1935 MG NB Magnette Airline Coupe

The estimate of $200,000-$250,000 was aggressive; the nearly $400,000 realized for this car is a high point for the marque

After the introduction of the new P-type Midget early in 1934, the N-type 6-cylinder Magnette appeared, replacing the L-types and the K-types. Originally, these models were fitted with a 56 hp, 1,271-cc engine in a beefed-up chassis. The new 6-cylinder N-type was capable of a top speed of just over 80 mph, making it slightly faster than the smaller P-type, which could manage 75 mph.

The N-type, in addition to having a softer ride and being easier to drive than its predecessors, also had more spacious and comfortable passenger accommodations. It was offered as an open two- and four-seater model, as well as a graceful two-door hard top known as the Airline coupe. Only 745 N-types were built between 1934 and 1936, and of these, a very small number were fitted with Airline coupe bodywork. In 1934, a 6-cylinder N-type won the TT at the Ards circuit in Northern Ireland and competed in team trials starting in 1937.

In 1935, the MG N-series was upgraded and became the NB; the chassis remained unaltered, but modifications were made to the coachwork. With a slatted stone guard fitted to the radiator shell and a lowered scuttle height, the appearance was vastly improved; the front end lent itself more to two-toning and the driver was provided with a better view of the road ahead. The two-door design featured an elegantly curved roof merging into a streamlined rear panel, in which the spare wheel was partially countersunk. The doors carried sliding windows, and each Airline coupe featured a sunshine roof. This actually consisted of three separate trapezoidal-like celluloid panels.

MG historian and author Mike Allison (The Magic of MG, Dalton Watson Ltd., 1972), stated, “The Ns were probably the best of the OHC MGs, having adequate performance in standard form and yet being capable of taking much more without upsetting its good manners.” H.W. Allingham of London was responsible for the design and marketing of the MG Airline coupes. Rather than set up a coachwork facility, he designed car bodies such as the MG P and N-series Airline coupes, and in the case of the N-series, sub-contracted Carbodies to actually construct them. Carbodies had been founded in 1919 when former Charlesworth employee Robert Jones bought out Gooderham & Co. MG was one of their best customers and supplied Carbodies with the majority of their business from 1925 to 1930.

The stunning MG Airline Coupe we have the pleasure of offering here is regarded to be the only known 6-cylinder N-type Airline Coupe in existence and ever built. Prior to the restoration, the MG remained in highly original and complete condition, offering the perfect canvas to execute a proper and correct body-off rebuild. Without question, this is one of the rarest and most desirable MGs in existence.