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MGA vs. Austin Healey 100-4

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Bridgeport, CT, USA   USA
haha the funny thing is that nobody even wanted Astons until a few years ago. I remember in the early to mid 2000's, DB5's DB4's etc. were in the $80,000 range and weren't the easiest thing to sell. Now they are over 1 million which is ridiculous. I just sold a DB 2/4 mrk III and it really wasn't all that great to drive. But, we've been comparing the 100-4 to an MGA but what about to an MGB? Ive got a 65 pull handle so how would it go compared to that?

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RVS 149 Avatar
RVS 149 Chas Batchelor
Rhu, Argyll, UK   GBR
MGB s are superb value, but I think the A has it on looks.

Chas

wyatt Avatar
wyatt Silver Member Wyatt W
penguin point, drift ice, Antarctica   ATA
the 65 would be a great ride, but apples to oranges as compared to an A...the whole vibe is of a modern car...as was intended. the A and TR3 are still the choice for value to fun quotient.

btw..as we are positing...if you can take the pain.....here is real fun................


In reply to # 2840300 by Alex Dragone haha the funny thing is that nobody even wanted Astons until a few years ago. I remember in the early to mid 2000's, DB5's DB4's etc. were in the $80,000 range and weren't the easiest thing to sell. Now they are over 1 million which is ridiculous. I just sold a DB 2/4 mrk III and it really wasn't all that great to drive. But, we've been comparing the 100-4 to an MGA but what about to an MGB? Ive got a 65 pull handle so how would it go compared to that?

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Don MGA 1600 Avatar
Don MGA 1600 Silver Member Don Tremblay
Rutland, Rutland, USA   USA
1960 MG MGA "My Oldest Friend"
1962 Jaguar E-Type "Rich Bitch"
MGA vs. Austin Healey 100-4: They are both great cars, but comparing the value of each car to their utility, the MGA is a far better buy and in many ways a far better car unless your idea of a sports car is going fast in a straight line. Like someone else said is an earlier thread, for 25% more over a Healey and in some cases the same money if someone overpaid, you get a car that goes very well in a straight line and does everything else much better than an Healey. That of course is the iconic Jaguar XKE aka E-Type.


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brudolph Bob Rudolph
Martinez, CA, USA   USA
I'd only like to add a couple of things. I had a 1956 BN-2 100-4M the entire time I was at university. It was a terrific car. There is nothing like borrowing a pair of goggles, putting the windscreen down and driving around northern California. Even though the BN-1 started life as the MGE (this history comes from something I read a while ago and I can’t find the book at the moment but I believe the Wikipedia history is incorrect) which was not produced, Donald Healey elevated the car to far superior standards over the MG. I did quite a bit of gimmick rallying in the 60's which lead to a lot of unsupervised road racing and would say that there was not an stock MGA, TR3 or TR4 (without IRS) that I could not run away from or out corner. Mike Dianna's comments about the overdrive and cruising ability of the car are spot on. Today I have an MGB with a V6. Fun but not even in the same realm as the Healey. Never had a big Healey and don't want one.

