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Paint original factory color?...or another factory color I want?

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guyramsey Guy Ramsey
Sacramento, CA, USA   USA
As I start to thing about the paint for my newly acquired '58 MG A 1500, was wanting to get some feed back on painting it back to original color., which was white...or paint in another factory color., was thinking red just because they look sweet in red!...I plan on building this for me to have fun with, but also in the end, if I decide to upgrade to another MG A, then it becomes an issue of originality., and sometimes that may hurt the value when it comes time to sell. The car is rust free Central Valley CA car., so worthy of a nice resto.

I plan on doing a complete body off paint job., I do 3 coats of base and 4 coats of clear....then cut and buff., so the paint is gonna look the big question is., do I put it back to original white that is on the body tag, or paint it factory MG A red...or even maybe a little brighter red?

Input on how that will effect value if I resell down the road? I know on some classics it does not matter. But wanted some input from owners on the subject.

Curious new MG A owner

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miatadon Avatar
miatadon Silver Member Don Scott
Calistoga, CA, USA   USA
My two cents- any color as long as it's a factory one. I'm partial to keeping a car the color scheme it was painted (and upholstered) when new. But if you are going to properly restore it, changing the color won't result in areas that are a different color, so a color change won't compromise the car. If you do keep the exterior in white, I would definitely do the interior in red, rather than black. White cars with black interiors just don't work, at least for me.

dela217 Avatar
dela217 Michael Delacerda
New Orleans, La, USA   USA
Paint it what ever color you want! Do not paint your car just because it once was a color.

I painted mine the original color. Now I hate it. I thought it would grow on me. I painted mine Iris Blue because that is what it was when it was new. To me that color only works on Easter.

I should have gone with something more manly.


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dohc281 Avatar
dohc281 Silver Member Ira Eckstein
Laurel Springs, NJ, USA   USA
I thought blue was a manly color, pink on the other hand isn’t.

If you hit your pony over the nose at the outset of your acquaintance, he may not love you, but he will take a deep interest in your movements ever afterwards.

Rudyard Kipling

Redhawk1689 Avatar
Redhawk1689 Gold Member Steven Stockham
Salina, KS, USA   USA
1958 MG MGA 1500 "Belle"
My two cents: Find a "WOW" color that "pops!" (Only you will know what that is as it's your personal taste!) If you like an original color, great! Just be sure you don't just like it but love it!! Doing that, you will probably find that you will hold on to the car and not feel the need to sell it and buy a new one quite so soon! winking smiley

1960healey Avatar
1960healey Larry Sanata
Delaware, OH, USA   USA
For what it's worth, here is a link to original MG colors... Happy hunting.

Larry Sanata
North American Classic MG magazine


miatadon Avatar
miatadon Silver Member Don Scott
Calistoga, CA, USA   USA
In reply to # 3887820 by dela217 .
I painted mine the original color. Now I hate it. I thought it would grow on me. I painted mine Iris Blue because that is what it was when it was new. To me that color only works on Easter.
I should have gone with something more manly.

I have a '65 MGB that I had repainted its original iris blue. I love that shade of blue! I also have a pale primrose '67, and that color doesn't really excite me.

If I was buying a new MGB in 1965, I would order a car with red exterior and interior.

I know many say that one should pick the color he/she loves, rather than care about the car's value. Think of your widow when she goes to dump what were your cars sometime down the road. She will likely get a few dollars more if the cars are more to original spec.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-08 11:37 AM by miatadon.

RJBrown Avatar
RJBrown Randy Brown
Queen Creek, AZ, USA   USA
At one point I had 6 MGAs. I sold the two that were worth the most of the three runners. A white 58, and an iris blue 60.
I kept the red 57. I have since completed and am driving a black 62MK11 that was originally white. My coupe is mineral blue it was originally pale green. That brings me back to the Iris blue 60 that was sold. I miss it and really loved that color. The last car left to restore will be going back to its original color Iris blue.
I believe in using period correct colors.
I believe that red is way overdone. I did one red and am kind of sorry I did.
I believe that in addition to the original colors BRG, a deep non metallic burgundy and silver are good looking colors on a MGA. I think bright primary colors like blue, green, yellow, orange and purple are terrible and best applied to VW bugs. Mettalics other than a classic silver look just wrong to me. At some point color will affect value more than it does now with the “original to the car” color being the most valuable.
That said:
It is first and foremost YOUR car. It should bring You happiness. You should pick a color you like.
Right now our cars are not far enough up the food chain to have color that important on value.

For example, Stephen’s medium blue metallic is a good looking car, just not to my taste. He loves it and it’s the perfect color for HIM.

mgbgtn tom newman
Campbell River, BC, Canada   CAN
If you want original then you don't want base clear as it is too shiny, so why not paint it the colour you really like. It is your car to do with as you like.

guyramsey Guy Ramsey
Sacramento, CA, USA   USA
Love all the input...I am a designer by I always have too many ideas...hard for me to funnel down to once choice...I am always saying "what if"

I have always liked little red sports cars. I just painted a Bugeye for a friend in a bright red (Ferrari red)....looks stunning...This MGA was originally white...and to be honest...I don't think white goes well with this design...for some reason it just doesn't show the lines of the car off...softens them too much.

