• Glovebox Notes

    SCM doesn't just cover collector cars. Every week, SCM reviews a brand new car online and in our newsletters, and there are new reviews every month in the magazine. Thinking of buying a new car? Check out our reviews!

    Read More
  • Insider’s Guide to Concours d’Elegance

    The 2014 guide includes a calendar of events and detailed descriptions of 21 featured concours.

    Read More
  • SCM Platinum

    Over 200 cars that sold at auction covered in every issue of SCM. Our market reports include detailed information about the vehicle, including VIN, condition, options, and expert analysis from SCM's auction reporters.

    SCM Platinum is the largest database of collector cars sold at auction. Over 150,000 vehicles, including over 59,000 with detailed write-ups from our auction reporters.

    Now optimized for your mobile devices!

    Read More
  • Sports Car Market Magazine

    SCM is renowned for its unbiased coverage of the most prominent auctions around the world. Every issue of Sports Car Market is packed full of information you can't get anywhere else at any price. Find out the pro's secrets — what to look for and how much to pay for the classic of your dreams.

    Read More

Recent Profiles

load more / hold SHIFT key to load all load all

The vendor commissioned the restoration over three years to exacting
standards, then only ran it to log a few break-in miles. Why?



1962 mga 1600 mk ii roadster


With the arrival of the MGA roadster in 1955, many MG aficionados were taken aback by the fact that the pre-war look of the company's sports cars had been tampered with. The new MGA had a streamlined, aerodynamic body 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.

The MGA Mk II was the last of the MGA series; assembly started in April 1961 and ceased in June 1962 with a total production of 8,719 units in both roadster and fixed head coupe configuration. Visually, the Mk II was distinguishable from previous MGA models by various body detail changes. The vertical bars in the front grille assembly were recessed at the bottom, adding much depth to the grille, and a new taillight cluster, borrowed from the Mini, was fitted to comply with new lighting regulations. The most noteworthy change was the installation of BMC's 1,622-cc inline 4-cylinder engine. This cast iron-block engine offered an increase in horsepower of 13% over previous MGA models, as well as a 12% gain in torque. All this was achieved by a displacement increase of only 34 cc.

The beautiful Iris Blue MGA Mk II roadster presented here, with blue interior and white piping, was the recipient of a three-year, frame-off, fully documented restoration performed by a marque specialist to exacting standards. The frame and all suspension components were powder coated and reassembled with grade-8 N.O.S. hardware. The engine and transmission have been professional rebuilt to new standards, while virtually every mechanical system on the car was replaced with new. The MGA's restoration was completed only a short time ago, and accordingly, it has logged only break-in miles. We understand the owner has tested the roadster thoroughly and relates that the Mk II runs as expected and needs nothing.

This 1962 MGA MK II represents one of the most desired and sought after MGA models, as it was one of the last cars made in 1962. This car is ready for street use, collection display, and all-around enjoyment.


{analysis}{auto}868{/auto} This 1962 MGA 1600 MK II Roadster sold for $36,300 at the RM auction in Monterey on August 18-19, 2006.

This is a great price for what should be considered to be a mass-production sports car, so the first thing to establish is where the MGA 1600 Mk II fits into the scheme of MGA collecting.

There are essentially five models to consider in the production MGA range: the 1500, the Twin-Cam, the 1600, the 1600 Mk II, and the 1600 Mk II DeLuxe, with both open and closed variants included.

In 1961, our subject model, the MGA 1600 Mk II, appeared. This had a 1,622-cc version of the standard B-series engine, along with other minor changes, which included new rear lights and a redesigned grille with inset vertical slats. The engine now developed 93 hp, which was an increase of some 25 hp over the original MGA. In this form, the car was capable of well in excess of 100 mph, offering similar performance to the troublesome Twin-Cam, but without the temperamental nature of that car.

313 remaining Twin-Cam chassis were also given the 1,622-cc B-series engine, but retained the four-wheel disc brakes and center-lock steel disc wheels. In this guise they were known as the MGA 1600 Mk II DeLuxe, and some consider these to be the most desirable of all MGAs.

By now, despite the fact that it had been a very good sports car when introduced, the MGA was entering its twilight years and did not offer the level of interior comfort or the performance of the new TR4. So the MGA Mk II was really just a stop-gap model.

In 1962, after 101,476 As of all types had been produced, the MGA was dropped. Its replacement was already waiting in the wings, and would prove to be the longest-running and best-selling MG of them all, the MGB.

RM estimated this car aggressively, by my pre-auction opinion, at $35,000 to $45,000, and it was proven right by the hammer. In fact, these roadsters rarely cross the $25,000 barrier, let alone $30,000. So why, when the hammer fell, had this car reached RM's expectations and exceeded mine?

