Barn Find Racer: 1930 MG M

Have you been looking for a British car or a car with documented racing history?  If so, this 1930 MG M, for sale here on Hemmings in Hutto, Texas may be the car for you.  With an asking price of $125,000, that seems like a bargain compared to some of the other vintage race cars that have been selling lately. Although I’ll have to admit, raced MG’s seem to be more difficult to value than similar race cars.

This image was taken during the JCC Members Day on July 5, 1930 in which No. 20 was entered and driven by C.E. Wood.  It’s really neat to see racing documentation from nearly 90 years ago.  It’s not often you have photographs of a car from the early 1930’s.

Unfortunately the ad only has a detailed racing history and nothing about the last 75 years.  I would assume based on the racing documentation, the seller knows exactly where it’s been and will hopefully share that with potential buyers.  It’s clear to tell from the pictures that the car hasn’t been in a museum during that time.  It has a coating of dust suggesting that it has been in storage, or at best, neglected for quite a while.

In 1931 this “M” was modified by March Modelers of Mayfair London. The car was rebodied in aluminum, a race prepped Morris engine replaced the original, hydraulic brakes added and the fuel tank moved to the rear of the car.  The spark plugs look newer, so this may be a running car.  It would certainly be fun to take on vintage races or tour along a country road.  Hopefully the new owner will enjoy the car and not relegate it to a museum or private collection where it doesn’t get driven.

Fast Finds


  1. Fred V

    That looks like a “Trials” racer not a road racer. I would not think it would be worth anywhere close to the asking price.
    Fred V

  2. jdjonesdr

    Man.. that looks like it would be a blast to drive around in.

  3. Todd Fitch Staff

    Wow this is great. Race cars get modified from infancy so they buyer may have to choose a target date for any refurbishment or restoration. With today’s premium on preservation it would be great to see the car get minimal pieces to become road-worthy again. At that point it could be used for a while before deciding on restoration. I’d love to see this car, more or less as it sits, gracefully carving through the curves of Schenley Park in the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix on those skinny tires. Great find, Montana!

  4. James HGF

    The car as presented does not match info given as the Morris engine currently installed appears to be a 918cc Morris 8 which did not go into production until 1935.

    Compare advert engine photo with Morris 8 Tourer engine:

    Asking price seems to be unreasonably high. Needs documentation to prove body is correct and it seems likely a raced tuned Morris engine installed in 1931 would be a 847 OHC Minor engine which was the base for the MG M Midgets.

  5. James HGF

    Link of the 918cc side valve from Percival Motors is no longer valid. However this Car and Classic advert for a 1938 Morris 8 Tourer permits one to compare the engine with Hemmings’ advert photo:

  6. Ron Dame

    Im no expert, but that one tiny SU carb screams that someting isnt Kosher

  7. waynard

    Appears the windshield has been changed (from the photo) and the headlight(s) have been chromed. Hard to say what is and is not original here as race cars commonly were modified over and over in their lifetimes. I’d want to see this car and more research up close and personal before I plopped 125K down. Though, at that high price or anything near it, it’s not going to end up in my garage anyway.

  8. Dave Wright

    This is a race car……unrestored. Race cars are constantly modified, upgraded and changed. My lotus 11 came with 2 Coventry Climax engines from the factory. We raced one of those engines…..once before changing it out to a Cosworth MK13. One of the engines had broken a crank evidentially at speed and twisted the block by 1/2 an inch. The Cosworth was a huge upgrade in both serviceability and power. Race cars are wrecked, bent, and mutilated and repaired………racing is often a contact sport. This looks like a wonderful classic racer that would be an incredible addition to most anyone’s collection.

    • Dave Wright

      I do agree the price is totally out of line……like by a factor of 4 or 5.

  9. Tom

    MGs have not stood the test of (financial) times, and still represent bargains in the sports car world. The nicest T-series car in the world will not approach anywhere near $125,000. This one is waaaaay overpriced, since it is not a Q-type, K3 or other factory race car; a standard M-type it might sell for $35,000. This is a bit of a butcher-job, and is probably worth more in the UK, where the racing history means something. To my eye this looks like it might possibly sell for as much as $30,000 to a specialized collector of MG race cars, but I doubt it. $20-25,000 is much more realistic. It just doesn’t look very pleasing a design.

    • Dave Wright

      Exactly what I was thinking……..5X overpriced.

  10. Russ

    Hello here is a video of the M on its first run. We’re enthusiastic of the progress of the preservation of this racer.

    Like 1
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Russ, thanks for sharing!

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