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.