Jack Begley's 1957 MGA with 1962 Buick 215 V8(originally published in British V8 Newsletter, Volume 2 Issue 1)
Owner: Jack Begley
City: Merced, CA
Model: 1957 MG MGA
Completed: May 1991 (and reworked in 1993)
Jack is a true MGoholic who currently owns about 14 MGA's, MGB's, and MGB/GT's. Among this collection sit the MGA V-8 described below and an MGB, Oldsmobile V-6, and Borg-Warner T-50 transmission soon to be assembled.
How It Was Done
|Engine:||1962 Buick Special cubic inch. Jhans pistons. Offenhauser intake
manifold with Holley 600cfm 4-barrel carburetor. High volume oil
pump kit. Balanced. 19 row oil cooler with remote oil filter.
Standard Dodge throttle cable. (Fuel injection coming soon.)
|Transmission:||Borg-Warner T-50 5-speed manual from a 1979 Monza. Shortened
MGA shifter welded to T-50 shifter.
|Bellhousing:||stock Buick 215 drilled for T-50 transmission.
|Clutch:||12" Chevrolet. 1979 Ford Courier slave and master cylinders.
Master cylinder is mounted under the dash and the reservoir
in the engine compartment.
|Flywheel:||215 automatic, MGB brake rotor fitted in recess with recessed
allen bolts, then drilled for 12" Chevy pressure plate.
|Exhaust:||stock Buick 215 manifolds. 2" dual exhaust. Gas tank was
centered for clearance. Turbo mufflers installed in stock
battery locations. (Battery relocated to trunk.)
|Brakes:||Jaguar MkII/150 rears (see Suspension). On front, MGA front
spindles turned down to fit Jaguar MkII/150 rotors. Ford bearings.
Custom fabricated caliper mounts. (This was difficult and cost
|Tires/Wheels:||15" wire wheels from 1979 Cadillac Seville. Jaguar hubs
were drilled for bolts. 205/50 EURA TA tires. These were
replaced by Dayton wheels in '93.).
|Suspension:||Jaguar MkII/150 rear end unit with Panhard rod and torque bars.
|Cooling:||stock MGA top and bottom tanks on late MGB core. Clutch fan from
1979 Ford Courier. (Still runs 180-200F, a shroud will be installed
|Rear End:||1968 Jaguar 4.8 MkII/150 with 3.74:1 gearing, posi-traction,
traction bars, and Panhard rod. (This rear end did not require
narrowing and fits an MGB well.) The Jaguar cantilevered spring
|Steering:||early MGB steering rack, collapsible Oldsmobile Starfire steering
column w/ tilt steering wheel. MGA tie rods shortened. (1975 or
later steering rack would probably work better as U-joint is further
|Frame/Body:||firewall moved back 2" and replaced with steel sheet as were the
floorboards. Lateral braces relocated. A depression added to front
crossmember for oil pump clearance. Fenders flared and molded to
body and ground effects added. Trim on top of doors and behind
seat was removed and smoothed. Custom seat back fabricated, moving
the seat back 2". Removeable fiberglass top painted red to match
|Cost:||~$3500 (parts only).