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Bill & Judy James' 1959 MGA Roadster

Bill & Judy James' 1959 MGA RoadsterClick to view a larger photo

The Old Girl Awakened after a 44 year Slumber. In August of 1964 my girlfriend Judy and now my wife of 47 years was looking for a car to commute to college.  We found a 1959 Red MGA at a local Chevy Dealership for $1,000.  Having a real sports car, we joined a local sports car club. The club put on rallies and field trials (gymkhanas) at local colleges and short tracks. We were hooked. From 1966 to 1970 we ran the MGA in many field trials winning several state championships.  Feeling our oats we moved on to hill climbing in PA. In 1971 we decided to retire the MGA using its drive train to power a 1962 TVR. So in 1971 the old MGA was put up on jack stands under a tarp while we raced a Mini Cooper, a Renault in IMSA, a Honda Civic and finally a Trans Am Camaro in SCCA. The MGA was dragged with us during the buying and selling of 4 houses. When we retired in 2005 and moved to our current home in NC, we decided to bring the Old Girl back to her former glory (Actually a lot better!).  In 2010 we started the full frame off restoration.  How bad (RUSTY) could it be spending its last 39 years on jack stands in the back of the garage under a cover?  As we all know under British Vehicle Manufacturing Rules: If you can’t see it, you don’t have to paint it! Our idea was to bring the car back to a 1950s/60s racing style with vintage bomber seats, a cut down wind screen and racing wheels. The car also has some hidden updates like a 5 speed gear box and 4 wheel disc brakes.  Several people have asked us if we plan to vintage race her. “No, the “Old Girl” will be used for British Car Shows and getting ice cream on warm summer afternoons.” The car is finished but never done. Anyone who is thinking of restoring an old British car, I say go for it!  Take your time, plan ahead and buy parts only as you need them (anyone need 3 alternator brackets?).

Posted on March 24, 2016, viewed 1954 times

Photo Comments (1)

Picture of Joe Schandl
Joe Schandl (New Smyrna Beach, FL)
on May 26, 2017 4:52am
Car looks great.I am restoring a 59 roadster in the same color.My car also has a racing history.SCCA road racing for many yaers and now it was time to put it back on the road.I have another year or two to completion.When i get my "Old Girl" back on the road,we are going to do ice cream too.Again your car looks great.Safety Fast.Joe.

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