1960 MGA Coupe Barn Find

1960-mga-coupe-project

Jesse MortensenBy Jesse Mortensen

This 1960 MGA Coupe was just pulled out of storage where it had sat since 1979. It doesn’t run, it’s rough, and the seller is asking $3,500. Seems a little optimistic to us, but if your negotiating skills are good perhaps you could pick it up for less. These cars do make great projects and by 1960 the 1600 engine was standard. Find it here on craigslist out of Greensboro, North Carolina. A special thanks goes to David I. for sending this in.

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Comments

  1. frederick hughes

    this car was ugly then and is still ugly. this example looks like that one bad cherry in a box of pretty ones. It’s nice to see there are still some pot smoking dreamers out there.

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    • Dave

      Ah, I would consider this a niche car. It’s unique, and perhaps not to everyone’s tastes, but for the right person it could be a find. I have an 1800ES; a lot of folks have been critical of the design (including the Top Gear crew), but it’s very much the right car for me. I love the oddballs!

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      • Jesse

        I have to agree with you Dave. The 1800ES was a great looking car in my eyes, if for nothing more than the fact that it was unique. As cars start to look more and more alike today, I think more people are going to start taking notice of the old oddballs.

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    • Robert J

      Oddball, are you serious? MGA’s are widely respected cars. You probably feel that 1950’s Ferrari’s have strange lines too I’d bet.

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      • Jesse

        I think he was referring to the 1800ES?

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  2. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    Well I do prefer the roadster version—an A roadster was my second car—but these fixed-head coupes were really made for use in rainy England. Not many were sold over here since almost everyone wanted a roadster, but in damp England these were tighter and more confortable by far, especially when you remember that the early ‘A’ roadsters had flexible plastic side curtains that fit very loosely to the soft-top roof. I can remember driving my ’59 A roadster with a girlfriend on a trip somewhere up North in winter and running the heater full blast. We didn’t freeze, but it sure wasn’t too confortable. These Coupes have roll up glass windows, which makes them much better in bad weather.

    It’s hard to judge this one since there are not enough shots to tell you what the lower metal is like, and there are no engine bay shots, so best to think that it will need a lot of work. Some of the fenders don’t look good, but the one underside shot doesn’t look as bad as I was expecting. Those floors are actually plywood painted black, and the fact that they look like they may be OK suggests the car might not have suffered as much as it looks like it has. Only a close PPI will tell whether it’s worth the asking price, but from here it does look priced over the market for a Coupe that needs everything.

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    • paul

      I had a black 60 conv. & while these cars don’t bring too much $’s they are fun to drive, easy to restore, no power anything & you don’t see them at every car show, it get’s a little old seeing the same 57 chev or 69 Camaro etc. so when I see an 1800ES or something like this, it’s a nice change, I guess I like the odd stuff, heck I have a 50 year old Corvair.

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  3. snake

    dream on….way over priced for what the pictures show…better have lots of $$$$ to start a restoration on this and then lots more cash to finish it. Rather spend the money on something driveable!!!

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  4. Larry Brown

    I have (31) 1956 thru 1962 MGA Coupes and Roadsters of which include 1500’s, 1600’s, Deluxes, MK II’s and Twin Cams. I also have (10) 1963 thru 1980 MGB Coupes and Roadsters. I also have a very large quanitity of good used parts as well as new parts still in the original boxes. I am selling this whole collection of cars and parts for $150,000. Worldwide delivery is available.

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    • Jesse

      Please email us some photos and more information Larry. We would love to do a feature right here on the site and who knows, you might just find a buyer.

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    • Dolphin Dolphin Staff

      @Larry, In my books you win the award for the most impressive collection of MGAs/Bs I’ve ever heard of. I’m hoping that you will give Jesse the info on your collection so we can all see it here on this site. I have my fingers crossed that you have a very large barn….with a good roof and a dry floor, so they will be in better shape than the car in this entry.

      It would be good to say whether it’s only a package deal, or whether you will sell cars singly or maybe pairs. I’m guessing there aren’t too many guys who would be up for a collection of 31 MGAs no matter how much the like the car.

      Actually, I have one space left in the garage….a small one just about the size of an A, and I’ve wanted to get another one ever since I sold mine years ago, so who knows?

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  5. Dale John Steltz

    It is a little rough for the price. At 1500. I might look at it

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  6. Steve Coe

    looks like the car I had in 75 I guess I have to call on this one

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    • Jesse

      Please let us know what you find out.

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      • steve coe

        I went to see this car today. drop me a note if u want to know about this car I bought this from a dentist in fayetteville nc in june 1975.

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      • Jesse

        Feel free to fill us all in Steve.

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  7. MG DOC

    Everything in the photos tells me that this is a 1500, not a 1600. (Look at the tail lights, for a clue). I have a 1500 roadster and have had several coupes as parts cars that I picked up for nothing. One of the biggest problem areas on the coupes is the point where the tops were welded to the body, especially in the areas close to the rear fenders. Always a rust problem at that point. I have actually seen the tops colapse into the body shell!. If anyone gets excited, I have a three piece rear window that I would be willing to sell.
    If anyone buys this one as a restoration project, they had better plan on keping it forever. the market would not justify the expense.

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    • Dolphin Dolphin Staff

      Good catch. The top photo just barely shows that the tail light is the small early type with the single red lens, so the latest this car can be is a ’59 with the 1500cc engine. For ’60 & ’61 (the 1600) they added a smaller round lens above the tail light. I believe that was the turn signal. Then for ’62 it was a larger horizontal-format compound tail light moved toward the centre of the car, off the rear fender and onto the trunk surround. For ’63 they went to the MGB.

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      • paul

        Good catch I have to say the A coupe was a rare sight & I did know about the 1600 I didn’t know these ever came in the 1500 & since I have seen maybe 3 or 4 I don’t have a clue about the shape of the tail lights.

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    • Jesse

      Good eye MG Doc.

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  8. Doug M

    Reminds me of a white MGA Coupe I found in a barn a few years ago. I had forgotten about it, so will need to send some pics to Jesse on that. I have owned roadsters, so decided to try a coupe for fun. It was white, and complete, and very little rust, but didn’t run. I had a great time working on it, and got it running and driving nicely, but the value was just not there, so I only broke even after my year of tinkering with it. Still, I like the European “tidy-ness” of the interior. I would do one again… but prefer them a little more together to start with.

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  9. Rik

    Have to agree with MG DOC on this one…if those are drum brakes I see up front, this would be an early ’59 at the latest. And what happened to that rear passenger fender??!!…tire blowout?

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  10. Rancho Bella

    I like the MGA FHC in any color but red. White is my fav.

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  11. scot c

    ~ here is another more expensive but more complete example in Carrollton, IL. @ $16,500.
    http://stlouis.craigslist.org/cto/3550390464.html
    may or may not be a better deal from an investment point of view. any opinions?

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    • paul

      Sweet.

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  12. steve coe

    I was the owner of this MGA from 75 to79 this car has a 1500 engine.I did all the work on the finders and mahe the rockers.my wife made the seat covers and the headliner.

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