I hear a lot how young people aren’t into our older British cars, but I think that sometimes that is just because they haven’t been given the chance. To show how some younger folk view our classic sports cars, our video this week is from a guy who goes by the YouTube handle of ThatDudeInBlue. The video, a review of a nice MGB, is quite honest and although he approaches the car from a distinctively modern viewpoint, it is clear that he enjoys the ride. The reviewer is very honest in talking about both the successes and the shortcomings of the MGB. He mentions how the cars have a reputation for unreliability, though it seems he doesn’t take much stock in that. In contrast to being a bit small and perhaps underpowered, he talks about how the MGB and other […]
Few would argue that the MGB remains Britain’s favourite classic sports car or that it is almost as at home in modern traffic as it was in that of the ‘60s/‘70s. However, it can nevertheless be updated to advantage and British Motor Heritage (BMH) is now stocking the superb Vitesse Global 5-speed manual gearbox conversion for the model. Based on the renowned transmission of the Mazda MX5 MK3, the replacement gearbox comes fully assembled and complete with clutch friction plate, slave cylinder, braided clutch pipe, speedometer cable, prop shaft and fixing kit. No modifications are required to the bodyshell and fitting is therefore quick and well within the scope of any competent home mechanic.
Reader Doug Foster recently sent me an email telling me about his car. I still own the first car I ever bought (while in college 1971): A 1969 Primrose MGB. Currently has 72k original miles and over the last few years have cleaned her up and rebuilt the motor. She is virtually the same now as when she left the factory – no reproduction parts! She won second place in the Forest Grove Concours last year… Recently my wife and I fell in love with MG Magnettes and purchased a 1958 ZB Varitone that is in great condition. Robert A. Mac Millan of Salem, Oregon bought the car new on May 29, 1969. Doug purchased the car in 1971 from Robert while Doug was completing college. He drove it daily for several years and frequently entered various time speed distance rallies, […]
Our video this week is a quick, very quick, look at what it means to own a Triumph Spitfire or MGB. Both of the people and cars in this video are unique, but even with the choices and differences, they hit upon some of the common threads of classic British sportscar ownership. I will admit to finding this video interesting partially for the reason that I have both an MGB and a Spitfire in the stable at the moment. The Spitfire is my daily driver and the MGB is undergoing a very slow version of a restoration. In a short period of time, with either car, you become intimately familiar with their quirks, charm, and personalities. And yes, unlike a lot of modern cars, the little roadsters have a ton of personality and no two – even of same year […]
Our video this week is humbly titled “MGB Movie” and traces the development of the MGB from its replacement of the venerable MGA in 1962 all the way through MGs decline and the resurgence with the MG RV8 in 1993. It is easy to forget today how important the MGB was during its time. If you go to a British car show this weekend, who can blame you for getting a bit tired of the rows on rows of Bs? Hey, don’t blame the messenger. I have a 1977 B roadster now, have had numerous models and vintages of convertibles and GTs, and absolutely love them. But, even I can get a bit tired of the umpteenth over “restored” B with a Weber carb, headers, electronic fuel pump, alloy valve cover, stone-guard headlight covers, and modern digital radio. We are justified […]
There is no doubt that of all the British marques, MG is the one that has sunk deepest into my veins. And of those classic cars, the MGBGT holds a special place in my heart. So, for our video of the week this go round we will turn to an MG buyer’s guide. Danny Hopkins, editor of Practical Classics Magazine, uses a 1975 MGBGT Jubilee edition to illustrate what to look for — including typical trouble spots — before you make a purchase.
