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1 Of Only 250: Restored 1933 MG J1

MG was known for building a wide variety of cars over its long, storied history but one model that escaped my attention was the J series. Only offered between 1932 and ’34, there were four different variations, comprising just under 2,500 vehicles. Our subject car is the lone four-seater touring model, known as a J1, and it was offered in ’32 and ’33. Located in Okatie, South Carolina, this MG has been beautifully restored and is available, here on Barn Finds Classifieds, or here on Hemmings for $34,000, OBO.

The volume of J1 production is claimed to be 250, though I have uncovered two additional sources that put the total volume at 380. Whichever is correct, it is indicative of a small volume and that’s probably the reason that this J1 has escaped my previous attention. The seller states that he believes there are only 60 J1s still in existence and this example is probably the finest. There are no details included in the listing that reference the full extent of the restoration but the seller will respond to any interested party’s questions via e-mail. This is a beautiful car, resplendent in its two-tone ivory and green finish complete with a matching green folding top. The tall wire wheels, and what look like oversized motorcycle tires, reflect this MG’s era perfectly as do the “tea-strainer” headlight guards.

The interior has received a restoration treatment similar to the exterior’s and it shows beautifully. The seats, door fabric, and carpet appear as new and pull the interior together with balance. The instrument looks like Burled Walnut, or something similar, and it, along with gauge binnacle, has received the redo refurbishment too. And of course, all required gauges are installed where they belong.

Unfortunately, there is no included image of the 36 HP, 847 CC, inline, four-cylinder engine. The assumption is that the engine received a rebuilding during the restoration but that is uncertain and potential buyers should request information on that front. Research indicates that gear changes are handled by a four-speed, non-synchronized, manual transmission and will propel this J1 to a top speed of 78 MPH.

The seller states, “I am eager to sell due to health changes“. That’s an unfortunate turn of events but he realizes that this magnificent machine really needs to find a good home, one that will preserve and maintain this MG in the appropriate manner. An interesting statistic is the original sales price for this J1, it listed for £220, or about $1,100 dollars at the 1933 exchange rate – things have obviously changed, greatly, over time! If an MG from this era is of interest to you, here’s one of the best that deserves your consideration, wouldn’t you agree?


  1. MattR

    Nice one Jim. I love the wire mesh up front, the dash, air-dam and high stance. And a 4-seater to boot. In a sea of MG TD’s that can reach the same OBO price, this really stands out.

    Like 1
  2. MikeH

    What a beautiful car!! And a beautiful price. This one won’t last long.

    Like 2
  3. Ralph

    Beautiful car, looks almost perfect.
    Sorry the seller has to let it go. The price sounds very fair.
    Best luck to the seller.

    Like 0
  4. Bob Roller

    Good looking old Brit.Less than one Litre?Time it form 0 to 60 with a calender
    with four people on board.

    Like 1
  5. Frank

    this seems like a bargain for a pre-war MG thats already been restored. Especially considering how few of each model were produced in the ’30s.

    Like 0
  6. Greg Millard

    Great style …how bout in & out-gress – imagine it is a snug fit. She’s a beaut!

    Like 0
    • Robert Hagedorn Member

      Yes, it would be a snug fit–especially for the passenger. The seat looks like it’s built for a small child.

      Like 0
  7. Brock
  8. Lowell Peterson

    Done many MG cars but never seen one of these. Don’t think 78 is likely but it is very kool. I’m 6’2″ /230! Couldn’t get in or out of TC without major contortions this looks even narrower?

    Like 0

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