1958 MGA Twin-Cam

For the debut of its new MGA in 1955, MG wisely chose that year’s LeMans 24-hour race; after a succession of open-wheeled models, there were fears of an adverse reaction to such a streamlined car and it was felt that by showing the MGA in competition first the aerodynamic shape would be accepted as a performance essential. There had been some delays, however, in getting the go-ahead for production, MG owner BMC declining, having already agreed with Donald Healey to build the Austin-Healey 100. It was the success of a highly streamlined MGA prototype, which took several speed records up to 153 mph, that finally persuaded BMC to relent.

The Twin-Cam MGA was introduced midway through 1958. The 1588cc unit was rated at 108 bhp at 6,700 rpm, providing the car with a 0-60 mph time of 9 seconds and a maximum speed of 115 mph. The suspension was by independent coil springs at the front and a live rear axle with leaf springs, the car had a close-ratio gearbox and the specification was rounded off with disc brakes all around.

The car featured here is a roadster finished in white with a black interior and is described as being in excellent overall condition. (The photo is of a similar car.) Fitted with the desirable close-ratio gearbox option, it was extensively restored in the U.K. during the late 1980s and has covered less than 500 miles since.