Now you are saying to yourself where on earth have I see that car before? Well it starred with Elvis in Blue Hawaii (1960 Mk 1 roadster), has featured in episodes of both “The Avengers” and “The Persuaders” TV series and a 1958 cream MGA was Martin Sheen’s ride in the 2013 hit TV series “Masters of Sex”.
I give you the iconic and breathtaking MGA, produced by MG from 1955 to July 1962 having been launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1955. A total of 101,081 cars were sold during the production run and, curiously, only around 5% of those car remained in the UK.
Designed by MG in house designer Syd Enever in 1951 the idea was previously rejected by the senior management as they had only recently agreed a deal with Donald Healey to produce Austin-Healey cars. A change of heart due to slackening sales of the more classic MG models saw a renewed commitment to the car which was christened the “MGA” to stress its difference from it predecessors. Yet the MG Magnette saloon still provided the straight-4 – 1,489 cc “B series” engine.
Note in our featured images there were no visible door handles, contributing to a smooth line down the body – perfect to hop into and out of! Priced at under £1000 the first produced MGA’s had a top speed of 95 mph.
A high-performance Twin-Cam model – with a top speed of 113 mph and 0-60 in 9 seconds – was added for 1958 but dropped in 1960 as the engine was temperamental and sales suffered.
In May 1959 the MG A 1600 was launched with an increased capacity 1588 cc engine giving it a top speed of 96.1 mph and 0-60 in 13.3 seconds. A later De Luxe version with parts from the discontinued Twin Cam was also produced in small numbers.
In 1961, Mark II and later the Mark II De Luxe, were constructed with yet larger engines – 1622 cc – giving a top speed in excess of 105 mph and 0-60 in 12.8 seconds.
A cousin of mine had a purple MGB GT in the early 1970s that he used to scare my sister and I witless in on the UK’s M6 motorway. Crammed into what was a small car – compare the Mini’s of yesterday with that of today, it’s why we complain that older car park spaces are too narrow! For me the later MG range – except perhaps the MGB roadster – wasn’t even close in either style or elegance to that of their earlier model.
I would suggest for those who may be keen to get into classic cars this might be an interesting starting point. Searches on-line suggest un-refurbished versions of the MGA may be obtained in Europe for around £9,000 whereas a sound refurbished example of this pretty car would set you back over £36,000.
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