A replacement for the successful J2 Midget, the PA followed the general lines of its predecessor but was equipped with a more robust version of MG’s inline four, benefiting from a cross-flow cylinder head, stronger, three-bearing crankshaft and better lubrication. Chassis alterations, many resulting from competition experience, included a longer wheelbase, strengthened transmission and 12′-diameter (up from 8′) brakes. Top speed was in the region of 75mph. Built in two- and four-seater variants, the PA in the latter form was the last Midget to offer sportscar motoring for the family. Some 2,000 PAs were produced between 1934 and 1935 when the model was superseded by the relatively short-lived PB.
One of the most intriguing and important aspects of the 1930s motor industry is its interest in aerodynamics and how this was reflected in the evolution of the automobile. It can be argued that France lead the way with coachbuilders such as Figoni et Falaschi and Letourner et Marchand staking their own claims with their Teardrop and Aerosport designs on Talbot Lago and Delage chassis, though these were produced in limited numbers and strictly for the luxury market. In America there was, of course, the Chrysler Airflow among others that represented a more accessible and affordable acquisition with similar design tendencies. Britain too saw many of its coachbuilding houses, which only 40 years earlier had been constructing carriages to be drawn by horses, now focused on wind-cheating design, beautiful flowing renditions came from the pen of luminaries such as A.F. McNeil of the J. Gurney Nutting house.
Against this backdrop it could easily be argued that one of the prettiest swept back designs were the very few Airline Coupes that graced MG chassis. The design was created by H.W. Allingham a man with more than a decade of experience in the car industry, notably at Chalmer and Hoyer, later Hoyal, and then his own independent design company. Of particular note are the ‘cathedral’ style lighting panels on the sliding sunroof, the spare tire neatly blended into the swept back tail underneath a metal cover, and the effect of the tail which tapers inward at its base. Then there is separation molding down the sides of the car which allowed for two tones, the full flowing fenders the rears flicking up at their ends. The low profile is achieved by dropping the body over the outside of the chassis. Despite all of the detail and thought that went into the styling, there is actually still an accommodating cabin and relatively large doors to enable access by even the taller adults of the modern day.
Although sculpted by Allingham and marketed by him also, the Airlines were actually built by both Carbodies and Whittingham & Mitchel. In total it is thought that a mere 51 were ever constructed, with the majority of those cars being built on the four cylinder MG PA and PB series.
This stunning example was comprehensively restored by renowned MG specialist David Cooksey between 2006 and 2009, and has covered just 600 kilometers since completion. It is believed that only seven examples of the Airline remain, as such these cars are highly coveted by collectors. Offered with German registration papers, this is a unique chance to acquire an incredibly rare and desirable British sports car.