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Lot 074: 1933 MG J3 MIDGET SUPERCHARGED SPORTS

Van Dijk Collection, H&H Sales Limited (3 October 2005)

The J3 was much the same mechanically, although the provision of a smaller 746cc engine - supercharged and consequently producing 50 per cent more power - permitted it compete in 750cc class racing. The reduction in capacity was ingeniously achieved by decreasing the J2's 83mm stroke to 73mm, while retaining the same 57mm bore. A single overhead camshaft operated two valves per cylinder and, whereas the J2 made do with coil and distributor ignition, J3 sparks were provided by a Lucas racing magneto. Offered here is the very last of the 22 J3 Super Sports MG Midgets produced (and one of only 15 or so such cars known to have survived). Finished in the same Abingdon grey over darker Brooklands grey livery that it wears today, the right-hand drive 2-seater was completed by the factory on 27th July 1933. Supplied new a few weeks later on 4th September to registered 'Works' driver, the Honourable Miss Enid Watson of Paignton, its OD 6971 registration number was issued by Devon County Council. An intrepid and determined competitor, Miss Watson had MG's competition department modify the J3 to her own specification. Amazingly, some seventy-two years on it still supposedly carries the two bucket seats she ordered in place of the standard fit bench. Used in a wide variety of trials and rallies, she managed some excellent results in OD 6791. From nine starts in 1934, she achieved two Ladies Cups and two First Class Awards with only one retirement. The car was also raced at Brooklands and Phoenix Park and took part in the 1935 Colmore Trophy Trial. The original Powerplus supercharger was replaced in 1936 with a Shorrock unit which lasted until the 1960s when it was supplanted by the current Arnott blower. Records show that next owner H T Roberts of London NW8 took OD 6791 with him when he went to the US in 1947. The diminutive MG obviously made a big impression as he not only booked it passage on the Queen Mary for the return journey some four years later but also recommenced its racing career once back on UK soil. Between 1959 and 1968, the car then passed through the hands of several different owners, including Dominic J de Cesare, who disposed of it in part-refurbished condition to the next custodian. Successfully re-assembled whilst apparently retaining such original components as the chassis, body, seats, front / rear axles, engine block and gearbox, a further extensive restoration of OD 6791 was undertaken by Gillies Racing in the mid 1990s. Treated to new paint, trim and chassis fettling, the rebuild of its engine / gearbox assembly was entrusted to MG racing specialist Mike Allison. Geared to 16.4mph in top thanks to a 4.78:1 final drive ratio, the provision of an allegedly solid-billet milled crankshaft is said to have resulted in a 7,000rpm rev limit and a reputed circa 65bhp power output. Still extremely presentable with "as new" red trim, carpets and weather gear, more recent mechanical fettling has seen OD 6791 benefit from a cylinder head rebuild (complete with conversion to unleaded) and dynamo overhaul at the hands of marque specialist Baynton Jones. An illustrated feature on the car that appeared in the March 1993 French Retro Viseur magazine is included in a comprehensive documents file as are an original instruction manual, the all-important VSCC eligibility document and old logbooks recording ownership details 1938-1978.

Lot Details
Auction Van Dijk Collection
H&H Sales Limited, Syon Park, Brentford
TypeCar
Lot Number074
Estimate£40000-£45000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1933
Condition rating
Registration numberOD 6791
Mileage-
Chassis numberJ3772
Engine number1816AJ
Engine capacity (cc)746
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors