As we are getting close to retirement, I wanted something that both my wife and I could enjoy. A friend of mine at work purchased a British car. I thought that sounded fun and I enjoy tinkering. With monthly meetings, socializing and events, this sounded like something I wanted to be involved with and a great way to meet new friends.
I was living in San Francisco when I bought my 1973 MGB the day after I retired in February, 2004. The girl's father had bought if from the original owner and restored it in 1995 for her birthday. In the nine years that she owned it, she had only put some 9000 miles on it, most of the time it was in her garage.
My son calls it his car and often drove it to high school and soccer practice. It was very different from the other cars in the lot. But everyone thought the MG was really cool. He taught many kids how to drive a manual transmission in this B.
I bought this MGB in Pennsylvania over two years ago, and it was barely running. I rebuilt most of the key systems including carbs, transmission and engine with a cast aluminum head addition and electronic system. I added a new clutch, all-new black seat upholstery and the 1980 MGB-LE wheels with new Michelin rubber.
This car was sold for scrap in an estate sale. The former owner never got around to fixing her up and she sat rotting away in a field till the sale. I had only gone to the sale in search of hotrod parts, but this little car called out to me for help. We are after all the same model year.
It was stored away in a barn in 1989 and was occasionally used but not seriously utilized until there was a partial restoration started in 2010. There was lots of rust in the normal "B" locations and numerous mouse dens were found.
Last fall I purchased an original 1980 MGB from the second owner with only 44K original miles. I have been restoring it and Victoria British has been wonderful to work with. Photos attached are the complete new interior I have purchased and installed.
I bought my MG this past spring (2015) and have been making slight improvements to it all along. It's a "B" and the "B" must stand for "Blast" because it is! I've had British cars before when I was just a kid but they started with a "T". My B is starting to look less ratty and I get lots of favorable comments. Just the other day, a woman (much younger than I, and probably still is) told me she had her "first date in a car just like mine...” I told her I had my first date on a buck board. She said she would have guessed maybe a chariot!
The short history is I bought the car my 1st year in college, 1971, and drove it 18 years. A couple of engine rebuilds and some other less worthy cars along the way, like a new 1978 Z28 Camaro (graduating College), then a few years later a new 1985 Corvette, the one that got sacrificed when the economy failed in Oklahoma.
It was a beautiful, cool morning in Jacksonville Beach, Fla during the summer of 1971. I jumped out of bed to shower, shave and grab a hot cup of coffee to wake me up as I needed to get to the Navy Base for morning muster. Climbing into the MGB, I decide to leave the top up so as not to muss up my hair and get in trouble as I board the ship for the day.
The ad always says, “excellent condition,” but I’m savvy enough to know that means many excellent hours of puttering and restoration. I bought myself a 1979 MGB MK III—which looks sporty and fast but is actually a sheep in wolves’ clothing. They stopped making them in 1980 because pollution controls cut the horsepower and popular taste was drifting toward something more muscular.
I was first smitten by the MGB when I was a wee lad of ten. My father and I had just moved from Michigan. My poor mother had been left behind in the dead of winter while the "boys" went to look for a new place to live. What a great time it was for me! The beach was a few minutes away and it was warm! I was out for a stroll with my father walking along US route 1 in Palm Beach, Florida.
The story begins at an estate auction. I get a 1966 MGB at an unbelievably good price. The car is not perfect, heck it is far from it, but I was not afraid of the challenge. I got the car home, went through the complicated process of registering a 46 year old car without any paperwork, other than a bill of sale from the auctioneer, and was ready to begin a multi-year process of restoring my car.
My 12 year old daughter and I were on one of our “where to now?” motorcycle rides one hot day in July ’09, when she asked me if I’d noticed the little green car by Grandma’s work. I replied that I had noticed it for several weeks and she asked if we could go look at him.
The tale begins back in 1967. I was going graduate high school. My dad told me we had orders to Frankfort Germany. Dad was with the CIA. He drove a “Bug Eye” Austin Healey Sprite as a work car. Dad informed me I had to choose between going to Germany after graduation or join the military.