Former 1960s SCCA Race Car: 1957 MG MGA

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

It was none other than Junior Johnson who gave the best piece of advice in racing history.  Johnson flatly stated that if you want to make a small fortune in racing you start with a large one.  This was his subtle way of saying that the obsession to go faster and beat your opponents would cost a lot of money and never turn a profit.  Johnson ultimately left NASCAR in disgust, and the latest news that Hendrick Motorsports hasn’t made a dime in ten years seems to reinforce this advice.  However, the need for speed flows like a mighty river in all of us.  If you want to enjoy racing on a smaller scale, then this 1957 MG MGA may be the right tool to help you dip your toe into that expensive but addictive world.  This former SCCA racer is a work of progress that you can finish in your garage and perhaps race across the finish line for the checkered flag.

The car you see here is claimed to be a former SCCA F Production race car from the 1960s.  While the ad does not mention a logbook, which is crucial documentation for the value of race cars, there have been numerous modifications to the car.  We are told that it has been lowered by cutting down the springs, the wooden floorboards have been replaced with metal, the bumpers have been removed, a kill switch has been installed for the electrical system, the brake backing plates have been drilled to assist in cooling, and a roll bar is bolted onto the car.  The ad also lets us know that the car still has its stock sway bars and the original gas tank, which has been cleaned and sealed.  While it is obvious that the bolt-on roll bar makes having a convertible top difficult, that won’t be a problem.  No top is included with the car.

The seller says that the required bodywork has been started on this car.  Some repair panels were installed, but we were not told where the issues originally were.  If you are looking to fully restore the car, then you will need to purchase and install some inner fender and rocker assembly parts.  Considering where the car is in the process right now, the seller’s statement that the car could end up being restored, fixed up to be a street machine, or you could continue to restore it to race-ready condition is a good summary of your choices.

Under the hood is a stock 1,500 cc inline-four as you would expect in an MGA.  In factory trim, these engines put out 72 horsepower.  The twin SU carburetors on this engine have been ported to add a bit more juice to that number, and they are fed by a new electric fuel pump.  It is backed by a four-speed manual transmission that we assume is the stock MGA transmission.  It would be nice to know if any of the mechanicals are the same ones that the car left Abingdon with.  If it were a race car, we would assume that there are a few blown engines and a busted transmission or two in its past.  At any rate, the car does still have the original braking system with drums on all four corners and it rides on the original steel wheels.  Those steel wheels have been treated to a set of tires recently.

Inside we see that a set of vintage racing-ready five-point harnesses are installed for both the driver and any passengers willing to take a hot lap or two.  Those belts are sitting on new seat covers for the stock seats, and the usual racing additions of a fire extinguisher and a roll bar are present.  The seller also tells us that the awesome cut-down windshield can be removed and a great original windshield and, we assume, the necessary frame and stanchions will come with the car.  A set of reproduction Raydot racing mirrors has been bolted on as well.

Taken as a whole, this looks like a fun project that would be a fun vintage racer or you could make yourself a racer that is street legal.  While that might be the financially prudent way to finish this MGA, it sure looks like fun when you see pictures of vintage racers out on the track.  Please let us know in the comments how you would proceed with this project and what lawyer you are using for your pending bankruptcy.

If you have always dreamed of indulging in vintage racing, then check out this 1957 MG MGA for sale on Facebook Marketplace in Southfield, Michigan.  This project car needs a few things and some sweat equity, but the price is right at $4,800.  Thanks to Jim A. for the tip on this MGA!

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Joe MecMember

    No need to race it for me. I would put a decent paint job on it and drive it on the street. No need to work about period correctness restoration!!

    Like 3
    • Frenchy Dampier

      Vintage racing would love for a car like this to join them.
      There are cheap ways to go fast in an MGA.
      Use the 5 main bearing MGB BLOCK and . transmission . They won’t care. Mill ..080. Off the head. Use 2” SU’s from a Rover 2000. ( no sense in competing with the Jaguar crowd). There are plenty of decent racing camshafts out there that are affordable.
      Keep the revs to + or- 6500 the stock rods won’t take much more
      Make your own tubular swaybar in the front. It’s lighter and would be a whole lot stiffer than the stock bars.
      On a good day something like that will dice with Triumph TR3’s /4’s mild Porsche 356 and mild Austin Healey 100/4
      It’s really about fun. Sort it out at local autocross. Before you go to the big tracks.

      Like 6
      • bobhess bobhessMember

        Good information. Get the crank hardened and balanced and use Carrillo rods and you can wind them up even further.

        Like 3
  2. bobhess bobhessMember

    It would make a good Vintage race car almost as it sits. Lot of organizations like SCCA, SVRA, HSR, etc. have low key racing that is more fun than pure competition. We are building a Vintage Sprite that did some racing in the early ’70s as there are some tracks we’d love to try out for the first time. Big task for us is building the roll cage to the required specs and would assume you’d have to do the same for this car.

    Like 4
    • Dave at OldSchool Restorations Dave at OldSchool RestorationsMember

      Race the Bugeye in the Preservation Class and skip the CAGE … ..

      The roll bar in the MGA looks period correct, but today will require a simple headrest added to it.

      Be careful to choose WHICH Class you want to race in, before doing a lot of updating, like 2″ SU’s or an MGB swap, which may force you run in Vintage E Production and you will not be competitive.
      Overall, the car appears to have been nicely prepared for early 60’s racing, and is priced right ( which is why it is now SOLD)

      Like 2
  3. john

    I do not see any racing documentation shown, is there any ?
    Log books, stickers, pictures etc.

    Like 1

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds