1949 MG Y Tourer

This sports saloon version of the MG, first released in 1947, was known affectionately as
the ‘Y’ by MG afficionados. The model YA stayed in production until 1951 and 6158 cars
were produced and then it was replaced by the YB in 1952. The YB was only produced for
a couple of years and it was discontinued in 1953 with a production run of 1201 cars. Little
external changes were made to the YB but it did get twin leading-shoe brakes and hypoid
rear axles.

The Y-type was powered by the same front mounted in-line four cylinder 1250cc OHV
engine used in the TC together with the same transmission driving the rear wheels. This
short-stroke engine, with its twin horizontal SU carburettors, developed 40kW at 5200rpm.

It was a far cry from the first MG sporting salonette which was simply a specially tuned
Morris Cowley. It used the same front suspension system as the Morris Minor which had
been designed before the war by one of their young engineers, Alec Issigonis. He, of
course, later became famous as the designer of the Mini.

The wooden framed body tub of the ‘Y’ used a number of panels taken from the Morris 8
body and it was very cramped. Separate free-standing headlights were mounted on either
side of a readily recognisable radiator grille.

Although it had four doors and a back seat it could really only accommodate two smallish
adults in the front and two children in the back. Even the brake and clutch pedals were set
very close together.

Its chassis was different from that used on the TC and later a shortened version of the YA
chassis was used on the TD. Coil spring independent front suspension and rack and
pinion steering, together with a beam-axle rear, was derived from that being developed for
the TD which meant that it rode better than the harshly sprung TC sports car.

Although, like the Hillman Minx and Ford Prefect of that period, it was a classic small
family car with a sliding roof it never had the image enjoyed by its sports car siblings and
was hard-pressed to achieve its rated top speed of 112 km/h.

The YT four-seater sports tourer was based partly on the YA and partly on the TD. It had a
twin-carburettor fitted to its engine giving it slightly improved performance. It was
introduced in 1948 but when production ceased in 1950 only 877 cars had been produced,
mainly for export.

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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