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MG MGA - MGA 1500 VIN and Engine Numbers

MGA 1500 Roadster WLC 724

Dear MGA enthusiasts

I wonder if anyone can help me with information to add to the little I have gleaned while starting a complete 'nuts and bolts' restoration of this car.

I've owned the car for over 40 years and it was used daily during the 70s to commute to Teddington Studios from Headley, Surrey. It was 'laid up' for a restoration at this time as it became impractical, but there it lay in a barn at my parents house for 15 years as life took over. I brought it to Guildford in the 90s and here it 'lay' once again in a car port until a couple of years ago when finally after some encouragement from a friend, who said it might not be a complete write off, 'inspired' me to take a look at it. Encouragement and inspiration is definitely what I need, believe me.
Anyway here's my query today.

Log Book: Lost at parents house. Key:???
The VIN plate has disappeared from rusted bulkhead: Possibly stolen.

Rebuilt engine Number in the car at the moment, that I I put in, in the late 70s: 15R U-H 1915, bought from Tony Smith who used to run 'The Old Forge', Headley, (Small Plate RH side near spark plugs).

Original engine (in the car when I bought it, but kept all these years) I now find is 'MG Replacement' No.*5933AD* *8G210R*, BMC Service Ltd, Crawley, a Big Plate is low on LH side above sump.
There is also a a number that appears cast above sump on RH side: *1H 858 AF6* *9.11.6*.

Body Number: 71139 (next to RH bonnet hinge). The only number that is original and I'm completely certain is the original body.

I've searched for a chassis number but I think rust has long ago eroded this.

So the only thing that associates me with the car is that the last registered address is my parents house where my mother lived until 6 years ago. I could easily get letters stating my ownership but I'm not sure whether I could eventually get it registered again.

I would be grateful for the least input as I'm trying to keep some enthusiasm.

Yours, 'Slightly dejected', Nick

N A Pratt

You have the registration number and last registered address etc so should be able to access the full details from DVLA for a small fee - they will have photocopies of the original documents ( I have just done this for my 1970 VW and previously did it for my MGA) - they will have the original chassis number on the documents. The body number is sometimes the same as the chassis number or only a few numbers away. Once you have the chassis number you can reclaim the registration number and start restoring it.
Cam Cunningham


Never say never or leave a Seahawks (American football) game early. You have several options and additional resources. If you cannot get the VIN/registration number from DVLA, you may be able to retrieve it using the body number through the Heritage Motor Centere by purchasing a Heritage Certificate; .

Assuming that you have established proof of ownership and it is permitted, a new VIN/registration plate can be purchased from Moss Motors or from Serge Vliegen in Belgium; . Serge’s plate is the most authentic. All that remains is to find a way to have the plate stamped or engraved with the proper VIN number. Barney’s web site has more background information;

As for a key, it is easy enough to remove the lock core by drilling it out. Moss sells replacement cores and keys. More information at the bottom of this page;

Lastly here is a trick for starting your MGA without a key;

John Backman

Have you looked for the chassis # on the Square cross frame tube, just in front of the Right Hand seat. These numbers are stamped and usually lightly stamped as the tube is quite hard. Careful cleaning and use of a strong light on an angle may allow you to 1. find it, and 2. see the number.

As a last ditch effort you may be able to "raise" the numbers with the use of a strong acid. The acid eats the metal and because the stamp compresses the metal it is more dense, and the less dense metal eats away around the stampings and "raises" the stamping. This would be the last thing I would try if all other avenues fail.

C.R. Tyrell

Here is a photo of my chassis number stamped on the cross member in front of the drivers seat. It is very feint and difficult to read - but I can just about make it out - have a look - you may be lucky.

Cam Cunningham

This thread was discussed between 22/01/2015 and 24/01/2015

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