1973 MGB GT
The MGB GT gets used all year in all weathers, so sometimes gets left outside on the road. And if you are going to use one every day, salty winter days included, you just have to keep on top of that and pay a good welder when you need to. It’s almost part of the running costs.
Luckily GAF is not an original car; it’s been rebuilt at least once (in 1999) and quite heavily modified, so I’m not worried about concours looks, just keeping it strong, safe and on the road – although I make sure any welding is done to a good standard, with whole panels if I can.
I was dismayed, but not totally surprised to find a hole in the driver’s footwell under the mat, rusting from the inside-out. I think this is because the Webasto roof has started to leak. That prompted a good inspection of the rest of the car and I was in some ways pleased to find only one other rust spot that might trouble the MoT man – under the offside rear lights it looked a bit crusty and attacking it with a screwdriver proved crumbly over a much bigger area than expected.
So it was booked in with good friend and classic custom Ford Pop owner Dave Harries in Bromsgrove. I do most mechanical work myself but I decided many years ago that welding was a skill best left to others. Dave cut out the rusty metal in both areas, more than anticipated at the rear in the end, and used a combination of MG panels and repair panels he made to produce really nice repairs to both areas.
The car is solid and back in use, but of course now really needs painting again properly. It’s nine years since the last respray. The car was vandalised nearly two years ago and every upward facing panel was dented very slightly. I touched up all the chips to prevent any rusting but it doesn’t really match and now that it also has a big primer patch on the rear, I think a respray before next summer could be on the cards.
However, GAF is fundamentally a good useable car, both mechanically and structurally, and more importantly I’m very fond of it, so I feel a responsibility to not let it slide into banger status. Better ask the editor for more work...
Floor after Dave had unpicked the rust.
John now feels the MG needs a repaint.
Rusty rear section.
Dave finishing off as John went to collect the car.