A Brief History of K3 030
MAKE: MG MODEL: K3
ENGINE: MG 1087cc, 6cyl, OHC, Supercharged. (Currently 1340cc)
GEAR BOX: ENV Type 75 Preselector BRAKES: Sometimes??
CHASSIS NUMBER: K3 030 ENGINE NUMBER: 630AK
GUARANTEE PLATE ISSUED: 16th June 1934.
K3 030 was the second last built of the 33 K3s manufactured in 1933 and 34 and the last to leave the factory. Originally ordered by and painted red for Italian driver Pellegrini for the 1935 Mille Miglia. However, Mussolini banned its import.
It was purchased from the factory by HRH Prince Chula Chakrabongse (Chula) of Siam for his cousin HH Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh ( B.Bira). Bira raced the car on 6 occasions at Donington and Brooklands in 1935 and 36. His best result being 5th in the Nuffield Trophy Race at Donington in 1935 and lapped Brooklands @ 109 mph that year.
“Bira” at Brooklands.
John Snow (NSW) imported the car into Australia in time for the Victor Harbor Grand Prix where it was driven by Lord Waleran. It didn’t finish but was 2nd in the 50 mile handicap.
Ownership of K3 030 then passed to Colin Dunne (Vic) who competed in it at Lobethal in 1938, 39 (AGP) & 40, Bathurst AGP ’38 and Phillip Island. 1st in 50 mile Phillip Island Race, ’37. 2nd SAGP and 1st in 50 mile race, Lobethal, ’38.
Colin Dunne, Lobethal, 1938.
The next owner was Russell Bowes of Adelaide who never got to race the car as he was killed in action during WW II. It was during the ownership of the Bowes family that Ron Uffindell competed very successfully in the K3 winning many sprints and hillclimbs in SA as well as creditable results in several races.
“Uffy” winning Glen Ewin hillclimb, Nov 1948.
In 1949 the K3 was purchased by Lex Davison. Lex never competed in it but in the hands of John “Backoff” Baraclough it won the 1949 Australasian Hillclimb Championship at Rob Roy and competed in the 1950 AGP at Nuriootpa.
The car then had several owners in quick succession mainly in Victoria including Bill Prowse and Oliver Young.
In 1952 or 53 the MG was bought by Andy Brown of Adelaide. In the 1953 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park Andy drove the now 19 year old K3 to probably its best performance. 3rd Outright ahead of many more expensive and modern racing cars.
Andy also won his class in the 1954 Australian Hillclimb Championship and the old car made a profit in his hands.
In September 1954 it was advertised for sale in AMS by Le Mans Motors in St Kilda.
During 1954 and 55 K3 030 passed quite quickly through the hands of many South Australians including Bill Hayes (later to become Lord Mayor of Adelaide), Ben Tillett and Simon Cooper of the Brewery Family.
In 1955 it was bought by E.R. (Bob) Burnett-Read who in the same year drove the now 21 year old K3 in its last AGP at Pt. Wakefield. He finished 13th and last running competitor. It was a race, perhaps, better remembered as being the first Grand Prix win by Sir Jack Brabham.
“Bernie-Read” at Pt Wakefield, AGP.
On November 30, 1958 the now very tired but desirable K3 was bought by my Grandfather, Tom Bradey. In the fifty years of family ownership K3 030 has been used regularly and as hard as when it was new.
Shortly after Tom purchased the car Vintage Racing began and both he and my Father, Peter, competed very successfully in these events.
In 1969 or 70 ownership passed to me aged 4.
My first drive, showing pop how it should be done! Apparently I hated the noise. Things change!!!
Dad continued using the K3 after Tom’s death in 1972 until 1981 when I was old enough to drive. P-plates on it outside the Stanley Bridge Hotel in Verdun. Very early Sparrow Fart Run was the first drive. We shared it for a while but last time I took him out in it I think I scared him. My revenge!
Since that fateful day I’ve used the K3 on race circuits, hillclimbs and sprints throughout SA, Vic and NSW as well as an enormous amount of “road” use.
In January 1988 the K3, Dad and I were flown to Thailand to join 11 other ex-Bira and similar cars to compete in the “Bira Historic Grand Prix”. It was an event to commemorate Bira’s racing success and to, finally, host the 1939 Bangkok GP that was organized but never happened due to WWII.
1994 was the K3’s 60th Birthday and what better way to celebrate than take it home to England. K3 030 was shipped to England with K3 002 to compete in the Mille Miglia Retrospective. An event Adam’s car didn’t finish in 1933 and my car was not permitted to enter in 1935. What an event! We both finished with minimal problems.
The start in Brescia.
I kept the K3 in the UK for another six months and competed in another 12 events, including Silverstone, Donington, Shesley Walsh and Prescott. It was also used as road car!
Since returning to Australia I still use the car as much as possible. Special events, Hillclimbs, Track, as well as far more road use ie, Sparrow Fart Runs, Kimber Run etc.
I now have a fourth generation fighting for the car! Do I cut it in half??
Cars are to be used. I’m very lucky to have something very special that can be used in so many ways Before Phil died, at the age of 45, he sold his beloved K3 to John Gillett in Victoria, knowing that it would be going to a wonderful home.