1935 MG PB

Airline Coupe by Carbodies
Uniqueness before beauty?
Thursday, 22 September - Saturday, 24 September
Sale Price
$130,000 - $175,000
Est. Range
24 September 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
Chassis no. PB0610. Two-tone red over red leather. RHD. 939/43hp overhead cam four, 4-speed, Borrani wire wheels, Blockley tires, sliding sunroof, Midge radiator mascot, single driving light, headlight stone guards, sliding side windows, Jaeger gauges.

Evaluation: One of 14 PB Airline Coupes built and few survivors. Restored in Europe in the 2000s. Presentable but older paint with a few chips on the right front fender and a scuff on the left A-pillar. Older tires. Tidy underneath. Some dirt and dust in the interior so it could use a detailing, but there’s nothing seriously wrong in there. A super cool prewar MG with a rare, handsome streamlined body, and the sunroof with three small “cathedral” windows cut in it is an awesome detail.

Bottom Line: For us Americans, the MG story really starts in the 1940s when the T-Series helped this country fall in love with road racing and nimble little roadsters that flew in the face of the large, clumsy cars coming out of Detroit. But MG’s tradition of lively, moderately priced two-seaters goes back well before World War II in the UK/Europe with cars like the original Midget and the P-Type.

Any P-Type MG is rare enough on our side of the pond, but this one’s body style made it a standout among the group of 33 MGs offered out of Gene Ponder’s collection. Several British coachbuilders built swoopy “Airline” bodies in the Art Deco era, and MGs are perhaps the best known. They’re still extremely rare which explains the six-figure price here, but it was still surprisingly modest. Bonhams sold a PA Airline Coupe at Amelia in 2016 for $132,000, and a bit further back RM sold Ponder’s six-cylinder NB Airline Coupe back in 2007 for a staggering $398,750. So even if that itty-bitty four-banger makes just 43 horsepower, the new owner here got a lot of car for the money so long as they focus on the style, fun, and exclusivity.

by Andrew Newton
30 September 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More on this topic

Hagerty Insider Newsletter

Your weekly dose of auction reports, market analysis, and more.

Thank You!
Your request will be handled as soon as possible
Hagerty Insider Newsletter
Your weekly dose of auction reports, market analysis, and more.
Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.