By on September 5, 2014

11 - 1977 MGB Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe steady march of MGBs into American self-service wrecking yard continues, with another black-bumper Malaise Era example today. In this series prior to today, we’ve seen this ’67, this ’71, this ’75, this ’79, and this ’79 with Toyota 20R power, and now we’ve got this ’77 with very-much-of-its-time custom paint. I found this car in a California wrecking yard, so of course it’s not rusty at all.
10 - 1977 MGB Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe MG octagon is gone, but the custom green border remains.
03 - 1977 MGB Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis paint job reminds me of the custom ’80 RX-7 Junkyard Find. Perhaps they were painted in the same shop.
07 - 1977 MGB Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSo few horsepower from the 1977 pushrod 1800. No need to discuss numbers here. Hey, look, the nearly unobtainium smog air-pump is still there.
01 - 1977 MGB Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI purchased this car’s clock for my collection, and it works!
12 - 1977 MGB Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinVery nice MGBs are worth OK money these days, but rough ones are worth bupkis.

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29 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1977 MGB...”


  • avatar
    zbnutcase

    1977 and STILL using the engine that the 1300 engine in my 1966 Datsun 411 was copied FROM. 2 intake and 3 exhaust ports, a marvel of volumetric efficiency!

  • avatar
    Bangernomist

    It was? I know the Nissan A-series evolved from the BMC engine of the same name, but I wasn’t aware that anything from the B-series directly influenced Nissan. What’s the story?

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    No more ’70s hair will it tussle.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    What’s the blue cylinder on top of the engine block, and how does the hood close when it’s there?

  • avatar
    JimC2

    It’s funny to me how you collect the clocks from so many cars- and I understand why you do that.

    Some of my friends have ferried tired, old aircraft to Davis Monthan AFB (the “boneyard” in Arizona). The cockpit clock, and making sure it has not been removed, is one of the first things on the checklist when the place accepts an aircraft from the ferry pilot. I learned this odd fact because I asked one of my friends, “Did you get to keep the clock from the airplane?” and he replied, “Nope, that’s one of the first things they check!”

    I don’t know what compelled me to ask him about the clock, I don’t know why he felt the same way, and I don’t know why you collect them from so many junk cars. But deep down inside, somehow I just get it.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Haha, the trunk bulkhead has been cut for 12″ subs.

    This thing actually looks (looked) pretty cool.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Agreed. I’m not crazy about the rubber bumpers of that vintage MG, but it must have looked pretty cool not too long ago. Wonder what did it in, it seems like it would have been a fairly easy to get back on the road car.

      Miss your stories, BTW. :-)

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Honestly, a junkyard is a good place for these cars. For many years, I saw these things on the road and wondered just what the appeal was. Then I finally got to drive one, and really wondered what the buzz waz about. I finally asked a Britcar enthusiast what the appeal was and he said that they were easy to work on. For me, that’s not enough.

    If you must have one of these, I have to think one of the chrome bumpered ones is what you want.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I drove one in the mid-80s – I was thinking about buying one as a weekend toy. My daily driver at the time was a 1985 Honda Civic Si, and would have probably ran rings around the MG, but that old car had a direct, unfiltered, honest feel to it that was very appealing.

      Then I remembered:
      1) It’s an MG
      2) A college buddy had one, and the odds of it starting in the winter were about one in six – the same odds as Russian roulette.
      3) I was living in St. Louis at the time
      4) Cars have to start in the wintertime in St. Louis, and you need silly stuff like wipers and heaters, all of which run off electricity.

      No sale. Ah well…

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      You need to try a good one. Which sad to say, means not back when they were new but one that has been restored and is thus built properly. They are not intrinsically unreliable, they were just horribly put together when new, and then they got to be old used cars. My Spitfire is completely reliable and a joy to drive, because it was completely rebuilt 20 years ago, and maintained well ever since. Dead simple designs, so not really much to go wrong anyway. Also helps if the car isut back to the way it was intended to be, not to the screwed up US standards. Let’s face it, nothing will make these cars safe, and the tech of the times made emissions control a horror.

  • avatar
    Bocatrip

    1975 and newer MGBS are fairly worthless due to emission strangling, height increase,horrible bumpers, overheating, and even more electrical nightmares tban the earlier models. The earliest pre smog (1967 and back) MGBs are the ones to own. I owned a 1970 MGB purchased new. Due to labor problems with British Leyland, my car was sabotoged at the factory. It threw a connecting rod within the first few months of ownership (unheard of for this durable engine) and had an electrical fire under the dash. It was found that an alligator clip was placed over the main wiring harness causing things to short out. It was a fun car nevertheless. I sold it after only 9 months of ownership due to all these major problems.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Datsun began by building Austins under license , I seem to recall an earlier article that explained it in detail .

    The BMC ‘B’ series engine is in fact a seriously over designed , under stressed engine , it was specifically designed to run on low octane petrol in far flung colonies in the worst conditions and it easily does so as long as you keep pouring oil into it….

    This car really looks to be in good shape and it’s not a terribly difficult thing to convert to chrome bumpers , those rubber things looked nasty new and worse now .

    No rust and no accident damage means this body tub would be an easy ‘ builder ‘ and would look sharp in the original Saffron Yellow , I don’t know about those decals .

    The 18V engine in this car , has a single row timing chain (!BAD idea !) so BMC cleverly decided to change the woodruff key slot in the cam sprocket by retarding it and thereby the cam timing , by 4° ~ this reduced emissions sharply at the same time it killed the little bit of horsepower these had anyways .

    As the timing chain , sprockets and hydraulic tensioner are _ALWAYS_ worn out , it is a simple Saturday afternoon D.I.Y. job to replace them all with the better , earlier design DuPlex chain and sprockets , the weepy timing cover seal too , making it leak a whole lot less oil everywhere it goes .

    As mentioned , these were pretty good fun cars , ” Sports Cars ” , _not_ racing cars so they were not terribly fast but were extremely fun to drive and yes , they’re easily made reliable , I drive an old LBC every day , 800 miles a week and no , it is not restored , just Mechanically sound and as always , carefully tuned , this makes all the difference in any old nail .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Joss

    Calis could have done worse. Something called the Austin Marina available with the same motor. The MG line was old in the 70’s. Small Buick V8 last stab at revival.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Went to a nice ” Boots & Bonnets ” MG Club meet yesterday at The Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo , Ca. ~ lots and lots of very nice MG’s from 1948 to the end , mostly well kept or restored , plus my little raggedy thing parked out side where folks looking for the meet saw it and turned in .

    One nice guy with the MG TD he won new as first prize for the ”
    Why I like my Bic Pen ” contest…..

    I was kept busy answering Tech questions and was surprised to discover 2/3 of the MG Owners didn’t actually drive them but for once a month or so .

    Wow .

    Many knew of my little red Met apparently it garners comments from folks who see it whizzing by ~ it doesn’t go very fast so I like to drive it flat out most of the time .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    emanistan

    Was it possible to buy these with engines and moving wheels? I’ve seen them parked in driveways-often under half rotted tarps-and backyards or riding on the back of flatbed trucks all through my 40+ years on this planet, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one moving under its own power. I always thought they were sold strictly as yard ornaments.


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