The MGA With An Attitude

1961 Sebring MGA - two cars entered, both surviving.
1600 (MK I) Coupes with competition suspension.

(Commonly referred to as "Deluxe" cars)

61 Sebring MGAs on the race date
GHD/100148 - Sebring #44 - 1961
GHD/100149 - Sebring #43 - 1961
Photo at right taken 9 March 1961.

See before, during, and after restoration
photos of #43, currently owned by Frank Graham.
61 Sebring MGA after restoration 61 Sebring MGA steering wheel
Above photo from Frank Graham's web site.
An MGA leading a couple of Alpines (light blue cars with white tops) at start of race.
Photo courtesy of Scott Christie (an Alpine guy). - Click for larger image.

61 Sebring MGA #43 after restoration 61 Sebring MGA #43 after restoration
#43 as seen at MG2006 in Gatlinburg, TN, in June 2006
Photos courtesy of Matt Kemper - Click for larger images.

61 Sebring MGA #44 after restoration
This is the restored #44 car owned by Ian Prior, Melbourne, Australia.
Photo supplied by Mark Hester.
from the 2005 MG International Meeting at Silverstone

61 Sebring MGA's 43 and 44 Number 43 and 44 reunited for the first time in 50 years,
seen at Amelia Island Concours in Florida, March 2012
61 Sebring MGA 61 Sebring MGA 61 Sebring MGA

Notice two fuel pumps in the boot (for easy access) plumbed in parallel. This could provide twice the fuel flow with original pressure unchanged. But the real reason is for reliability. If one pump should fail the car still runs as intended on the one pump that remains running.

On 12/18/2012, Ian Prior in Melbourne Australia, wrote:
"The Sebrings, well at least the 1960 and 1961 cars were painted what I believe is called Brooklands Green. It is the Prewar MG Factory Racing colour as per K3 etc and has a a lot of yellow in it. i matched the colour to the remains of the green on the underside of my front mudguards and interior".

See next page about the specially prepared engines for the 1961 Sebring cars.

An excerpt from MGA newsletter of the MGCC, December 1999, written by Piers Hubbard:

1961 saw the entry of two 1600 Coupe cars, chassis numbers 100148 and 100149. These cars are the result of a marriage between the Twin Cam chassis, with four wheeled disc brakes and push rod engines; they were finished in B.R.G. with a white front valance on No 44. There are photographs showing a restriction to the grille aperture but they did not run with this in place. These cars were driven by Sir John Whitmore and Peter Riley (No 43) and Jim Parkinson and Jack Flaherty (No 44): the South African Bob Olthoff was the reserve driver for No 43. This year the MGAs were entered in the GT category instead of the Sports Car category which contained the Porsches. The GT also had the Sunbeam Alpines. The Alpines reckoned they were quicker after their tests at Silverstone but they were heavy on tyres owing to their small wheels and this was to be the clincher. The race was held in hot conditions so the MGAs let the Alpines run ahead and stuck to their own schedule. The fact that the MGAs only needed one tyre stop, and had the pressure fuel rig, enabled them to make up all the time needed. They finished only two laps apart in 14th and 16th places overall. The Parkinson/Flaherty pairing won the class on 175 laps and the Whitmore/Riley duo were 2nd. Marcus Chambers reported that a subsequent test on Car No 44 showed that it was 10 mph quicker at the finish than at the start.

There were two Austin Healey Sprites running in 1961 which were entered by the Donald Healey Motor Company. They were driven by Joe Buzetta/Glen Carlson and John Colgate/Ed Leavens: these finished first and second in their class. A third Sprite was driven by Cyril Simson and Paul Hawkins. The preceding 4 Hour Grand Touring race had 6 Sprites in the first 8 places: Ed Leavens drove in this race as did Stirling and Pat Moss, all in Sprites.

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