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Buying Guide With plenty to choose from but surprising complexity awaiting the unwary, you need to buy an MGA with care – read our guide first. This terrific two-seater can be affordable and fun to run if you buy carefully. Words Richard Dredge. Photography John Colley.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationCAR MGA / #MG / #MGA-1600-MK1-Roadster , Alamo Beige / #MGA-1600-Roadster / #MGA-MK1-Roadster / #MGA-1600 / #MGA-MK1
Year of manufacture #1959
Recorded mileage 516
Asking price £26,950
Vendor Former Glory, Postcombe, Oxfordshire; tel: 01844 281700; www. classicmg. co. uk
WHEN IT WAS NEW
Max power 78bhp
Max torque 87lb ft
0-60mph 14.2 secs
Top speed 100mph
This is a home-market right-hand-drive car in its original Alamo Beige with the Heritage Certificate to prove it, though it has spent time in California. It was restored 10 years ago and looks to have done little since, though the chrome wires are fairly recent; it was supplied on steels. The engine was exchanged for a new correct-type 1600 unit (prefixed GA/U: 1588cc for the Mk1) with unleaded head in ’03 when the mileage was 29,522.
The paintwork is still pretty good, with one chip to the right of the bootlid and an area of crazing on the nearside front wing that will be dealt with before sale. Much of the chrome is repro, the windscreen frame replated, and it’s all smart. The tyres are 2004-dated Camacs, with the same but older on the painted-wire spare. The chassis is straight and solid except for the gearbox crossmember, which is a bit bashed (normal), the floors straight and clean and the underside of the sump is dry.
Inside, there are a few paint microblisters on the dashboard but the instruments are all nice, and the leather is just taking on a bit of character. The carpets, hood and tonneau are as new, and the sidescreens should be by the time the car is sold. The motor is tidy, standard and correct, though with a braided flexy hose to the oil gauge and an electric fan. Its oil is golden, while the coolant is to the right level and vaguely blue.
It starts easily with that typical BMC farty exhaust and it’s willing enough but not that quick. These don’t have synchro on first and second is going the same way, which isn’t a problem, just forcing a slower upchange and a double-declutch down. The brakes pull up well, the firm pedal confirming no servo, with a hint of pull to the right. Oil pressure is at least 60psi, with temperature steady at 80ºC.The mileometer reads, we suspect, the mileage since it was put back on the road in 2006 but the tripmeter doesn’t register. The last MoT expired in 2013, since when it hasn’t needed one, but it comes with a couple of more recent local concours awards.
EXTERIOR Two blemishes in the paint, though these will be fixed
INTERIOR Newish and just settling in
MECHANICALS Quiet in operation; strong oil pressure; drives sweetly
For Mk1 is most elegant; still in its rare original colour
Against Second-gear synchro
SHOULD I BUY IT?
Minor, easily sortable or livable with issues, and £1000 less than FG’s Mk2. Plus, we like the colour.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationcar #MGA-1600 / #MGA / #MG
Year of manufacture #1960
Recorded mileage 48,500
Asking price £27,995
Vendor Cheshire Classic Cars, Chester; tel: 01244 529500; www.cheshireclassiccars.co.uk
WHEN IT WAS NEW
Price £940 7s 6d
Max power 78bhp
Max torque 90lb ft
0-60mph 14.2 secs
Top speed 101mph
This rather attractive A has had just three owners, all of whom knew each other, and its 22-year-old restoration – costing £20,000, and detailed in the history file with pictures plus invoices – is holding up extremely well. It’s not the original colour but the shade suits it.
The body is particularly straight – just check the reflections down the side in the photograph. Panel-fit, mostly of the original metal, is all excellent, likewise the door-fit. The structure is clean and straight underneath, with dead-flat floorpans plus no dings or rot in the chassis, where we also discover a newish-looking stainless-steel exhaust. The rechroming work is good, with only a few polish marks visible and one small area of pitting on the right end of the front bumper. It’s also good to see body beading that hasn’t been painted over.