MGB65B Avatar
MGB65B Gold Member Thomas Aczel
Sydney, Kurrajong Hts, Australia   AUS
1962 MG MGA MkII
1965 MG MGB "Dad's Little White Car"
Nothing like a bunch of car enthusiast guys to drift off the subject when in comes to car dreaming is there? What became of the original question posed?
But since we're heading off in all directions may I say that, like Alex, I grew up in a family that ran a motor car business; in my case a car repair business in one of the more affluent parts of Sydney. I drove all the cars being discussed here bar Lotus (also known as "Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious" ).
We used to see a large number of Jaguars, occasionally even brought in by neighbouring workshops. Certainly beautiful ambience and lovely to drive, but as my father said "everything on a Jaguar is more complicated than it needs to be". "If you want to see how a DOHC engine should be designed, look at that Alfa Romeo GTV over there". I for one could never understand why they'd fit a DOHC head to a Jaguar engine and then have to rev limit it to 5,000 rpm! Or why my father and his crew would have to drop the rear suspension to service the brakes etc etc etc.
I did have experience with a customer's Aston Martin DBS. It was actually a beautiful car, both to look at and to drive. But by this time Aston, like Jaguar (E to XJS) and indeed like MG (A to B) were moving towards more comfortable less hard edged sporty cars as people's desire for comfort changed the market.
Which brings me to the question Alex asks comparing a 1965 MGB to an MGA, as I'm fortunate enough to own one of each. For me at any rate, sometimes it's hard to remember how similar these two cars are mechanically as the cars are so different to experience. The MGB has more torque, rides softer, but therefore leans more, is much, much more spacious inside and more comfortable. With the double bulkhead there's virtually no heat soak and the foot well doesn't as a result get hot (which incidentally it sure does in a Healey, and much more so than even the MGA).
But the MGA is MUCH prettier. The MGB is just "a box on wheels" to look at (it's a shame they didn't kick the line up over the rear wheel arches and round out those wheel arches too when they styled it).
I enjoy driving my MGB (which I've now owned for nearly 45 years and 230,000 miles), but to get a grin on my face the MGA takes it every time. It looks fabulous, is very responsive (without needing the constant steering corrections of a Healey I might add). And while it doesn't bother me in the least, no one gives an MGB a second glance. With the MGA you are waved at by many when driving, and every one wants to talk to you when you park it.
So Alex, you can own an MGB and an MGA for the cost of a Healey, let alone the other expensive alternatives mentioned.

Redhawk1689 Avatar
Redhawk1689 Gold Member Steven Stockham
Salina, KS, USA   USA
1958 MG MGA 1500 "Belle"
I'm bringing this subject back from four years ago rather than starting the thread anew because I was curious about the Healey vs the MGA as far as ride comfort, turning, braking, and (of course) acceleration. This thread was about the 100-4 BN2 model. I found the observations interesting and very helpful.

I'd like to expand the comparison to include the 100-6 model. I was offered the chance to acquire one that is in pretty decent shape but would need some TLC to get it running after sitting in a Morton building for a decade. It would require me to sell the MGA (which I'm not at all ready to do) in order to finance the transaction. I'm just doing research at this time but I would like some informed opinions. I'm not serious about it, just speculating at this point. I really love my MGA and would need something truly spectacular for me to even consider giving it up!

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bills Avatar
bills Bill Spohn
W. Vancouver, , BC, Canada   CAN
In reply to # 3737355 by Redhawk1689 I'm bringing this subject back from four years ago rather than starting the thread anew because I was curious about the Healey vs the MGA as far as ride comfort, turning, braking, and (of course) acceleration. This thread was about the 100-4 BN2 model. I found the observations interesting and very helpful.

I'd like to expand the comparison to include the 100-6 model. I was offered the chance to acquire one that is in pretty decent shape but would need some TLC to get it running after sitting in a Morton building for a decade. It would require me to sell the MGA (which I'm not at all ready to do) in order to finance the transaction. I'm just doing research at this time but I would like some informed opinions. I'm not serious about it, just speculating at this point. I really love my MGA and would need something truly spectacular for me to even consider giving it up!


Pretty much covered it a couple of years ago, but I think it boiled down to the BN1/BN2 being a very pretty car with a low revving truck engine that had little sporting character, but nonetheless moved it along quite handily. The downsides were poor brakes, a body on chassis design prone to rust and very expensive restoration, mediocre handling - a bit better than a TR but nowhere near as good as an MGA. I raced against them and beat them on handling, braking and running my Twin Cam engine, top speed. We'd go into a hairpin turn with me right behind them and I'd be on the next straight 4-5 car lengths ahead due to the braking and handling advantage of the MGA.

