1936 MG SA
Year of manufacture1936
Chassis numberSA 0432
1936 MG SA Tourer
Coachwork by Charlesworth
Registration no. YWG 545
Chassis no. SA 0432
Launched at the 1935 Motor Show, the SA represented a new departure for MG. The first all-new model to be introduced since the company's acquisition by Morris Motors, it was considerably larger than any previous MG and caused a certain amount of consternation amongst enthusiasts who feared an abandonment of virtues embodied by the marque's nimble sports cars. They need not have worried, for although based on the Wolseley Super Six and aimed at the luxury car market, the SA received sufficient input from MG founder and designer Cecil Kimber to transform it into a car worthy of the famous octagon badge. Originally of 2,026cc, the overhead-valve Wolseley six had been enlarged to 2,288cc by the time SA production commenced and was further stretched to 2,322cc in 1937. With 75bhp the SA could cruise comfortably at 60-70mph and had a genuine top speed approaching 85mph. A Tickford-bodied drophead coupé and Charlesworth-bodied open tourer completed the range. By the time production ceased in 1939, 2,738 SAs of all types had left the factory.
One of approximately 20 Charlesworth-bodied tourers built, this is an extremely rare MG; indeed, of the 90 SA tourers of all types completed, it is believed there are only 18 survivors.
This SA Tourer was despatched from MG's Abingdon works to Charlesworth on 27th April 1936 and was first registered as 'MG 4856', indicating that it was likely sold via the famous London MG dealer, University Motors. The MG was later taken to the USA where it formed part of Gene Ponder's well-known collection in Marshall, Texas. In 2007 the SA was sold at auction to John O'Quinn, who passed away before taking possession his purchase. The next known owner, from 2011, was British-car collector Barry Alexander of Sarasota, Florida. Although it had been cosmetically restored around 15 years previously, the MG required much additional work to make it properly roadworthy. Surprisingly, it was discovered that a previous owner had fitted a Toyota five-speed gearbox, which, although incorrect, has greatly enhanced the MG's driveability. Fewer than 600 miles have been covered since the rebuild.
The current vendor purchased the MG in March 2015 (bill of sale on file). Since then the car has been checked-over by an engineer friend of many years experience and brought up to excellent order. Works carried out included fitting new brake cylinders, fuel pump, suspension shackles and bushes, while the SU carburettors have been upgraded. The accompanying tool kit and owner's handbook are believed original.