The paint is mostly deep and even, although there are one or two tiny bubbles beginning to appear, the worst under the nearside headlight. The hood and sidescreens are the factory items, but still tidy. It has almost perfect Semperit radials all round, and an unused Roadstone on the spare.
Inside, the leather has hardly any wear, and is just beginning to creasein nicely. The dashboard is all original, the steering wheel is crack-free and the carpets are pristine. The heater-control surround had been broken when we saw the car, but will be replaced before sale.
The B-series unit is refinished to factory standards – not too shiny – with clean oil and bluish coolant to the correct levels. Braided fuel hoses are a thoughtful touch as well. There are no leaks from the motor – the floor was dry where the car had been standing – and just a couple of drips from the rear axle. The engine fires readily and the MGA drives very sweetly, showing 40psi oil pressure at warm tickover and 60psi when driving – with temperature steady at 180ºF. The car drives and brakes in a straight line – with a firm but rattle-free ride – while the synchros are a little crunchy if you rush the changes, although that’s normal. The MGA will be sold with a new MoT and a detailed history file.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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- Post is under moderationCar #1958 #MGA - CHASING CLASSIC CARS #MG
Gather round, MGA fans – this car has to be one of the finest examples for sale anywhere, and with some useful upgrades.
Black is the perfect colour for a car under inspection as it shows even the slightest mark. We can only say this car appears to be in perfect condition bodily courtesy of a careful restoration – and it is exemplary in every way! Even the beading between the panels is the correct grey, rather than painted black as you often see. The side screens are in good condition too. We’d want to fit either door or wing mirrors though – neither is present but they would add to safety when joining slip roads.
The red leather interior has just been retrimmed – there’s a slightly matt look to the leather which indicates it’s barely seen use, and indeed the car’s done just 30 miles since restoration. The dash is good too, with a full complement of instruments in excellent condition. It’s comfortable, and the black vinyl hood makes it a snug place in inclement weather. The door cards, carpets and dashboard trim are all new too, in matching red – even the boot carpet is red to match. Unsurprisingly, it’s all in excellent condition. In fact, just try to find a fault!
The engine is an uprated unleaded petrol 1840cc #MGA-B-series unit, though the original 1500cc unit comes with the car too. The MGA now has a five-speed Ford Type 9 gearbox too, along with the fitment of a new brake servo, clutch and adjustable shock absorbers all round. Unsurprisingly given the amount of new components, this car feels as a brand new MGA must have felt – not a squeak or a rattle from any mechanical component – though with a simpler gearbox! Another major plus point is the brand new stainless steel exhaust.
ON THE ROAD
If you’ve ever wondered what a brand new MGA might feel like, this car is your answer. It’s quite dainty at first, with communicative light steering, a better ride than many of its contemporaries and handling which is just as sweet if not sweeter. You can feel the extra grunt of that 1840cc engine, though we didn’t press on as it still requires running in. The gearbox is good too, though it feels rubbery going into second – we think it’ll loosen up as the car is run in. The brakes bite well and the fly-off handbrake works perfectly. All in all, a first rate example.
If you want an MGA then give this one a look. It’s not cheap, but it’s as close to a brand new MGA as you’ll get. Well, one with some useful upgrades that is!
AT A GLANCE
Chrome wires, unmarked body, perfect chrome
Retrimmed, new carpets, good hood
Uprated engine, five-speed ’box
PROS The best MGA in the country
CONS Far from a cheap classic
TORQUE 87lb ft@3800rpm
MAXIMUM SPEED 101mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION 22-27mpg
TRANSMISSION RWD, five-speed manual
MoT 12mths from sale
BUY IT FROM
Exclusive Classic Cars, 13 Uxbridge Street, Burton upon Trent, Burton-on- Trent, Staffordshire DE14 3JR
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