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MGB V MGA

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stocky Stocky S
Newcastle, North East, UK   GBR
I need some unbiased feedback, I am the proud owner of a super MGB roadster and I anm considering changing to a MGA because I love the shape of the car.
Has anyone had/got both and can you give me some feedback on wich is best. Obviously the MGA is going to cost more but i want to know what the difference is to live with. I only really use my cars on sunny weekend days purely for pleasure. Am i mad to think of changing or will it be worth it?
The MGA will be mint also if I get one.
Stocky

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stocky Stocky S
Newcastle, North East, UK   GBR
Come on MGA owners lets have some feedback the MGB forum is beating you hands down

Steve S Avatar
On The Road, Lost in So Cal, USA   USA
Well, I'm an MGA owner but I saw it in the MGB section first! I don't check the MGA section on this site all that often.

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DSGoose Avatar
DSGoose Silver Member Dennis Watson
Steinbach, MB, Canada   CAN
I'm afraid that I don't have an MGB to compare with, John, but I can tell you that my MGA is perfect for those sunny weekend days. It draws more attention than most Bs do and I enjoy the old-timey car features like the horn button on the dash and no indicator stalk on the steering column. I think it's *cooler than than any MGB, which of course is subjective.

Dennis

ron neal Avatar
Coastal, SC, USA   USA
1962 MG MGA MkII
1968 MG MGC
1969 MG MGC
1969 MG MGC    & more
I have owned many of each. The MGA is prettier I must say. Great for those sunny Sunday drives. Plenty of looks and comments where ever you go.

Now the MGB is also a nice looker, faster, has roll up windows, more roomy, just an upgrade from the MGA.

Bottom line is your choice, me I would probably drive the MGB first, the MGA second and that is why I only drive MGC's. I could not decide.

Ron

JimNH Avatar
JimNH Jim Mail
Nashua, New Hampshire, USA   USA
1957 MG MGA "Camilla (the Other Woman)"
If you don't have to have roll up windows, the A is a blast to drive.

You can find one (or change one) with a later B 1800 engine and 5 speeds/overdrive - so you wouldn't be giving up much there, if you're worried about that.

The MGB boot is bigger, so pack light.

Why not get one and keep the "B" you have? You could sell either one later if they are in nice condition, and probably not take a loss.

Or, keep the B and find an A that needs a little work (like the larger engine) so you have one to drive, and one to play with!

(They're small, take two...)

Now that I have the A going - my next one might be a B!

JIM in NH

dterhune Avatar
dterhune Silver Member David Terhune
Cleveland, TN, USA   USA
Some of us MGA guys even have roll up windows.. smiling smiley

The MGB is a more refined car...more comfortable to drive long distances, more practical.. after driving the MGA for a week getting into the MGB is like getting into a modern car. In my opinion they drive nothing alike, one is a uni-body the other body on frame. The MGA will get a lot more attention with the folks in town and in parking lots, thumbs up from other motorists.. bikers seem to really like the MGAs.....some people you meet will want to know if its a Jag or Austin Healey..etc.. I never get those reactions or questions when driving the MGB.. just comments like "my room mate in college had one of those, it was always broken", etc.. I like them both.. but to me very different cars and driving experiences.



David Terhune

My Blog http://mymgcars.blogspot.com/

1970 MGB-GT, 1974 MGB and 1957 MGA Coupe

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jclars Avatar
jclars John Larsen
Lynden, WA, USA   USA
I just posted on the B forum and its funny that David and I noted the same aspect - the amount of attention these things generate! No car has ever rewarded me the same way. But then, I like to take the cover off while I work alone in my shop just to glance at it occasionally. It is like artwork!



John Larsen
1958 MGA Coupe
1970 MGB Roadster



LATEST PICS: http://photobucket.com/MGA_Coupe_by_AnnakLphotography_by_Anna_Larsen

MGB65B Avatar
MGB65B Gold Member Thomas Aczel
Sydney, Kurrajong Hts, Australia   AUS
1962 MG MGA MkII
1965 MG MGB "Dad's Little White Car"
"John, most people agree that the 1600 MK11 Deluxe is the best one."
Don't understand why this is so, apart from the rarity factor. The Deluxe chassis may have four wheel disc brakes, and strong peg drive wheels, but also is more unwieldy and with a wider turning circle because of the forward steering rack, isn't it? (Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here; I'd like to know too).
The Mk11 rear light cluster is awkward, I agree, but at least retains those gorgeous rear guard contours in their entire beautiful uninterrupted profile. I also suspect the Mk11 grill captures air a little better than the earlier grills. The front discs on any of the 1600s is desirable, as is the slightly taller Mk11 differential ratio (4.1 vs 4.3)

As for MGA vs MGB, (I have one of each), for a daily driver, the "B" wins, with lots more interior and boot (trunk) room, virtually no cabin heat soak, almost totally weather proof and a well maintained standard "B" never ever runs hot, even in the most adverse conditions.( and I've done over 220,000 miles over forty odd years in all seasons in my '65 MGB (it can get pretty hot around here at times, and the rain can come down torrentially sometimes), so I have some first hand experience).

