2019 Shannons Melbourne Spring Classic Auction
Lot
21

1959 MG A Twin Cam 1600 Fixed Head Coupe

$65,000 - $75,000

Specifications

Engine 1588cc four-cylinder
Gearbox Four-Speed Manual
Engine No. 16GBU1343
Chassis No. YM2/2463
Body Work Coupe
Colour Red
Interior Red
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Steel
Brakes Disc/Disc

Vehicle Report

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Description

Representing a complete break with tradition, MG replaced the stubbornly old-fashioned T-series with a beautifully streamlined and thoroughly modern sports car in 1955, the first new model built since the merger of the Nuffield outfit with Austin. The MGA brought a new generation of fans to the marque and was soon selling in large numbers on both sides of the Atlantic, initially in 1500 guise and later with a 1.6-litre version of the robust B-Series engine. To further enhance the performance of the model, MG developed a twin-overhead camshaft engine for the MGA and the new variant appeared in July 1958, complete with Dunlop disc brakes all round and Dunlop centre-lock disc wheels similar to those found on the Jaguar’s D-type racing car. The Twin Cam had a new Harry Weslake-designed alloy cross-flow cylinder head to improve breathing, bigger SU carburettors and developed a healthy 108bhp at 6700rpm, significantly enhancing both acceleration and top speed over the pushrod version. Top speed rose to a genuine 110mph but the high price and issues regarding reliability, (the Twin Cam earned a reputation for burning pistons, something modern specialists have all but cured) meant this most exotic MG of the 1950s found few buyers. The MGA could be found competing at every level of motor sport, from dusty tracks in far-flung colonies like Australia and Africa, to punishing international endurance races and Ted Lund and Colin Escott proved the Twin Cams’ worth by winning the 2-litre class at Le Mans in 1960. The MGA Twin Cam is something of a rarity, with the production of just 1801 open cars and only 310 coupes (as here) accounting for a tiny fraction of total MGA production, so surviving examples are highly prized, not only for their rarity but gutsy performance and stronger brakes.
 

History

  • Extremely rare MGA Twin Cam Coupe
  • Only 310 Twin Cam Coupes built
  • Ready for further improvements
In the world of MGs this car is a genuine rarity. Twin Cam versions of the MGA are rare enough with just 1,788 roadsters built but Coupe versions are like hen’s teeth, just 310 were produced. This example was originally delivered new to America and then went to New Zealand, before arriving here. An older restoration, it is now ready for a further refresh, to reflect its rarity and value. Finished in bright red, the exterior finish is showing patina commensurate with age, but it’s all there and would easily be brought back to life. The red vinyl interior is in good condition and is complete. There’s a period Motorola radio which is a nice touch. Importantly the Twin Cam’s signature silver painted Dunlop centre lock steel wheels are intact and in good shape. It comes with an original super-rare Twin Cam owner’s manual and other books. Arguably the most collectible of the post T-series MGs, this MGA Twin Cam Coupe is an exceptionally rare car that would be the pinnacle of any MG collection or a valuable prize for any enthusiast or restorer. It is being offered for sale unregistered.
 

Note: Shannons advise that all potential buyers research all vehicles before purchase to authenticate originality.

 

Inspection Times

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Monday to Friday

8.00am - 6.00pm

Saturday

9.00am - 4.00pm

Main Viewing Weekend

Saturday 21 September

9.00am - 4.00pm

Sunday 22 September

10.00am - 4.00pm

Auction

Monday 23 September

7.00pm
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