1962 MGA MKII 1600 Deluxe Coupe 1 of 23 built, the ultimate MGA For Sale
In production from 1955 to 1962, the MGA was the 'first of a new line' and was launched at the 1955 Frankfurt Motorshow, as the 1500 roadster, followed by the 1500 coupe for 1956 with both models being powered by the 1489cc B-series four-cylinder engine as found in the MG Magnette. It produced around 68 bhp, returned about 30 miles per gallon and offered sleek new styling away from that of the now out-dated 'T' series cars. In 1958, MG offered a high-performance version called the MGA Twin-Cam which featured a DOHC aluminium cylinder head version of the 'B' series engine which offered 108 bhp (later dropped to 100 bhp). The racy-looking Twin-Cam model was fitted with several distinctive features that set it apart from the standard MGA 1500 such as Dunlop knock-off solid wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, a higher redlined tacho, a different heater blower unit, revised suspension plus the signature “TWIN CAM” badging on the bonnet.
In 1959 MG introduced the 1600 Mk I, essentially similar to the 1500, but now sporting an 80 bhp 1600 engine, front disc brakes, a “pushed in” grille and upright tail lamps; with some 31,000 units being sold through to 1961 when MG introduced the MkII 1600. This model had an even larger 1622cc engine that made 90 bhp, a close-ratio four-speed gearbox, ultimately offering greater performance and driver satisfaction to match the cars sleek styling. During this time MG continued to sell the Twin-Cam, but due to on-going reliability issues and with just 2,210 units built, production of the Twin-Cam ceased and with a number of unique components left over, MG took the decision to install some of these components in a small number of 1600 MkI and MkII models, thus the MGA De-luxe was created. Although the MGA De-luxe was the only MGA model not given a separate identity, it has the distinction of being the rarest MGA ever made. A mere 395 De-luxe models where built using both the Roadster / Coupe body types, with only 54 RHD examples built for the UK home market, amazing when one considers that in excess of 100,000 MGAs where built in total!
With her accompanying British Motor Heritage Certificate, confirming this car as, 1 of 23 1600 MkII De-luxe Coupes built, this RHD example is rarer still as it represents 1 of just 13 examples built for the UK home market and is presented exactly as she left the Abingdon production line in February 1962. Finished to a show winning standard in her original Chariot Red exterior with red leather interior this simply sublime example has been cherished by its current keeper for the last 7yrs, who as well as enjoying the car has lavished close to £20k in restoration and ongoing maintenance.
A tour around this stunning classic, confirms along with the history file (a box file which dates back to the late 70's), that in recent years the car has been subject to a body-off restoration and a huge amount of care and attention has been taken to ensure that every detail is exactly as the car would have been when new, save for the fact that further time and money has been spent on detailed powder-coating of under-body components and anything that has needed replacing has been done so with the aim of building the finest example available. The body has an amazing lustre, the chrome presents 'as new' and one can't help but stare in awe at the beauty of her flowing lines and details such as the finned chrome grill, correct 'Dunlop' decals on the 'knock-off' wheels and the delicate door handles, specific to the Coupe models.
The attention to detail continues on opening the doors too, with the driver and any lucky passenger met with an interior trimmed to the highest standards. The red leather seats feel wonderfully supple, the contrasting grey carpets are excellent, the instrumentation all operates correctly (engine at 55-60psi when hot) and she has the correctly trimmed leather dash & fascia top; many would say "it's all in the detail" and this MGA Coupe De-luxe is just right!
Mechanically this MkII 1600 De-luxe is a delight. The 1622cc engine, positioned in the beautifully detailed engine compartment, starts easily and depressing the clutch and driving through the close-ratio 4 speed gearbox the car is a real joy to drive and with her 'Twin-Cam' derived brakes, anti-roll bar we feel this beautiful De-luxe Coupe offers a turn of pace and road holding many newer classics should hope to match.
Today, the MGA De-luxe is without doubt the most sought after MGA to own. It combines all the fine attributes of the Twin-Cam model, such as its chassis, Dunlop 'knock-off' solid wheels and four-wheel disc brakes; but instead of the somewhat troublesome twin-cam engine, it features the ever-durable B-series engine and with her classic look of the period, smooth flowing lines and plenty of bright chrome this MGA De-luxe Coupe is quite possibly the finest there is.
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