It is Spring, a time of rebirth and renewal, and time to revive a venerable classic, the MGB. The Video Of The Week for this first Wednesday in May is from the series “Classic Car Rescue”. Classic Car Rescue, a series produced by Blink Films, has entrepreneur and car specialist Mario Pacione teaming up with automotive manager and technical engineer Bernie Fineman to restore six iconic cars, including a Jaguar, Porsche, Mini Cooper and Mustang. In each episode, Pacione and Fineman search scrapyards, wastelands and backyards for broken-down rust-buckets with potential. The pair go to work to bring each car back to its former classic car glory. With a deadline and a tight budget, they work tirelessly in order to impress an expert valuer for a glittering price tag at the official presentation. In this episode, the 3rd in the […]
An ex-London to Sydney marathon car abandoned in a scrap yard has been rescued by enthusiasts at one of the UK’s biggest MG clubs. The car, which took part in the 1968 event, has been dragged out of the Southampton scrappy and given a new home by the MG Car Club. Driven by Jean Denton, UMD534F was not a Works entry, but did receive significant support from the BMC Competitions Department. The car was prepared for racing by her husband, Tony Denton, and Tom Boyce – Jean’s navigator for the rally. That meant double-welded seams, uprated headlamps and a double fuel tank in the boot. The passenger seat could also be converted into a bed. After finishing in 42nd place, the sports car was put out to pasture and finally dry stored in the 1980s. Now the club’s MGB Register […]
After a brief absence, we return with a new Video of the Week. This week MGBs are on the mind and so our video will be one entitled “The Car’s the Star”. It is a documentary on the famous MG which was produced for basically two decades. For those who have been living under a rock and aren’t familiar with the MGB, the ‘B’ as it is known is a two-door sports car manufactured and marketed by MG Cars and its successors as a four-cylinder, soft-top roadster (1962-1980) — along with variants including the MGB GT three-door 2+2 coupé (1965-1974), the six-cylinder roadster and coupé MGC (1967-1969), and the eight-cylinder 2+2 coupé, the MGB GT V8 (1973-1976). Replacing the MGA in 1962, production of the MGB and its variants continued by the British Motor Corporation and its successors, British Motor […]
For our video this week we have the second installment in Michael Austin’s “Allegories In The Garage” series. I first stumbled on Michael and his videos via the forums over on The MG Experience. If you haven’t hit that site, and are a fan of MGs, you owe it to yourself to do so. The video itself is a wonderful exploration of relevance and why we might chose to drive an MGB in this modern world. What can an old car, of antiquated design, without computers, without GPS, with a need for personal maintenance, provide for us in this day and age of automation and hands-off motoring? To quote Michael on this, “This is a very personal and unusual series that I have decided to do. It is a reflection on life as viewed through the projects in my garage. […]
The much talked-about HRDC MGB50 Series got underway at Goodwood on 1 November, with an auspicious reunion between four original works MGB competition cars and some of the luminary figures who were instrumental in the success of these fabulous racers. Long-term MGB stalwart Barry Sidery-Smith and Julius Thurgood, founder and race director of the HRDC, hosted this special gathering at Goodwood, with the support of long-term HRDC sponsor CCK Historic. Guests included: works driver Alec Poole, BMC Competition Department guru Bill Price, BMC Competition Department Manager Peter Browning, BMC ‘Comps Shop’ Manager Basil Wales, BMC ‘Comps Shop’ mechanics Den Green and Brian Moylan, MG guru Malcolm Beer, veteran MGB racer Paul Campfield and MG historian John Baggott. The Works MGB cars were not just on static display, but were put through their paces on the Goodwood circuit by Barry Sidery-Smith, […]
The MG Motor Company is using images of the past to stir desire for its new models. In a new advertising campaigned titled “It’s Time To Fall”, the company uses romantic images of the classic MGA extensively, but also the MGB, MGBGT, and MG T Series. While obviously playing to the nostalgic feelings for one of Britain’s most beloved brands, the ad makes it clear that the new MG6 can stand on its own to capture the driver’s heart. You can view the shorter TV advertisement or the full “extended brand film” on the MG Motor site.
This in from the TopGear site… To be honest, the presenters weren’t that impressed with the new MG6 during the show on Sunday. Or its recycled-racing-horse badge adhesive. However, this latest old-car-new-tech offering from Frontline Developments seems like a valiant use of the brand. And a rather more affordable alternative to the Eagle Speedster. Each car uses a new British Motor Heritage MGB shell, into which Frontline shoves a 2012 2-litre VVC MX-5 engine. It’s got billeted con-rods and crankshaft, forged fully-skirted and Teflon-coated pistons and it’s been hopped up with a 45mm direct injection throttle body and closed-loop Lamda set up. That equates to 215bhp and 170lb ft at 4000rpm. That means 240bhp per ton (it only weighs 900kg). 240bhp. IN AN MGB! But don’t worry, the sixties shell’s been uprated to cope with the 130bhp power boost (the B […]
On a recent Saturday, Blaine Benson sifted through a folder of documents, the remains of a road trip taken 40 years ago. Among the ephemera were Pan Am airline tickets, ferry receipts, invoices for car repairs and a mileage log, handwritten on white notepad pages. “It’s the family story,” Mr. Benson, a computer systems engineer, said of the archive. It is the chronicle of a continent-crossing journey, stretching nearly equator to pole, that his parents once made in a 1962 MGB roadster. “My dad had a thing for sports cars,” Mr. Benson, 41, said. “He had a Triumph TR3. He was a bit of a car freak.” Mr. Benson’s father, Skip, bought the MGB in 1967 for about $1,000 in Puerto Rico, where he and his wife, Barbara, were training Peace Corps volunteers. When their work contract expired later that […]
The last genuine MG works rally car is up for auction, 35 years after it was retired from action competitive farewell, and is expected to fetch £90,000-£130,000 (R1-1.5-million) – more than 100 times the price of the road-going MGB in 1964. BRX 854B was one of two MGB rally cars built by BMC’s competition department in 1964, when the road car was priced at £850 (the equivalent of R1700 at the time). It made its racing debut in the Spa-Sofia-Liege rally in August 1964 and went on to compete a further five times as a works entry, in the Tulip, Acropolis, Geneva, Danube and RAC rallies, all in 1965. It was retired in 1975 and has since then had a meticulous restoration, overseen by MG historian John Baggott and legendary MG racer Barry Sidery-Smith with meticulous attention to detail. Existing […]