Thursday, December 19, 2013

Just A Nice 1968 MGB GT

I've always liked these cars. Back in the 1980s I had a Rover 3500 SD1. A local dealer, who dealt in old British cars, wanted it. He offered a trade. He gave me a choice of 2 cars on his lot. A really nice 1980 MGB and a fair 1973 MGB GT. I chose the rubber bumper roadster, mostly because the top came down, but also because it was a turn key car.

The GT was introduced in 1965. The body was designed by Pininfarina. It was called a 2+2, but the back seat was only suitable for small children. The rear cargo area was easily accessible via the rear hatch and could accommodate luggage and groceries, but not much else.

Body-wise, everything forward of the A-pillars is pure MGB. Most everything behind them, except for lights and a few miscellaneous things, are unique to the GT.

Performance-wise, the GT, due to it weighing 200lbs more than the roadster, is a little slower off the line than the roadster, but, because it is a more aerodynamic, has a higher top speed.

Parts for all MGBs are incredibly easy to come by. You can even get entire body shells through British Motor Heritage.

I chose this car or one reason... I love the way it looks. It is a rust free west coast car. Originally red, it stripped down and repainted black with two red stripes. The interior, which was also red, was changed to black with red accents on the seats.

The seller says it runs well and provides a video of a "test drive." (Which has a soundtrack. Oddly, it starts with the opening chords of Derek and the Dominoes' "Layla" and then switches to an opera. Really? C'mon. This is a test drive. Turn off the music and let us hear the engine...) He calls it a driver, and points out some of the car's minor flaws.

The MGB GT is arguably a better car than the roadster. It handles a bit better, has a more solid feel, and it's weather proof. Of course, the top doesn't fold down and that counts for a lot in an old British sports car.

My daily driver is a Saab convertible. I may have put the top down a dozen times this summer, usually at the behest of friends or my 14 year old son. I guess as I've gotten older, topless motoring has become less important to me. If I were in the market for another MGB, I'd probably choose a GT. I'd seriously consider this one. Maybe I'd add a period correct Webasto sunroof for those few days that I want some sun on my face.

Located in Temecula, CA, click here to see the eBay listing.

1 comment:

Oddimotive Cason said...

Nice find, although I'm not sure about the stripes! The good news is these pop up pretty often and they seem to remain affordable.

This and an early Z were the two cars on my whittled-down shopping list before I bought my '75 280Z in early 2007. I would have been happy with either, but chose the more readily available car and worked at Nissan at the time, so that factored in, along with the fact that the right car came along at the right time.

I think of these as precursors to the Z3 coupes in some ways, although these are MUCH more elegant looking.