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Hope to buy an MGB

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Stu Rodger Avatar
Oliver, BC, Canada   CAN
1980 MG MGB "Dorian"
Drakes in Kelowna always has a few MGBs for sale. Inventory is a little low right now but you should have a look. A little closer than Nanaimo.

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O, ON, Canada   CAN
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"
The Miata is a car and can be expected to provide day to day transportation as a given requiring minimal maintenance.

The MG is a hobby. As such, it can be expected to require time and money. Hobbies provide a challenge as part of the attraction, and in the case of the MG the challenge is to keep the car running and or get it running in the first place.

If you do buy the MG, expect to hear the spousal "I told you so" every time the car requires an expenditure as your husband does not seem to have bought into the whole concept of driving a hobby.

Which one is more fun to drive is a personal choice. I have had both.

If you move ahead, please do find a person who is qualified to tell you the car is rust free. There is no such thing as "surface rust" when dealing with MGs; they rust from the inside out. The entry point for body repairs and a new paint job is around 10k Canadian in my part of Canada if you need to farm it out.


warekl Avatar
warekl Silver Member Keith Ware
White Bear Lake Mn, USA   USA
1973 MG MGB GT
1979 MG MGB
Hi Linda,
Sounds like you are set on having a B and are looking for something to counter your husband's perception of the MGB. He is right if you buy the wrong car.

Unless you can find one that has been rebuilt or restored, you are going to have to deal with a 40 to 50 year old car that most modern day mechanics don't know how to fix. If you can find a good mechanic, that changes things a bit. You indicate that it will be a summer/good weather car, so it will be stored over the winter. Not all older cars start right up after their winter nap. Owning an MGB is, as others have said. more of a hobby that you need to actively need to mind.

The Miata was designed and built to echo the fun of British sports cars of the 60's and to have modern car reliability. The body was designed to resemble the Lotus Elan. It can be or is, just as much fun as an MGB. The earlier models are most closely aligned with just driving fun.

If you are looking for sports car motoring fun with a top that you can put up and down without screaming at it and can easily find lots of excellent people to work on it, the Miata is the way to go...

USMC ... Semper Fi
79 RB Lowered, HS4s by Dave Braun & "Schlemmerized" 25D Dizzy, 9.5:1 CR, Mild Performance Cam, 18V with OD Tranny.

73 GT in Black Tulip

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-07 10:56 AM by warekl.

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tampaguy Avatar
tampaguy Jack Shea
Elgin, OR, USA   USA
A friend of mine asked me about buying a MGB, knowing him like I did, I suggested a New Miata instead. He sold it quickly because it kept breaking down every time he took it out.

mgdriver67 Avatar
mgdriver67 Silver Member Stephen Farrell
Pensacola, FL, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB MkI "Lulu"
2017 Honda Ridgeline 4WD "Mom's Truck"
2019 Subaru Crosstrek XV "Suki"
I’d say go for a MX-5 unless your husband was 100% with you on a MGB. Your relationship is worth way more than a car. Over the years my MG (and Triumphs, Fiats, Mercedes, classic trucks, airplanes, boats etc) have strained our relationship. Mostly my fault of course. Back in 1970 a wooden steering wheel for my 63 MGB caused a two week cold shoulder! You are not nearly as likely to become obsessive about a car as the nuts that congregate on this forum. “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

aeroshadow Alex B
Port Dover, ON, Canada   CAN
Hi Linda
think about what NOHOME said in post 17. I hope you are car savvy enough to not get disappointed with an old car.
An MGB is cute, and it's a hobby. As a regular driver? Sure, if you want to be your own mechanic. Be prepared for surprises.
Certainly there will be cases where some folks drive an MGB daily, every day, and it works out for them but I'll bet they are on the end of the bell curve.

If you want a daily driver sporty car, fairly good on gas with few surprises a Miata does fit the you can easily find a pretty new Miata.
I've had both, too.
Miata was my go- to- work car.... the MGB is my hobby car and I don't have to count on it every single day.
BTW in both cases my spouse was totally supportive she enjoys car vacations and rallies as the navigator. Without spousal support this could be a gigantic PITA.
anyways best of luck with your search.

KPK Avatar
KPK Silver Member Kevin K
Cumberland, RI, USA   USA
1977 MG MGB "Emma"

My father passed in 2016 and he loved cars of all sorts. I bought my MGB shortly thereafter. My mechanical skill is limited to checking the oil and opening the glovebox. I joined the local club and have met some truly great people.

They will help and provide valuable advice. You'll get a cool car, preserve a part of history, and have a lot of fun.

My wife initially wouldn't ride in the car but after a few nice cruises she gladly joins me on our weekly trips.

We've met many nice people and have had a lot of fun.