For sheer fun however an MGA is close to impossible to beat. It feels much more responsive to steering input, with less body roll and less understeer than an MGB, surprisingly so given the similar suspension. I LOVE the looks, love the handling and the responsiveness. I love those outrageously curved rear guards every time I look behind me to change lanes. I find myself with a continual silly grin whenever I drive the car. And you get endless waves and "thumbs up"s from all sorts of other motorists, road-workers, truck and bus drivers etc. Park at your peril if your in a hurry, because you'll get lots of people stopping for a chat about your MGA. But it's a bit cramped in there, there's nowhere much to stow stuff, and it sure gets hot in that cabin in summer time. Engine temperatures are obviously higher in similar circumstances ( a radiator shroud makes a big difference at a standstill and slower speeds, but is no help at continuous high speeds or on long mountain climbs), again surprising given the similar mechanicals, and is, I presume a result of the cramped engine bay, with a consequent restriction to hot air getting away after reaching the radiator.

So in summary:
Daily Driver: MGB
Fun/Weekend Car: MGA
Best solution: Try to be able to have one of each!!

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mgmine Art Pfenninger
LeRoy NY, USA   USA
Over the last 45 years I have owned more MGB's than MGA's but in a heartbeat I would take the A over the B. The B is like driving a Miata. It's refined but just doesn't have the same feel as driving something really old school. The newer B's are not as easy to work on because of all the emission crap and therefore not as cheap to own. The B will cost less to buy but will also bring less when and if sold. Once the unibody goes you might as well junk the car because it would cost more to repair than the car is worth. The only other car I would consider in the A class would be the TR3. Both of these cars are true classics.

Raulgarci Avatar
Raulgarci Raul Garcia
Tijuana, B.C., Mexico   MEX
1958 MG MGA
1960 MG MGA
1972 MG MGB
In reply to a post by stocky I need some unbiased feedback, I am the proud owner of a super MGB roadster and I anm considering changing to a MGA because I love the shape of the car.
Has anyone had/got both and can you give me some feedback on wich is best. Obviously the MGA is going to cost more but i want to know what the difference is to live with. I only really use my cars on sunny weekend days purely for pleasure. Am i mad to think of changing or will it be worth it?
The MGA will be mint also if I get one.
Stocky

John,

The answer is in your post: "I love the shape of the car", that´s it!!!

Hebel1500 Jeff Hebel
Milton Ontario, Canada   CAN
As you mentioned the love of the shape, that is one critical factor to consider. Its a weekend car for most, so you end up actually spending more time looking at it then actually driving it. Considering this, the "art" of the A is really hard to beat, and definitely can't be beat by the B. I find myself staring at it in the garage all the time, and it has been in the family for about 40 years. I know there are purists on here, but I find the A to be one of those shapes that actually improve when you remove parts. During a restoration or if you do slight mods like remove the windscreen and bumpers, the shape is simple, elegant and brilliant. There is still a draw for me in the simple lines vs. healeys and TR3s.

revans Avatar
revans Richard Evans
Hampshire, UK   GBR
John, I don’t have a B to compare with, so I have held back on my comments.

If it is your intention to use the A for sunny weekends/evenings then go for it! You won’t have any regrets.

Richard

Skeezixx Avatar
Skeezixx Ken F
New Orleans, USA   USA
This thread reminds me of the Quentin Tarantino film "Pulp Fiction"

In the scene where Mia Tells Vincent about Elvispeople and Beatlespeople.

Adapted to the MG world it would be:

There are two kinds of people in the world, MGA people and MGB people. Now... you can like them both, but not equally. You have to make a choice and that choice tells me who you are.


Personally, I like to hum Beatles tunes while tooling around in my MGA.

Bob Agar Avatar
Bob Agar Robert Agar
Green Valley, AZ, USA   USA
1953 MG TD "Myrtle Anne"
1974 MG MGB "The Mistress"
I took it all one step further and own an A, a B, and a T. Three completely different driving experiences. I like them all and couldn't, or wouldn't, part with any of them. The A and TD gather more looks and comments simply because they're rarer than the B, but the B is a pleasure to drive as well and a great road trip car. Believe it or not, I find the TD the most comfortable to drive. For overall good looks, the A has it. The TD is the classic look, while the B is simply timeless. As the advertisers would say, go ahead and collect the entire set. Cheers!



1974.5 MBG Tourer with Weber 32/36 mod and AC.
1957 MGA 1500 Coupe - Stock and original except paint
1953 MG TD - Original car with no mods

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