In 1957 Monkspark Garage of Shirley, Solihull just outside Birmingham started to manufacture 2 and 4 seater fibre glass body shells known as Kenmar Mk I suitable for fitting to Ford Anglia and Ford Prefect chassis respectively.
Two years later a Mk II body was manufactured and marketed as the Shirley Mk II which cost just £89 with an additional £35 for the optional hard top.
The main body is a one piece molding with a reinforcing tubular framework and welded mounting points and the bonnet could be front or rear hinged to taste.
The shell for this particular vehicle was purchased in January 1997 and fitted to a 1949 Ford Anglia chassis and was ready to run in April 1998. This car has several period improvements including a boxed chassis, fluid cushion suspension, Aquaplane cylinder head, twin carburetors and an additional fuel pump along with 12 volt electrics.
Of the 50 shells thought to have been built only 4 Shirley Mk II’s are thought to remain.
Today’s featured MG 18/80 Six was through University Motors of, the then very fashionable, Park Lane, London W1 in 1931 for £625 painted black and cream.
Technically this car is similar to the Tigress bodied 18/80 featured a couple of weeks ago with a 2468cc / 150 cui six cylinder motor that gives an 80 mph potential.
The history of this particular car is unknown between its original sale and the 1960’s when it resurfaced several times as it changed ownership. Since it’s restoration in the 1970’s it has been used for touring in the UK and on the Continent.
Thanks for joining me on this “Continental Tourer” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will loin me tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a classic Messerschmitt. Don’t forget to get to come back now !
In 1928 MG moved away from it’s original remit of giving Morris Bullnose products wider appeal which culminated in the MG 14/40 and started to manufacture it’s own chassis and engine blocks.
The new 18/80 model featured both a unique MG chassis and engine block both of which had been developed from lessons learned from a Morris Light Six Saloon that never went into production. The new distinctive radiator design would be maintained all the way through to the T Series.
The 18/80 also featured unique to MG front and rear axles with Rudge Whitworth centre lock wheels an either tourer or saloon body styles.
The twin carburetor six cylinder motor featured a four bearing crankshaft with a Duplex chain, see behind the radiator on the right, which drives the camshaft, distributor, water pump, oil pump and dynamo. The MG 80 hp rated six gave the 18/80 enough power to reach 100 mph. The motor seen here has been upgraded with a MK III cylinder head and ignition and drives through a Rover SD1 clutch in place of the original cork in oil unit.
The 1929 chassis of the vehicle featured today was originally built as a prototype for the MK II saloon in 1929 however by the early 80’s the body was in such a poor state that it was replaced with a Mk III 18/100 ‘Tigress’ style body. Note the unique silver plated steering wheel boss from the original Mk II Prototype has been retained, but the dash and instrumentation are from a Mk III Tigress.
As a result of underwhelming track performance, only five ready to race Mk III ‘Tigress’ vehicles, styled after the contemporary Bentley competion models, were built in period.
Thanks for joining me on this “Silver Plated Steering Wheel Boss” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be featuring a Techno DAF. Don’t forget to come back now !