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MG MGA - Finding an MGA

Hi guys, as the owner of two MGBGTs, I have now sold one, my wife wants to drive the other, and I'm looking for a reasonably priced MGA,
My questions, are what model should I go for, excluding twin cam, can't afford one of those!
So is it 1500, 1600, or 1600mk.2
I've got my eye on a 1500 and a 1600 what should I look for and what should I stay clear of.
Any help would be appreciated.


And if anyone knows or has a car for sale, info would be great.

Thanks Jack
Jack New Forest


Probably a 1600 rather than 1500 if only for the indicator system which is separated from the braking lights. Too many modern day drivers do not seem to understand the flashing red brake light on one side. You also get wire wheels and disc brakes on the front.

Steve Gyles

My advice would be, get any model you want and replace the engine with a 5 bearing 1800 MG one which you can pick up reasonably. A lot of people seem to have done this (requires minimal disruption).

The bodywork is the all important factor and the most expensive to repair to a high standard. So I would make this my primary focus when looking for a new MGA.

Depends if you want one to sit in and drive away, say
Aleks Stojanovic

Hi - Jack , Steve is probably right that a 1600 is the one to go for, with disc brakes as standard and the separate indicators - but sometimes you just have to go for the best one available whatever the model. You need to set your budget first - Aleks is a bit on the low side - I would say that 15 to 20k should get you a decent car with little needed doing and 10k should get you a project car. But as Aleks says - make sure the body/chassis is absolutely solid and rust free otherwise it is a body off restoration. The engine can be any condition really as these are relatively easy to restore /replace - one with an original engine will be a little dearer than one with an MGB replacement - but there is not much in it price wise. Finally - don't buy one without having a "knowledgeable " friend with you to look for the hidden rust etc - every MGA owner is always happy to go and look at another car.
Cam Cunningham


Cam makes a good point about taking a friend with you. I am only about 40 miles up the road if you need a second opinion.

Steve Gyles

Hi guys, thanks for all the info, I might go and look at a 1600 LHD check out bodywork, I think your right body work is the most important as you can fix mechanical things, Steve thanks for the offer, Might give you a shout if I need any help.
Cheers guys most helpful.
Jack New Forest


Rex Thompson


The 1500 is the model to purchase as the later 1600's are only copies......Good luck Rex
Rex Thompson

Good on you Rex, who wants a copy or an MGA with an MGB engine. Go for an original car and stuff all the numptys who cant see an indicator on an old car, their problem. Guess I just started a war but hey ho happy new year to all.
AR Terry

Go for the 1600 - they had rectified all the mistakes they made on the 1500 by then! (tongue in cheek response to earlier comments!)
Graeme Williams

Nice one Rex - perhaps original is best - mine is a 1500 copy ( 1600Mk1)
Cam Cunningham

This thread was discussed between 30/12/2015 and 01/01/2016

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