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MGB experiences

I bought a new 1965 MGB in July of that year.
Tartan red with black top & interior. Kept it 8
years, and sold it because it was rusting rather
badly (northern OH). Never had any significant
problems, however I really kept up with maintenance
(topping off the SUs,cleaning plugs, filing &
adjustihg points, adjusting valves, etc.)And I must
not forget topping off the 2 positive ground 6V
batteries mounted behind the driver/passenger
seats. My only real complaint about the car was
it's rather ravenous appetite for exhaust systems,
I believe I went through 4 systems in 8 years. I'm
glad to see "new" MGBs being made with the Heritage
shells, although I'm not sure I'd be willing to
pay the $20,000, that a good one costs. I guess
I'll keep my '85 911 for the moment--but I have
very fond memories of the "B"


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    Great little car, the MGB. Along with the Alfa Sypder or an old Miata, the best bang for the buck in little sports cars. And you can buy ANY part you need for an MGB, and you can just about fix anything on it with a minimum of tools.

    They have some tolerable weaknesses, but simple fixes are available. A single twelve volt battery replaces the two silly 6-volts, and new battery cables and fuse box takes car of 95% of any electrical problems. The engine is bullet-proof, the SU carbs as simple as a wood stove (3 moving parts!). Also the body is incredibly strong and well-built. If you need to take a hard shot in an old sports car, an MGB is what you want to be in.

    On the negative side, the heater controls are a pain in the neck, the top is a bit of a struggle (Alfa is a breeze)and unless you get the overdrive, the car is a little noisy at 70 mph.

    But a great handler, fast enough, economical and good-looking.

    None of this applies to the rubber-bumpered 1975 on up models, which are a hodgepodge of desperate, last-ditch engineering and styling, in my estimation. To be avoided.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    This car is one of my favorite MGs.

    World first modern hatchback, by the way--stuff that in someone's pocket when they start bad-rapping this great car (out of ignorance, so forgive them):

    Here's a song about the MGBGT:



  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 581
    british racing green convertable MGB. A most enjoyable ride for a young man or woman. It had tan interior and it sounded great - that tuned low growl that an MGB of that vintage distinctly has... When the top was down you'd be up in heaven. It had 2 six volt batteries hooked up in series...those brits, they thought of everything (wel'''''''''''''''''''''n considerably)...

    Today it would be an inconvinence for me to get in and out of a little two seater all the time, that's the only reason, though, why the miata wasn't bought last year.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,603
    Having owned two MG's, a 1962 MGA and an early 1974 MGB, I just don't have the same fond memories as some others may have.

    Yes, they were fun. The fun, however stops in a hurry when on a rainy night, the headlights go out for no apparant reason or the wipers quit.

    Once, in a friends MG, the thing decided to quit right in the middle of a dark, ONE WAY tunnel!

    The damm spring on the points decided to snap!

    If you don't think an old MG is heavy, try pushing one while dodging oncoming army trucks!

    You never know what an MG is going to do to you!

    Still...They do have an appeal to me.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    Yeah, you have to address and correct the electrical system, but once you do, it's a great little car...they'll run darn near forever.

    Like I said, getting rid of the two 6 volt batteries, getting new battery cables and fuses put in, and switching to an alternator (toss Lucas generator over the fence), and for a few hundred bucks you've improved the car 1000%.


  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 581
    rubber and wiring?

    One fact i've learned over the years is that a large rock is much heavier than it looks. Same holds true for an MGB. As iselhondas sez, they are whole bunch harder to push than you would think. Many owners of these know....
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    They are strong little cars...really overbuilt.

    I dunno about the British back then...tradition-bound, I guess. I mean, look at the Rolls Royce from the late 1950s to the early 1990s. What a pile of beautiful, expensive and unworkable parts assembled with a wild eccentricity and lack of functionality that borders on madness.


  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 581
    around here it's hanging on the wing of some airplane. Kinda scary, eh?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    Well, luckily for Rolls Royce Aviation Department they couldn't get away with all the silliness they used on their cars, since the consequences are a bit more grave than being stuck on the side of the road.


  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,603
    These airplanes we fly on...Do they have Lucas Electricals??

    I'l rather walk!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    Actually, Lucas Aerospace does make electrics for the 747.


  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 581
    I do remember someone telling me that the reason why the british and french automobiles of yester year rubber/electrical went to pieces so fast was that they used natural rubber with no additives...after a couple of seasonal years (rain, dryness, temperatures, etc) developed cracks and dry rot..
    But in brake master cylinders???..?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    Lucas (actually, Lucas Varity) and all subsidiaries (including aerospace) were recently bought by TRW.
  • You are right...all Brit cars had brake seals made of natural rubber. For some unknown reason, the only brake fluid that was compatible with this was Girling "Green". If you used any of the brake fluids used in American cars, the brake seals would swell and leak-I used to know a Jaguar mechanic who made a living off redoing these ruined brake systems. Oh-I also remember that the Brits continued to use cloth insulation on their wiring, long after everybody else went to plastic insulation-this made for nice short circuits.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    The Brits were so stubborn and slow to learn...look at the world motorcycle the 50s and early 60s Britain owned it, and the Japanese rolled over them in about 6 years and took it away, completely and utterly destroyed them in the marketplace in the blink of an eye. Unbelievable that the UK could have let this happen. And they gave away the two-seater sports car market at well. The last MGBs were pretty sad affairs.


  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,603
    Sad times...In order to meet the newly imposed bumber standards, they had to raise the car something like three inches which ruined the way the car handled. They also went with those ugly (IMHO)black rubber bumbers!

    They also smogged the engine down with smpg pumps, convertors etc... Thye ran like hell after that!

    Ah, progress...
  • In the English market, there is the really cool MG RV8 (with the Rover V-8 engine) and the MG F (small mid engine car). Both are fantastic looking cars. The RV8 is a "heritage styling" exercise harking back to the MG B and the MG F is a totally new and modern looking design. You would think with the renaissance in two seat sport cars that Rover (I guess now BMW) would try to Federalize these cars and bring them over here. I know that BMW probably doesn't want any competition to the Z-3, but I wouldn't buy a Z-3 (don't like their looks) but would buy an RV 8. BMW could increase their market share IMO. Any thoughts on this?
  • By the way in case any one is interested and loves the rubber bumper cars (I particularly don't), but anyway, there is a 1980 MG B for sale at Fantasy Junction in Emeryville with only 130 original miles on it for $19,800, FYI.
  • I've spent much time in Europe over the past 2 years and have seen many new MGs. They are very interesting, however, as you say with BMW running the show now, I don't expect to see them in the US.
  • Dranoel, lucky you to see the European MG's. Did you get a chance to drive any? I would think that BMW would want to improve their market share and revive a revered Marque like MG in the U.S. Much goodwill and press would come their way!

    By the way, that rubber bumper car I mentioned above is in Emeryville, CA (just over the Bay Bridge from S.F..
This discussion has been closed.