Junkyard Find: 1971 MGB

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

You see plenty of Fiat 124 Sport Spiders in self-service wrecking yards these days, but junked MGBs— which were more commonplace back in the day— are fairly rare. The MGB was slower, less sophisticated, and sturdier than its Fiat competitor, and it still has a big following today. This could mean that more MGB projects get finished, while 124 Spider projects languish for decades before getting discarded.

This car still has its SU carburetors, which must be worth dozens of dollars.

Judging from the very crispy interior and radiation-blasted paint, this car spent a decade or so outdoors and exposed to the Colorado elements.

Still, it has some usable parts. I’d grab that steering wheel for my stranded-in-California Sprite project, but it already has a sharp-looking Jaguar wheel.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Forestghost07 Forestghost07 on Jul 02, 2015

    I read somewhere that BL was tagged the biggest corporate blunder ever. My uneducated guess is the suicide was caused by many factors ... our EPA, the Nissan/Toyota spying and subsequent invasion of the world's car mkts, the British labour scenario of the 70's, Mrs. Thatcher, Sir Michael Edwardes (not sure what he did), the in-fighting amongst BL's divisions, and plain ol' corporate greed. Failure was inevitable. I'm grateful tho, that some of BL's products live on ... and that the level of love and support for them is so high. Also happy to see youngsters getting involved :) And re MGs; the elec. and mechanical problems are history (IF one applies onself to the task!), every single part is available and reasonable, even superchargers and new body shells (!!), owners come together to mutual-aid and party, etc. To try care and feed other '70s Euro cars in this country is like financial and emotional torture ... been there. Keeping an MG these days is a relative pleasure; I just

  • -Nate -Nate on Jul 03, 2015

    Yep ; BL/BMC was amazing in it's ability to snatch failure from the jaws of victory . . The Japanese didn't kill them off , failure to make more than indifferent quality control on any of their well designed products did them in ~ there was a time when BMC had a massive market share and rightly so . . For those who doubt , look at how many of these cars are still running around , many unrestored just doing daily yeoman duty . . The poorly designed (deliberately so) Vega are all gone but the robust basic design of old MG products mean that like a '55 or '64 Chevy , they'll still be running and decently , long after the " better " cars have died . . Yes , I'm a BMC Fanboi but I wear NO rose tinted glasses ~ that battered 56 YEAR OLD coupe I drive daily everywhere in America leaks , creaks , rattles and drips oil but it's a joy to drive and dead easy and cheap to repair . . I'd love to have seen it make in Japan by careful , skilled workers who were glad to have a job and knew if they just shoved it out the door any old way , they'd be out of a job as the British Motor Industry is . . -Nate

  • Lou_BC Question of the day: Anyone actually care to own an old TVR?
  • Bd2 First, this was totally predictable. 2nd, Genesis already does have hybrids in the form of a 48V mild hybrid, but more performance oriented (supercharged and turbocharged), so not really helping with regard to fuel consumption. 3rd, Hyundai's hybrid systems don't really help as there currently isn't one that would be suitable power-wise and the upcoming 2.5T hybrid system would have to be heavily reworked to accommodate a RWD/longitudinal layout. 4th, it seems that Genesis is opting to go the EREV route with the GV70 the first get the new powertrain.
  • Bd2 Jaguar's problem was chasing the Germans into the mid size and then entry-level/compact segments for volume, and cheapening their interiors while at it.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Aja8888 I expected that issue with my F150 starting at 52,000mi. luckily I had an extended warranty and it saved me almost $8,000. No more Fords for me, only Toyota.
  • Lou_BC I saw a news article on this got a different read on it. Ford wants to increase production of HD trucks AND develop hybrid and EV variants of the SuperDuty. They aren't scaling back EV production. Just building more HD's and EV variants of HD's .