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MG SA, VA & WA

MG SA, VA & WA Published: 8th May 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

MG SA, VA & WA
MG SA, VA & WA
MG SA, VA & WA
MG SA, VA & WA
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Produced during the pre-war era when MGs were perceived as prestigious as well as sporting transport, full of character and class, the SA, VA and WA were created to challenge the new luxury saloons and tourers from Bentley and Jaguar. Quite different to a T-Series but boast similar levels of club and specialist support. Values expected to remain some of the highest of the MG label.

Driving

These cars are all about luxury, especially the six-cylinder models. Whilst MG sports cars corner well for their era are unhappy on motorways – ‘SVW’ range are the reverse. Of the three models, the VA is the most sprightly, the smaller engine being easily offset by the reduced weight and size. Indeed, a VA Tourer is the closest to MG’s traditional sports car and is quite fun to drive. Braking is entirely adequate if kept adjusted although all models, but especially the VA, can suffer from undue steering wander.

The interiors, especially those of the saloons, are very well finished, with lots of veneer and leather, and have a real luxury feel.

Values

To get an idea, take a look at the cars for sale page of the SVW Register (www. svwregister.co.uk/ carsclassified.htm). Prices are largely dictated by restoration costs. A sad but complete car will fetch more than £10,000 for any of the models. For fully restored cars, values are higher for open models. WAs are pricier than SA, and the SA is worth more than the VA but rare Tickfords can fetch over £100,000! A similar open SA might reach £75,000, dropping to £40,000 for an earlier restored SA saloon that’s running but needing some work. Open, restored VAs can fetch £35,000- £40,000, and a good VA saloon that needs only light TLC will still sell for £20,000-£25,000.

Timeline

1935 SA announced with Morrissourced 2062cc six-cylinder unit. The styling is inspired by Bentley’s 31⁄2-litre along with the 21⁄2-litre SS Jaguar. The chassis design hails from Cowley and features many Morris/Wolseley parts while the interior has leather trim and burr walnut. Standard on all is a Jackall in-built jacking system. Buyers can choose between a four-door saloon, a four-seater tourer and a Tickford-bodied coupé

1937 VA makes its début soon after the SA’s engine size had been increased again to 2322cc. The VA is effectively a scaleddown SA with a 54bhp 1548cc four-pot – the same unit used in the Morris 12. As with the SA, there’s a choice of bodies

1938 WA appears similar to the SA but it’s actually a redesign. The engine is 2561cc, and the car is slightly wider

1939 Ranges start to wind down, all replaced by Y Type in 1947

Best models

SA

Sleek alternative to Bentley or Jaguar SS, bodies made by Mulliner. Heavy and not sporty to drive – as accent is on luxury but all cruise nicely; 2.2-litres for 1936

VA

As SA grew, the VA filled the gap with 54bhp Morris 12 power; isn’t especially swift, but comparable to other numerous sporting rivals

WA

First redesign sees an additional bulkhead installed to tackle the SA’s problem of heat transfer into the cabin. 2.5-litres, brakes are increased to 14-inch drums

Top five faults

General

 

All models were fitted with Jackall wheel jacks, which are very convenient if they work. Most don’t, and restoring is not simple as it requires special seals and, usually, new rams

Commonality

There are surprisingly few interchangeable parts between them though the SA and WA share some parts such as the front axle. The WA has basically the same engine and gearbox as the SA, but they’re not interchangeable. Andy King, Barry Walker (cars) MG Automobile Company (parts) and Barrie Carter can help BODY Timber-framed body so there’s plenty of flexing; expect cracked paint plus rotten wood. Most prone to expensive damage is the base of the screen pillars where door slamming causes stress fractures

Engine

 

Later engines had shell bearings, but difficulty in obtaining spares may result in them being white metalled anyway

Engine (2)

Expect oil leaks. A lightly smoking exhaust is pretty common and may just be valve guides which can be replaced at the same time as fitting hardened valve seats for not more than £500-£600



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