MGA 1600

This MGA has trav­elled from the States and car­ried a few cos­metic nig­gles with it – but it still of­fers a lot of Abing­don fun

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - David Simis­ter

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

The B-Se­ries fires up with­out any hes­i­ta­tion and has a smooth con­sis­tent power de­liv­ery with­out any mis­fir­ing. Both the four-speed man­ual gear­box and the clutch are light and easy to use, en­gag­ing smoothly with­out any crunch­ing or re­luc­tance. There’s no squeal­ing or jud­der­ing from the brakes, which don’t pull to ei­ther side. There’s also no un­to­ward vague­ness or play in the steer­ing sys­tem. It feels like a car that’s been well looked af­ter – this is reaf­firmed by the sus­pen­sion, which is free of any knocks or rat­tles.

BODYWORK CHECK

There are a cou­ple of trim nig­gles to iron out, par­tic­u­larly the MGA vent on the off­side that’s miss­ing one of its three bars, an MG badge on the bootlid that could ben­e­fit from straight­en­ing and a se­ries of scratches across the rear bumper chrome. There’s also some mi­nor pit­ting on the off­side in­di­ca­tor bezel, but the chrome­work at the front, par­tic­u­larly the ra­di­a­tor grille, is in good con­di­tion. The Old English White paint­work has a smooth, even fin­ish through­out with no blem­ishes or bub­bling, and the sills, whee­larches and wind­screen sur­rounds have re­sisted cor­ro­sion in the car’s for­mer home of Ver­mont. There are some mi­nor chips on the painted 15in wire wheels – par­tic­u­larly the near­side front one – and the tyres ap­pear to have hard­ened with age.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

While the glass on the rev counter has hazed a lit­tle with age, this is gen­er­ally a cabin that’s shrugged off its six decades State­side. The door cards are free of any rips or scuffs, the cords for the doors work cor­rectly and the side-screens of­fered with the car are in good con­di­tion. Both the car­pets and the seat vinyl are in good con­di­tion, with no un­sightly mark­ings or rips. The dash­board’s good too, with no scuffs or cracks.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

While some of the com­po­nents are a lit­tle grubby, there are no fluid leaks, cracked pipes or signs the B-Se­ries has over­heated in the past. There’s no sign of rot on the in­ner wings or the bulk­head, and the ra­di­a­tor and electrics ap­pear to be in good con­di­tion. Sadly very lit­tle of the ser­vice his­tory made it across the At­lantic with the car so it’s dif­fi­cult to vouch for how well it’s been looked af­ter, but its cur­rent me­chan­i­cal con­di­tion shouldn’t spark any wor­ries.

OUR VER­DICT

While there are still a few things to sort out cos­met­i­cally and the left-hand-drive won’t suit ev­ery­one this is a fun­da­men­tally sound MGA. If you iron out the im­per­fec­tions you could do a lot worse than this.

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