Model: "A" 1600
Engine: 1,588cc inline 4 cyl.
Trans: 4 sp. manual
Location: Bozeman, MT
Shipping: Yes, buyer's expense
Revo Summary: A running/driving project car put back on the road through the efforts of an MG enthusiast; A blank canvas awaiting the next owners touch.
A Brief Explanation of Revolving Garage Listings: The following listing has been assembled by Revolving Garage at the request of the selling owner. The owner chose Revolving Garage to put together a higher quality, more informative and more transparent listing than can be found at traditional listing sites. The Revo Listing gives enthusiast buyers the information they need to make an informed purchase.
If you have any questions, like what you see, or want to make an offer, contact Revolving Garage at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will put you in direct contact with the owner. All information and transactions will take place directly between the seller and prospective buyer. There are no additional fees to buyers, no middle man, and no catch. You are looking at a For Sale By Owner Listing, in an enhanced format. Thanks for looking, and enjoy!
- The Revolving Garage Team
If the essence of the British roadster is motoring harmony, then the MGA 1600 is its embodiment. The light curb weight is in balance with the modest power; the elegant lines of the bodywork serve purposeful ends; and any feature not dedicated to driving enjoyment is relegated to an afterthought. For example, take a close look at the doors. Nope, no handles. Only a small cable pull tucked into the door card, on the inside. Door handles were probably extraneous to the designers because they didn’t make driving better. This is balanced design: purposeful, cost effective, and simple weight savings that also makes for a clean and elegant aesthetic. And while the design team famously doted on the bodywork on the MGA, the soft top looks like it got less attention than a fifth child after twins. Why? Well, driving is more fun with the top off.
In illustrative contrast, when Americans caught a hold of the British roadster they added cylinders, bored out displacement, flared the fenders, and generally traded small but sonorous motors for fire breathing dragons. The lithe and balanced momentum machines were converted into widow making tire shredders. As enthusiasts we’re glad for the extremes of the 427 Cobra, Sunbeam Tiger, and Bristol Fighter (remember that one, with the Viper V10 stuffed in front like an overfilled sausage?). But while those examples exist on the poles of automotive design, the classic British roadster exemplifies the middle ground, or more accurately put, motoring harmony.
If you are a fan of the British roadster and looking for an excellent starting point for your next project, this may be the offering for you. However, if you’re looking for a turn-key car for a class win at the next Concours, this little MGA may leave you a point or two shy of the mark (that was an example of British restraint, by the way). The roadster for sale here is a 1960 MGA 1600 Mark I, and is presently in running order and road legal. With attention to just a few outstanding needs, this car can be used and enjoyed for years to come. It could also serve as a platform for any level of restoration you desire. Read on for a careful description of both the work performed by the Seller and its known needs.
This MGA was rescued by the Seller from the depths of a midwestern barn about 2 years ago. Prior to its recent acquisition, the car was last driven around 1984 (judging by the Kansas plates). It was left in agrarian purgatory by the prior owner, a college student who apparently traded garage space for his own labor. After a short time he left school and abandoned the car where it remained unused in storage for nearly 35 years. The Seller is a dyed-in-the-wool MG enthusiast. He has fully restored an MG TD, and is currently working on both an earlier MGA, and the TD. And he has a Union Jack neckerchief.
After discovering and purchasing this car he trailered it back to Montana, where it currently resides. He has gone through the proper channels in both Kansas and Montana to determine that there was no record of the prior owner (including a paid search through the Kansas motor vehicle department). The car was then eligible to be titled in Montana having been declared an abandoned vehicle. It now carries a clean, unencumbered Montana title in the current owner’s name. All paperwork available detailing the titling process will be provided to the next owner. It also carries a current Montana registration with insurance, and is road legal.
The MG Heritage Certificate, which will convey with the car, shows that it was originally painted in Iris Blue, with black leather, and a blue top. Remnants of the Iris Blue paint can also be seen in the trunk and the door sills. The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust certificate also details the options on delivery. It has been reupholstered in brown leatherette, and the upholstery was done in the coupe style (horizontal trim). It was a left hand drive North American market car. It is #97749 out of about 104,000 MGA 1600s made world wide, meaning it came very near the tail end of production, likely a September build, with the last 1600s rolling off the line in March of the following year. It is not known whether the engine and transmission are original. It has the appropriate engine, carbs (twin SUs), and transmission for a 1960 MGA 1600, and while they appear to be original, their exact history is not known to the seller. The matching number plate on the engine was an addition by the current owner. Evidence suggests that the car was restored by a prior owner sometime in the 1970s.
In addition to sorting out proper titling and registration the seller has brought the car up to running condition. A detailed list of work performed is below, and the seller would gladly answer any questions left unanswered. In short, the major mechanical systems have been gone through, fluids changed, broken parts rebuilt or replaced, and all brought into running order. The car still has needs that the next will owner want to address before regular use. They are listed below (to the extent known, other needs may exist). Body work was not undertaken by the seller.
The Seller has completed the following:
- Rebuilt carbs (twin SUs);
- Installed used dashboard (metal finish);
- New dash switches;
- New front calipers and rear cylinders;
- Rebuilt master cylinder;
- Flushed the old brake fluid and added fresh DOT 4;
- New clutch slave;
- Drain and refill of steering rack fluid;
- Refresh and refurbish of the electrical system;
- Added fuel filter (premium ethanol free);
- New parking brake cable;
- New tonneau cover;
- Installed used windscreen hardware;
- New windshield glass and rubber;
- New wipers with rebuilt wiper motor;
- Refreshed lighting with new:
- front parking lights;
- headlamp pots;
- brake lamps and wiring; and
- Rear turn signal lamps.
- New front and rear bumpers;
- Used hood installed;
- New seatbelts;
- Used replacement doors will convey with sale;
- Hub caps included.
The car has the following known needs:
- Body work (see photos);
- New tires (current tires have good tread but are well past expiration, 165/80B (biased ply))
- New water pump and radiator rebuild;
- New speedo cable;
- New seal(s) on transmission;
- Front shock rebuild or replacement; and
- New jack and lug wrench (spare is in trunk)
The motor has not been rebuilt by the seller. It runs and pulls well, but a rebuild with hardened valve seats (for unleaded fuel) should be a part of any future resotration.
A prior owner added the silver paint, reupholstered seats, MGB style harmonic balancer on the pulley, a custom manifold, and installed metal floorboards in lieu of the original wood.
There is excellent after market support for these cars. Any of the parts needed can be purchased directly from Moss Motors or through one of its distributors, as well as great marque sites like MGA Guru. A 330 page Workshop Manual in searchable .pdf form will also convey with the sale
The video below shows the car running and driving, and more than 100 photos are included in the gallery at the bottom.
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