MGB experiences

24

Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Morris Garage!
  • andychrisandychris Member Posts: 1
    WE HAVE A CAR CLUB IN JENSEN BEACH FLORIDA FOR ALL BRITISH CARS. NO THIS IS NOT A REGULAR CLUB(SHIRTS, HATS, DUES) WE JUST SHARE OUR HOPES AND DREAMS FOR OUR LITTLE FRIENDS. THE SHOW(INVOLVING ALL MAKES OF CARS, WE JUST MEET THERE) IS ON TUESDAY NIGHTS AT THE TREASURE COAST MALL 6-9. GO TO THE BACK TILL YOU SEE THE OIL(OR SOME MG'S) HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE TO SHOW OUR PRIDE IN THE BRITISH CAR.
  • dranoeldranoel Member Posts: 79
    I responded to an ad in the local newspaper for a small sailboat today, and guess what I found in the barn in addition to the sailboat? Three MGB roadsters, and one MGA. I wonder how many MGs are similarily hidden away. Unfortunately none were in any condition that would be beyond a "parts car" category.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, they made A LOT of MGBs and shipped A LOT of them to the USA, so I'd say there are tons laying around all over the country. Whether they are worth fixing up anymore is debatable, but someday, as the cars get rarer and more valuable, they will start reappearing from behind garage and barn doors. Over a quarter of a million MGBs were shipped to America!
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017
    Sure wish that I had kept my '64 and '66. As I recall, I probably didn't put much more than 30,000 miles on each. Such is life.
  • dranoeldranoel Member Posts: 79
    As I recall I had around 60,000 mi on my '65 MGB, which I purchased new, before selling it. Mechanically it was great, but the body was falling apart after 8 years driving thru our salty winters here in northern OH.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Nobody much thought of rust-proofing back then...even Benzes and Porsches rusted like crazy in the 60s.
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017
    Rust? I thought those were drainholes for when you couldn't get the top up fast enough before the rain arrived. At least the aluminum hood (bonnet) didn't rust out.

    60,000 miles vs. 30,000? The cars could have gone many many thousands of miles more, I was just young and foolish. Hey! With income of 5 or 10 grand a year? I could afford new cars every couple of years. Just like today....
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 584
    I see a Miata, I really see an MGB. Not a TR-3, TR-4, Midget, Sprite, Healey 3000, Fiat, Alpha, whatever....but MGB, yes!
    Every time I see one of those MGB's with the big black (powdery) bumpers, I want to cry. For some reason they just never appealed to me. Like comparing a mule to a stallion....
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017
    Yucccch!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Apparently collectors feel the same, as the price difference between a 74 chrome bumper and a 75 rubber bumper is substantial...
  • bubukittybubukitty Member Posts: 96
    MG's, to this day, are one of the nicest looking cars around...that is the chrome bumper cars. An ageless design. For anyone who wants a rubber bumber car, there is one for sale at Fantasy Junction in Emeryville, CA with 130 (!) miles on the clock for $19,500. Pretty steep, but a new car nonetheless. By the way, it has been for sale there for probably approaching a year. I think those rubber bumpers are a real turn off for many, including yours truly.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    $19.5K ...I mean...GET REAL...I have to talk to Bruce over there about that one...I'm sure the owner set the price, not Fantasy. They know better. But if the owner pays the monthly floor fee, I guess it can stay there forever. It's a $5,000 car all day long, now and forever I think.
  • bubukittybubukitty Member Posts: 96
    price indeed for that MG. I guess your right that if the owner wants to pay the flooring fee then so be it. However, I would think that Bruce T. would want to make room for a car that will sell. Some of their cars go really fast. Saw a great looking 928 S4 over there that I even would be interested in (not a real big 928 fan) and it sold in about a week. I keep posted on FJ's inventory a lot as I love that place and they have such great cars there. Met Bruce a few weeks ago for the first time when I went in and he seems quite nice.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    He's a good fellow, and a good driver. It's always fun to go in there and stroll around. Most of his merchandise is pretty good, and even the ones that aren't very good are usually interesting. Business must be so good that he has a need for inventory to take in a rubber B at that price.
  • dranoeldranoel Member Posts: 79
    I've seen ads in British auto mags that offer totally rebuilt MGs with a new Heritage bodies for high $teens and low $twenties. For all intents these are new cars. Now whether or not they are worth that is another question. I have seen v.good clean '64-'67 "Bs" in the US for $7-10K. I guess it's like everything in the special interest/collector car arena, if you can afford it and you want it you buy it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, do you want a brand-new car with 1960s technology, ride and mechanicals? I think $10-12K is plenty for an MGB and you'd have all the fun that a $20K+ MGB owner would have.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Some of us might answer "yes" to your rhetorical question. It's not a rational answer, but I'm beginning to think my old cars were more fun than my new ones. I'm probably one of the few who would trade a little refinement for a little character. But I think your point is that a carefully rebuilt MGB would give you 95% of the reliability a "new" MGB would.
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 584
    I'm finding my '91 S-10 with all it's rattles and clunks and the motor noise to be very enjoyable. It tends to turn me into a psudo-farmer...something I don't really mind doing on these hot afternoons....and, driving on dirt roads in it without getting up tight is fun too!
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 584
    with it's top down on a 60 degree night is quite exhilarating! Especially in the city, on Peachtree Street!
  • sebringjxisebringjxi Member Posts: 140
    That those Heritage MGBs come home dripping oil from some untraceable spot, just like the originals did!!! Our Jensen Healey is the ONLY British car I've ever owned that did not drip oil in the garage. I'd swear it really wasn't British, except when you fill it up, and drive directly back home, it tends to leak a little fuel out of the carbs.....Hmmmm, just keeping me on my toes, I guess.

