paul HalfDork
2/28/13 4:36 p.m.

Hey guys,

My father owned a MGA when he was in his 30's, and he's looking to get another one 30+yrs later. He's in FL, but has me looking at a few in my area (NY).

This one in particular:

I'm in my mid 30's, and have a fairly solid knowledge of cars in general, but I'm completely unfamiliar with old MG's.

Anything in particular to look for, or ask?...

Thanks in advance!

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/28/13 4:46 p.m.

I don't know MGAs very well, but is there something funky between the bottom of the front fender and the rocker panels on both sides?

singleslammer GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/28/13 6:16 p.m.

In reply to Woody:

I see it too. One side looks a lot like a mismatch in paint but the other side looks like the pinch weld has come loose and dropped away from the body.

oldtin UltraDork
2/28/13 6:21 p.m.

That's right in the area they call the F-support - basically the A/B pillars - door supports. Bad juju if it's out of sorts. For 12k I'd rather see a scruffy straight one than a shiny one with odd panel gaps/placement. My gut says run if you don't want a major project.

Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette SuperDork
2/28/13 7:41 p.m.

Offer 10 thousand and let him drive the stink out of it

tr8todd Reader
3/1/13 7:31 a.m.

Robust MGA community on this forum.

cdowd Reader
3/1/13 7:54 a.m.

I bought a 1956 MGA back when i was 18. I still need to finish it. In looking through the resto pictures that car was pretty crusty. You also need to look in the rear of the cockpit for frame rust. The cars will hold water there and rust through. It does look like it has had the door pillars repaired but it is hard to tell how well. Moss motors sell the piece complete (which I did to mine) which seems like it would have been better. It looks like a fun driver if you don't have a desire to make it perfect.


Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
3/1/13 8:49 a.m.

Be sure to check out NAMGAR which is the North American MGA registry. Their website is here:

As far as prices go, $30,000 buys you a really nice example, think one of the best non twin cam examples. I have seen quite a few nice drivers in the 15k range recently. You need to search all over. This is a difficult car to find locally usually and worth a road trip to see the right one. Here are a few I found just now,I have sen none of these just a sampling for a quick search I just did:

racerdave600 Dork
3/1/13 9:16 a.m.

I'm usually not big on white cars, but for some reason, I love the white one with the tan interior. All of you have to quit finding cars so close to me!

paul HalfDork
3/3/13 8:53 a.m.

Thank for the info guys!

geckowraps New Reader
3/3/13 11:08 p.m.

Thanks for sharing it. Very help for me.

3/4/13 10:13 a.m.

The car is not totally useless. It can be used as an example of everything that is wrong with an MGA.

Seriously, that car has a "Stank" all over it. Not a single thing I can say is right. I can, unfortunately, see how an owner could be into it for a lot of money if he paid someone to bring it to that state.

If you want to learn about the Marque, then you should check out the MGExperience forum posted above. Very nice crowd. The cars really are simple and a perfect choice for the DIY hobbyist. MGB guys will be right at home working on these cars. I still think they are one of the prettiest classics out there.

wspohn Reader
3/4/13 10:27 a.m.

I'm a big fan of MGAs - have owned many and still own 3 of them.

That one looks like it has had a fair bit of work done, but those fender misalignments woory me a bit. If you could get it into a body shop on a lift to see why it is like that and what it would take to fix it, you might find it is either a horror story or good buy.

In general, I'd look for a 1600 or 1600 Mk 2 out of preference. They have disc brakes and more poke than the old 1500 gave.

Apis_Mellifera Reader
3/5/13 7:10 a.m.

I have a number of MGAs. I wouldn't even offer 10K for the red car. It has a number of red flags including: sills, fenders, interior, dash, over spray, and most importantly the VIN plate has been swapped. The original color wasn't red, it was black, and for a "body off" restoration the sheet metal under the hood should match the exterior, which would require the VIN plate to be removed. This car has had the VIN plate removed, yet the area under it is dirty and unpainted. The VIN donor was painted white. Also, the 15GD engine was discontinued by car 61000 or something. This is car 65443. To me, this car would be in the 5-7K range.

Problem areas on MGAs are the sills and frame behind them, the sheet metal along the body/fender joint, and the lower edges of the fenders. Also check for accident damage behind the grill and in the trunk. If you find a 1500 (55-59), they can easily be upgraded to later disc brakes.

mgaguru will answer every question you will have.

paul HalfDork
3/6/13 6:59 p.m.

Much thanks guys!

I'm forwarding all this info to my father...

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