The MG Magnette ZA was launched in 1953 at the London Motor Show to a mixed reaction. It had obvious similarities to the Wolseley 4/44, on which it was based, but it also had a revolutionary monocoque body and subtle design and styling cues that set it apart as an MG. It was the first MG to be powered by the BMC B-series engine that would later power the MGA and MGB.
The book details the model developments over the years – including the Magnette ZB and the Magnette Six – and how it managed to encompass speed, comfort, handling, style and practicality for ordinary owners, foreshadowing the sporting family cars of the future. The author also covers owning and restoring a Magnette in the post-production era, bodywork and mechanical restoration as well as how to cope with typical faults and failings. He includes modifications and upgrades to the engine, gearbox and other parts of the car. The book also describes the factory’s experimental six-cylinder and coupé Magnettes and some modern Magnette specials including V8 conversions and the unique convertible.