MG MGA 1500 Roadster
With the arrival of the MGA Roadster in 1955, several MG aficionados were taken aback by the fact that the prewar look of the company’s sports cars had been tampered with. They were greeted with a streamlined, aerodynamic body that was right up-to-the-minute in terms of styling and design. In addition, management at MG decided that the old XPAG power plant had seen better days and replaced it with a much more modern B-series engine, which had made its debut in the Magnette saloon.
As early as 1951, however, marque enthusiasts were given a taste of upcoming models when George Phillips drove a re-bodied TD Midget at Le Mans. The factory built a car for him following several notable wins with his own TC fitted with a lightweight racing body. A road-going version of the Phillips car had been proposed to BMC in 1952 as a replacement for the TD Midget, but it was rejected because of the corporation’s plan to build the Austin-Healey 100. MG had gone as far as building a full prototype of the MGA by using TD running gear, the 1250 XPAG engine, a re-designed chassis, and the MGA bodywork. By 1955, it was evident that the TF Midget model that was still being sold would need to be replaced. The MGA was quickly ushered in.
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 pedigree, ensuring immediate acceptance by fans of the marque and the motoring public as well.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2010 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
80 bhp, 1,500 cc overhead valve inline four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, front-wheel disc brakes, rear-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 85"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel