1936 MG NB MAGNETTE 'CRESTA' - with coachwork by E Bertelli


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1936 MG ‘NB’ Magnette ‘Cresta’ Tourer

The early to mid 1930’s saw a burgeoning demand for small six-cylinder motor cars, due to the quest for smooth running.  MG entered this field in 1931 with the ‘F’ Series Magna range, powered by a 1271cc Wolseley Hornet derived engine. The ‘F’ Magna was popular, but a welcome increase of power came with its successor - the ‘L’ Type. The ‘K’ Series Magnette followed with power now boosted to 56 bhp and this engine was used in the new ‘N’ Series Magnette from 1934. This new model was to feature a more advanced chassis and improved suspension and the final ‘NB’ model for the 1936 season was to be the last of the OHC 6-cylinder MGs before Nuffield’s programme of rationalisation was implemented.


The motor car we offer here is particularly interesting, being one of approximately 10 - 12 special bodied Magnettes supplied by the Cresta Motor Company of Worthing. 

One of the proprietors of this company (Jim Elwes) was a Works driver for Aston Martin and knew ‘Harry’ Bertelli who was their coachwork designer. He was impressed by the new MG ‘N’ Type’s chassis design and handling, but the bodywork was not to his liking. He approached Bertelli and managed to get an agreement to fit special coachwork to the ‘N’ Type chassis.


Cresta Motor Company are understood to have purchased some 10 - 12 chassis from MG and commissioned Bertelli to fit this stylish 2/4-seater lightweight bodywork.  Today, just two examples are known to survive, with another rumoured to exist, but its whereabouts are not known to the MGCC Triple ‘M’ Register.


There is a substantial amount of history with this car - chassis number NA0934 - which makes fascinating reading. The car retains its original ‘MG’ registration number having been registered on 30th May 1936 by University Motors.


During the late 1990’s the car was acquired by the current family and was to undergo a comprehensive programme of restoration, which is illustrated in a large photo album supplied. There are numerous notes, invoices and information on file. By 2000 the work was completed and the car returned to the road.


Over the ensuing years it has been much enjoyed, with many rallies, continental trips and gatherings attended. Unused for the past 18 months or so, this desirable and ultra-rare MG is ready to provide similar enjoyment to its next custodian. It has excellent weather equipment, including a full tonneau cover and wind deflectors. Looking striking in its livery of cream and black, this distinctive MG is certain to attract great interest.

For initial enquiries and to arrange an appointment to view from 2nd December (please do not travel to us from Tier 3), please call us on 01420-474919 or 07710-364945.

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