Amelia Island | Lot 207

1959 MG MGA Twin-Cam Roadster

$82,500 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida

14 March 2015

Chassis No.
Body No.
  • One of 2,111 Twin-Cam examples produced
  • Lovingly restored by MG enthusiasts

108 bhp, 1,588 cc DOHC inline four-cylinder engine with dual SU carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with wishbones and coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94 in.

Undoubtedly the most fascinating part of this Twin-Cam MGA’s history is its restoration. The car was purchased by Ralph and Jean Brookes, a pair of MG enthusiasts living in Seattle, Washington, as a restoration project. After having previously restored an MG TC, they began looking to restore a later MG for their next project, and this high-horsepower MGA Twin-Cam Roadster was a perfect candidate.

However, the restoration to this particular MGA did have one unique challenge. Following the restoration of his MG TC, Ralph lost his eyesight due to complications from diabetes. Even though he was rendered completely blind, Ralph’s love of MGs and British cars never wavered, and both he and his wife were not going to let his disability stand in the way of the restoration on the MGA. As involved members of their local MG club, they enlisted the club’s help to restore the car. The car was fully stripped, and both the engine and body were removed from the chassis in order to undertake a full restoration, which utilized correct parts that had been sourced from both stateside and the UK. A handful of dedicated club members assisted Jean in getting the restoration just right. Even Ralph was able to assist with smaller tasks by using touch alone, such as helping to remove and fit nuts and bolts.

When the restoration was completed in April 1987, the Brookes’ hosted a party in celebration of the car’s first drive, and it was complete with snacks, refreshments, and, of course, Champagne. The car was reported to run and drive wonderfully, and after Jean gave Ralph a quick drive around the block, members of the club were invited to take the freshly restored MG out for a drive. Following its completion, the car attended many MG club events, where it received lots of attention and numerous awards, many of which are included with the car.

Following Ralph Brookes’ passing, Jean retained ownership of the car for a few years and then decided to sell it, hoping that it would go to a fellow enthusiast of British automobiles who would continue to care for the car just as she and her husband had. The car comes documented with an article that chronicles its restoration, photos of work being done by members of the MG club, a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate, and its original driver’s handbook and operation manual.

The current owner reports that the car is still in wonderful condition, which is a testament to a restoration that is truly worth more than the sum of its parts. All this MGA Twin-Cam Roadster needs is a new owner who is looking to enjoy the thrills of British motoring, just what Ralph Brookes would have wanted.

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