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The automobile manufacturer MG used the Magnette name on the K-Type and N-Type cars in the 1930s, but the Magnette models of the 1950s and 1960s are probably best-remembered. Although loved today, the use of the Magnette name on an MG saloon car with a lowered Wolseley body and an Austin engine brought protest from motor magazine letter writers.
There were two distinct series of these Magnettes: The ZA and ZB of 1953 through to 1958 and the Mark III and Mark IV of 1959 through to 1968.
The ZA was replaced by the Magnette ZB in 1956. Power was increased to 64 hp (48 kW) by fitting 1 1½ inch carburettors, increasing the compression ratio from 7.5 to 8.3, and modifying the manifold.
The interior was improved and there was also a Varitone model with a larger rear window and optional two tone paintwork.
The extra power increased the top speed to 86 mph (138 km/h) and reduced the 0-60 mph time to 18.5 seconds. The similar Wolseley 15/50 now shared the ZB's B-Series engine.