Sunday, 15 July 2012

MG F-Type Magna

The MG F-type Magna was a six-cylinder-engined car produced by the MG Car company from October 1931 to 1932. It was also known as the 12/70. Fitted with 1 in (25 mm) twin SU carburettors it produced 37.2 bhp (27.7 kW) at 4100 rpm at first, later increased to 47 bhp (35 kW) by revising the valve timing. Drive was to the rear wheels through a four-speed non-synchromesh gearbox of ENV manufacture. The chassis was a 10-inch (250 mm) longer version of the one from the MG D-type with suspension by half-elliptic springs and Hartford friction shock absorbers all round with rigid front and rear axles. Wire wheels with 4.00 x 19 tyres and centre lock fixing were used. The car had a wheelbase of 94 in (2,388 mm) and a track of 42 in (1,067 mm). With its sloping radiator and long bonnet the F-Type is an attractive car capable of reaching 70 mph (110 km/h). 188 of the cars were supplied in chassis form to outside coachbuilders such as Abbey, Jarvis, Stiles and Windover. Read more on Wikipedia 

After Lowry was released Morteonhampstead Cottage Hospital, he decided that he needed a car like (James) Travers but better (Draft Dark as the Grave Wherein Lies My Friend Pg 692). Lowry recalled the MG Magna that Tom Forman wanted to sell and went to London. However, Tom Forman gave him the car as a present. Somehow, Lowry with the help of James Travers got the car down where he was staying at the Vernon Court Hotel in Torquay Devon.(Gordon Bowker Pursued By Furies Pg. 160). Though he took instruction from Travers, Lowry was too nervous to drive the car alone.

In September, Travers invited him to a pub crawl with Bob Pocock and told Lowry to bring the car. Lowry drove from Torquay by himself to Chagford embarking on a drinking spree with Travers and Pocock. After leaving the Three Crowns Hotel in Chagford, Lowry crashed the car on a narrow road while following Travers back to his farm - 'disembowelled it on a great tombstone of a rock' (Gordon Day Malcolm Lowry Pg. 181). Jan Gabrial recalled the car; "He'd wrecked his short-lived MG Magna, but was fortunately unhurt. Thank God I had not been with him when he crashed!" Jan says that though the car was a wreck, Lowry still talked about driving in it to the South France; "When we go to the South of France we must take the MG" (Jan Gabrial Inside The Volcano" Pg. 22). Arthur Lowry arranged for the car to be towed back to Liverpool.

Lowry refers to the car in his novel Under The Volcano; "......The English "King's Parade" voice, scarcely above him, the Consul saw now, of an extremely long low car drawn up beside him, murmurous: an MG Magna.....(Pg. 84); in October Ferry to Gabriola; "Nor their towing the MG away — it was still the same one (and one of the few of its kind, that special 1932 four-seater convertible MG Magna "University" model), like the sporting hearse..." (Pg. 115)

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