First announced at the 1932 London Motor Show, the MG K-Series Magnette was produced by Cecil Kimber in order to move his racing and record-breaking activities up into Class-G for 1,100cc cars. The new K-Type was based upon a strengthened ladder chassis with a 7’10” wheelbase, semi-elliptic springs and Hartford friction dampers. To meet racing requirements, the overhead cam inline six displaced 1,086 cc and was offered in naturally aspirated or in fire-breathing supercharged form. K2 two-seat roadster models featured handsome coachwork with sweeping wings and large K3-spec wheels and tires that filled the arches for a muscular effect. Despite its beauty, most buyers who were serious about competition opted for the K3, which proved its worth with a resounding 1st and 2nd in class at the 1933 Mille Miglia.
Ultimately, a mere 20 of the road-going K2s would be built, numbered from K2001 through K2020. While the K2 was built in fewer numbers than the K3 (33 built), most K2s have been converted to look like their competition counterparts, with cycle fenders and torpedo-style coachwork. This competition pedigree means that very few have survived intact, and those scant few examples that do remain are counted among the most highly coveted and valuable of all pre-war MG sports cars.
It is with great pleasure that we offer this rare and highly desirable 1933 MG K2 Magnette, chassis number K2010. This stunning motorcar features numerous rare components which were fitted in period, enabling this car to achieve performance equal to that of its race-bred K3 sibling. According to the original build sheet and numerous records from the MG service department, the first owner of this car was Mr. C. Reyersbach, ESQ, of London who purchased it new in 1933 via University Motors. It seems Mr. Reyersbach was quite picky about the performance of his new MG, as we can see through a number of service and tuning requests, which included the fitment of the K3 type preselect gearbox. Through these letters, we can also sense growing impatience in the Works service department’s responses to Reyersbach’s requests as the Works department was at maximum capacity with all of their competition duties. One particular letter, dated September 4th 1933, addresses Mr. Reyersbach’s complaint that his K2 lacked performance. The service manager was politely defensive of the car’s capabilities, and directed the owner to contact Marshall Superchargers of London who would be most interested in fitting a blower to the 1,100 cc inline six – as they had to competition spec K3s. Mr. Reyersbach obliged, and we can only assume was quite happy with the results.
The K2 resurfaced in 1965 while in the hands of a student named Michael A. Ross. Ross had answered a want ad in Motorsport Magazine for someone seeking a Pre-war MG. Based on his description, the car was in good order, but non-running due to an electrical issue and suffering a bit from being kept outdoors. His entertaining letters expresses regret at having to sell this special car, but he knew it was time to find it a better home. That home was found with Mr. Warrington, who had initially placed the want ad and intended to restore the car, which Ross had suggested could be done for a quite reasonable £500. The MG’s most recent owner acquired it from the late, well-known K Series specialist Peter Gregory, who had started a restoration but became unable to complete it. Thankfully, the K2 was intact and retained all of its priceless original components, forming the perfect basis for which to perform a concours-quality restoration.
Today, this magnificent K2 presents in truly stunning condition and is one of the finest examples of its kind. The comprehensive restoration was handled by the preeminent early MG specialist, Tom Metcalf of Safety Fast Restoration in Mansfield, Ohio. Importantly, K2010 retains all of the original performance parts it received in period. These parts include the big-case magnesium Marshall 85 blower (restored with Viton seals and upgraded bearings), the Wilson type E.N.V. Pre-select gearbox, B.T.H. Magneto, and the ultra-rare 13” Elektron (magnesium alloy) brake drums as fitted to the race-bred K3. The fabulous coachwork with its sweeping wings has been painstakingly restored to retain as much original sheet metal as possible and is now presented in its original livery of black with dark red wheels and interior, as specified by the accompanying build sheet.
Amazingly, K2010 retains its factory, numbers-matching overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine. Many of these cars suffered abuse in competition, and only a handful survive with their original drivetrain intact. The jewel-like inline six was rebuilt by Henry Koestler of Germany and has been expertly set up. It runs like an absolute beast, emitting an intoxicating bark from the exhaust. The big magnesium supercharger nearly tripled the horsepower over standard, transforming the little six-cylinder MG into a giant-killer, capable of nipping at the heels of an Alfa Romeo 6C. The E.N.V. pre-select gearbox is positive and crisp, and the car rides on correct painted wire wheels wrapped in Blockley rubber for the proper period-correct look.
With the restoration completed in 2012, the K2 has since been used sparingly and shown on occasion, all whilst being maintained in top order. The black paintwork remains exquisite, and the brightwork and detailing finished to very high standards. The snug two-place cockpit is trimmed in gorgeous, supple dark red leather with black piping along with dark red carpeting as originally equipped, done by marque specialist Mike Collingburn of England. The exposed gearbox and bulkhead give away this car’s roots as a thinly veiled racing car, with open gate of the preselect transmission adding to the occasion when you climb behind the wheel.
This stunning and very important MG has been shown and honored at the Hilton Head Concours, and it earned an AACA Junior National First Prize at the Hershey Fall Meet in 2016, where it was also won the S.F. Edge Trophy for Outstanding Restoration of a Foreign Made Automobile at a National Meet. It has also been invited to the prestigious Amelia Island Concours in March of 2018. The sale includes an original tool kit in a canvas roll, a very rare original service manual, as well as a meticulously compiled history file with photos, receipts and correspondence related to this remarkable machine’s history and its subsequent restoration. It is exquisitely presented, dialed-in for exciting motoring, and sure to satisfy the most discriminating collector. One of the finest and most significant Triple-M MG’s available today, this splendid machine is a shining example of the ultimate high-performance Pre-War MG; a true wolf in sheep’s clothing.