Classic Car Catalogue

MG 1931

M-type Midget  
18/80 Six Mark I – discontinued
18/80 Six Mark II  
C-type Midget – new model in May
D-type Midget (Mk II) – new model in October
F-type Magna Six – new model in October
18/100 (racing car) – discontinued

Great Britain

MG 1931
Motor SportOctober 1931

M-type Midget

wb: 6' 6'' 4 cyl.
847 cc
20 bhp
4 cyl.
847 cc
27 bhp


M-type "Midget"
MG Midget
MG M-type Midget Jarvis 
WHEN a sports car attains popularity with the swiftness of the M.G. Midget, it is good proof of the soundness of its design, especially when this is backed up by success in competitions. This is certain to lead in its turn to a demand among discriminating owners for a model which will be a little different from the general run in the way of coachwork.
Therefore, although the M.G. Midget was no novelty to us as regards the chassis, we found a great deal to arouse fresh interest in the Jarvis Midget which was in our hands for a few days recently. Some coachwork attracts by its appearance, while some depends on its practical and useful lay-out to capture the owner's fancy. This particular model, however, is one of those rare examples which combine real good looks with a maximum of convenient accommodation.
There are many small sports cars on the road to-day which, while very nice for showing off their owner to advantage on short runs, present considerable difficulties when a long journey is undertaken with any luggage or equipment. Although it must be admitted that there are numbers of sports car owners whose first thought is appearance, and whose journeys rarely extend beyond the main street of their home town, we like to forget them as much as possible, and hope they will decrease rapidly. It is to the normal man, to whom a car means a quick means of getting far afield, that the Jarvis model should appeal. It is, in our opinion, the most practical sports body we have ever tried on a car of this type and size. The actual construction and finish of the body are excellent, as might be expected from a firm who have so long specialised in sporting coachwork, and these may be taken for granted.
The actual lay-out is a miniature of the short 3-4 seater type which is often seen on 1½ litre cars. In this case the rear compartment is intended chiefly for luggage, although it would be useful on occasion to give a lift to an extra passenger for a short journey. A large inspection door in the floor of this compartment gives convenient access to the rear axle for greasing, etc., while a second flap at the rear opens the tool compartment, which is built under the floor level in the form of a dummy petrol tank. This is of ample size, and, as well as a large tool kit, provides room for those many items of spares and equipment which always seem to accumulate. The only criticism of this arrangement is that if the rear compartment is full of luggage, some of this will have to be removed to get at the tools. This is not likely to happen often, however, and the convenience of a really large tool box makes up for it.
The bucket seats are adjustable over a considerable range, and though in the experimental body we tried there was not really sufficient room for anyone over 6 feet, the leg room is being increased in the production model to remedy this. Pneumatic upholstery will also be included in the standard specification.
A neat and really efficient hood is another good point and the lines of the hood are in keeping with the rest of the car. When this is not in use, a combined hood and tonneau cover ensure the contents of the rear compartment, if any, being kept free from dust or damp.
By its behaviour on the road we were able to prove that the weight distribution with this particular body was excellently as the road and comfort at speed were really remarkable, and continually gave the impression of a much larger vehicle. The steering, in common with all Midgets, was very light indeed; in fact, too light for our liking, as we should have preferred rather more caster combined with a somewhat higher gear. At present from full lock to full lock (not a very great angular movement of the front wheels in this case) requires two full revolutions of the wheel. On such a light car a considerably higher gear would still call for no appreciable effort, while when "scrapping" on a winding road it would give a rather quicker and more " live " control. The steering was very pleasant, however, and perfectly steady, while some people may prefer the very low gear.
Although MOTOR SPORT has previously published accounts of the M.G. and its performance, we cannot refrain from again referring to the running of the engine. In addition to its remarkable power for its size, it is one of the smoothest 4-cylinder engines we have ever driven, and feels almost like a six. With suitable attention to the ignition control it will travel smoothly at a walking pace in top gear, while its maximum was 68 m.p.h., at which speed it was quite free from any signs of overrevving.
On second gear, 40 m.p.h. was reached quickly, and this was the best speed at which to change up if maximum acceleration was required, though considerably more than this could be attained before valve bounce occurred at between 45 and 50 m.p.h. With stronger valve springs this would not occur, but it is evident that its most useful range in second is up to 40 m.p.h. And there is no point in exceeding this in ordinary work, as to do so is simply increasing general wear and tear on the engine.
The brakes, operated on all wheels by the pedal, are positive and powerful, and are an improvement on the earlier models of this chassis, making high average speed quite safe. The hand-brake is rather too far forward for convenience, but as this is used chiefly for holding the car when stationary, this small point is of minor consequence.
MG Midget JarvisThe job as a whole is well planned and carried out, and is a notable improvement on an already attractive little car. The price with a very full equipment, including side screens, is £225. The makers are Jarvis & Sons, of Victoria Crescent, Wimbledon
Motor Sport, January 1930
Motor SportJuly 1931


