The MGA With An Attitude

Minilite Style

Minilite repro 8-spoke splined wheel Minilite repro 8-spoke bolt-on wheel Perhaps the most common replacement wheels which you can buy off the shelf these days are Minilite replica 8-spoke aluminum wheels. For the MGA they would be 15" x 5-1/2", and will accept up to 205 width size tires (taller tire profiles may rub fenders). These are available in bolt-on or splined hub configuration, with the splined version being considerably more expensive. Be aware that many (most) "Minilite style" reproduction wheels will not have the correct offset for MGA.

You can still buy the original "Minilite" wheels in either aluminum or magnesium, 5-1/2 or 6-inches wide, and they can have the correct offset for MGA. Magnesium wheels are more expensive (and may be special order) but are also 1/3 lighter than aluminum wheels and just as strong. These are available as bolt-ons for sure, not so sure about spline drive, or peg drive type. Check out the Minilite USA distributor web site.

You can buy "Superlite" aluminum wheels (from Australia) that look like the classic Minilite wheels (6-inches wide). These are available as bolt-on, spline drive, or peg drive type. As of 2007 Superlight no longer had a USA distributor.

On 11/3/2010 -0600, Steve Kaufman in Canada wrote:
"Can you please tell me if Minilite Wheels were a period accessory available during the time that MGA's were produced".

I had a feeling that question was coming. Minilite wheels were "invented" for first use on the Austin Mini (10-inch wheels). The Austin Mini was first produced in 1959. I think the first Minilite wheel for the Mini was produced in 1961. These wheels became very popular shortly thereafter and were certainly used on MGA for racing in the mid 1960's. I'm not sure if 15-inch Minilites were available before MGA went out of production in June 1962. I think they were, but haven't found documented proof yet. When Minilite expanded production to models other than the original Mini, MGA and MGB would have been early prime market targets, as these were the largest selling sports cars of the era. I think the trick is to find a picture of an MGA racing on Minilite wheels prior to June 1962. Start searching the internet for pictures? All comments welcome.

Carmona brand wheels, size 15x6, one of the first Minilite style reproductions.
Photo from Nuernburgring race track in 1986, plus vintage ad.
Carmona is (was) based in Italy. They had a branch in UK, but it was closed in 1996.

VTO wheels, made in USA, are available in bolt-on and slpine drive models. For MGA they would be 15" x 6" but only 24-mm offset. The factory and distrbution center is in Prescott Valley, AZ. Hap Waldrop of Acme Speed Shop in Greenville, SC is a distributor.

Thank you for your comments -- Send e-mail to <Barney Gaylord>
© 2002-2017 Barney Gaylord -- Copyright and reprint information