Go with your gut.

earlspoint Avatar
earlspoint Richard Earls
Linda your husband is wrong on all points, as the issues he raises can exist with all cars. MGB's are easy to maintain and parts are plentiful and cheap. They are very reliable. I have driven my 68 coast to coast 6 times. I bought my 1st that 68 in 1970. My girl friend at the time who became my wife years later wanted a sport car. In 1972 I took her to every dealer of sport cars in Seattle to look and test drive, and She choose a new MGB. It was her daily driver as mine was the 68. We had her B until 1989 when she bought a new Miata. In 2003 she bought a Z4. Both are good cars but she always missed her B. So last year I went looking for one and found a nice local show quality one for 10k 600 miles from home.
I don't know if you have even driven one. Do that first.
They're are a few good buyers guilds out there I would read one!
In short MG's are no different from any other car, Body "paint, damage ,rot". Drive train, and interior. Have the car inspected save $$$.
I buy car from all around the country. If I can't fly in to inspect it I hire a local independent firm, worth the money. Shipping is painless, coast to coast about 1800 bucks (enclosed cab).
I am guessing you want a above average driver. Budget should be 9 to 12k. spending more doesn't buy any more reliability or fun. Stay away from Rot, found in bottom rear of front fenders, bottom front of rear fenders, rocker panels, door bottoms, floors, trunk floor. I can be buried under shinny paint look for bubbles. It is expensive to correct. Old Wire wheels can be a problem due to loose spokes. Not a fan of rubber Bumper models 74 to 80, just not the same as earlier cars.
you can send me a PM for questions.

Vietnam combat Vet - The fight against socialism 1945 - .
Help prevent LMD.

gofastandfalldown Avatar
gofastandfalldown Glen Horne
Edmonton, AB, Canada   CAN
1970 MG MGB MkII "Miss Pandora Moneypit"
Fill your mouth with as many marbles as will fit in. Every time you find yourself daydreaming about owning an MGB, spit out one of the marbles. When you have lost all your marbles, you are ready to buy an MGB. winking smiley

Devon Devon Tompkins
Salinas, CA, USA   USA
Hi Linda,

Everyone here is giving great advice.
When Chevy introduced the Nova, they couldn't give them away in Mexico; in Spanish Nova means No Go.
I do not know what the English translation for Miata is. But the Spanish translation is far worse than No Go.
If your heart is set on a MGB, find a Spanish speaker to translate Miata for your husband. His mind will change.

melbaver Avatar
melbaver Gold Member Chris Howells
Carrington, NSW, Australia   AUS
1968 MG MGB "Moneypit"
2012 Dodge Journey "Another Shopping Trolley"
Miata comes from German for high reward. The word has no meaning in Spanish, risque or otherwise. In OZ it was wisely known as an MX5 Roadster.

Chris Howells

1968 MGB Purchased already dis-assembled but which is largely back together so I'm a lot less ignorant.

Norton Tom Avatar
Norton Tom Thomas Renda
Baltimore, Hon, MD, USA   USA
In reply to # 3887279 by wantaB I was wondering if anyone else has had the problem of a spouse/partner or other family members who thought buying an MG was a bad idea. If so, how did you deal with it? Was there something you said or did that changed their mind? Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated!



I would like to address the spousal dynamics component of your post.

My wife thought it was a terrible idea to buy an MGB (mine is a 1971 MGB GT). But she hated my motorcycles, too. She was not a fan of my racing bicycles, either. (Come to think of it, I don't think she ever liked ME very much, either, but we have been married 37 years so maybe I have just forgotten those times!)

Having said that, I think my wife has in fact warmed up (a little bit) to the car. The SOLE reason is that my younger daughter really loves the car, and I have promised to give it to her when I am too old to drive. (Wife says I reached that milestone last year).

The important thing is to determine WHY your spouse is against it. If it is really COST, then buy the Miata. It will break down far less often and be a lot cheaper to fix when (if) it does. Not to mention cost savings on the divorce.

On the other hand, if he is just a highly opinionated fellow who would LOVE to have multiple grounds to say "I told you so," then by all means, get an MGB.

Finally -- do NOT assume you can find a good MG mechanic -- at least one who will be reasonably priced. I think a lot of guys still willing to work on these cars look at them as retirement annuities and assume the customer will pay through the nose for repair without blinking, or else go fix it themselves. I love working on motor vehicles.

If I did not, I'd own a Miata, instead.

Michael R. Avatar
Michael R. Silver Member Michael Riemann
Cranbrook, BC, Canada   CAN
1974 MG MGB
Good words of advice by Keith Lewis. I did buy my 74” MGB from Drake’s British Motors in Kelowna and found them to be good folks with an excellent reputation . I’m locate

O, ON, Canada   CAN
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"
In reply to # 3890155 by Devon Hi Linda,

Everyone here is giving great advice.
When Chevy introduced the Nova, they couldn't give them away in Mexico; in Spanish Nova means No Go.
I do not know what the English translation for Miata is. But the Spanish translation is far worse than No Go.
If your heart is set on a MGB, find a Spanish speaker to translate Miata for your husband. His mind will change.

Yo hablo español, y le aseguro que la palabra Miata no tiene ningúna definicion despectiva o de otro tipo. No hay tal palabra.


BumbleB74 Avatar
BumbleB74 William Milholen
Tidewater, Tidewater VA, USA   USA
Around here, more MGBs now seem to show up on Facebook Market place than Craigslist.

Look at several, buy just one decent to good one. If you have a local club, join'll have inroads to more cars and info.

1974-1/2 Roadster, "Bumble Bee", Corvette Yellow - in shambles, wire wheels
1976 Roadster, "Virus", Sandglow - "driver" condition (stock + 32/36 Weber DGEV, cast iron header, 25D distributor), bolt on wheels, ON the road!

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