ENGINE 1489cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 68bhp@5400rpm TORQUE 83lb ft@3000rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 86mph 0-60MPH 18.5sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 23-28mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, four-speed manual MoT Exempt ODOMETER 51,091 miles WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
This previously restored Magnette drives beautifully. The B-series fires up quickly and settles at a healthy idle that’s free of any stutters or tappet noises. There’s no misfiring or pinking once on the move. The clutch is light and engages smoothly and without hesitation, and there’s no notchiness or slop in the four-speed manual gearbox. The 10in Lockheed drum brakes bring the car to a halt without any squealing, fade or pulling to either side, and there’s no vagueness or undue heaviness in the steering.
The non-original Varitone-esque two-tone paint is in very good condition throughout, with an even finish and no signs of bubbling, microblistering or surface rust. The bodywork looks to be solid too, with no deterioration evident in the wheelarches, sills or valances. There’s some very minor cracking evident in some of the window seals, but the glass itself isn’t cracked or scratched. The 15in steel wheels and fitted hubcaps are in good condition and the matching Federal Super Steel tyres have plenty of tread left on them.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
With the notable exception of an aftermarket water temperature gauge, it’s all period-correct – and beautifully looked after – 1950s charm inside this Magnette. The seat leather is in very good condition and free of any nicks or rips, there’s no sign of fraying or damp in the carpets, and the doorcards – including their rope pulls – are all present and correct. The dashboard wood is free from scratches or UV light-induced fading, and all the instruments and switches function correctly. There are no marks or signs of sagging in the headlining and the beautiful trademark Jaeger clock incorporated unusually (but correctly) into the roof trim is intact and still appears to work as it should.
UNDER THE BONNET
The B-series engine in this car looks as though it’s been well looked after throughout its life. There are no signs of oil seeping out from around the rocker cover gasket or tell-tale drips from beneath the car, the components are free of grime and the pipes and wires connecting the main auxiliary components haven’t cracked or split with age. It looks as though the inner wings, bulkhead and underside of the bonnet received some cosmetic attention during the car’s restoration, and there are no signs of surface corrosion taking hold. The oil on the dipstick is at the correct level and a healthy golden colour. It hasn’t been MoT’d since August 2014 (it’s exempt), but the vendor says he would be willing to put it through a test before sale if the next owner so wished.
THE CCW VIEW
For every MG anorak at shows who points out that the two-tone paint isn’t original, you’ll have 99 classic fans commenting on what a lovely car this is – it is in superb condition and drives beautifully. It’s one of the best Magnette ZBs we’ve ever sampled.
ASKING £13,995 PRICE
Only water temperature gauge is non-original.
BMC B-series engine looks to be oil-tight – a rarity.