1960 MGA: Reader Ride

By: John Henry, Photography by: John Henry

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John Henry's MGA John Henry's MGA John Henry's MGA
John Henry's MGA John Henry's MGA John Henry's MGA
John Henry's MGA John Henry's MGA John Henry's MGA
John Henry's MGA John Henry's MGA John Henry's MGA

John Henry has always liked older and classic cars and says his 1960 MGA that he bought three years ago is exhilarating


1960 MGA

I’ve probably wanted an MGA for most of my life. I come from a small place in New Zealand and we rarely got to see cars like that. One day I saw one and I thought ‘Wow, that’s just amazing’. I got my MG three years ago. It’s my first MG and actually my first classic car. A friend of mine was talking about an MG a couple of years ago, and so I told him I have one now. He didn’t like that very much.

When I bought it, getting used to the brakes was a little scary because there’s no power braking. The other thing is the low proximity to the ground. When you’re driving along next to a truck and its wheel is right beside your head you think "Whoa, I could get squashed like a bug here".

It’s definitely exhilarating, but it’s a different sort of ride. You actually have to drive it rather than putting your foot on the gas and letting the motor do the work. You have to help get it to where it’s going. Having it lower and lighter is more fun.

I actually looked at getting a V8 not long ago, it was a 64-and-a-half Mustang, but I only have room for one in my garage and I can’t get rid of her. The MG, I mean. There was really no argument because I don’t want to part with it.

When it does come time to move it on, it won’t be about the money, it will be more about who it’s going to. I think everyone in my family would be happy to take it, but I don’t think they’d be able to look after it the way it needs to be looked after. I’d rather sell it for $5000 or even $10,000 less to someone who’s been looking for one for a long time and who can give her a good home.

I’ve had such a fantastic run with it, so I’ve never really been able to complain about it. You do get the little things, though. One day I took it to the shops and the wipers started up. All that was wrong was the wiper motor was loose. The car’s so simple though. If it’s not running it’s because there’s no fuel, oil or spark.

I’ve always like older cars and classic cars. I think it’s because as they get older and rarer they need a custodian, someone to look after them and make sure they’re still around for another 50 years, touch wood.

I’m very particular about cars and I believe everything should be as original as it can be. I don’t think you should swap motors or gearboxes or things like that. I put a lot of store in matching numbers so, if it hasn’t got that, there’s no interest in it for me.


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