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MG MGA - Seat Colors?

I have a question for the group regarding the original leather seats in an MGA. I have read that the original black interior for the 1500s had gray piping as found on the lone seat back in my car, but Moss and others only seem to list black with white piping.

Which is correct? Both? Neither?
MGA Larry


Clausager lists a number of options for black seats:

1. Orient Red coloured bodies with Black seats had Red piping.

2. Green coloured bodies with Black seats had Green piping.

3. Blue coloured bodies with Black seats had Grey piping.(sometimes Blue piping if de luxe seats)

4. White coloured bodies with Black seats had White piping.

Steve Gyles

Check with Cecelia at Scarborough Faire - she may be able to do black seats with grey piping for you. However, if you are changing the car to Orient Red, you could also have red seats with red piping (also original according to Original MGA).
P. Tilbury

Hmmm, choices, choices, choices. The future owner (my wife) isn't crazy about Orient Red or Glacier Blue. I might try talking her into black with red seats, but unfortunately I think she has her eye on Chariot Red which I believe wasn't an option on the 1500.
MGA Larry

Certainly, what the world really needs is another red MGA... 8^)
Del Rawlins

Paint the car what ever you want or what your wife wants. Unless you are going to make this a trailer queen for car shows, enjoy the color you want. It can always be changed if a show car is desired. My car is painted yellow a color not avalable on MGA's. It looks to be a period color and my car is driven weekly and is enjoyed for my pleasure.

Chariot red is a gorgeous colour that suits the MGA perfectly, that's why it's so popular.

Chariot red MGAs are still pretty rare, even if it's the most common colour, I have never met another one, (excluding rallies etc. of course) when out in mine.

Like Jeff says, paint it the colour you both like!
Neil McGurk

Totally with Jeff on non MGA colours. You could also apply the argument that some MGAs were exported from Abingdon in primer. The recipient therefore had an option to apply any colour he or she chose.

As an aside, when I painted my 1500 British Racing Green (Jaguar shade)in 1996, Bob West did exactly the same colour for one of his customers, using the argument I noted above. That car went on to win a major MG concours event at Silverstone.

Steve Gyles

Larry, Mine is black with red seats/white piping (possibly original)- but I agree with the others - go for whatever colour you like best. Good luck - cheers Cam
Cam Cunningham

That's why I love this forum, thanks for the encouragement guys. It looks like there will soon be yet another red MGA on the road.

You guys are 100% correct - if my wife likes it, that's all that counts.
MGA Larry

Steve that is exactly why concours competitions are such a farce!!!! You could equally suggest when someone bought the car they took it home and changed the seats etc etc etc.... Some even allow modification so long as they can easily be reversed.., What is that about???

It should be simple, the car should be exactly as it left the factory.
That means in the case of some cars they would have been in PRIMER and others would have just been a kit of parts in a few boxes. Now that would be a winning car wouldn't it!!
Bob (Robert) Midget Turbo

Chariot Red was a colour (note the English spelling - eh!)choice for 1600 roadsters and coupes, with either red, beige, or black seats, with red, beige, or red piping respectively.
But you do not have to stick to convention just personal preference, and practicality (beige seats could get dirty). There are also some very nice modern reds out there - Porsche, Corvette, VW, for example. Just remember we will rag you about it every time we meet you! (Like Steve's Subaru Imprezza Blue)
P. Tilbury

At least I put my foot down on metallic paint (definite NO). My wife did love the color of Steve's car though (shakes head sadly). Of course, she also wanted to know if she was getting chrome wire wheels.
MGA Larry

Dayton Chromes are great!!

Russ Carnes

Bob - that is so funny - imagine a CKD car at a concours - just a large crate of bits - love to see the judges faces - brilliant!
Cam Cunningham

A number of years ago Steve Simmons posted some pictures of a siver MGA. I think the colour shows the car's lines brilliantly and gives it a timeless appearance. The colour is on my shortlist for the next rebuild. This is one of the pictures that Steve posted.


Steve Gyles

That is a nice colour.
GD Glenn

bah! to ya British purist on the other side of the pond!!! We here more modern folk enjoy the lines of an old gal dressed up to look young :) It's amazing how the red attracts so many looks. Larry, I went with "Guard Red" which is a Porsche color. Then I used a beautiful black leather piping to set it off with the natural look of tan seat and black carpet.
Quite dashing old chap if i do say so myself!

Got the piping from:

WMR Bill

Bill, the reluctant purist in me cringes, but the rest of me drools at your car, it is absolutely stunning.

(Heavy sigh)

Someday, mine will look like that (hopefully).
MGA Larry


I think you have misread us Brits on this site, unless I am misunderstanding your sense of humour (probably). I think I can speak for Bob, but definitely for myself, in that we are drivers on this forum, not trailer queens.

Great piccie. Great car.

Steve Gyles

All in fun Steve! I enjoy and respect everybody’s company, advice, suggestions, teachings, and also the comfort given to me when I screw up!
Thanks everyone!
WMR Bill

Moss made up an upholstery set for my Glacier Blue car that was black with gray piping. The only stipulation was no returns (except for defect).
David Breneman

This thread was discussed between 16/09/2008 and 20/09/2008

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