By on September 6, 2013

03 - 1967 MGB Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe MGB is not at all uncommon in American self-service wrecking yards these days— perhaps a bit less numerous than the Fiat 124 Sports Spider, but I still see a few Crusher-bound MGBs every year. I had an MGB-GT daily driver about 25 years ago, and so I’m very familiar with this car’s many drawbacks… but I still think the B was a pretty good car for its time, so it saddens me to see yet another doomed one. Here’s an early B that I spotted at a Denver self-service yard a few weeks ago.
02 - 1967 MGB Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIn this series so far, we’ve seen this ’71, this ’75, this ’79, and this ’79 with Toyota 20R power. All have shown signs of lengthy outdoor storage with no top, and today’s car is no exception.
12 - 1967 MGB Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHere’s a totally complete 1800cc BMC B engine, with SU carbs and air cleaners still intact. This clattery little pushrod engine didn’t make much power, nor was it particularly efficient, but it was quite reliable. This is the same yard in which I found this ’57 Nash Metropolitan, also powered by a BMC B engine, albeit one of just 1500cc displacement.
08 - 1967 MGB Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt appears that someone started to do bodywork on this British Racing Green car, then gave up.

Yes, British Leyland used its brand name on US-market ads.

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38 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1967 MGB...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Looks all used up to me. Though in the same vein of “old rare roadsters,” I did see a really nice Bertone X1/9 over Labor Day weekend, in the maroon color 90% of them were.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    That’s a MKI , the best of them all , 1967 and earlier .

    This one’s 1800 engine made an honest 107 HP with the HS4 carbys and pre smog cam timing .

    I wonder of it has the terrific overdrive tranny ? a photo of the bottom would tell .

    I miss my 1967 MGB GT MKI but in the end , it didn’t handle well at speed although I could drive it all day long @ 85 + MPH ~ nothing for to – day’s cars but back then it needed the over drive to do that and not burn up the engine .

    Most of these have serious rust issues , this looks like a true builder to me as it’s also a wire wheel car .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    lon888

    I’m surprised the head is still on the car. Back when I had my ’77 MGB everyone was wanting pre-smog heads and early SU carbs. Nice find.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    Nice little car, was a lot of fun. Looks like a half hearted start at bringing it back that ended in back yard storage and then to the scrapper. Too Bad.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    I hate it when people fail at cars.

  • avatar
    08Suzuki

    I don’t care if it’s a Renault Fuego or a brand-new Corolla, I’d be nervous about driving through saltwater like in that commercial.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    I had a ’71 and overall was the best British sport car I ever had. I’m tempted to re-live it but compared to my ’65 Elan it’s kind of a truck so I never go for it. Considering the body damage I’m surprised the bonnet doesn’t have a little dent at the leading edge.

  • avatar
    LBJs Love Child

    MGB-GT you say, Mr. Martin?

    XX.http://youtu.be/2-ZI5cPvQus.XX

    Minus the XX. .XX, obviously.

  • avatar
    Bocatrip

    That is a real shame as the 67 was one of the more desirable years for the MGB. 68 started stricter emissions (which was the main reason for the Austin Healey demise) The 67 had the nicer dash and interior. Unless there were no floors due to rust, it’s hard to imagine someone junking an early MGB. Sad story.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      I agree with this cars desirability, original BRG paint color, no padded instrument panel overlay-just a nice steel one, leather seats could be re-covered or custom upholstered, all of the bolt-on parts seem to be there, save the wire wheels. I would want to examine the rockers and stuff underneath. A kit comprised of all of the parts needed to replace all rockers is around $400.

      As for the rest of the bodywork, in the small amount of time I took to check, I could only find the Moss Motors UK parts source that still offered complete bodies for roadster and GT. A non synchro first gear body was priced at the equivalent of $10,200 before shipping, and you’d have to swap in the original transmission tunnel, for a roadster tub(i.e. main body, doors, bonnet, boot/trunk lid), GT would be more, and I think they only offered RHD bodies. It would be sweet if one of the suppliers in the States still had a new tub for sale(IIRC when they were available in the States, the cost was around $4100 before shipping).

      It might be taking a chance that the motor or other part of the powertrain might be dead. I bought an AH Sprite Frogeye out of a boneyard. It had one screw missing from the rear axle to hub connection and was missing the bonnet, but when I replaced the screw and put fresh petrol in it, it started in five minutes and worked fine for the next two years, so I might take a chance on this MGB if I didn’t have so many other projects to get to.

