MGA RESTORATION GUIDE, Malcolm J. Green, Brooklands Books, Cobham, Surrey, England 1995.
156 pp., soft cover.
ISBN No. 1 85520 302 2
The author takes a common sense, hands-on approach to his subject and the result is an informative and useful addition to the MG bookshelf. The book is well-illustrated with staged photos of restoration projects from well-known English specialist shops as well as photos of cars and memorabilia from Mr. Green's own collection.
A sixteen-page introductory chapter deals briefly with the well-known development of the MGA as the author, a British subject, interjects some of his personal recollections of the car's introduction. Some interesting early MGA press pictures snapped in the countryside around the hallowed village of Abingdon are presented along with photos from 1950s auto shows. This book is not intended to be a history of MGs though, and so Mr. Green quickly moves on to his pragmatic approach to MGA restoration.
Sound advice on procuring and restoring a MGA is offered next. In outlining methods for car evaluation the author points out key components to examine and possible pitfalls to avoid. Following chapters deal first with chassis and running gear then on to other systems following a logical progression until we finish up with paint work and weather equipment. A photo of paint chips is presented, but the color reproduction is so poor as to be hardly useful except that they are approximate enough, in my estimation, to dissuade anyone from ever knowingly painting an automobile Tyrolite Green or Alamo Beige. There are, however, a few nice color plates including a highly informative step-by-step sequence depicting reupholstering techniques and carpeting.
The book concludes with the reproduction of various BMC service memoranda dealing with such issues as Twin Cam water loss to correct servicing of timing chain tensioners to reglazing of windscreens. Nifty photos of MGAs sporting Proluxe period accessories such as headlamp eyebrows gives one pause to reflect.
If you are restoring a MGA yourself, having one restored professionally, or contemplating the prospect of rebuilding one of these fine little driving machines, you absolutely must have this book on your shelf next to the factory manual. The concise text, clear illustrations and photos, and the author's no-nonsense approach to the subject will surely prove helpful to beginning and experienced restorers alike.
Standard disclaimers apply.
Respecfully submitted by David F. Darby.
Hercules Wilderness, Missouri, USA.
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