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Lot 127: MG VA Tickford Drophead Coupe

Classic Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (27 November 2013)

Only in production from February 1937 to September 1939, the MG VA 1.5 was the smallest of the three touring models that MG offered before the war, the others being the 2-litre SA and the 2.5-litre WA. Using a tuned twin-carb version of the Morris TPBG overhead valve four-cylinder unit that was also fitted to the Wolseley 12/48 and the Morris 12, the VA generated a useful 54bhp and could touch 80mph with ease. Other features included a four-speed synchromesh gearbox, 10 Lockheed hydraulic drum brakes, adjustable Luvax shock absorbers, sporting 19 wire wheels, built-in Jackall hydraulic jacks and a bumper stabiliser to damp torsional flexing at the front end. Available as a Morris-bodied four-seat saloon or tourer, a Tickford-bodied drophead coupe was also offered at extra cost (351) which featured a clever crank-driven fold-down top by Salmons & Sons of Newport Pagnell. This allowed the roof to be wound back fully or just half-way to leave the driver exposed and the rear seat passengers enclosed. Just 2,407 VA models were produced in total of which only 591 were coupes and all are much sought-after today. This particular drophead coupe was first registered in Bournemouth in February 1940 which is most unusual as it was virtually impossible for a private motorist to register a car during the war, prompting one to wonder who the first owner may have been. Nothing is known of the early history of the car but an old green log book shows that by 1964 it was resident in Orpington, Kent. In 1978 it was acquired by a Trevor Morgan of Honiton, Devon, in whose name it has remained to this day. The current vendor discovered it languishing in a barn in a dismantled state earlier this year and has loosely reassembled it for sale, using timber braces to keep the body panels in place, the original ash frame having long since disappeared. Apart from the frame and the brake drums, the car is otherwise believed to be substantially complete, even down to the rare MG emblazoned headlamps and the pram irons for the hood. The original red leather interior has survived remarkably well and should need nothing more than a good clean and feed while the lovely Art Deco dash instruments are also in very good order. With top examples of this rare model now fetching in excess of 40,000 (one was sold at auction in Florida last year for $66,000), this substantially complete drophead should amply reward the sympathetic restoration that it now requires. It comes with the aforementioned green log book plus a more modern V5 registration document.

Lot Details
Auction Classic Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Herefordshire
TypeCar
Lot Number127
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£7000
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1939
Condition rating5
Registration numberFLJ 518
Mileage-
Chassis number
Engine numberTPBG2631
Engine capacity (cc)1548
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2