With the arrival of the MGA Roadster in 1955, MG aficionados were greeted with a streamlined, modern body and the up-to-date B-series engine, which debuted in the Magnette saloon. As early as 1951, however, marque enthusiasts received a taste of the upcoming models when George Phillips drove a re-bodied TD at Le Mans.
A road-going version of the Phillips car was proposed to BMC in 1952 as a replacement for the TD, but it was rejected because of the corporation’s plans to build the Austin-Healey 100. MG had even gone so far as building a full prototype of the MGA by using TD running gear, a 1250 XPAG engine, a re-designed chassis, and new bodywork. By 1955, it was evident that the aging TF would finally need to be replaced, and the MGA was quickly introduced.
Notably, even before the official launch of the MGA in 1955, three aluminum-bodied prototypes of the sports car were entered into Le Mans and were quite successful, finishing fifth and sixth in their class. As a result, when the MGA was launched shortly afterwards, the car was already one with a racing pedigree, ensuring immediate acceptance.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2011 at The Inn at St. John's, Plymouth, Michigan.
72 bhp, 1,489 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine, twin SU carburetors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with unequal-length wishbones and coil springs, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 85"
Source: RM Auctions