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Lot 432A: MG A Convertible

Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia, Bonhams (3 June 2012)

"Throughout its history, the policy of the MG company has been to compete with cars developed from their standard production models, and the 1955 Le Mans car, designated EX 182, is a further example of this policy," reported Autocar in its June 3rd edition of 1955. Just three months later the respected British motoring magazine was able to reveal that the policy had indeed born fruit: "From these Le Mans cars, known as the type EX 182, has been developed the production series MGA. It is apparent that the experiment of Le Mans was considered successful, as the car shows no basic changes from those which took part in the race, but detail modifications have been made for normal road use." In fact, by the time Le Mans came around the design of what would be known as the MGA had effectively been finalized, the race itself being little more than a useful opportunity to check that everything was as it should be. Conceived as replacement for the traditional T-Series MGs, the MGA combined a rigid chassis with the Austin-designed, 1,489cc B-Series engine that had first appeared in the ZA Magnette. Initially this engine produced 68bhp at 5,500rpm, although this was later raised to 72bhp at the same revs to further improve performance. Running gear was based on that of the TF, with independent front suspension and a live rear axle, but as far as its road manners were concerned, the far superior MGA was in an entirely different league. Clad in a stylish aerodynamic body and capable of topping 95mph, the MGA proved an instant hit, selling 13,000 units in its first full year of production. The MGA offered here spent the majority of its life in California prior to coming East a few years ago. A complete frame-off, nut and bolt restoration of the car done by noted Southern California based British motorcar restorer Kurt Tanner was finished in late-2010. The original 1,489cc motor was rebuilt, bored to 1,800cc, and fitted with 5 main bearings to give the car a bit more tractability. A taller rear axel and MGB gearbox were also installed for better freeway cruising. All of the work carried out was carefully photo documented. Driven little since its restoration, it is now ready to go to its next keeper. Showing beautifully in Iris Blue over black hides, it is carefully detailed inside and out. One of the quintessential British roadsters of the '50s, there are few better machines with which to get the wind in your hair!

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Greenwich, Connecticut
Lot Number432A
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$47500
Hammer Price (inc premium)$55575
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis numberHDL4330150
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors