On our recent trip to MG ’99 in Vancouver, we were privileged to visit with Peter Welch who has assembled a private collection of MGs—the condition of which has to be seen to be believed! I have seen many collections of automobiles, including other MG museums, but I have seldom seen a selection of cars which have been so lovingly or correctly restored to the highest standards. (Other than the Schlumpf Museum which I visited some years ago!)
Pride of place in Peter’s collection must go to the 1933 MG K3 which was found after a 20-year search. One of the 25 K3s remaining, and bearing chassis #006, it is the eighth one of these fabulous cars built (the first two were prototypes). With Eddie Hall at the wheel, the car won the BRDC 500 at Brooklands in 1933 averaging 106.53 mph. The winner at Indy the same year averaged some two miles an hour slower! Shown at the prestigious Pebble Beach Contours in 1990, the K3 was rewarded with the Beaulieu Trophy.
Hanging on the wall behind, we spotted a 1937 K1 Monoposto shell which was built by the same people who built the famous ERA bodies, but our eye was quickly caught by what your scribe considers one of the most beautiful MGs ever made—an elegant 1936 PB Airline Coupe with an Allingham body!
Another desirable Abingdon product we saw was the 1932 IT Magna with a body by Stiles and having the most unusual single “dickey” seat at the rear. Behind and hailing originally from Scotland, the elegant and beautiful Charlesworth-bodied 1936 MG SA epitomized the upward mobility of MC owners in the period immediately preceding WWII, when MG competed with Jaguar for the luxury end of the market.
Other pre-war MGs among Peter’s treasures include a 1932 M-Type (the one with the spindle two bearing crank), and one of my personal favorites (because I once owned one), a 1932 J2 Deluxe which emanated from Belfast, Ireland, to Canada. A Tick-ford bodied TA circa 1939 built on a 1936 chassis came into the collection from Toronto and its successor on display is a local Vancouver car—a TB of 1919 vintage.
Look up and see the chassis of a 1953 TD hanging from the ceiling to complement the 1952 MG TD on the floor—the car with which Peter began his MG collection.
Post-war octagonal representation saw us looking at a 1959 MGA Twin Gam, one of 2,111 built and in superb condition,while the 1973 MGB/GT we admired was somewhat unique in that it was built for the Swiss market and had several significant differences from the US/Canada ‘B/CTs. Completing our tour of these fine cars, we admired the 1949 MG YT, one of 877 manufactured, and the Bertone-bodied 1954 Arnolt TD, which is Peter’s most recent restoration. Situated all around this magnificent collection of MC cars is a wonderful display of MG artifacts, memorabilia, books, badges, models, and old racing posters—a delight for any MG enthusiast to observe! We should point out that this particular MG collection is private and is not usually open for public viewing. We extend our sincere thanks to Peter for allowing us to visit his octagonal Aladdin’s Cave and for being such a genial host during our visit.