What Color Should We Paint Our MGA?


Decisions, decisions. There are a lot of decisions to make when restoring a car. What parts should you reuse and what should you buy new? Should you stick with stock or make a couple of sensible modifications? These are the kind of questions that are going through our heads and with Josh busy sanding away, paint has been a frequent topic of conversation. We thought it might be fun to include you guys though and see what you think.

Old English White

Our MGA left the factory in a creamy Old English white. You can see an example of what it may have looked like above. This one was recently sold by Sports Car Shop in Eugene, Oregon and someone got a beautiful car! The white over red combo looks great. Ours would have originally had a black interior, but you still get the idea. We know this is the right thing to do, but…

British Racing Green

There’s nothing more British than British Racing Green! Just look at this race car which sold on eBay a while back. Not a single MGA actually left the factory in this hue though. It wasn’t an option, but you sure see a lot of them painted dark green. That could partly have to do with the fact that many factory race cars were painted BRG. Well, that and the fact that it looks amazing on all those curves! So, as much as I’m an advocate for keeping things original, you can see which way I’m leaning. What about you – what color would you like to see on our MGA?

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  1. Howard A Member

    Goodness, this is simple. BRG. Nothing goes together like British sports cars and BRG. ( and not that vomit green either) Hey, I don’t make this stuff up, it’s just the way it is. ( like red Italian sports cars)

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    • Dave Heinmuller

      sorry folks, I being a purist now and having restored the As for 40 years, keep it original….Old English White and Black Interior! However, my first A I did during college I painted it a Mustang metallic bronze with black interior (did it in 1967), It really was sharp looking. Maybe with a tan interior it would look great!!

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    • Daniel

      Midnight blue

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  2. Mark S

    For me I’d go with red it’s my favourite colour and it would really make this car stand out.

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  3. Bruce

    White or BRG. Tough choice. White will help hide any imperfections. I vote white.

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  4. Richard

    I would like to.see more options that you are considering.

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  5. Doug S


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  6. Gary

    Mineral Blue!

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  7. leiniedude

    Resale red with a white stripe on top for good luck. As pretty as your car is you cant lose with just about any color. Going to be a tough decision. Good luck!

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  8. S.S. McDonald

    Original white. If the data plate indicates white, anything else would be criticized.

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  9. Racer417

    Dark colors hide the car’s beautiful lines, in my opinion. I like dove gray with red, or stick with the original white.

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  10. nighttrainx03

    BRG or maybe a Sapphire Blue with the white interior would be my choice.

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  11. Tony

    I think I’d stay with cream. Too many red and green ones.

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  12. RayT Member

    I like the OEW. BRG would be my second shoice, but shooting the original color — especially when the car looks so good in it — makes all kinds of sense. White also works nicely with almost any interior color (red or black preferred), which is a plus.

    Of course if you’re choosing between Krylon or Rustoleum, you gotta go with what’s in the can….

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  13. ceebeedubya

    Return it to original white but with red interior.

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  14. Woodie Man

    Do the right thing……with all the trouble you’re going to, to do it right…..refinish it in it’s original livery…..ivory over black. When I look at a car I’m interested in nothing puts me off at first like ” color changed”…..and that from someone who despite that actually bought a color changed old P car. But it was the exception.

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  15. george holt

    o e w

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  16. Capt Doug

    I really like the Iris Blue look – here are the factory colours from that era.


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  17. 56Chevyguy

    I think it would look sharp in a bright red, maybe Candy Apple Red?

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  18. Danger Dan

    My black coupe stopped folks in their tracks…

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  19. Ryan f

    British green for sure !

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  20. DRV

    Original white is the best for me, plus it’s cooler in the sun.
    Next would be a deep non metallic maroon or deep blue.

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  21. Bob_s

    I alway like the lite blue on the roadsters, but on the coupes I would prefer a bark color.

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  22. Brian

    Not that you buy a car to sell it right away but you’re going to cut your resale market in half if you don’t finish it in original color/trim.

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  23. Irish Bill

    I’m Doing a 1961 MGA roadster currently which came out of the factory with Alamo beige (this is Texas) but that is one unattractive color. I’m going back with black with a red interior because that’s the color combination of the MGA I first feel in love with in the 60’s. I agree with the purist about going back to original but sometimes you have to go with what you want rather than what was ordered 50 years ago as long as it’s a factory color.

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  24. Dave Wright

    Orignal………..wherever the chips fall.

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  25. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    You might have said before, but if you are going to resell the ‘A’ then I agree with those who say OEW. That lets you say ‘painted to the original color’, which a lot of buyers want to hear. And the more they appreciate the more buyers want to hear that. 0

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  26. JW

    If you are going to resell it go OEM but if keeping it go with the British green but change the interior to a leather tan. Just my 2 cents.

