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MG MGA - 50th Birthday Wednesday!

I suppose this doesn't have much wide interest in this forum, but I just can't let my MGA's 50th birthday, Wednesday February 13th, pass without notice. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MG! As luck would have it, we share the same birthday, but I'm a little younger. :-)

David Breneman

Congratulations to you BOTH!! Did you hold a party? David, I remember a 50th party for an old MG-TB many years ago. During the night the lady of the house revved the motor whilst he held the Birthday Cake near the exhaust - and it blew its candles out!! Just beautiful kitsch!! Barry
BM Gannon

Congratulations to you both - mine is only 48 - unfortunately I am a little older !!
Cam Cunningham

Happy Birthday David for tomorrow.
My MGA's will be 52 years old, and 50 years old, this August and July respectively.
My guess is that the photo of you in your car was not taken this week!
P. Tilbury


Not wishing to rain on your birthday party but the image of your car shows a Mark II grille. Mark II's only came into production in 1961.

Ken Taylor

Hi, Ken -

You are right, it's not the grille the car left the factory with. The grille was on it when I bought it. In the archaeology phase of the bodywork (where we dug down through successive layers of Bondo applied by ancient civilisations ( ) we found that the car had been in a minor front-end collision some time in the 1960s. The grille is a factory original, so the supposition is that, since once the Mark II came out production stopped on the early grille, by the time this bodywork was done, only Mark II grilles were available from the local MG dealer. Since the grille is, in a way, "original to the car" I decided to keep it for the time being, until I can find a nice original early grille than I can afford.

Peter, the picture was taken just the other day! You know how many micrometeorological zones we have here in the Northwest! :-) And thanks to everyone for the well wishes - I'll pass them on to the MG. I'm not sure about blowing out the candles with the exhaust... the human analogy isn't very pleasant to consider - could result in a methane fireball.
David Breneman


Happy birthday to you and to your car! If you ever find a replacement grille please keep me in mind. I have an original grille on my '62 but would love to have a spare in case the unthinkable happens in the future.

M Gannon


Although a bit late, still: Congratulations! I can confirm that the Mk I grille was replaced by one from the Mk II. The first issues of the parts list for the 1600 and 1600 Mk II show both grilles, part numbers ARH 52 and ARH 154 respectively. In the early sixties, when stocks of the Mk I grille ran out, the part number of this grille was superseded by the recessed grille of the MK II. Back in the 1970s, when I was a parts manager at a British Leyland dealer, I discovered that there where still three original Mk II grilles in stock at the warehouse of the Dutch importer. They were about to be scrapped to make room for new parts, but I managed to sell them all three to members of the MG club.

Rutger Booy

I think our cars are very different to us in that they are generally getting better with age. I am very concerned that I may miss my car's 50th. How do I find out it's date of birth? Last year, I climbed Mont Blanc for my 50th. What would be an appropriate celebration for an MGA?

Phillip Hughes

Hi, Rutger -

Bless you for saving those grilles! It's amazing what people will throw away. And thanks for providing support for our hypothesis about how the Mk II grille came to be on the car.

Philip, you need to go to the British Motor Heritage Trust web page here:

They can look up the build records for your car for a reasonable fee and send you a certificate. That's how I discovered when my car was "born", and that it came from the factory with whitewall tires.

A picture of mine is here:
David Breneman

This thread was discussed between 12/02/2008 and 16/02/2008

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