MG MGA Twin-Cam Coupe #32 – Bizarre

1959 MG MGA Twin-Cam Coupe #32
Pilots: C. Escott, T. Lund. 
Team: Ted Lund
Race: 12th overall (1st in S 2.0) at Le Mans in 1960
Bizarre - BZ377 (resin)

Published 08/13/21

Founded in the early 1920s, the M.G. Car Company produced from coupés to big saloons. However, they became famous for their open two-seater sports cars. MG achieved international fame in 1936, when they introduced their T-Type series. These models were body-on-frame open two-seater sports cars, and included the famous Midget. The TC Midget, launched in 1945, ignited the “sports car craze” in the US. Nonetheless, in 1955 MG replaced it with the MGA. The new MGA’s streamlined body was a radical departure from the Midget. Interestingly, MG designer Syd Enever designed the body in 1951, for a TC to race at La Sarthe. Powering the MGA was BMC’s B Series inline-4, displacing 1489 cm³ with SOHC and eight valves. Connected through a four-speed gearbox, the engine delivered 68 hp to the rear wheels (increased to 72 hp soon after production began). Brakes were hydraulic drums on all four wheels.

As a roadster in 1959 #YD3 627/S didn’t fare very well, but as a coupe in the following year it was a class winner.

In 1958, MG introduced a high-performance version of the MGA, the Twin-Cam. The big difference was the engine, enlarged to 1588 cm³ and delivering 108 hp. The engine was the same inline-4, however with a high-compression DOHC aluminum cylinder head. Furthermore, the Twin-Cam also counted on Dunlop disk brakes. Ted Lund bought a MGA Twin-Cam roadster (chassis #YD3 627/S) in 1959 and invited Colin Escott to race at La Sarthe that year. Unfortunately though, their gearbox broke and they DNF. For 1960 he used the same chassis, but made two important changes. He rebodied it with a coupe body and installed a bigger 1762 cm³ engine. Apparently that was good enough for a class win, with the MGA #32 finishing in 12th overall, 52 laps behind the winning Testarossa. MGA #32 was the first MG to lap La Sarthe at an average speed above 100 mph (101.66 mph).

The car has an interesting color – something between gold and metallic green.

W-143 Garage’s first MG and another oddball from Bizarre… I never saw this model for sale before, however I found this one locally (from a big MG enthusiast). To be honest, I bought it because I didn’t have any MG and because the price was terrific. Moreover, to my total delight I only discovered it was a class winner later on 🤩. As always Bizarre delivers a competently nice model in scale. Details are crisp and the paint job is great – all in all, a true gem. Maybe not a model for all collectors yet a very nice one for the Le Mans nut.

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