Upon its debut in 1955, the sleek, envelope-bodied MGA shocked many die-hard MG enthusiasts to the core with its sleek, modern design and new BMC B-series engine that was already powering the Magnette saloon, and watchful MG fans had received a tantalizing foretaste of the new car as early as 1951 when George Phillips raced a rebodied TD at that year’s running of the 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, although 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 so far as building a full prototype of the MGA using TD running gear, a 1,250-cc XPAG engine, redesigned chassis, and new bodywork. By 1955, as it became self-evident that the aging TF would finally need a replacement for MG to stay competitive in the crowded sports car market of the time, the new model, designated ‘MGA’, was developed for production and introduced for sale to the public, while three aluminum-bodied MGA prototypes were entered into the 1955 running of the 24-Hours of Le Mans that were quite successful, finishing fifth and sixth in class, giving the new MG an instant competition pedigree.
MGA sales were quite successful where it counted most - in America - with many destined for sunny states like California, Texas, and Florida. This one is a later-production 1960 model with single-family California ownership from new, and the current owner’s father purchased it new. It’s being offered in very nice condition sporting a 20-year-old restoration by a marque specialist, and more recently it’s received $3k+ in mechanical work completed by British car specialist Mel's in San Marcos, California, including a rebuild of the twin SU carbs, installation of new spark plugs and wires, and the brakes were gone through, ensuring the car fires right up, drives great, and stops when you need it to. According to the seller, the 84,600 miles on the odometer are original and documented by records dating back to when the car was new. Retaining the original color combination of Old English White with black upholstery, the MGA retains its matching numbers 1,588cc 4-cylinder engine and 4-speed manual gearbox, and it’s equipped with front disc brakes. Finished off with a black convertible top and tonneau cover, it also includes the original owner’s manuals and books.
This 1960 MGA seems to have it all – single-family use and care, a professional restoration, and recent service, plus documentation from new, making it an uncommon find for sure. The more exotic Twin Cam commands higher prices across the condition scale, but there’s something indescribable about the less exotic 1600 cars that overcomes the very slight performance advantage of the DOHC version. Similarly, the rare and more valuable MGA Coupe doesn’t seem to maintain the winning style of the rakish Roadster in our opinion. Hagerty’s current price guide values the 1960 MGA 1600 MkI Roadster at $16,800 for a good #3 car, and $30,300 for an excellent #2 example – affordable price points for someone in the classic sports car market – and our subject fittingly sits a bit below #2 money. It feels like a great “no stories” example with lots of life left, making it fair market in our opinion. Let’s hope it finds an equally loving new owner!