WA Tourer Car Profile

WA Tourer. Owned by Count de Wurstemberger.

There were believed to be nine WA Charlesworth Tourers produced. Of the nine only one was exported. The remaining eight were supplied to the Glasgow Police. According to the Glasgow Corporation minutes of the 16th of December 1938, the Police Commitee approved the purchase of the eight tourers from the MG Dealer Messrs. H Prosser & Sons for the £2,480 with the existing eight Police specification MG 10h.p. (TA) being taken in part exchange. The details for these 8 cars are listed at the end of this section.

The WA Tourer was offered for sale in the October 1938 WA Preliminary Sales Brochure for £450. When the first WA Tourer was produced is unknown, but the details of WA Tourer chassis number 275 show the production date as 16th December 1938. The one exported WA Tourer may have been built earlier but we have no way of being sure.

WA Tourer brochure picture

Although the WA chassis is some 3 inches wider at the rear than the SA chassis, it is believed that the WA Tourers were fitted with some of the existing SA Tourer body tubs. To do this it was necessary to remove the WA chassis rear outriggers.

To quote from this brochure "The four-seater open Tourer, except for the scuttle unit is panelled in aluminium for lightness and a special 'T' sectioned centre pillar carrying the doors is interconnected with the chassis". However when the sole surviving WA Tourer was restored the body was found to be of the normal steel construction as used on the other SVW cars. A similar claim was made for the SA Tourer and was also not found to be true.

To support the sporty image the brochure also says "When folded the hood disappears into a recess in the back of the body, the windscreen can be folded flat on to the scuttle and the side screens with reinforced frames have extremely rigid mountings".

When the full colour WA brochure was produced in June 1939, the Tourer was absent. The only mention being a small sub note stating "The tourer listed in the preliminary catalogue has been discontinued". It is not known as to why the Tourer had such a short life and is now the rarest of MGs. The SA Tourer was also discontinued at the same time.

In its heyday Charlesworth's output averaged about 20 cars (all makes) a week. Production flow was planned and systemised to a high degree. They preferred to build bodies in batches being assembled on bucks (carts) and jigs from pre-cut and machined framing members. The group of chassis were held in a storage facility until they were moved to the body-mounting department where the body was bolted on.

Charlesworth moved to aircraft work in 1940. After the war it tried to rebuild its coachwork business without success. Lea-Francis needed its own facilities and obtained them by buying out Charlesworth.

There is only one known surviving WA Tourer in the world, which is one of the police cars, and now is located in Switzerland

WA Tourer details

Chassis NumberEngine numberDate ProducedRegistration numberDetails
WA 0275QPJG 52716th December 1938CGE 183 Last taxed 31/12/1958 by owner in Stafford, UK
WA 0277QPJG 52016th December 1938CGE 184 Last taxed 30/6/1956 by owner in Coventry, UK
WA 0284QPJG 53921st December 1938CGE 185 Last taxed 30/09/1955 by owner in Middlesex, UK and then officially scrapped 24/11/1956
WA 0293QPJG 54322nd December 1938CGE 186 Survives in Switzerland
WA 0294QPJG 54422nd December 1938CGE 187 Last taxed 24/3/1960 by owner in Yorkshire, UK and then officially scrapped 15/08/1962
WA 0322QPJG 5686th January 1939CGE 188 Last taxed 31/07/1962 by owner in Swansea, UK and then officially scrapped 22/04/1963
WA 0346QPJG 59512th January 1939CGE 189 Last taxed 31/12/1944 by Glasgow Police and then officially scrapped 31/12/1945
WA 0356QPJG 59613th January 1939CGE 190 Last taxed 31/12/1957 by owner in Glasgow, UK

Gary Perry

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