Restored Barn Find: 1959 MGA Roadster

Until recently, this 1959 MG MGA Roadster had been sitting in this garage. This was a spot that it had occupied since 1985. It has been brought out into the light of day and has undergone a meticulous revival process. It now runs and drives perfectly and is ready for someone to hit the road and to enjoy some top-down motoring. This car would suit the sort of person who would love nothing more than to own a classic British sports car, but doesn’t possess the time to complete a restoration. The MGA is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $23,500, but there is the option available to make an offer.

It appears that the photos that the owner supplies of this Old English White MGA might be a bit deceptive. These photos show the vehicle wearing its original paint. Since they were taken, the MG has been treated to a repaint. Frustratingly, the owner doesn’t supply any photos once the work was completed. Both front fenders had some small spots of rust in evidence, but these spots have now been addressed. The rest of the panels look clean, and the door alignment seems to be very good. The owner supplies several photos of the MG’s underside, and there are no signs of any problems down below. The wire wheels that the car now rolls on are new, as are the tires. The Roadster has also been treated to a new grille, new bumpers, a new convertible top, and new side curtains.

Under the hood of the MG, we find a 1,489cc 4-cylinder engine, which is capable of producing 72hp. That power finds its way to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. When a person locates a barn find that has been sitting for more than 30-years, there are two common ways that people will choose to attack the revival process. One involves flushing the fluids, checking everything thoroughly, cleaning the fuel system, and then kicking the car back to life. The other way is how this one was tackled. Nothing was left to chance. The engine was pulled and given a full rebuild. This included replacing all of the hoses, pipes, the water pump, and the ignition system. A completely new fuel system was installed, while everything in the braking system was replaced. There were sundry other items that were rebuilt or replaced. The invoice for all of this work totaled an eye-watering $28,000. Was it worth the effort? It would seem so because the MG now runs and drives perfectly. It has only clocked around 350 miles since the work was completed, but there have been no problems up to this point.

The interior of the MG is said to be original, and it presents well for a survivor. The leather upholstery on the seats is stretched, but there are no signs of any splits or apparent edge wear. The dash is in good order, while there are no problems with the carpet. The factory radio has undergone an internal upgrade, and now supports AM, FM, and an auxiliary input. There is nothing that the interior desperately needs, although a meticulous owner might choose to employ an uphosterer to re-stretch the seat covers so that they present better. Otherwise, there isn’t much that needs to be touched.

This 1959 MGA Roadster is a beautiful classic British sports car, and I believe that it would be a pleasure to own. However, it can also serve as a valuable learning tool for those who are contemplating undertaking a restoration project. When you consider the amount that the owner must have paid for the car initially, and then factor in the significant mechanical bills and the cost of the repaint, the BIN price doesn’t allow the owner to come close to recouping his outlay. The owner has massively over-capitalized on this car, and the fact that he is in a situation where he is being forced to sell it so soon only heightens his pain. The lesson here is to be reasonably sure that if you are undertaking a restoration that isn’t financially viable, that you maximize your chances of being able to retain the vehicle on a long-term basis. Otherwise, you risk experiencing the same sort of pain that this owner must be feeling right now. In the meantime, I can’t help but think that someone is about to become the owner of a charming little classic at a very respectable price.

Like This? Get Our Daily Email


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Finish up the details and drive it. Nice car put together with care. Price in the ball park.

    Like 3
  2. ccrvtt

    I know a guy who has one in the same color combination. He had a frame-off restoration done several years ago. The restorer told him not to bring it back to him unless it had some significant evidence of having been driven and enjoyed – he didn’t want his work to be relegated to trailers and shows.

    What’s nice about this car is that the interior looks well worn and comfortable, like an old pair of Sperry’s or Weejuns.

    Like 3
  3. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    1500 MG or 2ltr Triumph…that’s the question. That’s the devil talking.

  4. Hemidavey

    Nice roadster, I have a 60 and its a really fun car, my whole family loves it. I wish mine looked this nice. Price is a little high but good to test your negotiating skills… It will sell quickly.

    Like 1
  5. Larry

    I have (18) 1956 thru 1962 MGA Coupes and Roadsters needing restoration

    Like 2
    • Carhag

      Wow, are you selling?

      Like 1
      • Larry

        Yes I am

    • Douglas Malinowski

      Larry I’d be interested in seeing what you have

  6. Larry

    Yes, email me at if interested

  7. Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

    These were positive ground cars (I had a 59 that I semi-restored back in the early 80s) and the owner has a new radio in it. Did he put in a voltage inverter (that’s what I did on my 65 Healey 3000) or did he change to negative ground? I’m also interested in the ‘little bit of rust” that was taken care of. New metal or just bondo over the holes?

  8. Jack E. Davis

    Are you selling I been looking for a coupes

    • Jennifer Jones Brickhouse

      My dad has a MGA 1960 coupe that is ready to put together everything is done juts needs to be painted.

    • Larry

      I still have 27 1956 thru 1962 MGA Coupes and Roadsters available for $3,000 each and 9 1970 thru 1980 MGB Coupes and Roadsters available for $2,000 each. To view photos, go to

  9. Larry

    Yes. I have (2) restorable coupes and (1) mostly restored 1962 MGA MK II Coupe. If interested, you can contact me at 573-541-1970

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.


Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.