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MG MGA - Ford 289 in an A?

A Ford 289 in an MGA. (The MGA looks a LOT like the 1964 A.C. Cobra.)

Has anyone done this or seen it done? Have no fear, I would never take a clean running A and do this, but there are a few out there that are begging for restoration and need a replacement engine.

If it fits, why not this over a B engine?



Is this what you're thinking of?
J Hughes

Is that really an A?

I'm struggling to see any of the original lines in this project.

I also struggle to understand the thinking behind trying to make an A into an AC lookalike (this is not the first time I've seen it attempted).

The A has classic lines, which IMHO are as good if not better than any AC.

If you want to drop a V8 in an A the Rover 3.5 / Buick 215 is an obvious choice, as the engine weighs virtually the same as the cast iron B block, keeping the original weight distribution. Add a SD1 5 speed, Hoyle twin wishbone front suspension, a MGB V8 axle and away you go.

And it all fits under the original A skin ...

Such fun!


Chris Bond

Pretty much. I'd like to get a Brit engine if I could, but practically, a GM of Ford would be better for servicing.

There are quite a few A's with small V8s out there apparently.

Why not this, why not that. The answer depends on what you want to end up with. An MGA, a modified MGA, or a custom car. The Cobra lookalike above is what I would definitely call a custom car. It no longer resembles an MGA in look, driving feel, sound, etc.
Steve Simmons

Why not just build an ERA slab side?
James Stout

Would be a huge squeeze. I have a 289 in my Jeep CJ6 and fitted it with fuel injection. It is a great engine but a quick look tells me the bonnet (hood ?) , the chassis, the radiator position etc all will need major mods. Looks like an overkill to me...but if that what you want..there is always a way....
Neil Ferguson

James, Fair question. I just built a 'glass '34 Ford hot rod replica. All new. $50K, and I did ALL the work 'cept the stitching.

Yea, A/C, P/S, P/B... added to the cost.

Starting with a decent A body & chassis without an original engine drops the price considerably, and it's still an A, a prettier car than a 'glass slab side.


This thread was discussed between 11/08/2015 and 12/08/2015

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