The 100-6 is another thing - heavy with a plodding engine that resists making much power, and the same handling coupled with more weight. Until the last phase 2 3000 mk3 all of these cars were lumbered with an axle over the frame which meant that as soon as it bottomed on the frame, the rear wheel left the ground and traction disappeared.

The Mk 3 is a respectable tourer, but the ones before were meh. They all bring obscene amounts of money compared to the MGs, though.



Bill Spohn www.rhodo.citymax.com/carstuff.html
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

bobs77vet Avatar
bobs77vet bob K.
northern Va, VA, USA   USA
In reply to # 2838721 by bobs77vet
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.


this is funny ...my quote from october 2014......it was a forewarning of my future actions..... and I now have a c5


i had an early 3000.....they are nice and powerful, and beautiful!!!! but no where near the engineering delight our MGAs were designed with ....what does this mean to you 16 ga frames instead of 14 ga.....a frame that goes under the rear axle.....2.5" of ground clearance at the back end.... hobbled together parts in a mix match. a Hood that will make you only ever use a tonneau cover....did i say they were nice, powerful and beautiful????? and very costly.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-16 03:10 PM by bobs77vet.

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Redhawk1689 Avatar
Redhawk1689 Gold Member Steven Stockham
Salina, KS, USA   USA
1958 MG MGA 1500 "Belle"
Okaaay.... that's very interesting! I like the look of the 100-6 better than the 100-4 but it sounds as if the 100-4 was the "peppier" of the two! The one being possibly offered is BRG with a tan interior and wire wheels. I've never been in one so I really haven't any direct comparison. I appreciate the insights! I think I'll probably pass on this. Too many negatives by comparison with my MGA and then there is the consideration about the $$$! eye rolling smiley

Rob Z Avatar
Rob Z Silver Member Rob Zucca
Camarillo, CA, USA   USA
1960 MG MGA
Did a rally a few years ago and at the lunch break told the fellow driving the 100-4 how beautiful it was. He pointed to my A and said “yeah, but that’s a better car”. This from someone who restored high end Jags, British classics for a living. Depending what you would have to pay for the Healey, it would probably be a better investment than the A, but if you’re looking for the driving enjoyment and cheapness of ownership, the A is better. I keep saying that these cars are a bargain. And they are.



"Time flies like an arrow......Fruit flies like a banana"

MGAdavid Avatar
MGAdavid David Werblow
Portland, CT, USA   USA
1954 MG TF
1959 MG MGA
Before I purchased my MGA (as a project) ; I had the opportunity to buy a project A-H 100-6, I priced out the cost of a cam for both. Enough said !

brudolph Bob Rudolph
Martinez, CA, USA   USA
This reply is on topic. It's been a lot of years since my Healey 4 went away but I don't really ever seeing the back of an MGA at a rally or at the track. When Triumph came out with the 4IRS the Healey was no longer the king of the road. Fabulous car. 10 times the car that an MGA was. In driving, cornering or value. The funny thing is the Healey 4 cylinder was designed but not produced by by MG. Donald Healey bought the design and tooling from MG, paired it with a taxi motor and he ended up with an almost perfect (for the time) sports car. 54/46 weight distribution, good (not great) engine, and looks to die for. What MG product was ever good enough to cause the most infamous crash in racing history? When they stretched it in '57 it became touring car not a sports car. Back end goes around a corner before the front end. 1953 through 1956 saw the best small engine British sports car and that was the 4 cylinder, Austin Hawley 100m. God I miss that car.

gossie Avatar
gossie Howard Gostelow
Queensland, Gold Coast, Australia   AUS
I had a MK1 A Type and a BN1 Healey at the same time. (Plus a TC)
Healey had MUCH more grunt. Was set up well and very nice to drive.
A Type was also nice to drive.
Healey is now close to double the price of an A to be considered.
Both nice, so suggest it's personal choice.

bobs77vet Avatar
bobs77vet bob K.
northern Va, VA, USA   USA
One more thing on the 3000....you could start off in 4th gear

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