Buy­ing

Classics Monthly - - Mgb -

When it comes to clas­sic sports cars, the MGB and its GT sib­ling are hugely pop­u­lar. And it’s easy to see why. Both vari­ants are af­ford­able, re­li­able, char­ac­ter­ful, good­look­ing, have an al­most un­matched spares backup, ex­cel­lent club sup­port and are great fun to drive. What’s more, there are plenty to choose from, at prices to suit all pock­ets. Even so, do in­spect for rust.

The sills are cru­cial to the struc­tural in­tegrity. They run from the back of the front whee­larch to the front of the rear whee­larch, and are com­prised of sev­eral com­po­nents. Also check the rear spring hang­ers; mud col­lects there and the chas­sis mounts will mer­rily rust away. Plus, the rear wings on a GT are a ma­jor panel which in­cludes the ‘C’ post.

The en­gine is ro­bust. Pro­vid­ing you don’t notice ex­ces­sive smoke from the ex­haust, un­due noises, and the car drives well, there shouldn’t be any ma­jor prob­lems. Gear­boxes are pretty re­li­able. On cars fit­ted with wire wheels, lis­ten for any clonks when start­ing or re­vers­ing as this may in­di­cate spline wear (this can be a tad ex­pen­sive). Over­drive prob­lems are usu­ally traced to elec­tri­cal or (more ex­pen­sive) hy­draulic prob­lems. Over­drive trans­mis­sions must use 20/50 oil... and hav­ing the cor­rect oil level is crit­i­cal too, as is a clean fil­ter.

If you are re­plac­ing the jack­ing points, then re­place the floor­pans too. By do­ing this, you can ac­cess the jack­ing points cor­rectly, fit them se­curely and rust­proof them. You can’t re­ally man­age this with the floor­pans in place.

If in any doubt about the con­di­tion of the sills, change them. This is not an easy job, as you need to brace the shell prop­erly, but the sills are vi­tal struc­tural el­e­ments.

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