1956 MGA Roadster


Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1956 MGA.

This car is offered for sale from the collection of a deceased estate and unfortunately its history is not known. It is understood the car was purchased many years ago as a ‘driver’ and it has gone through a ‘rolling restoration’ over many years.

The first four characters of the chassis number are HDD2 and provide us with the following information. The first two characters ‘HD’ confirm the car is an MGA Roadster, the third character ‘D’ confirms that the car’s original colour was glacier blue and the fourth character ‘2’ confirms the car was built as a factory right hand drive export model.

Whilst there are some receipts on file, many of them pertain to multiple cars. The car’s then owner was a real classic car enthusiast who owned a number of MGA’s that he was restoring concurrently. From the documentation on file it appears his ownership dates back to at least 2001, though his family believe he had owned the car for many years prior to that.

What is clear is that the owner’s intention was to restore and at the same time improve this MGA. This car was born as an MGA 1500 and he has upgraded it with features found on the later MGA 1600. The car is fitted with an MGA 1600 engine, a cylinder head from an MGB and disc brakes on the front. The end result is a far superior car to drive with more power and more efficient brakes.

The car was repainted in ‘Old English White’ and the interior was retrimmed in dark blue, a colour combination which really suits the car. The tail lights were also changed to those used on the later MGA 1600 which have a separate indicator.

Today this MGA presents really well. One of the first things we noticed when the car arrived at our show room is how good the panel gaps are. The body is very straight and everything fits really well. The doors, the bonnet and the boot all open and close easily. The body work is tricky to get right on an MGA and we see many with poor panel fit. An MGA carries colour well, but we do like the ‘Old English White’. The paint on this car presents really well and one has to look hard to find any imperfections. We don’t know who painted the car or when it was done, but they have certainly done a nice job! The paint still carries a strong depth of colour and nice gloss finish.

The bright work on the car varies in condition. The bumpers, the window frame and the badge on the boot are all in good condition. The front grill surround is most likely original and is showing its age as there is pitting visible. The car’s new owner may choose to either replace or rechrome the original, which is easy to do. The front windscreen has no cracks or chips, but there are scratches which appear to be from the wipers.

The wire wheels are a real feature and we are confident they were bought new for this car. They are presented in ‘as new’ condition. The wheels are shod with 165 SR 15 Michelin XZX tyres which are date stamped 0310 (week 3, 2010). The tyres do not appear to have travelled many miles, but they should be replaced based on age if one intends to use the car on a regular basis.

Inside the cabin, the interior presents really well. The seats are in good condition and the foam is still firm. When the interior was retrimmed the owner chose to cover the dashboard and the top of the dashboard in leather, the same colour as the seats and the door cards. Whilst this is not original for this particular model MGA, we do think it suits the car. It also creates a nice contrast with the exterior paint. The carpets and door cards are in good condition and are the same blue colour as the seats. The instruments are all clear and appear to be in good working order, though the fuel gauge is a little temperamental! The steering wheel is most likely original and it does show its age.

Underneath the bonnet, the engine bay is clean and well presented. The same can be said for the boot, though there are some glue stains where the boot rubber has been glued down. In the boot there is a spare wheel.

With an MGA it is all about the drive and we were excited to see if this car would drive as good as it looks. We are happy to report that it does. The car starts easily, even from cold, though you do need to use the choke to start it. Once started you let the engine warm up and progressively back the choke off. The engine then quickly settles into a smooth idle. The car is fitted with a sports exhaust which gives it a raspy exhaust note.

Out on the road this MGA is a pleasure to drive. The engine feels strong and the gear changes are smooth. The car feels solid on the road and there are no obvious rattles or squeaks. It handles, steers and stops as you would expect. The car has no issue keeping up with modern day traffic. All vital signs are good. The engine shows a healthy 60 psi when you are cruising at 60 km/h and around the 30 psi when the engine is hot and the car is idling. The temperature gauge stayed at around 170 degrees fahrenheit on our test drive.

This MGA needs a new home and it is the perfect car for someone who would like to finish the journey the previous owner started. Whilst you can enjoy the car exactly the way it is, there are still a few small jobs which need to be done to ‘finish the car’. One of those jobs is to fit a proper soft top. It appears as if the previous owner decided to make his own soft top but he never finished the job. The frame is present and in good condition but a new soft top is required. We also noticed the heather has been disconnected. We also understand that this car has hardly been driven since it was restored and therefore might need some post restoration adjustments. That said, it runs and drives exceptionally well!

The MGA has a great following in Australia and there are many different ways to enjoy them. There are MG car clubs all over the country that offer regular drive days, other events and a great social network. If that is not your scene then an MGA is a fantastic weekend cruiser that will always be admired wherever it goes!


  • Well presented example of a quintessential British sports car.
  • Great value classic car.
  • Lovely colour combination.
  • Use as is or easily take to the next level.

Priced for a quick sale at $ –


MG is one of the world’s most iconic motoring brands. Founded in 1924 by Cecil Kimber, MG (which are the initials for Morris Garages) produced some fabulous cars pre-war and enjoyed much success in motoring racing. A milestone for the company occurred in 1933 when an MG Magnette K3 became the first non-Italian car to win its class at the Mile Miglia.

Today when someone mentions MG you immediately think of ‘the affordable, everyman’s sports car’, and particularly the MGB. It was, however, post-World War II that MG really brought the sports car to the people with the MG TC. The MG TA (built from 1936 – 1939) and MG TB (built from 1939 – 1940) were well regarded sports cars, but sold only in relatively small numbers. Introduced in 1945 the MG TC was in fact a very similar car to the MG TB, both visually and also mechanically sharing the same 1,250 cc engine but with a slightly higher compression ratio.  Although only built as right hand drive, America fell in love with the MG TC and many cars were sold to American serviceman serving in the UK and Europe at the end of the war. In fact, everyone loved the TC and cars were sold to all points of the globe! Over six years of production MG sold 10,000 MG TC’s.

The MG TC was succeeded by the MG TD in 1950 and circa 30,000 cars were built before being replaced by the MG TF in 1953. Just under 10,000 TF’s were built of which one third had the 1500 cc engine. The T Series MG’s were replaced by the MGA in 1955.

The MGA was introduced to compete with the new and very fresh Austin-Healey. This model was a completely new design which proved to be another great success story for BMC. In total just over 100,000 MGA’s were built from 1955 through until 1962. When introduced the MGA was powered by a 1,489cc four cylinder engine and the first MGA’s were often referred to as MGA 1500. The MGA power plant went through a number of improvements through the model’s life, including an increase to 1588cc in 1959 (MGA 1600) and then to 1622cc in 1961 (MGA Mark II). MG also introduced a high-performance version of the MGA, the MGA Twin Cam in 1958.


  • -
  • MGA Roadster
  • 1956
  • Roadster
  • Manual
  • 65,182 miles
  • 1,588cc


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