|The MGA With An Attitude
WORKS COMPETITION CARS - VT-104C
1956 Sebring MGA - These were 1500 cars entered in Sebring's 6th year.. The cars were prepared by local B.M.C.agents for the United States, Hambro Corp. Three cars were built each year. None are known to survive (but keep looking).
Picture of the 1956 Sebring MGA team from "The Works MGs"
An excerpt from MGA newsletter of the MGCC, December 1999, written by Piers Hubbard:
MGAs appeared for the first time in the sixth running of the race in 1956, the year after their introduction. This was not an entry by the M.G. Car Co. but came from three different places put together by the local B.M.C. agents for the United States, Hambro's. This was a team of three white cars with blue stripes in the colours of U.S.A. although both Wilson McComb and David Knowles say that these cars were prepared by the new Competitions Department at Abingdon, it is accepted by others who have investigated that these cars were taken from dealer stock in the U.S.A. There were three cars transferred to the Competitions Department in February 1956 but this would have left them little time to transfer them to the dealers for preparation. The final preparation of this trio was done at three separate places, according to Marcus Chambers. This would mean that there would be minor differences in the final specification. At present the identity of these cars is not known as there appears to be no record of the chassis numbers. As with all Sebring MGAs, these cars were sold in North America after the race.
Inskip Motors in New York, where Dave Ash worked, prepared car 49 which would be driven by Dave Ash and Gus Ehrman. Car 50 went to Manhattan Auto in Washington and was for Bill Kinchloe and Steve Spitler, while the car for Fred Allen and Johnny van Driel was finished in Warren, Pennsylvania and was number 51. All these drivers were American. The cars had aeroscreens and a varying arrangement of extra driving lights. No 49 had two extra lights mounted one each side of the grille and no bumpers. The other two cars ran with bumpers, Car 50 had one extra light in the left side of the grille while 51 had a light in both sides and its rear view mirror was faired in. The race was not without its alarms and excursions. No 50 had to have its throttle linkage fixed, Car 49 was losing its brakes by half way and Car 51 spun into a sandbank in the twilight. Thirty minutes later it had been extricated and continued with no damage to car or driver. When the Portago Ferrari fell by the wayside as lights were needed, the only team left were the MGAs. With 20 minutes to go all the MGAs were called into the pits and told to take things easily, using a lap time of 5 minutes instead of 4:37 that had been the schedule. They were instructed to finish line abreast and came in 19th (car 50 ), 20th (Car 49) and 22nd ( Car51) overall, 4th, 5th and 6th in Class and with the Team Prize.