The Ponder Collection

20-21 April 2007

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Lot 2256

1936 MG SA Tourer

  • Chassis no. SA0432

Sold for $116,600

Coachwork by Charlesworth

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

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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

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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

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

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

Don Rose

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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

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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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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

Ian Kelleher

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Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

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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

Jonathan Sierakowski

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Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

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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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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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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

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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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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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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

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

Peter Wallman

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Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

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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

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