MG MGB Club / MGB MkII / MkIII With prices of the best MkI MGBs from the model’s earliest years achieving prices of £...

With prices of the best MkI MGBs from the model’s earliest years achieving prices of £20,000-plus these days, what’s out there for anyone with a budget half the size? Thankfully there’s plenty of choice, with excellent examples of the 1967-on MkII and 1972-on MkIII (prior to the launch of the ‘black bumper’ look for 1974) readily available.

The MGB got off to a flying start upon its debut in 1962, offering extra refinement, a more upmarket feel and a bigger version of the venerable B-series engine compared with the outgoing MGA. The launch of the MkII range five years later brought an array of worthwhile upgrades, including an all-synchromesh gearbox and the option of automatic transmission for the first time. By 1969 the MGB found itself with Rostyle wheels, while 1971 saw a new recessed black front grille introduced, changed to chrome again the following year. By the time the MkIII took a bow in 1972, the MGB featured a redesigned fascia and various other aesthetic upgrades.

Under the bonnet of any standard-spec MGB roadster you’ll find the familiar 1798cc engine (pushing out roughly 95bhp DIN depending on year), endowing the car with enough performance to make it an entertaining drive. Running costs are aided by the MGB’s simple spec, impressive parts availability and reasonable economy. If you fancy an MGB that benefits from numerous upgrades but was built prior to the still-controversial 1975 model year, a MkII or early MkIII makes real sense – and remains one of the most practical and enjoyable-to-drive classics for the money.
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  •   Quentin Willson reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    CAR #MGB-GT / #MGB / #MG / #MG-MGB
    Run by Greg MacLeman
    Owned since July 2013
    Total mileage 60,041
    Miles since August 2015 report 1571
    Latest costs £150


    The unseasonably mild end to 2015 kept the gritters away from Richmond and meant that my MG was pressed into daily service. It didn’t take too long for the increased mileage to take its toll, however, the main victims being both trackrod ends. I’d spotted their torn and perished rubber seals while topping up the lever-arms, so I popped over to Moss Europe for a pair of uprated replacements. They were fitted while the B was in for its MoT test. Despite the clean bill of health, I’d noticed an increasing number of squeaks and rattles coming from the car, many of which I’d pegged as a wheel bearing. Trivial enough to put to the back of my mind, until I reached the multi-storey car park by the office each morning when the racket would get much worse. So I asked Port – whose eyes lit up at the prospect of getting under a car – to take a look. Within minutes he’d diagnosed shot propshaft UJs, and by that afternoon – thanks to the ever-helpful staff at Moss – I had a new replacement. I spent a cold, rainy morning laying under the car fitting the prop, which has transformed its character. The ‘phantom bearing’ disappeared, as did most of the other mystery noises. Result. I could then finally enjoy the car again so, instead of driving my fiancée’s modern back to the family seat, I took the B. Five hours from Twickenham to Spalding wasn’t the dream trip I’d planned, but having the car over the festive break at least let me visit friend Mike Matthews. He rode to the Nürburging on the car’s ‘parcel shelf’ in 2013, and had just bought a house in the picturesque Rutland village of Ketton.

    The blast back across the Fens via Essendine, Toft and Twenty following an impromptu photoshoot went a long way to making up for the hours lost on the M25. I was so involved that it was too late to return the gesture when I noticed a wave from a powder blue, Spridgetshaped blur heading in the opposite direction. Sorry if you thought I was being rude. I even passed the historic home of BRM in Bourne. It wasn’t the smoothest journey, though. For the flattest part of the UK, the roads certainly are bumpy, hinting at an impending suspension rebuild. Better get the spanners.

    THANKS TO Moss Europe: 020 8867 2020;; Mike Matthews, for bed, board and beers

    Trackrod end was almost at breaking point.
    Fresh prop silenced the noisy drivetrain.
    BGT part-way through an epic drive along favourite Fenland back-roads during the Christmas holidays.
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  •   Quentin Willson reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    This pull-handle MGB, previously 572 VOW, was restored just before the turn of the millennium using a Heritage shell, with some bills from Classic MG Services of Fareham. There’s an invoice for a new fuel tank in 2003 and some sundries in 2007. Old MoTs go back to 1995, with the mileage at 23,935, so it’s hardly been used over the past 20 years.

    Confusingly, there’s an ‘in-progress’ picture in the file showing the doors and front wings off, though this perhaps was before the decision was made to reshell the car. It’s solid and rot-free as you’d expect, with spot-weld dimples still well defined in the rear arch lips. There are a couple of dings and ripples in the back end of the left-hand sill, the door that side is slightly proud at the bottom, plus the bonnet and bootlid fits are a little variable, all consistent with Heritage output. The chrome is mostly good, with some plate flaking or wearing off the front bumper. The exhaust is fairly recent, the wheels are in good shape and the tyres almost unused 2013 Barums in the correct 165 section, with an unused Nankang on the spare and the tools still next to it. The hood is in decent condition and the tonneau is new.

    Inside, the leather upholstery is just settling in with a few creases and wear points, plus the carpets still look clean and fresh, with new overmats. The crackle finish to the dash is good except for a small scraped area where the keys have been swinging.

    The three-bearing crank engine is of attractively standard appearance, down to the Coopers stickers on the air-filter casings, plus it’s still running a dynamo and mechanical fan. The radiator is full of fresh green coolant and the oil is clean and nearly at the maximum mark.

    It starts after a churn, having been standing for a while, and the motor is mechanically quiet showing 60psi-plus from the off, which doesn’t drop when warm, suggesting that the unit is fairly fresh. It drives really nicely with a supple ride, tracking and pulling up straight and everything working as it should. Overdrive clicks in and out promptly, the brakes feel right and coolant temperature steadies at 170ºF. The MoT runs until 6 May.

    Car #MGB / #MG / #1963-MGB / #MG / #MG-MGB
    Year of manufacture #1963
    Recorded mileage 30,134
    Asking price £22,500
    Vendor Oselli, near Buckingham, tel: 01993 849610;

    Price £834
    Max power 95bhp
    Max torque 107lb ft
    0-60mph 11 secs
    Top speed 100mph
    Mpg 26


    ● Heritage shell; excellent paint
    ● Almost like new; hide trim just settling in; dash almost mint
    ● Feels sorted; drives sweetly
    VALUE ★★★★★★✩✩✩✩
    For Nicely standard; almost as if it has just left Abingdon
    Against Uneven left sill

    If you want what is, in effect, a nearly new example of the B in its purest form, yes. Younger models and GTs will be a little cheaper

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