More Information About the MG Y Series cars

Last week I was contacted by Paul Barrow who is the Webmaster and Registrar of the International MG Y Type Register.  This group is the keeper and source of all of the information that you would ever want or need to know about the MG Y cars.  Paul was responding to two posts that I have made on this website – one on November 8, 2011 and the other on September 18, 2012.

Paul correctly pointed out that there never actually was an MG YA as designated by the manufacturer, only an MG Y, an MG Y/T and an MG YB, the suffix “A” being appended by people after the introduction of the subsequent model which was designated by the factory as the MG YB.   This retroactive naming of cars has happened frequently in the car industry, such as the MG TA, the Jaguar Mk. I, the Jaguar XKE Series 1, and the Sunbeam Tiger Mk. I.  I think that because the use of the designation MG YA has so crept into the lexicon of MG cars and many automotive publications, I that will let this transgression stand so that the casual car buff will not be confused, while those that know the history of the MG Y cars will know the story behind this “renaming” of the early MG Y cars.  It is interesting to note that even the owner of the MG Y sedan featured in my September 18, 2012 post referred to his car as a “1950 MG YA Saloon”.

A 1950 MG Y Saloon

The other issue that Paul pointed out was that the production figures that I had quoted were slightly in error.  Paul wrote: “I just need to correct your production figures though please. Yes, traditional thought has it that it was thought that the 7,035 Y chassis (as opposed to the 1,301 YB chassis) were split 6,158 Y and 877 YT, but extensive research by the International MG Y Type Register over the last 10 years has found that actually there were at least 904 YTs made that we have found evidence for around the world and consequently the number of Y Sedan drops to 6,131 and it is quite possible that this number may change again – upwards for the YT and down for the Y. This occurs because the majority of the production records for MG Y production from 1947 to about August 1951 were destroyed at the factory (I now own the production records from Aug 1951 – end of production). We, at the International MG Y Type Register, have embarked on a worldwide crusade and have copies of import documents from Australia and many other countries, together with painstaking examination of other records, and our own database of over 35% of all MG Y Type production contributed to by owners and clubs all over the world have been able to recreate the most comprehensive (but not exclusively complete) records of Ys made as well as surviving.”

As a result of the information provided by Paul, I have corrected the production numbers that I had included in the November 8, 2011 and the September 18, 2012 posts.

I asked Paul to provide any information that his group had about the number of MG Y sedans in North America.  He kindly provided the following information that was current as of November 7, 2012:

Y YT YB Total
Cars we know something of in Canada 1 1
Cars we know the owner of in Canada 3 20 2 25
Total   Canada 3 21 2 26
Cars we know something of in USA 4 7 11
Cars we know the owner of in USA 66 86 38 190
Total   USA 70 93 38 201
Total   Canada and USA combined 73 114 40 227

As you can see, there are not many MG Y sedans in North America and seeing one is a real treat.

On the advice of Paul, I have purchased a CD from the International MG Y Type Register that includes some books by John Lawson and C. A. N. May about the MG Y sedans.  The books that are included on this CD are as follows:

Books by John G Lawson:

• MG Y-Types Saloons and Tourers

• Discovering the MG Y-Type

• Alternate Parts List for the MG Y Type

Book by C A N May:

• Wheelspin Abroad Part I

This CD just arrived yesterday and I look forward to reading the books on this CD and posting some information on the rallying history of these MG Y sedans.  If anyone has information of the rallying history of these cars, then please contact me at the information provided in the “About” section of this website.

If you would like more information on MG Y sedans, then I would highly recommend going to www.mgytypes.org

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16 Responses to More Information About the MG Y Series cars

  1. Thomas Webb says:

    Steve, I am the owner of YB 970, found in a very derelict state in a warehouse in Milwaukee, WI. I live in Northern IL. Life-long MG enthusiast (O.K., “fanatic”). I am committed to saving the car. It would be of great help in getting to know others in the same boat – so to speak.

    Cheers,

    Tom Webb

    • Hi Tom,
      What a find! As you know there are not many of these cars in the USA. I think that the best way to find those who are in the same boat as you would be to contact the MG Y Types group at the website noted in my post. I hope that you can get some help getting this car on the road.
      By the way, this week I am expecting delivery of CAN May’s book “Wheelspin Abroad” in which he writes about some of his adventures in a MG Y-Sedan. I have some of this book on a CD, but shortly I will have the actual book which was written in 1949.
      Steve McKelvie

  2. Thomas Webb says:

    Steve, Many thanks. I once had a copy of “Rallying in a Works MG” – but have no idea what became of it.

    I love the 2/3rds scale Bentley look of the Y-types, and hope I have the fortitude to see it’s resurrection through to completion.

