1930 MG M-Type Boat-tail Roadster
Owner: Bernie and Janice Taulborg Collection
Original cost: 175 British pounds, 1931 ($1,253.00 US dollars, 1931)
Engine, etc.: 4 cyl.; 27 bhp; 3-speed non-synchromesh gearbox; 78 in. wheelbase
The sporty M-type roadster was produced by the MG Car Company from April 1929 to 1932. It was sometimes referred to as the 8/33.
The “MG” name came from Morris Garages, a dealer of Morris cars in Oxford, England that began customizing the designs of Cecil Kimber, a sales manager, in 1921. He stayed with the company until 1941.
Launched at the 1928 London Motor Show to stimulate sales in a sagging economy, the roadster car brought MG to a new sector of the market and probably saved the company. It was the first affordable car made specifically as a sports car by an established manufacturer instead of being a modified version of a larger car. It had excellent “road manners” and offered an exciting driving experience at a low price.
Early cars were made in the Cowley factory but from 1930 on, production transferred to Abingdon on Thames.
Bodies were fabric covered, using a wood frame, which changed to all metal in 1931. Most of the bodies were made by Carbodies of Coventry though some were made by external coach builders such as Jarvis.
The 1930 car used an updated version of the four-cylinder bevel-gear driven overhead camshaft engine used in the 1928 Morris Minor and Wolseley 10. The engine output increased in 1930 to 27 bhp by improvements in the camshaft, with a four speed gearbox as an option. The car would reach 65 mph and get 40 miles/gallon.
The chassis was based on one used in the 1928 Morris Minor also, with a lowered suspension which used half elliptic springs and Hartford friction shock absorbers with rigid front and rear axles. It had bolt-on wire wheels. Other improvements in 1930 were to the braking system and doors that became front-hinged.
The M-type had considerable sporting success, both privately and with official teams winning gold medals in the 1929 Land’s End Trial and class wins in the 1930 “Double Twelve” race at Brooklands. An entry was made in the 1930 Le Mans 24 hour but neither of the two cars finished.
The M-type was the first MG to use the Midget name which continued to be used on a succession of small sports cars until 1980.
Sources: http://uniquecarsandparts.com/heritage_mg.htm (History)
Currency conversion, British pound to U. S.dollars, 1930: