The big story

The MGB’s pop­u­lar­ity shows no signs of wan­ing, yet it re­mains very af­ford­able

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

MGBs: Still go­ing cheap

‘I even ran a win­dow-clean­ing busi­ness from one’

Most clas­sic sales will con­tain an MGB of some de­scrip­tion: chrome- or plas­tic-bumpered, GT or Road­ster, con­cours or project, a ’B will al­ways find a new owner.

There’s no get­ting away from their pop­u­lar­ity and in some cases that might work against them. Turn up at a clas­sic meet­ing, and chances are a ’B will ap­pear, even if only in the spec­ta­tors’ car park. So what’s the se­cret of the ’B’s en­dur­ing pop­u­lar­ity?

H&H’s head of sales, Damian Jones, cites many rea­sons for the ’B’s longevity, rang­ing from its ap­pear­ance to its ease of run­ning. ‘It’s a good look­ing de­sign, it’s fun to drive, it keeps up in mod­ern traf­fic and there’s a great sup­port net­work,’ he says. ‘For some older en­thu­si­asts who have owned vet­eran and vin­tage cars it makes a great re­tire­ment choice, and for oth­ers it can be made into a great tourer or some­thing quicker.’

Jones says ’B parts prices and their avail­abil­ity, as well as the car’s sim­plic­ity, adds to its pop­u­lar­ity – along with one dis­tinct char­ac­ter­is­tic: ‘It has a char­ac­ter­ful sound that most en­thu­si­asts can pick out. Just like an E-type, they still en­joy su­per pop­u­lar­ity and that shows peo­ple are still en­joy­ing a love af­fair with Bri­tish sports cars.’

While the ’B’s re­li­a­bil­ity has been a ma­jor part of its pop­u­lar­ity, to­day it can be sur­pris­ingly use­ful in less ob­vi­ous ways, as His­torics’ Ed­ward Bridger- Stille ex­plains: ‘The MGB – and Tri­umph Spit­fire – rep­re­sent the most fun and great value when en­ter­ing the clas­sic car arena. The ex­hil­a­rat­ing driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, per­for­mance and ease of main­te­nance make it an ob­vi­ous choice for young at heart.

‘The fixed-head MGB GT of­fered built-in prac­ti­cal­ity as well – I even ran a win­dow-clean­ing busi­ness from an orange one dur­ing the hol­i­days, many years ago! Club back-up is also the most com­pre­hen­sive in the

in­dus­try… which is ex­tremely use­ful on oc­ca­sions.’

Good MGBs start from around £4000, al­though with pa­tience and de­tec­tive work it’s pos­si­ble to buy a good-run­ning, sound but scruffy GT for around £2000-2500. Road­sters al­ways com­mand a pre­mium but as Char­ter­house’s £4700 1972 ex­am­ple shows, the path into MGB own­er­ship needn’t be overly ex­pen­sive.

Fine ex­am­ples will al­ways sell for strong money, with a re­stored 1966 GT sell­ing at Bon­hams’ Good­wood mem­bers’ Meet­ing in March for a healthy £18,975.

There is some­thing very Bri­tish – and very af­ford­able – about en­joy­ing sum­mer in a ’B.

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