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  27. Pfk1106

    If your intent, even remotely is to sell it, old English white is the way to go. If you want it to be yours, I would change it to a different color, the more unique the better, iris blue would be my choice.

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  28. Rik

    I’m with Henry Ford on this…any color, as long as it’s black……but then again, I am a bit biased…

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  29. Healeydays

    BRG with an oatmeal interior with green piping.

    Stunning combo…

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  30. Blueprint

    Black with a flame job.

    Just kidding! Original combo gets my vote!

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  31. Jerry vanHorn

    In 1964 I had ’59 A. Dated my wife in it..(She hated it). Somewhere along the line it was painted Anniversary Gold with wire wheels and Dunlop Gold Cup tires. It and the wife are long gone !!!

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    • Johnny Gibson

      Was it a two for one deal? I did that with my wife and a Les paul guitar. I really miss that guitar.

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      • leiniedude

        Got a 1973 Black Beauty I got new, thinking of selling.

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  32. pieter

    Day glow orange of course

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  33. Dave at OldSchool Restorations Member

    These coupes look awesome in silver, and the VW Silver is one of the best

    Black/red interior

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  34. Walt

    BRG ! My first and only thought ! Malama Pono !

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  35. Rob

    If you’re keeping it, I think it depends upon the image you’re trying to portray. If you’re cruising the mountains or along big city streets and you want classy, the white in the photo at the top of this post, is the way to go. If you’re going for fast/racer image, it’s the green. Or, as I see more & more out here in L.A. with the celebrity folk, how about chrome or even black velvet? (yes, velvet. I spotted a black velvet Bently convertible the other day – more proof that some people just have waaaay too much money.) But can you really go wrong with color on this fine specimen?!? It could be dookie brown and still look sharp!
    Long time viewer, first time commenter. Thanks for all you do on this site. Love it.

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  36. Yellowjax Member

    OEW. Or a light yellow like mine I had in 1976.

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  37. Eric_10cars Eric Dashman Member

    Given the work you’re doing to restore it, OEW makes sense. I like a lot of the colors MG offered, particularly the Dove Gray. My only issue with white cars, and I owned one, is that they’re so hard to keep looking clean. I had to use rubbing compound on mine once a year despite keeping it waxed. I admit it was an older Japanese car (72 Corolla) that I bought new, and perhaps today’s paint techniques (after the travesty of the early 80s-mid 90s factory paint jobs) is better.

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  38. grant

    Black with a red and black interior.

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  39. roger

    Blue with white stripes

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  40. Rob

    NOTHING is as unforgiving as black or a dark exterior color, besides also requiring exceptional perfect bodywork, as the smallest flaw will stand out like a sore thumb. On the other hand, besides following the Vin code, Old English White bestows that timeless vintage classic ‘look’, is cool in the summer, ‘n easy to maintain, as a bit of dirt ’twill not distract. Combined with black sidewall tires, knock-off wire wheels or the Superlite alloy wheels, and of course, that red leather interior, (as black can be too unbearably hot), with the Factory optional DeLuxe or “Competition” seats available, literally screams ‘Sports Car’. On a side note, tho not factory, I like the burled wood dash in this Oregon car, as I agreed, it just gave it a tad more of a ‘racing’ flair.

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  41. bcavileer

    Old english white is beautiful on that car. Do a saddle colour interior. You won’t be sorry like with red (too hot) or black (too common, boring).

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  42. JimL

    Anything but red. Seems like almost all the cars end up red.

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  43. Glen

    Only the way it came! Unless it’s a beater, than, who cares? If it came pink, well, sell it as soon as it’s painted!

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  44. Thetrick

    There is a company in England redoing mgb’s with high
    Output engines. They had one in light grey metallic with Dunlop racing wheels in same color. Very rich looking

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  45. gary

    Wedgewood blue. Old English white. British racing green ?

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  46. Paul B
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  47. Rev Rory

    Mine’s Iris Blue, looks great on that body. Nothing wrong with the original color though, and for god’s sake don’t use plated wires.

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  48. Sean

    Grampian grey with red/maroon interior

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  49. Bruce

    I have a set of refurbished Dayton Wire Wheels that would look AMAZING on your car Josh & Jesse. I also have some hub adapters if needed.

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  50. Anthony

    My Coupe was originally Iris Blue -(not my type of color for me) in the future I will go along the lines of a dark Bluish Silver – I’ll know the color when I see it. It already had dark blue seats that the previous owner redid. But I have a looong way to go before picking up the spray gun…

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  51. Rick Wilkins

    BRitish green is nice, but the original race cars were a much lighter green. Not trying to be picky about what BRG actually is, the team cars were very light compared to what most people would call BRG.

