MG M Type
The 8/33 Midget or ‘M’ Type M.G. owes its very existence to the humble Morris Minor. Launched at the time of the great economic depression of the late twenties and early thirties it struck a chord with the British motoring public. It certainly represented a viable and suitably ‘prudent’ solution to the financial pressures of the period for those potential customers who required an economical sporting slant to their motoring. Many of these owners competed in hill climbs, trials, rallies and clubman races at Donnington, Brooklands and elsewhere and met with much success. Unsurprisingly, quite a number of owners of the 400 plus surviving original cars and the many ‘new’ replicas continue that sporting tradition today. A grand total of 3,235 cars were built between 1929 and 1932.
The ‘M’ Type was based upon a standard Morris Minor chassis with a lengthened and lowered steering column, coupled to a completely new fabric covered, two seater boat tailed body. These bodies were manufactured under contract to M.G., by Carbodies Ltd. of Coventry. The engine was lightly breathed upon and driven through a standard Minor three speed gearbox. A four speed gearbox was also available as an optional extra in either late 1930 or 1931. (Marque experts cannot agree exactly when this item was first available!) The brakes were also modified slightly and the suspension improved. The end result was a model that gained a reputation for its excellent handling and a top speed of 65 mph – all for an asking price of just £175. (Quickly revised upwards to £185).
A number of small changes occured during the course of its four year production life, the most significant being the adoption of the camshaft that had been fitted to the engines of the winning team of Midgets at the Brooklands JCC 12/12 Race of May 1930. This part came to be known as the 12/12 Cam and is also fitted to many surviving OHC Morris Minors as well as the majority of surviving ‘M’ and ‘D’ Types. Another modification for the car’s final year of production was the introduction of a metal panelled body to complement the original fabric covered type but only 273 of these newer bodies were built.
Two other variants of this model were also produced by M.G. The first of these was the pretty 8/33 Sportmans Coupe of which less than a handful survive. The second such variant was a replica of the Brooklands team winning cars listed by M.G. as the 8/45 Double Twelve. Only 19 (or 21!) of this model were produced and sold.
The ‘M’ Type, as it is now universally known, was the first in a long line of M.G. Midgets, the model continuing in production, with some notable and lengthy intervals, to this day.