The MG R-type was produced by the MG Car company in 1935. It was designed for competition use and was a development of the Q-type.
The car used a tuned short stroke (73 mm) version of the bevel gear driven overhead camshaft engine from the 1928 Morris Minor and Wolseley 10. This had already been highly tuned for use in the Q-type and was further modified, especially in the input area, to improve reliability. It was fitted with a Zoller supercharger and produced 110 bhp (82 kW) at 7200 rpm. The gearbox was a four speed preselector type unit. At the rear the differential in its aluminium casing was fastened to the chassis and drove the wheels through short shafts with sliding splines and universal joints.
The steel chassis was revolutionary and was Y shaped with a backbone that divided around the engine and gearbox and was very light. The suspension was independent all round, making a first for MG and possibly the British motor industry, and used wishbones and longitudinal torsion bars allowing a large amount of wheel travel to allow for the poor surfaces on many of the contemporary racing circuits, especially Brooklands. Lever arm hydraulic shock absorbers were used. The brakes were cable operated using 12 inch (305 mm) drums and the wheels were wire spoked and secured by a centre lock nut.
The single seat body had the appearance of a miniature Grand Prix racer and was formed from aluminium and designed to be easily removable.
The car was offered to the public at £750 and the initial ten were sold to pre selected customers. A further batch was planned but never happened. A car changed hands at auction in 2006 for £130,000.
The first major sporting outing was to Brooklands for the International Trophy where a six car team including three works entries appeared but the best result was a 6th place and none of the works cars finished. It was realised that the suspension was giving problems, mainly with the rear being too soft, and solutions were proposed but all work stopped when new boss Leonard Lord closed the MG Racing Department. Private entries to competition continued and the works cars were sold to the Evans family who already owned one of the other cars.
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