Lot 206 - 1959 MG A Roadster Twin Cam

Lot 206 - 1959 MG A Roadster Twin Cam

Lot 206 - 1959 MG A Roadster Twin Cam

Lot Number 206
Registration XLH 866
Chassis Number YD1/1914
Engine Number 1604
Odometer reading 2,157 miles
Result Sold - £43,680
  • One of just 210 UK, RHD, Twin Cam examples
  • Fully restored

Introduced in 1958, the MGA Twin Cam was the result of a lengthy and involved development but, disappointingly, it returned one of the shortest production runs that Abingdon had ever seen. This certainly makes the car somewhat a rarity with only 2,111 cars being produced between early 1958 and early 1960. The Twin Cam utilised an engine that was never fitted to any other car and was developed from the B series unit. It was difficult to extract more than 60bhp from the standard pushrod engine so Gerald Palmer, the Cowley's plant design engineer, turned his attention to a twin cam unit, the company being keen to get back into serious competition. A special light alloy, cross-flow cylinder head carried twin overhead camshafts housed by two smart looking alloy cam covers adorned the top of the cylinder head whilst a large finned aluminium sump helped to keep the lubricating oil cool. Further design works led to a very healthy 108bhp @ 6700rpm and with a maximum torque figure of 104Ib. ft. @ 4500rpm meant that the new MGA Twin Cam was to be no slouch! Of the 2,111 examples produced, 1,801 were roadsters. There is no doubt that today, the MGA Twin Cam quite rightly has its niche in the MG history book and is a much desired classic.

Purchased from Historics at our 2016 Brooklands Museum sale this stunning MGA twin cam roadster is a matching-numbers, UK home-market supplied MGA Twin Cam that still wears its original designated number plate. Manufactured on 9th September 1959, XHL 866 when purchased had just undergone an extensive body-off restoration resulting in this fabulous example. The final finish had been carried out to a very high standard in Chariot Red, its original factory colour. The interior seats are trimmed in black leather with red piping, the interior further featuring the original factory fitted steering wheel. A new hood keeps the occupants dry when required and complimenting the coachwork is the chrome work and badges that, apart from the windscreen surround, had all been re-chromed or replaced. Continental tyres adorn the wonderful and original Dunlop peg wheels (wire wheels were never an option on the MGA).

Mechanically, the restoration included an engine overhaul with particular attention being paid to the cylinder head, this being built to the original specification, and the addition of a Hi-Torque starter motor aiding reliable starting. However after purchase the car had troubles with the running in period. Thus our vendor, wanting a perfect example of this true British great, commissioned Valoroso to carry out a full engine rebuild, fit a new aluminium radiator, oil cooler and filter coupled with fuel pump. While this was undertaken a new clutch and new brake pads were added. The car now stands our customer having spent in excess of £70,000, but this results in a truly lovely example. Having covered just 2,157 miles since the coachwork was carefully attended to this example correctly includes the factory fitted steel wings, all in exemplary condition.

A history file includes a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate which shows that this is a matching numbers MGA Twin Cam and one of only 210 UK home-market, right hand drive cars built. Also included are invoices for the recent engine rebuild and dyno tests, coupled with photographs from the restoration and various books and manuals.

The charm of this MGA Twin Cam is that it has been sympathetically restored to a condition that very much reflects how it may have appeared from the factory in 1959. With so few genuine UK home market, right hand drive MGA Twin Cams surviving today, there is no doubt that this car, built to this standard, is a much desired example of the marque.

Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.

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