MG_WA_1939_at_Duxford

Lap of Luxury – MG SA and MG WA

 

1939 MG WA owned by Jeff Gibson

1939 MG WA owned by Jeff Gibson

There is a tendency to think that real MG history starts with the immortal T-Series cars that was introduced in 1936 and would eventually lead to the MGA and MGB that would sell in numbers never before reached – and seldom matched since – in a sports car built for two. Most loyalists of the Sacred Octagon acknowledge that the later cars would never have been built without the success of the various prewar Midgets, Magnas and Magnettes, but while these smaller MGs are more closely related to their postwar successors they are hardly the only significant progenitors in the line.

MG SA Tickford Coupe

MG SA Tickford Coupe

The SA series made its debut in 1936 and was originally launched as the MG 2-Liter to compete against models from SS Cars – known as Jaguar today – and Bentley. This sporting saloon was in a different class than the multitudes P and N-Types that the company had produced until 1936 and it was developed to use an independent suspension that was later abandoned in favor of an independent front and live axle rear suspension.

MG SA Sporting Saloon

MG SA Sporting Saloon

These much larger MGs used a tuned version of the 6-cylinder Morris engine that was later enlarged to 2.3-Liters in 1937 and were provided with Lockheed hydraulic brakes. First offered in saloon form, later cars also featured Touring bodies and Tickford Drophead Coupes. Fewer than 3000 cars were built (only 2739 made) and it was successful in the Continental export market.

MG SA

MG SA

In 1938, an even bigger car, the WA, joined the SA and featured a 2.6-Liter engine and a wider rear track that allowed use of a roomier body. In appearance the WA resembled the closely connected SA and it was the largest and heaviest vehicle produced by MG at the time. The MG SA and MG WA were only sold through 1939 (when sales were interrupted by the coming war) and sales of the latter were minimal during that year.

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'Lap of Luxury – MG SA and MG WA' have 3 comments

  1. April 17, 2015 @ 11:26 am Paul Zink (@paulzink)

    Those were such lovely cars; so elegant and sporting-looking even today.

    Reply

  2. April 21, 2015 @ 9:50 am Peter Pichler

    Fantastic !!! I have an 1936 MGSA in storage now since the 60s. This article is enough to incite me to riot, so to speak.

    Alas time and my age may prohibit me from pursuing this further. Still the sight of these lovely cars remind me that we, as humans, are nothing more than their custodians…they will live forever

    Reply

  3. June 15, 2018 @ 8:46 am J Duncan Hutchinson

    Around 1980 when working at Barry Simpson Engineering of Abbotskerswell, Newton Abbot, UK, I helped to restore an open top MG WA for the Swiss Count and founder of the Herve Foundation Motor Museum at Aigle, Switzerland, Count Jaques de Wurstemberger. I understand that it is the only MG WA Tourer known to have survived to this day. I quit the motor trade in 2000 and I am semi-retired, although I now work part time as a sound and lighting engineer at live music events. I have some photographs in the family photoalbum of that car at the time of its restoration.

    Reply


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