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Shop Recommendation [fix it...?] longish...

Subject: Shop Recommendation [fix it...?] longish...
From: Florrie & Allen Bachelder <>
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 11:29:03 -0400
Well, Max, we have perhaps two economic issues here.  1.) What does is cost
to produce a good show car, and 2.) what level of depreciation is
acceptable for a "driver".   Interesting that you mention the $7000 figure,
as, since I had the rear quarters redone and the car repainted, that's what
I've got in my '76 daily driver.  I bought the car in '91 with the engine
in boxes for $750.  The body looked terrific - and maybe it wasn't quite as
good as it looked, but the bubbles didn't come through on the rear wheel
arches until seven years and 40,000 miles later.  I built an engine,
replaced the interior and top and started driving.  Since then, I've
rebuilt front suspension, replaced the growling  rear end, U-joints, all
springs, bushings, U-bolts, wheel bearings, entire exhaust system, rebuilt
the brakes - wheel cylinders, calipers, brake booster and new brake &
clutch MCs, and replaced the wheels with new Dayton wires.  The only major
component that hasn't been rebuilt or replaced is the o/d tranny.
Interesting point:  I've never replaced the battery - which was of
indeterminate age when I bought the car 8 years ago!

By now I've gotten 50,000 miles out of the car and it's ready for the next
50,000.  My total investment is now close to your $7,000 figure.  It is a
reliable, good looking, NONshow car - probably worth no more than $5000.
But what other car will come close to giving 8 years and 50,000 miles
service for $2000 depreciation (the calculation of which includes all
repairs!!!).  Do the math - this is a good deal.

Now if you want a slick show car, you're going to spend (depending on what
it needs and what you can do) $10-20,000 or more - and you're not going to
get it back when you sell. The "investment" is in ourselves - we're doing
this for fun, growth, friends, and satisfaction derived from learning new
skills.  If we can't make money, I think we can beat the depreciation curve
on most boring used cars, while having fun and driving a distinctive
automobile.  If we're willing to learn about our MGBs and take
responsibility for our own transport, we'll find nothing out there is more
reliable.  And we need not worry about depreciation because the car will
never wear out and require replacement. Case in point - you've already
gotten 11 years out of your's.  How much of the "thousands" you've spent on
it would you  have recouped had you spent it on used Accords or Camrys?

Granted - eventually your MGB will be like my father's knife - the handle
wore out and he replaced that, and a few years later he had to replace the
blade, but it was still the same old knife.

Notice, Max, that I did draw the line at a collision-demolished car - and
although the collision damage you describe in your car seems progressive
rather than acute - it may qualify for my exception!  But don't you hate to
discard a pull-handle B?  You should have seen the pull-handle 65 I'm
restoring.  RUST!  I took it on to see if I could learn to weld and I did!
Can't put a price on that.   The body shell is now complete and solid.

I didn't take into account your other condition: no garage.  I think my
whole philosophy assumes a work facility.  With some of the money I haven't
spent on a new car, I built a working garage (adding to my property value).
If your car is structurally sound, another alternative is to keep driving
it as-is until you have the facilities to do the work yourself.

If you want a good show car and are not in a position to "do it yourself",
then - sure - take advantage of the fact that we simply cannot recoup
restoration costs in the marketplace.  Buy a $20,000 B restoration (demand
lots of documentation!!) for $10,000.  What kind of new car can you buy for

' Sorry for the length...


>>>From: "Scott Regel" <>
>>>Also, I'm wrestling with what to do with my B.  The sills need to be
>>>replaced.  Would it be better to just sell it and find another in better
>>>shape or to just bite the expense?
>>...My own view is that, given a running usable B, there is nothing -
>>absolutely nothing - on the car that is not worth fixing.  The only
>>exceptions I can think of are a total vehicle fire or really major
>>demolition from collision - in which case one would probably have much
>>greater concerns than the car.
>That's an interesting point. From a purely financial standpoint it isn't
>precisely true, in that one could easily sink $7000 in body & paint work
>into a vehicle that would sell for $5-6000 at most...<<snip>>
>I bought the car cheap, as a driver, knowing it had some problems, and
>never intending it as a restoration project. 11 years on, I've gotten
>used to it, I guess. Not to mention sunk several thousand dollars into
>"this and that".
>Sorry to be so longwinded, but I thought I would solicit the list's
>opinion. Do you agree with Allen, that it is worth fixing (the body)?
>(Actually, given my description, I suppose Allen might demur). This is
>somewhat complicated by the fact that I don't have any garage to put it
>in, to "do it myself". Or should I just look for a better car (and Mk.
>I's are getting pretty scarce, to judge from "for sale" ads)?
>Max Heim
>'66 MGB GHN3L76149
>If you're near Mountain View, CA,
>it's the red one with the silver bootlid.

         Allen H. Bachelder  =iii=<
         Sinking Creek Home for Wayward MGs
        49 YT, 57 ZB, 58 ZB, 65 B, 67 BGT, 73 B, 73BGT, 76 B, &...
         New Castle, VA 24127

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