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1936 MG SA Saloon


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#1 kennb


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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:04 AM

I am going to attempt to complete this car. There are really no kits available so it will be entirely scratch built like the Tatra was. This is going to take more time then some of those I did in a few days so be patient with me. I will be including history of the car as I go along with a lot of prototype photos and progress photos. The first installment of the history is following on this post, This will be detailed along with the motor as before. I will show all the parts of the build so you can follow along. I will include pattern making from pictures and try to explain each part as I go. Be sure to ask questions if something is not clear to you. You can refer to my older builds for some of the techniques that  I will be using. I have downloaded and marked over 100 photos of the car to work from and will be including this information as I go.


First some basic information, The plastic sheet comes in 40x72 sheets from US Plastics out of Ohio, I have linked it before. You can also get 4 foot x 8 foot sheets from your local sign shop for about $20. It is,40 thick and will be used for all parts of the build with the exception of some tube stock that I will call out when I get there.


The prototype used an Ash wood frame as all MG's did until the early 50's with the advant of the MGA. The metal skin was nailed to the wood frame. Then interior was all leather and mohr hair, like the early cars in the US.








 The MG SA was launched at the 1935 Motor Show and this elegant saloon was the first all new model to be introduced
 since the merger with Morris Motors in July 1935. It was launched alongside another new model, the PB Midget and a
 revised version of the N type Magnette, but everyone's attention was turned to the SA. This brand new car was a
shock to the MG fraternity as it was a car of such huge proportions compared to the previous Abingdon offerings
 and was to be the largest MG to date. Many enthusiasts refused to recognise the SA as a genuine MG choosing to
forget the fact that some of the earlier Magnettes were not exactly small cars. To understand the reasoning behind
 the launch of this luxury sports saloon, we need to look back to early 1935 and the revolution that swept through
 Abingdon. Leonard Lord was appointed as the new managing director of the MG Car Company when Nuffield sold the
concern to Morris Motors in July 1935. Virtually overnight all racing activities and developments were ceased
 and although Cecil Kimber remained at Abingdon, there was little that he could do without the consent of Lord.
 Initially Lord said that he did not want to produce any more MG sports cars as they interfered with his plans
to streamline the organisation. However Cecil Kimber still retained a lot of influence and he managed to gain
enough support to eventually change Lord's mind. The end result of this disagreement between Kimber and Lord was
 the production of the MG Two Litre SA Saloon first announced in October 1935.


The following is the Jaguar SS Saloon they wanted to compete with. Mecerdes had an SS along with several other manufacturers of the time period.




I will be posting as I get to each part so sit back and enjoy. For those interested in the time something like this takes, I have over 20 hours just in the research and designing of the build so far. Very similar to the Tatra build. Research is a lot of time if you want to get everything down, photos play a critical roll in scratch building so research,research, and research.





#2 GeeBee


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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:07 AM

I'll be watching this one with interest ....

#3 Ace-Garageguy


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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:23 AM

I will positively love watching this build unfold. Had a '37 TA back in the late'70s, always thought the SA was quite a beauty...for a saloon.

#4 kennb


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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:07 AM

Since everything is based on the body I start with that first. There is nothing tricky here nor is it hard. I dont have fancy equipment so this part required an exacto knife a wood ruler, a pencil and 2 cheap files. I printed out 6 pictures to the desired size, scaled about 1.24 to 1/22. Overall size completed will be 9 inches long with a wheel base of 6 inches. I have included the specs so the math whizzes can figure out the scale. :unsure: More history of this beautiful car will be in the next post.


I cut the sheet down to a more managable size and taped a print to the plastic and cout it out, I had one cut to 6x12 already so am usung that.








You just have to scribe the plastic with  fresh blade and snap it apart. I taped the 2 sides together and filed them to the same size.






The windows are just roughed out since they will be finished off after the over lays are on.




The sides are now roughed out. Note that the top is oversized for bending over. This will be taken care of next.

Specifications for the Saloon are as follows.

Type: Water cooled in line
Number of cylinders: 6
Bore and Stroke: Early; 69mm x 102mm. Late; 69.5mm x 102mm
Capacity: Early; 2288cc. Late; 2322cc Valve operation: Pushrod overhead valve.
Compression ratio: approx 6.5:1
Carburation: Twin direct downdraught horizontal SU's
Power output: 75.3 bhp at 4,300 rpm
Clutch: Wet cork
Gearbox: Manual 4 speed crash box on early cars. Part synchro on later cars. Chassis: Twin side members with cross members.
Wheelbase: 10'3" Track: 4' 5" front and rear Suspension: Front; half elliptic springs with beam axle Rear; half elliptic springs, live axle
Brakes: Lockwood hydraulic front and rear with 12" drums
Performance: Maximum speed: 85 mph
Fuel consumption: approx 17 mpg
Price in 1936: £415
Number Built: 2738 (includes saloon, open tourer and Tickford)



Total time so far, less than 20 minutes.



Edited by kennb, 26 January 2013 - 11:08 AM.

#5 sportandmiah


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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:19 AM


Edited by sportandmiah, 26 January 2013 - 11:19 AM.

#6 RAT-T


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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:21 PM


#7 southpier


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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:48 PM



 any chance you could post a link to the Tatra?


did a search but it came 'round to this thread.


thanks. & subscribed.

#8 kennb


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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:53 PM

Here is the link for the Tatra :)



#9 kennb


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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:19 AM

Tie for a little more history. I am getting this from the MG site. Continuing from the first post.


