25 March 2019

More than an old car #99: MG K3 Magnette

Throughout my years of car spotting, I have been fortunate to come across cars that are relatively rare here. Although there is a bucket list of cars that I want to see, I guess I should be thankful to see this 1933 MG K3 Magnette since I have never seen it ever since!

The MG K-Type was first launched in 1932 at the London Motor Show, and as with cars of that era, it was geared towards racing. The Magnette name signified its smaller engine capacity from its sibling, the Magna. It experienced great success in various racing events, most notably in the 1933 Mille Miglia when it outlasted the crowd-favourite Maseratis to clinch 1st place.

The K3 was the third iteration of the K-Type, and it was fitted with a 'preselector gearbox', which is a type of manual transmission that requires the driver to first select the desired gear before pushing a pedal on the floor to change it. Such gearboxes were more common back then, for example in Daimler vehicles and London buses, and they are still used today in tanks. Most units were powered by a 1087 cc supercharged i6 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 177 km/h with an acceleration of 14.6 seconds [0-120 km/h]. It was 3658 mm long and weighed 914 kg.

Production of K-Types ended in 1934 with only 33 K3s made. However, I believe this unit here is a replica since the original 33 units had either new bodies, engine swaps or were destroyed unfortunately. This is further confirmed by the registry, which implies that it has been fitted with a 1432 cc engine instead. When I first chanced upon it by accident in 2017, its registration number had not been updated yet, suggesting that it was a very recent import. For some reason, I haven't seen it at all ever since nor has it been seen by people on the road. I believe practically all of you would not have heard of it before, notwithstanding that its heyday was decades ago. I hope that I can see this in closer detail and probably find out more about its origin, maybe you'll get to see it some day!


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