Great Patina: 1962 MGA MKII Roadster

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We love the look of Patina, but most often the “Patina” is really just a serious rust issue. While it might make for an interesting and impossible to replicate look, it’s still rust and will eventually need to be taken care of. Occasionally we come across a classic with patina that shows its age, but doesn’t jeopardize the car’s well being. This 1962 MGA MKII Roadster is just one of those cars that have patina that shows it age, but doesn’t include a rust issue. It has been under the care of the same family since 1963, but is now available at the Sports Car Shop in Eugene, Oregon for $17,500

Over the seven years that the MGA was built, it came with several different engines. MG started with a 1500 cc straight four and by the time this car was built in ’62, engine size had increased to 1622 cc. This engine underwent a complete rebuild in 1989 and has only seen 5,000 miles since. When new, the 1622 cc was rated at 90 hp, but we assume this engine is putting out a little more power now. The previous owner had an Abarth exhaust system and velocity stacks added to the car in ’63 and when the engine was rebuilt in ’89 they had it balanced and tuned.

The interior is showing its age, but is in solid shape. As the seller states, “the seats have that look of a well loved baseball glove” and we would have to agree with them. The MGA is a true sports car and came with few creature comforts, but is still comfortable enough for any road rally. Hopefully the next owner leaves it as original as possible, but if anything has to be replaced, parts are readily available.

This MG isn’t perfect, but it’s in great shape for its age. We wouldn’t change a thing about it, as they are only original once. The seller’s asking price seems right on target for a running and driving car in this kind of condition. The originality and patina will easily make it standout in a sea of MGs and gives it great character.

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  1. GM

    Obnoxiously overpriced… Wonderful car but 35-40% higher than it should be for condition and market.

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  2. Doug MMember

    I have had a number of these, and never get tired of seeing really nice ones. This seller in Eugene is known here in Oregon for always having the best of early British classics…as this one is a good example of.

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  3. DolphinMember

    This was the last of the MGAs, before the ‘B’ came in 1963. These are appreciating, so this could be a good purchase that will likely be worth more than the selling price soon. The known history and good, mostly original condition makes it worth considering, especially since it seems to be a better, more original car than other As that have sold for as much or more recently.

    The biggest problem with these is that if there has been any accident damage it can be difficult or impossible to get the hood to fit properly in the recess in the hood surround. The front bumper-body panel fit can also be a problem. The photos could be better, but from how things look this car seems to have good panel fit. The optional wire wheels look good and are a plus, since many of these cars had the basic disk wheels + hubcaps.

    There seems to have been some resto work in the engine bay. The valve cover is either new or repainted, and maybe the head also. The intake trumpets on the SU carbs are not correct and look like they would make it hard or impossible to fit air cleaners. But overall things look pretty good in there.

    I owned an ‘A’ back many years ago and thought that they were really good handling cars. The real limitation for handling was the Dunlop Road Speed tires you often got on these cars. They lasted forever, which reflects the hard rubber they were made with. We used to say they wore like cast iron. But that aside, the ‘A’ drove really well and had very precise steering because it used a rack-and-pinion steering setup, which was rare back then. I sold mine for a Tri-carb Healey 3000 and noticed that the Healey didn’t handle as well as the ‘A’ I had just sold. Part of that was the greater weight of the Healey (especially the much heavier Healey engine), but part of it was the geared steering on the Healey, as opposed to the A’s rack-and-pinion. The A’s downside was that it was underpowered compared to the Healey or the TR3. But for precise handling the ‘A’ was hard to beat.

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  4. Chris

    Overpriced as noted above. While most of the immediate work is cosmetic, the car really does need a good overall sprucing up. The look is beyond patina, its just worn and needs lots of help. Seats like a well loved baseball glove? I don’t think so, my glove is the same age, been kept clean and dry, and has at least had the attention of neatsfoot oil. Running carbs on the street without aircleaners is just asking for trouble and who knows what will move in there if the car sits for any period of time.

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  5. Tom Butters

    Overpriced. I owned several of them in The Day, the last in 1994 and raced one in SCCA F Production in the 1960s-early 1970s. They are strong and forgiving and more or less easily repaired with parts cheap and accessible. This car is at least a third overpriced.

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  6. FRED

    i wenttru phases mg’s ,triumph’s, and fiats and always liked the mg’s best then i test drove my first corvette and that was the end of my foreign sports car phase all together. this one if priced a little lower might get me to rethink my needs.maybe i can talk the wife into just one more british sports car.

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  7. Rancho Bella

    Since I predicate all old car purchases on rust or no rust, I’ll take rust free any day .

    The rest? is just bolt on items…………

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  8. DolphinMember

    Overpriced? Maybe. You can always get lucky and find a cheap car….if you scour Craigslist frequently….if you are willing to travel, usually without delay…..if you bring cash…..and a trailer…..and if you get lucky. All that works. I’ve done it myself. But luck is a capricious thing, so lets look at some actual numbers.

    The SCM Price Guide puts this car at $22,500 to $32,500 in #2 condition. It’s not in #2 condition, but *if* it lives up to its description of being rust free and having excellent panel fit, it will not need large amounts of work to bring it back. Those two problems disqualify most MGAs from being easy, or even financially sound, restorations. If the rest of the description is accurate, the car has a known, 1-family history and its original plates. Those facts add value for those buyers who care about a car’s history. The original paint, even tho not perfect, also adds value for many prospective buyers. So do the nice 60-spoke wire wheels, which are a step above the regular, optional wire wheels with 48 spokes. So does the thorough engine rebuild 5000 miles ago. So does its being a last-year car, with improved engine over previous MGAs. So does the original last-year-only set-back grille, which doesn’t have the usual dings from people who park by ear.

    For people who do not care about history, rust, panel fit, or all the other value-added aspects of this car, there are lots of MGAs to choose from at lower prices. But most of them won’t be last-year cars with the special features and history that this car has. Those things also add value over what an ordinary 1500 or 1600 would be worth.

    If you look at the values of eBay and other recent MGA sales, SCM’s Guide seems spot on for values. How much below that $22.5K – $32.5K you want to go for this car will depend on how much you value it’s rust-free body, good panel fit, known 1-family history, and so on.

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  9. Graham

    Referencing a “2” condition car and this example in the same breath is pointless in terms of establishing value. Like apples to oranges. This looks like a 4, at best.

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  10. Rancho Bella

    Well put Mr. Dolphin, and as usual, spot on.

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  11. Don

    I have owned several MGAs over the years. The Mk2s are clearly the prettiest and the rarest that are still within purchase reach of a normal person (De Luxe and Twin Cam are really expensive now). This car looks decent from what I see in the photos. If it was a color other than black, I would consider buying it myself.

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