Lot 3159

Gene Ponder Collection

1937 MG SA Drophead Coupe in the style of Reinbolt and Christé


$154,000 USD | Sold

United States | Marshall, Texas



Chassis No.
SA 1912
Engine No.
QPHG2 3185
US Title
  • One of only 2,739 examples of MG’s highly significant SA model
  • Presently wears stunning coachwork in the style of Reinbolt and Christé
  • Powered by a 2,322-cc straight-six engine mated to a four-speed manual transmission
  • Period rival to the all-conquering SS Jaguar

Traditionally a manufacturer of small, lightweight sports cars, the 1936 SA represented a significant step upmarket for MG. As the largest car the firm had produced until that point, the sharp saloon with its low, long bonnet, sweeping wings and rakish four-door cabin marked a fascinating departure for the Abingdon company. Powered by an enlarged version of the inline-six found in the Wolseley Super Six—enlarged again to 2,322 cubic centimeters in 1937—and fitted with a four-speed manual transmission, semi-elliptic rear springs, and four-wheel Lockheed hydraulic brakes, the new car offered a level of luxury and refinement unseen on an Octagon-badged car. The range was complemented by a smart Tickford-designed Three-Position Drophead Coupe and Charleswoth Open Tourer, while a small number of chassis were imported to Switzerland by J.H. Keller’s Sportcar of Zurich, to be bodied in a scintillating drophead coupe style by Reinbolt and Christé of Basel.

According to factory records, chassis SA 1912 rolled off the production line on 21 June 1937 and was registered for the road on 30 July. While its early years are not documented, the car is believed to have left MG’s Abingdon works clothed with four-door saloon coachwork. The SA remained in the care of its first owner until March 1989, when it was bought by the owner of marque and model specialist SVW Limited, based in Worcester, England. In addition to carrying out high-quality restorations, the firm also specialised in rebodying cars in the Reinbolt and Christé style.

Chassis SA 1912 is said to have remained in storage until March 2006, when it was sold to a Halifax-based enthusiast who commissioned a restoration complete with replica Reinbolt and Christé-style bodywork. According to the SVW Register of the MG Car Club, an ash frame was created by SVW Limited, which was then skinned by a skilled Italian craftsman; production of the wings from original drawings is attributed to Vintage Wings & Radiators, while the Dove Grey leather interior and matching roof lining were created by AS Pickering Ltd. of Bradford. The car is also fitted with a replacement reconditioned engine, originally from chassis SA 2857 and supplied by University Motors Ltd. on 14 October 1954, though it is unclear whether this was installed on that date or later in its life. It is understood that the restoration work took around two and half years to complete.

Following 12 years of ownership, chassis SA 1912 was sold via Barry Walker MGs, crossing the Atlantic in 2018 to take up residence in the private collection of Gene Ponder.

With just seven MG SAs believed to have been bodied by Reinbolt and Christé in period, and only a handful of evocations created since, this remarkable automobile presents a rare opportunity to own one of the rarest and most beautiful variants of an often-overlooked, yet highly significant, model in the history of MG.