|Vehicle:||1931 MG C-Type Midget Montlhery Supercharged|
|Original List Price:||Approx. 300 pounds sterling|
|Tune Up Cost:||$800|
|Chassis Number Location:||Left side of firewall|
|Engine Number Location:||Right front of block|
|Club Info:||MG Owners Club, Octagon House, Swavesey, Cambridge CB4 5QZ|
|Alternatives:||Alfa Romeo 1750 Turismo, Austin Seven, Bugatti Type 43|
This car sold for $97,340, including buyer’s premium, at Bonhams Olympia, UK, auction held December 2, 2002.
When you say MG today, most enthusiasts think of the TC, TD, TF or the A and B series. But there is another world of MGs, from the pre-WWII period, that most American enthusiasts know little about.
The MG Midgets trace their origin back to 1928 when Cecil Kimber, MG’s founder, realized that his company’s fortunes, in what was then a bleak economy, were dependent upon producing an affordable sports car. The first Midget was the M-Type, with an 847-cc engine from the period Woleseley (the Morris Minor engine was deemed too powerful). It was a small, 1,100-lb, boattailed, fabric-covered sports car that was intended for the middle class, with a price of just £175. Between 1928 and 1932, 3,235 were produced. After winning the team prize at Brooklands, MG became a household word.
The C-Type followed, leading what was to become a rapid succession of new models, including Magnas and Magnettes. The C-Type was the production version of the record-setting experimental EX 120, which was the first of its class to exceed 100 mph and also the first to cover 100 miles in an hour. The C-Type was a formidable competitor and scored impressive wins at the 1931 24-hours race at Brooklands, taking the first five places, and at the Tourist Trophy.
The opportunity to purchase a well-documented, historically significant race car that has been restored to high standards does not frequently present itself. The amount that this C-Type Midget realized would not be questioned if it were not for the fact that less than 16 months earlier it failed to sell at a high bid of $62,800, when offered at the Bonhams and Brooks August 25, 2001 sale at Northamptonshire. Its reserve was $86,000.
A little over a year later the car realized a third again as much as the previous bid. Did the new owner get carried away and pay an over-the-top price? I think not. I would speculate that the right buyers simply weren’t there at the prior events, and the owner wisely decided to wait it out. While $97,340 may be a bit strong, on the other hand the new owner has one of eight known surviving C-Types, a fully documented example, and, perhaps most important of all, a fully fettled one that he can immediately drive and enjoy.
As the market for collectible automobiles becomes ever more discerning, significant cars like this one will continue to rise in price. Five years from now, this price will seem a bargain.-Carl Bomstead