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MGA Vandan Plas Aluminum Hardtop Serial Numbers???

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scungillee Avatar
scungillee David Lentinello
Huntington, NY, USA   USA
Over the weekend I bought my friends Vandan Plas Aluminum hardtop for my MGA. I already have a factory supplied fiberglass hardtop made by Universal Laminates restored in Old English White but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to buy an aluminum hardtop. My question...... Does anyone know if the Vandan Plas hardtop has a serial number or makers ID tag anywhere???? My Universal Laminates Fiberglass hardtop has a small oval tag underneath in the middle of the header bar that presses against the top of the windshield. I looked in the same spot on my aluminum top and there is nothing there. I attached two photos of the aluminum top and one of the restored top. Hmmm any thoughts? Thanks Dave.

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Zur Avatar
Zur Dave H.
Amarillo, TX, USA   USA
Nice car, nice top!



Dave
"WTF?"

mgaex189 Avatar
mgaex189 Platinum Member Giovanni Delicio
Obrigheim, Rheinpfalz, Germany   DEU
1955 MG MGA 1500 "C2"
1955 MG MGA 1500
1955 MG MGA 1500 "C1"
1960 MG MGA 1600 Coupe    & more
I have 3 Aluminium and 2 fiberglass Hardtop. I'll have to check and let you know. Now it's to late, to dark and toooo cold outsidehot smiley

Gio

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Gary E Avatar
Gary E Silver Member Gary Edwards
Kernersville, ,N.C., USA   USA
Yes they all have a serial number and there is a google group and a register for them. See the guru site for info.



Gary

Danbgt Avatar
Danbgt Dan Suter
Rochester, NY, USA   USA
Hello everyone,
The factory/ Vanden Plas aluminum tops had numbers stamped just above the lower rail (on the inside, where they would normally be covered by fabric), I believe inboard of the rear chrome mounting plates. The numbers are in the pattern of XXX X, or in a few cases XXX XX where the last 2 digits were (10).

There was much discussion in the hardtop group (yahoo) early on that the first digit might be the year of manufacture as all of the incoming numbers from owners were 5,6,7,8. The speculation was that it might be year of manufacture, followed by batch (maybe 2 digits), and followed after the gap by the number within the batch, which culminated at the number (10). There was another theory that the first 3 digits were a Vanden Plas job number , again followed by the number within batch.

To my knowledge it has not been fully solved.

A while back I was also coordinating an effort to capture the factory fiberglass top numbers (small oval plate centered on the header rail) as Clausager at the time did not know how many were made. I think we gathered numbers from 0070 to ~1680 (on a known original March, '62 MkII), suggesting that a similar number of fiberglass tops were made as were the Vanden Plas.

Best regards,
Dan

Twofin Avatar
Twofin David T
Bedworth, Warwickshire, UK   GBR
That is a very neat top, some I've seen on cars look horrendous , that top compliments the sleek lines of the A by keeping low. Nice puchase, I would put that on my car any day.

Plumberpilot Avatar
Plumberpilot Silver Member Ricky May
Salem, Salem Va, USA   USA
David is the rear seal correct for that top? I have one of the alloy tops (unrestored) and the seal isn’t that visible from the outside on mine maybe its just worn out.

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Monaco Richard W
Hobart, Tas, Australia   AUS
Not wishing to hijack the thread. However if anyone would be willing to part with an aluminium hardtop please contact me?

MGACharlie Avatar
MGACharlie Silver Member Charlie Adams
Fairfax Station, VA, USA   USA
1951 MG TD MkII
1955 MG TF
1962 MG MGA MkII "Red"
David,

Congratulations! Great find, and your top looks to be in overall very nice condition.

MG supplied only about 1450 of these aluminum hardtops, so they are fairly rare. I bought an MGA to get its hardtop, and then I sold that car.

The number on my top is in the location Dan Suter describes.

The number on mine (669 3) is located on the passenger side bottom inside edge about 4 inches toward the center from the mounting tab.

I don't have any information about the seal which runs along the bottom of the top along the body. It would be very helpful to me as I restore my top if you would share some photos of this bottom edge seal.

Charlie Adams

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scungillee Avatar
scungillee David Lentinello
Huntington, NY, USA   USA
That's great information guys. I knew there would be serial numbers somewhere on that hardtop. For me it will be a mystery because I don't want to ruin the headliner material which is original and fragile to see what the numbers reveal. I just know it will bug me since I am a numbers guy... I attached a photo of where the serial numbers should be... 4 inches to the right of the passenger side support on the bottom rail. I assume behind the fabric and not under the rubber molding??? Much appreciated...


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MGACharlie Avatar
MGACharlie Silver Member Charlie Adams
Fairfax Station, VA, USA   USA
1951 MG TD MkII
1955 MG TF
1962 MG MGA MkII "Red"
David,

I remeasured...my serial number is located between the third and fourth inch from the post along the bottom edge.

Charlie


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scungillee Avatar
scungillee David Lentinello
Huntington, NY, USA   USA
Wow you nailed it Charlie!!! So if I am not mistaken, that lip is covered with the rubber molding sealing the top to the body and if I am very carful I can pry it off without ripping the fabric headliner to reveal my serial numbers. In theory your number reads as follows: built 1956, # 69 batch # 3 (based on Dans info) or maybe June 9, 1956 # 3? Don't think any of that is significant but its cool to know. Thanks again for the photo and your information.

MGACharlie Avatar
MGACharlie Silver Member Charlie Adams
Fairfax Station, VA, USA   USA
1951 MG TD MkII
1955 MG TF
1962 MG MGA MkII "Red"
David,

Glad to help. I do like knowing my top was likely made 1956.

I'm thinking your headliner is a very nice original. The vinyl pattern and exact color of the original is no longer available. I've got the kit which Cecilia put together and she did a good job selecting vinyl but its not exact.

Charlie

scungillee Avatar
scungillee David Lentinello
Huntington, NY, USA   USA
That seal on the bottom of my white fiberglass hardtop (Universal Laminations) is a new non-original seal to that particular hardtop. It fits like a bug in a rug. Really snug fitting. I wouldn't change it for anything else out there. BTY the gentleman's name from Mass who restored my top is Albert Viator. email: performancevideo3@gmail.com. He rebuilt my hardtop from the fiberglass up with all new hardware, primer and paint. Excellent workmanship. If you want more detail on the rubber seal send Al a message.

3066james Avatar
3066james Gold Member Jim Cheatham
Amelia, VA, USA   USA
Here’s a link to a great article on restoring an MGA Aluminum Hardtop. It was in the November/December 1998 issue of MGA! and was written by Roger Bailey.

http://www.clancy.ch/Aluminium_Hard_Top_files/Hardtop%20restoration.pdf

Jim



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-12-18 08:13 PM by 3066james.

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