2021 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
1960 MGA 1600 Mk1 Roadster
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 1622cc|
This lot is no longer available
Bringing the Abingdon Company into the modern era when launched in 1955, the ‘A’ was the first of a new breed of MG sports cars. Gone was the traditional upright styling of the previous T-series, replaced with sleekly streamlined bodywork derived from a series of racing prototypes. The MGA was initially powered by a 1489cc version of the B-series engine mated to a four-speed gearbox, combined with a chassis that offered predictable, sure-footed handling. The new model met with great enthusiasm from the public and motoring press alike and proved equally successful in competition, performing well in various rallies and circuit races around the world. MG released an updated 1600 model in 1959, featuring a larger 1588cc engine and Lockheed disc brakes up front, plus minor changes to the body and rigid-framed side screens with sliding windows. This was followed up just two years later with the facelifted Mark II, the engine capacity further raised to 1622cc. Arguably the best of the pushrod MGAs, the Mark II’s engine developed 86 horsepower at 5500 rpm, with usefully more torque. The Mark II also benefited from a higher final-drive ratio that made the car considerably more relaxed to drive at speed. Readily identifiable thanks to the revised grille, recessed with almost vertical slats, the revamped model also featured new tail lights plus other minor trim changes, including seat-belt mounts. The Mark II MGA was again sold in both roadster and fixed-head variants and - with only 8,719 built before the new ‘B’ arrived - remains a rarity, this figure accounting for approximately ten per cent of the total MGA production. The MGA offers a fabulous blend of 1950s styling, seat of the pants driving and reliable underpinnings, with the rarer Mark II version eagerly sought after by enthusiasts today. Anyone who has driven one of these fabulous little cars on a twisty country road will appreciate just how much fun the traditional British sports car can be, even now over half a century on.