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  • Timeline of the MG MGA

    The MG MGA is a British made sports car that was in production from 1955 to 1962, when it was replaced by the MGB. The design of the MGA was innovative from that of the older vehicles and boasted an uncommon feature, no exterior door handles.

    Here is the timeline of the MG MGA:

    1951- Designs begin on the MGA.

    1955- The MGA is officially launched and production of the MGA 1500 begins. The 1500 was the largest produced model of the MGA, with 58,750 made.

    1958- Production begins on the MGA Twin Cam. The Twin Cam featured a 1.6L engine and a double overhead cam. It was built for high performance.

    1959- Production of the MGA 1500 ends and the MGA 1600 production begins. The MGA 1600 was the second largest produced model of the MGA, with 31,501 made. There was also a De-Luxe version of the 1600 which were made with leftover special wheels and four wheel disc brakes of the Twin-Cam.

    1960- Production of the Twin Cam and 1600 models ends and the 1600 Mark II is produced. The Mark II had a larger engine and a higher ration rear axle, designed for a more relaxed drive at high speeds. There was also a De-Luxe version of the 1600 Mark II, with 290 roadsters and 23 coupes produced.

    1962- Production of the MGA 1600 Mark II ends.

    The MGA also “starred” in a few movies, including Blue Hawaii, Animal House and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

    See Also: British Cars in the Movies, Timeline of the Jaguar-Type

  • British Cars in the Movies

    In last week's blog, we celebrated the anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise and this week we thought we would continue the theme and showcase other movies that have featured British cars. British cars have been featured in movies for years now and they continue to be seen in newer movies as well. Here are a few of our favorites:

    Austin Powers- International Man of Mystery featured a Jaguar E-Type that was patriotically painted with the Union Jack flag, like the one below.

    Another recent movie to boast a British car was Get Smart, which was based off of the 1960s TV series. In the movie, Steve Carrell drives an orange Sunbeam Tiger.

    In 2003's The Italian Job, you will see many British cars. While most of the publicity came to the three Mini Cooper S in the movie (similar to the one below), there was also Jaguar E-Types, an Aston Martin DB4 and a Land Rover Series IIa station wagon.

    If you have any favorite movies with British cars, we'd love to hear about it! Comment below or share with us on our Facebook page!

    At British Parts Northwest, we stock and sell parts and accessories for your beloved Austin Healey, Jaguar, Land Rover, MG, Mini or Triumph.

    Related Post: Spitfire in the Movies and Other Interesting Car Facts

  • Celebrating James Bond and His Love for British Cars

    Today is the 50th anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise and we thought that we would celebrate by looking back at the British Leyland cars that were showcased throughout the film series.

    The first James Bond movie, Dr. No, hit the big screen on October 5th, 1962 and in it, Bond drove a Sunbeam Alpine. We enjoyed this video of a chase scene in the Alpine (notice they round the same corner three times-my how videography has changed!):


    The other Leyland vehicles that appeared in Bond movies include the Triumph Stag (Diamonds Are Forever), the MG MGB (The Man with the Golden Gun), the Leyland Sherpa Van (The Spy Who Loved Me), the Range Rover Classic and an Austin FX4 (Octopussy), the Land Rover Series III, Range Rover Classic and the Rover 800 (The Living Daylights), the Daimler Limousine and Range Rover (Tomorrow Never Dies), the Jaguar XKR (Die Another Day) and finally the Range Rover Sport (Casino Royale).

    Stay tuned for next week's blog, when we will talk about other British cars in the movies!

  • Spitfire in the Movies and Other Interesting Car Facts

    It's no surprise that movies and TV have featured the Spitfire many times, it's a great looking car! Using the great resources from Spitfire and GT6 Magazine, we've put together a list of interesting facts about the Spitfire as seen on TV and in the theater.

    Spitfires in the Movies

    • All American Murder - With Christopher Walken and Charlie Schlatter. When Charlie Schlatter visits his girl the first time, in front of the girl's fraternity house you can see a passing Spitfire MkIV or 1500, red.
    • Life is Sweet, TV - a satiric look at family life in London. Portly restaurateur drives Spitfire.
    • Monty Python's and now for something completely different - A white Triumph Spitfire (Mk2) is used during the "upper class twit of the year" competition in which the bowler wearing twit is required to start the car and reverse over the cardboard cut-out of an old woman.
    • Police Academy - There was a spitfire playing a very important role. the drill sergeant was driving through the streets on a motor-cycle, and hit a spitfire from the side, after which he flew head-first into the behind of a horse.
    • Ssssssss - One of the students on the campus drove a blue 1976 Spitfire.
    • Up in smoke - uses 2 triumph spitfires in background footage.
    • Woodstock - there is a spitfire that appears in the Woodstock movie. When they show footage of the massive line of cars stuck in traffic, they slowly pan over an early spitfire with the driver inside waiting to get to woodstock. It is red.
    • The Wraith - A yellow Spitfire 1500 appears in the 1988 movie starring Charlie Sheen, Sharelyn Fenn and Randy Quaid. The car is featured in several scenes, usually parked outside the drive-in restaurant.
    • Young Lovers - starring Peter Fonda and he drives a white Spitfire.

    Famous Spitfire Owners

    • Actor Nicolas Cage's first car was a Spitfire. (Photo above) "I had a Triumph Spitfire," says Cage, 36. "It was a beautiful little roadster in a faded yellow. But it also needed a lot of work. I couldn't get it registered, so I would sit in my car in the garage and pretend I was driving to the beach with the sun in my face. But the only light was this tiny bulb overhead," Although he finally got the car registered, Cage eventually gave up his wheels. "I found out this car was going to break down every single week," he says. But persistence triumphed in the end. "I found that car again a year ago and I bought it," he says. "I wanted it to know that it didn't get the best of me."
    • Uri Geller - famous spoon-bending, mind-control artist of the 70's.
    • Joyce Hoffman -  world champion surfer of the 60's.
    • Lizzie West - soon to be famous Warner Bros. musician owns a 1977 Spitfire 1500.

    Spitfire Trivia

    • The Spitfire's code name during development was "the bomb".
    • According to Hemmings Motor News, the Spitfire's 24 feet turning circle is the shortest distance of any production car built.
    • In the 70's an print advertisement featured a Spitfire car in front of the Spitfire airplane. The ad was not successful due to the fact most looked at the plane instead of the car.

    Looking for car parts for your Spitfire or some other British car? British Parts Northwest has a wide selection of hard to find parts and great customer service.

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