“You should never buy someone else’s unfinished project”. I’ve said those words a thousand times, but I just broke my own rule. We have hinted at the fact that we were getting a new project. You knew it was going to be a big one too because we had to buy a truck to haul it all! The wait is now over though and I’d like to introduce you all to the newest member of the Barn Finds fleet…
Can you tell what it is yet? Or was… That pile of parts was once a beautiful MGA coupe! Our good buddy Bruce knew that I liked MGs so he introduced us to a friend named Lynn. Lynn had a nicely restored Morgan in his garage, but he also had this MGA tucked away in another sealed off corner. He had picked up the car sometime in the seventies and had started to prep things for a restoration, but life got busy and the project got put on hold. There was even a calendar still on the wall from 1976!
Lucky for us, Lynn is a very organized guy. He carefully labeled everything and never threw anything away. He even had a bunch of spares squirreled away in the rafters! After pulling everything out of there he said it was time to head down to the crawlspace. I chuckled and thought he was just joking, but sure enough, he had fenders and tires stashed underneath the house. So, not only did we get one MGA, but we got a whole truckload of extra parts! He wasn’t even sure where he had gotten some of them, but we weren’t going to complain. So, if you need anything for your MGA project, please let us know!
Even the engine internals were carefully packed away in an old fridge to keep dust and moisture away. Much of the machine work has already been completed and many new parts were included in the sale. We boxed everything up and started moving it all to our own garage. Our long bed Dodge could haul quite a bit at a time, but it still took a couple of trips. After that was done, we set the body back onto the frame and called a tow truck (it was cheaper and easier than renting a trailer).
Here’s our MGA seeing the light of day for the first time in almost 40 years! As you can probably tell, the bodywork has been started. Lynn had a friend who was very experienced do most of the work and there’s not a speck of rust on the thing. We will need to finish it up and respray it before attempting to piece everything together. This is going to be like trying to assemble a Lego set that has been dumped into a box of other Legos. Luckily, we do have a book of instructions and many of the small bits are in labeled baggies. Notice the plastic tarps the divided this section of his garage from the rest. It really was a time capsule in there!
Lynn and his wife said their farewells. I’m sure it was hard to say goodbye, but they were both excited to free up the space for their new woodworking hobby. They were also happy to know that the car was going to get some much needed attention. We have never taken on a project of this magnitude, but it will be fun to try. It may not look like it, but a lot of the hard work has already been done here. The frame, suspension, and brakes have already been cleaned up and refinished. Even the transmission has been rebuilt! We will have to freshen some things up and finish the rest, but we are confident that we can handle the job.
And here it is safe and sound back at our place! We stuck the front fenders in place so you can visualize how good this car will look one day. It was originally Old English White, but a previous owner painted it red at some point. We will probably go back to white, but that’s just one of the many decisions that will need to be made in the coming months. This is going to be a fun adventure and we are excited to share it with all of you!