1600 MGA Coupe ( 1959-1960 )

The MGA is a sports car, the MG division of BMC from 1955 to 1962 produced.


The MGA replaced the TF 1500 and represented a complete break with the form of his predecessor dar. The car was officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show 1955. Successor was in July 1962, the MGB. Until then, BMC 101,081 MGA had sold, most of them in the export. Only 5869 copies were in the UK. This is the highest export rate ( 94.2 %) of British cars. The MGA was produced mainly as a roadster, but also as a coupe. With all engine variants emerged total 9887 coupes, differing in addition to the coupé roof by changing doors with crank windows and external door openers of the roadsters. The rear window was divided into three parts.

The construction dates back to 1952 when the House of MG designer Syd Enever, a streamlined body for George Philips ' TD designed for Le Mans. The problem with this car was the high level of the driver, which was founded in the properties of TD- suspension seat position. We designed a new chassis with more widely spaced longitudinal members and a vehicle floor, which was fixed under the frame rails rather than on them. It was built a prototype and the Director of BMC, Leonard Lord presented. But Lord rejected the series production of this car, because he had just two weeks earlier signed a deal with Donald Healey to produce the Austin -Healey cars. However, declining sales of traditional MG vehicles resulted in a change of mind, and so did the design, originally called " series UA", again considered. Since they differed greatly from previous MG models, it was called " MGA ", that is, the car was the first car of a new series, as it represented a contemporary advertising. There were also instead of the old XPAG engine one of the new BMC B- series, which allowed a lower hood line.

The MGA was - like its predecessor - a construction with a separate frame and had the same engine of the BMC B- series as the MG Magnette, whose power was routed through a manual four-speed transmission to the rear wheels. Front of the car had independent suspension wishbones and coil springs and rear a suspended on semi-elliptic leaf springs, live axle. The rack and pinion steering was not power assisted. The MGA had either steel disc wheels or wire -spoke wheels.



The four- cylinder engine had a displacement of 1489 cc and developed first 68 bhp (50 kW), later 72 bhp (53 kW). All four wheels were, manufactured by Lockheed, provided with hydraulically operated drum brakes. In addition to the Roadster, there was also a coupe version, a total of 58,750 MGA were manufactured.

An early open car was tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1955 and had a top speed of 157 km / h and acceleration from 0-100 km / h in 16.0 seconds. The test consumption was 10.6 l/100 km.

Twin Cam

In 1958, the Twin Cam, a high-performance model with dual overhead camshafts ( DOHC ) and increased compression of initially 9.9: 1, later 8.3: 1 so tuned BMC B -Series engine produced 108 bhp (79 kW ) with the high compression and 100 bhp (74 kW ) with the low compression. The car had all four wheels Dunlop disc brakes and steel disc wheels from the same manufacturer, as they came to the racing Jaguars used. The Twin Cam did not exist with wire spoke wheels.

The spirited machine was known for the guarantee damage frequently occurring and sales throughout its production period were modest. Strangely enough, they found the reason after the end of production of this engine model and many restored Twin Cam running now more reliable than they ever did in their time. 1960 after only 2111 units produced, the Twin Cam was set. At best, these cars must be distinguished from its sister models with bumper engine to its disc wheels with central locking.

An open MGA Twin Cam was tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1958 and had a top speed of 181 km / h and acceleration from 0-100 km / h in 9.1 seconds. The test consumption was 10.2 l/100 km. The test car cost £ 1283 including taxes of £ 428

1600 and 1600 De Luxe

In May 1959, the standard versions also received a revised engine with a displacement of 1588 cc and an output of 78 bhp (57 kW). The cars had front disc brakes, rear drums remained. Created 31 501 copies in less than three years. From the outside, the car looks very similar to the 1500's; Differences are: orange or white (depending on country version ) indicators at the front, combined with white position lights, and turn signals separate Brems-/Rücklichter back and plaques with the inscription " 1600 " on the trunk lid and the sides of the vehicle.

It created a series of " 1600 De Luxe " models with leftover parts of the not -built Twin Cam, for example, the special wheels with central locking and the disc brakes on all four wheels. Even existing chassis were used. Thus arose 70 roadsters and 12 coupes.

An open 1600s has been tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1959. He reached a top speed of 154 km / h and acceleration from 0-100 km / h in 13.3 seconds. The test consumption was 9.5 l/100 km. The test car cost £ 940 including tax of £ 277

Mark II and Mark II De Luxe

In 1961 the MGA Mark II with 1622 cm ³ engine capacity enlarged engine ( bore 76.2 mm instead of 75.4 mm). He also had a longer gear rear axle ( 4: 1), which allowed a more relaxed driving at higher speeds. The optical changes were limited to a front grille insert and the rear lights of the Morris Mini, which were installed horizontally below the trunk lid. 8198 Mark II Roadster and 521 Mark II coupe emerged.

As in 1600, there was also the Mark II De Luxe versions. Of these, 290 originated roadster and coupe 23.

Racing history

The body of the MGA is largely based on who had the work in 1951 specifically made ​​for the MG TD of the privateer George Philips for the 24- hour race at Le Mans. Later new chassis came about so that the driver could sit lower. This chassis was even more aerodynamic body, from which the prototype EX was 175.

The MG prototype later EX 182, who took at Le Mans in 1955 corresponded, already largely the production model of the MGA. For this race three MGA prototypes were reported. Two of them were able to finish the race, on the 12th and 17th place, whereby the value of the new construction was proved. The third car had a serious accident in which the driver Dick Jacobs was seriously injured.

The MGA in the U.S. began to race often part since it was introduced there in 1955, and he had quite a success. In Competitions of the Sports Car Club of America MGA won several regional and national championships. Also in classic car race, he was often used. Kent Prather has been the most successful MGA driver with 6 victories in the USA SCCA -wide competitions 1986, 1990, 1995, 2002, 2003 and 2005, although his MGA often was the oldest reported vehicle under several hundred opposing competitor.

Appearances in film and television

  • Movie: Blue Hawaii (1961, Elvis Presley & Angela Lansbury ) Elvis sings from his red, open MGA 1600 Mk I Roadster out. This car is more often seen in the first half of the film, mostly in settings that seem suspicious as product placement. Elvis Presley liked the car so much that he bought himself, and after he had changed once or twice to the owner, he bought it again. Today, he is issued along with his Lincoln, Cadillac and Stutz at Graceland.
  • Television advertising for Kellogg 's Corn Flakes ( in the late 1970s ): A MGA drives over the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Film: I think ' Animal House (1978, John Belushi and Tim Matheson ): A yellow MGA Roadster.
  • Movie: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1968, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier ) has Spencer Tracy, the problems because his daughter with a colored doctor (Sidney Poitier ) has engaged, driving his Dodge in a driveway backwards on a black MGA on whose owner, also a man of color, is terribly upset about it.
  • Movie: Power of Love (1995, Julia Roberts & Robert Duvall ): Julia Roberts travels in a Suburban from her estate and is hunted by family members in a yellow MGA.


MGA Twin Cam Roadster ( 1961)

MGA 1600 Mark II Roadster ( 1961)