Thursday 24th January 2019,
Inopian

MG A 1955 – 1962

MG Car Company was founded in 1924 by Cecil Kimber in Abingdon, Berkshire UK. Kimber had been an employee of Morris and left Morris Motors to found a chain of dealerships named Morris Garages. He then began to build his own cars and called the firm `MG`.

His cars were all Morris-based. From 1924 to 1955 the flagship car was the `T series` two-seater sports car. The `T series` cars were all traditional 1930′s styled, much loved and very successful.

In 1955 the `A` was born, a massive departure in MG design. The body was in the continental `Barchetta` style, totally modern in appearance, though traditional under the skin. Morris had just developed the new `B Series` 1489cc engine and MG utilised it. The old `T` chassis was widened to allow the engine to sit lower.

MG was heavily involved with competition including the Le Mans 24 hrs and Sebring 12 hours. A Fixed-Head Coupe version was expressly designed for the purpose. MGA production included the fixed-head coupe but it was never as popular as the roadster. The race cars used the 1600 twin-cam unit and MG offered it to the public. The car was plagued with unreliability and was discontinued after two years of production. The MGA twin-cam fixed-head coupe is the rarest of all the MGAs.

All MGAs were available with wire wheels and handled very well notwithstanding the lever-arm shock-absorbers which were spongy and high-maintenance. Later, when telescopic dampers became available they were a popular modification.

Chassis was of separate box section steel. Front suspension was coil and wishbone, rear suspension was a rigid axle with semi-elliptic springs, all with lever-arm dampers. Rack & pinion steering and Lockheed drum brakes all round were fitted.

Power train; (all models had 4speed synchromesh gearboxes).

MGA 1500 (1955 to 1959)

B Series Morris inline four cylinder. 1489cc with twin SU carburettors, 3-bearing crankshaft. The unit produced 72 bhp with a top speed of 98 mph and a 0- 60 mph time of 16 seconds. The consumption was good at 27 MPG. Price new was 844 GBP in 1955. Production; 58,750 cars.

MGA 1600; (1959 to 1962) MkI and MkII.

Cubic capacity increased to 1588cc, late cars have 1622cc engine. Front wheels received disc brakes which was instantly a good idea. Only slight improvement in performance though. Production; 31,500.

MGA Twin-Cam 1600. (1958 to 1960)

This special version received disc brakes all round. Power train boosted to 100 bhp, twin-cam unit capable of 113 mph and a 0-60 time of 9 seconds. To achieve this MG increased the compression ratio to 9.9 to 1 but high oil consumption and rough-running were the result. Later Twin-Cams had lower compression engines (8.3 to 1) and improved reliability. However, still 2111 were produced at a price of 1283 GBP in 1958.

The MGA was replaced by the MGB in 1962.

MG A 1955-1962
 
 
Body Type2 seater roadster/fixed-head coupe
Engine PlacementFront
Drive TypeRear wheel drive
Brakes
FrontDrum (1500)/Discs (1600)Discs (1600 TC)
RearDrum (1500 & 1600)Discs (1600 TC)
Dimensionsmminches
Length3962156
Width147358
Height127050
Wheelbase238894
Cargo Volume161 L5.7 cu. Ft.
Engine1500 OHV B-series Morris (1955-1959)
Cylindersstraight 4
Displacement1489 cc90.9 cui
Power54 Kw72 bhp5500 RPM
Torque105 Nm77 ft. lb3500 RPM
Power/weight80 bhp/t
FuelPetrol
Top Speed158 km/h98 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph16 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Urban13.521
Extra-urban8.633
Combined10.527
Gearbox4 speed manual
Weight902 kg1989 lb
Engine1600 MKI OHV B-series Morris (1959-1961)
Cylindersstraight 4
Displacement1588 cc96.9 cui
Power58 Kw78 bhp5500 RPM
Torque112 Nm83 ft. lb3500 RPM
Power/weight84 bhp/t
FuelPetrol
Top Speed162 km/h101 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph15.4 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Urban14.120
Extra-urban8.832
Combined10.128
Gearbox4 speed manual
Weight927 kg2044 lb
Engine1600 MKII OHV B-series Morris (1961-1962)
Cylindersstraight 4
Displacement1622 cc99 cui
Power69 Kw93 bhp5500 RPM
Torque132 Nm97 ft. lb4000 RPM
Power/weight100 bhp/t
FuelPetrol
Top Speed163 km/h101 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph14.2 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Urban15.718
Extra-urban9.430
Combined10.926
Gearbox4 speed manual
Weight927 kg2044 lb
Engine1600 Twin-Cam OHV B-series Morris (1958-1960)
Cylindersstraight 4
Displacement1588 cc96.9 cui
Power75 Kw100 bhp6700 RPM
Torque142 Nm105 ft. lb4500 RPM
Power/weight105 bhp/t
FuelPetrol
Top Speed182 km/h113 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph9 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Urban18.115.6
Extra-urban9.828.8
Combined12.422.8
Gearbox4 speed manual
Weight952 kg2099 lb
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MG A 1955 - 1962, 7.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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About Bev Roberts

Speed, the smell of hot oil, the roar of a straight-through exhaust and the scream of an engine at max revolutions. They have all been a large part of my life for almost 50 years. It is time to share my experiences with you, dear reader. Do you want to know more? Read on through my `Full Bio` and many articles.

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I was born in Hereford UK in 1948 and brought up in Gloucester UK. I played Rugby football internationally as a schoolboy. At the age of 17, a new and wet driving license in my paw, I entered motor racing. I was supported and financed by my parents and so my journey began.

In 1965 I bought a 1293cc Mini-Cooper `S` and campaigned it for a season. Having quickly made some good friends in the racing fraternity, several interesting opportunities came my way. I joined a sports-car team and raced in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1968 and 1969 in a Lola T70. Mechanical failure defeated both efforts. During that period I owned and raced a `D type` Jaguar and an AC Cobra. In those days cars like that were available and not too expensive, now they reside in museums and private collections. I had a chain of interesting cars through my youth including Jaguars, Minis, Mustangs and Lotus-Cortinas.

As a young driver I had my share of accidents too. Often the car would only be worth scrap-metal value by the time I got it home! I worked for an Aston-Martin/Jaguar dealership for a while, which enhanced my experience and gave me the opportunity to sample some very exotic machines, Ferrari, Facel-Vega, Iso and Maserati to recall a few of them.

At the end of 1969 I moved to South Africa to work on my uncle`s farm but the S.A. government had other ideas and drafted me into the army. After five years had passed I was thanked and released from the service. While I was there I bought a beige Cadillac Eldorado, previously the property of Marilyn Monroe. While I was away on a patrol my girlfriend had it re-sprayed pink! I was unimpressed by both the joke and the bill for the work!

When I returned to UK in 1974 I left it behind. On my return I found that the once-mighty British motor industry was in decline and was headed for oblivion. Motor racing was now very expensive so I turned to commercial transport. Driving large trucks gave me freedom and a chance to see some of the world. I don`t remember ever making a career choice but for the next thirty years a truck was my home. For about ten years in that period I owned two trucks of my own.

I also owned a famous MGB-GT, known as `Lucky`. If you`d like to read `The Story of Lucky` there is an article in Inopian`s archive. I finally retired, due to ill-health, in 2008. Since I had varied knowledge and many experiences on our subject I decided to share the stories of the cars I enjoyed (and hated) with the new generation.

Enjoy Inopian… it is constructed and written for you.

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