It stands proud and wears the works BMC colours from the Abingdon days, this near 100 mph 1860 cc 1961 MGA is conscious of its heritage, and yet is still a great competitor in the current day on any of the latest HERO-ERA rallies it runs in.
It has 105 bhp, a four-speed gearbox with a fully strengthened axle and professionally built suspension, all contained within the elegant and slippery MGA bodywork. The profile of the MG is the classic shape that came from Le Mans in 1952!
Privateer George Phillips requested that the factory build a one-off MG TD with essentially all the chassis covered by bodywork instead of the open wing and mudguard body of the TD. Once completed and running the aero shape helped slip the MG through the air at Le Sarthe, especially on the long Mulsanne straight.
The bodywork transition was drawn up by MG designer Syd Enever, but the success of the shape ultimately lead MG to making the MGA a successor to the MG TD. A prototype was built and shown to the then BMC Chairman Leonard Lord, but he turned it down as he had just signed a deal with Donald Healey to produce Austin Healeys just two weeks before. He was forced to perform a U-turn later as falling sales of traditional MG models meant that fresh designs were required to spark a new sales impetus. So, the MGA was named and commissioned with the advertising saying ‘The first of a new line.’ Part of its dramatic new looks came from the use of the BMC B-Series engine as it allowed the car a lower bonnet line.
In fact, the 1952 Le Mans prototype was re-bodied yet again, this time as the MG EX175 in 1954 with an all-enveloping streamliner body for record attempts. Captain George Eyston took the EX179 to the Bonneville Salt flats with its MGA chassis and modified 1500 cc TF engine, achieving a speed record of 153 mph.
Three MGAs were entered at Le Mans in 1955 finishing 12th and 17th place overall whilst the third car crashed injuring the driver, Dick Jacobs. However, with such success even before full production, the MGA was always going to compete.
In its long competition life over race tracks and rally roads, the MGA kept notching up the results, especially in the USA where the Americans loved the MG. In the Sports Car Club of America national and regional championships, the MGA was the winner six times at national level. And a little-known fact, the MGAs were used in NASCAR racing from 1960 -63!
There were numerous rally class awards at national and international level for the MGA as well. It was successful on the Monte Carlo Rally with Donald Morley in 1962 in an MGA Coupe and continues to be competitive on classic rallies to this day.
A well-built 1961 rally car with great heritage, this Arrive Drive car is ready for action with all the right equipment included for a competitive event. It is a car for all seasons, so the MGA would be equally happy on the mountain roads of a Classic Marathon in the heat or the Yorkshire Dales at night in the cold of an RAC Rally of the Tests.
A great driving experience with great looks, the MGA is ready to stir your imagination as you consider its motor sport history and prepare to drive the great MG brand.
Our pricing is simple. Cars are priced by group and package price for HERO events. Cars are also available for corporate hire, bespoke tours, gift driving days and some also for promotional film work.
All our cars are regularly maintained by specialist mechanics. Each car is prepared to meet the requirements of regularity rallying. Arrangements can be made to view and drive the cars prior to hiring. Cars are equipped with a tripmeter and when necessary a “navigators event pack” and can be collected by the hirer, from our base in Bicester Heritage, or delivered to and collected from the event (additional charges apply).
Prior to taking control of the vehicle, our A&D team will do a full handover of the vehicle showing you all the controls and go through the vehicle with you.
HERO-ERA Premier Members receive a 10% discount on Arrive & Drive hire fees
Mark has worked with HERO for 7 years. He manages the Arrive & Drive fleet, providing storage of vehicles for a number of our clients, as well as being responsible for the vehicle logistics.
Telephone +44(0)1869 254979