We have established that the model was a stop-gap produced in reasonable numbers, so rarity wasn't a factor. And as it was offered without reserve, there had to be more than one buyer chasing it, which would illustrate a healthy market.

Perhaps the upper reaches of the market are having a strong knock-on effect at all the lower levels, but I don't think so.

And here's another question. The vendor commissioned the car to be restored over three years to exacting standards, then only ran it enough to log a few break-in miles. Why?

One conclusion might be that the vendor was the restorer himself. But when restorers spend three years on an MGA to turn a profit, they are living dangerously. Generally, cars are restored to this standard only for paying customers, so we can discount this reasoning.

Pictured in the catalog with hubcaps missing and no trim visible, there seemed to be a feeling of urgency about this sale. A kind of "Don't waste another minute, get it consigned" feeling.

Despite the quality of the restoration, the most plausible conclusion is that for whatever reason, the vendor simply got tired of the restoration process and wanted the car gone. I've seen this happen many times. The dream begins when the project car is purchased, and gradually diminishes as restoration costs mount and time goes by. Even the best dream has a hard time surviving 36 months of invoices.

But why did the buyer shell out $36,300? Again, if you always hankered after an MGA Mk II 1600 roadster, like the one you remembered from way back, the bid price was almost certainly within the figure a restorer would charge to do the job. This way you didn't have to source a car and wait three years for the outcome. So was this a smart move?

In the end, yes. Even though the vendor appeared to rush to sell the car, and the buyer allowed himself to get caught up in the red mist that is the historic weekend in Monterey, this was not a fiscally imprudent acquisition.

In the abstract, I can say it's not what I would have done, that I would be thoughtful, take plenty of time to research it, hit the seller with a low-ball offer in the mid-twenties and go from there.
On the other hand, if I really had the hots for an Iris Blue MGA Mk II, had the money burning a hole in my pocket, and was surrounded by other fanatics who were spending money on cars like there was no tomorrow, I'm not sure that my own reasoned approach wouldn't have fallen to the floor as my bidding paddle shot to the ceiling.

For the new owner, if the reality of this car lives up to his dream, and provides instant gratification as well, everyone should be happy.{/analysis}

Recent Blog Posts

  • Training a Dog to Drive a Mini Cooper +

    Read More
  • This Week's Classic Mystery Photo +

    The monthly Mystery Photo has been an SCM tradition for 25 years. Each week, we’ll share one of our “greatest hits” photos from the past and give you a chance to provide a new witty and provocative caption. Each week’s winner will be announced in the Newsletter. Share your caption Read More
  • A Great Weekend at the Concours of America +

    It’s been five years since I’ve been to the Concours d’Elegance of America (formerly known as Meadow Brook). I’d heard good things about the new location, and when Concours Chairman Larry Moss asked if I would be interested in being co-emcee, I eagerly accepted. As Michigan has been the location of Read More
  • Forest Grove Concours Weekend: A Celebration of Cars and People +

    There’s nothing better than a great car event that happens in your own backyard. No packing, no airports, no rental cars, no hotel rooms – just go into the SCM garage, pull out your favorite car (and a couple for your good friends) and head out. This was the 42nd Read More
  • Need for Skid +

      Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Collector Car News

  • Get Your Free Monterey Pocket Guide +

    Our free Monterey pocket guide, sponsored by Alan Taylor Company Inc. is now online. It contains a map, event timeline, and auction details in one compact package. Read it online here, or click here to view it as a pdf, which you can download or print. Read More
  • The 2014 Northwest Passage Tour +

    The Oregon Region Porsche Club of America's 2014 Northwest Passage (sponsored by SCM) takes place July 31-August 3. Keith Martin will be on the drive, along with SCM Contributors John Draneas and Michael Pierce. The event is sold out, but you can read about last year's tour here. Read More
  • 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa at Auctions America California +

    Auctions America California takes place July 31-August 2 in Burbank. Among the highlights is a 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa by Pininfarina. View all the consignments here. Read More
  • Meet Keith Martin in Monterey +

    Keith Martin and the SCM gang will be everywhere during Monterey Car Week. If you see Keith or anyone wearing an SCM logo, don't hesitate to introduce yourself. Keith hosts the 13th Annual SCM Monterey Insider's Seminar on Saturday, August 16 at 9 a.m. The Insider's Seminar takes place inside Read More
  • Classes Announced for Chantilly Concours +

    SCM Publisher Keith Martin will be one of three American Judges at theChantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille event, taking place September 7 in Chantilly, FRA. Judged classes include: Concept Cars The Interwar Period Sports & Racing Cars The Great French Bodyworks from the '20s and '30s British Chassis & Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4