    I agree, the Miata, is very familar territory for those of us who have driven MGBs! I haven't been in one in 3-4 years, but it was an eerie feeling, the first time I sat down in one.....everybody thought this was a "new" thing. I said, I've been here before! Yeah, the big black (powerdy) bumpers ruined it!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    And, I have owned both.

    The Miata can be depended on!

    Not nearly the fun...
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    It's been said that the Miata is an MGB without the pain, or words to that effect. As I mentioned a few months ago, I test-drove a Miata in the early '90s, about four years after I sold my MGB, and I detested the Miata. Maybe it was me, or that car, or the day, but it just didn't click. The exhaust note was raspy, the shifter wasn't as mechanical as the B's, and maybe there was just way too much plastic. It was nervous without being edgy. Obviously I'm missing something, because there's a bazillion Miatas on the road, but--at the risk of sounding sexist--most in my area are driven by younger women, which makes me speculate that some are bought as a sort of sportier Cabrio. On the other hand, maybe these women are the new breed of sports-car enthusiast, and they can drive rings around this old fogey.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I'd hazard a guess that few Miatas are driven even close to the edge of their capabilities. Like you, I am not fond of lots of plastic, but that's why the Miata is cheap. It is the genetic descendant of the MGB, but certainly not the same car.

    I very much like all the feedback I can find in a car, but modern drivers would hardly tolerate real "feedback". They enjoy, and will pay for, isolation. At least the Miata, as isolating as it is in terms of road shock, steering effort, exhaust and motor noise, weather harrassment, etc., is still FUN, which is more than you can say for most cars today.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    How about refinement with the right feedback? I guess that's why they sell boatloads of BMWs--one reason, anyway.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, even BMWs are pretty isolating by MGB standards, what with power steering and brakes, quiet engine, a/c, no wind noise, etc...all the things that make you forget you are driving a machine...better performance in all areas, but lots less "machine-ness".
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Yes, you're right, they're worlds apart in their immediacy, but the thing that struck me about the 328 was how rewarding the car was to drive, even with automatic. Actually, "struck" is the wrong word, because the sensation was subtle but deep. It's the same with the B, at least for me. Nothing about a B is overwhelming--except perhaps the joy of top-down motoring, a trait of every convertible I've owned--but the overall experience is remarkable.

