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MG Y-Type

MG Y-Type Published: 11th Mar 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

MG Y-Type
MG Y-Type
MG Y-Type
MG Y-Type
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If you are after an MG T Series for all the family to enjoy, then this is the perfect classic – and better value, with it


In production around the same time as the T Series, that iconic sports car may have been driven by war-time fighter pilots, but the Y Type was more the choice of their superior officers. In essence, this rare MG is an MG TD albeit in a saloon body, meaning the family can come along for a ride as well. They share the same raffish MG character and are rarer yet their prices handsomely undercut those of a T Series and are almost as easy to own.


1937 Y Type saloon designed sharing certain body panels with the Morris 8 on a stout chassis destined for the MG TD using the T Series running gear. The 1250cc XPAG engine was also used albeit in a detuned 46bhp state.

1947 Set for launch in 1941, the war severely delayed the car’s introduction, priced at £671.

1948 Four seater tourer badged YT launched using twin carb TC engine. Almost 900 were made but all bar three were exported, discontinued in 1950.

1951 Facelift saw car gain theYB designation, identified by altered rear wings, covering smaller 15inch wheels. Mechanically, the car gained a front anti-roll bar, uprated suspension and better brakes. Only 1301 YB versions were made before the car was replaced by the ZA Magnette as opposed to 6144 YA models.


Unless you yearn for real sports car thrills, you may find the Y-Type far more pleasing, thanks to an ultra stylish interior decked in wood and leather with just about enough room for four in comfort – besides, there’s always that standard steel sunroof.

In its detuned state, the MG is decidedly leisurely and about as peppy as a Morris Minor although it’s easy to bring this unit up to the T Series sports car tune, or above, if desired.

Like the T Series, they feel fussy on quicker roads unless the gearing is raised and some fit a Ford Type 9 five-speed gearbox as a result; it’s a worthy mod as is a taller rear axle ratio; there’s a wide choice available.

Handling is very much like its sports car brother and can be similarly suitably uprated if desired, although you may find many of these cars still running on cross ply tyres. The reason is more technical because while radials do improve grip enormously, the profile of a radial makes it much harder for one to fit in the spare wheel recess!

Pre-war MGs had some lovely touches and on the Y Type included self-actuated jacks and a front opening windscreen.


The rarer YB is the better bet if you can find one. The YT are extremely rare and their values are dependent on how much you want one plus it may well be a lefthand drive US expat although a fair number were exported to Commonwealth countries so will be right-hand drivers.

More likely, condition is the most important factor with any Y Type and a capital YA makes a better bet than an average YB. You may well find cars modded with T Series running gear, higher gearing and so on and they certainly make the saloon more suited to modern roads.


Compared to the T Series, the Y Type is a bargain. Even the best of the best is unlikely to exceed £15,000 although you can expect to pay double for a YT, when one comes along that is. Average-to-good saloons cost £8-£10,000 and projects around £4000 irrespective of model.

Despite being in the shadows of the T-Type, spares are relatively easy to obtain, especially the mechanical parts which are common to the TD. best of all, seasoned T Series experts such as Andy King, Barry Walker and Barrie Carter can help along with NTG Motor Services.


1. PARTS Availability of body and trim panels is generally pretty fair from old MG experts such as NTG Incidentally, few Morris 8 bits fit

2. CHASSIS Stoutly made and oil leaks do the rest but look for past repairs in all the usual areas, especially at the rear. TD chassis and repair sections can’t be used says NTG

3. ENGINE XPAG units dearer than a B-Series to rebuild. Oil leaks (everywhere!), oil pressure, should be 40psi around town

4. RUNNING GEAR Usual MG foibles; trunnions, king pins, dampers etc. Racks have to be rebuilt. YA/YB brake cylinders, once hard to obtain, available from NTG

5. TRIM Bringing an interior up to concours can be as expensive as a Jaguar Mk2 but thankfully seater covers, trim panels and headlining are available from NTG Services


We bet you have never considered this MG before as they are overlooked in favour of a T Series, MGA or Magnette. Yet the more you look at a Y Type the more you realise that they have more to offer, not least their pre-war style and character twinned with surprisingly modern driving qualities. That’s something no other car of that era provides, we feel. So Y not consider this MG?


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