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    • tugdoc

      Bingo! BRG is like saying lipstick red. So many shades, everyone has their own idea of a particular colour. Paint it a colour you would like to be seen in. A shade one’s better half likes may be helpful in keeping it long term. My choice dove grey over navy interior, knock off steel wheels.
      See #38 below for wheels.

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  52. Rick Wilkins

    Here’s 1960 factory racer:

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  53. Roger

    When I restored my best friends 1959 MGA (he was the one with the ’57 100.6 also) there was no choice to be considered. It had to be Old English White and with the heat and humidity of Charleston, SC, It was the right choice……
    GREAT Little Car and Best Wishes

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  54. Murray

    Stay with the original Old English White & Red Upholstery. Remember though that ALL coupes had grey carpet…… Here’s one I prepared earlier….

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  55. BradL

    Anything but red, black, or silver. There are FAR TOO MANY cars in these colors today. I’d put white on the list except it’s the original color, otherwise, no white either. Choose a color where it won’t disappear in a parking lot.

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    • Murray

      You don’t see too many white classics and just about everybody paints an MG red!!

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  56. Madbrit

    If you are restoring it to original then only the original color will do.

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  57. John

    MGA Coupes look best in OE White. They are required to have red interiors. I believe it a law of physics, or an executive order, er something. And they are required to have Lucas flame throwers in the middle of the front bumper. Do not violate the laws of nature.

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  58. h60memo

    OG White my vote

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  59. Dwight

    Always look forward to my Barnfinds daily email… If you know what’s good for you…your wife (if you have one) needs to pick the color…then she may let you keep the car!

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  60. Gerald Mitchell

    Oh well. Just another opinion. White or whatever the original color was or BRG if you are going to change the color at all.

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  61. Van

    I’m not sure if BRG is much help.
    There are 5 different recognized BRGs.
    I’d say BRG dark, with red interior and yellow wheels.
    How about a wrap with the Gulf racing colors, just for fun.
    Or you could stay safe and go with the original color, probably the best idea.

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  62. Bill

    why not both?
    White top actually does help keep it cooler inside.

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  63. Doug M. (West Coast)

    I vote pretty heavily with original colors, unless its an option you cant stand. In this case, I am of the opinion that Old English White is a great color to go. If you DID CHANGE, then you would have to give strong thought to red with a tan interior….IMHO.

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  64. Gene Gillam

    Another for BRG…like mine! Not the best photo but you get the point.

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  65. Gerald Mitchell

    Red is very beautiful…BUT… I prefer to go original. If not original BRG would be the only color for me. I had a 53 MGTD round taillight version. It was red but I always wanted to redo it in BRG with black fenders.

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  66. Van

    Can you do a Rolls inspired two tone?

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  67. youcanrunnaked

    Before I even clicked on the link to open this post, I thought, “Oxford white with red leather interior.”

    Don’t try to improve on perfection.

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  68. Dan10
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  69. Oldgtracer

    Well, this is the most vibrant discussion I’ve seen. Lots of good suggestions! BRG looks great on these cars (Gene, yours is gorgeous) and I’ve seen almost every colour combo you can think of over 30 years of MGA ownership (5 different cars too) but my favorites were BRG with camel interior and OEW with tan interior, both on roadsters.
    Of course on my coupe, the paint is dark blue (came that way from original owner) and it looked so nice I didn’t change it. The darker colours do show imperfections and dirt (believe me I live with it).
    I think I would stay with OEW for the exterior but not black interior as original, but the red, which would really pop.
    Still, I think the coupe looks awfully good in the dark blue livery!

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    • Murray

      Oldgtracer, am not sure (don’t have my reference books with me in the office), the A Coupes in OEW ever came with black upholstery?

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  70. Joisey Storm


    Both the 1500 coupe and 1600 coupe offered black interiors with exterior OEW. Probably most rarely seen was the 1500 coupe in black with the green interior! The 1600 in black was offered with a beige interior which I’ve seen and looks really sharp.

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    • Murray

      I had a look when I got home and I did see that the “Deluxe” seats that went into the Twin Cams were black. The only black Coupes I’ve seen had red. Of course this is by no means the definitive answer to the question. I’d defer to your knowledge. Although I’ve had an A Coupe I am not really an expert. TCs and SAs are my field these days as I’ve one of each 🙂

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  71. Neil G.

    Black with red interior and wire rims

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  72. BMW/Tundra Guy Member

    OEW. You guys seem to lean towards all things original means all things alright!

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