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Hope to buy an MGB

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wantaB Linda Van Der Holt
Nelson, BC, Canada   CAN
Hello Everyone,

I am new to the forum and hope to buy an MGB this spring. I have wanted an MGB for a long time, I think they are such cool little cars with a lot of character, and so much fun to drive around in. If I do buy one, it would just be driven in the summer because I already have a daily driver. I have found a really nice, 1971 that is for sale, unfortunately though, it is located near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island which is more than 700 kms away from me. I did have to fly to Nanaimo in January to be with my Mother because sadly, my Father passed away suddenly. While I was staying with my Mother, I contacted the seller and was able to have a quick peek at the car. From what I could see, it looked to be in great shape. I have a week off in March and plan to spend it in Nanaimo with my Mom and hopefully, have another look at the car if it is still available.

Unfortunately, my husband does not think that I should buy an MGB, he thinks I should buy a Miata instead. Miata's are cute, but that's not what I want! He says that MGB's are unreliable, rusty, always broken down, expensive to fix, blah, blah, blah!! Lol! I admit that I am "mechanically challenged " but I am willing to learn how to fix simple things. For anything else, I'm sure that I would be able to find a good mechanic. 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!

Thanks!

Linda

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lgorg Avatar
lgorg Larry Gorg
Renton, WA, USA   USA
1966 MG MGB "Robbie"
Linda,
From an owner of a MGB for the past eight years, you want to find a rust free car. In our tech library, there are a few informative articles on buying a classic car such as an MGB. Those article are right at the top of the Tech Library and will give you tips on what to look for when shopping for an MGB.

There are folks who use the MGBs for daily drivers. Unreliable? Only if someone along the line did not maintain their car. Expensive? Hey, there are more providers for parts than most other makes. More providers means competition, and when you have competition, you have lower prices.

To assist in your argument for an MGB, I suggest that you contact Jennifer Orum, the editor for the Vancouver, BC Canadian XK Jaguar Register/Canadian Classic MG Register, and seek some advice. If she can drive her MG solo to the NAMBGR car show, you should be to do it, too. From what she has written, she is not mechanically inclined. I do not have my MG Driver handy, but she won the most miles driven to the show at least once or twice.

If you find a well sorted car, then these cars are very reliable. I wish you luck.

ohlord Avatar
ohlord Gold Member Rob C
North of Seattle, N.W., USA   USA
1957 Land Rover Series I "EYEYIYI"
1971 MG MGB
1971 MG MGB "Bedouin 2"
Get someone to go and inspect it, someone that knows what and how MGB.
IF ITS in really good shape and tests out well, parts are available and they are dead simple to work on.
More fun than the hairdresser miata and just as reliable
Look for one with overdrive
No ferries from my place to Vancouver Island till the end of March and the long way is a long trip
Tell your Husband that your Dad would've loved for you to have one
PM me if you need help with decisions



"I'm a long way gone down this wild road I'm on
It's gonna take me where I'm bound
It's a long way around"



"These are the days that must happen to you"

RD2 Radar/ Electronic Warfare Technician
Vietnam 1969-1972



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-07 01:28 AM by ohlord.

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Nicecar Avatar
Nicecar Gary (ex "Harv") G
Victoria, BC, Canada   CAN
1980 MG MGB "Red On Red On Red"
Welcome Linda:

It's good to see women get into MG's (though rare).

Though MG's can be made pretty reliable, it's often of matter of time as one problem gets fixed after another. You're husband is not entirely wrong, but parts are generally easy to find and not expensive, though the earlier you go the harder it is to find sometimes. I learned the word "unobtainium" here.

MG Locals near you should be able to turn you on to a decent mechanic (sometimes "backyard mechanics"winking smiley.

If you're willing to try to fix yourself, you'll get all the help you need from forum.

I've had my B for 27 years, and it runs beautifully now.

I'd be willing to have a look at it with you when you come. How much is asking price? If too low (except for a REAL STEAL), it could be a symptom of MUCH needed work.

For $7,000 you should expect a pretty decent car.

PM me your phone number so we can speak. Over phone I can give you a list of things to ask buyer.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-07 03:41 AM by Nicecar.

tvrgeek Avatar
tvrgeek Silver Member Scott S
Hillsborough, North Carolinia, USA   USA
1965 MG MGB
MGs do have the character and fun factor you can't get from a new car. No question.
How expensive they are to fix depends on how much of the simple fiddling you do and if you have a competent and honest mechanic for the rest.
How reliable they are depends on how much you drive them. The more, the better. Most electrical problems are from lack of use. Actually, most problems were from incompetent owners and mechanics. Just like the Miata, all the running gear was from their econo-box. Nothing was exotic or so high performance to be unreliable. It may take a while to get one sorted out, but once so, no reason they are not a daily driver.
Just about everything is available. You could literally build a car from scratch.
All that said, they are old. They are quite unsafe. They do take a little fiddling every now and again. They do provide a grin factor no Miata ever could.

PS: Everyone goes for a Miata. The last MR2 was a lot better fun little sports car. Heck, my Mini Cooper was more fun than a Miata. Of the 40 some odd cars I have owned, the only one that was really more fun to drive than my B was my Morgan.



