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#589

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Early Magnette Discovered !

50 years after leaving the production halls in Abingdon another early Magnette has been discovered by French M.G. enthusiasts, who want to bring her back on the road.
The car is no. KAA 13/589 and was built from 12 -26 February 1954, when proper series production slowly started at Abingdon. Despatched on 8th March and first registered on 29.05.54 as MWP 979. Originally she was black with biscuit leather. If you can give any information about this car or former owners, please contact the Register!

Bodyshell
The car is in a reasonable condition. The A-posts are badly repaired a long time ago and the wings are damaged and rusted. The original non-quarter-light-doors are replaced by common ones. Surely a hardly to repair loss.
But the vehicle is complete and storen dry during the last 20 years. Therefore it seems beeing worth to be restored back to former glory.  The current colour is not original as according to the number it should be black , what is still recogniceable in the engine bay and the boot.

Engine
The car was delievered with engine no. BP 15 GA/170 but as early as summer 1954 a new engine with no. BP15 GA/ 258 was fitted, which is still in the car. It is supposed that the early engine swap was neccesary as the engine still lacks the external oil filter feed-pipe at the rear of the block. The first 1460 cars were delievered without this pipe and it was not unusual that these engines only ran a few thousands miles because at start-up the bearings had to operate for too long without oil. Even the now installed engine is missing this pipe (and a core plug)! But nevertheless the counter reads 84497 miles. 

Interior
Of course this car has a "tin-tp" dashboard, made of wood and "wood-looking" metal. The knobs have been moved into a handmade panel located at former original place for the heater knobs. The heater knobs itsself have been mounted under the fascia. Not very comfortable!
Another change is a big knob signed « KI GASS »left of the steering wheel and another knob on top of the tunnel near to the gearleaver. The carpet has been cut out very properly. Any idea of the function?

Boot
A second fuel tank and two fuel pumps. The second tank has a handmade "sport like" look. The way the pipes are made between the two tanks let imagine that they are made to avoid problems in case of accident. It is very professionaly made.

History
No hints can be found in books or the Register Database about this car. Nearly all early cars were sent to Motor Shows worldwide, but it seems this car was private owned from new:

We have difficulties to read the name of the first owner. Is it a Mister John Thaynton Dacy Spence, whose name has been ruled out in black (for which reason is it swritten on in red?) or the car belonged to the name written on the "address" line, which could be the one of an institution, or a company, or a college? It could read "National Standard Company in Kiddeminster". Seems that there still exists a National Tyres and Autocare company in this city, even a National Standard Ltd , but further in Surrey 13, Pease Rd Peterlee County Durham SR8 2RD.
If anyone reading this can give helpful tips, please contact the webmaster.

Second owner was a Mr Hopcraft, group captain RAF. The group captain moved often, but the car passed under the name of his wife in 73, which let us suppose that he died at that period.

We don’t know about the period 1973 to 1980. In 1980 a first demand to register the car in France was made, but the car was never registered because the new owner died rapidly , and the car remained unrestored during the last 20 years .

Alain Bothorel bought it in March 2004.

We are very interested in the story of the car, because for French people, - except the fact that it is a very early ZA - , the mention RAF group captain makes the car very very british.
We also think that the car was used by one of the owners for rallying because of the second fuel tank. The group captain obviously needed a long reach due to his aeronotical career..

KIGASS was another sort of "choke". See contemporary advert. And this is were it comes from:

  • V5-2
  • V5
  • ZA

  • ZA5
  • ZAengine1
  • ZAengine3

  • barn1
  • barn2
  • barn3

  • dash1
  • dash2
  • dash3

  • heater1
  • kigass
  • kigass2

  • tank1