Clean Barn Find: 1960 MGA 1600

The owner of this 1960 MGA Mark I doesn’t provide us with a lot of details about the vehicle. However, it does look to be extremely clean and tidy for a classic that has just been unearthed in a barn. The exterior appearance of the car seems quite promising, so it might represent a fairly straightforward restoration prospect. If a classic British sports car is on your radar, you will find the MG located in San Juan Island, Washington, and listed for sale here on Craigslist. You can take this little beauty home for $10,500. I have to say thank you to Barn Finder Ikey H for spotting the MG for us.

The Old English White MG was found hidden away in a barn, but it isn’t clear how long it has spent in storage. It appears that it hasn’t received any significant work since it was unearthed, although the lack of dust suggests that it might have at least received a wash. The owner isn’t forthcoming with a wealth of information. In fact, the entire description of the vehicle amounts to ten words. There are no indications of any rust problems below the surface. The body appears to be solid, with no signs of any issues in the prone dog-leg area. The paint looks to be consistent across the entire car, with no signs of any significant dings or dents. It would be interesting to treat the vehicle to a buff and polish because I suspect that it might present quite well as a tidy survivor. The windshield appears to be free from flaws, while the tonneau seems to be in good condition. The wire wheels are showing no signs of deterioration, which is a bonus. Having those wheels restored is a specialist task, and can prove to be an expensive proposition. It isn’t clear whether a top or side curtains are included with the vehicle, but finding these parts is not difficult.

Judging by the state of the interior, you would have to think that the barn that the MG emerged from must have been close to ideal. The interior presents extremely nicely and doesn’t need any significant work. The center of the wheel has become yellowed and cloudy. However, this isn’t the end of the world, because replacement centers are available for less than $100. The upholstery on the seats and door trims looks good, the carpet seems to be free of any noticeable wear, while the dash remains original and unmolested. There are no engine photos, and all that we know is that the MGA doesn’t currently run. If this is original, then what we should find under the hood is a 1,588cc 4-cylinder engine, backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. This little Brit was no fireball, with the engine producing 80hp. That gave the MG a top speed of 100mph, while the ¼ mile journey took 19.6 seconds. However, these were just a delightful and satisfying car to punt through some twisty roads. This was mainly due to a low center-of-gravity, which endowed the MGA with surprising levels of grip. It isn’t clear when the MG last fired a shot in anger, so there is no way of knowing just what will be required to coax it back to life. One of their greatest strengths is that the engines tend to be quite robust. It might take minimal work to get it singing once again. Even if a rebuild is on the cards, that could potentially be a straightforward task. These are usually easy to perform, but if the next owner doesn’t feel up to the task, any competent mechanic should be able to complete the work at an affordable price.

I would like to subject this 1960 MGA Mark I to a personal inspection. On the surface, this is a car that shows a lot of promise as a project car. The lack of information supplied by the seller is frustrating, but the positive signs are most certainly there. If it has no rust problems, then it could be returned to a roadworthy state and enjoyed as it currently stands. With tidy examples selling for at least $25,000 today, this is a British classic that has to be worth a serious look.

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Comments

  1. Hoos Hoos Member

    This car looks like it benefited from some level of restoration in the past. The carpet is not appearing faded at all, and in a convertible, would not survive like that if ever driven outside. They are notorious for rust, so finding what appears on the surface to be a “rust free” example is unlikely. If it was done in the 90’s, that was over 20 years ago, and with good storage, could explain it’s current good cosmetic condition. Getting it running shouldn’t de too difficult. Clean the fuel system, new points and condenser, cap & rotor and a battery should do it. At the asking, a good value.

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  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Hoos has it. Don’t find these in this condition very often. Nice.

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  3. JohnfromSC

    Sorry for being the skeptic. Yes, it looks nice. But why not spend a bit of time to get it running and therefore justifiably support a higher asking price? The island isn’t far away from some british shops even if you lack mechanical skills yourself. I suspect the seller knows of a major engine issue, thus the brevity of the description.

    Definitely needs a personal inspection, and bring a battery. Cables, and compression tester, and some oil in case the engine will turn over.

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  4. 370zpp

    Must be one heck of a barn . .

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  5. steve

    So I have gone through 5 MGAs and 4 MGBs,this car is worth the ticket, I say bring a trailer and cash.The interior is crisp the exterior is the same it appears to have 60 spoke wheels. These cars are far and away better in all respects to bath tub 356 over priced German rust. Yes there are concerns with the front cross member and chassis side rail rot ,dog leg repair panels are cheap. $2 bucks says this puppy starts and runs but needs a break bleed job as will the clutch slave cyl need a bleed job .And it is blessed with the prince of darkness Lucas!

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