The MGA With An Attitude


Reprinted article from ROAD & TRACK, May, 1958

timed top speed. However stock MG trunk space is almost a joke and the continental kit is certainly a useful accessory, even if it does take a supercharger to bring back the original top-speed capability. Actually, the supercharger makes an MG with continental kit and top down about as fast as a stock machine with the top up and side curtains in place. Accordingly we rate the true top speed of the supercharged roadster as 105 mph; the coupe, with its radiused windshield, might be able to touch 110 mph when well tuned and equipped with a Bendix fuel pump. Accordingly to a power-required curve supplied us by the MG company, a speed of 98 mph requires exactly 68 bhp. A few calculations with the aid of a slide rule show that a speed of 110 mph would require 90 bhp.

The biggest change noted on the first driving this car is the improved high-gear flexibility. This was borne out by the Tapley meter, which shows nearly 25% better pulling power (torque) in the gears. Grades which formerly required 3rd gear can now be climbed rapidly in high, although this is not say that high gear supercharged is as good as 3rd gear unsupercharged. Incidentally the speedometer error was virtually nil because Corey has substituted 165 x 380 mm. Michelin tires which turn 792 revs per mile, as compared to the standard equipment 5.a60 x 15’s which give 810 revs per mile. This change actually reduces the high-gear ability: the net result is just as if a 4.21 axle ratio were being used.

Fuel consumption suffers surprisingly little in normal driving. Under quite variable conditions we got 26 mpg consistently. However, during the test the extra horsepower used more fuel--we got 19 mpg. We mighty also mention that this car was 90 pounds heavier than a purely stock MGA because of various accessories and undercoating.

The price of the Judson kit is given in the data panel includes a properly calibrated carburetor (Holley) and a special exhaust manifold, as well as all necessary small parts. Installation would take an owner about five hours with the manufacturer’s very explicit instructions. The flat rate for installation at Bill Corey’s shop is $35.00, but this includes a dynamometer tune-up.

If you like your MGA but want more go, this is the answer.

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