DG Griffin & his '72 MGB

It was September 1994, and I had noticed on an almost daily basis a chrome bumper MGB roadster in the driveway of a house a few blocks from where I lived. It was obviously a project long “gone to seed” with a torn convertible hood, very oxidized maroon paint and flat tires. Since my birthday was approaching, I decided that would be a nice gift and a restoration project worth tackling. My mother in law, after hearing of my proposed project, purchased the car. It turns out it was owned by an elderly woman whose husband purchased the car as a project but has since passed. I enlisted the aid of my daughter and a friend and towed the car to my backyard, and thus began an 18 year restoration. A colleague, who owned a similar 1972 “B” helped me bleed the clutch slave cylinder (I had already purchased a new clutch plate thinking that was the problem.) After purchasing a battery, I still was not able to start it and differed until the following weekend. My wife, meanwhile, washed the car, and it started shortly thereafter. She is convinced that was the car was the key to it starting! Another colleague whose collection included a TR3, MG Midget and a Jaguar XKE introduced me to a fellow who specialized in body work and painting British Car, so I had that work done… Now it’s fire engine red. Improvements since my purchase have included a new dashboard (I’ll try anything once), new floor pans, new brakes, new brake master cylinder, new convertible top, new interior panels and carpeting (most purchased from Victoria British). I also had a local auto upholstery shop redo the seats. Because the twin SU carbs keep leaking onto the exhaust manifold, I had two acquaintances in the local British Car club work on the “B”. Although they installed a fuel pressure regulator, the carbs started leaking again, so they installed a weber carb and new intake manifold. Fixed that problem! After my two British Car club “mechanics” complained that the “B” had the handling of a “cruise ship,” I rebuilt the front suspension. I learned a lot, and despite some misgivings, had a lot of fun. To boot, I was not injured although, I came close when a discount store hydraulic jack gave way. (And yes, it was dumb not to have jack stands under the car at the time.) Probably the most frustrating task was replacing the leaf spring bushing. Accessing the brackets is almost impossible, and I ended up only doing one side; haven’t gotten the energy yet to tackle the other side, but I can tell no difference in the handling anyway. One aspect of restoring the “B” is that parts are readily available and, for the most part, quite reasonable in price. Having reference sources like Rick Astley’s electrical manual on hand is something I highly recommend.