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    300bhp Jaguar AJ30 3.0-litre V6-engined MGB

    Posted in Cars on Saturday, 16 March 2019

    A classic MGB is a portal to a bygone age of sepia-tinted simplicity. But a 300bhp MGB that’ll do 0-62mph in 4.5-seconds? That’s barmy enough to rip the very fabric of time to shreds…Words: Dan Bevis Photos: Lukasz Markowski.

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    Glut of quality MGBs heralds a downturn in prices / #MGB-RV8 / #MGB / #MG

    VALUE 2012 £10k

    VALUE NOW 2018 £13.5k

    June auctions saw MGB prices take a downward dip. Barons dispatched a red ’1978 roadster with a chrome bumper conversion, fresh MoT, 43k miles and £1600-worth of bills for a giveaway £2915.

    CCA also had mixed results, with five MGBs all knocked down for tempting money. An as-new #1970 Bronze Yellow roadster subject to a total bare bodyshell resto made only £9350 – probably half the rebuild cost. A #1980 rubber-bumper GT in Glacier White with 5200 miles made only £9k, while an as-new 1980 GT in BRG with a tiny 1540 miles didn’t sell. Neither did a completely restored 1970 roadster in red. Even a nicely mellowed ’1972 roadster with Oselli-tuned engine and 20-year ownership made just £5740. Anglia Auctions struggled too, with no fewer than 14 MGBs. The best pair, both older Heritage bodyshell total rebuilds, made only £8904 and £13,780, eight others averaged out at £4600 each and two were no-sales.

    There’s tremendous value in MGBs right now. Over-supply is putting pressure on values and even very fine ’Bs are around 40% down from 2015. MGBs may be a bit clichéd, but they’re still uncomplicated, good to drive and infinitely more interesting than an MX-5. There could also be a softening in #MGC and #MGB-GTV8 prices. CCA’s 1970 older restoration MGC GT made only £12,320, while H&H’s very original white ’1973 V8 with 84k was unsold.

    Track the market carefully – a totally rebuilt MGB complete with new Heritage bodyshell for around ten grand is cracking value. And looking at today’s market, finding one shouldn’t be hard.
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    votren911
    votren911 updated the group picture
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    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; www.oselli.com

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

    SUMMARY

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

    SHOULD I BUY IT?
    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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    Car #MGB-GT / #MGB / #MG
    Run by Greg MacLeman
    Owned since July 2013
    Total mileage 63,304
    Miles since December 2016 report 189
    Latest costs £938

    FIXED UP WITH A NEW RESIDENCE

    The second half of 2016 was never going to be easy for me due to an impending flat purchase. The difficulties were compounded by staying at my brother’s place in Sidcup, Kent until the sale was finalised. A sofa bed was less than ideal, but it was the lack of parking that really worried me – not helped by the MG’s MoT expiry date falling at precisely the same time.

    With that in mind, I took the car for an early test to ensure that it was mobile should it require any serious work. Sadly, it did.

    The passenger-side sill was the main culprit. After I climbed into the inspection pit, it became clear that the rear portion of the sill was little more than a crusty coating of underseal, feeling more like a damp Weetabix box than solid metal. I knew that there was a problem in the making from the outside, too, where the paintwork was visibly bubbling at the lower corner, covering an area roughly the same size as my open hand. The second issue was a failing wheel bearing – a factor I’ve attributed to the strange, intermittent noise that I’d heard while returning from Paris earlier in the year. On top of those woes there were a number of smaller gripes also needing attention.

    With ‘London weighting’ affecting hourly rates as well as pints, I opted to take the car back to South Lincolnshire, where a recommendation from a local garage led me to an excellent bodyshop. They don’t normally work on classics, but made a welcome exception due to me being – in spirit at least – a local.

    The MG stayed there for longer than expected, but the work was carried out to an excellent standard. Instead of just using a small repair section, a larger piece was cut from an entire lower rear wing, which was supplied by the MG Owners’ Club, while a repair panel was fabricated for the underside. The paint match is astounding, and if they’ll have the car back, I’ll definitely be putting more work their way.

    Despite sitting for weeks on end, the B burst into life at first kick for the blast back to London. A 70mph cruise was just what the doctor ordered, having been away from the car for so long. Not even the blinding low sun, salty roads and a faulty windscreen washer could dampen my mood. The car was pulling so well I’ve resolved to get it on a rolling road to see just how many ponies have been corralled by its performance mods, and to set a benchmark for future enhancements.

    I took the car straight to my usual garage to have the wheel bearing replaced, but by the next day it was clear the washer jet was the tip of an iceberg. A litany of niggling ‘fails’ followed, including an intermittent horn, brake imbalance and worn tyres, which, irritatingly, hadn’t been picked up on the MoT just 120 miles earlier. In the end it cost £398, but the B now has a clean bill of health – probably its first since the three-day week and certainly the first during my ownership.

    By the time the latest round of repairs was complete my wallet was nearly £1000 lighter, but things were looking up. The new flat has that rarest of London attributes – a garage. For the first time since moving to the capital three years ago, the car can finally be kept away from the elements. Before the paint had even dried I’d cut a piece of carpet to cover the floor, which will make working on the MG much more comfortable. There’s even a ‘spares mezzanine’ (as dubbed by Elliott), although that is currently occupied with decorating detritus. The only downside is a lack of power, which one rogue on Facebook suggested I ‘borrow’ from the ideally located security light.

    As well as keeping the GT dry and secure, I’m hoping that having a dedicated space will give me the impetus to take on greater maintenance challenges, as well as tackling a few upgrades. And if that doesn’t, getting stuck with a bill for nearly £400 certainly will. MG fanatics of South Croydon, I will at some point be needing your help…

    After three years living outside under a cover, the MG finally has a proper garage in which to shelter from the elements. Note handy ‘spares mezzanine’.

    Rear of the sill needed extensive repairs.
    With fresh metal welded in, the body is masked up and primed ready for fresh top coat.
    B is dwarfed by moderns in a local car park.
    Two new tyres were needed for the MoT.
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