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SNAPSHOT 146: 1924 M.G. 14/28 Super Sports

Cecil Kimber joined Morris Motors in March 1921, and almost immediately was asked to manage The Morris Garages and moved to buildings in Alfred Lane, Oxford. An autonomous section of the main Morris company, the garage specialised in the servicing and maintenance of Morris and other makes and, when asked, also provided special bodies on the standard Morris Cowley chassis and bodies for other marques.

The first post-Great War ‘Special’ advertised by The Morris Garages, was the ‘Morris Sports’, introduced in 1921, the same month that Kimber joined the company. The car was noteworthy for having a polished aluminium body and a pointed tail; other special coachwork included the ‘Raworth’ tourer, ‘Weymann’ saloons and, surprisingly, various landaulettes; also, although not officially called an M.G., ‘The Chummy Deluxe’, was an odd-looking slab-sided motor-car that possessed little aesthetic appeal.

The M.G. octagon motif first appeared in advertising in April 1924. The Morris Garages produced cars that were known as M.G.s, but the motoring press frequently called them special-bodied Morrises, a practice that continued, to the irritation of Cecil Kimber, until the company was listed as a separate business in 1928. In 1923 a sturdier ‘Oxford’ chassis and a larger 1800cc engine was introduced. Billy Cooper, a well-known trials driver of Morris ‘Cowley’ cars was fascinated when Kimber told him that he was introducing a new sports car, the ‘M.G. 14/28 Sports’ utilising a standard but lowered Oxford chassis, a better steering box and raked steering wheel, angled windscreen with quarter bracing and Ace inner and outer discs fitted to the then standard three-stud artillery wheels. The highly-polished aluminium body was made by Carbodies of Coventry. It is believed that 13 vehicles were manufactured by the summer of 1924, and interest in this well-proportioned body-style was amplified by the time of the 1924 London Motor Show, the design having received many favourable comments in the motoring press. Indeed, Billy Cooper used his M.G. extensively, winning many awards, thereby encouraging Cecil Kimber to use competitions to stimulate the sales of his creations.

The M.G. illustrated is a Morris Garages publicity photograph showing the young works demonstrator, Jack Gardiner, in an early ‘M.G. 14/28 Super Sports’ of late 1924, ‘Super’ having been added to the nomenclature by this time. The car still features beaded-edge tyres, no front brakes, aluminium discs and picturesque ‘Cruiser’ scuttle vents. Interestingly, a flying bird mascot, with a striking resemblance to the flying stork emblem featuring on Hispano Suiza motor-cars, is fitted. The observant will also notice that the nearside front wheel tyre is mounted the wrong way around. The package, which must have appealed to the sporting man, sold for £395, which was then equivalent to the price of a house. A number of these cars survive but, over the years, several other vehicles in M.G. 14/28 guise have been created from standard Oxford components.

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