Monterey Conference Center
18 - 20 August 2022
Lot 261

1939 MG WA Drophead Coupe in the style of Reinbolt & Christé


$106,400 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
WA 0417
Engine No.
OPJG 668
US Title
  • Widely considered among the most luxurious MG models ever produced
  • Believed to be one of only 369 MG WA models ever built
  • Powered by a recently rebuilt 2.6-liter, inline, six-cylinder engine producing 95 hp
  • Said to have been rebodied in the style of Swiss coachbuilder Reinbolt & Christé by noted marque expert Peter Ratcliffe

Considered by many marque experts to be the most luxurious MG ever constructed, the WA series succeeded the SA series in the summer of 1938 and ceased production the following year at the outbreak of World War II. While having superficial similarities to its predecessor, the WA’s cabin was more spacious, thanks to a wider rear track. It was also far better appointed, luxuriously trimmed with leather bucket seats and leather door panels sporting beautiful, inlaid wood. The broad, wooden dashboard carried four octagonal gauges led by a 100-mph speedometer, all incorporated into a polished surround.

Power to the live rear axle came from a tuned version of a Morris inline, six-cylinder engine enlarged to 2.6 liters and controlled by a four-speed, manual transmission with synchromesh on the top three ratios. Wire wheels concealed 14-inch, hydraulic drum brakes. MG made a saloon body in-house and provided chassis to coachbuilders for other variants, including a Tickford drophead coupe by Salmon and Sons. Fewer than 400 examples are believed to have been built, with less than 10 of those purported to be dropheads.

Chassis number WA0417, presented here, is believed to have been completed on 7 February 1939 with the unique designation of an African delivery order. It is said to have been rediscovered in South Africa in the early 2000s, mechanically intact but bodiless. The next owner enlisted Peter Ratcliffe of marque specialists SVW Services in Worcester, United Kingdom to construct a new open body in the style of Swiss coachbuilder Reinbolt & Christé.

Finished in a gorgeous, deep shade of Midnight Blue over dark blue leather upholstery with a matching cloth convertible top, this model has been lovingly maintained since its restoration. Over the course of four months in late 2020, the engine and braking system were fully rebuilt. The engine was carefully removed and stripped, then treated to new gaskets, seals, and porcelain-coated exhaust manifolds. The twin SU carburetors were rebuilt and tuned as well. The engine compartment and firewall were polished and detailed before reinstallation. The original headlights are included in the sale.

Considered to be one of the most beautiful and luxurious MGs ever produced, this stunning, bespoke WA is even more special, a truly unique find for any British motoring enthusiast.