1938 MG-SA 2333 Tickford Drophead Foursome

Besides the well known sports cars, MG also produced a larger, more family-suited series of cars, known as the SA, VA, and WA. Three body styles were offered in each of the series, Saloon, Tourer, and Tickford.

The SA Tickford, along with the SA Saloon, are the largest MGs ever built. These luxury cars were intended not for motorsport as such, but rather the gentle British road rallies of the time, especially in the Concours D’Elegance which concluded many of these events. MGSA Tickfords competed very well, and MG was quick to promote this success.

Salmons & Sons (founded 1830) were responsible for the custom coachwork along with the manufacture of the ‘Tickford’ folding hood (top) from which the model gets its popular name. (“Tickford” still exists to this day as a division of Aston Martin). The top can be used in 3 different positions: closed, coupe de ville, and fully open (top down). The “Tickford” mechanism, with its ‘S’ shaped pram-irons (landau bars), made folding the top effortless.

Unique features for SA Tickfords include: a windscreen that folds out to provide additional air, hydraulic jacks at each of the wheels, controlled from the inside, which allow the car to be elevated from the ground either front, back, or both, leather & English walnut trimmed interior with brass instrumentation, trafficators (turn signals), and a chassis central lubrication system.

Performance was decent for a car weighing 3330 pounds, with a top speed of around 85 mph from a 2322 cc, 80 H.P. 6 cylinder engine with dual carbs.

Options include a 7-valve radio, cigar lighter, duo-green paint (wings-Ulster green, Body-Dublin/Apple green), Mellowtone dual horns, translucent rear number plate, and a rare original rear bumper. (See list of options).

Patience and time is the key to working on cars like SA2333. Often, a car goes through many previous owners on the road to restoration, and SA2333 is no exception. Fithian Wilbert, of Ohio, took the car apart in 1968, assumed room temperature in 1975, and I eventually became the owner in 1978.

This car took thousands of “fun” hours to restore. The majority of the work, including wood, bodywork, paint (single stage urethane), and mechanical, was done by the owner, to the highest standards of originality possible. Advice from SA owners around the world helped tremendously on the details.

Just 57 MGSA Tickfords are known to survive, and this is one of them!

 

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