Lord felt that all that was necessary to sell a Wolseley at an inflated price was to put an MG radiator on it.
 This thought was rapidly dispelled by Kimber and his supporters and Kimber was allowed to design a new body for
the Wolseley chassis. This he did with great success, producing a very attractive well proportioned body and at a
 mere £375 for the saloon version it was attractively priced as well. It was exceptional value for money particularly
 when compared to its predecessor the KN Magnette at £399. Other coachwork which included a four seat tourer and the
 handsome Tickford Coupe followed later. The pleasing appearance of the coachbuilt body was subsequently adopted by
some of England's leading coachbuilders; one of note was Mulliner Park Ward. In terms of luxury, internal appointments
 and overall appeal, the SA stood favourable comparison with many other similar cars of the era. Sadly the car suffered
 from the inefficiencies that Leonard Lord was trying to get rid of, with the SA going through numerous changes of
components, in order to take advantage of the standard items utilised by Wolseley. The production of the car was
inevitably delayed through too many people being involved in the decisions surrounding the use of components,
 production procedures and the general inflexibility of the Nuffield group as a whole.


Now onto the body. After a false start i recut the pieces to the correct size and formed them as needed for the side shaps. This was accomplished by burnihing the back sides of the sides and usung a needle nose pliers to get the shape close. I heated some plastic and used the push mold technique to form a round piece to cut the rear corners from.






I used a razor saw to cut the rear cab corner.




then using flat stock bent woth the pliers I formed the rest of the roof parts getting the basic body roughed out.




i have the other side on and just have to fill in the corner.. the basoc body shape is getting there. Next i will get the reear boot and fire wall roughed out.






This photo gives a similar view showing the wood framing and the rear boot. I used this reference to geth the body rear roof shape. It is close enough for now. I will not add any filler until the whole build is finshed and off the the paint shop. There is still 1 more layer to put on at the sides to get the forms correct. I will get inot this after the rear boot is roughed out.  Note that some voids have been filled with additional plastic.


Thank you for watching and comments.


Edited by kennb, 27 January 2013 - 08:21 AM.

#10 Foxer


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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:59 AM

It's so good to have you starting another build that we can all enjoy and be amazed over, Ken! I love the body on this one.


Since I'm an engineer, I guess I do the scale math. Ken states the wheelbase ia 10'3" or 123" ... if in American feet. With a 6" wheelbase on the model that comes out to 123/6 = 20.5 or 1/20.5 scale.

Edited by Foxer, 27 January 2013 - 09:00 AM.

#11 charlie8575


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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:03 PM

This will be fun to watch, as all your builds are, Ken.


Charlie Larkin

#12 Dogfish_7


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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:44 AM

Was wondering how you were going to form the rear of the cab. Nice!

#13 kennb


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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:49 AM

A little progress has been made with the roughing in of the firewall and the rear wheel wells. The fire wall is all straight parts cut to fit, 3 layers. This will be trimed inside as I progress with the motor later on and for the interior. The rear wells are cut from flat stock and the one piece is bent as you would ribbon. it takes the shape very nicely. The wells were traced from the drawing and adjusted to fit the body.










I filed down the back sides of the well  and used a srtaight edge and clamps held them in place to glue them to the body. This needs to be in place before the boot can be ttached to the main body. This will be done next.






I have some .20sth that I will be detailing the fire wall with,,,,If you have any questions please let me know.

Thank you for watching and the comments.



Edited by kennb, 29 January 2013 - 07:51 AM.

#14 kennb


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Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:13 PM

Quick up date . just roughed out the boot and started to rough out the fenders. I am not sure if this will be the final set but trying them out. other than that not much today. the side of the fenders was traced right off the drawings.







#15 kennb


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Posted 10 February 2013 - 07:15 AM

just a short update to this project. I have been away for a week so not much got done but i did manage to work on the fenders and started on the frame. I made the frame form 3 layers of plastic giving a 1.20th thickness. I will be posting additional history of this car in my next post.












thank you for the comments and looking,



#16 Grant


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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:11 AM

Holy cow! What a craftsman. I love this build.

#17 LunaticFord


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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:14 AM


#18 kennb


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Posted 11 February 2013 - 02:39 AM

Part 3 of the history of this incredible car:


The SA model was aimed at the larger luxury car market. Based on the Wolseley Super Six, this graceful sports saloon
 was intended to be a prestige model that would enhance the Company image and move away from the stark and somewhat
 basic sports cars that had made MG famous. Certainly insurance companies welcomed this departure as there was
considerable disapproval previously over the sporting image and hefty premiums were often imposed. This fact was
no doubt considered by the Nuffield organisation as they invested heavily in this new luxury sports saloon.
The MG purists were however most displeased with the SA as the familiar MG chassis was dispensed with, being
substituted with a heavy conventional box-section Wolseley based variety. Gone also was the overhead camshaft
 engine, which was replaced with a Wolseley Super Six 2 litre pushrod operated unit. The familiar cable operated
brakes were replaced with Lockheed hydraulic type, a system that Kimber did not favour at all, maintaining that the
old style cable brakes were far more dependable. The prototype had pressed steel bolt-on type wheels instead of the
 knock-on wires and as a final insult a synchromesh gearbox with a long unwieldy gearlever was fitted.


I worked on a lot of different parts and got the rear boot configured. The hardest part was the spare tire cover.




After some looking around i finially used a size C

battery and a brandy bottle lid to make the 2 part mold. This was done by heating that plastic over a candle and then shaping it with the battery as in the first picture, I did push down on the center some to get the center down some  to match the origional more closely.The time taken for this including hunting down the correct mold parts,,,about 30 minutes.




it comes out like this.




then a little trimming.




and slip it in place.




and we have a reasonable tire cover.


Roughing out the grill and hood next.

Thank you for looking and the comments.



#19 crazyrichard


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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:56 AM

awsome way of scratching , really inspiring !!!

#20 BKcustoms


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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:00 AM

your scratchbuilding skills are amazing, I'll be watching this one closely.