Car of the Month – February, 2023

1958 MGA Twin Cam


1958 MGA Twin Cam

Engine – 1588cc 4-cylinder, in-line, cast iron block, alloy head
Valve gear – Twin overhead camshafts.
Power output – 108 bhp @ 6,700 rpm, 104 ft-lbs @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission – 4-speed manual gearbox with synchromesh on 2nd, 3rd and 4th
Curb Weight – 2,185 lbs
0-60 mph – 9.1 seconds
1/4 mile time – 17.6 seconds
Top Speed – 113 mph
Number built – 2,111 (between 1958 and 1960)
MSRP price – $3,345.00

The rarest and most desirable MG of the post-World War II era is the MGA Twin Cam. This limited-production sports car was built from 1958 to the early part of 1960 and was offered in both roadster and coupe versions.

Based on the mass-produced MGA, which many consider the prettiest MG ever made, its flowing shape shared many of the same highly attractive curves of ’50s-era British racing cars like the Jaguar D-type and Aston Martin DBR1 and DBR3. Deemed a standout design in terms of appeal and overall good looks, it was an immediate sensation.

Features that made the MGA Twin Cam so special were, of course, its unique twin-cam engine, and its four-wheel disc brakes and Dunlop steel knock-off wheels, as well as a stiffer chassis frame and springs, and stronger axle shafts and u-joints to cope with the extra power.

At the 1955 running of Le Mans, Ken Miles and Johnny Lockett took the wheel of a prototype MGA and finished 12th overall and fifth in class, averaging 86 mph and recording a top speed of almost 120 mph on the long Mulsanne Straight. The model quickly found success at Sebring, with three near-showroom-spec cars taking fourth, fifth and sixth in class, and in 1960 a modified Twin Cam coupe took first in class at Le Mans.