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A very special MGA
One of the benefits of working at the MG Car Club is that occasionally you get asked to try a car. On this
occasion it was a call from Paul at Oselli Ltd in Witney, Oxfordshire. “How would you like to try one of our
special MGAs” was the question put to Safety Fast! Editor Andy Knott. Andy asked if I would like to
accompany him, as an owner of an MGA 1500 for over ten years I immediately accepted his offer.
Now owned by father and son team them more of an everyday car. The car the nice weather the hood came down and
Paul and David Eales, Oselli are in their receives a fully rebuilt 1950cc MGB engine, we headed off to Charlbury through the
44th year of trading. During that time they with a lovely-sounding maniflow stainless winding country lanes that lead to the
have earned an enviable reputation for steel exhaust. With the more powerful picturesque village. I drove the car first
their engineering services, restorations engine the brakes have been upgraded to as Andy thought it would be interesting
and car sales. help bring the car to a halt, these now to hear comparisons with my old car.
We arrived at their premises, Bridge incorporate some of their own ideas using The differences were apparent straight
Garage, 1a Bridge Street, Witney, Oxford the bigger MGB disks and calipers. A five- away. I had owned a very original 1957
on one of the rare days this summer when speed gearbox conversion plus meticulous MGA 1500 with drum brakes all round, and
blue skies were trying to force their way attention to detail during the restoration although the engine ran and pulled very well
through the clouds. We met Paul and he make this a stunning car to look at and drive. this car would have left it standing, and out
explained that he had two cars for us to The cars we tested were finished in Old braked it with ease. The car we were trying
try. One was a car Oselli upgraded a few English White with red upholstery, but other had not been cosseted away in some heated
years ago and had come back to them for colours can be specified. garage but had been used. Because of this
resale, and the other car had just finished We decided to take the car which was everything felt nicely run in. The gearbox
being restored. on the forecourt for sale first. Even though was a delight, having five speeds, which
Paul buys MGAs from America and this is an older restoration, mid-90s, Oselli suited the car perfectly. The extra power
completely restores them with a bare metal had recently upgraded it by fitting a five- from the uprated MGB engine meant that
respray, ground up restoration adding some speed gearbox, 1950cc engine, oil cooler, you had no problems in keeping up with
subtle improvements along the way to make and bigger, better brakes with a servo. With modern traffic.
24 Safety Fast! NOVEMBER 2008
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