The MGA 1600 Sports Car

                                           MGA 1600 Mark 2 De Luxe

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                                           from Classic to Modern

MGA 1600 On The Track

                                                       1959 MGA                                                                                            This gorgeous classic was driven by Dave Good                                                              during a Group 5 Race at the 2015 Jefferson 500.                                                                  A 1.6 litre Mark 2 had a top of 101 mph and                                                                            0-60 in 13.7 secs. A sight to behold!

                                                      1959 MGA                                                                                           Another action shot of this classic, this time driven                                                           by Butch O'Connor during a Group 5 Race in the                                                                            2015 Jefferson 500. Really nice

The MGA 1600 Mark 1

     The MGA 1600 sports car. By 1959, having been in production for four years, the MGA 1500 needed an uplift, in terms of performance, to keep it competitive.

     Therefore, in 1960, the MGA 1600 was introduced as a two door, two seater convertible and fixed head coupe.

     Externally, the basic design was very similar to that of the MGA 1500.

     However, the capacity of the BMC B-Series, overhead valve engine was increased from 1489 to 1588 cc, the same as that used in the MGA Twin Cam roadster, introduced in 1958. It had a compression ratio of 8.3:1.

     The 99 cc increase in capacity caused the power to rise by an additional 6 bhp to 78 bhp whilst, at the same time, there was a 17 % increase in torque.

     This gave rise to a marked improvement in acceleration, whilst the top speed passed the very important 100 mph mark.

     It continued to use two SU carburettors and a four speed gearbox with synchromesh on the top three gears.

     The MGA 1600 differed from the 1500 as follows:

  • Braking was improved by the addition of disc brakes to the front, whilst the rear drum brakes were uprated
  • Suspension was improved by using slightly stiffer springs, and an uprating of the front lever arm shock absorbers
  • Sliding side screens made of perspex was a much needed improvement over the plastic side flaps used in the MGA 1500
  • Improved front side light, and separate indicator lights at the rear
  • Chrome plated "1600" badges were fitted near the front air vents and below the MG badge situated on the boot

MGA Technical Data                   1500                1600           1600 Mk2

Production:                            1955-1959       1959-1960     1960-1962           Output:                                      58,750              31,501            8,719             Engine cc:                                    1489                1588              1622               Cylinder,  bhp                              4, 72                4, 78              4, 93               Speed  mph                                    98                    96                 101
0-60 mph, secs                            16.0                 13.3               13.7

                                  Elvis Presley's 1960 MGA 1600 Mk I                                                                Elvis drove this car in the 1961 film Blue Hawaii                                                        and was so impressed that he bought it from                                                                   the film company for his own use

                                                   MGA 1600 Mark 1

                                                    1959 MGA 1600

                                                         Full Screen                                                                                                                               Full Screen

     Optional extras included:

  • Headlamp flasher switch
  • Close ratio gearbox
  • Anti roll bars
  • Wheel trims
  • Battery covers

     Near the end of production of the MGA 1600, an unexpected option became available.

     Some of the MGA Twin Cam chassis and special wheels, left over when this model was discontinued, were used with the MGA 1600 bodies and drive trains.

     As a result, this facilitated the addition of disc brakes on all four wheels. This variant became known as the MGA 1600 De Luxe.

     It has been estimated that 400-500 of these De Luxe models were built, and were identified by the "De Luxe" badges once again on the boot and near the front air vents.

The MGA 1600 Mark 2

     Once again, in order to maintain momentum, in 1960, the MGA 1600 Mark 2 sports car was introduced.

     In this model, the engine was bored out from 1588 to 1622 cc, the cylinder head was modified with larger valves, and the combustion chambers were redesigned.

     The back axle ratio was also increased to 4:1 to create more relaxed long distance and high speed driving.

     Externally, the most noticeable changes were:

  • Instead of sloping down continuously in line with the bonnet, the grille was distinguished by having it inset slightly
  • Tail lights used in the Morris Mini were positioned horizontally near the deck lid

     In total, 8,198 MGA 1600 Mark 2 convertibles, and 521 fixed head coupes were built.

     Following on from the De Luxe models, there were 290 MGA 1600 Mark 2 De Luxe convertibles and 23 Mark 2 De Luxe fixed head coupes built.

                                                  MGA 1600 Mark 2                                                                                A really smart example in good company

                                                                                                   Full Screen


     A 1959-62 MGA 1600 in good condition would fetch between £11,000/$18,000 to £18,000/$29,000, whilst an example in excellent condition would command up to £32,000/$51,000.



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