The story of the MGA sarts with an MG TD special chassis #EX172 registration UMG400 which despite it’s works experimental chassis number was built for privateer George Philips to race at Le Mans in 1951, the car featured a low slung body desgined by Syd Evener, the body was so low that a special wide chassis had to be built to accommodate the driver between the chassis rails rather than above them as had been the case with all of the MG T series cars.
#EX172 was a public relations success, though it only lasted three hours of the 24 hour race for which it was designed. Due to the rationalisation going on in the British Motor Corporation, a conglomerate which MG became a part of in 1952, MGA production was stalled for two years while resources were put into launching the Austin Healey 100/4.
The MGA finally came to market in 1955 fitted with a 58 hp motor, in 1958 a 108 hp twin cam version became available which had to be detuned to 100hp after problems manifested themselves with the high compression motor.
The 1600 MGA was launched in 1959 with a 78 hp version of the BMC ‘B’ motor, disc brakes on the front. One of these £940 models was tested with a rest to 60 mph time of 13.3 seconds, top speed of 96 mph and 29.7 mpg (imperial).
This 1960 model is one of 31,501 manufactured between 1959 and 1960. Elvis Presley fans may recognise this car as similar to the one used in the film Blue Hawaii in which he sings the Weisman and Wise number ‘Almost Always True‘.
Thanks for joining me on this ‘Almost Always True’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again, tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !