MG WA Saloon

Brand MG
Model WA Saloon
Color Black
Transmission Manual 4-speed
Pk 95 ch
Mileage 75,674 miles
Year 1939
Price 55.000 €

Following the success of the SA and VA sedans, the WA, announced at the 1938 Motor Show, was to be the largest sedan ever produced by Abingdon. The car was similar in shape to the SA, with a stunning body, but the interior was much more luxurious and the SA’s modified powertrain offered more power.

Presumably MG had pushed the large sedan concept far enough with the SA and VA models, and had moved far enough away from the sports car image (with the exception of the TA Midget) to satisfy this sector of the market, but in the summer of 1938 the sedan range was completed with the introduction of the WA or 2.6-liter sedan. It was an upgraded SA with a larger engine, using a power unit that had not been seen in any other Nuffield product at the time. The WA was undoubtedly the most luxurious MG ever produced by Abingdon and, although superficially similar to the SA model, the body was far more spacious and better equipped. The comprehensive dashboard featured four elegant octagonal instruments with a 100 mph speedometer, tachometer, water temperature, oil pressure, fuel gauge, ammeter and electric clock, all incorporated in an attractive oxidized silver frame. Immediately below, grouped around the ignition switch, were rows of switches and indicators for the other functions (wipers, lights, choke, etc.). The interior was very well finished, with comfortable leather seats and leather door panels with beautiful wood inlays. Ventilation was good, thanks to the opening of the front window and the individual opening of the quarter lights on the doors.

The chassis is similar to that of the SA, with the same wheelbase and front track, but the rear track has been widened by more than three inches to improve ride comfort in the rear. The brakes were upgraded by increasing their diameter from 12 to 14 inches, and Kimber suggested that the system would benefit from a Lockheed dual master cylinder due to the weight of the car.

The engine is derived from the SA engine, and is one of the first to use a fully counterbalanced crankshaft. The engine stroke remains unchanged at 102 mm, but the bore has been increased from 69 mm to 73 mm, giving a displacement of 2561 cm3. With a much higher compression ratio, the engine develops some 20 hp more than in VA form.

Three body styles were available on the WA chassis when it was announced in the summer of 1938. The sedan sold for £442, a Tickford drophead Coupe was available for £468 and the Charlesworth Tourer could be had for £450, but only nine were produced. Road tests carried out by the motoring press at the time were very rare, but those that were published indicated that the WA performed very similarly to the SA and VA. Acceleration is considered unexciting compared to MG sports cars, but the WA is credited with good top speed and the ability to maintain high cruising speeds at relatively low revs. Other qualities of the WA include excellent roadholding, positive steering and efficient braking, all of which are essential given the vehicle’s size and weight.

Production of the WA Saloon is estimated to have been limited to 265 cars, of which only 34 are still in existence today.

Equipped with a large sunroof, this example was acquired by its current owner in 1990 in Kent, England, where it had spent its entire life, and was then restored over a period of two years:

  • Refurbishment of dials and meters
  • Refurbishment of all chromes
  • New interior

She went on to win numerous elegance awards in Belgium. The engine was rebuilt in 2002 (crankshaft, bearings, unleaded cylinder head, etc.).

The paintwork shows age-related defects, the chassis is sound and the car drives very well.

This MG WA is a unique opportunity to discover the pre-war world in a rare, high-performance car, which thanks to hydraulic brakes, rare for its time, can be driven in today’s traffic without apprehension.