- 1962 MGA 1600 MKII Roadster
- Current ownership since 1965
- Incredible history file going right back to new
- Desirable, home market Mark II example
- Original colours of Iris Blue with Black
Up until the launch of the MGA at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1955, post-War MG’s were really an evolution of the pre-War model line up, culminating with the MG TF 1500. The beautiful design of the MGA body dates back to 1951 when George Philips designed a streamlined body to be fitted to a TD to race at Le Mans, and was a huge leap forward from the older styling of the ‘T’ models. The design used in that exercise is almost the same as that which was used on the production version of the MGA.
Initially, power came from the 1489cc BMC ‘B’ Series engine with twin SU carbs and 68bhp which was soon uprated to 72bhp. In 1958 the MGA 1600 was launched – a high-performance twin cam version with a high compression ratio aluminium head, capacity of 1588cc producing 108bhp and fitted with Dunlop disc brakes all round. Reliability issues plagued the Twin Cam and sales quickly dwindled. A lower compression engine was launched but it was too late and Twin Cam production was ended after just 2 years with just 2,111 examples produced.
In May 1959 the standard MGA 1600 engine was updated to 1588cc, now producing 79.5bhp. Disc brakes were fitted at the front but drums remained at the rear. Some examples were fitted with leftover four wheel discs and special wheels from Twin Cam production and sold as De Luxe versions, although they are very rare with just 82 Coupés and Roadsters built.
1961 saw the introduction of the final iteration of the MGA 1600, the Mark II. Capacity stayed the same but the cylinder head was redesigned with larger valves and re-engineered combustion chambers, increasing horsepower to 90bhp. A higher ratio back axle was fitted to enable more comfortable high speed touring. MGA production ended in 1962 with the introduction of the MGB and by this time just 8,198 Mark II Roadsters and 521 Coupés had been built.
The MGA 1600 offered here at the Classic Motor Hub is a late MK II Roadster delivered new to the home market. Amazingly, across all MGA production, just under 6% was for the home market, by those figures this example could be 1 of just 475 home market MK II Roadsters built!
Registered new in January 1962 to Gwenllian Williams of Lindfield, Sussex, it was owned by her until March 1963 when it was sold to Crown Garage in Horsted Keynes. On the 19th November 1965 the current owner, a renowned automotive historian, bought the car from official MG dealers, Parade Motors of Mitcham in Surrey. The original purchase invoice is on file and from here the incredible history file begins with every invoice and MOT from there onwards being carefully kept and archived in the two lever arch files in date order. In our opinion the history file alone sells the car, as one can pay to restore a car, rebuild the engine etc but you can’t buy history, a car has it or it doesn’t.
From the extensive history file we know that the original engine was replaced in December 1968 with a factory supplied ‘Gold Seal’ engine. The invoice from Wadhams of Reigate shows the cost of the replacement engine being £58 which was a lot cheaper and quicker than trying to repair the original on what was then just an every day car.
According to a letter in 1984 to Messrs Brown & Gammon, the MG was subject of a chassis-up restoration between October 1977 and September 1980. The car was used until September 1982, apart from the winter months before being laid up in a garage until 1984. The owner wanted Brown & Gammon to collect the car on a trailer and recommission it for use again. Since then, what is now Brian Brown Classics, have looked after the car all those years.
Today the car is still presented in its original colours of Iris Blue with black interior and hood. We would describe the car as being in very honest condition cosmetically and on the button mechanically. There are shinier and more restored cars on the market but for a proper enthusiast who cares as much about the history and provenance of a car and wants to continue the fascinating and well documented journey of this MGA into the future, this really is the one to have.
Accompanying the car is the extensive history file, an original handbook, side screens, an original workshop manual as well as an unopened Haynes Manual.