The Ponder Collection

20-21 April 2007

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Lot 2256

1936 MG SA Tourer

Sold for $116,600

75bhp, 2,288cc, overhead valve six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, semi-elliptic rear springs, four-wheel Lockheed hydraulic brakes with 12-inch drums. Wheelbase: 123"

One of Just Five Known Examples in the World 1936 MG SA Tourer Coachwork by Charlesworth

The chassis of the 1936 MG SA Tourer pictured here was delivered from the MG factory in Abingdon on April 27, 1936 to coachworks of Charlesworth Bodies (1931) Limited at Much Park Street in Coventry.

Founded in 1907 by three partners by the name of Gray, Hill and Steane, Charlesworth Motor Bodies Ltd., supplied local manufacturers such as Hillman and Singer cars. By 1936, Charlesworth’s annual production was running at 500 bodies and their biggest client was Alvis, with the MG SA open four-seater being a close second.

Following WWII, Charlesworth was to build the bodies for the Invicta Black Prince, but that firm soon failed and a contract with Lea Francis for a new saloon led to that firm buying Charlesworth to build its own bodies.

Back in 1936, it would have taken four to six weeks for the car to be completely finished by Charlesworth. This splendid example of a Charlesworth-bodied SA was a body style specifically offered by MG and appears to be totally original. There were three coachwork body styles offered by Charlesworth during SA production, but this 1936 built SA chassis was fitted with the earliest type.

The Motor tested a 1936 MG SA with Charlesworth coachwork (July14, 1936) and stated it “processes very smart lines, and provides real seating comfort for four people.”

Later, well known journalist Laurence Pomeroy from The Motor (June 7, 1938) on driving a MG SA wrote, “I can quite honestly state… that for the sheer pleasure in driving, I have come across nothing which pleases me more than the car now reviewed.”

This rare Charlesworth Tourer was originally retailed through MG’s well-known University Motors in Britain. It was registered at the Middlesex County Council Registrations department and was given the registration number MG 4856.

Its original factory 75bhp, 2,288cc six-cylinder overhead valve engine was completely rebuilt at the time of restoration and is fully detailed. Great attention was spent to highlight the beauty of this engine’s design as well as ensuring its smooth, reliable performance. Likewise, the MG SA chassis also received the same kind of careful attention during restoration, as did the wire wheels and a rear mounted spare.

Although the original color remains unknown, this fine example of Charlesworth-bodied MG SA has been painted a striking pearl white with a painted tan beltline that matches the cloth convertible top and boot. This subtle, but effective color arrangement in combination with the traditional square MG grille, brightwork give the car a distinctive and highly appealing presence.

The interior panels and seats are reupholstered in soft tan leather and display excellent craftsmanship. This rich-looking interior is underscored by fitted tan wool carpets, gleaming chrome accents and refinished walnut fittings. The wooden dash houses a full set of rebuilt Jaeger gold instruments along with a period University Motors Ltd. plaque.

The handsome 1936 MG SA Charlesworth Tourer exhibits minimal wear in both form and function. There are a mere five know SA survivors left in the world with this type of Charlesworth coachwork, and just seventeen Charlesworth coachbuilt SAs in total. Fully verified by the MG SA club, this fine example is ready for both grand touring and concours events where it will be fully welcomed.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

Cameron Smyth

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more