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  1. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    About 26 years ago I was looking for a MGB ever since I saw one an 81 model at a car show in 1986 when I was 16. I was looking for a MGB or Triumph Spitfire. Some mechanic told me if I was going to buy something like this, to shy away from British cars and get the Fiat. So that is how I ended up with the Spider I still own today. And Fiats in general.

    Well the opportunity to buy an MGB presented itself. My wife's cousin had one and needed some money to buy an every day car. So I bought her 77 model. The Fiat 124 Spider's arch nemesis.

    This car has been in a storage building for several years. It has no foot brakes whatsoever. The rear hose underneath the battery is swollen but is not leaking. Once I replace this hose and bleed the brakes may work. But the hand brake works.

    The body is solid. The odometer says 31,000 miles but I kind of doubt it's only got that many miles on it for a 40 year old car.

    My 68 Ford Fairlane has 57,000 miles on it and although I have no actual proof that the mileage is original, I do know the original and second owner of the car. My grandmother bought this has from her neighbor in 1976. So I'm the 3rd owner of this car. I know the car itself has 57,000 miles on it but have no evidence that the engine and transmission are original but I don't think they were ever replaced when my grandmother owned the car, otherwise I would have remembered this.

    There are some mechanical differences between these cars.

    The Fiat has rear coil springs and rear disc brakes. The MGB has rear leaf springs and rear drum brakes. Actually leaf spring suspension is not that bad. I had a Jeep Wrangler with 4 wheel leaf spring suspension and it had no body roll like my 84 Ford Bronco II.

    The Spider has worm and roller steering but the MGB has rack and pinion.

    The MGB has a hydraulic clutch and the Spider has the cable.

    The MGB's engine looks easier to work on. Everything looks easier to get to. I hate the Fiat's valve system. Having to use those stupid shims to set the valve clearances. The oil filter is easier to get to on the MGB.

    Where the Spider really kicks the MGB's butt is the top mechanism. The MGB has a bunch of snaps and looks like it has to be folded a certain way. I have not figured it out yet but a friend who is into MGs is going to come over Sunday and give me a run down of the ins and outs of this car.

    It seems both cars uses newer technology in one area but older technology is another. Which doesn't really matter as long as it works well.

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  2. JASONCHAD

    JASONCHAD Trabi Meister Forum Donor

    It appears to be in great condition. A MG has always been on my wish list as well, my neighbor recently sold one...but it was super rough and way more project than I wanted to take on.

    Does that Citroen parked in the garage belong to you as well?

    Have fun with the new car!
  3. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    Yes. Just like the Trabant, The 2CV was also one of my "dream" cars I thought I'd never get the opportunity to ever own. I bought the 2CV back in 2016 locally. Seems to be an actual French spec vehicle. I should have photos in the "garage" section.

    I feel lucky to say pretty much every car I ever wanted, I now have. They may not be high dollar collectibles or in perfect condition but they are my babies.

    Also not wasting money a new car every couple of years allows me to own these cars. I haven't bought a new car in 16 years which is my 2003 Subaru and my 98 Chevy van I bought from my dad a few years ago. I gave $4000 for the MG which is about as much was what a new vehicle would depreciate as soon as I drove it off the lot. That's the way I look at it.

    I have antique plants and collector car insurance. The plates are permanent so I don't have to register the car every year and the insurance is about $500 a year. Insurance on my van, Subaru and my wife's Nissan is $1600 a year plus $96 per vehicle for registration.
  4. trondd

    trondd Puttering Along

    I wanted an MGB when I was a kid. The neighbor's had one rotting away in their backyard through most of my childhood. I could stare at it out my bedroom window.

    Ended up with a Fiat Spider instead, too. It does the job and I prefer the look. I'd take an MG if one came along, but wouldn't go looking for one.

    I need a giant car warehouse like you have. I live on a postage stamp with my cars practically piled on top of each other.
  5. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    Yeah I wasn't really looking to buy an MGB either but I liked the car and did my wife's cousin a big favor. Actually I think she wanted the money to do some home repairs and get her 79 El Camino running.

    I'm having to do allot of cleanup in my garage to keep these cars out of the weather. Notice those wheel positioning dollies under the rear wheels on the MGB.

    Those allow to me swing the back end around in order to squeeze these cars against each other. That's how I got my 68 Ford up against the wall. Otherwise the turning radius won't allow it.

    So the trick is to just decide which car I want to drive, swing the rear around and drive it for a week then park it then get another out!

    Sounds like allot of trouble but you have to keep these old cars out of the weather. I don't even like leaving my van outside.
  6. Andrewwoey

    Andrewwoey Loyal Comrade

    The MG is a nice car and simple enough to work on. Our British cars did have a tendency to rot, though not as bad as the Italian cars.

    Andy.
  7. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    American cars rotted as well but I think it's the conditions they were driven in. Mainly road salt.

    Somehow my old 68 Ford was never garage kept until I got it about 20 years ago and the only place it rusted out was under the cowl (scuttle) because my grandmother parked it under a tree and the leaves got down into the cowl, plugged the drains which held water and rotted it out. A common problem with not only Fairlanes but Mustangs.

    I repaired this area using a combination of Eastwood's Rust Encapulsator, latex caulk, fiberglass, truck bed coating followed by some black paint. Still holding up after 15 years but I keep the car out of the weather.

    My British car buddy came over today in his Austin Mini and went over the car and said the body was solid as a rock. So whoever had the car took really good care of it.

    Word has it these MGBs are worth allot more in the U.K. than the U.S.

    I haven't checked the price on what they are going for in the U.K.
  8. Andrewwoey

    Andrewwoey Loyal Comrade

    Nice find, getting a solid car. They are very reliable, so should be an enjoyable vehicle.

    Andy.

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