The MGA With An Attitude
NON-ORIGINAL Engine Quandry - BUY-106

At 12:03 PM 11/16/04 -0700, John Clark wrote:
>"I have a 59 1600 that has a 1500 engine that corresponds with the date code for some of the final 1500 cars. My 1600 car is 70,115 (2000th 1600) so is it possible that the engine is original? "

No. All 1600 model cars had 1600 engines.

>"If not does it matter?"

Not much, unless it's a concours show car. Otherwise it may reduce the value of the car by 5% or $100, whichever is greater.

>"Should I consider the 1600 engine to install? My engine is a 1489cc ... with a broken con rod ... and hopefully salvageable crank. What should I do?"

This may be a toss up between economics and personal preferences. I have some of this covered in another article. See broken engine considerations. If you are about to spend the money on a complete engine overhaul, that would indeed be the most opportune moment to switch engines. But if the engine is running okay as is, then the cost of building another engine would NOT be recovered in increased market value of the car.

If you just like touring, the 1500 engine works okay. If you like spirited driving or competitive autocross or want to tow a trailer, then maybe the larger engine would be a good idea. But I did all of that successfully for more than 150,000 miles with a (nearly) stock 1500 engine.

At 02:03 PM 11/19/04 -0500, John Clark wrote:
>"I want this car to be worth the maximum $$ without going overboard on the engine."

Ah, the holy grail. Good luck on that. Purely from the point of economics, it is most cost effective to restore the engine to original spec's. If you intend to drive it a lot, then put a little more into durability mods. But with increasing mileage after restoration the market value drops again.

>"Should I even consider the 1800 B engine? "

More power is nice, but it won't increase the value of the car to notice.

>"The body will be immaculate and the mechanicals will be 95/100. What is the car worth? $7000? $10,000?"

Maybe more than you think (for a fully restored car). See speculative market value. But if you plan on driving it for some years after it's restored, don't count on it. Wear takes it's toll, and time can change the market.

>"I have restored a big healey and a few vettes."

Don't get too excited. The MGA is not in that class, and nothing you do for the engine will change that.

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