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Lot 210: MG A Twin Cam Roadster

Goodwood Festival of Speed, Bonhams (29 June 2012)

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. Running gear was based on that of the TF, with independent coil-sprung wishbone front suspension and a live rear axle. Clad in a curvaceous aerodynamic body and capable of topping 95mph, the MGA proved an instant hit, selling 13,000 units in its first full year of production. Immensely popular though it was, the MGA faced stiff competition from the larger-engined Triumph TR3 and Austin-Healey 100/6. Coaxing more power from the standard engine was becoming increasingly difficult, so development concentrated on a twin-overhead-camshaft cylinder head for the B-Series block. Conceived at Cowley by BMC engineer Gerald Palmer and introduced in 1958, the new 1,588cc engine did not disappoint, producing an impressive 108bhp at 6,700rpm. Considerably faster than the stock MGA, the Twin Cam could comfortably exceed 110mph, and to cope with the increased performance Dunlop disc brakes were fitted all round and Dunlop centre-lock wheels adopted. A high price discouraged sales however, and the model was dropped after just two years. Production totalled 2,111 cars, a mere 360 of which were sold on the home market, and today the Twin Cam is one of the most sought-after of post-war MG sports cars. This particular Twin Cam was shipped new to Canada where it has spent most of its life. The car was kept for 23 years by one owner who in 1982 treated it to a 'body off' restoration and only covered around 1,200 miles. Unfortunately the car was left in a heated garage under a tarpaulin, which marked the paint. In 2003 the MG was sold to a gentleman in Washington who in 2005 took the entire car apart but left the body on the chassis as there was no need to remove it. The car was then repainted again in its original colour of Ash Green and everything returned to correct Twin Cam specification, including the wood-rim steering wheel. All the interior trim was replaced, including the carpets (woollen) and seats (grey leather). The engine was professionally rebuilt at the same time, when work included porting and polishing the cylinder head, modifying the combustion chambers and fitting larger valves, releasing some additional horsepower. A rolled front valance has been fitted and the rear bumper removed, giving the car a streamlined look similar to that of racing Twin Cams of the era. Everything was either replaced or rebuilt and the MG has covered only some 1,400 miles since the rebuild. Imported earlier this year, with all duties paid, '591 VUG' is described as in generally very good condition and gets much attention wherever it goes. The car is offered with MoT/tax to January 2013 and Swansea V5C registration document. An exciting opportunity to own a rare and desirable MG sports car, very few of which remain in this condition.

Lot Details
Auction Goodwood Festival of Speed
Bonhams, Chichester, Goodwood,UK
Lot Number210
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating1
Registration number591 VUG
Chassis numberYD 3/792
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2