E.R. Hall, Mrs Elsie Wisdom and Earl Howe. Just eight cars finished the race. This photo (LAT Plate C159) shows the MG Car Company chief executive Cecil Kimber standing between the ‘Eddie’ Hall car and that of Mrs ‘Bill’ Wisdom shortly after the end of the three hour race.
A Midget and a Hornet feature in this LAT image (B5613) which was taken during the course of the 1931 running of the JCC Half Day Trial. The two-tone Hornet Coachbuilt Saloon (GH 6250) seen on the left was first registered in London in the late summer of 1930 and looks as if it is in absolutely standard trim. The metal paneled MG Midget Sportman’s Coupe is registered MG 872 and carries the competition no. 3. If anyone knows more about this car please contact the website.
Competition number 124 adorned the car entered by J.A. Arber to the 1932 MCC London-Land’s End Trial, that took place on the 25th and 26th March. Arber’s Midget (as detailed by Cowbourne) can be seen here being assisted up one of the nine observed hill sections. Despite this he went on to collect a Silver Award. His car looks to be an MG D Type but has rear hanging doors – perhaps an MG specialist can help identify the model? (LAT Plate B7807) Edited to add: Thanks to the help of the Triple M Forum, Sam Christie, Ted Hack & Cathelijne Spoelstra for identifying the car as an MG D Type Jarvis Special Midget DO360, first registered as PJ 3201, which has survived and is now resident in Luxembourg.
J.A. Berry was a prolific Midget competitor throughout the early thirties. His M Type (MG 704) can be seen in at least three different guises in the surviving images. The first of these from the autumn of 1930 shows his car in standard trim among the competitors at a High Speed Trial event at Brooklands, while the image to be seen here (LAT 5426) reflects some of the changes made over the coming months. Most noticeable of these is the modified windscreen which has been fitted with taller side elements presumably to aid visibility with the hood erected. A modified manifold has also been fitted allowing the exhaust to exit to the bonnet side while the bore of the exhaust pipe is significantly larger than on the standard vehicle. By June 1932 Berry had the first McEvoy designed body fitted to MG 704, a photograph appearing in that months edition of Motor Sport.
1930 MG Midget RX 6795 (2m/1594) was a demonstrator owned by the M.G. Car Company that achieved great fame when in May 1930 it ascended the famous Beggar’s Roost trials hill in Devon 100 times. This particular image was taken that very same month during the course of that years MCC London- Edinburgh Trial. The snippet that follows is taken from a May 1930 Auto Motor Journal.
Another Midget Coupe features this week. TF 3009 was an October 1930 Lancashire registered car which carried the chassis number CM 1982. The car was completed at Abingdon on 28th July 1930 and then took a full two months before it was first registered on 6th October, its new owner being J. M. Toulmin. It is seen here taking part in possibly its first event – the 1931 running of the Reliance Cup Trial also held in October that year. Incidentally Toulmin had driven an Arrow Minor Special at the MCC’s Sporting Trial just a couple of weeks previously and was awarded a Silver Medal. (LAT Plate B7310)
From late 1930 onwards until 1935 the Wolseley Hornet chassis kept many coachbuilding firms in business. Around twenty such concerns built an array of ‘special’ bodies covering the whole gamut of body shapes and sizes. This series of images will attempt to illustrate that rich variety.
Michael McEvoy was quick to spot the sporting potential in the six cylinder Wolseley Hornet chassis when it first appeared in April 1930. By the summer of that year he had designed and built one of the earliest Hornet Specials and commenced selling them through his Leaper Street, Derby and Notting Hill, London premises. This mid-1930 Derby City Council registered car is possibly one of the earliest sold and is seen here taking part in the 1931 running of the Reliance Trial – crew unknown.
This sequence of five MG J2 images have been scanned from half-plate glass negatives only recently re-discovered in the LAT archive. The plate numbers are; L5635 – L5639 inclusive.
The eleventh running of the MCC Sporting Trial took place on 17th October 1931, starting and finishing in Buxton, Derbyshire. The trial commenced at 10:00 AM with 50 cars taking part all of which were required to make two circuits of the course including the four observed hills. W. W. Whitnall took part in PG 993, a 1929 Surrey registered MG Coupe Special (perhaps a Jarvis model?) collecting a Premier Award. Whitnall entered another four pre-war Sporting Trials exclusively using a Morris Minor as his car of choice on each occasion. (LAT Plate B7289)
The 1934 running of the MCC London-Exeter Trial took place over the 28th and 29th December and S.E.H. Bowyer was competing in the event for just the second time, having taken part in a Wolseley Hornet Coupe in December 1933 and picking up a Bronze Award. He fared better in 1934 taking a Silver Award in his new MG PA Midget ?KL 316, the model having been launched in March of that year. The location of this observed section (one of five such sections) is unknown. (LAT C5176)
The second RAC Rally took place between 14th and 18th March 1933. There were nine starting points located across the UK mainland, starters from all points having to complete 1000 miles, their final destination being Hastings on the Sussex coast where a coachwork (or concours) competition took place on the fourth day. J2 Midget AKE 212 was driven by H.H. Oak-Rhind and is seen here leaving a ‘control’ although where this image was taken is not evident. The car looks remarkably clean so it’s likely to have been taken at the very start of the rally. Mr. Oak-Rhind did not feature among the prize winners in 1933 although he returned the following year to take part in the RAC ‘Bournemouth’ rally, once again in an MG. (LAT Plate B9677)
The Wolseley Hornet chassis was extremely popular with coachbuilders who generally marketed their cars through selected retail dealerships. A number of these same dealers designed their own bodies which were then built by their coachbuilder of choice to be retailed through their own car sales showrooms. One such car retailer was Fox & Nicholl of Kingston, Surrey who designed this attractive Hornet Two-seater which was built by Abbey Coachworks of Merton in 1932. As can be seen from an article in the ‘From the vault’ series an example of this model went on to win a class prize at the 1932 Eastbourne Concours event.
Earl Howe’s K3 Magnette (JB 1472), second in class to Eyston’s K3 (the outright winner on handicap) in the April 1933 running of the Mille Miglia, is seen here at the Eastbourne Coachwork Competition (or concours) held just a few weeks later in June of that year. The significance of the very tall gentleman is not known and neither is the identity of the man looking directly at the camera and standing immediately behind the car. (LAT Plate C0755)
J.A. Bastock was a distinguished MG driver throughout the thirties period, taking part in every MCC Lands End Trial from 1931 until 1939. In his first two appearances in ’31 and ’32 he was forced to retire. However in 1933 driving J2 Midget OJ 3305 he earned himself a Premier Award as seen here in this beautiful back-lit shot. (LAT Plate C007)
The Wolseley Hornet chassis was a favourite basis upon which the nations coachbuilder’s could apply their craft. This series will bring just a few of these examples into focus, courtesy of the image quality of the glass plate negatives stored in the LAT archive.
Maltby’s of Folkstone created this four-seat tourer body in early 1932. The design is conservative and mainstream being similar in appearance to a number of Hornet models that were exiting coachbuilders workshops at this time. Worthy of mention is the small boot inside which sits the fuel filler cap and the spare wheel leaving little room for luggage in the space remaining. (LAT Plate Large 5552)
This photograph was taken in December 1934 at an MG Car Club – Manchester Section Trial. The car in question (a J2 Midget XJ 7392?) was first registered in Manchester in early 1933 and is seen here climbing a sunken dirt track somewhere in the Pennines. (LAT Plate C5070)
Three factory sponsored MG PA’s entered by George Eyston were co-driven by six women at the 1935 Le Mans event. Dubbed Eyston’s Dancing Daughters by the press in part homage to a well known all female dancing troupe of the period the team performed very well, bringing all three cars home. Two of the cars can be seen in this LAT image (C6331), car 55 being driven by either Doreen Evans or Barbara Skinner (of White Minor fame) while car 57 had either Coleen Eaton or Margaret Allan at the wheel. The third PA was driven by Joan Richmond and Barbara Simpson.
