In this condition my MGA was bought back in 2003 as a barnfind by mr Philip Milton from Rohnert Park, CA (USA).
I did manage to get in touch with him in January 2916 but unfortunately he did not have any records of the car available anymore. Therefore I have no indication what happened with the car since its direct export from the UK factory to the USA in February 1959. The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust is keeper of the MG Abingdon factory records. An extract from these records provide useful information of my MGA which I have included in a separate page: Certified copy of a factory record.
I do have the original license plate of the car when it was registered in California. This is an authentic black plate with registration number BPH 791. The plate has a stamped date of 1963, which makes it highly likely the car has been in California since the first date of issue of the “California Black Plates”. The required annual renewal labels are present on the plate, being December 1985 as the last ones. My guess is that the car has been unused and stored in a dark place since, until mr. Milton found and bought the car in 2003. Definitely the state of the car justifies this conclusion, as pictures of the car also show the BPH license plate being mounted on the car.
There is no official registration with any MG Car Club known, not even at the NEDGAR registers, being the largest in the USA
So, it seems this is as far back as I can get with the history of this car. As I do have the car’s registration documentation, this may provide some new leads.
The car was sold to a Dutch company, based in Liempde and specialized in the import of these kind of cars from the USA. The purchase price of the car was $800 and the contract for vehicle/vessel transport signed on July 10, 2003.
Shipped across the ocean by the Star Grindanger, the car arrived in Rotterdam on November 5, 2003 and was imported at a value of € 1.458. On November 6 the car was unloaded from the vessel and ValueAddedTaxes of 6% – an amount of € 87,54 – paid to the local customs authorities. The car was ready for delivery to mr Verhagen from Schijndel (NL) who would completely body-off restore the car in 3 years time. By the time it was August 7, 2006, the Dutch Road authorities (RDW) accepted the car for approval. The actual checks were done on August 14, 2006 and the car passed succesfully. Now other Dutch car taxes were due (BPM), but given the age of the car the applicable rate was 0%. Yet, a formal declaration was made which was the last step in order to receive an official Dutch license registration. From August 15, 2006 the car was registered with license plate AM-19-23. The official first registration in The Netherlands was determined at Febr 28, 1959, two weeks after the car left the Abingdom factory for direct shipment to the USA.