Parked In 1997: 1957 MG MGA

With Winter just around the corner, now would be a good time to secure a project car that could be driven and enjoyed when the weather turns warm once again. With that in mind, what could be better than a classic British sports car? This 1957 MGA has been in dry storage since 1997 but has recently been revived in preparation to head to a new home. If this looks like the sort of project that you’ve been searching for, you will find it located in Eastlake, Ohio, and listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN for the MG has been set at $10,500, but there is the option available to make an offer.

The MG was placed into dry storage way back in 1997, and it seems to have survived quite well. The Orient Red paint actually doesn’t look bad, and would certainly be presentable for a daily driver. The owner identifies two minor rust spots in the front of the rear wheel wells. The original floors and frame are said to be solid, while all of the external chrome and trim appear to be present. Some of this would need restoration to return it to its best, but as with the panels and paint, it remains reasonably presentable as it currently stands. There is no information on whether the MG has a soft-top, and if so, what its condition is. However, replacement tops and frames are readily available and surprisingly affordable.

The interior of the little British classic is like so much of the rest of the car, insofar as it would be serviceable to use as is. It would require a full restoration to return it to a pristine state, but the next owner will get a bit of a start here. The owner is including a timber dash fascia with the car, and this appears to be in nice condition. The brown pad on the dash isn’t original, and it also isn’t the correct color. Cars finished in Orient Red received either Red or Black interior trim. The rest of the trim is probably original, but the pad would have to go. If you have a close look at it, the vinyl does have a cheap-and-nasty look about it. I also suspect that while the interior trim might be original, I don’t think that it started life finished in black. I can see what appears to be some red showing through on the seats, so it may be that the interior trim has been dyed at some point.

After a couple of decades of inactivity, the MG has kicked back into life quite nicely. The original 1,489cc engine went many years ago, so the car isn’t a numbers-matching vehicle. However, the engine that is in the car now was given a refresh in the 1980s. It isn’t clear just how extensive it was, but the engine displays healthy oil pressure and doesn’t blow any smoke. As part of the MG’s revival, it received a new brake master cylinder and wheel cylinders, a new clutch slave cylinder, all new fluids and filters, a new fuel pump, and the entire fuel system was cleaned and flushed. The owner says that the car is now in need of little more than a tune and some fresh tires before it is fit to hit the road again.

As Winter projects go, this 1957 MGA doesn’t look like a bad one, and it doesn’t appear as though it has any pressing needs. It would be tempting to restore the interior and the worst of the exterior trim items immediately, throw a set of tires on it, and then get ready to enjoy it when the weather turns warm once again.


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  1. gord

    red on the seats is probably overspray from the paint job, poorly cleaned off?

  2. ken tilly UK Member

    The engine tag is a bit of a problem but if you can source another it’s only held in place by two small copper rivets.

  3. Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

    Having owned a 59 MGA that I ‘restored’, I’d suggest a much closer look at this Ohio (salt country) car. The right side rockers have a rather lumpy look to them suggested some poor bondo repair. Rust in the rockers, lower fender quarters is common. The floors were plywood. The car has clearly been painted at least once. It’s missing the valence under the front bumper. The boot doesn’t appear to be closed or is misaligned. Note the hole in the center of the front bumper…that’s for the crank in case the batteries or starter fail. I could never get mine to turn over with the crank…not enough leverage with the shape of it and I’m a fairly strong 200 pounder. The good news is that these cars are a breeze to work on…very simple in design and execution, and parts are readily available. This one is priced a little high in my view. I paid $500 for mine and sold it for $2500 (after rewiring, head work, interior renewal, new top, and paint), but that was a long time ago and it was a southern car.

    Like 3
  4. David mcghee

    I would be interested in buying

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