Moto Magazine

MG Magnette

By Gardenamateur
I was always going to have an MG Magnette in my collection, just because I liked them and more importantly knew some people who owned them and loved them. However, when my wife saw it in the cabinet she said: "Hey, my first husband owned an MG Magnette when we started going out together as teenagers." My own wife was a Magnette fan! And so a little story she told me about a memorable weekend away in the Magnette gave me the idea for this little diorama photo here.

MG Magnette

Unfortunately for my wife's first husband, a lovely bloke who remains a dedicated car nut
with a penchant for Alfas, the Magnette story was not a happy one. It broke down.
A long way from home. In a ghost town. This ghost town in the photo, in fact. Joadja it's called.
It's an old mining village 138km south-west of Sydney. Though called a 'ghost town' it has
always been a popular spotfor a day drive for city folk. I haven't been there for years, but when
the MG broke down there in the 70s, there was a caretaker there to make sure the historic
old miner's buildings weren't vandalised. They left the car with the caretaker,and it took
him several return trips to Joadja to finally get the Magnette running again, but he got it
going and it limped home under its own steam. This 1:43 model by Oxford Diecast looks
far too shiny and new to break down. And the other 'incorrect' thing about the photo which
my wife mentioned is that their 'Joadja' Magnette was a maroon colour.

Seems like the perfect opportunity to take a You Tube drive in one, and by coincidence the You Tube Magnette is also green. The Oxford Diecast model is labelled as 'Island Green', and it's nothing like the darker shade of green of the car in the vid. Wonder which one is correct? To give my little 1:43 MG Magnette its full name, it is the first of the 1950s Magnettes, the ZA. It was produced from 1953 until 1956, when the ZB, with same body but improved performance, came along. The ZA was designed by Gerald Palmer, the fellow who also designed the equally famous Jowett Javelin car. Powered by a BMC B-series 1489cc straight four, with twin SU carbs, the ZA made 60hp, had a four-speed gearbox and was good for 80mph (128km/h).
Some people mistakenly say the MG Magnette is just a Wolseley 4/44 with MG badges. The Magnette's engine was different, the body was lowered, the suspension differed and only some, not all, of the body panels are inter-changeable between both cars. The 4/44 was a good car in its own right as well, but the Magnette was too. They just looked similar. Anyway, into the driver's seat for about three minutes of good, solid British motoring. 

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