£50000 - £55000
1935 MG NB MAGNETTE DROPHEAD COUPE
Registration Number: MG 4844
Chassis Number: NA 923
Recorded Mileage: 17,750 miles
- Restored to original specification
- Continuous ownership history from new
- Allingham four-seat drophead coupé coachwork
MG built a formidable reputation in the market for smaller capacity six-cylinder cars in the early 1930s, starting with the Magna ‘F’ of 1931. Initially putting out a meagle 37bhp, by the time of the launch of the N-Type, in 1934, the ‘KD’ engine was modified to deliver a much more interesting 56bhp.
The N-Type featured a more advanced chassis, lower profile gas tank and upgraded suspension, improving its handling and stability at speed, ideal for racing. The ND featured the N-type chassis with an MG K3 body and was the most successful racing MG of the era, notably winning the 1934 Tourist Trophy. The NA could be ordered with Airline fixed-head coupé or Allingham two/four-seater drophead coupé coachwork, both of which were the work of freelance designer, H W Allingham.
The N-type Magnette still possessed the purist styling and sprightly roadgoing manners for which MG was already widely known. As a niche offering positioned between the Midgets and MG’s larger, soon-to-debut SA, these charming cars were never destined to sell in large numbers. This model was the ultimate MG touring car before the cost-cutting of the Nuffield organisation took place.
The first owner of this delightful two-tone example was American showgirl, dancer and actress Hazel Forbes-Richmond, presumably dipping momentarily into the $2m fortune bequeathed to her when her husband Paul Owen Richmond, a dental and hair products tycoon, passed in 1932.
Hazel took delivery of the sporty Magnette as an early Christmas present to herself whilst residing at London’s Savoy Hotel in December 1935. The N-Type was ordered in Green with a matching Green leather interior, a colour scheme it wears to this day. Hazel owned the MG for a couple of years before in 1938 selling to fellow thespian Frank Forest, an American operatic tenor and actor who enjoyed success in the 1930s and 1940s. Forest took the car over to the US and enjoyed it for a number of years before passing the title to Californian-based Ward Kimball. Ward Kimball was a prominent animator for Walt Disney, who worked on films such as Pinocchio, Fantasia, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, and Bednobs and Broomsticks.
By the 1960s the MG was in the possession of William Lackey, Ward Kimball’s son in law. William enjoyed the MG for a further 25 or so years until his passing in 1990. During his ownership the MG was repainted in cream, although the seats remained in the original green leather. Upon his passing the MG was purchased from the estate by Nick Channing and shipped to England. Another enthusiast, John Shute, purchased the car for his collection before ownership passed to Alan Hogg in 1995. Whilst the car was in very sound condition, Alan completed a full restoration of the car back to its original former glory. During the restoration the original two-tone Dublin/Ulster green was found underneath the cream paintwork, and so was able to be accurately matched, and the car refinished to this colour scheme.
Our vendor Aubrey Paverd purchased the car in 2017, enjoying much touring with the MMM Register, before his recent passing. The MG remains in good order, with recent servicing work to the engine to ensure good running. Bills for over £10,000 support the recent servicing and maintenance works, to be found in the car's history file.
The N-Type comes complete with a copy of the original order from University Motors dated 19th December 1935, a copy of the build sheet, older US title documents, period images dating back to ownership in the United States, a number of MoT certificates and tax discs, the original instruction book, service parts list, and older UK registration documents.
All in all this is a delightful little sportscar with a list of glamorous earlier owners, with a good history file and presented in very nice order.