    6 cyl.
2468 cc
60 bhp


MG 1931 18/80 Speed ModelTHE remarkable recent achievements of the famous M.G. Midget in trials and races, as well as the enormous number of these models on the road, seems to have obscured to some extent the M.G. Six, which is quite as remarkable a car in its own class as its smaller brother. Thanks to University Motors Ltd., of Brick Street, Piccadilly, we recently had the opportunity of seeing for ourselves, not only how the M.G. Six performed on the road, but also, by taking out a much used car with many thousands of miles behind it, how this model stands up to hard driving.
The model tested was the Mark I Speed model, this being the lowest priced range of sixes. The engine is a six cylinder of 69 mm. x 110mm. bore and stroke , giving a capacity of 2,468 c.c. A fully balanced 4 bearing crankshaft is fitted, while the inclined overhead valves are operated by an overhead camshaft. Mixture is supplied by two S.U. carburettors. A three speed gear box is fitted in contrast to the 4-speed box on the Mark II chassis, but the remarkable flexibility of the engine and a good choice of gear ratios makes it possible to use the gear box to the best advantage.
The most noticeable characteristic of the car's performance is silence and smoothness. There is no trace of period or drumming at any engine speed, and the behaviour of the car is entirely free from effort or fuss. It is not, of course, a racing car, nor is it intended in any way as such, but rather for fast travel over long distances.
It is an extremely comfortable car to drive for long distances, and we could not help wishing during the test, that we could have the chance of taking this car on a continental tour, where its qualities of comfort and effortless speed on hills or level would show up to great advantage.The acceleration is good for the type of car, the time taken from 10-30 m.p.h. on second gear being 7 secs. When comparing this with other and more fierce "10-30" figures it must be remembered that second gear is fairly high —6.58 to 1, and the maximum speed on this gear is nearly 50 m.p.h. 40 m.p.h. from 10 m.p.h. takes just over 10 secs.
At 60 m.p.h. the car gives the impression of being able to run all day without tiring and only a small throttle opening is required for this speed. The speedometer on this particular car was slightly fast, but the actual maximum on the level we found to be 74 m.p.h. under none too favourable conditions, and there is no doubt that 80 m.p.h. could be more closely approached on occasion. It must also be noted that the whole test was carried out on a car which as well as being old in service, had received no attention as regards the engine for a considerable period.
It is this feature of being able to give consistent performance over a long period without adjustment or overhaul that is of particular importance to the owner of such a car, who will put in a very big mileage in the year, and has not much spare time to spend on working on the car. With such a quiet engine, great care is required to see that no minor noises occur to spoil the effect, and the silence of the body and chassis were remarkable.
MG 1931 18/80The Marles steering was very light indeed, and made for really effortless control. It is, however, rather low geared and this requires a certain amount of getting used to when driving fast on twisty roads. We should also have preferred a slightly increased self-centring action. The steering is as a whole very much above the average, however, and the car is absolutely steady at speed on all kinds of surface, and gives a great feeling of confidence to the driver. This steadiness is achieved without harshness of springing, and the brakes are smooth and well up to their work. Owing to a slight temporary defect in the servo motor, the pressure required on the brakes was rather higher than normal, but even so was not too high, and when correctly adjusted a light pressure is ample for all needs.
Many points show that much thought has been put into the lay-out of this car. The hand brake for instance, is of the racing type on which the ratchet is only brought into action when required for parking the car, and acts on all wheels. A reserve oil tank, holding a gallon, and connected direct to the sump, is another good point for long distance touring, while a separate 2-gallon petrol tank in the dash, feeding by gravity, ensures reliability in the event of the supply from the 10-gallon rear tank either failing or running out.
The price of the model tested is £525, while a complete range of all M.G. cars to say nothing of other makes, can be inspected at the Showrooms of University Motors Ltd., who are the main London distributors for this make.

