An interesting car....purchased it from a fella who told me he had purchases it from a neighbor, owned it for three years and 'had gone over it thoroughly.' No completely sure of what he meant but when queried, he told me it has recently had a top end rebuild.
So, back at the shop, did a compression test....185 psi in every cylinder. And went for a drive, 65 psi oil pressure when warm, zero smoke cold or hot.....brakes were perfect, steering far better than most, excellent ride, quiet exhaust, all gauges working, noticed an all new interior. And then back to the showroom, went over the exterior with a magnet, around the headlights, rockers, front and rear quarters, doglegs, found no sign of plastic filler. All in all, a fabulous MGA.
Top looked fine, side curtains fairly new, even has the side curtain bag. Trunk is spotless, zero rust, engine bay detailing is so-so but, when we have time, might very well transform the engine bay to match the rest of the car.
Oh....a surprise. A very rare 1622cc engine.........while an extra 22cc might not seem lot much, the 1622 had the highest compression of any MG pushrod engine....8.9:1. And at a rating of 89hp is just a hair below an 1798cc MGB engine. Truth is, the engine is worth a lot, especially to a Mk II owner with the wrong engine.
Stand on the accelerator and this car fells like a perfect running early 98hp MGB. For an MGA, it flies. You can literally 'feel' the higher compression and high lift cam. I must say, it was a surprise as we have sold a lot of MGB powered MGAs and this car felt livelier.
Minor details include a Mallory distributor, oil cooler, new correct air cleaners, a Mk II Master cylinder (with a bigger fluid reservoir), wheels appear to be nearly new, and other than relatively minor engine bay detailing, would be welcome at most shows. As photos show, paint is excellent with a 'mirror image' and 'laser straight across the fender tops and sides.
Chrome is very nice, wiring doesn't look that old, everything works, had an excellent tonneau cover, for the proverbial drive in the countryside, hard to beat a nice MGA. Has disc brakes, ample power, the 1600c had a higher geared back axle than the earlier MGAs (4.1 versus 4.3), and it motors down the highway at 70 or 80 mph quite nicely with a top speed of around 100 mph.
What else? Well, say the word (and pay the price) and we can convert this car to a modern 5 sped transmission. Or take the painted wire wheels in part trade for a set of chrome wire wheels. Want more of a contrast in the interior? We can dye it (using a wonderful dye process we have) to sand, beige, Palomino, whatever. All in all, as it is....a wonderful MGA.