    All the Best,

    Tom

    • Hi Tom,
      On the weekend, my copy of C.A.N. May’s book, “Wheelspin Abroad” arrived in the mail. The first part of the book presents his story of competing in the 1948 Lisbon Rally driving a MG Y Sedan. I will be posting more information about the book in the upcoming weeks.
      Best of luck with your resurrection,
      Steve McKelvie

  3. Richard Harloe says:

    Steve an interesting project.
    I won’t be much use to you but in 1959 I bought a very used 1949 MG Y open tourer in S Rhodesia. I’ve been asking friends if they have a picture of it. Registration was in the S21— or S24— series.
    Agents in Salisbury was Puzey & Diss & they were in Manica Road. I’d lots of exciting times in MG breaking a half shaft & after a friend & I did rings & bearings he’d been to Technical College & said the big ends were too tight. They weren’t & it threw a big end. Sold car about 1961 for £80 last heard of in a wreckers yard 1962/3 in Marondera, Zimbabwe. I now live in Albany. Wish I had it now. Now wheelchair bound & keen for details on the inbuilt 4 independent hydraulic jacks

    • Hi Richard,
      While MG sold lots of sports cars here in the USA, they did not sell many sedans. I’m always surprised to see one.
      Steve McKelvie

    • JERRY says:

      Hi Richard

      Do you have any more details about the YT? From what you mentioned it seems highly unlikely that it has been saved and that was 55 years ago. You are probably aware just how rare they are. There are around 233 (as at May 2016) known to be `live’ in the world (” Live – means running or about to be /being restored, according to the records of the MGCC Y Register) out of a total of 884″(” these figures are debated at length as the production records of the Y Type were destroyed by MG !) So around 26% of the total. I was fortunate enough to acquire a 1950 YT that was exported to the US by the MG Car Company as an RHD model. It has only had three family owners prior to my purchase – the first for 2 years, the second for 47 years , both of whom lived in New York State. The guy I purchased the car from lives in New Hampshire and he had the car for 10 years when I acquired the car in 2009. Very good car and I have had the engine rebuily (2014), a new braking system (2016), new upholstery (2010) and a new hood (cover) in 2016. Well used and much loved. It complements a TC that I managed to get hold of after selling an MGA 1600.

      Sincerely
      Jerry Birkbeck

  4. Whilst Paul does an excellent job through the IMGYR it should be seen in context. The MGCC Y Register was formed in 1991 (although a short lived register was in existence betwen 1979 and 81. Much of the information collected about all Ys was undertaken through the endeavours of Jack Murray who produced an annual state of known Ys worldwide. Sadly Jack died last year but the information is added to and collated by Chris Callaghan of the MGCC Y Register. Through both organisations and the IMGYR is essentially a web based site whilst the MGCC Y Register is part of the wider remit of the Car Club More information can be gained through http://www.mgccyregister.co.uk

  5. Hi Steve got a 1947 mg ya going in auction on 19th of January 2017 at the swan at tetsworth just for ur information as u seem to know these cars many thnx Darren Sharpe classic and vintage car department the swan tetsworth 07788285935 on our website the Sean at tetsworth

    • JERRY says:

      Where is Tetsworth Darren and where is the Auction?
      Cheers
      Jerry

      • JERRY says:

        Ahh I know now having looked at your website!
        Looks a very nice YA and a good estimate/
        Dp you have details of the chassis number and any more photos please and additional details about the car please.

        Sincerely
        Jerry

    • Hi Darren,
      Thanks for bringing this to my attention and others who are interested in the MG Y series cars. Good luck with the auction!
      Steve McKelvie

  6. Your inquiry Darren is very interesting. Certainly Paul has an excellent and well resourced website. How1ever, it is important to be aware that the MG Car Club Y Type Register (www.mgccyregister.co.uk) has a detailed resource and a comprehensive register of approximately 1150 Ys known to be ‘live’* that is cars both on the road and being/about to be restored this was last updated in May 2016 and is of course subject to change. It also includes technical advice and reports and updates of events. Contributions are made by individuals to the Bulletin Board which is free comment and very informative.
    The Register provides a range of non safety related items and in particular hard to come by spares otherwise commercially unavailable.

    The Register has run an annual Y Spring Gathering since 1997 (when the 50th Anniversary of the Y was celebrated, the 60th (2007) and of course the 70th in May this year. When over 70 Ys are hoped to be present.

    The Y Register has organised trips to Begium (1992) and France (2002, 2012 & 2015). This year 2017 the Register wiĺl be visiting the Isle of Wight.
    The Register is keen to engage with other Y owners and have the knowledge and technical expertise available to all Y owners.

    Please do contact me should you need any help and advice

    Sincerely
    Jerry Birkbeck
    Media and Event Organiser
    MG Y TYPE REGISTER

    • Thomas Webb II says:

      A 1953 YB, listed as chassis # 05160 is currently listed for sale at a place called “Beverly Hills Car Club” – a so-called classic car dealer in southern California, USA.

      It is in deplorable condition, including a very rotten chassis frame, for a very cheeky price of $3500US.

      Just thought someone should know –

      Cheers, Thomas Webb Crystal Lake, IL USA

      • JERRY says:

        You have obviously either seen the car Thomas or more photos of it than are on Beverly Hills Car Club website.
        I am checking if it is known to the MGCC Y Register and if they have I’ll forward it to you.
        YB’s are quite rare and are the best of the two saloons manufactured. Having smaller 15″wheels and enhanced braking. If the chassis is as mentioned then it most certainly not worth the effort unless an individual has the kind of desire and cash to restore it. Thats over £3,100 GBP . it might fetch between £1000 – 1500 GBP (around $1300 -1800 dollars. I stress the word `might’ as if the chassis is rotten then it really is a shedload of money and time to repair as it is unlike the simple ladder chassis in the TA-TC models. I do though know someone in the UK who would take the job on, though eveh he would baulk at the price tag!

        Any more info then I’ll post it.

        Sincerely
        Jerry Birkbeck

    • Hi Jerry,
      Thanks for your activities to support the MG Y series cars! I’m sure that your trips are fun.
      Steve McKelvie

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