Antique vs. new

I recently replaced my truck with another truck, but now I want a second vehicle. I think I want an old MG for I have long been fascinated with antique autos. I want something fun, inexpensive (both in purchase price and maintenance), and preferably a convertible. I have found a '59 MGA 1600 locally, but am open to suggestions for similar antiques or something more modern. This ‘new’ vehicle will simply be a pleasure car, used to run errands on nice days. I welcome any recommendations or advice on what to choose.

Murph, Get A Newer 59 MGA. They Call Them Mazda Miatas, Now.

An old MG will not be cheap for maintenance, as I’ve read about too many problems with the electrical systems of them. How about a Corvair or a newer Miata

Those old MG’s are no cars, they are collector items. Don’t buy one for transportation. Now if you want a kool car for a few special events and a hobby that can keep you busy for a good part of your free time, go for the older MG.

The newer Mazda Miatas look good and run a lot more.

Most antique cars make good hobbies and poor transportation and MGs are near the top of that list. Ever heard of Knee-action shocks? How about Positive earth electrics by Lucas, the Prince of Darkness? And the engine and transmission must always be removed together. These cars are a lot of fun to drive when they are running… BTW, I was driving an Austin Healey 3000 at speed, in the dark, in the rain, when all electrics (Lucas) went out. Lucas and I are FAIR WEATHER FRIENDS, now.

My physician wrote a prescription for me a couple of years ago that for my mental health I should have a Mazda Miata. However, my wife won’t let me fill the prescription. She read the reliability record in Consumer Reports and the Miata has a very good record, so she thinks that the Mazda Miata is a car for wimps. “Real me aren’t afraid to get out and push their cars when the quit running. Real men spend their week-ends working on their cars in a attempt to make the run”. The MG is a car for real men. At my age, I confess to being a wimp and I’ll take the Miata if I can get my hands on one.

If you are seeking affirmation for what you may already have decided, then you may not have much luck here or anywhere as your quest is for a very personal flavor and that can not be decided by others. To restate what I said, I will tell you that broccoli tastes good, is good for you and so you must eat it and you will enjoy it.

Years ago, when they were much newer, the few guys I knew who had MG’s worked on them all week so they would run a few hours on the weekend. There is no such thing as inexpensive maintenance on an MG. If you want one, get one, but do not anticipate they will be inexpensive on maintenance.

I’ve owned TR-3’s, a Spitfire, a Hillman Minx, and countless other fantasy and old English cars. (1958 Prefect!). They are amusing in the way jigsaw puzzles are amusing, but the are as useful as jigsaw puzzles for driving fun. You will get to know your AAA operators well.

For a reasonable sum you can get a Miata that will run. It will also drive like an MGA should have driven, but never did. You will have heat, a top that does not leak, and lights that stay on.

If you are rational enough to ask for advice, you are far too rational to own an old sports car like an MGA.

College friend had a little green MG and it was great fun for us when it ran. I don’t know what all the specifics were, but he finally got rid of it. I do know the maintenance problems were unbelievable. See other comments here from those that are in the know.

I’ve known two people who owned MG’s from the 60’s and early 70’s…They guy who owned the 70’s MG…it was new at the time…

Both of them…spent HOURS every week working on them…so they could drive them on the weekend. They are NOT reliable vehicles…NOT even when new.

For older convertibles, look for an older Mustang or Chevelle convertible. The Corvette and Thunderbird convertibles will probably be out of your price range.

Sure, get that antique MG, and while you’re at it, make sure you also get a large wooden sailboat, and maybe even an airplane, a old wood and fabric airplane preferably with a radial engine.

I suggest you consider a Toyata MR-2 Spyder. They were built between 2000 and 2005. It is available with a manual transmission or an automatic with paddle shifters. It’s thoroughly impractical with a miniscule trunk. But that shouldn’t bother you. You can go to the grocery store, but only if you go alone. You’ll need the passenger seat for the groceries. Check it out!