Ponton Styling: 1959 MG MGA 1600 – SOLD!

Jul 2020 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Sports Car Saturday

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

Morris Garage’s (better known simply as “MG”) best looking car in our humble opinion has always been the MGA as it merged pre-war sports car charm with a hint of more modern “ponton” design language.  This driver quality, red-over-black leather example last listed on Craigslist in Highland, New York with 55,555 original miles currently has an asking price of $16,000.  Researching the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool reveals the private seller has his MGA priced between the current #3 “Good” appraisal of $20,600 and the #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $9,700.

When MG designer Syd Enever created a streamlined body for George Philips’ TD Le Mans car in 1951, little did he know his creation would become the genesis for the new MGA launched for the 1956 model year. The new bodywork traded the MG TF’s articulated fenders and running boards for ponton styling, with a single styled envelope fully enclosing the width and uninterrupted length of a car.

The MGA’s predecessor, the TF, featured a high driver seating position with dated tractor-like ride and handling that was quickly falling out of favor with enthusiasts and as a result, sales began to decline.  Consequently, this new design was so different from the older MG models it was called the MGA, the “first of a new line” to quote the contemporary advertising. There was also a new engine available, therefore the car did not have the originally intended XPAG unit but was fitted with the BMC B-series engine allowing a lower hood line. From a styling standpoint, its worth noting the MGA convertible such as the example featured here had no exterior door handles, while coupe versions did.

MGA’s relied on a body-on-frame design and used the inline four-cylinder “B series” engine from MG’s Magnette sedan driving the rear wheels through a four-speed gearbox. MGA’s feature an independent front suspension utilizing coil springs and wishbones while a rigid axle with semi-elliptic springs supports the rear of the car. Steering was by rack and pinion. Buyers had their choice of either steel-disc road wheels of the car was available with either wire-spoked “knock-offs” such as the example here features.

MGAs remain ideal first collector cars. They’re affordable, simple to work on, rugged, and attractive. Parts are readily available and moderately priced.  The September 2008 Hemmings Motor New’s Buyer’s Guide for the 1956-1962 MGA remains a great resource to help familiarize yourself with these cars and what to look for.

We’re not sure why the private seller chose to provide a number of pictures of his MGA strapped to a trailer other than perhaps facilitating the undercarriage shots he also includes.  The seller honestly states his MGA is a driver quality car and the extensive pictures provide a nice overview of the good and not-so-good items needing attention.  If you’re looking for a classic British sports car you can enjoy driving while you make improvements as your time and budget permit, this red MGA appears to be a candidate for you.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“One very nice driver quality MGA that could easily be taken to next level..
This is the 1500cc engine with 4 speed transmission.
Drums brakes all around and function well.
Wire wheels ok,tires are good along with exhaust system..Nice interior.Has top frame but will need new conv top.Side curtains are included..Newer Kumho tires all around.All lights,blinkers,brake lights horn work..VERY NICE CHROME WORK
Clear title(transferable Reg).
Please reply with MGA in your reply.
All scammers claiming to have trouble receiving email through CL,please go away and do not ask whats final offer price is.
Also if the ad is up then IT IS STILL AVAILABLE !!

Do you have a MGA story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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