After the First World War, several small companies produced quite good sports cars. However, it was Morris Motors that really made cars accessible to low-income people. Named after the Morris garages owned by Cecil Kimber in the early 1920s, the MG was the first affordable and practical automobile. To accomplish this, Morris cut prices while providing the best quality and reliability available at the time.
The fledgling MG Car Company started by creating custom variants of the reliable Morris Oxford, then expanded its business by supplying four-seater sports vehicles with bigger engines. It was in 1928 that Morris Motors began work on a compact automobile to rival the popularity of the Austin Seven. The product was the iconic MG M-Type, which was produced between 1929 and 1932.
It wasn’t long before M-Type Midgets appeared in major racing and sporting competitions. The MG company started profiting from this small automobile and was amazed at the results.
The status of the M-Type cemented MG’s status as a manufacturer of affordable sports cars
The M-Type Midget was shown at the Olympia Motor Show in October 1928. The automobile was first produced in 1929 and was based on Morris parts with minor modifications. The resemblance was due to the urgency of exhibiting the automobile at Olympia, and there was not enough time to develop and build more different parts. The automobile was clearly a success and it continued to sell strongly for the next three years.
The body was basic, made of fabric and a wooden structure. Carbodies of Coventry developed the unusual tail layout of the boat, which was then connected to the chassis at the MG factory in Abingdon. A modified version of the four-cylinder bevel gear overhead camshaft engine used in the 1928 Morris Minor and Wolseley 10 with a single SU carburettor producing 20 bhp at 4000 rpm, was installed in the new automobile.
The rear wheels were powered by a three-speed unsynchronized transmission. The solidly built 20 horsepower engine ran admirably. The same fundamental engine concept was used in subsequent Magna and Magnette models of the era. While the axles, frame and clutch were sourced from Morris, the springs had been modified to reduce camber. For a more comfortable riding position, the remote shifter has been angled downward.
The overall design of the car has become more athletic, which sets it apart from the competition. In addition to the base cloth-covered body, a metal-paneled version was added during the final year of production. Only 273 of them were produced. The rapid expansion of motorsport and greater involvement of M-Type owners contributed to the car’s popularity. To make things a little more enticing for buyers, the automobile was available at a low price of just £185.
With a weight of only 1120 pounds and a power of 20 horsepower, the automobile simply soared, reaching 60 mph in record time. The claimed top speed was 64 mph. Many automotive publications of the time hailed it as the best of its kind. A new chapter in sports car history was about to be written. Simply put, the M-Type was the very first of many MGs.
Savoring the success, MG also developed two other variants. The first of these was the Sportmans 8/33 Coupe, of which only a few remained. The second variant was a replica of the winning vehicles from the Brooklands team, known as the 8/45 Double Twelve. Only 19 of this particular variant were made and sold in total.
The MG M-Type was also a formidable racing car
Cecil Kimber quickly realized the benefits and commercial potential of winning titles with MG vehicles. He focused all his energy on the competition. As a result, a modest racing unit was built at Abingdon. In 1930, engine output was increased to 27 horsepower by modifying the camshaft, and a four-speed transmission was available as an alternative. Additionally, the doors were converted to be front-hinged.
As we mentioned earlier, the MG M-Type Midget was undoubtedly one of the first cars to help make sports cars a global phenomenon. It was FM Montgomery who took victory in the 1100cc class at the 1930 Monte Carlo Rally in a Midget. The Brooklands Double Twelve Race was then entered by a factory team of five vehicles.
Brooklands exhaust systems, larger fuel tanks, and slightly modified bodywork with lower cutaway doors were all standard on these vehicles. For their dedication and perseverance during the long and grueling race, the five Midgets received the team award. Additionally, the Midgets competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ultimately, the M-Type made automotive history as a low-cost sports vehicle of the late 1920s that enjoyed great racing success.