Another MG in a Box

MGA-in-a-box

It seems that wooden boxes are best places to store MGs. We had the TC in the coffin the other day and now this MGA. It is a 1957 model and was purchased by the current owner in the seventies. He supposedly drove it about 50 miles before dropping it off at the body shop where they stripped it down and primered it. That is as far as his enthusiasm took him though so he built this wooden shelf and parked the MGA underneath. They have since uncovered the car and listed it here on eBay. It is located in Lumberton, New Jersey and bidding starts at $3,999 with no reserve. Thanks goes to Joe C. for the submission.

MGA-uncovered

This MGA was a project when parked, so it is obviously even more so today. The engine is not running and there is still a lot of body work to address. People have started with less so we are confident that, if the price stays low enough, someone will save this one. Only bid if you enjoy the restoration process though. Otherwise it may end up in some sort of wooden enclosure for the next 40 years…

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Comments

  1. Rick Prokopchuk

    I tell you what, if that were me and I’d paid for that body primer, I’d be hot. It’s all over the place and there are obviously several areas of the body, such as the doors and fenders, that needed some serious attention before any paint at all was applied.

  2. David

    Jesse,
    You got my hopes up with that subject line! I was hoping to get one in my next box of Cherrios! Pip Pip

  3. Joe C

    Hello, I am the person helping Fran, the owner, find this MGA a new home. This car was purchased when Fran was about 22 years old. He bought this to save and restore later, when he got much older. He’s 57 now and has changed his mind. The quality of primer work was of no importance, just to protect the metal. He had the car taken down to bare metal to inspect it, prior to storing it. Than, I guess the body shop dipped it in primer. The car was probably only driven about 25 miles total, it went right into storage. He never even put the title in his name. He bought this because he liked it. Most of us were just buying “fun” cars to use every day of the year. You could pick up a twin-cam back then for an extra two grand if you worked it and big Healey’s were super cheap. What did he/we have to care about in those days; he was making love on the hood of his TR-6, great days.
    I just wanted readers to know that there was no attempt at a restoration on this MGA.
    Regards, Joe

  4. Blindmarc

    small block ford, and put it on the street again.

  5. Rick Prokopchuk

    Interesting report Joe. Pretty clearly, it wasn’t dipped…just hurriedly sprayed. You can see overspray on much of the underside on the sides and rear. Most would have to be removed to restore the car, but still, it did protect it. Thanks for the information

  6. rancho bella

    To the next buyer. “let me tell your future, your bank account will be considerably lessened by large amounts”…………..

  7. Dolphin Member

    A proper paint job will fix that awful primer, but before that happens there’s lots of work to be done everywhere on this ‘A’. The ODO might read 31K, but the condition of the car tells me that it probably spent a good part of its life in the rust belt and that the ODO has probably gone around a few times. The door panels and the floors say that the car was left out in the weather with a very leaky top, or without the side curtains.

    I wish Fran and his helpful friend Joe the best of luck with the sale, but unfortunately this car has neglect written all over it. It has been a long time since I’ve seen an engine bay as forbidding as this one. I hope you get an opening bid, but none so far even at $4K, so you might have to reduce the open to sell it.

  8. Joe C

    Hi Guys, It’s Joe C. again. Wow, I must be missing something. I believe Fran has a really straight and a pretty solid MGA here, possibly with original panels. I know it looks like sin, with a few incorrect bits, but I’m not selling it at Pebble Beach, or I would of fixed the wiring under the dash that’s hanging. I crawled under a lot of cars, just in the last couple of months and I’m getting old too. But I have not seen such an unmolested MGA that wasn’t rusted out, in… well, I can’t remember when. Now this is New Jersey and not New Mexico, maybe I need to get of the house more and go a little further west. Dolphin, I did receive an offer over $4,000, but I’m going to see how eBay works out. I think if you look at the additional pictures, and I have a lot of them, you might see where I’m coming from. Like I said, maybe I’m missing something? I do appreciate the pre-sale communication though, very interesting. Regards, Joe

    • Dolphin Member

      Joe,
      Well, I have seen worse, but ‘unmolested’? The wiring has been seriously molested, the dash has been altered for a replacement radio, the paint definitely has been molested, and I would say that the owner let time, neglect, and probably the elements damage the car since it has rusty floors and needs lots of components replaced or redone. The side curtains are amazing. What could have cooked them like that? They show that this A wasn’t in that garage for a big part of its life. Just curious….Do you know where the car was that caused those side curtains to cook like that?

