MG Magnette

MG Magnette (1953-1968)

MG is famous for its sports cars, but the saloons have always had a fair following. Most of them are badge-engineered models from the BMC stables (see Austin, Morris, Riley or Wolseley for similar vehicles).

1957 MG Magnette

1957 MG ZB Magnette

The MG Magnette ZA was introduced in October 1954. Easily recognisable by the curved chrome moulding on the front wing.

In 1956 the ZA was replaced by the ZB. It gained more power (twin 1.5 inch SU carbs and 64 bhp compared to twin 1.25 inch SU carbs and 60 bhp of the ZA ) and can be identified by the straight chrome moulding on the front wing.
1958 saw the advent of a new version of the ZB with a large panoramic rear window and a two-colour paint scheme, known as the ZB Varitone. A chrome strip all along the side of the car separated the two areas of colour.

MG Magnette ZB

Production of both ZB models came to an end late 1959 when the MkIII was introduced. Not designed by BMC themselves this time, but by Pinin Farina. Engine and other mechanical components were carried over from the ZB, but it was now very different style of motor car, built on the aging Austin A55 platform. Certainly not what you would call a “Sports saloon”.

MG Magnette MK 3

MG Magnette MK 3

In 1961 the MkIV was introduced. It had a more powerful engine anad improved suspension, which gave it roadholding capabilities that were comparable to the ZB.

The most obvious difference between the MkIII and the MkIV is the detailing of the wheels.
The MkIII had steel rims whereas the MkIV was fitted with wheel trim.

(Based on information kindly supplied by Gerard Jansen)