1958 'Works' MGA Twin Cam Roadster
A fantastic opportunity to own a BMC competition-department works car.
Registration: PRX 707
Chassis Number: YD1/528
Engine Number: 16G/U/159
Number of cylinders: 4
Year of Manufacture: 1958
Estimate (£): 70,000 - 80,000
MG'A' Twin Cam PRX 707 was the first ‘Works' car to be officially entered into an International event, the 1958 Liege-Rome-Liege Rally. Driven by John Gott (later to become the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire and a legendary pedaller of Big Healeys) and navigated by Ray Brookes. The entry attracted a considerable amount of interest in the motoring and indeed, national press, and the brief from MG was to finish at all costs, a feat that was accomplished in style with an incredible 10th overall and 4th in class.
BMC's competition department had hoped to enter five MGA Twin Cams for the 1958 Alpine Rally which had a start date of July 7th, however for various reasons the public launch of the Twin Cam was delayed until July 16th creating one or two problems with the homologation process. ‘Comps', however, lost no time in taking delivery of the first Twin Cams, chassis numbers 524, 528 and 596 and it was 528, a red tourer that would be the first to appear in an event. Registered as PRX 707 it was given a detachable black hardtop and prepared for the Liege-Rome-Liege Rally. They had little time to convert to rally specification and the car was standard apart from a 20-gallon fuel tank, special seats, extra lamps and the appropriate navigational instruments. Additional under-shielding and sump guards were added but it was effectively a token gesture as the car was never expected to dispute the top few places on its maiden outing.
Although titled the Liege-Rome-Liege it went nowhere near Rome and was a tough, four day, non-stop event mainly in the uncivilised interior of Yugoslavia. Starting from Competition No.78, John Gott was always faced with problems passing slower cars on the exceptionally rough and dusty tracks, and his progress wasn't helped by having to stop and help stranded team-mates, a common courtesy in those days. Gott himself experienced a chronic misfire due to a loose distributor that was rectified by the BMC mechanics at a service halt. He went on to finish a very creditable 10th overall in the world 'debut' for the MGA Twin Cam beating two of the four BMC Team Austin-Healeys which were the main assault for the Liege that year. Subsequently PRX 707 was prepared and entered for the Tulip Rally in 1959 for John Gott and Chris Tooley but sadly didn't feature in the results, despite being well placed in the early stages due to an uncharacteristic navigational error.
Today PRX 707 presents in lovely condition and is a testament to its four previous enthusiastic owners. The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate from December 1987 lists chassis YD1/528 as being allocated to the Competition Department and finished in Orient Red. Importantly it retains its black factory lightweight aluminium hardtop and original tachometer. Options at the time included a heater, black tonneau cover, oil cooler and competition (deluxe) seats. Previous owners have obviously been fully aware of the importance of this special MGA and the history file contains lots of period items including approximately fifteen motorsport magazine articles describing the life and times of this pretty and very presentable, on the button, factory Twin Cam.
'Works' cars from the BMC stable are becoming increasingly rare in the marketplace, with 'Twin Cam' values climbing steadily and this fine MGA could be a great investment and would be welcome at all the major Historic Motorsport events.