1936 MG NB Magnette Airline Coupe

It could easily be argued that one of the prettiest swept-back designs of the 1930s was on the very few Airline Coupes that graced MG chassis.

The design was created by H.W. Allingham, and the cathedral-style lighting panels on the sliding sunroof, the spare tire neatly blended into the swept-back tail underneath a metal cover, and the effect of the tail that tapers inward at its base are of particular note.

Then there is separation molding down the sides of the car — which allowed for two tones — and the full flowing fenders with the rears flicking up at their ends. The low profile is achieved by dropping the body over the outside of the chassis.

Despite all of the detail and thought that went into the styling, there is actually still an accommodating cabin and relatively large doors to enable easy access for taller adults. In total, it is thought that a mere 51 were ever constructed, and it is worth noting that the majority of those cars were built on the 4-cylinder MG PA and PB series. Only seven were fitted to the more-potent NA/NB 6-cylinder cars, and of those, three retain original Airline bodies.

Noted collector Gene Ponder was a huge fan of the MG brand and particularly of these aerodynamic coupes. It must have been incredibly rewarding for him to have achieved ownership of such a rare car when he acquired this example in 2000. It is understood that the car was perfect for the exacting restoration that ensued. In doing so, Ponder had the car’s color changed from two tones of green to his preferred red, accented by black side panels.

One of the more troublesome details to get correct was to track down the right Borrani wheels, which were sourced at the considerable cost of $9,000. As is evident to this day, the restoration was a thorough and high-quality job, befitting the importance of the car. These cars have a jewel-like quality and remain among the most collectible of all MG cars. Even among those, this ultra-rare, 6-cylinder, NB-powered coupe stands out as being a very special Airline.