1971 MGB - Great Classic Sports Car
Reasonably honest, largely unmolested classic MGB roadster.
I purchased this car about 15 months ago from the estate of a fellow named Chuck. He was a deep auto enthusiast, raced Minis and was the manager of a tire and alignment shop in the valley. In addition to the MGB, he also had a 911 SC, a 1967 Mini S and a Mini Moke. Another party already had purchased the 911 SC and I purchased the MGB and Mini Moke. The Mini Moke was actually purchased on behalf of a friend in Oregon.
The MGB appealed to me as it was scruffy in the right ways. Naturally, everyone prefers original paint, but to my mind, the next best is an aging single stage paint job in the original color. I loved the mild sporting improvements like the hyper rare magnesium knock off wheels, the roll bar, the Lecarra steering wheel and competition style driver's seat belt.
Car had been not neglected and was used frequently including being shown at the Queen's English Car Show in Woodley Park.
A nice driver quality car that has a more serious sporting attitude with the mag wheels and roll bar. Not a fast car, but a great handling, super fun to drive open air car. Keep the revs up and it is great fun to throw this low slung convertible through the canyons. So low and handles so well, it feels fast. MGBs have exceptional club and parts support as they made more than a half million of them over 30 years.
I went for a ride with my dad and the car felt pretty sluggish. I was disappointed in the performance. When I kicked my dad out, it really came alive. 175lbs of ballast makes a big difference in a car this light. If you could get another 'dad' of weight out of the car, I bet you would really feel it. If I keep, I would add a fiberglass hood and trunk, cheap/light race seats, remove the front bumper, convert to Sebring spoiler and covered headlights, take out the spare tire and lead hammer and just call AAA if I get a flat.
I would encourage would be buyers to get a pre-purchase inspection from a marque specialist or at least a shop that is vintage car friendly.
I have a clean, non-salvage title in my name. Registration is good through December 2019. Being pre-1976, this car does not need smog inspections.
The car was well maintained by previous enthusiast owner.
The engine runs well and sounds good. The engine compartment is very original. It has original matched SU carbs. The ignition has been upgraded with a Pertronix system using original distributor and cap. I replaced the plugs, tuned up, adjusted the valves, replaced the valve cover gasket and adjusted the carbs. I resolved some under hood electrical issues.
Tachometer moves and responds to revs, but is not accurate. I suspect it has to do with the Pertronix upgrade but I am not sure.
I have driven it hard in very hot weather and have not overheated. The gauge did get up there but not pegged. There is some green patination on the radiator and if I was going to keep it, I would take to Burbank Radiator to be sure of the radiator's condition.
I imagine that the previous owner being manager of tire shop explains the great condition of the suspension components and handling. I don't know what the specs of the components but the coil springs look new and based on the stance and the stiffness, I believe they are sport purpose.
The tires that came on the car where in good condition but were older than I would like so I replaced them with new 185/70 R 14 Pirelli Cinturato CN36s from Lucas Classic Tire in Long Beach. These are the same tires I have on my BMW 2002 and enthusiasts agree this is a superior handling, modern tire with a great classic look.
The wheels are very rare magnesium spindle mount six spoke sports purpose wheels. I have not seen another set in person or online and discussions with several MGB/English car guys has not found an answer to origin.
Brakes are disc front and drum rear. No visible leaks and they feel great.
Small oil leak - have not investigated source.
The exhaust is recent stainless steel with chrome tip.
California car with minimal rust restricted to the bubbling at the bottoms of both front fenders. There is surface rust under the floor mats.
The paint is failing in numerous places with the original blue paint visible and shiny underneath. I would leave the paint as is and continue to detail but it is a good candidate for a repaint due to the limited rust. Also, an ambitious individual may chose to strip away the most recent paint job and see what lays beneath. I have included photos of two of the worst spots of paint but do not consider those two photos a comprehensive inventory of paint issues.
The chrome bumpers are the desirable, early small bumpers as opposed the later giant bumpers with rubber overriders. Chrome is in good condition.
It has a recent replacement vinyl top with clear windows that still provide good visibility despite some flaws and wear. I polished them with Novus plastic polish which helped quite a bit and there is still room for improvement with more time and Novus.
Needs a replacement antenna mast.
The interior is very presentable, clean and ready to enjoy. I shampooed the seats and carpets. The dash is a terrifically satisfying presentation with a full compliment of Smiths gauges, the original British Leyland radio and working chrome map light. There is one large crack in the dash on the far right passenger side.
The trunk is clean with minimal surface rust. There is a decent spare tire mounted on an original MGB wire wheel. A lead hammer is included to knock off the wheel nuts from the spindle. When I got the car, the trunk smelled of gasoline and I discovered a small split in the bottom of the hose from filler to tank. I replaced the hose between the filler neck and tank as well as the outside filler grommet (parts from Moss Motors.)
The carpet is missing under the driver's side floor mat as I took it out due to wear at gas pedal. There are MGB branded rubber floor mats (Moss Motors) that are actually for a different MG but fit pretty well and look good. They could be trimmed for a better fit.
I replaced the shift knob with a new leather knob from Moss Motors. I am all for patina, but the driver / shift knob interface is so frequent and intimate, I chose to replace it. A shift knob is the underwear of a car interior, if you will.
The driver's lap belt is a competition style belt with heavy latch. Passenger belt is a standard style belt. The Lecarra steering wheel is in good condition with a MG center cap.
$5500 - Motivated Seller
Car can be seen at Coco's Variety during business hours 11-7, 7 days a week. To schedule a test drive, pre purchase inspection at your shop or talk to me, email at firstname.lastname@example.org.