1959 MGA TWIN CAM WITH HARDTOP
Chassis No. YD3 21493
Engine No. 16GB/U/1081
Black with red leather upholstery and black piping
Engine: four cylinder, twin overhead cam shafts, 1,588cc, 108bhp at 6,700rpm; Gearbox: four-speed manual; Suspension: front, lever arm dampers, lower wishbones, coil springs and anti-roll bar, rear, multi-leaf springs and lever arm dampers; Brakes: four wheel disc. Left hand drive.
From the late 1940s until the MG factory at Abingdon closed in 1980, it was the huge American demand for British sports cars that brought sufficient orders to keep the production lines in business. While other countries around the world and the home market were important, none was as important as North America. The modern-looking, streamlined MGA was introduced in 1955 and this too proved to be a sales success in MG's most important market. Of a total production of 101,081 MGAs, 81,401 were exported to the US, some eighty-one per cent of the total market.
Despite its success in terms of sales and also a good competition racing record, by the late 1950s the MGA was deemed to be a little slow and therefore it was no surprise that in 1958 the Twin Cam was announced. With a new race-proven engine, power input increased considerably from 72 to 108bhp. Outwardly the Twin Cam changed little apart from the introduction of handsome center-lock Dunlop wheels, but these changes heralded the advent of all round disc brakes from Dunlop. The Twin Cams today are highly sought after and relatively rare due to their limited production run of 2,111 built between 1958 and 1960.
This superbly presented example merits very close attention. During the early 1990s this MGA was purchased by the current owner and was entrusted to the specialist firm G.P. Abingdon Ltd. for a complete frame-off, bare metal, nut and bolt rebuild to the very highest standards. Not including the purchase price of the car, the restoration alone cost in excess of $31,000 and at the time involved some 794 hours of labor. On file there is a comprehensive list of the work carried out including some photographs of the bodywork in bare metal, the chassis frame being restored and some mechanical components being re-assembled. Nice finishing touches included custom Connolly leather seats, Wilton carpets, wind wings, racing seat belts, new Stayfast cloth tonneau, side curtains and naturally a new cloth top. There was no expense spared and the work was completed in January 1994.
Later mechanical work was carried out by Vantage Motors Inc. of Stamford, CT and has included work on the transmission in 1996. During 1997 a major service was undertaken including replacing the brake master cylinder, new flexible brake hoses and the fitting of a new Mallory dual point distributor. At around this time a very rare hardtop was acquired for the car. An oil cooler has also been carefully installed at some stage in its recent history. In 1999 over $600 was spent in parts alone for a new heater unit. Use in recent years has been minimal and in the past six years barely 600 miles have been covered. This desirable and rare Twin Cam comes equipped with an operating manual, workshop manual, jack, spare wheel, a small tool roll and a fitted car cover. There is a highly active MG Club both here and overseas, including an active MGA Twin Cam Registry.