Captain George Eyston called the Mille Miglia race in Italy
as “the most strenuous, possibly the most dangerous and certainly the most
exciting of all the events in the calendar of speed.”
With the construction of the MG Magnette Supercharged, now
simply called the K3, in late 1932 the British motor racing community had a car
which could compete with the new generation of light racing cars coming out of
Europe, particularly Italy.
Two prototypes were built, then three cars were constructed
and prepared for the Mille Miglia race.
This is the story of those great MGs which swept the 1100cc
class and the team prize at the Mille Miglia in 1933.
It is also the story of the other races of ’33, including
the Ulster Tourist Trophy, and how the great Tazio Nuvolari was secured to race
the Mille Miglia winning car in the greatest event on the British racing
But what happened to these five great cars and their
This book tells the story of MG in 1933, why the MG K3 was
such a remarkable car, and how these great cars, particularly the Mille Miglia
and Ulster TT winning car was almost lost but for its rediscovery many years
Graeme Cocks searched archives in Europe, North America and
Australia and spoke to dozens of people around the World to discover the story
of the mighty MG Magnettes of 1933. He has put together a story of
elation and tragedy, of success and failure, and he has examined the mystery of
the ultimate fate of arguably the greatest MG of all, K3003.
Inside Back Cover
Graeme Cocks is an accomplished Australian motoring
historian and author. Born in Perth, Western Australia, his interest in
old cars began with a Morris Minor 1000 in 1977, a car he still owns.
Trained as a journalist, he later worked as a travel writer
and in tourism promotion.
He also has a passion for replica sailing ships, working
with the HM Bark Endeavour Foundation and later as Project Director and then
Chairman of the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation which built a replica of the
first ship to sail to Australia. He arranged the longest voyage of an “Age of
Discovery” replica ship from Sydney to Amsterdam via the Cape of Good Hope in
His stable of cars now includes a number of Australian
racing specials and he has produced many books on early motor racing in Western
Australia. Internationally, he collaborated with Dr Clare Hay to produce
a book on the first Bentley to race at the Le Mans 24 Hour race, Chassis 141.
As Chief Executive Officer of the Fremantle Motor Museum, he
was asked by the museum’s owner Peter Briggs to take a look at the history file
of his MG Magnette K3.
The wonderful stories from 1933 and the controversy
enveloping the restored car intrigued him and set him on a path to get to the
bottom of the story.
This book is the result of his passion to tell this
wonderful story of how the motor racing planets aligned for MG in 1933 and for
a season its cars were almost unbeatable.
The Mighty MG Magnettes of 1933
“Never was a great enterprise more thoroughly prepared.”
Captain George Eyston
The story of the Mighty MG Magnettes of 1933 covers the
creation of the most admired British sports racing car of the 1930s, the
K3, and how this car was campaigned with great success and a legend was born.
For a fleeting time, the cars from Abingdon were admired
across Europe and found customers in far off lands including Australia and
Some of the greatest drivers of the era including Tazio
Nuvolari, Sir Henry (Tim) Birkin and Captain George Eyston raced them and won.
This book re-examines the legend of the K3 to tell the real
story of 1933. It traces the cars to the present day. Using many previously
unpublished photographs from archives and collections around the world, this
major work is an important contribution to the study of the history of Great
Britain’s iconic sporting car.