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MG MGA - Driving the A hood down!

I am aware that many of you hardy souls will have not bothered to put your hood up at all. Also you will have been enjoying the wind in your face even in the winter months.

This is something that I entirely subscribe to and in general have adopted a similar approach. However, this year its been hood up but no sidescreens in place.

Until today! The weather was superb and I have been stuck indoors listen to and waiting to give evidence in a Public Inquiry. However, I managed to get home before 6 - having not been called and decided to undertake a check on views towards a site I am involved with. This involved checking if a view, however slight, could be seen from the M40 which one witness claimed was the case. I was a little sceptical - but he was right! 4 kilometres from the turn to Gaydon (where one departs for the Heritage Centre) and travelling westbound there is a fleeting glimpse, for about 200 metres, of the site with a view towards St Mary's Church, Warwick.

Enough of the ramble. It was the joy of driving the A. I have owned it for nearly 4 years and covered about 8500 miles. It really is a superb drivers car. Very different from the YT and from the TA that I owned up until when I acquired the A.

But it is superbly relaxing,very flexible and have the benefit of a 5 speed box and a 1622 engine in a Mark 1 A. So much fun and power (well compared to the other classics I have owned). Even more so with the hood down.

One slight downside I do get fumes entering the cockpit - what do I need to check as I sense that there probably should be a better seal between the bulkhead and the engine compartment.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome.

This doesn't put me off driving a brilliant and possibly the most elegantly styled MG of all time!

All the best
Jerry Birkbeck


Welcome to the hood down club. I have had a sports windscreen for some 6 to 8 years. Consequently, I have removed the hood and sidescreens from the car. As you have found out, it's exhilerating in the sun and almost as much fun in the rain!

As for fumes in the cockpit make sure any unused holes in the firewall are bunged. I presume you also have the full length heater trunking fitted? One common escape route for fumes is between the firewall and the body skin. If you look up under the dashboard at the rounded edge of the firewall you will often see a gap between it and the skin. Make sure this is closed off. It made an amazing difference in my car.

Steve Gyles

I have the gap you mention, and have often wondered what the best material to fill it with would be. Any ideas?
Nigel Munford


I recall pushing foam rubber strip into the gap. It's out of site up there so I guess there are a variety of caulking products that would do the job. As I said above, it was that plugging that made the greatest difference. In fact, until this thread came up I had forgotten all about fumes. I simply do not get any. Although having a permanently open top probably also helps!

Steve Gyles

FUMES: I have the exhaust pipe from the muffler pointing about 9 to 10 O'clock, as opposed to pointing down and into the air flow beneath the car. This may allow more fumes from the exhaust to come into the cockpit. I noticed the fumes a lot more "before" I had the engine rebuilt.

If I rotate the muffler,with the exhaust pipe pointing down toward the pavement, it is a bit noiser as the exhaust echos off the pavement and the muffler would be closer to the fuel tank.
Ray Ammeter

I fill that space with small rags in the summer to keep the heat out and remove them for winter driving. It does add a bit of heat, but I keep the top up and curtains in during winter. Marvin in CT
Marvin Stuart

This thread was discussed between 20/04/2015 and 21/04/2015

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