The A is a very important car in MG’s history as it marked the end of the company’s traditional British sports car look of separate bonnet and wings, drop sided doors, a slab tank for petrol on the rear and a fold flat windscreen.
Instead the public were now offered a streamlined all enveloping body which, apart from looking state of the art, must have dramatically reduced wind resistance and improved performance over its TF1500 predecessor. As a result the A put MG right back in the public eye as it was an elegant and glamorous looking machine which could hold its own in any styling comparison of the time and indeed it will still do so today. It also worked well because it had a new chassis with improved handling, the cockpit was more comfortable and spacious than the TF and it had a closable boot.
As its chassis number GHNL74126 confirms this car is an export model left hand drive 1600 Mk1 Roadster. It was brought back from the USA by MGA guru Bob West of Pontefract then acquired by its present owner (a highly qualified engineer) as a restoration project in 1988. He completely dismantled the car, refurbished everything as necessary including having the chassis galvanised and stove enamelled, converted it to right hand drive then put it back together with a 1600 Mk2 engine fitted with a Ford 5 speed gearbox – we have a selection of photographs showing the restoration in progress. After British Motor Industry Heritage Trust verification in 1990 the MGA was registered in the UK in 1990 since when it has been in regular use.
I have had a good look at the car which is very sound throughout and is also very presentable, its good condition no doubt being a result of the quality of the restoration work and the car being properly maintained since then.
The engine starts readily, sounds good, runs nicely and pulls well with water temperature remaining steady and the oil gauge showing good pressure. The gearbox is a real plus as in addition to having nicely spaced intermediate ratios, fifth gear is an overdrive so you can happily cruise at modern road speeds without putting any stress on the engine. The rack and pinion steering is precise, the handling is good and the brakes work well so you can push it along safe in the knowledge that its handling and road holding is well up to the job.
The best way to sum up this car is that it looks good, it is structurally and mechanically very sound so it drives well and feels just right. And – it’s definitely not expensive when compared with some MGAs which are currently being advertised!
PLEASE NOTE – the MGA’s 6527ET registration number is the personal property of the owner and a new DVLA age related number has been applied for which will be supplied with the car.