    It's not the hardware. The Bimmer has ordinary MacPherson struts, and the B is heavily based on its immediate predecessor, the horseless carriage. On the other hand, your average GM intermediate has an impressive list of modern hardware--at least I was impressed--but your average GM intermediate is still pretty average. Hopefully there will always be cars that have been engineered to be more than the sum of their parts.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    It's hard to build 'soul' into a car. It can be expensive, fast, attractive, and still be soul-less. It's an elusive quality. The MGB sure had it, even with its faults.
  • sebringjxisebringjxi Member Posts: 140
    I believe that was the downfall of the Acura NSX? It performed like a Ferrari, much more reliable and with more creature comforts, but no soul!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Or at least the "soul" is very subtle. Maybe it needs to be driven at 150 mph + for its real
    personality to come out?
  • bobby201bobby201 Member Posts: 4
    Mr Shiftright, we've talked about diesel mb's before. Great to see you here. Aside from the wonderful black bumpers, do you have a price opinion on a 77 mgb with 65k miles and rebuilt engine (whatever that means!) I've been reading about overdrive on mg's..does the 77 have od automatically, or was it an option. I don't imagine it has power steering...that's part of the fun. Any car I buy I would drive daily. Can the mg handle new jersey winters?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Hi Bobby,

    The o/d trans seems to appeared on just about every one of the "late" MGBs.

    As for price, as you may recall, I think the rubber bumpered MGBs are pretty pathetic, strapped as they are with extra weight and poorly designed emission control systems. All the fun and power had been beaten out of them by then, down to about 63 HP, a single carburetor, jacked up suspension and rubber bumpers. These cars obviously will never attain the value of the earlier (pre 75) chrome-bumpered cars, so their current value is affected as well. I'd think $3,500 would be plenty to pay for one, but by all means drive an earlier MGB and experience the wonderful difference yourself!
  • sebringjxisebringjxi Member Posts: 140
    I must agree with shifty. Spend a few more dollars (or some time fixing one up) and buy a chrome bumper car. The rubber bumper things can barely get out of their own way! I have driven MGs on a daily basis for many years. In high school it was a '59 MGA which wound up being towed more than driven, but after that the '74 Midget and the '69 MGC were great daily drivers. I take it this is not your first experience with convertibles or sports cars..... You just have to keep in mind that this is a BRITISH SPORTS CAR. It wasn't designed to be dry, comfortable, warm (winter), cool (summer) or spacious. It is by nature a "tinker" car. You will spend more time on things on it that never break on a Honda, Ford or Nissan. You will, however (if you buy a chrome bumper car) have the joy of feeling the wind in your hair and the glorious sound of a sporting engine purring along as you cruise down winding country roads admiring the fall foliage as one can only do in a convertible! I don't know what winters in NJ are like, but here in KY, on some mornings the frost is as thick on the INSIDE of the windshield as it is on the outside! BTW my son drove his 1973 Jensen Healey to high school daily for the past 2 1/2 years with only one "Dad-come-get-me" phone call. If the Fiat Spider I bought for the second son turns out half as good, I'll be happy!

    Good luck!

    Hal
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    Don't buy a rubber bumper car!

    Hey...that's hard to say...There's blood on the rubber baby buggy bumpers...say it three times.

    I agree with everything Hal said and I've had two of them. Not a good "only" car since it may or may not start when you really need it to.

    Still...I miss mine. My 1960 was my favorite.
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017
    isellhondas:

    Do you mean 1970? In 1960 Morris Garage hadn't yet manufactured its first MGB. I think that my 1964, my first of two MGBs, may have been only the first or second year of production.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    Of course, it was an MGA. I think earlier in one of these posts I had said it was a 1962. Found an old photo and realized it was a '60.

    And, 1963 was the first year for the MGB.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    With those looks, the MGA could drive like a B on three cylinders and one flat tire and still be desirable. I assume it drives better than that, though. How do the two compare?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I'd say the MGB was a superior car in every way...it has the "heart" of the A in mechanicals anyway, but many more refinements.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    Roll up windows and a heater that worked.

