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Engine: 1489 cc pushrod inline 4 cylinder water cooled. Bore/Stroke: 73.025 x 88.9 mm. Compression Ratio: 8.3 to 1. Max Horsepower: 68 (72 in later cars) bhp at 5500 rpm. Max Torque: 77 lb/ft at 3300 rpm. Fuel Delivery: Twin semi-downdraft 1.5" SUs Transmission: Four speed manual. Synchromesh: Top three gears. Clutch: Single dry plate. Frt Suspension: Independent coil and wishbone with lever arm shocks. Rr Suspension: Live rear axle, half elliptic leaf springs with lever arm shocks. Wheelbase: 7' 10" Track: 3' 0" Width: 4' 9.25" Brakes: Lockheed 10" drums front and rear. Wheels: Bolt on disc (standard) Center-lock wire (optional) Tires: 5.5 x 15 inch. Performance: Acceleration 0-60: 15 seconds. Top Speed: 98 mph. Fuel Economy: 27 mpg. Number built: 58,750 (coupe and roadster)
The MGA 1500 was the first of four MGA models. It was a replacement for the TF, and due to its higher performance and immensely attractive body, it has become one of the most desired MGs around. The MGA utilized the new B-series engine, which was a huge improvement over the old XPAG. At its introduction, the MGA made 68 bhp, but later improvements raised that to 72 bhp. The front suspension was taken from the TF, and the rear from the ZA Sedan. Although the weather equipment was improved, it still incorporated side-curtains and a difficult to operate top. Unfortunately for anyone who owns one today, the MGA had an old-fashioned and temperamental at best positive-ground Lucas electric system. The 1500 as well as other models enjoyed a long list of optional accessories including an HMV Radiomobile Radio, a heater, a 4.55 to 1 rear end, center-lock wire wheels, a tonneau cover, a telescopic steering column, a windshield washer, fog lamps, and a hardtop. The MGA was a huge success for MG, which had the Abingdon factory producing 300 cars a week. In 1956, the first full year of MGA production, more than 13,000 cars were built. (Keep in mid that the total sales of the TC were 10,000) Total sales of the 1500 were 58,750 cars. However, by 1959, competing Triumph had introduced disc-brakes and a top speed of well over 100 mph on their cars, so once again MG was lagging behind. The 1600 was clearly needed.