1959 MG A 1600


• Enthusiast owned
• In current ownership for over 16 years
• Rust free and in sound mechanical condition

The Background

Unveiled in 1955 as “the first of a new line” the MGA was launched to replace the old T-Type cars at the Frankfurt Motor Show of the same year, and would go on to be what many enthusiasts regard as MG’s ‘greatest sports car’ of the period.

Interestingly, the MGA in both coupé and roadster form proved immensely popular with over 100,000 units sold, however, the vast majority of these were destined for faraway shores, with the US and other countries lapping up these beautiful MG’s as fast as they could get their hands on them, with only 6,000 believed to have been sold on home turf.

Under the bonnet sits a 1600cc inline-four B-Series engine sourced from the Magnette saloon, which was coupled to the rear axle by a four-speed manual gearbox. Independent front suspension and a rigid rear axle kept everything in check, and gave the MG A fantastic road-holding in-period, making it a firm favourite with enthusiasts today.

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The History

Originally destined for export, this particular MGA was re-imported to the UK in around 2000 according to the Government vehicle enquiry site, and had at least one former owner before coming into our vendor’s care in March 2005. A lifelong car enthusiast, this MG-A has always been kept in a secure, dry garage as part of their impressive collection, and used occasionally for classic car runs and rare jaunts out of the garage, though in the last five years it has barely been used on account of other cars stealing the limelight. 

Recently, the car has been checked over and it was commented to be in “sound” mechanical condition and free from any corrosion-related issues underneath, thanks to the previous owner painting the sills with stone-chip paintwork, and then overlaying this in body colour for long-term protection. As far as our owner can tell, the car was originally exported to the US from new, and was then re-imported in 2000 and subsequently restored in to its current state, though there is no paperwork for this restoration.

Having proven to be reliable and requiring only routine servicing and fluid replacements, it is now time for this beautiful MGA to find a new home, simply due to not being used enough.

The Paperwork

Interestingly, the V5 shows 0 former keepers, though the vendor has a copy of the registration document for the former owner, suggesting there was at least one former UK keeper since the car was re-imported in 2000 from the USA.

Alongside the V5, there are also numerous MOT certificates and tax records, old sales adverts, the bill of sale from the previous owner.

The Interior

Years of care, attention, dry storage and light usage have evidently paid dividends from a preservation standpoint, as the interior of this charming little sports coupé has been kept in excellent condition, and is certainly one of the best examples we’ve seen for some time. The seats are free of wear other than some light rubbing to the outer edges (in particular on the driver’s seat through use) and the carpets and central transmission tunnel look to be in very good shape indeed.  

The door cards, shod in matching black leather, are also in excellent shape, displaying only some light scuff marks to the inner edges, from the car’s occupants catching the material on the way in or out of the vehicle. Ahead of the driver, the wood-rimmed steering wheel is in fantastic condition with no sign of any damage or wear to the lacquer, whilst the dashboard also presents fantastically with no reports of any broken instruments.

Up above, the headliner is in generally good shape with only a few cosmetic marks that we can see, along with some wear around the rear edge of the driver’s door / B-pillar area. A more modern Kenwood stereo has been fitted to the vehicle, and there are no reported faults with any of the electrical systems, switchgear or gauges.

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The Exterior

Resplendent in blue, this MGA presents wonderfully, and shows only some light, commensurate wear to the paintwork in keeping with the car’s age and well-travelled nature, despite the low odometer reading. The chrome bumpers on both the front and rear look to be in good order with an impressive shine, though there is some pitting to be seen, as expected. All of the light lenses and trim pieces look to be present and correct, with the former being free from any outwardly visible damage.

Dotted around the car, the various chrome trims and badges are in good order, though there are varying states of wear and ‘patina’ to be seen. Below the arches, the classic wire-spoke, knock-off wheels are in good order, though no doubt a full stripping down and polishing would do wonders for their appearance, though as they are they’re absolutely serviceable and have no issues holding pressure.

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The Mechanics

Sharing its B-Series engine with the Magnette, this 1600 is reported to be in rude mechanical health, as confirmed by both our vendor and his mechanically-minded friend, who commented on the health of this particular example. 

The engine itself presents well and appears to be free of any outwardly visible oil or fluid leaks, though on a car of this age (and being a British-built classic at that) the odd minor leak or misting is par-for-the-course.

That said, the block and ancillaries are lovely and tidy, and have been kept in a good clean condition by the current owner, with no reported mechanical issues to speak of with the engine, nor with the transmission. Down below, the sills are in excellent condition as we’ve already stated, and the chassis itself is said to be “free of rust” underneath the car.

Naturally, being registered in 1959, the car is MOT exempt and correctly noted as a historic vehicle.

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The Appeal

Utterly charming and arguably one of the most beautiful cars to ever bear the MG badge, this MG A 1600 has spent most of its life on foreign shores, which has no doubt contributed to its excellent preservation, along with efforts from both the current and previous owner.

Presented in fantastic condition throughout with only some mild ‘patina’ to show its been used sparingly, this example would make a fantastic addition to any post-war car enthusiast’s garage, whether as an occasional runner or a weekend toy, whichever you see fit; A lovely example of a very lovely car indeed!

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1959
  • Make MG
  • Model A 1600
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 19,345 Miles
  • Engine size 1600
  • Location Northern Ireland
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
25 bids
  • richard•••• £15,000 29/11/21
  • reynold•••• £14,500 29/11/21
  • RogerK £14,000 29/11/21
  • reynold•••• £13,500 29/11/21
  • RogerK £13,000 29/11/21
  • reynold•••• £12,500 29/11/21
  • CliveS £12,000 29/11/21
  • nigelgu•••• £11,500 29/11/21
  • CliveS £10,500 29/11/21
  • reynold•••• £10,000 29/11/21

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