SOLD 08/17

1960 MG
A Twin Cam Roadster

Charming, Affordable, and Useable British Sports Car with Rebuilt Engine. Fitted with 5-Speed, Accompanied by Hard Top, and Tools.

  • VINYD31991
  • Exterior ColorBlack
  • Interior ColorGreen Leather
  • Mileage1572 Miles
  • Engine1600cc DOHC Inline 4 Cyl
  • Transmission5-Speed (fitted), 4-speed (included)
  • StatusSold
  • StockFJ2120


1960 MGA Twin Cam Roadster
s/n Yd3-1991
Black with Green Leather Interior

The MGA was introduced in 1955 as a welcome and modernized version of the dated MG TF. The newly designed body was a bit of a revelation, particularly considering the price, features, and the now stylish open two-seat, streamlined bodywork. Combined with reliable mechanicals and superb road manners, the MGA became an instant success. The newly designed frame, low profile B-series engine, and refined body fixtures combined to deliver a low profile sports car, available for a mere 1000 pounds sterling. Sales were brisk in the UK but considerably impressive in the US where sports cars were beginning to make inroads into the growing American landscape. Initially offered as a 1500cc producing 68hp, attempts were made to boost the power output with mixed results. Though a 1600cc version engine later developed was making 78hp, it was clear that in order to perform at world class levels, serious engineering had to result.

The first prototype twin cam engines were developed to meet the demand for more horsepower while retaining manufacturing commonality with the B-series engine. Of course a great deal of engineering went into the head design but also into the entire engine. As a result the twin cam engine became a rather unique and celebrated piece of MG history. The twin cam was comprised of a special light alloy, utilizing a cross-flow cylinder head design, Coventry Climax inverted bucket-type tappets, and hemispherical combustion chambers with two valves per cylinder. These were just a few of the major features of the new 108hp engine. The added power resulted in a 113 mph top speed, demanding Dunlop 103/4” disc brakes front and rear, Dunlop center lock disc wheels, and Dunlop Road Speed tires. Further changes included the addition of a 7500rpm tachometer and new speedometer (to allow for the new top speed). Although MG had achieved technical and engineering success with the new engine, reliability plagued the cars once they were delivered. Only 2,111 MGA twin cam cars were built, 1,801 of which were factory roadsters.

This car is one of just 1,801 MGA Twin Cam Roadsters built at the factory. According to the MGA registry, this car was built on May 7, 1959 and completed May 12, 1959 whereupon it was shipped to North America. The car was delivered painted black with green interior, Dunlop wheels, competition seats, heater, sliding side screen, black tonneau cover, and windshield washer. The current owner (a well known Northern California collector of significant sports cars) purchased the car in 2010 and in 2013 commissioned an MG specialist to perform roughly $23,000 worth of mechanical and cosmetic improvements in order to make it a more enjoyable and reliable car. The 4 speed transmission was removed and an all synchromesh 5 speed unit installed including a new clutch disc, pressure plate, master and slave cylinder and hoses. The radiator was cleaned, checked and repaired as needed along with all hoses. A new brake system was installed including Wilwood master cylinder, stainless steel brake hoses, new brake pads, rotors as needed, new bridge lines on the calipers, and a new pedal boot on the firewall. The front suspension was rebuilt as needed, and all bearings were cleaned and repacked with new seals. The SU twin cam fuel pump was rebuilt, fuel tank flushed and all new Pertronix ignition system was installed utilizing the existing distributor housing. All 5 Dunlop wheels were removed, tested for runout, and repainted. All new body seals, new light bulbs, new rubber where needed, and any new electrical wiring was replaced or repaired as needed. The starter and generator were repaired and refinished for installation. The engine was removed and the block machined to new specifications including new pistons, a fresh valve job, new cam followers (later style for better performance), new main and rod bearings, polished crank, and connecting rods with ARP rod bolts. The head was pressure tested and reassembled using proper fittings, correct engine paint, and polished cam covers. The oil filter was replaced using a spin-on type, and new motor mounts were installed when the engine was reinstalled in the car.

With the major mechanical components completed, the cosmetics were also addressed including removing and rechroming front and rear bumpers, and all four knockoffs were replated. New side curtains and storage bag, and a new tonneau cover were purchased for the car. Further interior work included adding new seat belts, sound insulating Dynamat underlayment for floor, transmission tunnel, and foot well, as well as adding heat shielding under the left side floor boards. The competition seats were retrimmed in leather, new matching side panels (vinyl) were replaced, and correct new carpeting was installed, and the trunk lined with new material.

Today, after roughly four years of enjoyable use, the car has settled in nicely both mechanically and cosmetically. Although the paint is older, it has been properly detailed and touched up and today presents nicely with good overall gloss and depth. There is evidence of touch up paint used in small chipped areas, as well as some dinged areas, which could be repaired with paintless dent removal. The fitting of the doors is good, but shows areas where there has been repainting and blending along the body sides. Panel fit of the hood and deck lid are nice. The exterior chrome is in very nice condition as are the lenses, glass lighting, and other chrome trim and emblems. The grille is particularly nice as are the refinished Dunlop rims. New Michelin XZX tires have been fitted to the car recently.

The interior is beautifully finished with excellent leather seats showing only minor wear over the past four years since being redone. The matching vinyl side panels are also in excellent condition. The dash is very handsome with beautiful chrome trimmed instruments showing excellent color and detail. Carpet is clean and nicely contrasting against the green leather seating. The black tonneau cover is easily snapped into place for single driver cruising or full coverage when parked. A very nice and fitting competition feature of this car is the specially made low windscreen. The clean edge along the top of the windscreen has no trim, and is fit snuggly into shortened side posts, making the car appear very low and sporty from any angle.

Under the hood, the polished twin cam head has been nicely finished, accented by the maroon MG engine color and updated wiring. The engine compartment has been properly restored using factory finishes, trim, and fasteners with some modern exceptions including an Optima battery and Pertronix ignition. The trunk compartment has been covered with new material including a spare tire cover. The trunk contains a fifth Dunlop wheel, a set of tools in a tool roll, jack and tire changing tools, hammer, and proper copper head mallet for knock off removal. The underside of the car is in very nice condition, though not a show car, still well presented and properly cared for. There is no evidence of body damage or significant compromise to the floor structure or frame members.

The car starts easily and settles into idle quickly. Manual choke allows for a fairly quick warm-up period and the five-speed gearbox is easily engaged for smooth starts. The car takes off briskly delivering an instant smile to your face as the engine climbs in revs, growing to a healthy growl as the cams come on. Shifting is smooth and easy via the all synchromesh transmission. Braking is quite good, once pedal pressure is firmed up after first application and the driver gets used to the longer pedal travel. The speedometer shows very optimistic readings, but at nearly any speed, one is more delighted by the emotions of this vintage roadster than the actual speed reveals. The car comes with the original unrestored 4 speed with overdrive, an unrestored convertible top and frame, the original windscreen and wipers, and a hardtop which has been painted to match the car with an overall good, but not freshly done finish. Records of the service and restoration work as well as various ownership documents are also included with the sale.

This MGA Twin Cam has been thoughtfully improved using some of the most desirable improvements developed over the past 50 years by dedicated restoration experts. Collectors have long appreciated the twin cam for their rarity and performance capabilities. With this example, one can truly enjoy all the performance aspects of these cars without worrying about perfection. Sporting a low cut windscreen, competition seats, twin cam engine, and delightful updates, this MGA is ready for jaunts through charming hillsides, with just enough room for a willing companion and a few days of luggage.

The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.

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Fantasy Junction  •  510-653-7555  •  1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608