Junkyard Find: 1967 MGB
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.
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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.
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."