Motoring Monday: 1959 MGA – Stalled Restoration


This 1959 MGA was a project car back in the 1970’s, but unfortunately was never completed due to illness of the restorer. Now the car is for sale at no reserve. The advertisement is here on eBay and the car is currently located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Bidding is only at $200, but I’m sure it will rise from there. With MGA’s, the mechanical items are pretty straightforward; the key is the sheetmetal. The body and frame look pretty good except that the sills look a little odd to me. Even with some good pictures, thought, it’s pretty hard to tell the true condition of the body.


Floorboards are no problem as they are plywood anyway (from the factory). And the frame members look pretty good; I’m guessing the frame may have been restored first, although I can’t tell for sure.


The trunk floor seems to be the worst rust, but that’s one place where I’d be willing to patch things with homemade panels rather than get reproduction ones. I’d put some carpet over it once I was done anyway–it makes things much more pleasant when you are trying to carry things in the trunk; especially if they belong to your significant other!


This looks like a pretty restorable project, although the engine has been taken completely apart. I’m honestly not sure whether I’d start with this engine or not, given the fact that it’s been open for a long time. MGB engines aren’t that expensive, and it’s pretty easy to put in an early 3-main MGB engine for some more power if you can find one. Even installing a later 5-main MGB engine isn’t that difficult. This looks like a fun project for a parent/child refurbishment, especially if the price stays low. Can any MGA experts shed some lights on the sills? And what’s the best way to peel the paper off the side curtains without causing damage?


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  1. Bernie H

    My speciality for over40 years has been MG’s from 1962 and older, and here is another real challenge for someone, but you had better be very experienced. I dont see a straight panel anywhere on this car, please bare in mind that the aluminum doors, boot and bonnet rarely suffer the typical damage the body encounters. This poor ole girl has a patched frame, and basically a pile of unusuable engine parts. Restoration costs will easily exceed the typical market value so be mindful of the parts cost to rebuild. I sold one like this last year for $900 as a parts vehicle with usable wire wheels and complete engine. I currently have two MGAs’ in stock, both rebuilt and need only gas and a driver. At age 72, I’m slowing down on restorations, arthur-rite-tus has been stalking me for a few years, especially in the hands, very stiff sometimes.

    • Chris in Nashville

      Looks like someone is either crazy or sees something the rest of us don’t… Nearly to 3 grand!?!?

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