Low Slung Project: 1960 MGA 1600 Coupe

mg-mga-1600-coupe

Of the British sports car manufactures, MG wasn’t known as a trend setting company and was usually behind by a few years. In the early 1950’s, MG was still building the T-series that they had been since 1936, albeit with minor improvements along the way. As things often went in the ’50s, the desire to be more competitive in racing spurred the need for a new car. This new low slung design was actually completed in 1951, which meant for once MG could have been a trend setter, but management stalled production until 1955. When this 1960 MGA 1600 Coupe was built, MG had had a few years to work out some of the kinks and improve the performance. It was recently pulled from storage and is now being offered here on eBay with a BIN of $8,900.

mga-1600-coupe-interior

Had MG designer Syd Enever had his way, his design would have gone to market in 1952, the same year that Triumph introduced their new design the TR2. Sadly, BMC management decided to forgo the design initially, as they had just signed a deal with Donald Healey to produce the Austin Healey. A few years later, they had a change of heart and the design was put into production. It was such a radical departure from previous MG designs that they decided to call it the MGA to distinguish it as a new line of MG sports car. After a few years of production, they felt there was a need for a coupe model, so they welded a roof to the roadster and added exterior door handles to the doors. To accommodate the roof, the interior saw a few subtle changes and additions.

mga-1600-coupe-parts

This Coupe has seen better days and it appears that someone started a restoration, but didn’t get far. The current owner has a number of extra parts, including some parts to fix some of the changes made to it in the previous owner’s attempt to restore it. The seller’s asking price seems a bit high, given what a grade four car typically books for, but all the new parts could be worth the extra money.

1960-mga-coupe

From a distance, this MGA looks to be simple project, as it runs and drives, but upon closer inspection it’s clear that it is going to need some metal work. The seller doesn’t say much about its condition in their listing, but they have provided this video which offers more information. Like rushing a car to market, rushing a restoration isn’t always a good idea. Hopefully the next owner will take their time and restore this one correctly. If it were our project, the first thing we would want to do is get rid of that glass pack muffler. Although we might be tempted to leave it as is so we could get to enjoying it right away! What about you?

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Comments

  1. SethYour Name

    Had a 57 MGA in college and in 72 had to build most of the wiring out from the fuse panel.
    Was able to do myself by buying wire and running it. Reused all of the bullet ends by soldering. Just followed the wiring diagram in a shop manual.
    Was a fun car to drive. Rewire, new tires, check the brakes and drive it

  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    The MGA is the first sports car I was able to recognize. I always liked it but as I grew older I discovered the ‘T’- Series which had an appeal all their own. My ultimate favorite is the TF which I would pick before the MGA. I do have to admit that my friend and I had a lot of fun in his MGA and my MGB though.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff
    • Dolphin Member

      I can remember when the ‘A’ came out and MG fans were not very….welcoming, lets say. I’m trying to think of another marque that made such a big change between models as MG did from the TF to the A. Right now I can’t think of one, but if there is one I’m sure to hear about it.

      Geo, you had the experience the other way around—-first the A, then the Ts, but your preference ended up the same as the traditionalists: the TF over the A. For style, I can’t disagree, but for aero and ‘modern’ looks, I ended up with an A, altho there was a lot to like about the TF too, which I would have chosen over a TD.
      —————————————————————-
      My first use of the editing feature to fix a typo—great addition, Jesse. It’s just the ticket for error-prone guys like me.

  3. paul

    Nice I had a 60 A soft top.

  4. jim s

    get it safe then drive it. keeping in mind that there is a lot of heat built up in the passanger area and it is harder to work on the interior area of the coupe, i think. great find

  5. Rick

    There’s a convertible A up the street in Iris blue and a snap on cockpit cover, no top that I can tell. But it’s pristine. Of all the MGs…The A coupe is my own personal favorite, and the Iris blue.

  6. mr gerald jerome

    looking at this mga with no 7 on, it is in the uk now i just aquired it from a chap in easton usa, i am trying to bring it back to life now , lots missing and worn out , but fingers crossed i can get it roadworthy

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