1961 MG A 1600 MKI white / white top
"It's A Gift!"
1961 MGA 1600 MkI Disc Brake Roadster
We should all be so lucky. Over 20 years ago, the MGA pictured here was just an unwanted stepchild. It entered its second owner's life as a gift. Actually, he had to take the car, sitting forlornly in the carport of a Hancock Park craftsman home he was about to acquire. "You want the house, you take the car!" Thus was the elderly Landlady's dictum.
Back then, in the early 1980s, it was far more cumbersome to restore a classic MG than it is now. Almost none of today's myriad reproduction parts existed.
Luckily, a few specialists here in Southern California always seemed to be able to magically procure the needed bits. Guys like the fondly remembered Bob Overacker or Mike Goodman.
The latter restored our man's MG mechanically, while George at Precision Autobody expertly prepped and painted the coachwork. An always happy Brazilian ex-patriate, North Hollywood's late "Rocky," stitched the beautiful interior.
After being rescued and restored--invoices totalling many thousands of Dollars confirm it--the MG lived a sheltered life. Its owner moved, first to Palm Springs, then to Calabasas. The car was always treasured and garaged, but hardly driven. A mere 5,943 miles accumulated on its odometer since the comprehensive refurbishing was completed; that's less than 250 miles per year, on average!
The MGA Mark One carried the beautiful envelope body of its predecessor, the 1500, with vastly improved mechanicals. Front disc brakes were made standard, and the enlarged 1600cc engine boosted power output by 10% (to 80hp). Displacement and horsepower put this little beauty squarely in Porsche 356 Super territory!
This example features a fully rebuilt, matching numbers engine, strong running, without any bad habits like smoking, drinking, or leaking.
A very desirable factory option is the set of painted wire wheels with chrome knock-offs. New-looking, expensive MICHELIN XVX radial high performance tires of the size 185HR15 offer vastly improved traction and handling over the original bias-ply units.
Being a Southern California car since birth, there were never any corrosion worries. The frame is straight and rust free, the wooden floorboards without rot. Body panels are original to the car, have never needed patching.
White convertible top, along with many other new parts, was purchased directly from Moss Motors in Goleta; it's in fine condition, without any rips or tears. The top frame is immaculate as well. A set of side curtains neatly stores in a stowage bag behind the seats.
Southern California offers late October temperatures in the 80s, so let's drop the top and check out the interior!
And a special interior it is, indeed.
First, you notice the dashboard. Yep, it's a real board, made from burled walnut wood. It's as expensive as it is beautiful!
Then, there's the MOTO LITA wood-and-alloy volant, harmoniously complementing wood dash, black bakelite knobs, and chrome-rimmed SMITHS gauges.
For musical entertainment, a nice BLAUPUNKT Frankfurt Stereo has been installed.
There are additional luxurious accoutrements, though:
Indulge yourself and your passenger with authentic WILTON wool carpeting and finest CONNOLLY hides, made from deliriously happy Scottish Highland bovines. The vat-dyed, oxblood-colored leather shows an enviable state of preservation. Its priceless aroma aids in fooling the senses to believe you're piloting a Jaguar XK-E, Aston, or Big Healey.
Almost done with our thorough inspection, there's one area left to scrutinize before we can finally take off on our most anticipated test drive around beautiful Santa Barbara: the trunk!
Perfectly rust free, and that's guaranteed, it contains a matching wire wheel with brand new MICHELIN tire, a copper hammer for the two-eared knock offs, MG"A" Owner's and Tuning Manuals, and even the original California black-and-yellow license plate the car carried before its thorough refurbishment, cementing this MG's pedigree of being a California resident since day one.
Ready for the test drive?
But, of course!
Beautiful to behold, a British roadster is all about being one with nature. Looking at it as a piece of immovable art would never compensate for the pure excitement of cruising around in it. It's like going back in time. Forty-two years . . . almost half a Century!
Fully sorted and freshly tuned, this MG"A" is a joy to drive. The transmission gears engage smoothly, without any noise. Brakes are excellent. On less-than-ideal road surfaces, there are no rattles or shimmies. Gauges and lights all work - thank you, LUCAS, o Prince of darkness!
Oil pressure is brilliant, and this is one "A" that does not overheat!
Returning home, we are enthralled with this exciting roadster's fine performance. Add to this the arrow-straight body featuring excellent door and hood gaps, wonderfully glossy olde english white paint on coachwork devoid of dings or dents, gleaming chrome throughout, and the desirable, sporting spoke wheels, and you have a sure-fire winner!
A milestone car and true British classic, the MG"A" Roadster, especially the disc-brake MKI model shown here, conveys the boundless joy of a bygone era. Amazingly, this joie de vivre is still present, somehow magically bottled up, deeply permeating this handsome Roadster's every ounce of being.
Are you ready for the experience?
From Twitter06/09/2013 - stephenrbenson - link
_MG_1961-20130525-01-2-20130525-01-B&W: stephen benson posted a photo: "**** No GMO"....
06/07/2013 - MikeTraudt - link
Newest project. 1961 MG A 1600
05/04/2013 - CollectionCar - link
1961 MG, A: MG A MGA 1600 MK1 Roadster 1961 Projectcar This is a very good car for restoration, MGA 1600 MK1...
04/08/2013 - BHCarClub - link
Gorgeous 1961 MGA 1600 Roadster
Laguna Beach, California, U.S.A.
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Posted: 27 Oct 2003
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