1939 MG VA
Year of manufacture1939
1939 MG VA Drophead Coupé
Coachwork by Salmons (Tickford)
Registration no. FUV 918
Chassis no. 2323
Launched at the 1936 Motor Show, the VA was the second all-new MG model to be introduced following the company's acquisition by Morris Motors and its subsequent reorganisation. It was a scaled-down version of the SA, first seen the previous year, which had 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. Likewise the VA, or 1½-Litre, which shared its 1,548cc four-cylinder overhead valve engine with the Morris 12/4 and Wolseley 12/48. As installed in the VA, this unit featured twin SU carburettors and produced 54bhp, but as the car weighed over a ton, acceleration was necessarily leisurely. Nevertheless, the VA could cruise comfortably at 60mph and had a genuine top speed of over 75mph with more to come from the tourer with the windscreen folded flat. Synchromesh made its appearance on 3rd and top gears - the first time that this innovation had been seen in an MG saloon. A Tickford-bodied drophead coupé and Charlesworth-bodied open tourer completed the range. By the time production ceased in 1939, 2,407 VAs of all types had left the factory.
This particular VA drophead coupé, chassis number '2323', comes with an old-style continuation logbook of 1952 listing Mrs Rosamund Elizabeth Campbell of Northamptonshire as owner at that time followed by the current vendor, who acquired the MG in the mid-1950s. There are various invoices on file issued by marque specialists SVW Services and Classic MG Services for work carried out and parts supplied over the years, the most recent relating to an overhaul of the braking system in June 2020. We are advised by the vendor that the only modification from factory specification is the fitting of new and improved shock absorbers (originals available), and that the central front spotlight will be refitted prior to sale. Finished in black with brown leather interior and beige hood, this rare pre-war MG is described by the private vendor as in generally good condition and comes with a V5C Registration Certificate.