1959-1961 MG Magnette Mark III

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The automobile manufacturer MG used the Magnette name on the K-type and N-type cars in the 1930s, but the Magnette models of the 1950s and 1960s are probably best-remembered. Although loved today, the use of the Magnette name on an MG saloon car with a lowered Wolseley body and an Austin engine brought protest from motor magazine letter writers.

There were two distinct series of these Magnettes: The ZA and ZB of 1953 through to 1958 and the Mark III and Mark IV of 1959 through to 1968.

The Mark III of 1959 drew mixed reviews. US based publications heralded the Magnette's arrival, while the UK publications tended towards "damning with faint praise". It was nearly identical to the Riley version (the 4/68) of the new Pinin Farina-designed midsize BMC saloon line. All versions (including the Austin A55 Cambridge Mark II, Morris Oxford series V and Wolseley 15/60) were produced by the British Motor Corporation (BMC). The car featured BMC's 1489 cc B type engine, but in the MG Magnette III (and it's Riley sibling) performance was enhanced by fitting twin S.U. H.D.4 carburetters.[5] The experience from the driver's seat was enhanced by the walnut veneer facia panel and door cappings as well as by the leather upholstery, and presumably by the safety glass windows.[5] A Mark III was tested by The Motor magazine in 1959. They recorded a top speed of 85.5 mph (137.6 km/h), acceleration from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 19.7 seconds and a fuel consumption of 31.4 miles per imperial gallon (9.00 L/100 km; 26.1 mpg-US). The test car cost £1012 including taxes.[6]

MG Magnette
'55 MG Magnette (Hudson).JPG
1955 MG Magnette
Manufacturer MG Cars
Production 1953-1968
Predecessor MG YB
Successor MG Montego
Class Mid-size
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
Layout FR layout
MG Magnette Mark III
MG Magnette MkIII 1960.jpg
Production 1959-1961
Engine(s) 1.5 L B-Series I4
Wheelbase 2,521 mm (99.3 in)[2]
Length 4,521 mm (178.0 in)[1]
Width 1,613 mm (63.5 in)[2]
Related Morris Oxford V
Riley 4/68
Austin A55 Cambridge
Wolseley 15/60
Siam di Tella


1 Robson, Graham (2006). A-Z British Cars 1945-1980. Devon, UK: Herridge & Sons. ISBN 0-9541063-9-3.
2 Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2.
3 "The M.G. Magnette". The Motor. January 5, 1955.
4 "Safety Fast" MG Car Club. September 2007
5 News summary". Practical Motorist and Motor Cyclist 5 (nbr 58): page 943. date April 1959.
6 "The M.G. Magnette Mark III". The Motor. June 3, 1959.

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