Article No.5: 1961 MGA Roadster

Welcome to another of our ‘Articles’ – a blog post illustrating the ins and outs here at Carn Bosavern Garage, based in St.Just, Cornwall. Ranging from details on a full restoration, to the intricacies of an engine rebuild, we take a look at both current and previous restorations on vehicles such as MGA’s, MGB’s, plus Triumph TR2’s, TR3’s and TR4’s. We will also give an update on our current stock of classic cars for sale and used cars for sale.

In this article we take a feature look at a truly one off MGA Roadster we restored for a customer in Lincoln.

This sold 1961 MGA Roadster Mk1 was originally exported to America, where it spent its life in California. It was imported back and underwent a full nut and bolt restoration to a custom specification. It was evident the car came from a dry state, as the body and chassis were in excellent condition and required no welding whatsoever.

For the restoration, the body was removed from the chassis, where the chassis was blasted, etch primed and painted in two pack glass black. It was then rebuilt with all new braking, steering and suspension components, including polybush suspension upgrade, front MGB brake caliper/disc/pad conversion upgrade and also a rear Spax shock absorber upgrade.

We supplied an 1800cc MGB engine, which we stripped to a bare block and completely rebuild in-house including new pistons, oil pump, timing chain and tensioners, camshaft, crank regrind and all gaskets/seals. The cylinder head was also converted to run on unleaded fuel. After the rebuild it was painted in the correct MG Maroon colour and fitted to the chassis on new mounts, along with a new 5 speed gearbox, using the Ford Type 9 gearbox.

The body was stripped to a shell, taken back to bare mental, coated in Jenolite, etch primed, primed and painted in Old English White. Once fully resprayed, the body was fitted to the chassis with a new kitting kit.

New brightwork (lights, bumpers etc) was fitted to the body, with the engine bay detailed with various new and reconditioned parts. The customer requested certain upgrades to help improve both the drive and reliability of the car. These included an aluminium radiator, brake servo, Revotec electric fan, CSI electronic ignition and an oil cooler with braided hoses.

The customer wanted to put their own spin on the cockpit, so custom MGA Deluxe Competition style seats were fitted with a matching wool carpet set. The dashboard was covered in matching vinyl, with contrasting white-faced clocks fitted. This combination results in a very unique style cockpit.

Matching burgundy mohair hood and tonneau covers were fitted, as well as wind deflectors and a custom wing mirror. The car was finished off with 5.5J 72 spoke chrome wire wheels with new tyres and spinners. We carried out over 100 miles of test driving before delivery.

Unfortunately a bereavement in the family meant that the MGA was to move to a new home, however it is now lovingly cared for by the new owner and very much appreciated, enjoyed and looked after.

If you’d like to know more about this project, or would like a similar vehicle restoring, feel free to get in contact with us.