Stored For 56 Years: 1957 MGA Roadster

Tweed jacket, a proper cap, and a glove box that actually contains a pair of driving gloves: few things evoke the world of classic motoring like this 1957 MGA, located in Canton, Georgia. It’s available here on eBay, with a current bid of $12,433 and five days left to go at the time of writing.

Produced from 1955 through 1962, the MGA was a complete departure for MG. By 1955, the latest entry in the venerable T-Type series, the MG TF, was showing its pre-war roots. Although it was originally planned that the XPAG would power the MGA, the new car would ultimately share only a modified chassis with its predecessor. The running boards and articulated fenders were gone, replaced by a svelte, low-slung, streamlined body. With the 1.5L BMC inline-four, performance radically improved, the engine in this car making 72 brake horsepower when it left the factory. Although later models, including the Twin-Cam and 1600, were equipped with disc brakes, this example would have been provided with drums on all four wheels. In keeping what seems to have been the custom for British cars at the time, the four-speed transmission only had synchromesh on the top three gears. I blame the Austin 7.

How much work has to be done before a car no longer qualifies as a survivor? If this little convertible isn’t one, surely it’s not far off. The car is numbers-matching and as original as anyone might expect. There appears to only be surface rust on the frame, which is a good sign in a vehicle that is somewhat notorious for rust issues. On that note, if the buyer wanted to run a straight pipe, some of the work has already been done. The seller mentions some pinholes in the fenders and rust through in the inner sill panel. Some bodywork has already been done: there is a patch in the right rear fender and the outer rocker panels have been replaced. Aside from this, the car is said to wear its original nitrocellulose lacquer. Commonly found these days on musical instruments, nitrocellulose lacquers are temperamental and somewhat delicate. It will take some careful work to bring out the best in this finish.

The interior seems complete and original, and in pretty good shape for 64-year-old leather — though it’s quite clear that it is very old leather. The electrical systems and gauges all work, ammeter and radio excepted — only a mild case of the Lucas curse, knock on wood. Values on these cars, restored, tend to rest above $25,000. What appeal, and value, is added by the original equipment and condition is anyone’s guess, but depending on how the bidding goes, someone might just get a bargain — along with a beautiful vintage British roadster!


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  1. 8banger 8banger Member

    The orange bumps the ponies to at least 77.

    Like 4
    • Mike

      Obviously the orange is there to show scale.

      Like 4
    • William Evans

      At least he didn’t use lemons.

      Like 4
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Better than the left over military green they usually used. Went Chevy orange with our engines. This car could be a good project if the price doesn’t go much higher.

    • Steveo

      I think the Orange reference is to the piece of fruit in the interior and the right side photos. Why the guy didn’t use a standard banana is anyone’s guess.

      Like 1
  3. Harcourt Mudd

    I will only buy it if the orange comes with the car.

  4. Bill

    Interestingly, the red dashboard is correct for a black MGA with red interior. Most A’s have the dashboard in body color. I usually favor restoration but in this case I would only do what is needed to make it clean, safe and reliable.

    Like 3
  5. Tom N.

    the orange is the sellers trade mark. he puts one on all the cars he sells!

    Like 1
  6. Christopher Gentry

    I think a watermelon would have been a better choice if produce.

  7. Tom

    The seller is very reputable. If I remember correctly, years ago he used an orange to prop up an item he was going to list on eBay. When the listing appeared he got more questions about the orange than the item listed! An orange appeared in every listing afterword…

    Like 3
  8. Christopher Gentry

    Haha. Now that I get

    Like 1
  9. freakinutz Member

    orange you glad he didn’t use an apple?

  10. David Kelm

    I have had 3 57 MGA’s. Middle one was this color combo, bought used in 1960. Wonderful car. A relatively small amount of tuning bumps the horsepower rewardingly. The drum brakes are OK if you use 3rd gear going down mountains.

  11. Roy Blankenship

    My brother owned 6 of these at one time, maybe two ran. They were a lot of fun except in winter, the heater was marginal with all the openness of the side curtains and cloth top. I agree with the sketchiness of the British electronics, the old joke was, “The British drink warm beer because they all have Lucas refrigerators”. Still, they were a blast to drive, it was great having a 4 speed and a tachometer…..

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