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New Member and Question about MGA Coupe

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hrmb79 Martin B
Richmond, TX, USA   USA
Good Morning:

Just a quick introduction of myself as a new member. I am avid classic car enthusiast and am about to purchase my first MG! Until this day, I only owned american classics. However, I always admired the body style of MGs and have opportunity to actually purchase a 62' MG MGA Coupe, which I believe has one of the nicest body style ever produced (well, may be with exception of mid 60s jaguar....).

The car I am about to purchase runs, drives, has nice interior with everything working and is virtually rust free. However, it is not a matching numbers car and also it does not have original MGA engine in it. I believe the engine in the car came from later model of MGB. It features couple modern add ons such as AC, front disc brakes (unless the car came with them...not sure) and modern stereo system.

The guys wants 13K for it, and I wanted to ask folks on this forum if that is a good buy for this year and model (even not all original). I know that it is only worth of how much we are willing to pay, but unlike american classics, which was always my main focus, I do not know much about these little cars (only that I like them).

Any comments or info would by highly appreciated.

Thank you and ride safe!

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Gary E Avatar
Gary E Silver Member Gary Edwards
Kernersville, NC, USA   USA
Disc brakes were standard. Replacing the engine with a MGB engine doesn't necessarily reduce the value in a driver car. If it was concours then it would lower the value.
It is hard to tell if $13 is a good price without pictures but it certainly sounds good..



Gary

Hammer: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate expensive car parts not far from the object we are trying to hit.

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Blueosprey90 Avatar
Blueosprey90 Jeff Sienkiewicz
New Milford, CT, USA   USA
After you crawl under the car and carefully check for rust in the rockers, sills, frame and floor, you might start here.

https://mgaguru.com/mgtech/buying/buying.htm

https://www.mgexp.com/library/#body



MGA's rust and there are many threads here on body off restorations of these cars. In my humble opinion, most MGAs require or have required a body off restoration.

The mechanicals are not so hard if you can do the work yourself. Parts generally available.

Having an MGB engine is not necessarily a negative at your price point and may actually be a positive. The 1800 engine is stronger than a 1500, assuming it is in good shape.

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Tbird Avatar
Tbird ET Taylor
Land O Sky, NC, USA   USA
Martin - welcome !

Agree on the style - they do look great - nice choice.

"rust free" - you have to look at the inner body panels behind the inner and outer rocker panels. Should be visible next to the frame.
Take a look at this pic - you can see the black frame and the white/grey inner body panel next to it with a small amount of surface rust. This area is prone to rust on the MGA. This car supposedly is original with around 6800 miles. This pic from the MGAGURU's web site which has tons of info on the MGA plus things to look for when you are considering buying.


"numbers matching" - very few of those around. Not like some of the American cars where you can trace a single engine to a single car. Best we can do is see if the components on the car fall in the range of when the car was manufactured. NAMGAR has a chart and info. The earlier cars did have the engine number recorded on the vin plate on the heater shelf and there were some instances where the selling dealer recorded some of the cars info on the sales sheet but that's about as good as it gets. Your vin plate will probably just have the vin number and for the engine number it will say "see engine". There is a vin number on the frame that should match the vin on the heater shelf - that's usually a good starting point on determining value. Check the NAMGAR info though. Easy enough to put a '58 body on a '62 frame etc.

"1800" engine - debatable. There are just about as many folks out there that like originality that would say it diminishes the value as there are those who say it's a great upgrade and increases the value so probably a wash. It doesn't require any modifications that can't be undone unless they have also installed an MGB transmission which may require a frame modification for the transmission mount and maybe a little cut or two on the removable transmission tunnel - all repairable if someone wanted to make it original again.

"front disc brakes" - yep standard on the '62 but still has a single line system.

"AC" - not original but you'll be very glad you have it in Tx.

"13K" - that will be very debatable too. Pic's would help. Engine rebuilt? Inner body rusty or replaced? How's the interior? Chrome condition? etc but from your description it doesn't sound like a bad price IMHO. You're looking for a coupe so you might be willing to pay a little more than others who want a roadster.

Good luck

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Bandersnatch Avatar
Bandersnatch Larry Wheeler
Hillsboro, OR, USA   USA
1957 MG MGA "Rosie 2"
Hi Martin,

Welcome to the madness! My MGA was my first British car and I can't believe I waited so long to get one. For its age, you can't beat the availability of parts and the ease of working on it.

An engine is relatively easy to replace although the 1622 engine is a little more rare than the 1500 and 1600 ones. If the rest of the car is in good condition, $13k seems like a reasonable price. Add a couple of grand (maybe more) for a stock engine and you have a car that could easily pass for concourse, especially since engine numbers weren't recorded by the factory (add to that the ease of replacing the engine number plate). Numbers matching is somewhat meaningless for these cars due to those factors.

My car came with a 1500 Nash Metropolitan engine (on a pallet) which I replace with a genuine MGA 1500 engine. The number plate on mine was lost when the engine was hot tanked so I ordered a replacement plate stamped with the number from the VIN plate, so it's technically 'Numbers matching' even though it's not the engine that came with the car from the factory.

You are the only one that can decide if you want the car for originality or are willing to purchase it as modified. The changes that have been made sound readily reversible but are definitely ones that would add to comfort and driveability.

I would highly recommend looking up MG or MGA car clubs in your area to see if you can find someone familiar with these cars to look at it with you. As mentioned above, there are 'gotchas' to look out for, but if the car is clean and rust free you won't regret your purchase.

Best of luck,
Larry



Do you know why the British don't make computers? They can't figure out how to make them leak oil!

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Redhawk1689 Avatar
Redhawk1689 Gold Member Steven Stockham
Salina, KS, USA   USA
1958 MG MGA 1500 "Belle"
A $13,000 asking price for a decent runner is right in the ballpark. In fact, I'm a bit surprised they aren't asking $16K or slightly higher! I'd be wondering what all was (or wasn't) done to the vehicle. How big a guy are you? I'm 6'1" now and while I fit into a roadster, the coupe is a different story! Have you actually tried to get in and out of the vehicle and have you driven it? Both of those things should be prerequisites before you discuss buying the vehicle (and yes, the coupe's lines are very nice!) Oh yeah, welcome to the forum! If you have pictures of the vehicle (we likes pics!) that would be helpful.

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stagepony Avatar
stagepony Silver Member Jinno Louie
Dunedin, FL, USA   USA
1960 MG MGA "Roll-Roll"
2002 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner "Corporal Lane"
2018 Toyota RAV4 "Tooth Fairy"
Martin,

Welcome to the club! This forum group is fun, helpful and spirited -
exhibiting many of the personality traits of the MGA.

The 1800 MGB motor in your car is preferred by some enthusiasts.
It will help your car keep up with traffic, provide some acceleration
when you need it. Much of the pleasure in owning a British sports car
is about tight handling, throaty acceleration, cramped, cockpit lifestyle.

As Jeff suggested, the MGA Guru in the link furnished
provides useful tips for checking out an MGA before buying.

A clean, well maintained, unrestored MGA is more difficult to find than restored
examples. Under the fresh paint, it's difficult to determine how much rust is hidden.
Finding a car that's dry and rust free is perhaps more critical in your search. Serious
rust repair is much more expensive than replacing mechanicals.

Many cars have seen a half dozen owners if not more. Documentation would
be of great help to you in knowing 'who did what'.

My MGA runs on a 'B' motor. I still have the original 'A' motor kept inside a
wooden crate. I've brought this wooden crate with me everywhere I've moved to.

Like you, I've owned many American classic cars. If these cars were scaled down,
they'd be easier to drive and maintain. Even the classic pony cars; Dodge Dart,
Mustang, Camaro - appear larger with each passing year and take too much space
inside the garage.

Send some pictures!

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hrmb79 Martin B
Richmond, TX, USA   USA
Thank you all for all the responses, I really appreciate it. I will check out the links but for now, I am posting some pictures. Yes, I have seen and driven the car. I can fit just fine as I am not such a big guy! It started easily, idled well and drove fine the little bit I sat in it. The interior is clean and I did crawl under and could not see any major rust. I did not have it on lift but the guy did not seem to hide anything. He was very open about the car. It apparently belonged a person who owned it for 25 years and drove it all over so I would assume that it was maintained and taken care of well.

Attached are some of the photos.

Thank you for additional comments you may have


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hrmb79 Martin B
Richmond, TX, USA   USA
More Photos


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hrmb79 Martin B
Richmond, TX, USA   USA
And more photos....btw it does come with spare and carpet in the trunk...it was just removed for photos


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stagepony Avatar
stagepony Silver Member Jinno Louie
Dunedin, FL, USA   USA
1960 MG MGA "Roll-Roll"
2002 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner "Corporal Lane"
2018 Toyota RAV4 "Tooth Fairy"
Hi Martin,

The paint appears older. This is a good sign. It means that bubbles would have appeared
already if there are rust issues underneath the paint. Trunk floor looks nice. A previous owner
for 25 years is also a good note. It means there's documentation on parts and work performed.

Texas is a dry state, not wintry as some others. This is positive too. Pictures of the inner
sills, floor pans and underneath the sill, scuff plates would be helpful. You might also
look for evenness at the gap where the doors meet the front fender and B pillar.

Finally check for overheating. It's winter now so the car may be running cool.
I can't see if there's an electric fan. Is there an oil cooler?

You might have a gem!

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copernicus Avatar
copernicus Nick Kopernik
Cold Spring, CT, USA   USA
Martin, welcome. For comp values, 9 MGA Coupes were sold via BaT within the last few years: prices went from $7k to $32k. Only you can judge if the price and value are there for you, but from the pictures you posted, it does look like a reasonable price. Here's the BaT link for you to review:

https://bit.ly/2SKIVOK

edit: Well it appears the link will only get you to the BaT site, the specific Coupe results seem to be dropped. Just do a search of the "archives" for MGA Coupe and "recently closed" and you'll get to the specific results.


Also, can you post the VIN/Car # from the I.D. plate in front of the heater? And the Body # is on the firewall next to the passenger's side bonnet hinge; can you post that as well?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-20 11:42 AM by copernicus.

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hrmb79 Martin B
Richmond, TX, USA   USA
Hello sir and thank you for your comments and suggestions!

Unfortunately, I do not have any additional pictures at this moment but the gaping looked decent...definitely better than some on my previous cars I owned!

It actually has 2 aftermarket electric fans that come on automatically. I think this is due to the AC unit too.

We ran the car for about 10-15 mins and the temp reached around 160 but it was 50F outside so hard to judge from that. He did mention that he drove the car 4 hrs home with no issues so that, I suppose, is something.

Thank you agai for your comment!

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hrmb79 Martin B
Richmond, TX, USA   USA
Hi Nick:

Thank you sir for the information. I am not with the car but will try to get the VIN and body # and post it.

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stagepony Avatar
stagepony Silver Member Jinno Louie
Dunedin, FL, USA   USA
1960 MG MGA "Roll-Roll"
2002 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner "Corporal Lane"
2018 Toyota RAV4 "Tooth Fairy"
Martin

Or you may try BAT with the link below. Press the button
where it says, MG. There's a 1959 coupe that sold for $15k.
It seems that the MGA is creeping upwards of $20,000.

https://bringatrailer.com/mg/mga/



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-20 11:52 AM by stagepony.

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