Motor Sport, May 1931


C-type 'Montlhéry' Midget

wb: 6' 9" 4cyl.
746 cc
37-44 bhp
4cyl. (s)
746 cc
45-52.5 bhp
      – new model in May.


MG Midget C-Type Montlhery
The MG Car Company, introduced the production version of EX120 – the C-type, which is also known as the ‘Montlhéry Midget’. The bore is reverted to a 57mm and the stroke reduced to 73mm, still keeping the capacity under 750cc. Transmission is through a four-speed manual ENV gearbox. With the supercharged engine the top speed is about 100 mph. C type bodies retains the open two-seat configuration of the M type complete with an opening rear boot which now contains the rear mounted petrol tank. The body is doorless and features two large ‘humps’ on the scuttle, designed to deflect air over the driver and passenger. Just like the “12/12” M type the year before, the C types first racing success was in May 1931 at the JCC Double Twelve race at Brooklands where it won the race outright and the three car, Team Award.

D-type Midget



The D type MG was introduced at the London Motor Show in October 1931. It represents a four-seat version of the M type, built on a slightly longer version of the C type chassis. The engine, transmission and brakes are taken straight out of the M but the car is equipped with a very attractive open four-seat body with front-hinged, slightly cut-away doors and the electrics are upgraded to 12 volt.

F-type Magna

wb: 7' 10'' 6 cyl.
1271 cc
37 bhp
    – new model in October


The F Magna has extended version of the C type chassis to accommodate the longer 6-cylinder engine derived from the Wolseley Hornet. The body styles follow the D type pattern with an open, four-seat, and closed four-seat salonette.



The experimental EX120 has an engine bore reduced to 54mm and a stroke reduced to 81mm, to give a capacity under the 750cc limit. The car is finished with a very simple lightweight body and a small supercharger is fitted to the engine. The car was taken to Montlhéry, just outside Paris in January 1931 where speeds in excess of 100 mph were achieved, the first time for a car of under 750cc. There was further success for the car later in the year when it completed over 100 miles in the hour, another first for this capacity.
MG 1931 EX 120THE enormous popularity of the standard M.G. Midget during last year naturally made enthusiastic owners of the same desirous of somehow competing in 750 c.c. events. It is to this class that such a car morally belongs from its type and size, and small car enthusiasts in general will be glad to learn that the new model will be in this class, and will have many other interesting features which will make it a definite 100% sports car, which should ensure a big demand for the new type.
Not only have all the main points of the standard M.G. been well tried out, but the new car, which has virtually been entirely redesigned, has been intensively developed by experiments in the hands of G. E. T. Eyston, until the final edition has proved capable of over 100 m.p.h. The engine has the same 57 mm. bore as the 850 c.c. but is fitted with a special crankshaft giving a stroke of 73 mm. The shaft is of large diameter and all webs are fully balanced. Steel connecting rods, with the metal poured in direct, and special aluminium alloy pistons are used.
Water circulation is by centrifugal pump mounted between the dumb irons, which location is also chosen for the Powerplus supercharger.
An unusual feature of the induction system is the double inlet pipe. The smaller pipe is used for starting and slow running, the large main pipe being closed. By means of interconnected controls, when the throttle is opened the main pipe is also opened to the main flow of gas. This somewhat unusual arrangement is fitted to ensure easy starting and flexibility which is a most important point in a sports car, as opposed to a purely racing machine.
A useful point for long distance work is the provision of an auxiliary oil supply by means of a tank under the scuttle, which has an automatic feed to the sump by means of a float chamber arranged to keep a constant sump level. The increased power of the engine has been coped with by a redesigned clutch having two discs instead of the single disc used on the old model.
The new 4-speed gear box employs roller bearings throughout, and engagement of both top and third gears is by means of dog clutches. The brakes themselves are unaltered from those of the standard M.G. Midget, but the operation has been modified so that adjustment can be effected from the dash.
The roadholding and steadiness of the car (always a marked M.G. feature) has been further improved by lowering the chassis frame. This is downswept behind the front axle and passes under the rear axle. The front springs are carried below the axle which has necessitated a new axle beam. The control of the springing is effected by means of the latest type Hartford shock absorber, with control from the dash while running.
The whole car is designed especially for the competition enthusiast and is being introduced in addition to, and not in place of, the standard M.G. Midget. The price of the supercharged car is fixed at £345, while without supercharger it costs £295.

