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MG MGA - Advice on glacier blue MGA for sale

Hi all, I'd appreciate some input from you gents on this 58 A for sale.
I looked at this car last summer. Nice driver, decent paint with a few issues. There's a 2" spot on the bonnet where the paint has bubbled, some sanding scratches on the bonnet, lot's of chips in the paint. Metal work looks good except the that driver's dogleg/door gap looks a bit dodgy compared to the passenger side.
Wood trip around the cockpit would have to come off, I don't like it. Seats look like vinyl cover as opposed to leather? Floorboards have been redone, the frame looked good from what I could see laying on the ground, but it hasn't been on a lift for a proper inspection.
Price has been reduced from $18k to $16 obo.
It's been tough finding a decent A here in the Northwest. And they've all been pretty dodgy cars. This has been the best one I've looked at, but it's far from perfect.
Here's a link to several pics


If a few of the pictures come up blank, just click on one of them and that seems to retore them.


Looks better, more "honest" and more original than most of the ones that get posted up here. Nothing I can see that can't be easily fixed. It would be sold within the hour at that price and more in the UK. You need to get underneath and drive it to be sure, but I would say "yes".
Neil McGurk

Ron, -- Did you take those pictures? About the most honest set of pictures I've seen in a long time, but not much showing the under body, and no clue of condition of the inner body sills (a HUGE deal missing that information). Stick your fingers up between the body sill and frame, and see if there is solid sheet metal on the inner vertical panel of the sills all the was from wheel well to wheel well.

Left lower door hinge is significantly bent forward. Left side shut plate and door buffer also misfit, somewhat forward. Looks like a B-post repair may have been botched a bit, and the bent hinge is compensation to make the door fit. Splash panel forward of LR wheel is wrong shape, maybe hand made or modified (poorly). That might be related to the B-post repair issue.

Looks like an "older restoration" with significant miles on it since the repaint, lots of paint blemishes, lots of rock chips around the wheel wells. Wild guess that the sills and posts may have been repaired at one time, but can't tell from the photos if the body was ever off for under body and frame repaint (another important issue).
Barney Gaylord

Thanks guys!
Yes, I took the pictures of the car last summer when I looked at it. It was restored in the late '90's. Owner claims a frame off resto, but I'm not sure about that. It was an Eastern car that he purchased and brought back with him.
So Barney, those panel fit issues; it would be a major job to get them right? I take it would mean redoing the whole B post, dogleg and rocker on the driver's side to get it right?
I didn't stick my hand up to feel the sills so that would be a must for sure.

It's my educated guess (estimate) that the door post was repaired badly and is too thick on the front side. You could drive it as is, or give it an outer body repaint and drive it some more without fixing the post. If you opt to fix the post it is surgery and would need a repaint. If you go that far it's the golden opportunity to have the body off to paint everything underneath, and maybe repair a few more things in the process. That seems an awful lot like body sill replacement.

Problem is, when a repair has been done badly it's almost the same as not having been repaired at all. The only way to avoid repairing it again is to take it with a grain of salt and live with it as is indefinitely (or don't buy the car).
Barney Gaylord

Thanks, I appreciate the input. I figured that's what would be required.

The seats look like leather to me. I don't think vinyl would "crinkle" like that; it would just crack and tear. Put some Connolly Hide Food on them and they should look pretty good with a well worn "patina." It's hard to tell from the pictures - is the piping white? Originally on a Glacier Blue car it would be gray. Moss will make seat covers with gray piping special order. They did for me. Glacier Blue is a great color, too. Very "fifties". People always comment on the color of mine.
David Breneman

Thanks David,
It is a nice colour. My favourite is old english white, but I haven't seen a nice condition one here for sale for a long time. They're either all red or painted custom colours. The way the seats felt I swore they were vinyl covers. Very light and flimsy feeling. But I could be wrong.
The piping is grey between the fenders and body and if I recall it's grey on the seats as well.
Nice car, wish that door post was better, though...
RK knowles

I was wrong, the piping on the seats is definitely white.
RK knowles

Try Steve Kaufman on as he has a beautiful blue MGA 1600 for sale. He can email photos of it to you. He lives in Tsawwassen and works in Richmond.
P. Tilbury

RK Knowles writes; "My favourite is old english white, but I haven't seen a nice condition one here for sale for a long time. They're either all red or painted custom colours."

Red MGAs are very durable. Of all the red MGAs produced, almost 137% are still on the road.
David Breneman

Hi Ron, looks like a nice car for the price. I reckon you could live with the "faults" for a while and just enjoy driving it - it's what I did . A paint job can wait - just touch in the dings and have a full paint job later. The trim round the cockpit should be covered - front with foam crash pad and leather and sides and rear with vynil - Moss have the full kit . Good luck and have fun - cheers Cam
Cam Cunningham

Cam, shouldn't it be front and rear cockpit trims vinyl and side trims leather? Is on mine.
Lindsay Sampford


Lindsay is correct. Also, the curved 'hockey sticks' are covered in leather.

Steve Gyles

Well, I looked at another A today, '62 1600mkll. Pretty scruffy. Pics here:
RK knowles

I would call that a 50/50 car. Looks OK from 50 feet away, and moving at 50 miles per hour.
Ed Bell

I just ripped that one apart on the other forum!

"A 1600 so not a '62, despite the MkII grille. That paint hides (not very well) a multitude of sins and bodges. Not least of which is some heavy damage repairs to the front left scuttle (hence the odd blister around the demister vent. Could be a rough driver for the right money, but mechanically it also looks way off the mark. MGB carbs, incorrect valve rocker cover, incorrect (for year) master cylinder top, no air intake duct pipe, pancake filters, no rad overflow pipe, perished spring rubbers, untouched suspension, etc., etc. all suggest this has had nowhere near the attention to detail these cars need to be kept reliable. Poor car looks like it has been bodged and passed on too many times and not driven and maintained much at all."


I think it should be 50 yards!
Neil McGurk

This thread was discussed between 06/05/2010 and 12/05/2010

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