• Considered the first “modern” MG
• Desirable 1600 cc ‘Mk I’ example
• Sought-after coupe body and correct livery
• BMIHT certificate, extensive records, books, and accessories
1,588 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine, twin SU carburetors, 80 BHP at 5,600 rpm, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with wishbones and coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs; wheelbase: 94”
Upon the debut of MG’s new MGA Roadster in 1955, MG enthusiasts were greeted with a streamlined, modern body design and the up-to-date BMC B-series overhead-valve engine, which had already debuted in the MG Magnette saloon. While the new MGA may have shocked some MG purists upon introduction, marque enthusiasts had already received a tantalizing foretaste of the new car as early as 1951 when George Phillips raced a re-bodied TD at that year’s running of the demanding 24 Hours of Le Mans.
A road-going version of the Phillips car was proposed to BMC as early as 1952 as a replacement for the anachronistic but beloved MG TD, but it was rejected because of the corporation’s plans at the time to build the Austin-Healey 100 in collaboration with Donald Healey. MG had even gone as far as building a full prototype of the MGA by using TD running gear, a 1,250-cc XPAG engine, a redesigned chassis, and new bodywork. By 1955, it became self-evident that the aging TF would finally need to be replaced, and so the MGA was quickly developed for series-production and introduced.
Notably, even before the official launch of the MGA in 1955, three aluminum-bodied prototypes of the sports car were entered into the 24 Hours of Le Mans and were quite successful, finishing fifth and sixth in class on their competition debut. As a result, when the MGA was introduced for sale shortly afterwards, the car already possessed a solid racing pedigree, thereby ensuring its immediate acceptance among the MG faithful. Top BMC management initially rejected a production version, but subsequent approval was spurred by the obsolescence of the much-loved TD.
Writing in his definitive book "MG: the Magic of the Marque," Mike Allison succinctly described the impact of the modernistic MGA’s launch: “The whole car showed that MG had been modernized and improved out of all recognition when compared to previous sports models. It was as near perfect as one might expect from MG, where sports cars had been produced for the past fifty years. When it was announced in 1955, the press was eulogistic: enthusiastic comments were showered on the new car, and Abingdon entered a new phase.” During its production cycle, many updates were applied, including the addition of a sleek fixed-head coupe body style in 1956, the debut of the rare Twin-Cam model in 1959, and the uprated MGA 1600 by 1960. MGA production eventually ended in 1962 when it was succeeded by the logically named MGB. Today, MG enthusiasts rightly continue to celebrate the MGA and enjoy its many charms.
This rare MGA 1600 Mk I Coupe from 1960 is a wonderful example offered with a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust (BMIHT) certificate confirming its original data. It is also listed under Member #1402 in the North American MGA Register. Bearing Chassis Number HGHD-L/77155, the MGA was completed October 19-21, 1959 and dispatched from the factory on the 21st of October 1959 as an original left-hand drive, North American Export model equipped with modern disc-type wheels, whitewall tires, a heater, windscreen washers, and striking Iris Blue over black upholstery. This beautifully honest example clearly benefits from years of documented care and maintenance, as recorded in dossiers included with the sale of the car. A longtime Virginia-based car, this 1960 MGA Coupe has spent the last decade as part of a highly respected San Francisco-based automobile collection. It displays an aura of understated elegance with its striking color combination and retains a correct spare wheel/tire assembly, emergency equipment, and period map light. The MGA is further accompanied by a Driver’s Handbook and the aforementioned BMIHT certificate, plus a wealth of publications. Incredibly drivable and enjoyable, this important and engaging post-war sporting legend marks an ideal find and stands ready for driving enjoyment and many desirable classic events.
1960 MGA 1600 Mk I Coupe