MGA 1600 Roadster
While there’s little history with this repatriated left-hand drive USA MGA, it’s been restored and obviously well looked after
What’s it like TO drive?
The MGA fires into life easily enough at the press of the starter, although throughout our test drive, we had to keep the choke out a bit to keep the car idling properly when not underway. However, the car will be fully serviced before sale. Temperature and oil pressure remained at good levels (160 to 190 degrees for the water, 60-80lb sq for the oil). The engine is willing, with just the sort of rorty and sporty exhaust note you’d expect from an MG of this calibre. The gearbox feels a little tight – perhaps through lack of use following restoration? – with reverse elusive until you’re used to finding it. No overdrive is fitted. The steering is sharp and responsive, as are the brakes. The handbrake was a little sticky though.
While Dove Grey is not the most exciting shade, it works well here, thanks to the contrasting red seam piping. The grey extends underneath the car, rather than undersealing being applied. It’s nice to see original steel wheels rather than the more usual wires. They’re clad in Vredestein 165 SR15 86Q Snow Plus tyres. The bodywork is excellent throughout – the only real imperfections are slightly thin paint on the leading edge of the driver’s door and some small scratches around the hood/tonneau cover mounting pins. The chromework is also in wonderful order. A nitpicker might want to replace the slightly bent front numberplate though. And get the speedometer working.
HOW’s the interior?
With the standard huge steering wheel fitted, it’s a little tight squeezing into the scarlet leather cockpit. Which is, frankly, lovely, even down to the original Jaeger instruments with their slight patina. There’s no real wear anywhere else though. Aside from a loose-fitting driver’s side carpet and no radio (either modern or period), the interior is a very fine place to occupy.
Under the Bonnet
The engine bay is little short of immaculate, with no corrosion (even around that usual prime suspect, the brake master cylinder) and hardly a hint of grime. In fact, the only wear we could find was to the commissioning plate adjacent to the heater. All fluids were at the levels they should be, and looked healthy.
What history there is – which isn’t much – shows that this car returned to the UK from San Diego in ‘dry state’ California around 2012. Its time abroad has obviously been kind to it, though, and it’s a very good example of its type, in top condition.