Motor Sport
  Event: Entered: Raced: Finished: Best results:
8-9.05.1931 Double Twelve 15 14 7 60 March / Staniland Midget C 1st Class H 750 1st
            Gibson / Fell Midget C 2nd Class H 750 2nd
          66 Hamilton / Holbrook Midget C 3rd Class H 750 3rd
            Parker / Cox Midget C 4th Class H 750 4th
            Black / Fiennes Midget C 5th Class H 750 5th
            Selby / Hendy Midget C 14th Class H 750 10th
            Jackson / Samuelson Midget C 18th Class H 750 12th
24.05.1931 Whitsun Mountain Speed Handicap         R.S.S. Hebeler Midget 847 cc 2nd  
13.06.1931 Le Mans     1 31 Samuelson / Kindell Midget C nc  
18.07.1931 Irish GP Saorstat Cup 12 11 9 32 Norman Black Midget C 1st  
          35 Tommy Horton Midget C 2nd  
            Goldie Gardner Midget C 3rd  
          31 Harold Parker Midget C 6th  
            Dan Higgin Midget C 7th  
19.07.1931 German GP     1 88 Samuelson Midget C 5th  
03.08.1931 Brooklands Junior Short Handicap       18 A.T.G. Gardner Midget 757 c.c. 2nd  
03.08.1931 Brooklands Third Mountain Handicap         H. C. Hamilton   1st  
22.08.1931 Tourist Trophy   12 5 31 Black Midget 1st Class H 750 1st
          40 Crabtree Midget 3rd  
            Parker Midget 7th  
            Jackson Midget 10th  
03.10.1931 500 Miles Brooklands 11 ? 2/3 15 Eddie Hall Midget 746 cc (s) 3rd Class H 1st
          16 Crabtree / Hailwood Midget 746 cc (s) 5th Class H 2nd
17.10.1931 Brooklands Junior Long Handicap         A. T. G. Gardner Midget 746 cc (s) 1st  
17.10.1931 Brooklands Mountain Handicap         H. C. Hamilton 847 c.c. 1st  
MG 1931 Midget C-type
Midget C (Francis H. P. Samuelson / Freddy Kindell) at Le Mans.
MG 1931 Midget C-type
MG team at Irish GP.
MG 1931 Midget C-type
MG 1931 Midget C-type
Motor Sport May 1931
MG 1931 Midget C-type
Land's End trial.
MG 1931 Midget C-type
Tourist Trophy
Motor Sport June 1931
MG 1931 Midget C-type
Double Twelve at Brooklands.
Motor Sport June 1931
MG 1931 Midget C-type
Double Twelve at Brooklands.

A.T.G. Gardner driving the M.G. Midget 757 c.c. to finish 2nd in London Junior Short Handicap at Brooklands.
MG 1931 Midget C-type
C-Type "Midget"
MG 1931 EX 120
Motor SportJanuary 1932MG 1931 EX 120
MG 1931 EX 120
EX 120
MG 1931 EX 120
  Race: Entered: Raced: Finished: Best results:
16-21.01.1931 Rallye Monte Carlo 4? 4? 2? 12 F. Mortimer Montgomery Midget   →1100 6th
      5 F.H.B. Samuelson Midget   →1100 8th
      20 Ferreira / Vilela Midget   →1100 14th
      191 Norman Black   16th  
30.07-6.08.1931 Coupe des Alpes 2 2 1 66 Lord de Clifford / Manby-Colegrave Midget 20th Coupe des Glaciers →1100 2nd
MG 1931 Monte Carlo
MG #5 (F.H.B. Samuelson) in Monaco.
MG 1931 Monte Carlo