      For me, it’s not just what you can see that needs replacing or work. The car looks neglected all over, including all that dirt and oily slime in the engine bay and on the engine itself, and that’s a big red flag because it tells me that the car wasn’t well looked after. My point is that there is no need for someone who wants an A to pay good money for Fran’s car because there were many MGAs made and sold in No America, and good ones are still selling for such cheap money today that it would make no sense to buy one that was seriously neglected instead of one that’s in good shape and shows signs of having been cared for.

      It will cost much more to bring Fran’s car up to good driver status than it would cost to find and buy a nice driver. Sorry, Joe, but for me that’s the economic bottom line.

  9. ECW

    Unless you enjoy doing all the work, it will almost always cost more to restore a car than to buy a nice driver…however, this car is not bad, at all. If you’re planning on doing a total frame off, which of course this needs, it’s actually pretty darn nice. That engine is just dirty, but it’s all there.
    By the 70’s, MGAs were just used cars that got bought for nothing by teenaged boys who did what teenaged boys do. Try to find one that wasn’t abused! :)
    Looks like an honest ad for an honest car to me. I paid slightly more for the last MGA I restored and it was a LOT uglier than this to begin with!

  10. Joe C

    Hi Dolphin,
    I understand what your saying. I guess it’s all about our definition, like that word “restored”. I should have been more precise with the “unmolested” areas. I was just so impressed with the frame, the body, the engine compartment, no accident damage… the heavy stuff. Regarding rust, that area at the very rear of the trunk is the most serious, and we know what caused that. The channels that the wood floors fit into looked excellent and I did not see any termites, that should say something?

    Although needing replacement, the wiring isn’t that bad, meaning pretty much everything is where it belongs. It seems that someone installed an aftermarket ignition switch and ran a couple of wires, along with that amps gauge. Except for those replacement hose clamps, all of the hardware looks to be untouched in the engine compartment. Nothing appears to be stripped or messed up. Even the tops of the carburetor dampers are not rounded off. That dust over the last 20+ years at Fran’s garage, sticking to the (oily) engine and components, that might show some previous neglect, but I rather have that than those rusty and oxidized engine bays I’m use to seeing. It definitely should of been cleaned before it was put away.

    Fran bought the car in Swarthmore, PA which isn’t far from here. I believe the car was always in this area. Maybe just age destroyed the side curtains. The car has always been stored inside since he bought it.

    Dolphin, you are correct. There is always a better deal, somewhere out there, but it seems a lot of those people looking for it never buy or own what their after… they just keep looking.

    I believe for someone considering a complete, total, restoration, this MGA offers an excellent foundation. Actually a much better choice than most of those “drivers” you mentioned(everything would need to be redone anyway). At least compared to other cars I see here in the North East.

    Regards,

    Joe

  11. Bernie H.

    Joe C./Fran; First let me say, this car is pretty decent for its age etc. I been rebuiing these models for 40+ years, and only MGA’s. Yours is pretty typical for the location and much better than most. Any restorer , who”s worth a damn, will disassemble this down to the frame.&media blast(nosand)and remanufacture. Inner and outer rocker metal, + the ‘A’ and ‘B’ pillars are the weak areas here. Hopefully the restoration guy will cross brace the body at the door openings before removal, otherwise she’ll change dimensionally and the doors “WILL NEVER PROPERLY FIT-PERIOD!!!!”. Save the old wiring just for reference only, and buy a new harness. Many good suppliers out there.
    It takes me roughly 3 months to do a complete frame-up rebuild, including upholstry/top and tonneau. I currently have two in stock, 57′ Black 1500, and 59′ Red 1622.

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