This image was taken on 8th December 1934 on an observed section of the MCC’s London-Gloucester Trial. MG J2 Midget no. 57 KV 5437 (a 1933 Coventry registered car) was being driven by Mrs. M.M. Riley who went on to win the Ladies Cup that day, successfully completing all 13 sections of the tough course. Her mud bespattered male crew member looks as if he has deliberately left his arm resting in the wake of the detritus thrown up by the car’s front wheels. LAT Plate C5071
1932 MG Midget Jarvis Special
UT 9953 was a January 1932 Leicestershire registered Jarvis Midget Special. It’s pictured here taking part in the 1933 MCC London/Edinburgh Trial on 2nd or 3rd June on one of the four observed hill sections. It was driven by M.H. Rowell who collected a Premier Award. (LAT C628)
1932 MG J2 Midget RX 9980
The J2 Midget succeeded the M Type and was announced to the world via 5th August 1932 editions of both the Light Car and The Autocar. Just a single broadside view of the new car appeared in the Light Car while an array of images greeted The Autocar reader along with a full Road Test report (No.739). On the 18th February 1933 the car that was the subject of that road test, RX 9980 was photographed while taking part in the SUNBAC Colmore Trial on the Warwickshire/Gloucestershire borders. It was driven by J.R. Temple and carried a female passenger. It’s seen here fording a stream in what looks to be very cold conditions with evidence of snow on the ground. The car and crew performed particularly well as they collected a First Class Award for their toils. Could J.R. Temple be associated with Temple Press, the publishers of both the Motor and Light Car magazines? (LAT Plate B9477)
Fingle Bridge, Dartmoor 29th December 1934
Three MGs , two Midgets and a Magna await their turn in a beautiful winter setting before ascending the hill at Fingle Bridge during the course of the 1934 MCC London-Exeter Trial. Leading the way in car number 165 is H.E.F. Maddrell who went on to collect a Silver award as did R.J. Harter in the Magna (166) at the rear. A close examination of this LAT image C5153 reveals that the almost completely concealed competition number of the middle car ends in a 7. If the car’s competition number was 167 then it was driven by J. Shewell-Cooper who also went on to collect a Silver award.
A.S.R. Payne’s Magna Coupe is seen here competing in the 1935 MCC ‘Lands End’ Trial where the pairing gained a Bronze award. The ‘L’ Magna was powered by a 1086 cc six cylinder OHC engine (a smaller version of the 1271 cc unit) This photo was almost certainly taken by the noted automotive photographer W.J. Brunell and is an LAT ‘Motor’ plate reference 739-8.
This LAT Photo Scan was taken at the 1935 ‘Abingdon’ trial and features one of the three musketeer team cars Aramis (JB 4750) being enthusiastically driven through what looks to be a farm yard, or could this be the rear of the MG Abingdon factory? The car, is a six cylinder MG NE Magnette, but who was driving at this time was not captioned on the reverse of the photo and neither were the details of the location. Hopefully one of the Triple M experts will provide this missing data.
RX 7429 MG Midget Sportsman’s Coupe: These heavily retouched pre and post event photographs appeared in separate January 1931 editions of The Autocar. The car was entered for the 1931 Monte Carlo Rally by Francis Samuelson who in June of the previous year had competed in the Le Mans 24 hour race in a specially adapted Double Twelve version of the Midget. After Le Mans he took his Midget to Spa, the car having been entered for the Belgium 24 hour race the following weekend. Later in 1931 Samuelson took part once again in the Le Mans 24 hour race, on this occasion in a ‘C’ Type Midget. As is clear from the photographs car and crew successfully reached Monaco.
This MG K3 Magnette JB 1046 was driven by G W J H Wright in the 1933 Monte Carlo Rally finishing 64th in its class. This image featured in the 27th January 1933 edition of The Autocar. (Retouched photo – LAT Photographic)
Seen above is a 1934 season MG L1 Magna Continental Coupe which first appeared in the 1st September 1933 edition of The Autocar. Despite a striking two-tone colour scheme the model was a very slow seller with just 100 finding customers. The six cylinder crossflow head 1086 CC engine produced 41 bhp while the car was stopped by 12″ drum brakes operated by cables. The car cost £350 at launch. (LAT Photo scan)