      About the demise of the Healey 3000 in the end of 1967, it was US federal regs that killed it, but not stricter emissions. Remember that the MGC and MGC GT were available in 1968 and 1969 with essentially a similar six cylinder motor. The big Austin Healey would not meet the 1968 federal safety regs, like softer instrument panel, softer inside door lining, collapsible steering column,etc. I know Triumph was able to continue building roadsters with wood-covered instrument panels but softer switch knobs, but they were selling in higher numbers, like MGB, so they could justify the added cost of the safety changes.

      I feel sorry for Jensen. Because of the impending safety regs and a possible corporate change of heart, they lost the Sunbeam Tiger project in June 1967, and the Austin Healey project by the end of the 1967.

  • avatar

    I’ve always been unsure about how to describe the MGB by make/model. Is it an MG MGB? An MG B? Or just the MGB, full stop? I usually go with the latter, because MG MGB looks silly.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      If you’re googling, you have to use “MG MGB”. If you try “British Leyland MGB”, you’ll get “MG MGB” anyway. Google is funny.

      BTW, my Brother in law had the last MGA MKII of 1962, and my college roomie had a ’59 TR3. A lot of people liked the bodies of the later 1960s MGs and TRs, but after driving both older models, I think they should have stuck to the older body styles and put their money into rack and pinion steering, bigger brakes and sway bars. Triumph put all that on the TR6 in the ’70s and had a better sports car, just in time to go out of business.

      • 0 avatar
        Aaron Whiteman

        The MGA and MGB both had rack and pinion steering. The MGB had anti-roll bars front and rear standard until 1975, when they needed them most (fortunately, they are easy to retrofit).

    • 0 avatar
      Aaron Whiteman

      I can’t really help much, despite the fact that I just looked over my car to give you a definitive answer.

      My 1975 copy says MGB [vin] TOURER on the number plate in the driver’s door jam.
      The tire pressure guide inside the glovebox lists pressures for the “MGB TOURER & MGB-GT”
      The Driver’s handbook (yeah, I have the original handbook) cover is “[MG LOGO] MGB”
      The state of Washington lists the car as Make “MG” and Model “MGBCV”

      And my Certified copy of the Factory Record lists the make and model as “MGB ROADSTER”.

      So I’m with you, just go with MGB, full stop.

  • avatar
    skor

    Another dream project started and abandoned. More than likely another victim of our great economy. Thanks so much for the obstructionism, GOP/Tea-Party!

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Is this like one of those “THANKS OBAMA!” memes?

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Except that 90% of economists actually do point to the GOP for holding our economy hostage. Armchair economists are fun but the truly educated would point out the endless fallacies promoted by the B&B. But carry on.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          90% of Keynesian economists, no doubt.

          Made this for you guys. Feel free to use it in your partisan hatership forums

          http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3vpthz/

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Well the other major group of economists (austrians) are small and their last major research was proven so flawed that it has effectively killed their ideology in the circles of academia because it has no backing in reality.

          • 0 avatar

            “circles of academia”

            Now there’s a group that has sterling credibility, one that encourages independent thinking, one that opposes political orthodoxy. I kid, I kid.

            Putting aside your argument from authority fallacy, are you really basing your argument on what comes out of the “academic” world? You think the academic world is more morally pristine than politics or business? It’s a human endeavor with all the usual human failings.

            Here’s an interesting piece on how economist Ronald Coase, who would go on to win the Nobel prize for economics in 1991, was forced out of the University of Virginia in the 1960s for daring to subscribe to and defend market based policies.

            http://reason.com/blog/2013/09/04/economist-ronald-coase-was-chased-out-of

            I’d say that the modern college campus is much like a cloistered seminary of old, other than the very real possibility that those seminarians were more intellectually honest and more open to true debate than your average Keynesian on the faculty of a typical tax supported university. No conflict of interest there, no, none at all.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            “Economics has been becoming more and more abstract, less and less related to what goes on in the real world. In fact, economists have devoted themselves to studying imaginary systems, and they don’t distinguish between the imaginary system and the real world. That’s what modern economics has been and continues to be. All the prestige goes to people who produce the most abstract results about an economic system that doesn’t exist.” -Ronald Coase

            “Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. – As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.

            Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” -John Maynard Keynes, describing the inevitable outcome of applying Keynesian economics.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Ronnie, short answer is you’re an anti-intellectual fighting for an intellectually and morally bankrupt concept because you have a deep seated moral need to feel superior. In other words I could hand you the text books, the case studies, and the mountains of evidence and you would still find an excuse. It’s ok, you’re a journalist and car site editor and I’m legally capable of teaching a certain amount of econonics. I’ll keep teaching, you’ll keep bloviating your right-wing inaccurancies and the world will keep spinning.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            While you lace your defensiveness with amateur efforts at name calling, it would seem that your underlying point is that free markets and the freedom they embody are an intellectually and morally bankrupt concept. The alternative is what? Corrupt politicians distributing wealth and privilege? Your cult has brainwashed each other into the position that totalitarianism is the high moral ground. How much do you hate people? What do you think of yourself? I truly pity you.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, clearly the reason someone junked a not-particularly valuable car with dents and rust on every panel and a completely gutted interior from a manufacturer that is notorious for it’s unreliability has to be due to the actions of the minority party.

      Some people find politics in everything.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    Takes a real car guy to get politics out of this. I can do without MGBs. Mine was a 64 and I did a lot of things to make it run better. Wife #1 wrecked it and I think I might have been happy.

  • avatar
    Joss

    No doubt to be born again as a 3 D print on a self driving Corolla chassis. It will circle the city as a Zip looking for open air commuters.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    MGBs always speak to me in that way that British sports cars do. I want one but I know fitting in height and weight wise is just about insurmountable. I’ve been tempted to look into an extended chassis design, getting a donor with a good 6-8 inches either fore or aft and cutting a new axle. Stupidly expensive for the price but I’m only mildly interested in a miata and the new Z I understand is extremely twisty in droptop.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Have you actually tried? I’m 6’2″, 350lb+ and I fit just fine in all the old British cars except the Midget, and I can still drive a Midget. I can’t comfortably drive a Miata. The old cars are FAR roomier, since they don’t have space taken up by all that modern safety and comfort crap. :-) My 6’6 300+lb best friend can drive my Spitfire even.

    • 0 avatar
      paullubbock

      This is true, a B is surprisingly roomy.

  • avatar
    1998S90

    I can’t be the only one that laughed at the fully erect hood of the car next to it can I? Yeah, I went there…

  • avatar
    05lgt

    30 some years ago a friend had a slightly newer one of these, with this head and carbs swapped into it. A few other things to make it go faster when it was working. (I hated it’s clutch!) The one time I really needed it though, it did allow me to drive up, let the owner jump in the passenger seat without fully stopping, and he, I and a bag of various things “the man” wanted to take and not log into evidence managed to evade 3 unmarked by driving up a driveway, through a yard and out the side street to dodge the blockade. Good grief we were stupid, but the Oak town PD were the worst gang around back then…

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I doubt the restoration of this car was stopped because of politics or economics. More likely it was the other demands of life such as work, children,and etc.. This car either sat in the garage or outside for years covered up and the guy’s wife told him to either get it running or get rid of it. Or possibly the person who owned this died and relatives got it towed away or donated to charity which towed it and sold it at auction to a salvage yard. Also it is possible that someone got over their head in this project and decided it would cost too much money and too much time. My brother-in-law many years ago restored MGs, Triumph, and other British sports cars as a hobby and sell them at a profit. Many of the cars he bought were from those who tried to do the work themselves and finally gave up. It takes skill, mechanical aptitude,and patience to restore these cars. Also these cars are for those who don’t mind constantly tinkering with them. My brother-in-law especially liked the early 50s MGs and he had a 59 Triumph that was robin egg blue that had been his father’s.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The odds are high that this car was a victim of a strict regulator.

    “Honey, why are spending so much time working on that car? The yard needs work and the trees need trimming. What, do you expect me to do everything around here???”

    “Honey, the spare bedroom needs painting. Your home is more important than that old car.”

    “Honey, there is no way that you’re going to spend all of that money on whatchamacallits for that old car, when we have to take the kids to my parents for the holidays. We can talk about buying those whatchamawhosits later.”

    “Honey, you don’t have time to work on that car when you have to take Jimmy to soccer practice. Your son is more important than that ugly old rusty car.”

    “Honey, you never work on that old car anymore, it takes up space in the garage, and it looks terrible. If you’re not going to bother to do anything with it, then just get rid of it.”

    • 0 avatar
      paullubbock

      Funny, that’s how I ended up with a fully restored a black 1980 “B” LE. Honey, I want a new car. Honey, I can’t put my new car in the garage because that car of yours is in the way. So he sold it to me. Cheap. He gave away a midget with parts and sold another B in the progress of being restored.


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