Junkyard Find: 1979 MG MGB

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

MGB s continue to show up in self-service wrecking yards, with another rubber-bumper Malaise Era example today. In my junkyard expeditions prior to today, I’ve photographed this ’67, this ’71, this ’75, this ’77, this ’77, this ’79, and this ’79 with a Toyota 20R swap, and now we’ve got today’s Denver ’79.

This car appears to have an old Volvo key, attached to a 20-year-old Colorado State Patrol keychain, in the ignition. Knowing British Leyland quality as I do, it’s likely that any key (or key-like object) will work the ignition on a late-70s MGB, or perhaps Volvo key blanks are similar to BL blanks of this era.

The BMC B engine went into a jillion types of vehicles during its 1950s-1980s production run, from the Massey-Harris Combine Harvester to the Nash Metropolitan to the Leyland Sherpa. Neither powerful nor smooth, but fairly sturdy.

This car appears to have been under restoration at some point, but that was a long time ago.

The problem with convertible projects like this is that their interiors get trashed quickly during outdoor storage, especially in harsh climates like Colorado’s.

It’s not rusty, but the black-bumper MGBs are insufficiently prized to be worth restoring when they get this battered.

Here are the happy workers who crafted this classic sports car.

Meanwhile, in London…

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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  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Dec 01, 2015

    The wire basket wheels on this car probably Keystone or American Racing are way out of place on this. Back when they were popular you would always see them with missing baskets.

  • Spreadsheet monkey Spreadsheet monkey on Dec 01, 2015

    Attention Americans - that YouTube clip of the striking British Leyland workers is almost 40 years old. Please do not think that is representative of Britain today!

    • RideHeight RideHeight on Dec 01, 2015

      Not to worry. That's easily discerned from the atrocious video quality and we know nobody sports sideburns like that anymore. Well, unless they're extras in an Inspector Gently episode.

  • Lorenzo Subaru had the ideal wagon - in 1995. The Legacy Outback was a straight two-box design with rear quarter and back windows you could see out of, and was available in brown with a 5-speed manual, as God and TTAC commenters intended. It's nice they're not raising prices, but when you've lost the plot, does it matter?
  • Bkojote Remember a month a go when Cleveland wanted to create a more walkable Cleveland and TTAC's 'BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM' dumbest and dullest all collectively crapped their diapers? Here's the thing- look on any American highway and it's littered with people who don't /want/ to be driving or shouldn't be. Look at every Becky on her phone during the morning commute in her Tucson, look at every Brad aggro driving his 84 month loan GMC. Hell look how many drivers nowadays can't even operate a headlight switch. You expect these people to understand a stoplight? In my neighborhood alone 4 people have been rear ended at lights from someone on their phone. Distracted driving over the past 10 years has spiked, and it's only going to get worse unless Becky has an alternative, because no judge is going to pull her license when 'she needs it to get to work!' but heaven forbid she not check fb/tiktok for 40 minutes a day.
  • Scott Shouldn't the The Italian Minister for Business be criticizing The Milano for being too ugly to be Italian?Better use of resources doing that....
  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.
  • The Oracle These are all over the roads in droves here in WNC. Rarely see one on the side of the road, they are wildly popular, capable, and reliable. There is a market for utilitarian vehicles.