Jay D

Stung by the MGBee

Since the day I was born, I was a car guy. When I was first able to walk and talk, I could tell a Chevy from a Ford. My dad has always been a car guy, so I guess it's in the genes.

Over the years, my dad and I have amassed quite a collection, a 1965 Dodge A100 Custom Sportsman, a 1967 Ford Bronco, a 1976 BMW R75/6 motorcycle, and a 1967 VW Beetle that my grandmother bought and drove off the lot brand new in '67, in the process of being passed down through the family. I always helped my dad fix up his cars but he was never much of a restorer, he just liked fixing em up to be nice and drive able. I'm the complete opposite, I like em exactly like they were when they rolled off the lot. For me, vintage motoring is like a time machine, because I didn't get a chance to live in those good ol days. So I knew I needed my own project, one that would be affordable, but that I could fix up on my own to be like I wanted it to be.

I never was actively searching for a car, I figured anything in my price range wouldn't be old enough or nice enough for me to even consider. But one day, when talking classic cars with my HS English teacher, he told me about the days when he used to own an oil company and had a whole assortment of British sports cars and I oooooed and ahhhhed as he went over them with me. Seeing how interested I was, he mentioned that he had a white MGB that didn't run but he might be willing to sell to me.

MG's had always been a thing of legends to me, I remember looking at various overpriced Magnette's, MGA's, and various other MG's with my dad as a kid. They were always sort of a mystery to me, I never really knew too much about them other than that they were really cool looking. When he told me about the one he might have to sell to me, I was ecstatic. Every night of the week before the Saturday I went to see it, I could not shut up about it and I watched many different YouTube videos about them to learn about them.

The day my dad and I went to check it out, I was so excited. It didn't run, the Rostyle wheels had surface rust on em, it needed paint and interior work, and it had rubber bumpers (I'm a chrome kinda guy). Everything was fixable though and there was no cancer rust which is amazing for an MGB. I knew the engine issues wouldn't be too bad to sort out because he said it would run if he stuck the gas hose down the carb barrel but of course we stopped him from demonstrating that horror. It needed lots of work, but for $500, my dad could see the gleam in my eye, and he knew I wasn't the kind of kid to let it just sit in the yard. The next day, we wrote him a check and he dropped it off in our front yard.

I immediately began tearing into it and seeing all the goodies that came with it. Hardtop was the first thing to come off. It included the soft top frame but the top itself was no good, I eventually replaced it and did the install myself, a not so easy task to accomplish, especially not on ones own.

Knowing what the teacher had said about the gas hose down the carb barrel, I knew the carb must be severely gummed up, so I yanked that sucker off, completely disassembled and cleaned every last bit of it. Drained the gas tank, put in fresh and reinstalled the carb, and the B lived once more. I cannot describe what a joy it was when that 1798cc engine first fired. We immediately discovered that the idle speed was way too high and the exhaust pipe had fallen off the header during loading and unloading off the trailer, but we remedied that quickly and after a quick brake test, took it up and down our street a few times to get the seals and everything working properly. It was a blast but there was still a lot more work left to do.

Went over the entire car, serviced the brakes, electrical where it needed it, changed the severely burned out points, adjusted timing, and many many more other little fixes and the car runs like a champ. Painted the Rostyle wheels myself using Frogtape to mask em, and they look like brand new. Did lots of interior work, replaced the top, and it's still a work in progress and a fun daily driver! It still needs paint pretty bad and has a dent in the hood from a previous owner, but I plan to get all that sorted out and have myself a very nice car. 9 months and 3000+ miles later, my love only grows for the car as I continue to improve and enjoy it.

2 Reader Comments

  • 1
    wayne sanders Oregon October 15, 2014 at 21:41
    Nice looking car. Welcome to the MGB insanity!
  • 2
    Erik Lytle October 16, 2014 at 09:34
    Jay has really done a great job on the MG! He's saving his money for an engine overhaul and he'll replace the timing chain and water pump in the meantime. We're a Hagerty family! Couldn't have this collection without 'em!

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