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Ready for winter use: MGA equipped with Vanden Plas aluminium hardtop. Only the snow chains ae missing...

How I found the hardtop? Typical MG...some weeks ago, I met a young man from Holland, Robert Levert, on the autobahn - his MGA has electrical problems and the AAA-serviceman was only one step away from suicide - there was no black box in the car he can blame it on (I really love your little aphorism), so I offered my help. With some fitting tools it was no problem. The man from Holland was of course really glad his MGA was working again, and so he told me the story of someone he had heard from in his local mechanic show who was selling a hardtop for an MGA - too much for him, he supposed, but if I would be interested, he would gave me the number of the shop. So far, so good.

A few days later I rang up the dutch repair shop. Fortunatelly his german was very good - my dutch is, to be honest, not enough to order a dish in a restaurant wihout pointing at the menu...

I turns out that he was in contact with a collector of Austin Healeys in Holland, and gave me the phone number of the collector. My mute sank a little (the only Healey Collector I know is a bank director, and he spells PROFIT in really big letters).

Anyway: I rang the collector up, he was very nice on the phone, sure, everything complete, no major damages, yes, interior was in good order, only one small dent...okay, why not? I made an appointment for the evening and dove around 300 kilometers (180 miles) with my MGA to a little town in Holland. We visited his wonderful small collection in a beautiful brandnew barn (solid stone, of course) and there, on a wall, it hangs: the aluminium vanden plas MGA hardtop, only 1450 built. We tried it, it fits perfectly. Really one small dent (I think hey tried one time to press it vry hard on the little pillar (?) in the windscreen). We talked about this and that, I made some photos with my Digital Camera, we discussed about collectors situation in Germany and Holland, and at the end I wanted to know how much he is asking for the hardtop. And he asked a very fair price...so I became proud owner of a winter usable MGA.

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All pictures courtesy of Andreas Pichler.

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