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1929 MG 14/40 Sports Tourer
Registration No. GJ 4158
Chassis No. 294756 4/2748
Engine No. 92778
The story of how Cecil Kimber joined Morris Motors in 1921, soon became General Manager of Morris Garages and produced his own superbly styled polished aluminium sports coachwork on Bullnose Cowley chassis with Oxford engines is well known. But what may come as a surprise is how quickly the enterprise grew, until in 1928 the MG Car Company was established in large premesis in Edmund Road, Oxford, and now produced the 14/40 or Mk IV version of the Super Sports in sufficient numbers to attract a large and influential following. The cars were stylish and immensely attractive, very nicely made, and at last had performance to match their looks.
The MG Super Sports must surely be one of the most attractive sports cars of the late vintage period, and was certainly considered very exciting when new. The lines are well proportioned without being aggressive, and the details of the triangulated windscreen supports, cowl scuttle vents and polished aluminium body panels add to the effect.
GJ 4158 left the Works in June 1929, and was one of the last 14/40s to be sold; by then the 18/80 was well into production. The car was bought in 1954 by its current owner, who has spent the last 58 years of his ownership enjoying the car, which he used for many years on a daily basis as his sole means of transport. Only increasing congestion in the Home Counties has persuaded him to find a new owner for this historic MG.
The early history of the car is somewhat complicated, but apart from a gap from June 1930 to May 1933 is fully documented, and the modifications which the present owner has carried out during his long tenure were listed in a recent letter to the VSCC Bulletin. Basically he tuned the engine, polished the ports and fitted an SU carburettor, replaced the original 3-speed gearbox, heavy flywheel and undergeared rear axle with a 4-speed gearbox, lightened flywheel with heavy crankshaft and steel rods, with a new up-geared 18/80 crown wheel and pinion. This made the car much nicer to use on an everyday basis, but also enabled long distance travel without stress. The car covered huge daily mileages to France, Monte Carlo and Italy when it had a part in the film ‘Monte Carlo or Bust’. Cruising at a steady 60 mph, over 500 miles were easily travelled in a day. These modifications are now commonplace for cars which are used regularly.
The MG is so well known in VSCC circles that if an event was to be held on planet Mars, then it was said that the famous 14/40 would still be driven all the way there and back.
The car still has a very smart appearance, having been completely dismantled and restored in the late 1950s, and with the bodywork being restored again in the 1980s. The polished aluminium 2-door tourer body is finished in an attractiveshade of blue, and the car is in every way ready to be enjoyed. An important and very proper motorcar, detailed in P.L. Jennings seminal work ‘Early MG’.
A large archive accompanies this historic early MG, including details of its owners, photographs covering the last 50 years activities and a history of the work carried out.