Poor Man’s Cobra: 1961 MGA With 289 Ford V8 – SOLD!

Update: This one got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330

September 2020 Update – We’re busy updating our database accurately reflect the status of every car we’ve featured since starting GuysWithRides.com.  This V8-Powered MGA we first featured in September  2019 has since sold.

March 28th Update – We just noticed another fresh listing for this unique “Poor Man’s Cobra” with the price reduced to $20,000.  We had to laugh when our friends at BarnFinds.com elected to post this “new” listing when we’ve been tracking this MGA since last summer. 

December 28th Update – We just noticed another fresh listing for this unique “Poor Man’s Cobra” with the price still set at $24,500.

November 22nd Update – when we first featured this unique MGA on September 21st, the current caretaker was asking $25,000. We just noticed this updated listed with the price lowered to $24,500.

In our opinion, the only thing that could make a gorgeous MGA better is to stuff it with V8 power.  That’s exactly what we found listed in the Fall of 2019 on Craigslist in Freeville, New York where the then-caretaker offered this MGA built as a “poor man’s Cobra” in Southern California in the late 1960s. This is a real period hot rod, so said the seller. Using the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool for a stock MGA as a proxy, the restorer of this MGA Hot Rod has his car priced about halfway between the #2 “Excellent” level of $30,400 and the #3 “Good” value of $16,400.

MG produced the MGA from 1955 through 1962 before being replaced by the venerable MGB. For 1961 MG launched a late-cycle refresh called the Mark II.  The engine size was increased again to 1622 cc and the cylinder head was also revised with larger valves and re-engineered combustion chambers. Horsepower increased to 90 bhp. It also had a higher ratio 4:1 rear axle, which made for more relaxed high-speed driving. An inset grille and Morris Mini tail lamps appearing horizontally below the deck lid were the most obvious visual changes.

Although the current caretaker does not mention it, we estimate the rebuilt Ford 289 cubic inch V8 now under the hood of this MGA provides at least triple the horsepower over the stock inline-four. Channeling that power to a narrowed Ford eight-inch rear end is a TCI-built Ford C4 automatic transmission.

The seller reports his custom MGA has excellent road manners and that he’s selling it because he doesn’t have enough time to drive it and hates seeing it sit in his garage not being used.  This custom MGA will make a great conversation piece at every show you drive it to.

Good luck with the purchase!

We’d love to hear your thoughts about this vehicle.  Comment below and let us know!


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