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The M-Type was sold for just about $250 when it was released.
Following World War I, several small companies produced rather good sports cars. However, it was Morris Motors that truly made cars accessible to individuals with a lower income. Named after the Morris Garages owned by Cecil Kimber in the early 1920s, the MG was the first affordable and practical automobile. To do this, Morris cut the prices while still offering the best quality and dependability available at the time.
The fledgling MG Car Company began by creating custom-bodied variants of the dependable Morris Oxford, then expanded their business by providing four-seat sports vehicles with bigger engines. It was in 1928 that Morris Motors began working on a compact automobile to compete with the Austin Seven's popularity. The product was the iconic MG M-Type, which was produced between 1929 and 1932.
It wasn't long before M-Type Midgets appeared in races and important sports competitions. The MG Company began to take advantage of this little automobile, and they were amazed by the results.
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The M-Type Midget was presented at the Motor Show in Olympia in October 1928. The automobile was first produced in 1929, and it was based on Morris parts with minor alterations. The resemblance was due to the urgency to get the automobile on display at Olympia, and there was not enough time to develop and build more different parts. The automobile was clearly a hit, and it continued to sell strongly for the next three years.
The body was a basic one, made of cloth and a wooden structure. Carbodies of Coventry developed the unusual boat tail layout, which was then connected to the frame at the MG facility in Abingdon. A modified version of the four-cylinder bevel-gear driven overhead camshaft motor used in the 1928 Morris Minor and Wolseley 10 with a single SU carburetor producing 20 hp at 4000 rpm, was installed in the new automobile.
The back wheels received power through a three-speed non-synchromesh transmission. The firmly constructed 20-horsepower engine performed admirably. The same fundamental engine concept was used in the succeeding Magna and Magnette models of the time. While the axles, chassis, and clutch were sourced from Morris, the springs had been modified to reduce camber. For a more comfortable driving posture, the remote gear shift was tilted downwards.
The car's overall design became more athletic, making it stand out from the competition. In addition to the basic fabric-covered body, a metal-paneled version was added in the final year of production. Only 273 of them were produced. The fast expansion of motorsports and greater involvement by M-Type owners contributed to the car's popularity. To make things a bit more appealing to buyers, the automobile was available at a low price point of just £185.
With a weight of just 1120 lbs and a power output of 20 horsepower, the automobile simply soared, reaching 60 mph in record time. The top claimed speed was 64 mph. Many of the motoring publications of the day hailed it as the best of its kind. A new chapter in the history of sports cars was about to be written. Simply said, the M-Type was the very first of many MGs.
Savoring the success, MG also developed two more variations. The first of them was the 8/33 Sportmans Coupe, of which just a few remained. The second variation was a replica of the Brooklands team-winning vehicles, known as the 8/45 Double Twelve. Only 19 of this particular variant were made and sold in total.
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Cecil Kimber quickly saw the advantages and commercial potential of winning titles with MG vehicles. He focused all his energy on competition. As a result, a modest racing unit was constructed at Abingdon. In 1930, the engine output was boosted to 27 horsepower by modifying the camshaft, and a four-speed transmission was available as an alternative. Additionally, the doors were converted to be front-hinged.
As we mentioned before, the MG M-Type Midget was unquestionably one of the first cars to help establish sports cars as a global phenomenon. It was FM Montgomery who took the 1,100cc class win in the 1930 Monte Carlo Rally in a Midget. The Brooklands Double Twelve Race was then entered by a works team of five vehicles.
Brooklands exhaust systems, bigger fuel tanks, and slightly altered bodywork with lower cutaway doors were all standard on these vehicles. For their dedication and perseverance over the long and grueling race, the five Midgets received the Team Prize. What's more, the Midgets competed in the Le Mans 24 Hour Race. Ultimately, the M-Type left its mark on automotive history as a low-cost sports vehicle of the late 1920s that enjoyed great success in racing.
Adriana is a young car enthusiast who enjoys all things automotive. When it comes to cars, she has no problem chatting about them for hours on end. Her passion for automobiles only grew after she began working as an automotive writer a few years ago. And, without a doubt, she will not miss any car museums while traveling.