MG NB Magnette Airline Coupe

After the introduction of the new P-Type Midget early in 1934, the N-Type six-cylinder Magnette appeared, replacing the L-Types and K-Types. Originally, these models were fitted with a 56 hp, 1,271 cc engine in a beefed-up chassis. The new six-cylinder N-Type was capable of a top speed of just over 80 mph, making it slightly faster than the smaller P-Type that could achieve 75 mph.

The N-Type, in addition to having a softer ride and being easier to drive than its predecessors, also had much more spacious and comfortable passenger accommodations. It was offered as an open two- and four-seater model, as well as a graceful two-door hardtop known as the Airline Coupé. Only 745 N-Types were built between 1934 and 1936, and of these, a very small number of cars were fitted with Airline coupé bodywork.

Aside from the K-Types, the N-Types were the most successful racing MG models of this period. In 1934, a six-cylinder N-Type won the TT at the Ards circuit in Northern Ireland and competed in team trials starting in 1937.

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 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, as 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 coupé featured a sunshine roof. This actually consisted of three separate trapezoidal-like celluloid panels.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2010 at the Battersea Evolution, London.

56 hp, 1,271 cc, single overhead camshaft inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox, Bowden cable operated single cross shaft mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 96"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

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