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1956 MG MGA 1500 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Roadster
Chassis Num: HDA431/16810
 
The 1956 MGA Roadster with Log Book Roll Bar Number 10 195, color: deep dark red with ivory racing
stripe engine; twin carburetion, fully race prepared to vintage race specification using original parts, chrome competition wire wheels with Dunlop vintage race tires, limited slip and LeMans front spoiler.

History: The MG has spent all of its known race history from 1959 to 1989 based in the Detroit area. A
gentleman named Donald Watson was the first to race the car on July 4, 1959 at Harewood Ontario racetrack in Canada. The roadster was mainly raced in the MG car Club at tracks, like Road America, Mid Ohio and Waterford Hills. When contacted about the MG's history, Mr. Watson declared 'we won a lot more races then we lost with that car.' The next known owner was a Richard Nixon (no relation), also from Detroit. Mr. Nixon registered 'Old 32' with the Detroit region Sports Car Club of America in the early 1970's. He received Log Book Number 10 195. Thanks to Waterford Hills photographer, Al Bizer, great photos and copies of race results have survived. Mr Nixon won many races with 'Old 32' and placed second in the Central Divison Points Championship in F-Production. Following Mr. Nixon, the next known owner was Dave Tyndall, which little is known. Rose and Dave Laske purchased the car from Mr. Tyndall. They attended a SCCA drivers school in the mid 1980's. Eventually David Frederick Dahlin purchased the car from a car broker in Detroit, and a frame-up restoration was completed.

Shawn DeLuna purchased the MG in 2000, and has taken the race-ready car to many HMSA and CSRG circuits, including the Wine Classic, Festival of Speed, and Monterey Historics. The car went through a complete mechanical and engine rebuild in 2005, adding an original Darrington cross flow-head with Weber carburetors. The MGA continues its heritage to be used as a vintage race car.
The MGA began production in 1955. The styling and mechanics were different from previous MG models. The public had been given hints of its new design during the 1951 Le-Mans 24 hour endurance race. The car was driven by George Phillips and was actually a TD Midget with body modifications.
The XPAG engine that had power many previous MG's was replaced by a new power-plant. This 1489 cc four-cylinder, B-series engine provided between 68 and 72 horsepower. The BMC B-series unit had made its debut in the MG Magnette saloon and proved to be a reliable and powerful engine.

To create enthusiasm for the cars prior to release, three aluminum bodied prototypes were created and dubbed EX182. They were entered into the Le Mans race where they finished fifth and sixth in their class. This epic achievement gave the MGA racing credibility and mechanical reliability.

The styling of the car was undeniably elegant. Its aerodynamic design and two-seat open-body was stylish and sporty. The vehicle sat very low to the ground providing an excellent center of gravity. This improved the handling and cornering ability. The chassis was a modified TD Midget unit with widely spaced side rails allowing for a low-seating position.

In the rear of the vehicle was a spare wheel mounted on the upper portion of the outside of the vehicle. Underneath was adequate trunk-space for luggage. At the front of the vehicle sat the engine.

Steel disc wheels were standard equipment but centre-locking wire wheels could be substituted at an additional fee. Since the car had an open top, it was subjected to the elements. A hard-top could be purchased making the vehicle more versatile.

A coupe version quickly followed and offered features such as wind-up windows, soft-top version, and other amenities that helped appeal to a wider customer base. To stay competitive on the race track, the MGA twin-cam version was introduced in 1958. This high performance version could be driven to the race track, race, and then be driven home. The engine had been modified with aluminum components, twin overhead camshafts, and dual SU carburetors. These enhancements increased the horsepower rating to 110 and the overall top speed to 115 miles-per-hour. Disc brakes replaced the drums which not only made the car more competitive, it made it safer. Unfortunately, the vehicle suffered from reliability issues and did not hold up well to the strain of racing. So in 1960, MG discontinued its production.

In 1959, MG introduced the MGA 1600's and offered them in coupe and open form. These were the standard MGA cars but with 1588 cc B-series pushrod engines. Drum brakes were used in the rear of the vehicle, but disc brakes were placed in the front.

In 1961, the MGA 1600 MKII was introduced. It featured a 1622 cc. B-series engine that was capable of producing 93 horsepower. 100 miles per hour was easily achieved by the MKII. Minor aesthetic changes were made to the front and rear of the vehicle.

In 1962, MG ceased production of the MGA. Nearly 100,000 examples had been produced during its life span making it the longest-running and best-selling MG. The success of the vehicle was in part to its styling, racing history, performance, and its competitive pricing. Many of the MGA's produced were exported to the United States. In the end and after so many years, the MGA was having trouble staying competitive with models offered by other manufacturers.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2006
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