Affordable Driver: 1958 MGA

1958 MGA

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Josh and I are currently restoring an MGA and this one makes me wonder if we made a big mistake. This car has some flaws, but the seller claims that it’s a solid driver and they are only asking $7,500! That seems like a bargain considering what it’s going to cost us to finish our car. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one goes quick. It’s located in Kiowa, Colorado and is listed here on craigslist. Thanks goes to Harlan B for the tip!

MGA 1500

These cars are easy to work on and parts are available through multiple sources. The body on frame design makes restoration relatively easy too. Luckily, this one doesn’t appear to need a restoration. It does have a few cosmetic issues that I would want to address though.

Fender Flares

The fender flares are interesting and even the seller mentions that they are funky. They also mention that they are removable, so as long as nothing was cut, that should be an easy fix. I know there were lots of accessories made for these cars back in the day, so could these be period pieces?

Velvet Seats

Things are a little funky inside too. The crushed velvet needs to go, I’d probably leave it for a while though while I saved up my pennies for a full leather upholstery kit. The red dash makes me think the silver isn’t original. It would be cheaper to repaint the dash than the whole car though so that’s the route I’d probably take. Some MG rubber mats would finish things out inside. and then I would just focus on maintaining and enjoying!

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  1. Jay M

    It’s almost always less expensive in the long run to buy a clean original, or already restored car.
    Most people buy the least expensive car they can, and hope the repairs/restoration won’t be too expensive or time consuming.

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  2. Walt

    This looks like a very reasonable price to me, considering it is
    all there and a driver.

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  3. Badnikl

    It is exactly the shape I like to find them. A couple weekends will fix the glaring problems that bug me, then I would drive it and work on the rest . We don’t know condition of everything. But every one has something that jumps up after you buy it even. I think the price would afford a guy to get every penny back that is put in. I thought at first the seats were covered in bird poop. Then maybe camo seat covers? Now crushed velvet? They gotta go I know that!

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  4. Alan

    The rubber hood cushions are missing, the fender welting was painted along with the rest of the car, extra holes in the dash, steering wheel is bad. The fender flairs are hideous. Engine compartment looks pretty good just missing air ducts. When I finished a frame off restoration on my 59, I kept it a few years and sold it for $7500. If the frame is good on this one, it would be a great candidate for a proper redo. I would have to inspect the bottom and other hidden rust under that silver paint.

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  5. Fred W.

    This is the sweet spot of the classic car market. Enough minor flaws to drive the price down, but nice enough that you can hit the road after a weekend or two of hard work. An older, slightly deteriorated restoration.

    The worst deals are the low priced cars needing a full restore. With todays parts and labor prices, it’s better to let someone else do the work and scoop up their car once they’ve realized it won’t bring Barrett Jackson prices in the condition it’s in.

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  6. HoosMember

    Not a bad looking driver. It does look a little odd to me, though. It looks like the springs lift the body too high. Take a look at mine. Look at the space above the tires.

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  7. DolphinMember

    Looks like an amazingly good basic car with no signs of serious rust, just a couple of small places where the paint is off the trunk surround next to the tail lights. Probably one of the best cars to start with if someone wanted a vintage MG.

    Replace or rebuild the steering wheel, check and refresh the brakes if they need it, check the health of the engine, do a quick safety check for horn, wipers, lights, steering, and shocks and fix what needs fixing and you could be driving this Fall if you get lucky.

    I don’t care for the silver paint, but it’s mostly there and you could redo that down the road. I almost forgot—need to have a plan to deal with that upholstery and the rear fender flares.

    I agree with Hoos, the car looks like it’s riding high. The seller might know why. I forget from my ’59 ‘A’ some decades ago whether ride height is adjustable….I think it probably isn’t. If just a spring change it shouldn’t be too much trouble, altho if the rear half-elliptics are messed with you might need to get another set.

    Very nice car, Hoos!

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    • HoosMember

      Thanks, Dolphin! I appreciate that. Yours doesn’t look too bad, either.

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  8. MG'zer

    I think the price is a little high. Just a little. Would make a great weekend project father and son.

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  9. CoventryCat

    Wonder if the rear bumper was reinstalled upside down, or just the GB sticker.

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  10. stillrunners

    For an early MGA it looks priced right and looks like a good driver.

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  11. Thomas Garcin

    Glad this is in Colorado or it would already be in my garage next to my two other projects!

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  12. 53MGTD

    Carbs are either new or refurbed, missing door cards and looks to ride high because the rear fenders were cut out for the flares. I would be very careful with this one.

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  13. Rando

    Wonder if it was ever raced? Back in the day, a thin sheet metal flare met the letter of the rules about having the tires covered. If it had wider/larger tires,may explain the flares.

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