Ready To Race? 1959 MGA Roadster

OK, round two for it’s not exactly what it appears to be. Last week we covered this McLaren racer wanna-be, looks the part but it’s stock beneath the sheets. Today it’s this very cool ’59 MGA roadster, looks like a road racer but it’s basically just a nice driving basic MGA. It’s located in Kansas City, Missouri and available, here on craigslist for $15,000. Thanks to Ikey H. for this nice find!

Ever since I received a Lesney “No.19” MGA matchbox car when I was about six, I’ve had a thing for the storied British model. The MGB or GT never did it for me the way the “A” did. The balance and symmetry of the car just work beautifully together. As to whether the racer-vibe enhances or detracts from this specific example is subjective, I like it but I’m sure there are those who will disagree.

Of note, the body of this MGA is a bit rough in places. Beyond the worn and faded finish, there are places on the header panel around the hood that appear to be bubbling. But then again, the “rough-handled” aspect of this MGA may be by design, the seller states this MGA is in possession of “perfect patina”. The body is good and straight and there are no obvious signs of rot having settled in. The worn-through number boards on either side lend credence to the “raced hard and put away wet” aura that emanates from this A while the cut-down dual wind-screens cap off the race car feel.

Under the hood is a standard 1500 CC, in-line four-cylinder engine good for 72 HP. The engine appears as stock and the seller makes no mention of enhancements so we’ll roll with the thought that it’s in stock form. The only improvements mentioned, and they’re really just replacements, are a new battery and brakes. The seller adds, “This car is a ball to drive and gets loads of attention”. A four-speed manual transmission facilitates the gear changes.

The strong suit of this MGA is its interior which is listed as being in “great shape”. The seats, door cards, carpet dash, and instrument panel appear as new and are in perfect nick. I cannot attest to the originality of the seat material pattern but it is very purposeful in its appearance. The gauges are clear and pronounced and the switchgear is all in place; there are no dash openings looking for something missing to be installed as is so often the case with elderly British sports cars. The seller mentions that he has the original soft top but it’s unlikely that it would work with the cut-down dual windscreens. He does, however, have the original windshield frame and glass.

So yes, it’s a faux racer going for a visual statement but it’s pretty well done. And since it’s just skin deep, like the McLaren, it can always be put back to stock appearance (though just peeling off the McLaren’s wrap does have its advantages). So, opinion time, good as is, return to stock or go for something completely different?


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  1. robj Member

    I think a roll bar and competition belts would really complete the image. I like it!

    Like 6
  2. robj Member

    I think a roll bar and competition belts would really complete the image. Maybe a single hoop for the driver.
    I like it!

    Like 5

    I started building one before divorce put it on the back burner. I have a 1988 T-Bird 2.3 turbo 5spd. areo shields like this one and adjustable Audi TT roadster roll bar hoops, low for cruising and up for spirited driving….some day.

    Like 3
  4. MattR Member

    Love this one as is. Never liked the look of a roll-bar on a convertible. It’s like wearing helmets while riding a motorcycle to me, they are great when you crash but take away from the experience.

    • ccrvtt

      “they are great when you crash but take away from the experience.”

      Isn’t that the point?

      Like 5
      • MattR Member

        I’m just saying the protection comes at a cost… taking away some of the open-road experience and the look for me.

    • Brakeservo

      As a head injury survivor, I cannot ride even a bicycle with any degree of comfort or enjoyment without a helmet! On the highway I even where my “shorty” helmet when behind the wheel of my Cobra.

      Flying rocks were my bread and butter when I owned an automotive glass shop, I prefer to stop such rocks with a helmet rather than my forehead!

      Like 7
      • ccrvtt

        When I was buying my KZ650 in 1977 I was looking to replace my old Buco with another economy helmet. The salesman asked me, “Do you have a $40 head?”

        I bought the Bell for $150.

        Like 4
  5. The One

    Helmets and roll bars are good.

    Like 1
  6. Rob

    Whats with the dryer vent tube in the engine compartment?

    • Paul

      Fresh air to heater. It should be black.

    • Marky G

      The “dryer hose” is correct. Taking air from the grill to heater. The white plastic home depot stuff is in incorrect. Hose was black fabric- but still a flexible “hose”

  7. Kenn

    No A.C., so this brings fresh air at highway speed!

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