Running Project: 1960 MG MGA 1600

The MGA was an English sports car that replaced the MG TF 1500 Midget and was produced from 1955 to 1962. They were quite popular with sales exceeding 100,000 units, with the vast majority exported to markets like the U.S. This running two-owner example from 1960 may only need new brakes to be a runner again, though there are a few rust issues that are tucked away. Located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, you can carry it home by submitting the winning big here on eBay where the no reserve auction currently stands at $8,000.

Originally, these cars had a 1,500-cc engine, but that was upgraded to 1,600-cc in 1959. The latter engine was rated at 80 hp and the MGA was one of the earliest cars to use front disc brakes. These units would represent about 30% of overall production before the MGA’s successor, the MGB, was introduced. These were zippy cars by the standards of the day as a 1600 was tested by The Motor who clocked 0 to 60 in 13 seconds and an overall top speed of 96 mph. They were thrifty before that was ever important, capable of 25 mpg in the U.S.

The seller has owned this MG for about a year, so perhaps it was a project he/she planned to finish off. Its engine has been rebuilt and is paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. Other than the brakes, no other mechanical issues are noted. The interior is in good shape and the drop-top is okay except for one small tear.

Rust has always been a problem with British cars of this era, but this one is fairly clean. The frame, body, and trunk are fine, but the inside rocker panels have some corrosion that you’ll want to correct when or if you repaint the car. No title will follow the MGA; instead a current registration from Connecticut and a bill of sale will be provided.

Comments

  1. MattR Member

    Wrong coast, right car. Too bad for me.

    Regardless, being where it is, the “inside rockers have some rust” comment is one flag, followed by the “4 cylinder rebuilt” – that pic of the engine bay says otherwise, or at least it wasn’t last week. Still a gem that’s worth a look for someone that isn’t 2988 miles away.

  2. Bruce Ironmonger

    5 speed transmission. Ummmm

    Like 1
    • MattR Member

      Good point Bruce. That gave me pause. Conversions have been done, but the lack of details is frustrating.

  3. tiger66

    “Originally, these cars had a 1,500-cc engine, but that was upgraded to 1,600-cc in 1959.”

    Actually, 1489cc and 1588cc. Followed by the 1600 MkII, which had a 1622cc engine rated at 90 hp. Then came the MGB.

    I doubt this car has a 5 speed but more details would be nice.

    This car is a dead ringer for the one I owned right after high school. Black, red interior and it even had those thin whitewalls with the wire wheels. $600 bought a good one back then.

    Like 2
    • Steve

      Before the MGB debuted there were also MGA Twin-Cams and then Deluxes – Twin-Cam bodies with 1600 engines. The Twin-Cams are somewhat rare; there’s an old joke among Twin-Cam owners – they are happy twice, once when they buy the car and then the day they sell it.

      Like 1
    • GlennH

      Had a 58 and put a later MGB engine and transmission in it. Required cutting out the transmission tunnel to fit the synchromesh 4 speed. Had to build another out of fiberglass. So yes, I doubt 5 speed too.

  4. Greg Member

    Hey…..
    I’m 6’5″ 275lbs.
    Will I fit in this???

    Like 1
    • tompdx Member

      Sorry, I don’t think so. Maybe with the top down?

      • Greg Member

        Figured…..

    • Paul T Root

      I’m 6’2″ 250 and fit great in a MGB. I haven’t been in an A in 30 years and 50 pounds, and actually never with the top up. The B has a very deep footwell. I think the A was pretty good as well.

      • Greg Member

        Thanks.

  5. MGSteve

    Five speed conversions are now quite common for the MGA, and highly desirable. That’s not to say this car has one, just that it is very possible.

    Like 1
  6. James Simpson

    My continued comment on the MGA is that it is highly undervalued in sales figures. Nearly ever part is available in the aftermarket. When completed, its overall look is very aerodynamic and more Ferrari in visual appeal than cracker box looks of its predecessors or even its followers, the later MGB series. The original owners were typically of middle class origins, and the number made, and perception of value had pulled down sales figures to “reasonably affordable” . To make any car approach a showroom gem these days costs north of 40 grand. Do-it-yourselfers can manage a complete restoration for a fraction of subcontracted work. 8 grand for this easy- to- restore gem. and, the smiles-per-mile results cannot be undervalued. Yes, there is a KIT that installs a Japanese 5 speed very nicely.

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