MGA Special built by John Michael Fulton

This is an MGA with modified coachwork equipped with an MGB 5 mainbearing engine. (Earlier B engines only had three mainbearings which allowed the crankshaft to whip a bit and throw out the engine.)
The engine was installed by an exclusive sports car garage in Dallas after the owner blew the previous engine which was a street version of the race engine of a local dealers annually fielded car for that year's model. There were some mechanic friends that worked at the dealer and put in all the modifications and components that would still make the car driveable on the street.
This is a 1959 model which originally had the 1489 cc which was designated as 1500 and the B engine was stock at 1798 cc, whereas the last MGA had only progressed to 1622 cc.

The altered coachwork consisted the nose and some modification to the rear which included relocating the taillights from the fenders to the body and replacing the standard bumper with two nerf bars The paint was bright yellow with flat black hood panel and black racing stripes down the lower sides The lever shocks were serviced with thicker oil than standard and anti-sway bars were installed both front and rear.

Retained was the original transmission since there was no ratio change from A to B, (only a syncro low) and the MGA differential of 4.1 ratio (instead of the MGB 3.9 ratio). "Therefore, no other A could beat me because of the engine and no B could beat me because of the 4.1 ratio !" - recalls the happy builder

And an interesting detail:

"If you look closely you will see a pair of reverse scoops on the bonnet near the windscreen. The stock version had simple open grills at those locations. As you may know, MG had designed a seemingly clever feature which included a large flex hose that scooped cool air from near the forward grill and dumped out to flow over the twin SU carbs, then to proceed into an underhood scoop for exhaust out of the aforementioned grills.
After several years of production an independent tester performed a wind tunnel test to evaluate the feature, using standard air tunnel ribbons. It was found that, at road speed, outside air was actually entering the grills instead of exhausting, which rendered the design intent useless ! After a few weeks of calculating and re-engineering, I arrived at a solution. Then, I had to find a component that would be aesthetically pleasing and still do the job. What I found was perfect.
In the early days of auto air-conditioning there were several approaches. In the Cadillac of the era the unit was mounted in the boot and used scoops mounted on the rear wings to provide outside air. I located one in a salvage yard and the dimensions proved to be perfect for my application, even the rubber surround pad.
I removed the MG grills, mounted the Cad scoops in a reverse position which protected the exhausting air and provided an extra boost using the outside air flowing over the reversed scoop. The final test was to attach wind tunnel ribbons and take it on the road. Test results: Perfect ! "

The car was the last of a total of three MGA's which I had previously owned. You might imagine that I knew those cars pretty well ! I found them to be dependable, durable and was never apprehensive about any length of tour with the cars.- says John.


© and Copy, 2000:

Pal Negyesi