Produced from 1955 to 1962, the MGA was more than a new car; it was the first MG to be wrapped in modern clothing. Before being officially launched, however, it was developed (and promoted) through motor racing and rallying, with prototypes appearing in the LeMans 24-hours and later at the Sebring, Florida, 12-hours, where it won the team prize. In 1957 America’s first Formula One Grand Prix champion, Phil Hill, drove the EX181, a streamlined, mid-engined car fitted with a twin-cam engine, to a world class record of 254.9 mph. The MGA had established itself as a car to be reckoned with.
The MGA’s that we would be able to drive were slower and simpler, but could still reach 100 mph. With safe handling and an average fuel consumption of 30 mpg, they became an immediate sales success. Later versions included a coupe with wind-up windows, plus a twin-overhead-cam engine that was quick on the track but unreliable on the road.
When production was ended in July of 1962 a total of 101,081 MGA’s were sold, most of which were exported. Surprisingly only 5,869 cars were sold in the UK making it the most highly exported British car in history.