    The MGA's were also a lot harder to steer!
  • sebringjxisebringjxi Member Posts: 140
    I had a 1959 MGA in high school--no heater, not even one fitted to the car! I drove it mid-April through Halloween, generally. Usually tried to buy another car in August or September to get me through the winter. I'd fix 'em up and sell 'em in the spring. Funny, though, I never made much more than it costs to get the MG running again! Loved the A, but the B (I had a C) was much more of a "driver" in every way. Especially the heater that worked--winter & summer!

    I always heard that a MG (or other British car) was the perfect car for a teenage boy because it would 1) teach them patience, 2) teach them the basics of auto mechanics and 3) it wouldn't run long enough for them to get into trouble with!

    My MGA fit that picture perfectly, but our JH proved to be very "un-British".

    Cool fall days are upon us and chilly fall nights....ah, a sweatshirt and tonneau and I'm ready!

    Hal
  • dranoeldranoel Member Posts: 79
    The "B" was a great daily driver. I drove my new (1965) MGB daily in a 1 1/2 hour total commute for 8 years in the greater Cleveland(OH) area. This included winter as well as summer driving. The salt finally ate the body, but mechanically is was great. I might mention that I maintained it by the book.
  • rbsalyerrbsalyer Member Posts: 1
    hello,
    I hate to barge in and interrupt, but can anyone provide a url for a site that can give me some current prices for a 78 mgb? I want to sell one and need some info on what it's worth these days.
    thanks, RB
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    I wouldn't exactly call it barging in when the topic hasn't been touched in 6 months. The only one I know of is:

    http://www.vmrintl.com/

    I think it is fairly representative but if Shifty jumps in, I'm sure he has more.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    A '78 MGBs value is heavily dependent on condition. I think $5,000 would buy the best one in the world, so you can deduct from perfect to get an approximate value of your car. If it's clean enough and solid with no obvious cosmetic defects, you should be able to land $3,500 for it. If its ratty, the price for post 74 Bs drops drastically, as the rubber bumper cars are not as popular as the earlier cars.
  • harry0harry0 Member Posts: 42
    rbsalyer

      Check out http://www.mgcars.org.uk/

    Good classified section for pricing

    Safety Fast
  • harry0harry0 Member Posts: 42
    I forgot..here is a pic of my MGB.( my baby)

    http://www.mgcars.org.uk/news/news331.html
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yep, Harry, that's the way to do it. Looks great! Good year, too. Post 67s had the 5 main bearing engine, 1st gear synchro and were pre air-pump, so it's a desirable year.

    I'm glad you kept the SUs, too. They are great carbs once they are set up right. Really a shame so many people switch to Webers, for very little gain and lots more complication and fussiness.
  • harry0harry0 Member Posts: 42
    Thanks..I'm very proud of that restoration. I didn't do any of the restoration. I left that to the pros. I just wrote the checks. I just had a MSD ignition with a adjustable timing control installed this year. What a difference ..It starts like a real car now.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    well, you still can take credit for the vision of how it should be done. My 1971 had a Mallory dual point distributor, electric fan and special camshaft and SU jetting....it ran great, too. I miss it dearly.
  • starrow68starrow68 Member Posts: 1,142
    Picked up my B outside London for US shipping and did just over 10k miles in 3 + months before shipping it back to SF, CA in 1972. Knew several post 73 owners who had nothing but problems, but mine never left me stranded, not that it didn't break down on occasion but never stranded. One regular was to drive normal and then not start next time, pull out towel put on ground on drivers side and reach under and reconnect some wire that fell off periodically. Also, drove Crested Butte back to the Bay Area across hwy 50 in 74 and after just under 20 hours at up to 85mph pulled into the carport and thankful to sleep. Next day went out to start it and heard a snap, shut it off and opened the bonnet to a snapped belt, then noticed the flat on the right front and the mess in the engine well, one of the rabbits didn't get out of the way quick enough. Like I said never stranded. Drove it to 1984 as a daily driver and put on lots of miles, speedo broke at about 32k, so never knew how many.

    In 84 someone crushed the left front fender and got 1k from insurance and my mechanic had a buyer willing to put in 2k without repair, since I bought it for 2,800 looked like a good deal at the time, regretted it a lot since. But today my wife got her mother's 71 280SL roadster which is what I wanted in 72 but couldn't afford, some times thing work out.
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