1959 MG MGA Roadster (MGA)
Last updated Feb 28, 2007
My father bought this 1959 MGA Roadster in 1973. I was 9 years old at the time. I handed him wrenches and watched as he rebuilt the engine and worked on the brakes.
The car was painted in British Racing Green when dad bought it, and shortly after, it acquired a Nardi steering wheel and a roll bar. Dad raced the car in autocross competition with the San Diego Asebring Drivers throughout the early 1970s. The car made an infamous appearance in Fred Puhn’s 1974 book “How To Make Your Car Handle” as an example of what happens when you try hard cornering without a sway bar.
When I got to High School, I used the old MGA to take girls on dates. But after I left for college, the old roadster sat in the garage – Dad got older and chose bigger and more comfortable cars and no one was left to keep it running. In 1995, Dad towed the car up to my home in Oregon and gave it to me. I set the venerable old roadster in the back of my workshop, and swore I’d do it up right and impress my dad with it one day.
But I lost my dad in 1997, and for a while it seemed as if the MGA would sit as long in my garage as it had in his. Then in 2005 I decided on a total restoration and got the project started. The biggest news came when we looked at the VIN plate for a paint code. I’d noticed before that the engine bay and trunk were a different color than the rest of the car, and it turns out this MGA was originally painted in a beautiful color called Glacier Blue – though any normal person would call it “Turquoise.”
The restoration was completed in May of 2006 and I knew I had to show it off. Along with many other shows, I entered it in the Forest Grove Concours D’Elegance. I won a lot of “Best Import” trophies last summer, but the two I’m most proud of are an Honorable Mention at Lake Oswego and third in class at the All British Field Meet. Those stand out for me because of the large and excellent fields of cars they attracted.
In August my wife and I entered the car in the Monte Shelton Northwest Classic Motor Rally, and to our great delight we won the event overall!
adjustable steering column (telescoping)
Nardi steering wheel
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