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MGA vs. Austin Healey 100-4

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Bridgeport, CT, USA   USA
I am looking into buying a 100-4 Healey, but I also like MGA's. Does the 100-4 have much more power than an MGA? Any comments would be great. Thanks!

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JimNH Avatar
JimNH Jim Mail
Nashua, New Hampshire, USA   USA
1957 MG MGA "Camilla (the Other Woman)"
The BN1 Austin Healey had a 2.6L engine making much bigger than even the later MGA 1.8L engines.

Both cars could hit 100MPH though - so I don't know that it makes much difference.

The MGA is certainly a less expensive hobby than owning an Austin Healey. Those things are made of gold or something.


filospinato Avatar
filospinato Jake Voelckers
Manassas, VA, USA   USA
Cursory glance from internetz info:

Healey 100 - 150 ft-lbs torque, 90 hp
MGA 1500/1600 - 78/87 ft-lbs torque, 72/90 hp

Click the image to visit my V8 site.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014-10-30 09:00 AM by filospinato.

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bobs77vet Avatar
bobs77vet bob K.
northern Va, VA, USA   USA
wow this is good for a spirited debate......having owned a big healey and two MGAs i have working knowledge of the two cars....the $$$ is in the Healeys, the frame and steering systems of the MGA are superior to the Healey period. no question there. why is this important to you? because driving a car with rack and pinion steering is more fun and frames have a tendency to become really weak after 50 yrs and the MGA started off with a thicker frame and one that went over the rear axle instead of below it. so bottoming out is always an issue in the Healeys. the Healeys are an accumulation of parts made into a beautiful car....the MGA was at least designed as a beautiful car

would i own a 100/4 absolutely....they are really good looking cars despite the faults

edit: the other thing that are problems with Healeys are where the aluminum wings meet the body of the car and they get really bad galvanic action going on and the aluminum just flakes away. for some reasons the MGA didnt have this problem on the parts they have wrapped in aluminum

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2014-10-30 09:40 AM by bobs77vet.

marshgrassA Avatar
marshgrassA Irene B
1961 MG MGA "little Car"
1967 Triumph TR4A "Little Bad Boy"
Been looking for a nice 100 4 for awhile and it seems they have become "gold or something".

I think in terms of beauty they both are true works of rolling art especially the Healey when the windshield is down.
Very different driving machines with the Healey being the stronger more powerful car.

If money is no object find one of each to try on and see how you fit. I have tried to follow the advice of car friends and buy the best of what I like that I can afford.....which is why I am still without a Healey!

Also joining a local British car club is advisable in helping you make a decision.

ron neal Avatar
Coastal, SC, USA   USA
1962 MG MGA MkII
1968 MG MGC
1969 MG MGC
1969 MG MGC    & more
I pretty much agree with the above comments. I owned a couple of big Healey's years ago.
I think the A does drive better but the Healey has a little more grunt and bling.
You need to drive both and see which one fits your butt better and then which one fits your wallet better.

I think you have a windscreen thing. smiling bouncing smiley

Gary E Avatar
Gary E Silver Member Gary Edwards
Kernersville, ,N.C., USA   USA
I did a ground up one a 100-4 and it was a pain in the ass. I never finished it because it was always cutting my hand and arms for some reason. I had the frame and engine done and the body in primer but sold it to buy a MG TF. The TF was a lot more enjoyable to work on and drove great.


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wyatt Avatar
wyatt Silver Member Wyatt W
penguin point, drift ice, Antarctica   ATA
....I too had some Healeys one driver and two projects 1 100/6 and 2 3000s sold them to help pay for our house, lovely beasts to just sit in even,but I sold my MGA Mk11 at the same they are probably worth more than my house..grinning smiley

just a thought, if you have Healey money, then for a few bucks more you could get into a Jaguar XK....I turned down a super clean BRG XK 150 DHC 18 months ago and I am still cursing myself....

elgatto Avatar
elgatto Silver Member Mike Dianna
Spring City, PA, USA   USA
In 1982 I did a body off resto on a 1956 BN2 100/4. It was a really great car, nimble, light steering, a lot of get up and go, and an overall joy to drive. One of the differences between the MGA and the 100/4 was the smooth overdrive in the Healey. If I ever buy another 100/4 I would focus on the BN2 model. It has a four forward speed transmission and reflectors mounted on the rear fenders which are located about a foot above each brake/turn signal, running light. Once I got that car up to speed, I could drive it all day with the tranny in overdrive. Great highway ride if you need or want to take it on long trips. I had an MGA at the same time so I could not help but compare the two. It was sort of trying to compare which one of your children you like the best. Each car has its own personality, both rather austere, side curtains, no roll up windows, sporty with the MGA being a little more docile, similar room in the trunk. The spare tire in each car resides in the trunk with about one fifth of the tire protruding through the rear bulk head into the driver's cabin. I liked the legroom much more in the Healey and the space around the pedals too. It seemed to be a tad wider too. Oh well, If I were debating which one to buy, I would try to spend some time driving each one. Just my two cents.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2014-10-30 05:40 PM by elgatto.

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Bridgeport, CT, USA   USA
Thanks everyone for some great thoughts on this! I agree with some of you that for a few extra dollars you can get into a Jaguar. It would probably be a series 2 E-Type (if you are looking in a similar price range) which are great cars, much better quality than a Healey or MG. Other Jags have a higher value such as the 120 140 and 150 roadsters and the series 1 E-Types. But, the Healey just has that amazing look especially with the windshield folded down. Ive had a few late 3000's and they drive very nicely, but they don't have the 100-4 good looks. I have never driven a 4 cylinder Healey which is why I asked. The MGA is also a great looking car, but under powered from what I am getting from your comments.

9146 Avatar
9146 rick dentel
yardley, PA, USA   USA
Its been a long time since I drove a 100-4 but don't they have a funny (backwards) shift pattern?

filospinato Avatar
filospinato Jake Voelckers
Manassas, VA, USA   USA
^ Only the BN1's, or rather BN1's with the original gearbox. The BN2 box is a true 4 speed and a common swap done to the early cars.

Click the image to visit my V8 site.

rosato Avatar
rosato Vito Rosato
Hoover, AL, USA   USA
Get the car you love the most !!!! They are both beautiful car's. If your looking for power get a vintage Corvette with a big block and three two's !!

bobs77vet Avatar
bobs77vet bob K.
northern Va, VA, USA   USA
In reply to # 2838663 by Alex Dragone ......... The MGA is also a great looking car, but under powered from what I am getting from your comments.

if you want power, steering, reliability, air bags buy a used C5 corvette.

the MGA is only under powered by todays standards

Blueosprey90 Avatar
Blueosprey90 Jeff Sienkiewicz
New Milford, CT, USA   USA
My video 2 cents.

(see 10.00 for some nimble driving)

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