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Before starting the full restoration, I photographed as many aspects of the car as I could, primarily to help me remember where everything fitted when it came to re-assembly. These photos have proven to be extremely valuable, as I’ve gone back to them many times and I hope they serve to assist other restorers needing similar reference information.

The ‘A’ was stored without adequate preparation, but was regularly sprayed with penetrating fluid over the years which helped prevent it becoming a complete heap of rust.The following photos were taken to help me identify parts when refitting and  providing a record of the cars condition before restoration.

Photograph of a blue MGA 1959 1500 Roadsterphoto of mga 1500 roadsterClassic Car Group

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When I bought the car in 1974 it was fitted with a BMC ‘Gold Seal’ reconditioned engine. Open trumpets on the twin 1 1/2 H4 SUs was a quick way to ruining the engine, but it added to the great sound track!

Compare this with the mess once the wings were removed - covered a multitude of sins!

The rear wings appeared on the surface to be in good shape, but covered a multitude of sins. Compare this with the mess once the wings were removed

Removing the wing revealed severe corrosion of the ‘B’ pillar and sill structure. Years of accumulated road dirt and winter salt did their worst.

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The original Ash Green colour can be seen clearly along with what were once black seats with green piping, as per original secification.

Boot floor is solid, with only surface rust, but lip suround is ragged where the spongy rubber seal held moisture.

Boot floor was solid, with only surface rust, but lip suround is ragged where the spongy rubber seal held moisture.

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The following photos are useful for identifying the correct routing of brake pipes and wiring. Other than the paint colour and engine, the car was very original.

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Before - a depressing sight.MGA 1500 front suspension.

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Storage for many years was in a small lock-up garage just half a mile from the seashore with it's salt laden air. This was the worst period.

Storage for many years was in a small lock-up garage just half a mile from the seashore with it’s salt laden air. This was the worst period.

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Right-hand drive pedal set-up.

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The 'A' was stored without adequate preparation, but was regularly sprayed with penetrating fluid over the years which helped prevent it becoming a complete heap of rust.The following photos were taken to help me identify parts when refitting, as well as providing a record of the cars condition before restoration

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Rear inner wings on both sides are good and solid.

Rear inner wings on both sides were good and solid.

Aft of the door catch post, the body is surprisingly sound.

Aft of the door catch post, the body was surprisingly sound.

Evidence of original underseal.

Evidence of original underseal.

Serious corrosion caused by years of water running down inside the 'B'pillar and road dirt thrown up inside rear wheel arch.

Serious corrosion caused by years of water running down inside the ‘B’pillar and road dirt thrown up inside rear wheel arch.

Front end and shroud in generally good shape - no previous significant accident damage.

Front end and shroud were in generally good shape – no previous significant accident damage.

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When I bought the car in 1974, it was fitted with a BMC 'Gold Seal' re-conditioned engine of original MGA 1500 type. In 1976 I replaced this with a Riley 1.5 'B' series engine that I had lightened, balanced, half race cam and modified cylinder head. This performed really well, revving much more freely than the original. At some point, I 'lost' the original engine (long story) and so the current one will be re-built in modified form.As I intend to use the car for touring, I plan to carry out the now acceptable up-grades of disc front brakes, alternator, 5-speed gearbox, electronic ignition and electric cooling fan. A re-conditioned Ford Type 9 gearbox was purchased in 2010 and this will be fitted using the 'Hi-Gear' conversion kit.

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Starts to look better after sessions with angle grinder mounted wire brushes.

Ouch.

Ouch.

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Front end before.......

Left side in slightly better shape and useful to take datum measurements to help position right side repair panels

Left side in slightly better shape and useful to take datum measurements to help position right side repair panels

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Sills injected with foam, sometime before 1974.

Sills injected with foam, sometime before 1974.

Fortunately, bad as it looks, the chassis is in good shape with mainly surface rust to be dealt with.

Fortunately, bad as it looked, the chassis was in good shape with mainly surface rust and a few holes to be dealt with.

Right-hand side battery carrier requires replacement - a previous owner made a crude conversion to run on a single twelve volt battery, which I lived with. This will be improved upon.

Right-hand side battery carrier required replacement – a previous owner had made a crude conversion to run on a single twelve volt battery, which I lived with. This would be improved upon.

A few shots during chassis strip down, to help with building up again.

A few shots during chassis strip down, to help with building up again.

Amazingly, all the cable retainers unscrewed after cleaning up.

Amazingly, all the cable retainers unscrewed after cleaning up.

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Clutch, brake and fuel pipe routing.

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Fuel pipe from tank to pump runs to a ‘p’ clip on the outside of the chassis, attached to the rear damper mounting.

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The following shots were taken to help fellow restorer Andy Harris with his task of reuniting the seperated front and rear bodyshell of his car. Hopefully the measurements may be of assistance to others.

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2 thoughts on “Reference Photo Library

    • Geoff.
      No, I didn’t, as I knew the car and it’s history back to the mid 60’s and owned it since 1974 and knew it hadn’t been damaged.
      Also, visually it was fine other than the expected rust. Bill

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