Friday, March 14, 2014

1976 MGB - You Could Use This As A Daily Driver

I'm not a big fan of modifications. I tend to like cars that are stock. Sometimes, though, I have to admit that mods make a car better. This car is a good example of that. It has some mods, but, for the most part they are useful and tastefully done.

I owned a rubber bumper B for a few years in the mid-1980s. From experience, I can tell you that if you're looking for a world class, classic British roadster, a rubber bumper B is not the car for you. Everything you've read about them - the effect on the car's handling by the raised ride height, the effect on performance by the weight of the bumpers and the emissions controls on the engine - is true. But, if you look at it and use it as I did - as a daily commuter - it's a pretty good car. It's a lot more fun than any similar era econobox.

Contrary to popular belief, the MGB is fairly reliable. Yes, the Lucas electrics can be temperamental (a nice way of saying they suck), but, honestly, they are not as bad as all the jokes will lead you to believe. (Often the problem is not the component, but a bad ground or dirty connection.) The carburetor is not great, but the first thing you should do when buying an MGB is replace the sidedraft carb with a downdraft Weber. You will be amazed by the change in drivability, performance, and even gas mileage.

This car does not have the Weber carb on it, but it has a few other mods that would make it a nice daily driver.

This MGB has air conditioning. You could get a dealer installed A/C unit when the B was new, but it was borderline useless and took up a lot of space. The A/C system in this B is very neatly integrated into the car. You may not use the A/C often, but on those days when it's 90 degrees with 90% humidity, you will appreciate that it's there, especially when you're stuck in traffic.

The interior of this car has been upgraded, too. The most obvious change is the seats. The original B seats were durable, but not especially comfortable for long trips. The seller does not say where these seats came from, but they look like they are very comfortable and supportive. Power windows have been added. Granted, not a big deal, but a nice convenience touch. The dash has an aftermarket woodgrain kit on it and it looks great. The green / cream color combo is unique and looks nice.

The body has some mods, too. It has an aftermarket spoiler, which, while not awful looking, is not needed. I would remove it. (A chrome luggage rack would look great on the trunk.) The bumpers are fiberglass and painted body color. They look good. Another interesting touch is the fiberglass MGC style hood, with its power bulge and chrome strip. Personally, I like it. (Although it looks poorly fitted in the pictures.) MGBs are prone to rust, so give this car a thorough look over for rust and / or bad rust repair.

Mechanically, this car is close to stock. The engine has had a recent valve job. It has an electronic distributor. (When I put the Weber carb on my B, I also put in a Lumenition electronic distributor kit. It worked great.) The rear brakes are now discs and it has had a tube shock conversion done. Both are very useful mods.

If you're looking for a true old-school British roadster, go with a stock chrome bumper B. However, if you're looking for a cool, unique daily driver, this MGB might be worth checking out.

Located in Bradenton, FL, click here to see the eBay listing.

1 comment:

Chris Keen said...

Looks like the seller had an MG RV8 brochure in his hand while he spec'd this one out... it's far from the same but the influences are noticeable.

That wood is unreal, btw... literally :P