Which Old-School English Drop Top Would You Restore?
1955 Morgan +4
1959 MGA Roadster
There’s an elemental simplicity running deep in the DNA of classic British roadsters. Lucas electrics, ash frames, and rudimentary mechanics might not match the sophistication of competing German and Italian technology of the same era, but that’s exactly where their traditional charm lies.
If there’s one brand that falls into this stereotypical mold, it’s Morgan. Though the car featured here dates from 1955, its sliding pillar front suspension and wooden frame were decades out of fashion by then. Incredibly, this very stubbornness has left Morgan as the only remaining independent British automaker.
Fitted with a Triumph TR2 motor and showing a claimed 42k original miles on the odometer, it’s been parked in a barn since 1996—the last time it ran. It’s said to be complete, eliminating a potential headache—parts availability. It’s dusty, but looks like a good wash will go far, as the paint seems to be pretty decent. Interior also looks well preserved, with photos showing un-torn upholstery and complete dash. No mention of rust or frame rot, but it looks to be free from both. Provided the frame checks out, our only major concern would be electrics. Everything else is bone simple and should be relatively easy going.
With no reserve and bidding hovering around $12,000, it could end up a decent investment, or could wind up going way over market in a fevered rush of last-minute bidding—we’re interested to see which way it goes
Made in 1959, the A was MG’s step into the modern world and away from the super-trad and Morganesque TF. When first introduced it was contemporary in design, but would continue to serve as a guide for later models, which became more outmoded with each successive generation.
The MGA’s best feature is its simple, prettys shape, which shines through even on this partially-restored example. Mileage is a claimed 62k. Sold with a 20,000 mile-old rebuilt motor, new front brakes, suspension components, and several other fresh pieces, it represents a greater challenge than the Morgan, but still looks like a straightforward resto. Rust is absent, mercifully.
Also sold with no reserve, but with bidding still below $3,000 it could make short term financial sense if it’s as easily finished as initial clues hint it could be. With roughly ten months remaining until next summer, there looks to be ample time to get it roadworthy.
Which would you restore?