Junkyard Find: 1967 MGB

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The 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.

In 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.

Here’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.

It 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.

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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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Sep 08, 2013

    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.

  • Pch101 Pch101 on Sep 08, 2013

    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."

    • Paullubbock Paullubbock on Sep 18, 2013

      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.

  • Tassos Most people here who think it is a good idea have NO idea how much such a conversion costs. Hint: MORE than buying an entire new car.
  • Zipper69 Current radio ads blare "your local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer" and the facias read the same. Is the honeymoon with FIAT over now the 500 and big 500 have stopped selling?
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  • ToolGuy Personally I have no idea what anyone in this video is talking about, perhaps someone can explain it to me.
  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):