・Extensively restored MGA Roadster
・In same family ownership since 1963
・Presents in immaculate condition
By the time the 1950s arrived MG was facing a bit of a crisis. Its ‘T’ cars – TA, TB, TC, TD and TF – had been great when launched back in the 1930s but even with constant revisions they were really getting rather long in the tooth for the sports car buyer of the 1950s. Sales, and in particular exports, were dropping drastically so MG required a radical solution.
A new model was needed and for its styling inspiration was found in MG designer Syd Enever’s streamlined bodywork that was utilised on an MG TD race car at Le Mans in 1951. It was low, relatively aerodynamic and thoroughly modern looking and become known as the MGA, launched at the 1955 Frankfurt motor show.
It was a hugely successful machine thanks to its pretty styling, eager performance and precise rack and pinion steering and by 1962 over 100,000 had been made making it the world’s best-selling sports car. Only around five per cent of MGAs were sold in the UK with the lion’s share of production – around 80 per cent – being sold in the USA which means that many of the cars now on British roads have been re-imported from America.
This stunning 1958 MGA Roadster started out as a Coupe and was sold in America. Its owner was obviously pretty keen on the car as when he moved back to the UK in 1963 he brought the car with him and the MGA was duly registered over here. In 1983 the current owner’s brother spotted a classified advert for an MGA Coupe requiring partial restoration and bought the car as a project to be completed in his spare time.
He carried out the vast majority of the work on the engine and chassis but sadly developed Multiple Sclerosis and was unable to see the project through to its conclusion. Thus in 2000 the current owner bought the car from his brother and has spent the last 20 years restoring the MGA to as new condition. During the restoration the MGA has been converted to a Roadster using a genuine 1958 Roadster body that was imported from America.
There is plenty of documentation to accompany the MGA including its current V5C as well as its original Registration Book which dates from its importation from America in 1963. There are a number of receipts and invoices for various new parts that have been fitted to the MGA including a declaration from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust stating that the body is from a 1958 MGA 1500 Roadster manufactured by MG in Abingdon.
There are also a set of pictures from the owner which document the car’s restoration that can be seen in the photo gallery.
The cockpit of the MGA presents in nigh-on immaculate condition. The painted dashboard is virtually flawless and the level of precision involved when refitting all the refurbished or new parts has to be marvelled at. The Jaeger dials are in very good order as are all the various knobs and switches.
The carpets are new as are the black leather seat covers and the seats themselves have been rebuilt by the owner. The door trim panels are in similarly excellent condition as are the side screens and the bag behind the seats into which the side screens slot when not fitted to the car. There are some spares that come with the car which include a set of genuine Kangol seat belts designed for the MGA.
The most time consuming part of the restoration was bringing the body back to the sort of condition that the owner was happy with. He’s clearly passionate about his MGA and he says every constituent part of the body was thoroughly stripped back to bare metal before test fitting the panels and making any adjustments that were necessary.
Once he was happy with the Roadster’s body it was professionally prepared and resprayed at a cost of £8,000 and then it was lovingly and painstakingly reassembled by the owner. He says that all nuts and bolts used were stainless steel and where necessary items such as the bumpers have been rechromed.
The overall appearance is absolutely superb with a deep shine and lustre to the paint which appears to be virtually flawless. All the chromework is in excellent order, as are the light lenses – even the stainless steel exhaust system appears to be in perfect condition.
The MGA is fitted with a new hood which is in great condition and the hood frame also appears to be in very good order. The boot is very clean with its fresh paint and contains the original starter handle, a jack and a spare wheel with an unused tyre. The steel wheels and hubcaps are also in good order and have been recently shod in a set of Galaxy white wall crossply tyres which have an excellent tread depth.
From what we can see the underside of the MGA looks to have been restored with the same level of precision as the bodywork and is very clean and in solid order.
Given the level of fit and finish around the rest of the car it’s hardly surprising that everything under the bonnet appears to be in excellent order. The engine starts first time and idles smoothly and seems to rev cleanly when on the road, eliciting a nice throaty burble from its exhaust. The level of fit and finish is excellent and the owner is not aware of any mechanical issues that require attention or rectification.
There’s no doubting that the MGA is an excellent classic – stylish and pretty bodywork, trusty mechanical components and enough performance to keep up with current traffic. This particular example appears to be in absolutely top notch condition following its comprehensive restoration. The Old English White paintwork is in superb order as is the interior and from what we can see the underside is in similarly fine fettle too.
With no work required that we can see this MGA represents a chance to own a brilliant little classic that should provide miles and miles of entertaining motoring for many years to come.
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