|The MGA With An Attitude
NOTABLE MGA "DELUXE" from the Production List - TC-109
First note that the term "Deluxe" was not an official model name and was not used in any public literature or sales material. We now recognize this as a separate distinct model traditionally called "Deluxe", but when first introduced it was an MGA 1600 with the "Competition Suspension" option. Functionally it was a complete Twin Cam chassis with a pushrod engine. It required a special hybrid body shell to accommodate the Twin Cam style master cylinders and the pushrod style radiator and heater unit. The body differences are in the heater shelf and radiator mounting position. Some very early "Deluxe" cars had the removable vent panels in the front inner wings, presumably using up some leftover Twin Cam body shells after the Twin Cam went out of production.
TC-109-91240 - The first MGA "Deluxe" produced, April to June 1960
TC-109-104428 - GHD2/104428 - 1600 MKII Coupe - works rally car
TC-109-104429 - GHD2/104429 - 1600 MKII Coupe - works rally car
VT-104G - GHD/100148 - 1600 MKI Coupe - Sebring #44 1961 - (variants)
VT-104G - GHD/100149 - 1600 MKI Coupe - Sebring #43 1961 - (variants)
The first car, (c)91240 was a works demonstrator. It was finished on June 9, 1960, and between the end of June and July of that year, another 21 were completed, 12 of them for the home market. Coupe and roadster versions were built over the next two years, spanning the change from the 1600 to the 1600 Mark II. Some cars were built to quite high specification, including bolt-on hardtop (alloy tops until they were gone, then fiberglass tops later), close ratio gearbox, Road Speed tyres, radio, badge bar. All of them had oil cooler and anti-sway bar. The resulting considerable increase of price may have contributed to this model being called "Deluxe" (as in expensive or luxurious).
Production ran in small batches of 20 or so at a time. There was a run of 19 for the North American market in July 1961 from car number 102557 to 102575. The last run was a batch of 70 roadsters to North American specification which were completed between May and June 1962, ending with car 108652. 63 per cent of all
"Deluxe" production crossed the Atlantic. "Deluxe" production ended the same month as the MGA went out of production. In total 395 were built. Just over 80 were the MGA 1600 version and the rest the Mark II version. Thirty-five were Coupes which makes them the rarest of all
MGA models. With a readily-available kit for the 1600 engine, the "Deluxe" car could be tuned almost to Twin Cam performance levels.
A bit of speculation from Mark Hester: MG initially purchased (or contracted for) 2500 brake and wheel kits from Dunlop. 2111 Twin Cams (plus three ORX 885, PJB147, plus Gaydon cutaway coupe) were made before the decision was made to stop production. Then MGB development began, so the factory would have had nearly four hundred kits to use up before the new model arrived. 395 "Deluxes" were made, thus 2509 kits in total.
My best guess is that the factory was buying these Twin Cam special parts from Dunlop 500 sets at a time. Having passed the 2000 production level they would have ordered the next set of 500 bringing them up to 2500 sets total (which amounts to exactly the same thing). There would likely have been some additional parts ordered as spares, having been sent to a few distribution centers, so this doesn't stop with only the 2509 known cars produced with these parts. -- Barney