Monday, 19 April 2021 18:28
MG Magnette K3 - K3 030Written by MotorMarques Team
The MG Magnette K3 currently owned by John and Helen Gillett is chassis number K3 030 and better known as the ex Bira car. It was manufactured in 1933/34 and was the last to leave the the factory. It was originally ordered by and painted red for the Italian racing driver Pelligrini for his entry in the 1935 Mille Miglia race. However, Mussolini banned its import and the sale lapsed. In late 1934 or early 1935 it was purchased by Prince Chula Chakrabongse of Siam (the White Mouse Racing Team) for his cousin, Prince Birabongse (Bira).
Bira raced it six times at Brooklands and Donington in 1935/36. He lapped at Brooklands at 109 miles per hour. John Snow brought the car to Australia in 1936 and ran it at the 1936 Australian Grand Prix at Victor Harbour. Colin Dunne bought the K3 in 1937 and raced it at Lobethal in 1938/39; the AGP at Bathurst in 1938 and at Phillip Island. After the war the K3 was driven by Ron Uffindel and John Barraclough; after which it passed to Lex Davison in 1949. The car competed in the Australian Grand Prix of 1950 at Nuriootpa and in 1953 the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park - (Andy Brown came third) and the 1955 Australian Grand Prix at Port Wakefield (Burnett - Read). In 1958 the car was bought by Tim Bradey of South Australian and raced by him. His son Peter and grandson Phillip became the long-term owner of the car for over 51 years. Philip used it enthusiastically in Australia and overseas. In 1988, on the invitation of the King of Thailand, Philip took the car to Thailand to celebrate the the birthday of the King and the achievements of Prince Bira. Philip also took the car to the Mille Miglia in 1996 and raced it in Europe. This famous car is in remarkably original condition and is since 2009 owned by John and Helen Gillet from Melbourne. K3 030 has been seen at various sprints and hill climbs in the UK during 2016. John Gillet even raced the car at the Nürburgring in 2017. The last four pictures are from the Dacre Stubbs Collection.
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