It’s not very often that a closed coupe version of a sportscar actually looks as pleasing as its more glamorous open counterpart, however with the MGA Coupe this was definitely the case.
Derived from MG designer Syd Enever’s streamlined 1952 Le Mans car, the beautifully sleek and understated body was the equal of anything the Italians had to offer and even made Jaguar’s XK120 (to which it bore a passing resemblance) look lardy by comparison.
Of traditional body-on-frame design, the MGA had a notably rigid structure thanks to a triangulated bulkhead design allied to a massively stiff chassis. The 1,498cc B-Series engine initially produced 68bhp but was quickly upgraded to 72bhp and, according to a 1955 road test in ‘The Motor’, gave the car a top speed of 97.8mph with a 0-60 time of 16 seconds and a fuel consumption of 26.7mpg.
A standard model in the range from 1955, the Coupe was available throughout the model's lifetime in 1500, 1600, MkII and Twin-Cam forms. Mechanically identical to the open models, Coupe features included wind-up door windows, external door handles, locks and extra brightwork. With direct, vice-free rack-and-pinion steering, plus a great racing pedigree, it's no wonder that the MGA has acquired such a devoted fan club over the years.
Production finally came to an end in 1962 when it was replaced by the softer and rather less inspiring MGB. In total 101,081 MGAs of all types were sold, most in Roadster form and the vast majority to the booming US market with only 5,869 sold in the UK, the lowest percentage of any British car.
Dating from 1957, this gorgeous MGA Coupe 1500 spent most of its life in sunny California before returning to the UK in the early 1990s. On arrival it was treated to a total nut-and-bolt restoration and converted to RHD, documented by many photos on file, with the spectacular results you see today. Some 18 old MOTs back to 1993 show that the car has only covered around 9,000 miles since the restoration was completed.
A sheaf of invoices show meticulous maintenance over the past 24 years and the car still looks virtually as sharp now as it did then. Apart from the fitment of sparkling wire wheels and a Mota-Lita steering wheel, the car appears basically standard and the original steering wheel is also included in the sale along with a workshop manual, a parts book and a Heritage Certificate.
Said to drive as well as it looks, it certainly performed beautifully when we were treated to a test drive on the occasion of our visit with excellent 60psi oil pressure when hot. As good an example as we have ever offered, this is a jewel of a car that attracts throngs of admirers wherever it goes.