I have always liked red on red too!....but sometimes that is just TOO much of one color (Maybe Red with black interior with red piping?)....Red with Black interior is probably the most common colors I see on these and for good reason...they look fantastic! interior is a killer in Cal. too....too damn hot....maybe Red with tan interior?....

And I agree on the non-metallic...I love a nice base/clear with no metallics....keeps the vintage look...there are several different clears too...ones that are not so shiny. I just painted a 60 Desoto 2 DR HT Adventurer and used a nice Euro-clear that turned out great....not too shiny..just right.

So, now back to square 1....choose a color! I am pretty sure I don't want white or black (black too hard to upkeep and hot in California) I like the British racing green color but I have a 68 Shelby in Highland Green that's out the door.

Lastly., prepping the aluminum do you guys strip the paint on those panels?...I know not to use any chemicals/paint strippers...I was gonna try maybe an 80 grit on a wheel and see how that goes first.


Grubeguy Avatar
Grubeguy Gold Member Grube Guy
Washington, DC, USA   USA
I used chemical strippers on mine and had no issues - doors, hood, trunk, body, everything. I preferred this to mechanical stripping, as I learned here that a buildup of heat could warp the panels. That, and cleanup was really easy.

As for colors, I took a year, if not more, to finally decide on a color. I was leaning toward red, but I had an '03 Z4 in red (nice color, BTW), my Fiat 850 is red, and a Camaro I had when I was young(er) was red. A year or so ago, I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel with body work, and I started making a list of cars that I liked the color of. In short, I narrowed it down to my 15 favorite colors, and went from there. As I said elsewhere, Ford has a line of gorgeous colors, one of which is a red, and it's gorgeous. I ended up with a silver-blue from a '67 'Vette, and I think I'm going to love the color.

You sound like an expert on the subject already, but I recently stumbled onto a website that lists a TON of makes, models, colors, paint recipes, etc.

And x9 with the notion of it being your car. Don't paint it period color ANYTHING unless you like it. I'm nowhere near a purist, btw. And I don't like most of the original MGA colors...

Redhawk1689 Avatar
Redhawk1689 Gold Member Steven Stockham
Salina, KS, USA   USA
1958 MG MGA 1500 "Belle"
Randy and I are pretty much in agreement ( well, except for aesthetic tastes where metallic and original colors are concerned.) other than that, yup, pretty much in agreement, especially everything after "that being said." grinning smiley

bikermga Avatar
bikermga Peter Tilbury
Surrey, BC, Canada   CAN

Think ahead.

Had a friend who painted his A a metallic blue. Then had a devil of a job, when repairing scratches and minor dings, to match the paint later on.


vdubmga Avatar
vdubmga v wasem
46N1165W, WA, USA   USA
1924 Other Not Listed "1924 Cat 2-ton"
1961 MG MGA 1600
1967 MG MGB GT
Mine was Iris Blue originally, but I never saw it in that color. I only knew that was the original because I looked under the dash where people don't typically paint unless doing a frame-off. I knew mine wouldn't ever be Iris Blue -- not as long as I owned it anyway.

When I bought the car in 1970, it was yellow with two wide orange racing stripes. Then my brother, while I was in the Air Force, painted the car puke green and put in puke green shag carpet. To make it worse, he put black french lace on the hood and trunk -- it was a 70's thing.

When I stripped and repainted the car in 2013, it was going to be either BRG with beige interior or Inferno Red with beige interior. Inferno Red won out and, 6 years later, I still love it.

I also had asked the forum for inputs on color and that was a mistake -- way too many opinions. Paint it what ever you want and love. Your paint won't effect the future price one bit.

MG_Trestle.jpg    41.7 KB

bills Avatar
bills Bill Spohn
W. Vancouver, , BC, Canada   CAN
Are you going to be an owner or a flipper?

If you plan on owning it indefinitely, paint it whatever colour you like.

If you plan on selling in the near term, don't bother - you probably won't make any money - usually the opposite.

While I am not convinced that an original colour means any higher a price on sale, it may well make a sale a bit quicker by attracting the attention of those who are looking for an original car.

Bill Spohn
Current: 1958 MGA Twincam (race car (170 bhp)),1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe (98 bhp)
1957 Jamaican MGA (200 bhp)1965 1971 Jensen Interceptor (350 bhp)
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe (350 bhp)
2007 BMW Z4M coupe (340 bhp)
Recent: 1969 MGC roadster (175 bhp),Jensen CV8 (375 bhp),
1969 Lamborghini Islero S (350 bhp), 1988 Fiero GT turbo (300 bhp)
North Vancouver BC

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