|The MGA With An Attitude
HUMBOLDT Hardtop, Wood Construction - TT-126
This article and photos are compliments of Jim Paul in the
Los Angeles area who purchased this hardtop in 2005.
Every once in awhile I sign on to Craigslist or the Recycler websites and search for "MG" just to see if anything interesting is out there. A month ago I saw a listing for a "Wooden" MGA hardtop. My email inquiries were promptly answered: Yes, it is made of wood with a glass window; yes it fits onto the MGA windshield and side turnbuckles to the soft top frame; no sorry no pictures available. Not much other information, except that it was made in Humboldt county as a custom one-off fabrication, fashioned after the profile of the soft top, and it seems to be solid oak hardwood.
The price was so low it justified the extra 300 mile roundtrip I had to drive (up to Arcata, CA) to fetch it. Then a 700 mile trip down the California coast, stopping at Shelter Cove, Monterey, and Big Sur on the way down. The top rattled quite a bit when traveling down bumpy, rutted mountain roads...I'm not sure if the aluminum factory top would ave been much better. On the freeway the oak top is surprisingly quiet, although of course the Weathershield side curtains do not fit properly.
Yes it is weird and ugly and strange. But when you look at it more closely, you'll appreciate the attention to detail and little finishing touches (interior top bows, decorative top trim) and it seems kind of cool. Very strong counter-culture vibe. I saw three other vehicles, two dune buggies and a VW, with similar wooden attachments in Arcata (Humboldt County).