A Mostly British Obsession

Just Take It Apart and Hope

1961 MGA 1600

The subtitle to this entry would be “How to restore a car, Age 22.” I had no money, no workshop, few tools, and had no business “restoring” any car. This poor old machine was unfortunately the victim of my misplaced enthusiasm.

A friend told me about this car, seemingly abandoned in front of a central Seattle repair place. I got hold of the owner, and he agreed to sell me the car for $1200…only problem? The engine had a broken crank. Otherwise it was a faded but not terrible looking car. It had the grille off of an Mk. II MGA, but that was the least of its problems.

What should I have done? Found a used MGB motor to go in it, and gotten it back on the road. It would have been a fun and friendly bitsa, like a lot of other MGAs. What did I do? I took it apart. In a matter of days it went from a complete car to a pile of parts. This photo was taken in the middle of that process. You can see I’ve discovered the bondo where sills once were. However, unlike an MGB, the sills on an MGA are purely cosmetic, and this really didn’t make much difference to its road-ability.

I sold it to a boat wright on Orcas island–Snapp was his surname, I think. I found his name recently and tried to get in touch, but he never replied.

I sometimes get so caught up in wanting cars to be “perfect” I forget to have fun with them in the meantime. Weird.


  1. Kevin

    How pitiful. I wept when I enlarged the photo. You said you sold it to a boatwright? Did he try to sail away in the thing? I’ll bet it went down with all hands. You knew damn well it wasn’t seaworthy. More blood on your hands. Freak.

  2. Roger

    Kevin, this was the somophyllin of MGAs.

  3. Kevin

    Right on that one!


Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