There are six MG’s models in three model groups which have had been marketed with Magnette name :- the K and N types built from 1932 to 1936, the Wolseley based ZA and ZB types built from 1953 to 1958 and the BMC Farina bodied Mark III and Mark IV built from 1959 to 1968.
Today’s 1957 Magnette ZB, seen earlier this year at the 33rd Bristol Classic Car Show, is the fourth iteration based on the Wolseley 15/50 built from 1956 to 1958.
The Magnette ZA was launched in 1953 with a cut down body similar to the Wolseley 14/40 launched earlier the same year. The only interchangeable panels between the two models, and those of the later ZB, launched in 1956 and Wolseley 15/50 are the front doors, roof and boot lid.
Gerald Palmer was responsible for the detail differences between the ZA and Wolseley 14/40. The ZA would became the first unitary monocoque constructed MG without a separate chassis.
The ZB, seen here, features a 64 hp motor, up from 60 hp on the ZA, with a bigger carburetor and higher compression ratio than the original British Motor Corporation (BMC) B- Series motor used for the ZA, was capable of 86 mph with a rest to 60 mph time of 18.5 seconds.
With advertising advertising benefits like “Spots-car Performance, Family-car Comfort, Small-car Economy” and a strap line that ran “Style and luxury combined with the nimble roadability that has made the MG and international favorite” the low slung ZB outsold the Wolseley 15/50 BMC stable mate by 3 to 2 with 18,524 being built from 1956 to 1958.
Thanks for joining me on this “International Favorite” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a Brooklands legend. Don’t forget to come back now !