|The MGA With An Attitude
MGA Body Sill Replacement - December 2007 to July 2008
A picture is worth a thousand words, and this is two pictures, before and after. Twenty years after production the car was pretty much used up and beat up, but only a little rusty (by modern standards) with 150,000 miles on the chassis. I restored it (body off) on an amateur learning curve, trying to pickle it so it would last another 20 to 30 years. That seemed like a noble cause when I was 28 and a 20 year old MGA wasn't worth much. After lots of delays I got it back on the road in late 1986, then proceeded to drive the wheels off the thing. 124,000 miles later in Spring of 1998 I would R&R the outer panels, bang out a few dents, repaint and reassemble it. Well, time flies. In late 2007, another 90,000 miles on, it was finally time to replace the body sills with 364,000 miles on the chassis. Not bad for a 50 year old model that is (was) prone to rust out in 10 years when driven regularly. But guess who gets to do the next restoration (20 or 30 years on)? Still me.
So I set aside several months of my life (again) to do a second restoration of the body shell, a third repaint by me (sixth time this car was painted), and also cleaned and repainted the frame (second repaint) while the body was off. Not so short sighted this time, and now with a more valuable car, I set out to pickle it well enough that it might last another 40 to 50 years. It could have been quicker, except I was hand forming all of the replacement panels from flat sheet to save $1,000 and documenting the whole procedure with 350 photos and 35 web pages of notes for others to follow. For the full photo tour start at restore1.htm in the Restoration section.