The Ponder Collection

20-21 April 2007

Lot 2256

1936 MG SA Tourer

To be auctioned on Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sold for $116,600

  • Chassis no. SA0432

Coachwork by Charlesworth

75bhp, 2,288cc, overhead valve six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, semi-elliptic rear springs, four-wheel Lockheed hydraulic brakes with 12-inch drums. Wheelbase: 123"

One of Just Five Known Examples in the World 1936 MG SA Tourer Coachwork by Charlesworth

The chassis of the 1936 MG SA Tourer pictured here was delivered from the MG factory in Abingdon on April 27, 1936 to coachworks of Charlesworth Bodies (1931) Limited at Much Park Street in Coventry.

Founded in 1907 by three partners by the name of Gray, Hill and Steane, Charlesworth Motor Bodies Ltd., supplied local manufacturers such as Hillman and Singer cars. By 1936, Charlesworth’s annual production was running at 500 bodies and their biggest client was Alvis, with the MG SA open four-seater being a close second.

Following WWII, Charlesworth was to build the bodies for the Invicta Black Prince, but that firm soon failed and a contract with Lea Francis for a new saloon led to that firm buying Charlesworth to build its own bodies.

Back in 1936, it would have taken four to six weeks for the car to be completely finished by Charlesworth. This splendid example of a Charlesworth-bodied SA was a body style specifically offered by MG and appears to be totally original. There were three coachwork body styles offered by Charlesworth during SA production, but this 1936 built SA chassis was fitted with the earliest type.

The Motor tested a 1936 MG SA with Charlesworth coachwork (July14, 1936) and stated it “processes very smart lines, and provides real seating comfort for four people.”
Later, well known journalist Laurence Pomeroy from The Motor (June 7, 1938) on driving a MG SA wrote, “I can quite honestly state… that for the sheer pleasure in driving, I have come across nothing which pleases me more than the car now reviewed.”

This rare Charlesworth Tourer was originally retailed through MG’s well-known University Motors in Britain. It was registered at the Middlesex County Council Registrations department and was given the registration number MG 4856.

Its original factory 75bhp, 2,288cc six-cylinder overhead valve engine was completely rebuilt at the time of restoration and is fully detailed. Great attention was spent to highlight the beauty of this engine’s design as well as ensuring its smooth, reliable performance. Likewise, the MG SA chassis also received the same kind of careful attention during restoration, as did the wire wheels and a rear mounted spare.

Although the original color remains unknown, this fine example of Charlesworth-bodied MG SA has been painted a striking pearl white with a painted tan beltline that matches the cloth convertible top and boot. This subtle, but effective color arrangement in combination with the traditional square MG grille, brightwork give the car a distinctive and highly appealing presence.

The interior panels and seats are reupholstered in soft tan leather and display excellent craftsmanship. This rich-looking interior is underscored by fitted tan wool carpets, gleaming chrome accents and refinished walnut fittings. The wooden dash houses a full set of rebuilt Jaeger gold instruments along with a period University Motors Ltd. plaque.

The handsome 1936 MG SA Charlesworth Tourer exhibits minimal wear in both form and function. There are a mere five know SA survivors left in the world with this type of Charlesworth coachwork, and just seventeen Charlesworth coachbuilt SAs in total. Fully verified by the MG SA club, this fine example is ready for both grand touring and concours events where it will be fully welcomed.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo

Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

+49 (0) 40 441 95 737

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

+1 310 559 4575
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more