History of the MGA & Magnette
MGA Owner’s Heritage Pack
When they were new, every MGA came with a package of information and data about the car. These were issued to the buyer by the local MG dealership at the time of the sale, or were available to purchase at a later date.
Over the next 50 to 60 years, most of the original paperwork has been lost, damaged, or separated from the surviving cars, although it is possible to find examples for sale at auto jumbles and internet auction sites.
Now MGA owners can purchase a pack of 6 reproductions of the following documents, from the MGA Register of the MG Car Club (UK):
1. Earls Court Price List, dated October 22nd, 1958. Measuring just 8½” x 5½”, this covered Morris, MG, Riley, and Wolseley cars.
This shows an MGA Roadster would cost £995 17s 0d (about US$1,292 at today’s exchange rate), of which £332 17s 0d was Purchase Tax. This was about 50% of the price of the car! (Purchase tax was a tax introduced in 1940 on sales of “luxury goods” in order to reduce the deemed wastage of raw materials. It was replaced by VAT in 1973).
An MGA Coupé was listed at £1,087 7s 0d (US$1,248). A Twin Cam engine, disc brakes, and centre-lock disc wheels cost an additional £270 (approx. US$353).
The MG Magnette was £1,072 7s 0d (US$1,230), while the Varitone version cost an additional £39. All prices are “ex-works”.
2. MG Warranty Certificate. The warranty period was 12 months, and listed 21 items of work for the free after-sales service at around 500 miles. Click here to view a pdf of the document.
3. Owner’s Operation Manual, 2nd edition (AKD598). This is the handbook with blue/green cover that describes the controls, instruments, and switches. It lists and describes the optional equipment including the heater and the windshield washer. It lists 12 additional optional items, and service requirements and intervals with recommended lubricants.
4. MGA and Magnette Service Voucher Book (AKD727A). While the 500 mile first service was free, subsequent services were charged from 14s 3d at 1,000 miles, up to £5 6s 0d for the 12,000 miles service.
5. Schedule of Repair and Adjustment Charges (AKD873A), dated February 1958. Some examples of the 1958 labour charges are:
- Air cleaners, remove, clean and refit, pair – 7s 0d
- Engine and gearbox, remove and refit - £6 13s 0d
- Water pump, remove and fit new – 17s 6d
- Windshield assembly, remove, replace, and refit - £2 9s 0d
- Windshield, remove and refit, or fit new (coupé) – 17s 6d
6. MGA 1500 and 1600 Special Tuning Manual (AKD819B). This details stage 1 tuning by port polishing, stage 2 tuning using a different camshaft and pistons, stage 3 using larger carburetors, stage 4 using a different inlet manifold, and finally stage 5 by fitting larger inlet and exhaust valves. This would give up to 94 hp with 100 octane fuel (1600 only).
The manual also lists special items and competition equipment.
The documents are put in a presentation folder, and the current cost is £25, plus £8.50 for postage to North America (about US$40.00 total). It can be ordered by sending an email to the MGA Register with your name and address for delivery, plus the quantity of each item or for a set.
Note: Prices quoted above for the six documents are in “old” pounds, shillings (s), and pence (d).
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Last updated on March 8, 2017.