1959 MGA 1500 Roadster
Location: United Kingdom
The MGA replaced the MG TF 1500 Midget and represented a complete styling break from MG’s earlier sports cars. Launched to the public at the 1955 Frankfurt motor show with its radically streamlined steel body the MGA was a big leap forward in technology for MG. Concerned about how such a radically streamlined car would be accepted, MG chose to debut two prototype cars at the Le Mans 24-hour race. The prototyped cars finished a very respectable 5th and 6th in class, powered by the new B – Series engine that had recently debuted in the MG Magnette saloon. The 1489 cc engine produced 68 bhp initially, but was soon uprated to 72 bhp. Offering impressive performance with a 0-60 mph time of just 16 seconds and onto a top speed of 98 mph. During its production a total of 101,081 cars were sold with a mere 5869 being produced for the home market. Other significant improvements included hydraulic Lockheed drum brakes all round, rack and pinion steering and independent coil spring suspension to the front and semi-elliptic springs to the rear.
The MGA 1500 Roadster offered here at Autostorico is finished in its original colour scheme of Black with Red leather interior and has covered an indicated 39,536 miles. This stunning MGA has a fascinating history having been built between 17-19th September 1958. It was subsequently shipped to America and purchased by its first owner James E Kirkpatrick on 4th February 1959. Mr Kirkpatrick known as either Jim or Kirk was working as a test pilot working for Cessna at Edwards Air Base. In 1962 Kirkpatrick resigned from Cessna and joined the Lear Jet Corporation, where he was responsible for all flight testing of the Learjet 23/24. Then in 1963 with the Space Race in full swing, he applied to join NASA’s third group of astronauts for the Gemini project. Unfortunately, he was not selected due to impaired hearing as a result of his jet flying career. Kirkpatrick’s roommate did however fly on Apollo 13.
Kirkpatrick retired in 1987, it was then that his daughters arranged to have his beloved MGA restored. The car remained with the family until 2015 when its current owner Eric Howard himself a commercial airline pilot from Oxfordshire purchased the car. The car was shipped back to the UK and issued with ‘305 UYO’ its date related number plate. Whilst mechanically being in fantastic condition along with the trim and chrome the paintwork wasn’t. The car was entrusted to Haileywood Specialist Cars of Henley to strip the car back to bare metal prior to repainting in two-pack. Since its return to the UK the car has been used sparingly and has continued to be maintained by Haileywood Specialist Cars.
Specification highlights include; Tonneau cover, side screens and hood.
Supplied with a comprehensive history file including a current V5 registration document, numerous invoices, workshop manual, heritage certificate, an original owner’s manual and copy of Colin Burgess’s Moon Bound book which features James Kirkpatrick.