20-21 April 2007
1936 MG SA Tourer
- Chassis no. SA0432
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.
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