The MGB has to be right up there competing with the mini and E-Type jag to be the icon of the swinging sixties. Like the mini the MG was and still is a truly classless car being driven by the neighbour down the street to Prince Charles.
Launched in May 1962 just as the Beatles signed their first EMI contract and the Isley brothers released twist and shout it caused a bang almost as big as the Americans who during the same month set off no less than 7 Nuclear test explosions in the Christmas Islands (Not much of a Christmas present if you ask me).
Back to the car. Launched in May 1962 production continued right up until 1980. Is the MGB a good choice if you are looking for a classic car? Being one of the most popular classic cars in the UK has meant a widespread and dedicated parts, upgrades and servicing experts are plentiful.
Every single item on an MGB is available and many of them are cheaper than equivalent modern day parts for the boring modern runabout. You can even buy a brand new complete body should you desire.
There were many changes during the life of the MGB many of them driven by the U.S market and its emissions and safety initiatives such as the rubber bumpers. A shining example of mid 70’s UK manufacturing apathy is the tale of the headlights. Due to changes in American regulations the headlights we too low for that market. A redesign? I think not, they simply raised the whole cars suspension by 1 inch therefore raising the headlights! Yes this worked wonders for the handling of the car.
Putting some of those misadventures aside we are still left with an enduring classic car but which one should you go for? Well it comes down to taste as ever but also your budget as the earlier models with chrome wheels and bumpers are more sought after.
Later rubber bumper cars might not please the purist but you will still have a fantastic classic car and also the benefit of all the upgrades over the years such as a full synchromesh gearbox.
These upgrades should not be sniffed at when choosing your car as purity and appearance don’t count for anything if you hate driving the thing because it will never go into gear. These cars are made to be driven and as with almost any classic car the phrase “use it or lose it” applies.
Cars do not like to spend months tucked away in a garage, you might think it is keeping your pride and joy shiny but she will be pining for the open road and will repay you with a new list of gremlins when you do next take her out.
Regular use (every weekend is fine) is the first step to maintaining a classic car as you must get to know her. Know her sounds and smells, know what quirky noises she makes and should those ever change look into it. You can prevent her from “Failing to proceed” as Roll Royce famously put it by staying on top of things. If a fan belt looks a little tired or a radiator hose looks old and perished change them or get you local garage to do it. It will not cost a lot and the pipes you change might have been there for 30 years so no need to do it again for a while once done.
Owning a classic MGB or in fact any classic car is a fantastic privilege and one you should enjoy if given half the chance but it is also a mindset. Get yourself comfortable with the notion that she might break down once in a while, be ok with this and your motoring please will flow.
Full MGB Stats & Figures
Years of Manufacture– 1962-1980
Engine Options/Sizes– All MGB’s barring the V8 use the BMC B-series engine.
2 Door MGB Roadster
2 Door MGB Hatch Back Coupe
2 Door MGB G8 V8 Coupe
How many made– 513,276 cars produced between 1962-1980
Original Performance figures-
Model MGB MKI MGB MKII/III MGB GT MKI MGB GT MKII/II
Top Speed 105 mph 107 mph 105 mph 104 mph
0-60 mph 12 secs 11 secs 13.5 secs 14 secs
Fuel Consumption 22-28 mpg 22-28 mpg 22-28 mpg 22-28 mpg
Price Guide Now And Price Guide Now-
Original Price Average Auction Price
1962 MG MGB $2,658 $62,376
1963 MG MGB $18,642
1964 MG MGB $2,660 $13, 547
1965 MG MGB MKI $2,600 $14,342
1966 MG MGB MKI $2,605-$3,095 $16,491
1967 MG MGB MKII $2,615-$3,095 $14,576
1968 MG MGB MKII $2,615-$3,095 $10,308
1969 MG MGB MKII $2,670-$3,160 $12,695
1970 MG MGB MKII $2,885-$3,200 $14,271
1971 MG MGB MKII $2,885-$3,300 $8,265
1972 MG MGB GT $3,620 $5,089
1972 MG MGB $3,325-$3,610 $9,019
1973 MG MGB $3,325-$3,610 $9,386
1974 MG MGB MKIII $3,925-$4,325 $8,452
1975 MG MGB $4,355 $5,918
1976 MG MGB $4,351 $6,213
1977 MG MGB $4,355 $5,841
1978 MG MGB $5,650 $7,036
1979 MG MGB MKIV $5,650 $7,744
1980 MG MGB MKIV $5,650 $9,217
Main MG Car Clubs-
www.mgownersclub.co.uk founded in 1973
www.mgcc.co.uk founded in 1930
Regional Car Clubs-
West Midlands – http://www.mgocwestmids.co.uk/