Cogito ergo sum periculoso

Lokrien John Snider
Morgantown, WV, USA   USA
As a current and long-term owner of both marques, I can say this: The MGB has a ton of character and sooo much fun to drive. The Miata is also crazy fun to drive. If you look around, you will see that any real car-person, Miata is always the answer. I have daily driven both of my cars, in Sunny and inclement weather. Both are great to enjoy a nice day with the top down, but the miata is easier to put up/down. But as they say, the heart wants what the heart wants! For so many MGBs, there are quite a lot of DPOs (Dumb Previous Owners), and so finding a good condition car (as above, get one rust free) that has been maintained is a big deal. The only way an MGB gets expensive really, is if it's a rust bucket, or if you have a lousy mechanic -- the type that just throws parts until one sticks! Most good mechanics should like working on an MGB as there is no computer and it's old-school simple. Advance or Autozone has an abundance of parts, and then there is moss and VB and others... heck even Amazon has a decent bit of parts.

Good luck!

Mark C Silver Member Mark Cross
Marysville, OH, USA   USA
I would start your search here https://www.mgexp.com/registry/forsale.php

Hopefully current MGE members will be a little more forth coming with problems or concerns about the car they have for sale.

You have come to the right place for advice, don't be shy with questions, use the search function and educate yourself on the cars. Tell your husband he should be more supportive of what his wife wants, a happy wife.....


Mark..

tvrgeek Avatar
tvrgeek Silver Member Scott S
Hillsborough, North Carolinia, USA   USA
1965 MG MGB
Go join your local MG or British car club. Most have monthly breakfasts or nogins. You will find a wealth of info, good cheer and who knows, a car. Don't know about MG owners in your neck of the woods, but I know there are a bunch of really great Morgan owners. Like MG folks, Mog drive the heck out of their cars. Can't remember ever seeing a trailer queen. I am sorry I never had the time to cross country and drive North to meet them.



Cogito ergo sum periculoso

Probie Avatar
Probie Dwight Magee
Fenelon Falls, ON, Canada   CAN
1970 MG MGB MkIII "THE BABY"
Great little cars to drive. Maybe buy one and let him take it for a ride, may change his mind. I am on my second car, owned one years ago but now I have learned to work on this one with the help of this forum. My wife has come to like my car but at first I think she was against the purchase. She now refers to it as the Baby. If you have any pictures of the car in guestion post them here, we may be able to spot potential problems for you, these guys on this site are really smart and know there stuff. Good luck.

Rayhpgh Avatar
Rayhpgh Ray Halackna
Pittsburgh, PA, USA   USA
1974 MG MGB
There are 3 things to look for when you buy an MGB - no rust, no rust and no rust. I would only buy the roadster. I own a roadsterc (convertible) MGB and I think it is much more fun to drive and a much better looking sports car. I have an ovedrive transmission and recommend that too. Color was important to me but it may not be to you. If you do buy an MGB, I know you will enjoy it like the many on here do. Good luck.

tvrgeek Avatar
tvrgeek Silver Member Scott S
Hillsborough, North Carolinia, USA   USA
1965 MG MGB
A matter of preference. I much prefer a GT. They are a surprising difference in personality. Almost hard to believe they are the same car. GTs are more sedate in personality. Tighter. Of course, that is exactly why many prefer the roadster.

IMHO, the every best of the breed was 73/74 though I like my 65 for it's little cruder personality. I agree, rust is the most important factor on any car. Everything within 6 inches of the floor is suspect.

Whenever I get a new/old car, I immediately change everything rubber, rebuild the brakes, replace the gas tank and go over the electrical with a fine tooth comb. That will eliminate 90% of reliability issues. I don;t carry a new fan belt as I know mine is new. I don;t carry a fuel pump as mine is new, lines and tank clean etc.



Cogito ergo sum periculoso

lti57 Avatar
lti57 Lance I
Spokane, WA, USA   USA
Welcome to the Forum
one of the best around , I don't have much to add, this is all solid advice.
Love the town of Nelson, and the surround area. and Kaslo is a magical place.
good luck on your search



Directly Above the center of the Earth
1969 MGB
1987 BMW 3251 Convertible
2007 MotoGuzzi Norge

Wachtmans Avatar
Wachtmans Wouter Strodijk
OVERVEEN, Noord Holland, Netherlands   NLD
1974 MG MGB "The Bee"
1974 MG MGB "The Bee"
1974 MG MGB MkIII "The Bee"
Why not contact the seller and ask to send a couple of pictures of the inside, the outside and engine compartment (maybe also underside if possible). Share these with the forum to get some more feedback and recommendations.

lewk Avatar
lewk Silver Member Keith Lewis
Cambridge, ON, Canada   CAN
All good advice here Linda. As a guy married for 52 years I would never say don't listen to your husband, but maybe have him take a look around at this forum, there are great people here with great advice whenever you need it. Do your best to buy the best MGB you can afford and you'll be happier with it than a Miata. With these cars you get great fun and great comradery. Definitely find a club to join. Welcome to this one.

You've got branches of The Old English Car Club of British Columbia in Kamloops and Cranbrook - https://www.oecc.ca/krb/, hope this helps.

V8MGBV8 Avatar
V8MGBV8 Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN, USA   USA
In reply to # 3887279 by wantaB
He says that MGB's are unreliable, rusty, always broken down, expensive to fix, blah, blah, blah!! Lol! I admit that I am "mechanically challenged " but I am willing to learn how to fix simple things. For anything else, I'm sure that I would be able to find a good mechanic.

Welcome aboard, Linda!

IMO, he is flat wrong. In 30 years of MGB ownership, my car has never been towed home. Yes, I did repair it on the side of the road twice. Same with my dad & his 56 years with his original owner '63.

MGBs can be reliable. They are basic when it comes to working on them & parts are cheaper than Honda parts. Good luck finding a mechanic, though. Nobody works on mine but me.

Join a local British car club.

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