The MG Magnette was the most successful British competition model until the Jaguar. The company built 33 of these supercharged six-cylinder cars, each generating over 124 horsepower at 6,500 rpm. The 1,086 cubic centimetre MG Magnette engine powered the car. It was delivered to the rear axle via an under-slung B-double’ gearbox. The driver could change gears easily with a Wilson pre-selector.
The model range was already a mix, with the popular J type and the new Magna line completing the MG product range. The K series Magnettes followed the J types and made use of the conventional MG chassis layout. The resulting models were not good enough to justify production of a racing model, so Cecil Kimber expanded the range to include K series models. The KB and KC engines were equipped with a twin carburetor as well as coil ignition.
The K series of MGs were not as successful in the racing world, but the company had other plans for the MG Magnette. Its popularity in racing led to the development of several variants of the K series. These included the popular KW series, KA, and KB engines. They also featured a preselector transmission and a powerful V8 engine. Despite being successful, the Magnettes did not win any races.
Despite the limited success of the MG Magnette, its popularity remained low. Its price was very high, and there were only eight prototypes built. MG was determined to win the Mille Miglia. It also had the most powerful engines and the most advanced transmissions. However, despite the high cost of the MG Magnette, it was not successful enough to win the World Championship in racing.
The K series of MG Magnettes were a success in the 1930s. They won the Tourist Trophy and the Coppa Acerba Junior. In 1934, a KM Magnette won the Brooklands 500-mile race with Charles Martin and Eddie Hall. In 1932, a KB Magnette won the Mille Miglia by just over a minute. Despite the low-quality engines, the MG Magnette was an impressive racing machine.
MG already had a wide range of models by 1932. The J types were a popular choice and the K series followed. Both the K1 and K2 models used the familiar MG chassis layout. However, the MG Magnette was unable to afford its own racing model without the support of a racing team. Its production would have cost too much money. It was still a competitive car.
K1 saloons were first designed with KA engines. Then came KB and KD engines. The KA and KD models were later modified with KB engines. Three more were made. Unlike the Magnette, the K2 was the only MG Magnette to be designed with a KA engine. Its name refers the “magnetite KA engine”.
The MG Magna range already had a varied range. The K1 and K2 models were built using the same chassis and the familiar MG engine layout. In 1932, the Magna model had its first racing model, the K1 and K2. Despite its lack of success in competition, the MG Magnette was a successful aristocratic car. The 1933 Tourist Trophy was won by the KA engine, while the KB engine was used as the basis for the 1934 MG Magnette.
The K series of MG Magnette models were the most successful in the 1930s. In 1933, the K1 and K2 were designed with KB engines. The KA and KD engines were replaced by KB and KC engines. The KA and K3 were made with a KB engine and the KC had twin carburetors. The first public auction sale was for the KC model.
The current owner of this MG Magnette race car acquired the car in 2007, and it was shown at the Goodwood Revival in September 1999. It competed in the Le Mans Classic and the Monaco Historique Grand Prix in May 2008, where it won the Index of Performance. It was then used for participation in many prestigious events. A restored MG Magnette is now worth over PS50,000 and up.