The MGA With An Attitude

Als Standard 15 trailer Here's another one noticed in April 2004 by Frank Nocera, Tallahassee, FL. This is a little smaller at 15 cubic feet, built with a car top carrier and an ice chest rack installed on a light tubular chassis, intended for motorcycle use. Overall height is 33 inches (notice the 8 inch wheels). The same company also makes a 20 cubic foot version with12 inch wheels. Not sure on the overall height of that one, but guessing about 6 inches taller. It is produced by Als Motorcycle Accessories, in Cedar Bluff, Alabama, between Huntsville AL and Atlanta GA. Click for manufacturer's web page.

ADDENDUM - October 26, 2004:
Trailer Drive Report - By Frank Nocera - Tallahassee, Florida

Since purchasing my 1956 MGA in 2003, I had been searching the Internet and eBay for the right small cargo trailer to tow behind the car on long trips. Of course a motorcycle cargo trailer was going to be the answer. What quickly amazed me was the wide selection of trailers available from a wide variety of manufacturers. What also amazed me was the wide range of prices. I found everything from a box on wheels on eBay for less than six hundred U.S. dollars to some sleek streamline-shaped trailers that exceeded $4,000. There was even a wooden barrel converted into a cargo trailer offered by one company. This Jack-Daniels-logo unit was not quite the statement I want to make as I motor down the road. My goal was to find the right trailer for less than U.S. $1,000. My other goal was to stick to Barney's advice that it not be more than 36 inches in maximum height from the ground, so that the cockpit rearview mirror view would not be blocked.
al's Standard 15 cubic foot trailer with MGA
I finally found my trailer at Al's Motorcycle Accessories, Cedar Bluff, Alabama. I bought it over the internet and had it shipped to Tallahassee. You can find Al's on the web at Al McMullan's motorcycle cargo trailers come in two sizes. I chose the smaller of the two and it works great for my needs. The design is simple and well made: a clamshell automobile cargo container mounted to a sturdy trailer with a 14" x 20" rack in front for a small cooler. The small trailer sells for well under $1,000 and came wired with stop/running lights, but no license plate light. I added an MGA license plate light and plate holder and wired it into the running light wire of the trailer's simple wiring harness.

On my test run I drove from Tallahassee to Clearwater, a distance of approximately 250 miles, using a combination of roads (US 27/19/Suncoast Parkway for those who may know this Florida west coast route). This scenic drive takes about 4.5 hours, takes you through many small towns like Fanning Springs, and Crystal River. It even has a few hills to climb. It offers ample opportunities to test braking, acceleration, passing and cruising (at up to 70 MPH).

At this point I need to advise readers that Penelope, my '56 MGA, is not stock. Your results may vary. She has an 1800 MGB engine, front disc brakes, a Sierra 5 speed gearbox and a 3.9 MGB differential. She was built to cruise, and that she does well: 65 MPH at 3,000 RPM.

With two suitcases (airline roll-aboard variety), two folding chairs, a car cover, a medium-sized tool box, and a cooler half filled with ice and bottled water, the trailer was only at 25 pounds at the tongue. It did not drag down the rear of the car nor did it raise the front. I credit that with the fact that the clamshell is well balanced over the trailer wheels, and the trailer tongue is rather long.

From a standing stop you do know there is a trailer behind, but it does not appreciably slow acceleration. The same can be said for slowing and stopping. It did not impede my stopping power. What I did notice was that it did increase the disc brake squeal. (I need to add those anti-squeal pads next time I change out the disc pads.)

In cruise, even at 65 or 70 MPH, the trailer tracked straight and did not bounce around over rough road. I had no trouble with passing; there was plenty of power. Nor did the trailer raise the coolant temperature beyond its normal range (190 degrees on this day).

The trailer is only 31 inches from the ground at its highest point, so in the rearview mirror you have a great view of the traffic behind you and only a small view of the top of the trailer.

I quickly learned that turns need to be made a little wide of curbs due to the long tongue. Once that was learned, towing this trailer was a breeze.

As you may have already concluded, I am very happy with my trailer purchase from Al's Motorcycle Accessories. It's perfect for long trips and I believe it is an investment that I will appreciate for years to come.

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