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Introducing Maggie.

743 BDV ‘Maggie’ in 1974 shortly after I purchased her, already 15 years old and with around 80,000 miles on the clock.

Photograph of a Classic blue MGA Roadster

Maggie was one of only 5,869 UK market right hand drive cars produced, of the 101,081 total production. She was of original specification when I bought her, other than the body colour and a replacement BMC ‘Gold Seal’ reconditioned engine.

The engine fitted when I purchased the car was a genuine BMC ‘Gold Seal’ reconditioned MGA 1500 unit. It had only covered around 40,000 miles, when I changed it for a Riley 1.5 unit prepared to half race standard. The ‘Gold Seal’ unit was ‘lost’ in a move, which I later regretted.

Photograph of the rear view of a blue classic MGA RoadsterThe car was built at Abingdon 29th – 30th April 1959 and dispatched on 5th May to the MG dealer in Dawlish, Devon, England.

It was right hand drive, in Ash Green with black trim and a blue hood (roof).

Factory fitted optional equipment were Deluxe side screens with sliding windows, windscreen washers, blue tonneau cover, luggage rack, wing mirrors and a fog lamp.

I first saw Maggie in 1973 when it regularly came to the Ford dealership that I worked at. The car was sprayed underneath on the lubrication bay with oil (a thing of the past). I fell in love with the car and left a message for the owner asking if it was for sale. The answer was yes, for £250.00.

This was a lot for a junior technician and meant selling my VW Beetle 1200 to raise the cash. By the time I did so, the price had gone up to £275.00 and it was advertised in an early edition of Classic Car magazine as ‘an investment car’. Fortunately, the deal was done and she was mine, thus starting a 43 year love affair! Like all relationships though, it had its highs and lows.

Some years later, I discovered from a previous owner that the car had been semi submerged in sea water, when the owner had parked it at a local beauty spot, Bosham Quay where the roadway floods at high tide. The water came up to the axles, but did not affect the engine or interior. This explained the regular oil spraying, which in hindsight, probably saved the chassis.

In 1977, I was fortunate to be given a company car and at that point Maggie was taken off the road with every intention of eventually carrying out a full restoration.

Maggie was badly stored in a series of locations, first a disused charcoal storage shed in a sawmill, then for many years a small lock-up garage a short walk from the English Channel with it’s salt laden damp air (see photos below) which was the worst period.

Photograph of the original car tax from January 1977

During this time, when the vehicle licensing authorities were computerising their records, the original registration number was deemed to be lost. Much work followed to prove my ownership, including photographing my son Joe holding proof of date. Joe is now 31!

Photograph of a young boy holding the proof of date for blue MGA Roadster

Finally, the original number was reinstated, fortunately failing to be sold by the DVLA.

Photograph of the rear license plate on a blue MGA Roadster

After a number of years in a farmers stone barn, keeping a Frog-eye Sprite and a Dellow company, she was finally moved to our current house into a pair of 1920’s built garages. it was to be a further 14 years before emerging from piles of junk and for the restoration to begin.

First task was to rebuild the garages and create a proper workshop in one half. This was a luxury and made the restoration more pleasurable. I have enormous admiration for the many restorations that have been carried out in tiny single lock-ups, with no proper power or light.

Photograph of two newly built shed one of which has a blue MGA Roadster

The car sees the light of day, in its smart new home – My first retirement project was to rebuild the dilapidated sheds, built in the 1920’s.


4 thoughts on “About

    • Dave, thanks for your kind comments, which also help to encourage me – you’d be surprised at how little feedback I get, despite over 4000 visits!
      If you have any photos, I’d love to see them and also, if you have any questions along the way, please contact me directly.
      My body shell is currently being painted, so the end is in sight!

  1. Peter whitlock Bird

    Hi Bill,
    thanks for your site. I am doing a 1959 trailer tramp. Been at it for 7 years off and on but have now retired and the beast is nearly on the road

    cheers and thanks again for your site

    • Hi Pete,
      Thanks so much for your contact and kind comments, which are of great encouragement…you’d be surprised at how little feedback my site gets despite many thousand visits.
      Great to hear of another MGA soon to be revived and if you can, I’d love to see photos.
      Best of luck with the final stages (which is where I am) and thanks again.

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