Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Charlesworth
Pacific Auto Rental, Los Angeles, California (acquired by 1943)Alton Walker, Pebble Beach, California (acquired circa 1983)Barry Briskman, Scottsdale, Arizona (acquired in 1989)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2011)
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, August 1994 (First in Class)Meadow Brook Concours, Michigan (First in Class)
Created to rival Lagonda and Jaguar, the MG SA was a capable touring car fit for a demanding clientele. Moving the brand upmarket, MG provided bare chassis to coachbuilders such as Salmons and Charlesworth. Famed for its high-quality, sporting coachwork on Alvis and Rolls-Royce chassis, Charlesworth tailored attractive open bodies for about 90 SA chassis. The car presented here is one of the last known remaining – and perhaps the last – of the scant 18 Swept-Tail Tourers built in 1937.
First registered in England, this MG did not remain in Britain long. By 1943, it had joined the famed Pacific Auto Rental collection in California, an outfit that loaned unusual automobiles to Hollywood studios for use in films. During the MG’s 40 years with the collection, the Tourer was cast in a number of feature films and shared the silver screen with some of the brightest stars of the day, including Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 version of Rebecca.
Pioneering California collector Alton Walker, the first chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, purchased the MG from the rental company in the early 1980s and held it for several years.
In 1989, shortly after leaving Mr. Walker’s garage, this Charlesworth Tourer was acquired by Barry Briskman, a noted MG authority and Pebble Beach judge. According to Mr. Briskman, it was a perfect candidate for a complete body-off, nut-and-bolt restoration.
The restoration, conducted between 1990 and 1994, was performed to the highest standards, with great attention to detail and authenticity. The result appears to be an absolute textbook example of one of the great MGs. This Charlesworth Tourer is outfitted with its tools, weather equipment, and a top boot.
In August 1994, this SA Tourer graced the lawn at Pebble Beach as part of a special assemblage of the world’s finest prewar coachbuilt MGs. It was awarded First in Class, a testament to the quality of the restoration. The MG went on to win First in Class at the Meadow Brook concours in Michigan and earn its CCCA Senior Premier badge (1847SP).
The consignor, who has a prestigious private collection, purchased this MG in 2011 and has treated it to superb professional care and occasional exhibition. This marvelous SA Tourer has long been appreciated as an object of automotive art, and it also is reported to be a capable touring car. One of the rarest and finest classic MGs known, this historic and attractive Charlesworth Tourer warrants close inspection and sincere consideration.