1928 MG 18/80 Mk II

A wider track and a 4-speed gearbox alone would not have justified the substantial price of the Mark II 18/80, on Classic MG digital at £7.56. Detailing was carefully done, aluminium components were polished, engines carefully balanced, and the three-ringed aluminium pistons ground and lapped. An automatic Tecalemit chassis lubrication system actuated by the car’s movement extended servicing intervals to 3000miles (4828kms), extremely generous for the time. The Mark II did not replace the Mark I straight away; it had never been a fast seller so the two were put on the market apparently alongside one another. Mark I Speed Models were eligible for a Brooklands 80mph (128.7kph) certificate for 12 guineas a time, cynics suggesting this was to cover a mechanic’s time spent making sure it would actually manage it. Triplex safety glass and a Dewandre vacuum brake servo were added but there was a certain amount of equivocation over the additional gear. It was described as a “silent third”, a fashionable reassurance in an era of loudly whining gears, or alternatively “twin top”, a tacit admission there was perhaps not much difference between ratios of 1: 1 and 1.306: 1. Extra equipment and a more substantial chassis carried a weight penalty of some 3cwt (152.4kg). Mark I production petered out in July 1931, Mark IIs in summer 1933, but eclipsed by the success of small MGs, some 18/80s were not sold until 1934.
BODY Saloon 4-door 4-seat; Sports 2-door 2-seats; Salonette 2-door 4-seats; Open Tourer 4-door 4-seats; chassis weight 20.5cwt (1041.4kg), Tourer 27cwt (1371.6kg), saloon 29.25cwt (1485.9kg) Speed Model with fabric body, staggered doors, left front passenger and right rear 22.75cwt (1155.7kg). ENGINE 6-cylinders; in-line; 69mm x 110mm, 2468cc; compr 5.75: 1; 60bhp (44.7kW) @ 3200rpm; 24.3bhp (18.1kW)/ l. ENGINE STRUCTURE Duplex gear and chain-driven ohc; cast iron block, detachable cylinder head, pent-roof machined combustion chambers; two horizontal double float SU carburettors; chain drive to distributor, waterpump, and dynamo, skew drive to oil pump; coil ignition; 4-bearing counterbalanced crankshaft. TRANSMISSION Rear wheel drive; five-plate cork insert clutch; 4-speed non-synchromesh gearbox with remote control; torque tube drive; spiral bevel final drive 4.27: 1. CHASSIS DETAILS Steel channel-section cross-braced upswept front and rear; upward-inclined half-elliptic leaf springs front-shackled 39in (99cm) front and 50in (127cm) rear; rear springs shackled both ends and carried outside frame; Silentbloc shackle bearings; single arm Hartford Duplex dampers; 14in (35.5cm) finned cable-operated brakes; Marles steering ; 12gal (54.5l) tank; 2gal (9.1l) reserve ; 19 x 5 Dunlop Fort tyres; Rudge-Whitworth centre lock wire wheels. DIMENSIONS Wheelbase 114in (289.6cm); track 52in (132.1cm); turning circle 37ft 6in (11.4m); ground clearance 8in (20.3cm); length 156in (396.2cm); width 64in (162.6cm ); height 64.5in (163.8cm), Tourer, 67in (170.2cm). PERFORMANCE Max speed 80mph (128.7kph); 20.5mph (33kph)/ 1000rpm; fuel consumption 18mpg (15.7l/ 100km). PRICE chassis only £ 550, 2-seater £ 625, Tourer £ 630, Salonette £ 655 (fabric body and Triplex glass), Saloon £ 670 (coachbuilt)