1960 MGA 1600 Roadster
Chassis no. GHNL81501
* 1,489cc in-line four-cylinder
* 4-speed manual transmission
* Improved 1600 model with front disc brakes
* Affordable British sports car
* Nicely restored example
Although the EX182 prototype debuted at Le Mans in 1955, by the time the actual race came around the design of what would be known as the MGA had effectively been finalized, the event itself being little more than a useful opportunity to check that everything was as it should be. Replacing the traditional T-Series MGs, the MGA combined a rigid chassis with the Austin-designed, 1,489cc B-Series engine. Initially the latter produced 68bhp at 5,500rpm, although this was later raised to 72bhp at the same revs to further improve performance. Running gear was based on that of the TF, with independent front suspension and a live rear axle, but as far as its road manners were concerned, the far superior MGA was in an entirely different league. Clad in a stylish aerodynamic body and capable of topping 95mph, the MGA proved an instant hit, selling 13,000 units in its first full year of production.
After the disappointments of the Twin Cam model, engine enlargement was seen as the way forward. The result was a capacity increase from 1,489cc to 1,588cc that raised maximum power to 79.5bhp and boosted torque by 17 percent. Acceleration was improved and the MGA in 1600 form was now a true 100mph-plus car. To cope with the extra performance, disc front brakes were adopted and the suspension up-rated. The more-refined coupe version, with wind-up windows and lockable doors, continued as before while the roadster now came with sliding side windows.
A finely restored example of the desirable 1600 model, we are advised by the vendor this California car underwent considerable refurbishment in 2009-2010. The motor has been rebuilt with new pistons, the body repainted in red with contrasting black leather upholstery piped in red. A period-style wood-rim steering wheel is an appropriate touch. The new black Moss hood fits well and all chrome, including the bumpers and grille, was professionally re-plated. New tires were fitted to the original MGA disc wheels. A superb example of this charismatic 1950s British sports car, great fun to drive and ideal for a weekend run on country roads.
- Please note that the engine number for this vehicle is 16GAU8512.