Classic 1959 MG MGA Review Feb 22, 2017 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

If you love classic cars, then you will want to take a closer look at the 1959 MG MGA. The MGA was offered as a Coupe or Roadster in a pioneering new style for the company. MG produced approximately 103,100 of these popular sports cars from 1955 to 1962, and most were sold overseas.



The MGA showed numerous changes from the preceding T-type Midgets that still looked like a vintage automobile from before the Second World War. The new design was inspired by the streamlined body created by Syd Enever, an MG designer, for the TD Le Mans car of George Philips. For the production version the automaker created a new chassis that had side members sitting further apart and body-on-frame panels. The floor was also connected to the bottom instead of the top portion of the frame. The result was a contoured and aerodynamic style and a trim shape. Because this model was very different from previous MGs, it was known as the MGA: the first of the new line.


Marc Volgers / Classic Car Garage

The powertrain was a twin-carburetor B-series engine coupled to a four-speed gearbox, rack and pinion steering, independent front wishbone suspension, and a rigid rear axle equipped with semi-elliptical springs. Early on, the MG MGA ran on a 1489cc four-cylinder B-Series OHV engine that had 68bhp. In May of 1959, the automaker upgraded the lineup with a 1588cc version. This means you may be able to find a 1959 MGA 1500 or a 1959 1600 model with the corresponding powertrain. That same year is when the Lockheed front discs appeared. The powertrains that came standard had more than enough performance, but some owners of the day would have preferred more, and MG released a temperamental twin-cam edition that had a top speed of over 110 miles per hour. (The problematic engine and limited production numbers make it near impossible to find this model today, however.) The MGA 1500 went from zero to 60 mph in 15 seconds while the 1600 shaved 1.7 seconds from the acceleration. The Coupe had 72 bhp and 80 pound-feet of torque while the Roadster had 68 bhp and 77 pound-feet. This variation in output led to the MGA Coupe reaching 100 mph while the Roadster only reached 98 mph.


Art Value

Unfortunately for those interested in owning their own classic 1959 MG MGA, you will have to look long and to find one. Despite the high production numbers, there are not many of these vehicles left, and since people are very interested, prices are high. To make it even more expensive, the engine’s design makes it more expensive to restore. For some buyers, this just increases the car’s desirability. 

Test Drive

Most of us aren't on the market for a tricksome and expensive collector's car, but we can all enjoy a test drive from Super Car Classics. Listen to the determined growl of the barky little four-cylinder. More importantly, take a lingering look at the curves and classy lines of this classic roadster. The MGA was never the fastest roadster of its day, but it had style and a polished interior fit for the winding country roads of England, complete with scarf and goggles.


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