In 1933 MG introduced the K type Magnette with a 1.1-liter six-cylinder engine. The vehicles were equipped with a 12-inch cable-operated mechanical brake. The K3 was a modified racing version that sat atop a short-chassis and outfitted with a supercharged engine. One was able to capture a class victory at the Mille Miglia road race. In 1934 a K3 achieved 4th overall in the grueling Le Mans 24 hour endurance race. The list of victories does not end there, but it does establish the K3 as a competitive force in the racing arena. A Long-wheelbase touring version was available and could be fitted with four doors.
In early 1934 the N type Magnette was introduced. It sat atop a 96 inch wheelbase and powered by a 56 horsepower engine. In 1934, MG produced seven racing N's which were dubbed NE. They replaced the supercharged K3's which had been banned from the Tourist Trophy race. The NE vehicles were entered and carried on the legacy of the K3 by winning the race.
The N-Type Magnett was the last in a series of small six-cylinder overhead cam light cars produced by the MG Car Company in the mid-1930s. The six cylinder cars were built in relatively small numbers compared to the less expensive four-cylinder Midgets of the era. N-Type production was limited to approximately 700 cars from 1934 to 1936. Only a handful have survived, and many have been rebodied with special racing bodies. The N-Type six-cylinder engine's single overhead cam is driven by a unique vertical dynamo arrangement with bevel gears. The 1271-cc engine produces 56 bhp, good for a top speed of 80 mph. The four-speed gearbox is designed by Wolsley, and the 12 inch drum brakes are mechanically operated by cables.
The MG NA was given the engine found in the K-Type, a six-cylinder overhead camshaft 1271cc unit. Further development of the engine continued and modifications were made to the cylinder block and head. Twin SU carburetors were fitted and helped drive the horsepower up to a very impressive 56. The cars were given a 96-inch wheelbase and a four-speed manual non-synchromesh gearbox. Semi-elliptic leaf springs could be found in the front and rear. Most were bodied by the factory, but a few were left in chassis form for custom coachbuilders.
The following year control of the company passed from Lord Nuffield to Morris Motors. The first change under the new company was to withdraw from sporting events and the production of racing cars would be stopped. This meant the direction of the company switched to producing road-going vehicles.By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2007